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Volendam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
594 Reviews

Almost 30 days of cold dining

Volendam Cruise Review by Marycook

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2019
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

The ports were new to us and the timing worked so we chose the 30-day Incan Empire Voyage. Embarkation was OK, we heard later this year the ship will be under review as to updates. Cabin fine, but the tiny TV and limited channels was annoying when in quarantine. Staff were friendly and helpful. Entertainment seems to have improved, enjoyed most of the comedians, but music still too loud. Good selection of presenters. Wish the port talks were available on TV in rooms, not just the excursion sales. We didn’t realize that some of the ports were industrial and how long the free shuttles would be. Also the poverty, so I recommend taking a lot of $1 bills. We are so fortunate.

The biggest disappointment was the food. On the first night, Feb. 2, there was about an hour+ wait for the dining room (we chose anytime dining) so we went to the Lido. I chose a baked potato, chicken and green beans. The butter just sat in my potato, the chicken was not hot and the lovely green beans were not crisp or hot. Second night was Super Bowl so the boys went to watch the game and the girls went to the dining room. Third night, couldn’t get into the dining room again without a long wait so spoke with the Hotel Manager, I mentioned the disappointing cold dinner on the first night and our friends (4 star mariners) complained they never had to wait long for dinner. We were comped to the Pinacle Dining room, meals good.

My husband got sick and went to the medical centre on Feb. 11, staff caring and prescribed Tamilflu for him and recommended I take some too. He returned on Feb. 17, had X-ray and new prescription. This is March 9 at time of writing and my husband is still congested and coughing.

I sent a message about the cold dinners and a very nice staff member came to the table that evening to see if my meal was hot - it wasn’t. He returned other nights but seldom heard it was. Had a good Indian lunch one day, nice spices and hot temperature.

I don’t know what the temperature of the food is in the kitchen, or when it is picked up by the servers, or brought to the serving stations, served and finally eaten, but it is too long. Manners dictate we wait for everyone at the table to be served before diving into our meals, but with staff cutbacks, there are not enough bodies to clear tables and serve the food while it is still hot. HAL May think it is elegant to have your server present everyone with their dinner, but perhaps they could take a tip from places where more than one server delivers meals while they are hot.

Their DiveIn snack bar with make your own fajitas and tacos was also a huge disappointment with cold foil wrapped soft taco shells, barely warm meat fillings, cold cheese. I can’t help but think poorly kept food adds to sickness, and there was a lot of heavy congested coughing and people quarantined to their cabins on this trip. First and last 30-day voyage for us.

Air conditioning on ship, especially in the Atrium worked overtime. Captain tried to explain why it was so cold.

Took about six excursions. Enjoyed Lima’s water fountains at night.

Disembarkation was best ever!

I doubt we will travel with HAL again.

Marycook's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin F 1899

Nice shower, but poor water pressure. Would be nice to have a better TV and more channels. Staff kept us well supplied with fresh towels.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

Panama - Aerial Tram & eCo encounter. A couple of people saw a monkey way off, but that was about all the wild life spotted.


Did 5 bays catamaran, hoped for more than the barge type of boat, but there was lots of shade and room to walk around.

Cabo San Lucas

Took cab to San Jose del Cabo for a change enjoyed it. Did lunch at Tequila Shark as we enjoyed it so uch last year - unfortunately sometimes you just can’t go back.


Better than last year’s visit. Port with big blue sculpture.

Puerto Quetzal (Antigua)

Took bus for Antigua on your own. Many women selling woven fabric items.

San Diego

Stayed there a couple of nights before trip and took ship’s shuttle to airport.

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