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

Oldie but goodie

Volendam Cruise Review by rayjitsu

15 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

We have been cruising to Alaska many times because as resident in Vancouver, it is an easy trip for us. One hour leaving from our house, we will be sitting at the ship's top deck eating lunch.

Volendam, compare to other ships I have been on, is a much simple in decor(but has interesting art works in their corridors), aged, and small, but a good ship. The advantages is less walking from one end to the other, the buffet area is not crowded even in the busy time, plenty of closet spaces in our room, good service and foods. We stayed in the picture window , a good size, suite on level one, our first at such low floor, but we discovered it is less rocky during an odd rolling sea day. The disadvantage was the dining room on the four level is complicated to find if one don't take the very end elevator, I took the mid elevator and got lost twice and ended in the front of the theatre twice. Good thing the ship was not too long to walk ,even twice. Second disadvantage was our room safe required a credit card with a magnetic strip (any magnetic strip). lucky we have a Starbuck card, otherwise we had to carry our credit card around (bring along an expired credit card, the third disadvantage was, in the buffet, most food are served by a server and the foods was not label clearly. So you have people asking what each dishes were(one asked what is liver and rather the beef was from a grass feed cow) and then take a minute of so to decide what to have. So in busy hour, the line up was long and the server was frustrated from repeating answering the same question.

Entertainment: we like the Concert in Alaska, a beautiful video accompany with live music play by the ship's band. I also attained and enjoy the lesson on computer on how to use Windows 10 to edit and create videos from photos.

Food: HAL always have a high standard for its food and that is the reason we choose this ship. Take in mind that the ship is cooking for thousand of passengers, so it could not compare to those of the top restaurant, but I did enjoyed their foods, the dessert has the right amount of sweetness. (As an Asian, I love their breakfast congee which I have it with smoke salmon or left over roast beef).

Also,as a repeated HAL cruiser,we were invited to a Thank you lunch in the dining room on the last sea day heading home. The foods were delicious. Don't miss this invitation.

Port: Juneau, the price of dedicated bus to Mandenhall glacier increased to $45 which is only 6 miles away. If you arrive the port early, say 9am, you could take the local bus, $3, which take one hour then and walk a mile or so to the park. Then walk another half mile to the big waterfall. The glacier itself is ok since you will see a lot more specular glaciers in Glacier Bay. I walk toward the bridge to see the new whale sculpture, wait for the water spray, it made it all the difference. I also recommend doing the counter or clockwise around the edge of the town. Lots of interesting things to see up the hill.

Glacial Bay, it was perfect weather (overcast at first to bring out the blue in the ice, then turn sunny to bring out the white, saw many otters and some seals along the way. On the way out, over the speaker, the ranger told us an island which we passed was full of sea lions and seagulls, thousand of them, but you need binocular to see them. Play attention on your exit to the park.

Skagway, walk thru the town to the waterfall, a short walk pass the old cemetery.

Ketchikan, walk along the creek to the hatchery, the park is quite nice now.

Along the cruise, we saw otters, whale, dolphin/porpoise, and bear, some even saw mountain goal, but all from far distant. Bring a good binocular.

Also, if you want an unobstructed front view of the ship, walk to the front of deck 6 and go out on the door marked exit. Actually both side of exits are good, but one marked for emergency exit only.

For a good enjoyment, it is about talking to other guests and be respectful. Treat people the way you want them to treat you, even if they are the workers. Life is like throw a ball to a wall, wherever you put out, it will come back at you.


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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E 1914

Lots of closet and shelves. Walk in shower with glass door.

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