Our voyage on the MS Volendam was short, but sweet! This ship is still in very good shape. It is scheduled for another retrofit next month.
We flew to Vancouver to join the ship on it's transition from Alaska to the Caribbean. Many people on this voyage were settling in for the extended Panama Canal cruise. We had limited time as we had another trip planed, so we decided to take the 6 night cruise from Vancouver to San Diego.
We stayed at the Best Western Plus Uptown Hotel in Vancouver. It's only 4 miles (12 minutes to the cruise terminal) and is about half the price of the downtown properties. We found it clean, friendly and in a very nice neighborhood filled with restaurants.
Embarkation was very fast and our rooms were ready when we boarded around 11:00 a.m.
Our cabin was a Guaranteed Ocean view Cabin. We were very satisfied with our location on Dolphin deck near the Aft part of the ship.
The cabins are a bit dated, especially the TVs and the safe; other than that, a great clean cabin with plenty of storage space.
We enjoyed the limited entertainment onboard, especially the comedian and the magician. Both were excellent. The BB King All Star band was also great. We have heard many of these bands play on other HAL ships and HAL does a great job recruiting these bands. We also enjoyed early evening entertainment in the Ocean Bar.
The food onboard was fine. We enjoyed all of the food and service in the Main Dining Room. Our servers, Rudy and Eko, were outstanding.
The Lido Buffet is fine for what it is, along with the Dive In area. We did not partake of the Pinnacle Grill or Canaletto this voyage as we are going on another HAL ship in thirty days and will book then.
Victoria is always a great walking port. We did not get off the ship in Astoria, Oregon. San Francisco is always a wonderful city to visit and we were fortunate to spend from 7 am until 11 pm in the city.
Debarkation in San Diego was effortless and we were at the airport in minutes.
As always, the crew on HAL REALLY make the difference. These people bust their buns each and every day to make sure all guests are having the best experience while onboard.
A shout out to Henry and Jerry in the Ocean Bar, as well as Sol and Teddy, our cabin stewards.
We look forward to our upcoming trip on MS Koningsdam.
The cabin itself has nice space. The cabins need to be retrofitted as they are very dated. The TVs are very small and need to be replaced with plasma screens. The safe is still from years ago, having to use a magnetic striped card to open and shut.
The bed and pillows were very comfortable. The bathrooms have been refurbished and were excellent, with plenty of space in the shower.