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

Rollercoaster of highs and lows

Volendam Cruise Review by MischiefNM

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Dec 2019
  • Destination: the Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom

Because of this cruise, I am no longer feeling the love I used to feel as a 3 star mariner on HAL. We had a very spacious cabin 2555, but in the 16 days we were in it, the air conditioning never worked and the toilet never flushed properly. This is an inside wheelchair cabin, so in the hot Caribbean temperatures, a non-working toilet plus no a/c was a living hell. I of course complained multiple times daily, but the only option was a desk fan which simply circulated the foul-smelling air. The guest services office gave us a free dinner at Cannaletto, but then insisted that the temp of our cabin was 18 degrees celcius. Maybe it was if you hold the meter up at the a/c vent, but that doesn't help that there was no air blowing into the 80 degree F cabin! We laid in the wet bedsheets every night, sweating like pigs in the sewage-smelling inside air. Sickening!

Enbarcation was smooth, disembarcation was also smooth. The impressionist Robbie Howard was fantastic! The Jersey Boys and the FlyRight trio were exceptionally great. The food in the MDR was delicious, and they never made any mistakes regarding the accommodation of my tomato food allergy. Our MDR waiters, Awan and GeDe were fantastic. Our room stewards on deck 2 were great!

Our southern Caribbean ports of call were fantastic, all of them. Now we have been on 30 cruises, not all with HAL, and 74 foreign countries total. With a manual wheelchair I might add. The best meal I had was the filet mignon/ lobster tail entree with chocolate souffle dessert. Just wonderful! The service in the LIDO was hit or miss, depending on who was the staff in that section. If we sat in the Cannaletto area for breakfast, the staff came around with hot, delicious coffee every 5 minutes. Anything you wanted. The further we sat away from that section, we got less to no service whatsoever. I had to clean my own table and fetch my own coffee twice. Once in the MDR breakfast I requested scrambled eggs and got some terrible tasting powdered eggs instead. I refused them and it took 30 minutes to receive hot, real chicken eggs. Not good! Again in the MDR if we were seated far away from other larger tables, we got no service at all.

Most of the guests were of retirement age, but there was a group of very annoying and loud teenagers who ruined the peaceful quiet several times in the Explorer Lounge area. Some of those teenagers and their families were escorted off the ship in Aruba because they got into a bloody fist fight.. That helped the noise level on the ship. I was cerytainly glad to see those families leave the ship in Aruba. Many people complained about the noise those teens were causing. Also, the casino noise was overwhelming, and when I complained to Nicu the casino supervisor that the noise was spilling into the Hudson room and the Explorer Lounge, he smiled because he encouraged that noise. I called security to intervene, but they never arrived on scene. HAL wants more to make money in that casino than to offer a quiet spot for people to play cards and read. Making money is HAL's agenda goal.

The daily gratuities continue to increase, so we asked that they be deleted. The HAL corporation is not getting my gratuities as gravy for themselves; instead I give cash to those employees who serve me personally. I figure that this vacation was paid for at least 90 days before I stepped on the ship, and I know for a fact that those gratuities do not reach my stewards and waiters specifically. HAL is worth millions. They pay the staff the same whether or not I pay the $14.50 daily gratuities per person so I will not add to that if there is an option to deny the corporation even more money than I agreed to pay.

Your opinion may vary, but it's my vacation and my money.

The hotel supervisor tried to get us to accept a cabin 1/4 the size of 2555 that he claimed was an upgrade. It was an insult. I feel that if HAL really wanted to make us happy after putting us in a cabin without a working toilet or a/c they could have done so; the ship was not full. Instead they chose not to make us happy. We will certainly remember that when we decide to book another cruise.

MischiefNM's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom

2555 is a fully wheelchair-accessible cabin without a working toilet nor air conditioning. Since this ship was in dry dock in November 2019, I was surprized that these two features did not work properly. I feel that HAL should not have put us in a cabin with neither the toilet nor the air conditioning functioning properly.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Catamaran Tour

Great catamaran snorkeling trip!

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Catamaran Tour

Shipwreck fish and turtles were great!

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Caroni Bird Sanctuary

Wonderful tour!

View All 2 Caroni Bird Sanctuary Reviews
River Tubing

Best tour of the whole cruise.

View All 74 River Tubing Reviews
Catamaran Tour

Allura catamaran offered nothing but cold water. No sodas, no alcohol. Nothing. The crew was nice but the water was too deep for standing on the bottom and watching the rays swim around.

View All 37 Catamaran Tour Reviews
Stingray Swim

Allura boat offered nothing but cold drinking water.

View All 795 Stingray Swim Reviews

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