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

Volendam's Grand South America Voyage 2020

Volendam Cruise Review by djack77494

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Standard Interior Stateroom

The ports. The ports. The ports. The Price. The line (HAL). These are the things that attracted me to this voyage.

This voyage of 11 weeks was my first cruise with a duration of over three weeks, and that alone turns the experience completely around. You see the same people, passengers & crew, over and over again and you get to know them. That was mostly good. Ran into many knowledgeable, seasoned travelers. Several of the enrichment activities (basically lectures) were great.

In the negative column, the disembarkation was very disorganized and took a long time, with them calling for people (to disembark) who then accumulated at the gangway area but then couldn't leave due to wheelchairs being brought on board. Given the passengers, there were a lot of wheelchairs. Almost all things sold be HAL were excessively expensive. The big excursions and internet costs were astronomical. Liquor prices are up $2 over the last time I cruised (which wasn't long ago). I won't even consider the "premium dining" anymore. (Do they not realize that we've already paid for fine dining for every meal?) Tips are higher by $2 per day above the last time I cruised, but the fantastic Volendam crew deserved it.

My final assessment will be tempered by how HAL treats the passengers for the sudden cruise termination. I realize it was beyond everyone's control, but how it is handled is not beyond control. Especially galling was that we lost the port of French Guiana, the sole reason for my obtaining $550 of vaccinations.


djack77494's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Standard Interior Stateroom

As expected. Cabin stewards did a good job.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Lima

Lima looked like a great place to more thoroughly, but we just passed through coming back from the magnificent MacchuPicchu.

First time being up close & friendly with the penguins. Nice. Sea lions - no so much.

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Train to the End of the World

Part of tour, but the train itself was not that impressive.

View All 32 Train to the End of the World Reviews
Stanley

Penguins are wonderful! Other birds are mean.

Buenos Aires

Neat city, but there were many places we got to see. Our tour operator was mediocre. Should have been better.

Rio de Janeiro

Craziest place I've ever seen. This place was non-stop partying. Be careful however. (I was there for Carnival!)

Copacabana

(All part of one tour)

View All 8 Copacabana Reviews
Corcovado Mountain & Christ Redeemer statue

(All part of one tour)

View All 40 Corcovado Mountain & Christ Redeemer statue Reviews
Sugarloaf Mountain

(All part of one tour)

View All 17 Sugarloaf Mountain Reviews
Tijuca Forest

(All part of one tour)

View All 7 Tijuca Forest Reviews
Santarem

This review is for Salvador, which was not listed & is much more significant than Santarem. This is a must city. Original capital of Brazil. Lots of great colonial architecture, esp. churches. And a pedestrian elevator in the middle of town. Don't miss taking it.

Amazon Rainforest

We went everywhere. Amazing place (but it's not clean.)

View All 9 Amazon Rainforest Reviews

Pretty island. Civilization.

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djack77494
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