3 Seattle Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

April 2014 we were in French Polynesia and had a wonderful time. This time we choose a Volandam cruise Seattle - Sydney - Bali because we thought the itinerary looked great as well. It was partly great indeed, but also partly ... Read More
April 2014 we were in French Polynesia and had a wonderful time. This time we choose a Volandam cruise Seattle - Sydney - Bali because we thought the itinerary looked great as well. It was partly great indeed, but also partly disappointing. e.g. To me it is a mystery why the ship went to Mystery Island. A lost day. In Honolulu the hop on hop of bus was not available. HAL had rented it for some excursion. We never join HAL excursions because you can save half of the money when you book ashore. Climat control in the lounges and bridge room were inadequate. Most of the time it was freezing there. The tables and chairs in the Lido restaurant really should be replaced. Take care for the buckets in the corridors when it's raining. Unfortunately the quality of food was worse again. Good bread and fresh orange juice, but cold soup, melted ice cream, bad coffee and overcooked meat and fish. Less expensive fruit and meat. Little variation as well. What a difference with 8 years ago! HAL has become a budget cruise line, though they will never admit. A good idea not to use the slogan "Signature of Exellence" anymore! HAL tries to save money where it is (im)possible. At the entrance of the dining room the new dress code was unknown, so they tried to give me a jacket when formal night, which I refused. A fellow guest got really furious when his entrance was refused. Well, we got an invitation for a "rijsttafel" dinner. A pity that it was planned one day after our disembarkation. Fewer shows, more movies. Less musicians.The smaller HAL Cats Orchestra seemed to be uninterested. Live music in the lounge at dinner time but not during the happy hour. Some mediocre "singers" came back a second time "on popular demand". Whose demand? The atmosphere on board was not nice at all. Too many crew members were very unfriendly. Take care for them in the buffet restaurant, for they will not stop when you are approaching with coffee and breakfast in your hands. No crew present at the meet and mingle. Don't ask for service. They don't know that word. An exception was our great waiter in the dining room and his helper. In the always cold Hudson Room the lights are switched off at about 23.45. Probably bed time. The bridge Tournament Director during the first part of the cruise was good. Unfortunately his wife was not and (the TD told this to me!) she insisted to do the lessons herself though the TD was much better. The TD during the last part of the cruise was incompetent, lazy and very rude. Hotel Director JH was the rudeness in person. Once he said to me: Why did you book this cruise when you were already disappointed this spring on the Rotterdam? When I answered that I booked this cruise about a year ago, he suggested that I might have had my money back via my insurance company....! What an attitude. Then we won a pearl necklace at a raffle. We were told it had a value of 1250 Australian $. After a bit investigation it proved to be fake. When I complained to JH he got rude and said "do you expect me to pay that money myself?" Of course not the smartest question ever and not relevant as well. It's just about responsibilities dear Hotel Director. Some weeks later we heard that the jewelry seller was dismissed in Sydney. Before disembarkation we got a letter: "For your convenience the individual cards have been pre-filled for you". That's nice. At the end if the cruise a little service. Unfortunately they wrote down wrong pasport numbers. Another visit to the front desk needed. We had planned to disembark in Bali together with about 50 other guests. Unfortunately the ship could not enter the port because of some dredger. Ofcourse we were unpleasantly surprised. I asked the captain why we could not disembark by using the tenders. He said the tender platform would be under water now and then. This sounds a bit strange but okay, he is the captain. So I asked why not entering the tenders where you have to enter them in case of emergency. Now the mysterious answer was: "because the passengers would not be able to return to the ship". Personally I don't see the problem, because those 50 guests wanted to leave the ship and definitely not embark again. Well, he is the captain and did his study. So we had to stay one more day at the ship and rebook our flights. When we arrived the next day about 15.00, a vulcan at Lombok just had erupted the same morning. When we disembarked, nobody at the ship told us that the airport was closed. The taxi driver at the pier told us. What a HAL-service and how dishonest (or incompetent?). Because HAL had send a letter to all 50 guests that HAL would refund all extra costs because of the delay we claimed 3 days Bali. Without success HAL tried to convince us that they were not responsible. So all is well that ends well. The days on Bali where some of the best days of the holiday. Back home I contacted HAL and the lady in the local office was very understanding and helpful. She contacted the jewelry and they gave some compensation. Well, only after they tried to mislead the customs without success, saying that I send the necklace for repair.... Only because HAL gave us a future cruise credit we will return one more time to a HAL ship. Ofcourse after having checked that JH will not be on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers and we aim to cross as many major lines of latitude and longitude on a ship as possible, so we were excited by this one as it meant crossing the International Date Line and indeed (from leaving home ... Read More
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers and we aim to cross as many major lines of latitude and longitude on a ship as possible, so we were excited by this one as it meant crossing the International Date Line and indeed (from leaving home in the UK to arriving back) circumnavigating the globe. Whilst this was our 23rd cruise it was our first time with Holland America Line. The embarkation process at Seattle was very efficient and streamlined, and we boarded in time for a buffet lunch in the Lido restaurant which we ate by the pool - a place we were to frequent regularly. Our cabin was a twin-bedded one on the Main Deck (Deck 2) right at the starboard bow of the vessel. It was very quiet and comfortable and we were served by Choky, our very pleasant Indonesian cabin steward. Our first impressions of Holland America's "signature of excellence" were not brilliant. On the first night the service in the Rotterdam Dining Room was extremely slow (we still hadn't finished after two hours at the table) and, for the first three nights, our waiter either forgot to bring courses or brought the wrong thing. This rapidly improved, however, once one of the ship's officers joined our table for dinner. Also, for the first night the cabin steward did not do the evening "turn down" in our cabin, although to be fair this was the only time he forgot and the rest of the voyage the service was impeccable. The quality, selections and presentation of the food I found to be excellent. Also the selection and range of drinks and cocktails, although I did find the bar prices to be extortionate compared to say, P & O or Fred Olsen. I found the evening entertainment in the Frans Hals showlounge to be pretty average. The show company was good but nothing exceptional. The guest performers were aimed more at the 60+ age group; there was a bloke who played the clarinet (who was pretty good), a fairly run-of-the-mill female singer, a cellist (boring) a pianist (who was good) a comedian (good if you could understand the transatlantic humour!) and a pretty average magician. We spent nearly all our evenings, after dinner, in the Crow's Nest, which was the ship's version of a night club. It offered discos, karaoke on some nights, dancing, live music and sometimes a Wii challenge! :-) The cruise director, Jimmy and the DJ/compere, Drew were really friendly guys who we got to know quite well as we were "regulars" in the Crow's Nest. It takes nine full days and nights to cross the Pacific ocean so it certainly isn't recommended for first time cruisers or those who don't like to spend a lot of time at sea. It can also be very disorientating as, for the first 10 days of our trip, we were never in the same time zone two days running. It was a strange phenomenon completely missing out a day when we crossed the International Date Line, for which we received a certificate. Also, the north Pacific ocean is certainly not aptly named as we encountered winds between Force 8 and Force 10, and sometimes a 12 foot swell, so it was fairly rough. All part of the adventure though! Once we reached Japan we visited Hakodate, Otaru, Aomori and Kobe. We had originally planned an overnight-in-port stay at Yokahama in order to explore Tokyo, but as this was right in the path of Hurricane Melor this port of call was, unfortunately, cancelled and the ship changed course. However, the ports of call were very interesting and Kobe was a fantastic city; it's amazing to see how they have built it up again after the dreadful 1995 earthquake. All in all, we had a really good time and would probably cruise with HAL again if the itinerary was to our liking. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We embarked in Seattle at a terminal just across from the City of Seattle with easy access. Our cabin had a window and was of adequate size. On a cruise with a lot of sea days it did not pay to have a Veranda cabin. This was a ... Read More
We embarked in Seattle at a terminal just across from the City of Seattle with easy access. Our cabin had a window and was of adequate size. On a cruise with a lot of sea days it did not pay to have a Veranda cabin. This was a repositioning cruise to Auckland, New Zealand and was a first cruise to the South Pacific. We are veterans of 39 cruises and enjoy Holland American due to its exotic itineraries. This cruise went to Los Angeles (Really Long Beach), Honolulu, Oahu, Maui, Fiji, Vanuatu, American Samoa, Samoa, Ile De Pins & Noumea in New Caledonia and finally 4 ports in Northern New Zealand. We had calm seas and we got the expected results from Holland American with some surprise. The food was the very best we have ever had on Holland American, although by the end of the cruise they were running out of everything. The crew and staff were excellent and one of the best I have ever encountered. Very Professional. They needed the experience since the ship really needed to be drydocked after coming out of the Alaskan cruise market with no chance for repairs. We always seemed to have 2 of the 5 ships engines not working and even a non working side thruster. Also coffee machines in the lido and multiple pieces of equipment in the Gym needed repair. To the ships crew I have to say you never noticed any inconvenience. One problem that I had was the Mariner society. The rewards are clearly lacking and after 184 days at sea they dropped the ball. We were put in a lower category room then what we paid for and the one recognition event was a brunch at 11 am one sea day. This was ridiculous and surely timed to eliminate feeding us either breakfast or lunch so we skipped it. Also the tiles they give us I passed on again since it was just more weight to carry back home. This was a good cruise and I would recommend this itinerary to anyone who has the time to handle this length of cruise and who can handle the return jet lag. It took us 5 sleepless nights to adjust to being home! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.0
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.5 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.8
Family 3.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.5
Enrichment 5.0 3.5
Service 5.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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