4 Seward to Alaska Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

Visited son who lives in Anchorage, then took the cruise from June 5 - 12 from Seward to Vancouver. It was nice time of year - light long and mild weather. We had no rain on the entire trip, unusual we were told. It even close to 80 on ... Read More
Visited son who lives in Anchorage, then took the cruise from June 5 - 12 from Seward to Vancouver. It was nice time of year - light long and mild weather. We had no rain on the entire trip, unusual we were told. It even close to 80 on shore in :Haines & Juneau. There were optional trips to Skagway, but we enjoyed Haines, since we had visited Skagway on other trips. The town was welcoming and a complimentary bus to several of the sites was helpful. The entertainment was tops; we especially enjoyed the magician, comedian Garry Carson. Also, the films shown each day were an added benefit, since we hardly ever go to films at home. In Glacier Bay, several National Park rangers came on board and gave 2 talks before we got near the glaciers, then had a continuing narative while we were near the glaciers. One also did something special with the children on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I decided to take my son on an Alaska cruise as a high school graduation present, even though he really wanted to go to the Mediterranean- another victim of the falling dollar and rising fuel costs. I am a divorced mom, mid 50's, and ... Read More
I decided to take my son on an Alaska cruise as a high school graduation present, even though he really wanted to go to the Mediterranean- another victim of the falling dollar and rising fuel costs. I am a divorced mom, mid 50's, and have to admit that I tend to see the glass as half empty. I have traveled with my son all over the world. Prior cruise experience on Celebrity, RCCL, NCL and even the Disney Big Red Boat. So, although I had read all the bad reviews about HAL, I had also heard that they were making an effort to attract younger people, that the Alaska cruises have lots of teens and that their ships were elegant and understated. With that in mind, a great cruise price through an internet site and tickets on Alaska Air purchased with frequent flyer miles bought on ebay, we set out for Anchorage and the start of the southbound journey to Vancouver. I did not use any of the ship's transportation options. We flew to Anchorage, checked into the Hilton and spent a day in Anchorage. Visited the Native Heritage Center, which I frankly expected to be a boring tourist trap. Wrong! Fabulous is the only word I can use to describe it. The "college kids" working there actually grew up in the areas and in the types of dwellings represented. Next morning, bus to Seward. Called and made the reservation the day before. The bus let us off at a lodge a few miles outside of Seward, which checked the bags and delivered them directly to the ship for only a couple of dollars. Cheapest deal in Alaska. They even had a free shuttle which took us into Seward. My son was really anxious to get on board and start eating, so we boarded before lunch. The boarding process was effortless. We avoided the ubiquitous photo in front of the ship and no one chased us down. So far, so good. Then came the activities-or should I say lack thereof. I originally attributed it to the fact that it was boredom, oops, boarding day, but I would soon learn that this was every day. We were confined, until the rooms could be readied, to the eighth floor. This is the floor with the buffet, swimming pools, 2 "hot" tubs, work out room and spa. There was also 1 ping pong table and 1 floor sized chess set. ACTIVITIES - There are a lot of rooms for sitting. They have many, many names for these rooms. You can sit with a drink, a computer, a book or at a card table. If you like to sit, this is the ship for you. The internet room is also the library and is quite beautiful. Internet charges are the standard overpriced sea rates. The library has a wonderful collection of books-all of which are locked up at 10:00 PM every night. I wonder where they think you would take the stolen book? If it is before 10, you can check it out. You can also rent DVD's for a fee. One of the places that you cannot sit is a "hot" tub. This is because the tubs are never hot. They are closed with netting or drained at about 7PM every night. In the morning, they are ice cold. It became a running joke between another passenger and me. She would sit on a chaise by the hot tubs every morning until about lunch and I would say "are they hot yet?" every time I passed by. The hot tubs got hot by about 5PM, when most people went to dinner. Then they were shut off at 7PM, ready to start the cycle again. I was told that there was a "hot tub" in the spa which one could use for $80 or so for the week. I asked to see it and was told to come back at 5PM, when it wasn't so crowded. (Coincidentally, the same time the free hot tub heated up). As to other activities, the indoor pool was taken over by kids, so I never used it and the outdoor pool wasn't an option- for that you need a different cruise. The ping pong table was really popular. My son told me that he tried to play basketball one day on the outdoor deck but the net or the hoop or some other part was broken. He found a group of teenagers to socialize with and basically they wandered around the ship bored. The activities director (some 22 year old girl with a whistle) arranged some lame competitions to win points which could be exchanged for ship cups and such. One was a ping pong match. There were so many people, because there was nothing else to do, that she limited it to best of 5 points between each 2 persons in line. They also had a contest hitting a ping pong ball with a putter into a net in the swimming pool held by one of the kids swimming. Have I mentioned how boring this ship was? I spent most of the time in the gym. There was a lovely view and the requisite number of treadmills, bikes, cybex machines, weights, etc. They had a few t.v.'s which ran the news all the time. I took one pilates class, which was taught by a Russian male instructor. He claimed that no other staff showed up, so he taught all the classes, no matter what they were. I didn't take anything but the pilates and it was a killer. ENTERTAINMENT - If your idea of entertainment is having a guy sit at a piano and tell you to turn to number 71 in your book so you can sing along to "Climb Every Mountain," you have found paradise. This is the type of thing that poses as entertainment on this ship. It almost makes the adolescent bathroom and penis humor on RCCL look good. There are two shows every night. I (wrongly) assumed that the early (7PM) show was for the early diners and the late (I use that term loosely)show at 9PM was for the late diners. On HAL, the nightly show lasts approximately 45 minutes. So, I was told, the late diners, such as myself, were expected to go to the 7PM show. That would allow them to be at the dining room by 8 PM and presumably get to bed by 10-the time when most everything on this ship closes down. If you really want to stay up "late," there is a nightly movie. The last showing was usually around 10PM. There is also a casino. It has the usual slot machines, craps table, roulette table, 21, poker, etc. There is just no pizzazz. My son enjoyed the blackjack tournament one night, even though he ended up losing. FOOD - One good thing about the cruise-you won't gain weight. My son's plans for a 7 day eating binge were thwarted through no fault of his own. The comedians who make jokes about 24 hour hot and cold running food on cruise ships have never taken this line. Didn't happen. Since I'm fat enough, this was not really a downside for me, but my son had his heart set on huge portions of lobster tails and baked alaska. Beginning with breakfast, we ate it at the buffet twice. I don't think the dining room served breakfast After that, we skipped the meal altogether. It was the equivalent of a high school cafeteria. The one stand out was fresh squeezed orange juice- which was unfortunately served at room temperature. The ship is kept so hot that you are thirsty all the time for something cold to drink. All that is offered all day, except breakfast, is water, coffee, hot and iced tea. My son bought a soda card for $20 or so and he couldn't use it at the buffet or in the dining room. He had to go to the bar. And he wasn't allowed to sit at the bar because he is only 18, so the card went to waste and he was thirsty all the time. We never ate lunch in the dining room because they are only open for about 1 1/2 hours at lunch. We always ate at the buffet. Dinner we usually ate in the dining room. Generally, the food is the same. The menu in the dining is the same as the buffet. The only other option is the restaurant with a $20 per person surcharge. The night I tried to book reservations, they were full. After that, I passed by and saw the exact same occasion cake as was on our table in the dining room, so I decided to save my money. Some of the food was good-the prime rib, the Asian stir fries, the mushroom soup and the lobster tails, for example. Some of it was awful. Most of it was bland, boring and poor quality. The fresh fruit wasn't sweet, the vegetables were frozen, the danish were the same every day, the pastries were cloyingly sweet and the meat was not trimmed of fat. The dining room was set for dinner every night with a place setting consisting of no less than 10 pieces of silverware, with 4 pieces above the plate. The fish and steak knives were delivered separately. It gave the impression that Holland America in their past had an elegant dinner service and was trying to hang on to that time. Now it was just an out of place relic and seemed pompous and foolish in light of the poor sparse food. Dinner was only 3 to 4 courses and far less copious than that of other cruise ships. The menu was divided into appetizers, soup and salad as one category and a main dish. A dessert menu was presented afterwards. Portions were adequate. Food was poor and pointlessly fussed over. For example, they served escargots on one night and chose to douse them with a thick cream sauce and place the thick mixture in a pastry shell. The baked alaska was a ball of egg whites covering a cake that tasted like a mix with a tablespoon of ice cream. Service was slow and pretentious. It took approximately 2 hours to serve 3 to 4 courses of pre-prepared plates. The buffet was staffed beautifully. It was not a chow line. Everything was served to you. Lunch began at 11:30 and closed promptly I think at 1:30. There was a tea service in the dining room from 3-4. I went to it one day. They used the same tea bags as usual and the staff had no idea what clotted cream or watercress were. The buffet also had some interim light meal before dinner. Dinner at the buffet closed about the same time as the dining room, probably 9PM. Then there was a 1 hour buffet at 11PM. Nothing was served in the Casino or any of the sitting rooms, although the library had a specialty coffee bar where drinks were for sale. If you have memories of things staff greeting you with hot chocolate or cool drinks after port, they are just that. On glacier viewing day, staff came around early in the morning hawking commuter cups for sale, so you could fill up your coffee and take it outside. My son said to just describe the food as "horrible" and stop using so many words. So much for the teenage prospective. THE SHIP AND CABIN- The cleanest ship I have ever been on. The staff spent most of their time cleaning and they were insistent on standards with the passengers. You had to purify your hands every time you entered the dining room, the buffet line or came back from port. The public areas are lovely. They are mainly wood and afford ocean views everywhere. The walls have interesting art and it is worth stopping to look. We were in a cheap inside cabin. It was fine. Lots of room, lots of storage space. Suited our needs. Staff were constantly coming in to clean. PORTS- The ship spent the longest port time in HAINES, where there is nothing to do. We were there for about 12 hours. Some people took the ferry to Skagway to shop. We just walked around. The totem pole store was interesting. I enjoyed speaking with the carvers. The fort is not a fort, but a bunch of buildings and the town is tiny. An eagle watching tour is offered at over $100 per person, which we considered taking, but later were glad we didn't bother. Lots of eagles to come. On a cruise to Alaska, the ship fare is like the base sticker price of a car. My price actually doubled when the activities in port were added. And, there is not a lot of difference if you book yourself. Usually, I save a lot of money by booking shore excursions myself. In Alaska, you won't. All the money is made in the very short summer season, so prices are ridiculously expensive. And, since there are not a lot of suppliers, prices among them are pretty uniform. You can save about $50 per person on some of the flight trips, which we didn't take, booking them independently, but for the things we did, prices were exactly the same. JUNEAU - We booked sport fishing through the ship, which delivered it through Juneau Sports fishing. We were bussed to the pier and assigned to a boat with 2 other people. Had an absolutely great time. The captain was terrific. The other fisherman were lots of fun. Cost was $219 per person plus $20 each for a fishing license. We each caught a salmon (Yeah!). The captain arranged to have the fish sent to Alaskan Sea Food, where it was smoked, packed and shipped to us in CA for a charge of $77. Wanted to see more of Juneau, but after the fishing, we were exhausted and went back to the ship GLACIER BAY- Although this is not a port, it is an attraction. Spent the day on the highest deck covered in blankets watching ice fall into water and listening to the rangers describe the geology of the area. Ketchikan- The absolutely best port. We spent the shortest time there. We booked the deadliest catch tour at $145 per person. It was worth the money. At one point, the fisherman threw bait into the water and we watched eagles swoop down from the tries to catch it. Watching the eagles was glorious. The fisherman were fun and the entire experience was just great in every way. Luckily the ship had pulled in a little early so we had time to walk around. But there are many shops and so much to do there. We would have gone fishing again if there was time. In summary, if you are over 80, handicapped or expecting to have a medical emergency at sea, this is the ship for you. They actually were able to call the coast guard, turn the ship around and have a passenger taken off to the hospital by helicopter in less time than it took them to serve dinner in the dining room. Apparently, this happens with some regularity. The staff was wonderful with people in wheelchairs and those who needed assistance. If you have to go to a nursing home, for the same price you can cruise. If I live pass 80 or fall into really poor health, I will reconsider taking HAL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
I recently came back from a one week cruise on the Volendam and a week land tour purchased through Holland American. Overall the cruise was good but there a few things Holland American needs to work on. CABIN - We were in a veranda suite ... Read More
I recently came back from a one week cruise on the Volendam and a week land tour purchased through Holland American. Overall the cruise was good but there a few things Holland American needs to work on. CABIN - We were in a veranda suite which is the perfect way to see Alaska. The room and bathroom were a good size; comfortable and well appointed. There is plenty of places to store things and the beds were very comfortable. The balcony was great. We sat out there and had cocktails and watched whales go by. SHIP DECOR - The ship is beautifully appointed. The common areas are lively and fun and the art work is really interesting. On one of the staircases I kept stopping and looking at the various paintings of the ship through time. FOOD/DINING ROOMS - My biggest complaint with the ship would be the food. It was marginal at best. I am never concerned with the quantity of food on a ship (there is always something around to eat) and I'm not a "foodie" on a cruise because I know they are cooking for the masses but even with fairly low expectations this was pretty bad. I never had one shrimp dish (and I ordered several through the week) where they didn't use canned shrimp. We got room service one night and even the shrimp cocktail appetizer was canned. I tried the Asian entrees at lunch on day and it was so full of salt that I had to throw it away. Conversely, the omelets in the morning had no flavor because they never added even a dash of salt to the eggs. The entrees at night never met the hype of the description. One entree I order was a shrimp (again) with sundried tomatoes and some other spices. It consisted on 4 mid-sized canned shrimp with jar tomato sauce on it. And speaking of using prepackaged products, I wish they had used bottled dressing on their Caesar salads. At least it would have had some flavor. This was a negative experience for the entire trip. The main dining room was lovely and the Lido deck was OK. I did not go to the Pinnacle Room because I think the charge of $30 a person is outrageous. Maybe I have been fortunate enough to be on cruise lines that don't nickle and dime you like I saw on the Volendam, but I was very glad to hear that on the evening our table mates went to the Pinnacle (they had gotten free passes because they are frequent cruisers) there was only two other couples there. Maybe if that happens enough, HAL will lower the fee to a truly nominal one. SPA/EXERCISE FACILITIES - The spa and exercise facilities were very good, with one important exception. The spa is expensive but all ships spa facilities are expensive and the treatments were excellent. Of course the staff pushes you to buy products but all ships' staffs push that. The exercise facilities were large and spacious. There needs to be more elliptical machines. There were only two of them and they were always being used. The most annoying aspect of the gym is that they are trying to sell you their various classes. I've never been on a cruise ship where they did that. Each class was $30!!!. My monthly membership at my gym is only $60 a month. In general Holland American constant push on the ship to get you to buy other things was really annoying. STAFF - With a few very minor exceptions the staff was all very pleasant and went out of their way to help. I only feel sorry for them because they are obviously required to push you to buy other things. For example, at our first night at dinner the wine steward instantly asked us if we wanted to sign up for a wine tasting class the next day for $15. The next day at breakfast I was quietly having coffee by myself on the deck and next thing I know there is a waiter next to me asking me the same question. I wanted to should "GO AWAY," but I know they are just doing what is required of them. By the way, it happened one other day at lunch when again I was by myself. The management who should know better. ACTIVITIES My final comment is on the ship-board activities. As you can guess it really annoyed me that they kept pushing you to buy things and they did that, for example, with cooking classes. Again I had never experienced this. I thought these kind of activities went with cruise Read Less
Sail Date August 2007
ALASKA 14-DAY CRUISE-TOUR ON HOLLAND AMERICA'S VOLENDAM, JULY 2007 This was my husband's (age 64) and my (age 60) first cruise. We're both "young" 60's. We did the 14-day southbound cruise-tour (Tour 20, ... Read More
ALASKA 14-DAY CRUISE-TOUR ON HOLLAND AMERICA'S VOLENDAM, JULY 2007 This was my husband's (age 64) and my (age 60) first cruise. We're both "young" 60's. We did the 14-day southbound cruise-tour (Tour 20, Double Denali, Alyeska, & Cruise), flying from Sacramento to Fairbanks (via Seattle), and returning from Vancouver to Sacramento (via Portland). Our tour began 07/07/07. Our impressions are as follows: HOLLAND AMERICA: We received our cruise-tour document package a couple of weeks ahead of time. All documents, including airline tickets, were in perfect order. HAL handled every aspect of the cruise-tour very professionally and without any difficulty from beginning to end. We bought the $15 per person baggage handling for the end of the cruise and the ship-to-airport transfer; both are very well worth it. Our embarkation was hastened by our deluxe veranda stateroom status. We stood in a separate line about a minute. Even our friends who had packed their passports in their checked luggage got checked in pretty quickly. But do keep your passports available. Even though they were not yet strictly required for entry into Canada, HAL expected you to have a passport or picture ID and a birth certificate. SHIP: Volendam, about 1450 passengers. The ship is very nice, with lots of lovely areas and bars to sit and watch the world go by. The Crow's Nest at the top deck forward is a great place to watch the scenery. I thought the decorating was beautiful in some areas and a little jarring in others. There was a bit of wear and tear visible here and there, but well maintained. The ship is well organized and has excellent diagram/maps to find everything easily. The one major disappointment about the ship was that both hot tubs are next to each other right by the kids' swimming pool and right in the midst of the forward outside eating area. So you have kids in the spas most of the time and you feel like you're on display for the outside diners. As a result, we did not use the hot tub even once. The swimming pool at the aft end is adults only. I'd give the ship 3 stars. PASSENGERS: Mostly middle-aged to older people, with a moderate sprinkling of 30's, 40's and families. People generally did not adhere to the "resort casual" look the ship tries to promote. Most people were extremely casual except for the two formal nights, during which all men wore tuxedos or jackets and most women were appropriately dressed. STATEROOM: We had a deluxe veranda suite, which was huuuuge and lovely. King size bed (extremely comfortable), curving couch, cocktail table and two chairs, dressing room separate from large bathroom. Flat screen TV and DVD player. (You can rent DVDs.) Veranda was big enough for two lounges, a good size table and four chairs, with room to spare. 5 stars. SHOPS: Shopping onboard is very limited both in terms of number of shops and the hours they are open. The jewelry shop has everything from very low cost items to super-expensive items, but isn't open much of the time. The clothing shop was small and about what you'd expect. CASINO: Nice casino with all the amenities you'd expect. DINING: The Rotterdam Main Dining Room is beautiful, service is great, and the food is very good. The Lido buffet dining is also excellent. The soups were killer good, but definitely not for a WeightWatcher -- lots of butter. Room service is 24-hours a day and very speedy. Hot items were served hot. The Pinnacle Grille ($20 per person, with reservations) is good but we didn't find it noticeably better than the main dining room. SERVICE: Service was outstanding in all areas. Our veranda suite status gave us access to the Neptune Lounge on the 7th deck (our deck). Our concierge Guilbert was always on top of everything and helped us with anything and everything. (For example, I lost my ship ID card within the very first day; he had it replaced within 15 minutes of my telling him.) The lounge offered good munchies, coffee, magazines, newspapers, big-screen TV all day and evening. Our housekeeper Didot was also delightful. Our wine steward at the main dining room was Willy, a really nice man who also showed us some nifty magic tricks. Our server I Putu was great, too. We gave them each a tip over and above the $20 per person per day that is the norm levied by HAL. they really have their act together regarding all types of service. BOOZE: We packed some wine and gin in our checked bags and my husband bought some in one of the towns we visited and brought it aboard the ship upon his return without anyone objecting. We left it out on the counter in our stateroom and every night the staff left us a full ice bucket. Maybe we're just lucky??!! SHORE EXCURSIONS: Our best shore excursion by far was the Whale Watching and Wildlife Quest out of Juneau (the kind that refunds $100 if you don't see a whale). Well, let me tell you, we saw whales -- BIG TIME! About 10 minutes into the excursion, we saw a couple of whales a few hundred yards away. Everyone was excited and said "Let's get closer!" The captain said he thought he could give us a better show a few minutes away, so we continued on. A few minutes later, we came around a curve into a bay and, lo and behold, there was a whole pod of 11 or 12 whales maybe 100 yards away. The cruise "director" said we were going to shut the engines down and put a microphone in the water so we could hear the whales. She said they were "bubble net feeding", in which one whale goes down beneath a huge school of fish and blows bubbles to scare them into a more compact ball. Then a couple of other whales "trumpet" a certain sound to scare the fish even more, then flash the white under-part of their tails to finish the scare-job. When they have the fish all rounded up, the whales all burst up out of the water with their mouths open to gather up as many fish as they can gobble. Talk about spectacular!! We saw and heard them do this 4 or 5 times before we had to leave the area. That excursion alone was worth the trip. FAIRBANKS: We met some friends for dinner who had arrived in Alaska the week before. We went to the big place on the main road that offers all-you-can eat BBQ'd salmon, fried fish, cole slaw, baked beans, salads, etc. in an outdoor setting. I thought it would probably be mediocre but they said it was great, so we went. They were right -- it was probably the best dinner we had throughout the whole vacation, including on the ship. Worth every penny. Go hungry and load up. DENALI: The train trip on the domed railcar to Denali was very nice. We spent two nights near Denali National Park in a hotel on a commercial "strip" on the highway near the park (it reminded me of the south shore of Lake Tahoe, and not in a good way). All of the hotels, restaurants, and stores are on this strip. It was disappointing, as was the quality of the hotel. It was clean and comfortable but pretty rustic and somewhat lacking in exterior maintenance. Of course, none of the other cruise-related hotels looked high-end either. The Princess Line's hotel did look a cut above ours, however. The Denali Tundra Tour was part of the included excursions. Our tour began at 5:30 a.m. -- no that's not a typo. It was about a 7-hour tour on a funky looking but comfortable bus. Fortunately, our bus driver was obviously educated, professional and well-trained, because looking back on it he had our lives in his hands. Cars are allowed only a short way into the park. The buses are allowed to go quite a few miles into the park, but it's on a narrow, one-land road that literally runs on the edge of a cliff and has no guardrails. Our bus began smoking from the dash a few miles into the park, so the driver had to turn the bus around on the one-land road in order to get back to a spot where a mechanic could come check out the bus. I'm not usually goosey about riding alongside a cliff but turning that bus around on a dime at the edge of a cliff was a bit unnerving. Someone asked the driver if there were ever accidents on the road. He said "Oh, once in the '80's there was an accident." I found out when I got home a bus did plunge off the cliff in the early 80's, with 5 people killed and 26 seriously injured. And they still don't have any guardrails. The park is pretty, but I've seen more spectacular views in Canada and the lower U.S. If you hadn't seen big mountains with wide open vistas before, you would undoubtedly be more impressed than we were. From a distance, we did see two caribou, a moose, some bald eagles, and some dall sheep that were barely visible even with good binoculars. From about 3/4 mile away, we eventually saw a female grizzly and two cubs, and a male grizzly. Given the ungodly early start to the day, the length of the trip, the relative lack of wildlife, and the ridiculous road condition, neither my husband nor I would do it again. We saw more wildlife and saw it closer up just driving along the road with our friends. (We rented a vehicle for a 4-hour tour, which afforded us some freedom and up-close moose-viewing from the road.) PORTAGE GLACIER CRUISE: Great up-close view of a glacier. Nice little boat ride. ALYESKA RESORT: Now, this is more what I expected. Beautiful, classy resort set right in the forest. The tram ride up to the Seven Glaciers Restaurant was great, as was the restaurant itself. Fantastic views. HUBBARD GLACIER: Just experiencing Hubbard Glacier would have been worth the whole cruise. The glacier absolutely dwarfs the cruise ships. But it not only looks awesome (and I virtually never use that word), it sounds awesome. This humongous glacier wraps for miles and miles back into the mountains and makes a sound like rolling thunder! When we first heard this, my husband and I looked at each other wide-eyed and both said "This alone is worth the trip." In addition to the thundering, we saw "calving" and heard the cracking you associate with that. WHITE PASS RAIL TOUR: This was the only day we had rain most of the day, so it detracted somewhat from our ability to see the views. But it was still beautiful. However, if I hadn't already bought the tickets in advance, I probably would not have gone due to the rain. ICY STRAIGHT POINT: Saw the cultural dance and story-telling of the indigenous Tlinglit people. The ladies enjoyed it, but the men weren't too impressed. JUNEAU: Nice town, with a number of several story buildings in a gorgeous setting. KETCHIKAN: Like every stop, this is a cute town in a gorgeous setting and is filled with about 100 foreign-owned jewelry stores. You feel like you strayed into a used car lot when you enter these stores. Now I understand why a few stores have a sign in the window that says "Owned and operated by an Alaskan family." We did the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show, which was great fun and worth the price ACTIVITIES: I hate to admit we did not participate in any of the onboard activities. We spent our time either on our veranda, wandering the ship, or outside enjoying the beauty. Also, I got sick with some bizarre illness (fever and a shoulder muscle ache that moved up to my head and gave me the mother of all headaches) so I spent the last 2 days of the cruise in bed. The activities looked like they'd be pretty good, however. WEATHER: The weather was very mild (high 50's at night to mid-70's during the day). It rained parts of 2 days. I bought a sweater and a $1.50 poncho for the Portage Glacier tour because all I'd brought was a vest. SEAS: It was absolutely smooth sailing the entire cruise. Not even a hint of seasickness. HINT: Bring some good binoculars. Do not rely on the ones sometimes provided on the excursions. They are always like looking through the bottom of a Coke bottle. You will see a lot more wildlife and have unforgettable views if you bring your own good binocs. Read Less
Sail Date July 2007
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 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.9

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