3 Sydney (Australia) to Asia Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

Some people have inflated expectations, and (as a result) complain too much. We embarked in Sydney and stayed on the Volendam in Singapore for a second cruise in SE Asia. We liked the Volendam much. It is smaller than the Oosterdam (which ... Read More
Some people have inflated expectations, and (as a result) complain too much. We embarked in Sydney and stayed on the Volendam in Singapore for a second cruise in SE Asia. We liked the Volendam much. It is smaller than the Oosterdam (which we sampled in March 2015), easier to find your way around, and you don't feel feel (after walking stern to bow) that they should install travelators. Our stateroom was in very good condition and appears to have been refurished in the last two years (certainly this is true of the bathrooms). When you think fairly about it, you have to agree that the food is extraordinary in variety and quality both in the Lido and the Rotterdam. Alaskan snow crab on a few nights!!!! What's to complain about??? (One gripe: on a few occasions, food that should have been piping hot was tepid - this is an issue of food safety as well as enjoyment). Entertainments were many and varied, though I believe that avid readers have a head-start in the entertainment stakes. I'm afraid that most of the 'big show' entertainments in the Franz Hals lounge left me for dead. I may be going deaf, HAL, but I'm not interested in 'music' that is so loud that my ear drums were blasted on to the opposite wall! In case you hadn't noticed, few of your customers are teenagers! In contrast, I thoroughly enjoyed Adagio (classical), the Australian piano man (excellent!) and Michael (the very talented guitarist) who offered alternative, quite excellent entertainment. We had a pilot who boarded in Sydney and disembarked in Darwin, and who made some presentations on the reef and other subjects. He had very strong opinions on the future of the reef and Its current management by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Both the future and the management are subjects of controversy, and this officer should have acknowledged both sides. Instead, he implied clearly that critics of GBRMPA can all be dismissed as 'greenies', whose fears are baseless. At least one of these critics is an Emeritus Professor of Marine Science (I think formerly at the ANU), and an internationally acknowledged expert on the reef (in contrast to our erstwhile pilot). I found this pilot to be arrogant and annoying in the extreme. He's entitled to strong opinions, but should be more careful in expressing them. So, I have some gripes. But all in all, this is a very cheap (but at the same time good quality) way to have an overseas holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We loved it! It was the longest cruise we've taken, and were afraid it might be too long. Bit it wasn't. It was just right! Interesting how the passenger profile changed from the Sydney - Singapore segment to the Singapore-Hong ... Read More
We loved it! It was the longest cruise we've taken, and were afraid it might be too long. Bit it wasn't. It was just right! Interesting how the passenger profile changed from the Sydney - Singapore segment to the Singapore-Hong Kong leg. The first segment included many from Australia, and many of passengers were older couples (like us--72). very few children. From Singapore to Hong Kong, many Chinese passengers and children replaced the older and Aussy passengers. So many great things about this cruise and ship! A comfortable cabin, friendly and efficient crew, good shows, wonderful lounge music and good food made the onboard experience a very good one. Shore excursions were interesting but at times exhausting--especially those to Hanoi, Ho Chi Mien City, and on Java and Balli. But the facinating sites made the long bus rides worthwhile. The one shore stop that was disappointing--and really the only negative on the whole cruise--was at Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Dirty, irritating vendors, ill-prepared for visitors--this stop should be eliminated from the cruise's itinerary! I hear Ankor Watt, Cambodia is wonderful and facinating, but how many will be willing to pay the $3,000-plus tab to take advantage of this multi-day side trip? Our pre-cruise side trip to New Zealand and post-cruise stay in Hong Kong helped make this a truly memorable trip. I would recommend it to anyone who can afford the time and expense of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We chose Holland America because it is known to have a slightly older clientele as we are not into the 'party scene' and the proposed itinerary looked interesting. I must point out that we were not able to complete the whole ... Read More
We chose Holland America because it is known to have a slightly older clientele as we are not into the 'party scene' and the proposed itinerary looked interesting. I must point out that we were not able to complete the whole trip due to an urgent medical situation back home, but did spend 8 glorious days on board. We flew to Sydney on the day of embarkation and we were on board and in our cabin within 20 minutes of arriving at the terminal. We were very happy with our cabin, it was set up beautifully with plenty of storage space and we were unpacked and ready to explore within 30 minutes. Leaving Sydney was great! We just squeezed under the bridge and as we looked back over the city and opera house the sun was setting behind it all. Before we knew it we were out of the heads and into the night. The ocean was kind to us with very little swell and we settled in for our cruise. The crew: we had wonderful room stewards, Matt and Arbie, who did a fabulous job each day. Staff around the ship were always smiling, polite and attentive without being intrusive. A few of the Lido staff asked my name and greeted me each time I wandered by, a really nice touch. The ship: We found all parts that we visited to be in very good condition. Everything in our cabin worked, all lifts were functioning, the crew were always cleaning or polishing and the fit out was tasteful and stylish. We experienced very little vibration while underway and the only annoying noise were people dragging around their balcony furniture in the suites above us.. Dining: we had selected as you wish dining and enjoyed three evenings with interesting table guests. The remainder of our meals were taken in the Lido and again we were able to mix with a variety of passengers, all with interesting stories. Food: the day is based around food, and what food it was. Very tasty, plenty of choices, fresh and well presented. I cannot imagine there wasn't something for everyone. From breakfast, lunch, Lido grill bar, afternoon tea, dinner and supper.....made walking the promenade deck essential! Ports of call: having been to Hamilton Island before we were not expecting much but used the tenders anyway. The tender process was a little slow but once underway was well executed. Cairns would have been better if a whole day could have been spent instead of arriving at lunch and leaving 24 hours later. The main attraction of Cairns is the visit to the outer reef but a whole day is needed for this. Unfortunately there was no time to have this experience. We did the half day Green Island tour with semi-submersible and glass bottom boat tours, this was enjoyable and we saw a lot of the local reef and marine life. As we had many sea days the local cruising was relaxing, great weather though very humid the more north we travelled. We had two Reef Pilots on board who piloted the ship through the reef and who provided commentary as we went along. The only negative to this was he didn't speak properly into the microphone and the volume kept fading away. When we contacted the front office of our requirement to disembark they were helpful, provided follow up phone calls and assisted us right to the moment we stepped on shore. We will cruise again, definitely with HAL, Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
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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