10 Tokyo (Yokohama) Holland America Volendam Cruise Reviews

This was our third cruise (2nd with Holland) and we had a fantastic time. I think the Volendam is in need of some updating though - which I believe is taking place in the upcoming months. The service once again was extremely good - along ... Read More
This was our third cruise (2nd with Holland) and we had a fantastic time. I think the Volendam is in need of some updating though - which I believe is taking place in the upcoming months. The service once again was extremely good - along with the fantastic food. We ate at the Pinnacle and Canaletto restaurants which we thought were just average and not worth the extra money. The entertainment was very good every night - a good variation of shows. Having a before dinner drink and dancing in the Ocean's Bar was a great way to start off the evening. The embarkation and disembarkation went extremely smooth and very well organized and staffed. The excursions were a bit pricey and very rushed. We didn't get any time for shopping. The day we were to see the Great Wall of China we got caught in a 7 hour traffic jam which was horrible and got to the Wall with less than an hour of daylight left. We also never got to see the Summer Palace. The "lunch" that we finally ate at 6:30 was very good. When we returned to the ship that night the staff all met us outside to welcome us back and purposely kept the buffet open. They also refunded our money back for the excursion - once again very good service by Holland. A new stop for Holland was Quindao, China which really was not very interesting at all for the money you pay for excursion - there wasn't enough interesting places to see there. The tour guides that they used could barely speak English and were so young and inexperienced that it made for not a very good day. The overall experience with Holland was very good and we will be traveling with them again on another cruise to Australia/New Zealand next year. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Japan, 6 sea days and Alaska : a great intinerary for us . Ship is in very good condition, no complaints. I read somewhere on the CC forum about the not yet upgraded bathrooms in some cabins on the Dolphin deck. We had a cabin with a ... Read More
Japan, 6 sea days and Alaska : a great intinerary for us . Ship is in very good condition, no complaints. I read somewhere on the CC forum about the not yet upgraded bathrooms in some cabins on the Dolphin deck. We had a cabin with a non upgraded bathroom. It was nothing like the post on the froum which described it at as 70's motel room style. Maybe a bit outdated ,but clean and in perfect working order, so why complain about it ? The whole ships looks good, painted, clean carpets etc. Too bad there is no librarian anymore, the place used to be in a better shape with books and games returnted to the right shelves, it was a bit messy now. Food in MDR as well as Lido was varied and good. Service still same HAL style that we like, I heard some complaints about the speedm, but we don't mind not having the main course right after the appetizer. In general a dinner took about an hour, so pretty normal. Entertainment was surprisingly good and varied: a great band called Savannah Jack, a capella singers The Alleycats , a comedian and a ventriloquist were outstanding ! Best so far on the 10 th HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My travel partner has a son living in Japan and this seemed a good way to visit Japan and come home easily. What a great decision that was. This was a well done cruise with three lecturers discussing the Japanese culture and as we ... Read More
My travel partner has a son living in Japan and this seemed a good way to visit Japan and come home easily. What a great decision that was. This was a well done cruise with three lecturers discussing the Japanese culture and as we crossed the ocean the topic changed to first Nations people. We also had lectures on the "One Ocean" and physics, which left us all with something to think about. There were navigation lectures and many other things to do on this ship. The Volendam is a smaller older ship so people looking for lots to do and big flashy ships would not want to choose this one. But, if personal attention and well done dining appeal then this is the ship for you. There were 1360 passengers and 1000 of them were returning guests. We were served by 598 crew. This was an older crowd but very well traveled and very interesting. Different ships and cruise lines for different people and so this would not appeal to everyone. There were very few children on board so there was a great sense of peace and quiet. Food was excellent. The shows at night were wonderful and we often left the show lounge chuckling to ourselves. A really great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinerary for this cruise - Japan, South Korea and the N Pacific crossing was great. We enjoyed all the ports. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth in Yokohama. Going ashore in the other ports was easy - the only hold ups ... Read More
The itinerary for this cruise - Japan, South Korea and the N Pacific crossing was great. We enjoyed all the ports. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth in Yokohama. Going ashore in the other ports was easy - the only hold ups were Japanese immigration but that is to be expected. Favourite ports - Osaka and Incheon Service on the ship was very good but the cutbacks in staffing are putting a huge burden on the remaining staff. This was very apparent in the dining room where service was very slow. The ship is an older ship - it is kept very clean and tidy - but it badly needs to go in to drydock. The only chairs that the bottoms weren't falling out of was in the Canneletto dining room. Seriously, there was a 2" depression in the Rotterdam chairs! Uncomfortable for a leisurely meal! Food - we were not impressed! The meals in the Rotterdam were just okay - biggest complaint was that there were very few vegetables accompanying the entree and we routinely ordered a bowl of steamed vegetables for the table. The food served in the Lido was very much below what I expect on a cruise ship. I have no food issues - I love food - but the choices were over salted and way too many things were fried. I had difficulty finding items for lunch other than a salad. The Asian food bar was usually good but still oversalted. The fresh fruit was awful! Apples and oranges were soft and tasteless, bananas were slimy and black. The fruit salad was a mixture of over ripe and under ripe choices cut so small that it was mushy very quickly. There were very few activities planned for the 6 sea days as we crossed the Pacific - not a lot to do. We may avoid doing another HAL cruise Positive - we saw some of the best entertainment we have seen on a ship. The dancers and singers were exceptional! Very much enjoyed our evenings! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We choose this Holland America cruise on the Volendam for the great ports of call. Had a great time for our first time in Asia. The ship was clean, nice and small. We do not like large ship the smaller the better. The food and service was ... Read More
We choose this Holland America cruise on the Volendam for the great ports of call. Had a great time for our first time in Asia. The ship was clean, nice and small. We do not like large ship the smaller the better. The food and service was great. Our dining room steward was excellent. Good selection of wine. Most of the time the ship excursions were great. However in Japan it was very difficult to find a good english seeking guide. All of the crew were excellent. We loved the Team trivia. Bruce our cruise director was excellent. Very good in fact a great enrichment program this time. Terry Greenberg from the University of BC gave excellent lectures on the Japanese, Korean and Chinese culture. It was very informative. He should invited back on future cruise. We had a great time on our first Asian cruise. Very good time. Thank you Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
The itinery was good. Nice places but HAL is not confidence with the custom procedures of the harbours esp. not Shanghai! I lost 10 hrs of my 14 day cruise; waiting or custom procedures which were organised well by local authorities but ... Read More
The itinery was good. Nice places but HAL is not confidence with the custom procedures of the harbours esp. not Shanghai! I lost 10 hrs of my 14 day cruise; waiting or custom procedures which were organised well by local authorities but HAL staff couldnt handle his clients at a decent way. The was the worst cruise I ever had. A Boat with non communication. nor intern nor with clients. And this was due to a non communucatie captain vd Hoeven! We never heard him. For getting custom numbers" passangers had to fight with each other because of non organisation/capability of staff The cabin boys where fantastic as allways like all restaurant employees. The management didn't communicate with each other nor to their clients. 14 days brown sink water. Every morning wake up by sink workers (the reason of the brown water) and a spray on my cabin window. Planning? Below level and poor entertainment / shows; old fitnes'; Pinnacle restaurant again same menu and not that quality ecpected Shore excursions not used because of price/too big groups/ bad old fashioned iinnery Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We loved the ports in Jspan, Tsiwan, Shanghai and HongKong, missed Okinawa due to a weather delay. The captain was a very good communicator with frequent updates. The food was very good, lots of fresh fish and delicious osso buca and ... Read More
We loved the ports in Jspan, Tsiwan, Shanghai and HongKong, missed Okinawa due to a weather delay. The captain was a very good communicator with frequent updates. The food was very good, lots of fresh fish and delicious osso buca and lamb shanks. Nice selection of baked goods at breakfast in Lido, long lines for omelets but worth the wait. The Pinacle dinner was a little disappointing in food and service. Ant time dining is difficult between 5:45 and 8:00, hard to get a table. Overall the service was fine, in dining room, Lido buffet and bars. We loved the Explorations Cafe and the library, but sorry they no longer have a librarian on board. Last time had a two week book club on board going to Hawaii. Excellent Chinese lecturer and Tai Chi teacher on sea days. Wonderfully entertaining piano man, Barry from Boston, always a treat. Beautiful classical music from the Rumanian couple on violin and piano, Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our first cruise and we chose it because of the excellent price. We Book an inside cabin and because it ended up being a handicap cabin we had extra space. It would probably be nice to have a window, and perhaps next time we ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we chose it because of the excellent price. We Book an inside cabin and because it ended up being a handicap cabin we had extra space. It would probably be nice to have a window, and perhaps next time we cruise we will do that. The biggest complaint about the cabin is the single outlet poorly placed over a desk. I was warned ahead of time so I did bring a power strip although we found it necessary to get an additional extension cord from the steward. An extension cord will definitely be a part of our packing on our next cruise. I was happy to find that the Vollendam was a relatively small ship as it was easy to traverse and we enjoyed meeting up with people we got to know at dinners. I do not think I would enjoy having the kinds of additional activities found on a larger ship. One important thing that Holland America line should do is to update their website. Some information was out of date or incorrect. A huge mistake was information given out about the requirements for a visa to enter Shanghai. Late last year China revised there Visa requirements to allow cruisers to enter the country without paying a large Visa fee I did you get information from Cruise critic and followed up with information from the Chinese Embassy stating that no visa would be required. I called Holland America to find out how they will handle it, and after first being told I would need a visa, the person I spoke with came back and said that it would not be required. When I arrived to embark, I had to sign some kind of waiver stating that I was aware I might not be allowed ashore. It seems that Communication is not particularly up to date on Holland America. I know that China was very difficult to deal with, but if I was able to get information them I am sure that the cruise line also could get the same information and not create so much havoc. We met people who had paid the Visa fee for the two days admission to Shanghai and were not happy to learn that they did not have to pay that amount. I was not willing to pay Close two $200 just to go ashore for a couple of outings. I think that Holland America might look carefully at how they distribute numbers to go on shore leave excursions. Some days the distribution seemed adequate but not excellent. Other excursion days were very chaotic. The distribution of numbers for dis- embarkation was particularly poorly handled, and the ship personnel were initially mobbed in order to obtain the numbers for order to leave the ship. I think this needs to be re-evaluated and revised. As for shore excursions through Holland America, I found them to be fairly good but highly overpriced. In view of the bargain price of the Cruise itself, I do understand the necessity to monetize wherever possible. In the future, we will either plan our own excursions or use a different excursion Company such as Viator. That said, there were some excellent excursions offered. Perhaps throwing in one or two free excursions would be of benefit. When I have traveled in the past, I have always found my way around cities, But having a guide was quite valuable. The guides on the Shore excursions were very knowledgeable and that made them worthwhile. People who Book and share a private guide are probably much better off. My friend and I usually dined in the restaurant or occasionally the Lido. Food was excellent, but at breakfast it seemed that there were not enough people serving. Both at the food stations, and at the tables. Many times there were no waiters available to get coffee refills. Speaking of coffee, some days it was excellent and other days it was too strong. Of course this is purely for my own tastes in coffee. The best experience was because we opted for open seating. It was fun to sit with different people every night and we made some wonderful contacts. I found that to be a highlight. In the restaurant, food service was quite good as were the meal choices and desserts. My only complaint is that it was made far too easy to gain weight. I am sure that is a complaint from most people who participate in cruises. The choices of entertainment were fairly good and I believe something could be found to meet anyone's desires. The live entertainment was fairly good although I did not attend all of them. I did enjoy one of the movies I went to but did not like two others. Again, it would be very difficult to please everyone. The one aspect I did not appreciate was the sales pitches. If one attended a "Seminar" you could definitely expect to be inundated with a sales pitch. These are easy enough to ignore or walk out of but can be annoying. The shops were mostly hi and, but there were some good sales available. The one thing that was most missed was a sundries shop to fill in on items that might have been lost, forgotten, or misplaced. That could be a great addition to shops on board. I have to say that the stewards, not only our own but all up and down the ship, were extremely friendly and helpful. They took pains to learn and remember our names so even meeting in the hallways they always seemed happy to see us. I would definitely book this ship again and plan things a bit differently knowing now what I liked and disliked. It was a great experience for a first cruise and people on Cruise critic were very helpful in providing information. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we ... Read More
Aussies Beware. Holland America Line (HAL) Our holiday (disaster), my wife and I were on the Volendam in stateroom 7062. We arrived in Vancouver May 4th, We boarded the ship in Yokohoma a 19 day cruise, the first night on board we had very little sleep the noise above our stateroom was excessive with the moving of the table and chairs and the trolley that they use to move things around in this lasted until about midnight, then the trolley was moved again at 3am the the table and chairs were again put out for breakfast at around 4:45am. at around 11 am the next day the noise started again, I quickly went up stairs and found 3 deckhands dragging the chairs and tables around. apparently there is a store room above which contains a lot of props for decorations which are constantly being moved. My husband spoke the the deck steward about the noise, he told him he would also speak to the night deck hand. We then started my complaints to the front office trying to get a room change. we complained regularly about this as it happened every day and night until I was told that compensation would be paid and nothing else could be done. We were fobbed off. At the end of the cruise $250 taken off our bill. Not one night did we have a full sleep and forget about catching up during the day just as bad, if you are unlucky enough to have a bad stateroom they have your money and you are not getting it back. Forget Australian Consumer Guarantee laws they don't apply. Complaints get you no where. I have been in touch with ATAS was told nothing could be done and the travel agent could not be held responsible, I have been in communication with office of the president of HAL and their ombudsman what a waste of time. Its not the money but the thought that nowadays you can still get ripped off so easy. I cruise quite a bit, HAL is not up to standard and would not recommend. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
The Volendam excelled once again. We took the opportunity to upgrade into a Neptune Suite for this cruise. We had already sailed on all decks of the Voledam and the Neptune Suite was the final class of room for us to try. The room was ... Read More
The Volendam excelled once again. We took the opportunity to upgrade into a Neptune Suite for this cruise. We had already sailed on all decks of the Voledam and the Neptune Suite was the final class of room for us to try. The room was more than enough to keep anyone happy. With a very large balcony and plenty of space inside the room we could have stayed on board forever. This cruise was one of the more extreme and showed why we enjoy cruising on the Volendam. After leaving Japan for the final time we headed towards a huge storm brewing in the North Pacific. On the second night out the weather was brewing up significantly and Captain Bayens gained approval to move the ships course North into the Bering Sea. We talked to Captain Bayens later and in all his time at sea he had not been into the Bering Sea so it was an experience which he will also remember. Despite the significant weather on that night Volendam behaved very well as I had experienced previously in a storm south of New Zealand. We had some experiences on this cruise which were beyond any expectations we had from our previous experience on Cruise ships. We hosted a party for the on board entertainers, had a one off specially prepared Indian banquet, met some people with experiences in life vastly different from ours but whom we related to very well. All of this supported by the always positive and friendly staff.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
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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