Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise was chosen because the ports were places we had not visited yet. While 15 nights on board were about 7 too many, we were able to visit 6 new cities during that time. Our days at sea were restful & quiet overall, because ... Read More
This cruise was chosen because the ports were places we had not visited yet. While 15 nights on board were about 7 too many, we were able to visit 6 new cities during that time. Our days at sea were restful & quiet overall, because most of the passengers were well past 80 years of age. The noise level was low & service by staff attentive & friendly. Holland does a good job overall. Internet service should be offered & fresher fruit served on the buffet table. The 'nickel & diming' of the passengers is annoying & why many choose other cruise lines for future trips. The on shore excursions were better than those on the Westerdam Mediterranean cruise 2018. I feel for the staff who have to accommodate so many seriously handicapped individuals who often put others in jeopardy due to there physical limitations. May the staff receive extra pay for these duties. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because my husband wanted to sail through the Panama Canal and we had experienced an amazing transPacific cruise on the Holland America Noordam in 2018. This was a type of journeyman cruise compared to that on a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my husband wanted to sail through the Panama Canal and we had experienced an amazing transPacific cruise on the Holland America Noordam in 2018. This was a type of journeyman cruise compared to that on a smaller, older ship with fewer passengers, amenities and activities. The shop’s air conditioning was faulty with many of the public areas kept at painfully cold temperatures. I talked to the cruise director about reading of this issue on earlier Volendam cruises and he admitted the frigid air conditioning was an ongoing problem which they had not resolved. There was also, perhaps not coincidentally a ship wide respiratory infection. The crouping, coughing etc. must have affected half the passengers. Everyone had the Volendam virus. My husband and i both came down with it and are still affected more than two weeks after disembarking. The good: the meals in the dining room and Lido were very good. The EXC tour director, Jude, was excellent and entertaining. The Adagio violinist and pianist were excellent as was the pianist at the Ocean Bar. The rest of the entertainment was mediocre. The crew were friendly and helpful. But the boat is so in need of updating and repair. The ports were fine but most everyone was interestedin the canal experience which was remarkable. Gatun Lake was beautiful. Cartegena was impressive. We liked Huatalco and the city of Antigua in Guatemala. The port of Corinto Nicaragua was not good. Costa Rica was interesting and we enjoyed the combination aerial tram and river rafting tour. The commentator thriugh the canal was excellent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Iren & Vadim Timof (72 years old. Fremont California). That was our 13-th cruise. We enjoyed with our Panama cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego (December 18,2018 to January 3, 2019). Service on board was excellent, but ... Read More
Iren & Vadim Timof (72 years old. Fremont California). That was our 13-th cruise. We enjoyed with our Panama cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego (December 18,2018 to January 3, 2019). Service on board was excellent, but dining menu in restaurant and buffet was poor. The same we can say about shops range. Very sorry. We liked all our excursions. It was very good arranged. Cabin service was very good. Everything was on time and with smile. We were exited with Christmas and New Year celebration, especially with lighting Christmas Tree and singing Christmas songs! Special thanks to a little girl who lighted Christmas Tree!. The most pleasure we got from Adagio music duo violinist Cristian and pianist Nadya. Cristian is an exceptional artistic talent. He excites the audience emotionally and engages each listener intellectually. He sparks a love for chamber music in the hearts of every listener. Thanks. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
First time for Panama Canal. Holland America received great reviews. The ship it self was like an ice box! When inquired we were told nothing could be done. Our cabin was never warm as was the rest of the ship. My wife received a ... Read More
First time for Panama Canal. Holland America received great reviews. The ship it self was like an ice box! When inquired we were told nothing could be done. Our cabin was never warm as was the rest of the ship. My wife received a bad rash and when we went to desk for assist they called doctor and I was informed there would be a charge to open the office and charge for any medication. After 9 PM the ship was dead. Staff very friendly, the one high point. Casino staff were great. Food was just average, nothing special. Tea at 3 was good, Shows were so so, One male singer who did Lionel Richey was very good. Magician was also very good. Rest of entertainment not very good. Sorry to say it let a bad taste for Holland America. I will never cruise Holland American again. I have been on 16+ cruises and this was the worst. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We took a land tour first. Our tour directer Merrin was incredible, knowledgable and very pleasant. All of the land tours we took were fantastic. We boarded in Skagway. Embarkation was fine. The first night dining experience was ... Read More
We took a land tour first. Our tour directer Merrin was incredible, knowledgable and very pleasant. All of the land tours we took were fantastic. We boarded in Skagway. Embarkation was fine. The first night dining experience was wonderful. Our waiter was pleasant and wanted to do a good job. He even asked if we had any allergies to food. I did. I told him I'm very allergic to mushrooms. The second night we had a waiter who brought me out a surf and turf. I was getting ready to eat it when I noticed a mushroom on it. I asked the waiter if I could have two lobster tails instead of the meat (as all the meat had mushroom sauce on it) He said I could. A few minutes later another waiter came back with my same food (all they did was take the mushroom off but the sauce was still there). We were eating with other people so I didn't say anything). I didn't realize that the lobster tail had some mushroom sauce on it. I put it in my mouth and took it right out I had to use my eppi-pen right away. I didn't want to get him into trouble so I made a comment about they should teach their wait staff to take allergies serious. We didn't go back for our meals in the dining room. The tour we took in Ketchikan was wonderful. It was educational and informative, I did hurt my leg while walking on gravel paths. By the time we got back on the ship I was having a hard time walking on it. The next day we spent at sea seeing Glacier Bay. We went to Guest Services to inquire about a wheelchair. We were shocked when the woman told us it would be $200.00 for the day (and we would not get the money back). We do understand that there has to be rules. We also understand that there are times in life that rules need to be bent. . I asked her if she could please have a wheelchair sent to our room the next morning for disembarkation. She said she would. The wheelchair never came. By the time we got to the disembarkation area I was in tears from the pain. People all around us were asking the crew to get me a wheelchair. No one did until i held up the line when it was our turn for disembarkation (because I couldn't walk). The wheelchair came real fast then. As one gentleman stated, "The crew tells the passengers if we need anything they will do it for us. The man then stated, If it's easy they will do it but if someone really needs help then they are on their own." Another man stated, " it's a good thing we didn't have a real emergency because then it would be every person for themselves." We did send a comment to Holland America. When they got back to us they said, "That is the policy. The person at Guest Services did the right thing." This person then told my husband that to make up for this the next time we book a cruise on this ship they will give us two vouchers for the Pinnicle Grill. Basically, they could care less. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise as it went to spots in Indonesia that would be difficult to arrange by air. We also like round trip vice lineal itineraries, The staff did not provide us with a tile at the Mariners luncheon, however guest services ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it went to spots in Indonesia that would be difficult to arrange by air. We also like round trip vice lineal itineraries, The staff did not provide us with a tile at the Mariners luncheon, however guest services was happy to give them when we requested at their counter, and also seemed surprised they had not been distributed, Missed seeing a ships log cruise summary that we had received at the end of other HAL voyages. The ships singers were weak and need to be replaced. Our cabin steward was long on smiles and pleasant conversation, but could not get the concept of ice or fruit to the cabin, or picking up soiled towels in the bathroom. Note: most cabins do not have a frig. The ships activities director let down the Protestant worship community by omitting to include the worship in the second Sunday of the cruise, as she directly promised that she would, and when this was brought to her attention on Saturday evening, she stated that it was a mistake and worship would be announced by the cruise director on the ships speaker system. This did not happen and the Wajang theater was not available at the time she directed, as it was utilized by blackout bingo during the afternoon. I did not make a fuss, but I was extremely disappointed in Christine as her actions denied our opportunity to worship. We are 4 star HAL Mariners and will avoid the Volendam in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and ... Read More
We did choose this cruise for the ports of call selection (Hong Kong, Halong Bay, Da Nang - for Hue, Nha Trang, Phu My - for Saigon, Shianokville - for the beaches, Laem Chabang - for Bankok, Ko Samui - for temples and the beaches and Singapore. Overall, not too many days "at the sea" and nice ports of call selections. Good start and end ports (where you can come in earlier or stay more at the end - like three days for each) to you can better see and experience both Hong Kong and Singapore. The ship is not in a good shape anymore. The food is about average (the same food choice over and over again, day after day). The Lido on this ship closes at 8 pm (not at 9 pm as on other Holland America ships). The late dining takes way too long (one hour is the minimum - going up to 1.5 or 2 hrs) as they did cut on cooks and waiters as well - so be prepared to wait for your food if you want each night dining experience. We skipped the dining experience for the last couple of days as it was too long for getting the food. As usual, shore excursions as overpriced, but if you do your homework in advance - you can get at least 1/2 price if not even better. These are interesting ports of call - so the cruise is worth although it has all these issues (mentioned above). The late night entertainment was sub par (only 3 good shows in 14 days). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Warning, if you're not a foodie the first few paragraphs will bore you! FOOD & DINING VENUES I am a lowly two-star mariner, but know the ropes of HAL cruising and had been going to the specialty restaurants to reduce my ... Read More
Warning, if you're not a foodie the first few paragraphs will bore you! FOOD & DINING VENUES I am a lowly two-star mariner, but know the ropes of HAL cruising and had been going to the specialty restaurants to reduce my meals in the MDR on past cruises. After reading so much about HAL's cost-cutting measures I thought I'd be disappointed with my meals, but instead was pleasantly surprised. Certainly the portions are small, but not when it counts. On steak and lobster nights, it was more then enough (though I think some were ordering a second lobster tail -- and good for them!). My steak was perfectly medium-rare, and this was the first cruise it came out perfectly. Most of the lunches in the MDR, were even better than dinners. I was surprised to like even the chicken strips which appeared to be hand-breaded with a coating containing crispy almond slices. I loved them so much and knew my (12 year old) daughter would actually want to eat in the MDR if she could have them, so asked for it to be arranged, and no problem -- she had them for dinner that same evening. Curries, were mild and the lamb was fork-tender, and delicious. I usually don't order any ethnic food on HAL, because I mistakenly thought it would be food-fair quality. Shame on me! As for the paid dining venues, we had 3 dinners in Canaletto, 2 dinners and 2 lunches in Pinnacle Grill. Pinnacle was excellent (as had been our previous experience), and the menu also included a page of selections from Tamarind (which I had tried on the Eurodam previously). I had not liked Canaletto on a past cruise, but due to recent reviews here gave it a try again. It was really tasty. Not every dish was to my liking, but we did get to try most of the selections over the 3 meals, as there were 3 people sharing -- lots of food to choose from each evening. The service in Canaletto was just as attentive and kind as I've had in Tamarind, and I feel like I'm getting better value as the price has crept up over the years for PG. Breakfasts for us were primarily in the Lido. I liked the quiet atmosphere of MDR breakfasts, but the hours didn't always work. With my jetlag I was up early and waiting for Lido to open most mornings. I also seemed to have a better chance of getting my eggs done perfectly (for eggs benedict) as they were made to order instead of having the poached eggs reheated. I think the food in the Lido starts out very good, but if it sits there it tastes terrible. There was a huge difference between getting french toast made to order, vs. them taking it out of the warming drawer. The waffles also suffer under the heat lamp, so my main trick to the Lido was to pick anything they would make in front of me. Prime lido breakfast times were terrible to get a seat. People were circling watching for any sign that you might be finishing, and if you were 4 people (at a table of 6 for instance), you could bet another couple would come to sit with you. Next cruise I think I will take those extra steps out to the pool deck -- it is such a quiet spacious atmosphere in comparison. Tea time wasn't as good as I remembered, they serve Bigelow teas (English Breakfast, Darjeeling and Early Grey primarily -- not sure if they have herbal choices) and can't really manage to get you milk for your tea like they do the silver cream jugs. They will bring milk in a juice glass (which you can then spill all over the table when aiming for your teacup). The hot water comes to you in small metal-ish pots, but is often not quite hot enough to really brew well (which is done in your cup not a teapot). That aside, there were a couple of tasty deserts and sandwiches -- most were rather bland but pretty. My husband and daughter raved about the tuna salad sandwich, so when I asked for one they were already done. The next batch of sandwiches to come out did not include the tuna -- so be warned, they are a good thing and will be gobbled up! Despite the great onboard food, don't fill up on a big breakfast for your days in port on this itinerary. Vietnam (in particular) is a treasure of AMAZING food! Eat in the lido on your day in Cambodia (you'll understand when you go!). Okay, enough about food. ENTERTAINMENT (or lack thereof) I will start by admitting my husband and I are in our mid 40's and do not fit the HAL demographic they are trying to serve. We LOVE Trivia and pretty much centered our schedule around it. The BBC Earth presentation to music and EXC talks about the ports you're seeing are also very good. The mainstage shows were often cringe-worthy (as my daughter and husband decided), and we walked out of many. Those talented Volendam dancers and singers are poorly choreographed, have old music, boring sets and some awfully ugly costumes to deal with. I hate to be negative, but only one of the 3 special acts they brought in were really enjoyable right to the end and kept me in my seat. I don't really want to mention the acts I didn't like, everyone needs to form their own opinion. The venues often did not hold the crowd adequately -- standing room only (uncomfortably crowded) at the Test Kitchen presentations, the one good movie they showed we couldn't get a seat at. There were scheduling blunders so trivia got moved to a bar (yes, people had to leave the crows nest and head to The Mix, and there were hardly any seats for everyone. If you like classical violin, the couple who plays in the Explorers Lounge are excellent. As for our beloved Crow's Nest, the DJ request nights were awkward. When you have such a spread in ages wanting to dance, each song could have a whole new set of people going to the dance-floor or not at all. The disco set got a few tunes and was getting in their groove, when all of a sudden a ballroom dancing type song comes on and there is a complete change of the demographic. Same with 80s-now music -- a whole new crowd would come on. It made for a disjointed evening, and who wants to sit around and listen to 10 songs from a decade they don't related to, just to get to the ones they do like. They need another dance club on this ship and have a theme IMO. I'm not sure if wine-tasting counts as entertainment -- it was a paid event. It was a fun enough event but mostly mediocre wines. There was only one that I ended up purchasing for dinner, but it was a good way to spend a bit of the afternoon. People were relaxed and chatty -- it was quite social even though I attended solo. STAFF I love them. I had a list of names at the end of the cruise to make sure they got formally recognized in my review sent to HAL. I hope it helps them -- they are a wonderful crew. My room steward San, was amazing and predicted my every need. SERVICES This is the first cruise I purchased the unlimited laundry. OH MY WORD. Lovely and clean pressed clothing, bagged and folded neatly. It was almost the highlight of the day to get my clothes back! Also with this hot itinerary, I really needed those linen shirts more than I thought -- it was fantastic to have the laundry and I won't go without it on future cruises. SHORE EXCURSIONS I had 3 HAL excursions, and only one of the guides had fluent enough English that he was great to listen to. One of them practically shouted and kept spelling out words (to make up for her accent no doubt). It was very slow with such a large bus of people. I highly recommend going to the Sanctuary of Truth (it is stunningly beautiful, a marvel). However, I would have been much happier taking it at my own pace and hiring someone to get me there and back. The ships tour was too long and the guide appointed to us was loud and annoying to be around. I had 1 excursion with a group from Cruise Critic, and it was a smaller group for Ha Long Bay. I think that was much better, the smaller group made it more relaxed and this tour included an amazing seafood lunch. Three other tours we did were arranged privately for our family of 3. Now I know this is absolutely the way to go. We had amazing fun with our guides in Vietnam. On the back of scooters in Saigon, with insane traffic, driving into districts where they rarely see foreigners is really fun. They were very curious about us. It was food/sightseeing tours we had arranged and we had the most amazing food experiences. Things I can't get at my local Vietnamese restaurant for sure. And the ones I had tried at home were different there, and so delicious. It is shockingly cheap outside the tourist areas, we had a feast at lunch for 6 of us (3 guides and 3 in our family) and it came to the equivalent of $12 CDN. Getting off the beaten track, in to back-alleys and cooked in front of you almost primitively. Not something I would have experienced without a local guide for sure. Do not miss Hoi An. It is an absolute treasure and not to be missed. If you can stay into the evening, it is very beautifuol and atmospheric with the lanterns lit throughout the streets. Great shopping there too. If you need souvenirs in Vietnam, they are much classier in Hoi An. IN CLOSING Overall, we loved this cruise. It was an amazing itinerary, the ship was in good enough shape for us, food was great as were the kind gracious staff. I had a good book and a deck of cards so can entertain myself anywhere -- I didn't need HAL to do that in the end. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Second time with HAL, we were concerned about the length of the voyage at 28 days. But at the end, 28 days journey has gone by fast. We find this is one of the more enjoyable trips we experienced. The itinerary was good, there is enough at ... Read More
Second time with HAL, we were concerned about the length of the voyage at 28 days. But at the end, 28 days journey has gone by fast. We find this is one of the more enjoyable trips we experienced. The itinerary was good, there is enough at sea time to rest up, especially traveling in warm weather regions. During the voyage, HAL has a very good program on excursion and shore activities by the EXC group, in particular, the presenters Jeremy and Phil were excellent presenters, very knowledgeable with each and every stop of ports-of-calls. The information given is very valuable, not just for company sponsored excursions but for the people who want to roam on their own. Plenty of advice on the Do's and the Don'ts. We also appreciate the attentions given to handling visas to Indonesia, Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam. HAL handled it well, seamlessly and painless. The food in general is very good, better than what we had in the previous HAL cruise. Lido Market has good varieties and the Main Dining Room service is quite well. The hamburgers and hotdogs served in the pool area are great, especially the fries. Though, during breakfast and lunch in the Lido Market is a bit chaotic, due to the medium size of the ship, the dining rooms are relatively small, guests often congregate in certain areas and not exactly know where to lineup to be served, and overwhelming the serving staff. Our interior room is located on Main Deck aft. It is a little noisy and high mechanical vibrations when the side-thrusters are operating during docking of the ship. The entertainment is OK, I have seen better but it is not the worst. The cooking shows in America Test Kitchen are quite good, library and game rooms (not casino) are well stocked. Lots of area to relax, live entertainment with live musics is quite good. The outside walking deck on the 3rd deck is quite good. All in all, HAL's Volendam is a pleasant ship to sail on, it has enough activities and food service to keep us busy on this trip. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2017
Frankly, I chose this particular cruise because I got a good deal! I had cruised before and loved it (though my husband did not!) and from the moment of that first cruise, I knew I wanted to take my grown daughter on a cruise with me. ... Read More
Frankly, I chose this particular cruise because I got a good deal! I had cruised before and loved it (though my husband did not!) and from the moment of that first cruise, I knew I wanted to take my grown daughter on a cruise with me. She's like me -- very outgoing, loves games, loves starting conversations with people at the next table, etc. So I decided to ask her if she'd be willing to go on such a long cruise with me and leave my lovely granddaughters at home with their Dad so Erica and I could have a mother-daughter outing. And as I suspected, Erica loved the cruise. We had so much fun taking advantage of all the shipboard activities like trivia and bingo (I won $145 one day and a cruise for two another day!!!), meeting and getting to know people from all over the world, and making friends with another mother-daughter set whom we are going to visit in Holland for the new year! My daughter was the hit of the cruise -- every time we got on the elevator, by the time we reached our destination floor, we were buddies with everyone else on the elevator. The food was good, the staff was wonderful, and we just had a fabulous time. Now we are planning to augment the cruise for two I won by taking her husband and my granddaughters, and yes, even my husband on a cruise next year! I think I made a believer out of her!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
Great service generally, great food, Made lots of new friends. We were disappointed to miss Dutch Harbour, but understood the Captain's decision to avoid bad weather. Embarkation speed was impressive, and disembarkation went smoothly. ... Read More
Great service generally, great food, Made lots of new friends. We were disappointed to miss Dutch Harbour, but understood the Captain's decision to avoid bad weather. Embarkation speed was impressive, and disembarkation went smoothly. The cabin was much the same as most, the service was vert good. Dining was excellent except persons who do not like spices are poorly catered for. The evening entertainment was very good, catering for many tastes. However we were very disappointed to find that daytime activities were extremely limited. We and others found that at times during the day we had to resort to reading, when normally we are flat out all day and evening. The ship is small, but We have been on a number of ships of the same class, but different lines, and daytime activities were plentiful. It seemed at times that we were being force fed sales pitches and not much else. The line has still not recognised the previous cruising of one of us, despite repeated requests to update their data. Consequently that person was deprived of all the benefits they were entitled to. Bad move Holland America,! We only took one shore excursion, it was very good, but we considered in general the shore trips were expensive, so we preferred to "wing it" most times. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
The itinerary and timing were perfect. We have been wanting to visit Asia (specifically Japan) for a long time. Having this cruise end in Hong Kong was also a factor, as HK is one of our all-time favorite cities. The timing was ... Read More
The itinerary and timing were perfect. We have been wanting to visit Asia (specifically Japan) for a long time. Having this cruise end in Hong Kong was also a factor, as HK is one of our all-time favorite cities. The timing was important as we were celebrating our 15 year anniversary. Rather than having a specific room booked, my wife chose to book a Category in the hopes we would be upgraded at the last minute. We were. We were put in a handicapped room. She hated it. If was larger, but had an institutional feel, had not been remodeled, had nasty looking wall tile in the shower that had been repaired and was uneven - and the entire bathroom floor was tiled with a drain in the middle. It felt like a junior high locker room shower. The counter / makeup table had numerous gouged around the edges that had been badly patched and not even sanded, let alone sealed. The room overall looked pretty beat. We spoke with the front desk and they found us another room that was a conventional style on the 2nd floor, which was fine. They both had windows and that's all we cared about. The new room had a recently remodeled bath, but the rest of the room looked a little ragged. In terms of service, I'm not exaggerating much when I say you could sit in the buffet on Lido until cobwebs grew from your arms to the table before anyone would bring water or coffee. Going over to get your own would trigger a rapid response to try and get the carafe away from you and fill up a glass. But having anyone notice you had sat at a table and might need water... Good luck. The buffet was marginal. I've been on a lot of cruises. There were no elaborate fruit / vegetable displays, no carvings (fruit / ice / anything) to dress up the area. The freshness of many stations was inconsistent. Also, coming back from HA excursions around 2 pm would find everything closed except the pasta station. You would think the ship would know when tours were coming back. Especially short tours where there was no food involved or opportunities to forage - and keep the buffet open until 30 minutes or so after the tours return. But you'd be wrong if you thought that. The taco bar on Lido was also a disappointment. It was frequently picked-over and looked pathetic. The burger window lists portobello burgers (I'm a vegetarian) on the menu, but the one day we went to get one, they are out of portobellos. Seriously? The main dining room was pretty decent. Not spectacular, but OK. The staff was attentive and they always had options for vegetarians. I ordered the day before most of the time and was fairly happy with the outcome. Tours: We had booked some independent tours in Tokyo and Shimizu through Triple Lights. Both were excellent. We loved our guides and the itinerary. We had booked numerous HA tours for other cities, but after our experience in Shanghai we cancelled all of them. We gathered a few like-minded travelers and booked taxis for the rest of the trip. This worked out very well. In Shanghai, the first day it rained ALL DAY. The 2nd day it rained only sporadically. The first day we went to the museum and then to a shrine. We had some people on the tour that never should have gone. The amount of walking was far more than they should have attempted. On the way back to the ship, one woman could not take another step. The rest of us are standing on a street corner in a downpour waiting for the tour guide to manage this debacle. We all decided to go back to the transit station where we could at least wait indoors. They had to get a motorized rickshaw to retrieve the woman, as any other vehicle could not get through to her. Eventually we all got back, but over an hour late - and wet. Our thoughts on this are: People with mobility issues should have their own bus. When the weather is bad, there should be a Plan B. Either stay in the museum (in this case) or head to another indoor destination. Keep the buffet open until the tour returns or arrange a food stop. The overall condition of the ship is very uneven. Some areas have been remodeled while others look very worn. The center column in the atrium looks like something out of a disco movie. The undersea-themed glass lamps in the buffet look cheap. They belong in a Caribbean party cruise. We needed to do some laundry about a week into the cruise. When we got to the tiny ship laundry, only 2 of the 4 washing machines were working. Apparently this had been the situation for well over a week according to people who had been on the ship for some time. After bringing this to the attention of the front desk, they did arrange to do our laundry at no charge. I did take 2 days to get our clothes back though. I would have preferred to just do it myself and have been finished in the span of a few hours. We were disappointed that we missed Okinawa. My wife and I both have connections to the island. Weather was the reason for having to remove it from the itinerary, so we can hardly blame HA for this. Entertainment. Most of the entertainment was of marginal to zero interest for us. Early on in the cruise, we discovered Barry from Boston in the Mix Lounge. Barry is by far one of the best entertainers I've ever seen. He plays a piano with virtuoso intensity and what he lacks in vocal quality, he really makes up for in skill. If you ever get the opportunity to see Barry from Boston, do it. He is on several HA cruises. He's talented, funny, really knows how to handle a room and was by far our favorite part of the cruise. We met some great people, made new permanent friends and overall had a great time. We loved Taiwan and would definitely go back. Taroko Gorge was amazing. We were very fortunate that Mount Fuji was NOT obscured by clouds on the day we were there. This is an opportunity you don't always get, so we felt very fortunate. Hopefully HA will work the kinks out of this particular cruise, as the itinerary was excellent - with the exception of Hososhima. They could have left Hososhima off the itinerary and added a day in Osaka. That would have been better in our estimation. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2017
So let me start out by saying that my wife and I are optimists, and easy to please. We had only been on one cruise prior to this, and it was a Disney cruise line (which was amazing, minus the squadron of children running around screaming ... Read More
So let me start out by saying that my wife and I are optimists, and easy to please. We had only been on one cruise prior to this, and it was a Disney cruise line (which was amazing, minus the squadron of children running around screaming all day). We took this ship on our honeymoon for 14 days through Asia. The average age of the guests on this cruise was approximately late 50s to early 60s. The rooms looks a bit dated and the beds were pretty hard, but it was very clean as well as inviting, and that made up for it. The only recommendation I have is DO NOT buy any drink packages... We bought a 17.95 a day all soft drinks, water, tea, coffee, etc. and drank tons and tons of fluids and 2 to three specialty tea lattes daily, and doing the math... there's no way we could have even come close to coming out ahead. The alcohol packages are the same... the drinks are so reasonably priced (8 dollars for a rocks pour of top shelf liquor and 4-5 dollar pints) that you don't need any type of package... unless you plan on downing 3-4 bottles of wine every day consistently. On to the good things! The staff across the board was so friendly, so polite, and went out of their way in every aspect to make sure you were having the best possible time. Our housekeeping staff was 2 gentlemen named Made and Joni, and they made it their mission to find us every day to say hello and wish us all the best. The dining staff at the Rotterdam was equally as entertaining and despite being exhausted from walking for 6-8 hours on the daily, we made an effort to get to the sit down dining because the food was fantastic, but the staff made it something to look forward to. The food on the ship as a whole was good. Even the buffet style breakfast, lunch, and dinner weren't boring and had many options. The ports of call for this specific cruise were also mostly great stops. My wife and I didn't book any excursions, but we looked through their daily itinerary for specifics, and made our way around town with help from those as well as tripadvisor which made it more of an adventure for us. The entertainment was also a lot of fun... Taylor was a young jack of all trades for entertainment that went out of his way to get to know us as well as other guests who attended some of the daily entertainment such as Bingo, trivia, music, etc. and once again having the staff be so friendly that it made everything that much better. The exercise equipment is limited from the viewpoint of a fitness enthusiast, but there's more than enough to get a good workout in daily. I do however recommend to the Holland American line that they ease up on pushing their spa services... I know that's their business, but when you're done getting a massage and the therapists push so much in sales that it's kind of awkward, it leaves a bad taste in your mouth about coming back. All in all, the Holland America line was a great experience and we had such a good time that we plan on sticking to sea cruising for the majority of our vacations. We also plan on using Holland America again for our future cruises. Enjoy! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Selected primarily because of the itinerary. Our cabin was quite satisfactory. The ship's own floor show entertainment group was excellent, but most of their shows were repeated during the 28 days cruise. All the other lounge ... Read More
Selected primarily because of the itinerary. Our cabin was quite satisfactory. The ship's own floor show entertainment group was excellent, but most of their shows were repeated during the 28 days cruise. All the other lounge entertainment was one-person acts and were generally mediocre or not appealing to a wide audience. The piano player, "Barry from Boston", was terrible but tolerated by a surprising number of folks. Ship excursions were terribly expensive. We did two, plus many good independent tours arranged via Cruise Critic contacts with fellow passengers. Our worst excursion was HAL's "Best of Jakarta", a true waste of money. Our independent tour to Borrobodur (sp?) included a high speed police escort for our two vans and was far superior to the ship's escorted tour. On Komodo Island we had our a guide and park ranger for just the two of us while the ship's tours were large groups. Bali was far more densely populated than we had realized and less enjoyable than expected. Singapore and Hong Kong were standout, wonderful places to visit. Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam were all great places to visit. The scenery from a lengthy boat ride at Halong Bay was spectacular. Read Less
Volendam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.5 4.1
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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