4 Holland America Volendam Luxury Cruise Reviews

We had a great cruise on the Volendam. So first things first, the Alaskan destination was great, This is clearly why we were on the cruise - to see Alaska. What a fantastic place it was. It was one majestic vista after another. ... Read More
We had a great cruise on the Volendam. So first things first, the Alaskan destination was great, This is clearly why we were on the cruise - to see Alaska. What a fantastic place it was. It was one majestic vista after another. Juneau and Skagway had very little to offer in themselves but the excursions from there were great. We booked a Harv and Marv whale watching tour in Juneau instead of the Holland America excursion and it was a great choice. The small boat and the excellent staff there had us up close with whales in no time. I definitely recommend the excursion. But Juneau itself didn't have a great deal to see. It was interesting to walk around for an hour or so but after that, we just wanted our whale watching tour to start. Skagway seemed to exist only to sell tourist tat. It was OK for a little wander but the value in the destination was in the excursions. We opted for a Glacier Expedition with Alaska Excursions and loved it. Ketchikan was the best of the 3 stops. It was an interesting place to wander about and we ended up hiking the Deer Mountain Trail. Very enjoyable. Back on-board the ship, the service was excellent. Wherever we went the staff were helpful and welcoming. I was surprised how many staff go to know our names personally. We had a Netpune suite and really enjoyed the extra space it offered. But perhaps the best feature was the excellent concierge staff in the Neptune lounge. The food in the main dining room was great as was the Pinnacle Grill. But the food on the lido deck was so-so. It wasn't bad...it just wasn't that great either. Our cabin was great. The location was excellent and it was quiet and comfortable. The ship entertainment wasn't bad but it was a little cheesy at times. The thing that let down Holland America was the quality of the on-board activities. Really these were pretty few and far between. The Microsoft computer labs and the cooking lessons were of little interest. If it wasn't for the Explorations Cafe and the games and books there, we would have really struggled. I think it might be more noticeable on an Alaskan cruise as there are more days on the ship. The ship is older but the decorative order was fine. It would have been nice to have a bigger TV in the room and for the ship to offer in-cabin video streaming services rather than a DVD library from the front desk. Maybe this was a feature of the ship rather than Holland America. Overall a great cruise but there are opportunities for Holland America to improve. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We have cruised with Holland America Line on 14 of their cruises on various vessels. This was our first experience on the ms Volendam. First of all, the employees on the ms Volendam, like nearly all of their sister vessels' ... Read More
We have cruised with Holland America Line on 14 of their cruises on various vessels. This was our first experience on the ms Volendam. First of all, the employees on the ms Volendam, like nearly all of their sister vessels' employees, were superb and met our expectations for the most part, with some issues noted below. Our Suite Stewards were Excellent! A. The Pinnacle Grille personnel were all superb from top to bottom, as well as the food, though the menu needs to be tweaked. We ate there three times in the 16 days we were on the ship and would have liked a little more variety, but all the food we ate was outstanding, and worth the extra expense. B. Check in and Embarkation worked extremely well in Hong Kong. C. Disembarkation in Yokohama was also seamless. D. Front Desk personnel were also superb and very very helpful. E. The Canaletto was a nice experience at minimal extra cost though we only used it once during our cruise, this time. The portions are huge and could be cut back a bit in our estimation. Problem Areas on the ms Volendam.: 1. Maintenance on the ship was not up to par in our estimation, with many many rust areas on the outside decks, and the suite we were in had scratches and nicks in the desk area and around the wooden parts of the door frames, etc. 2. Reduced man power in the main Dining Room - the Rotterdam, caused extremely slow service for all breakfasts, lunches, and dinners that we ate there. 3. The lack of employees stretched those that were working in the Rotterdam to the point where 30 minutes was not unusal to get the first course or the main course, which were often luke warm by the time they were served. 4. Having so few personnel also meant it was difficult to get anyone's attention when you needed something extra or something simple like a cup of coffee. 5. Though most, but not all of the shore excursions that we took (costing over US$2500 in total for two people) were well done, the cattle car experiences of waiting in the Frans Hal theater for those excursions was very difficult with inadequate seating and the shore excursion staff in the Frans Hal were treating the guests as a bunch of children on a school outing rather than as paying adults. Repeating and being loud and "pushy" is not what should have been done. They need to break up the areas for assembling to more than this one venue, which could be done if they had adequate resources to man the Frans Hal and the Explorer's Lounge, or the theater as examples. 6. The Lido food and presentations need to be monitored better though we seldom use the Lido to avoid the buffet atmosphere and the "mobs" of people clamoring for food. This ship needs a dry docking to bring it back up to par with some of the other HAL ships. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Embarkation process in Sydney was well organised. Problems arose when we actually got inside the ship and saw the stained carpets, unswept areas under chairs and tables, dirty windows, clumps of old brasso stuck in the corner of the ... Read More
Embarkation process in Sydney was well organised. Problems arose when we actually got inside the ship and saw the stained carpets, unswept areas under chairs and tables, dirty windows, clumps of old brasso stuck in the corner of the windows, chipped paintwork etc. The ship is overdue for a refit yet charges as though it was an Oceania or Silversea. Rotterdam dining room was disorganised on many occasions with staff sending customers to one level, then back again,then up again. Food there was consistently shopping centre food court standard ie cold, overcooked,dried out. We dubbed it the rottendam, and ate there only through hunger. Lido restaurant was similar quality but less formal. Room service was slow (50 minutes for a steak sandwich)and the food cold and unpalatable. I lost weight on this voyage which I have always thought to be impossible. The Pinnacle specialty restaurant was first class. We were told by the manager that it had separate kitchen and chef. Neptune lounge personnel were efficient and personable. The rest of the experience was comparable to the bad old days when the Russian boats like "Southern Cross" cruised out of Australia. Never again. We will stay with Oceania which I had the pleasure of reviewing last year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
This was my 12th cruise. I chose it as it was advertised as a Transpacific to Japan cruise. Originally it was to cruise the Aleutians and a stop in Russia, but neither happened. Many passengers did not hear of the changes and were ... Read More
This was my 12th cruise. I chose it as it was advertised as a Transpacific to Japan cruise. Originally it was to cruise the Aleutians and a stop in Russia, but neither happened. Many passengers did not hear of the changes and were disappointed. Cabin: the cabin was very attractive and had enough room for a sofa for two. Though we had an inside cabin we did not feel claustrophobic. Food: Variable, from bad to mostly good. The pastry choices were excellent. I would rate the food as cruise fare. The average person will love it, but foodies will be disappointed. The wine steward was aggressive, trying to sell wine by the bottle rather than by the glass. Entertainment: Standard for cruises. The dancers were very good and some of them were obviously very enthusiastic. The person in the light booth could not keep his hands off of the lighting which at time was distracting. More than once spot lights were shone in the audiences faces. At times it distracted from the dancers and singers. Shore Excursions: were very expensive, a big complaint with many passengers. The cities visited had a lot to offer for those who wanted to do their own tour. Ports: We stopped at Hakodate, Otaru, Kobe and Aomori Japan. These are not ports usually visited and are good stops for a day. Season: We were traveling in typhoon season, and were lucky enough to be able to go around one. Because of the typhoon diversion we missed the port of Yokohama and arrived in Kobe one day early. Water: rough 7 out of 8 days on the trans Pacific portion. Embarkation: Vancouver, BC, Canada was the embarkation port and is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. A couple of days before the cruise would not be time wasted there. It took 30 minutes for embarkation. A very large ship was accepting passengers at the same time at the terminal which may have made the process slower for us. Passengers: This was the oldest and most physically challenged group I have ever seen on a cruise. For our group of 60 we had a need for 8 wheelchairs. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
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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