My Volendam experience overall was positive . The Indonesia and Far East discovery cruise was perfect length of time to experience the flavour of SE Asia. As a single traveler I found the itinerary and the price reasonable. This was my ... Read More
My Volendam experience overall was positive . The Indonesia and Far East discovery cruise was perfect length of time to experience the flavour of SE Asia. As a single traveler I found the itinerary and the price reasonable. This was my second HAL experience and it was a great way to embrace cruising in a safe and interesting way. I cannot comment about the ship other than to say it was clean and other than minor floods in the theatre ( no kidding) the crew fixed the problem. One of the things I observed was the Captains commitment to safety of the passengers.
I loved having a cabin to myself. The stateroom stewards were great. I had a problem with a noisy fan in the bathroom and it was fixed promptly.
I did not go on the cruise for the dinners but I thought the dining room staff were polite and accommodating. Some more helpful than others but all in all great. the food was not rock and roll wonderful but the special dinners were very nice. I had dinner in the cannetello and was underwhelmed - waste of money. maybe I went of a bad night.
My favourite entertainment was the Adagio group they were a treasure. I went once or twice to the theatre shows - it was a hit or miss. some people loved the shows I was sorry I missed the mime. I heard he was wonderful.
Barry from Boston grew a following in the evenings. he is goofy bold and has a huge repertoire of music he was talented at engaging everyone in sing alongs. He also was kookie in the kiss the fish event.
the activities on the boat were fun, lots of people enjoyed then, The singles event coordinator was wonderful she also hosted some cooking shows lots of interesting ideas lots of fun.
I liked the lectures in the Indonesian leg of the trip there were not too many ( it would have added a lot to that leg of the trip)
the second leg was terrific, we had Tai chi and chi gong classes, history of china, fantastic Phil gave special sessions in the Hudson lounge. We were informed about Buddha, food and cultural characteristics of people.
The special martini events were fun too.
the gym was clean and the staff in the gym were very helpful.
Service was good. the staff at the front desk were great.
The Ports - thank goodness for cruise critic . the trips I participated in through cruise critic were wonderful
the excursions the I took through HAL were because of the 2 hour drive back and forth from the location to the Ship.
Boroduru was wonderful, the HAL bus trip was terrible the use tried to squeeze too many people into too little space . So the stop mid way at the Eva cafe was good the World heritage site was amazing I loved it . the dinner provided was delicious.coming back we stopped at a silver factory it was okay. we had a police escort to get to and from Boroduru.
Other people that took private tours got back in time they just took other roads.
the trip to AYATHUYA was interesting It was TOO expensive and I would not recommend it.
the ship takes two to two and a half hours to get into Bangkok. I was hoping to get some shopping in but the Ayatthuya trip did not allow for that. the elephant ride was okay, I had had enough of Kenny our guide by 2 hours into the trip. waste of money waste of my time. Day two was more interesting the trip on the river, the grand palace was lovely still no time to shop. when you have only a few hours to sleep who need such an expensive hotel?
Bottom line just take the shuttle in to Bangkok and do it on your own.
Halong Bay was through HAL and I would recommend this trip. lovely and wonderful.
Tommy tours in Da Nang is wonderful. I have written a review in trip advisor . loved that day.
In Bali we had a driver Mertee from drivers with distinction that showed us around the island. He was fun accommodating and a terrific person to give us an overview of Bali. I would also recommend him.
Our private tour in lombock was great. we saw all kinds of temples I joined another cruise critics tour and I cannot find the operators name, but it was very good.
Gokomodo tours was good. also arranged trough cruise critic. this was the only place that I made a mistake. there were lots of kids and one darling boy came up begging, he said he had no mother or father I gave him some fruit. right away I had 1 million kids surrounding me. our tour operator said this was a typical strategy kids use. and that he most likely had parents.
Viet nam wonderful but crowded.
Jakarta dirty and smoggy
Singapore - I would go in a heartbeat. that orchid garden in amazing
would I go again ? Maybe to revisit some sites and other new ones. I would definitely have more confidence to go on my own. The other travellers you meet are great. all have a variety of background experience. they are also a treasure.
all in all those are some of my thoughts on my adventure.
all best Read Less