This was my third cruise with HAL and my first 10 day cruise. As always the experience was true to form for HAL. The crew was fabulous, the stateroom was great, the ports spectacular (with the exception of Martinique - rude), the food excellent and plentiful but the Dining Room service was SLOW. I attribute the slow service to being a fairly new ship (4 months). The issue was ordering and having the first course arrive 20 minutes later and subsequent course late as well. The DR staff was most helpful in speeding things up when they slowed down. The only significant change in the layout of the Volendam from the Veendam was that the piano bar was smaller and a new open lounge had been added to the old space. The Marco Polo alternate restaurant was WONDERFUL. I highly recommend making reservations early. The ship's self serve laundry is now free; as is the Java Cafe. All in all, this new ship is wonderful and the Wayfarer cruise is fabulous, BUT also beware that the longer the cruise the older your fellow passengers become.
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