Volendam Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
9

4 out of 5

An exceptional Alaska cruise

Sail Date: September 20, 2006

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Oceanview

I recently returned from an Alaska cruise on Holland America Line (HAL)'s Volendam, having taken my mother along as a 70th birthday gift. Both she and I have taken other cruises over the years, but this was our first on a Holland America ship. We were greatly impressed. The staff were unfailingly cheerful, helpful and personable. I did not encounter any grumpy staff member the entire time. Our outside cabin was beautiful, and the beds were wonderfully comfortable. The food was excellent, and our table steward went above and beyond to ensure that we were happy. The entertainment was excellent. I went to all but one of the shows, and I'm sorry that I missed one. They were all great! The ship itself is so elegant, with artwork and fine furniture throughout. The shore excursions that we took were top notch, and the ship's staff really worked hard to get everybody off the ship quickly so as to maximize our time ashore. On the negative side, I found the ship photographer's photos to be somewhat unflattering (probably poor use of lighting or perhaps from using digital instead of real film) and very expensive. They were four dollars more than similar photos we bought last year on a Carnival cruise. Another issue was the ship's staff insisting that passengers use hand sanitizer upon entering an area where food was served. There was concern about gastrointestinal illness aboard the ship, which is understandable, but I happen to wash my hands with soap and water, and I dislike the smell of the hand sanitizer, especially when I would get a whiff of it every time I lifted my fork to my mouth! We had to line up and hold our hands out to be squirted with a glob of Purell before being given a tray for the buffet or being seated in the dining room. Overall, however, we had a wonderful time on the cruise, and we would definitely travel with Holland America again. In fact, my mother insists that her next cruise will be with HAL.

Pros: Ship's staff

Cons: Crowded buffet

Skagway, Alaska

Don't Miss: White Pass railroad ride
Juneau, Alaska
We had to take a bus to the whale watching boat dock, and our bus driver was very entertaining and informative. He stopped along the way at a scenic lookout point and let us get out and photograph the Mendenhall glacier.
Don't Miss: Whale watching -- really amazing.
Skagway, Alaska

Don't Miss: White Pass railroad ride
Juneau, Alaska
We had to take a bus to the whale watching boat dock, and our bus driver was very entertaining and informative. He stopped along the way at a scenic lookout point and let us get out and photograph the Mendenhall glacier.
Don't Miss: Whale watching -- really amazing.
Ketchikan, Alaska
Ketchikan, Alaska


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