MS Volendam Vancouver to Tokyo

Volendam Cruise Review to Transpacific

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 33

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review

29 Night North Pacific Crossing China & Japen (Vancouver To Shanghai)

Sail date: September 27, 2017

Ship: Volendam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 2534

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Review summary

Overall we had a great and interesting trip. The Filipino and Indonesian crew were very friendly and worked very hard! Others no so much. Embarkation/disembarkation was really well done. The Gala night was great also. The drinking water was terrible, tasted over chlorinated and stale. Had to buy some on land as on board prices are ridiculous. Too many crew members were sitting and eating in the Lido in prime spaces and were not friendly to the passengers around them.


5 out of 5
Holland America has the embarkation very well organized. The best when compared to Princess, Norwegian and Carnival. Room cards were ready, all the passport stuff was already completed at there end and getting onto the ship was expedited quickly.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Food was good but only just. Fruit such as melon was not available at every meal time. There is no 24 hr. restaurant on board, which we missed. The Mariner's Brunch had only Asian themed food, some of which was not very appealing. A more continental brunch would have been welcome.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Very limited. Went to shuffleboard and there was no one from the ship there. If a crew member had been there they could have gotten something started with the few who did attend. Trivia was totally America based, something more international would have been welcome, as many of the quests were from Canada, Australia and Europe. What do they know about American TV shows??


4 out of 5
Shows were scheduled to start at either 7:00 PM or 10:00 PM. Dinner service was at 8:00 PM. This made it difficult to make either show. We suggest show times of 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM.

Children's Programs

We did not have any children along and there were very few aboard on this trip.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
The cabin crew and the waiter and serving staff were generally very good, with some being exceptionally good. There were not enough servers at some of the serving stations, resulting in unnecessary delays. We had an unfortunate experience with the guest relations officer. Many of the Lido deck restaurant chairs are in very poor condition, with deep depressions in the middle, resulting in a hole about 20 cm. deep in the middle. My wife, who is of slight build but has serious back problems and previous surgeries, went to sit down in one of the chairs and then unexpectedly dropped down into the depression, resulting in a jar to her back (and some pain). When we complained to she basically asked what we expected her to do about it and that the ship was showing it's age. And after all, no one was forcing us to use the chairs! There was no sign of compassion or concern from this person. When we suggested that she might be a bit more conciliatory and that we would like to lodge a complaint, she was evasive about actually taking our complaint. She repeatedly said that we could lodge a complaint but did not seem to be doing anything about it. In any case, we feel we were treated shabbily, in an insulting manner, by this person. HAL should have been on top of this problem with the chairs years ago - their program to repair them is too slow and does not have the priority it should have.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
The ship was clean and tidy.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
The cabin was pretty good. Better lighting by the closets would be great. The TV is very dated.

Ship tip

Select the early meal seating and occasionally go "anytime" or the Lido.

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

4 out of 5
Vancouver needs to do more to deal with the homeless and drug users in the core of the city. It's embarrassing to us as BC residents.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
No excursion but there is lots to see within walking distance.

Juneau, Alaska

4 out of 5
No excursion but there is lots to see within walking distance. Really like the old town area.

Cruise Glacier Bay

5 out of 5
The weather was super and we had the best views ever.

Dutch Harbor, Alaska

1 out of 5
Very disappointed that we could not get into Dutch Harbour due to weather.

Cross International Dateline

5 out of 5
Wow! Time travel is great! We felt the ship shudder as we passed from Friday Oct. 6th to Sunday Oct. 8th. Fantastic!

Kushiro, Japan

5 out of 5
No excursion but there is lots to see within walking distance. Kushiro is a very northern port, like Alaska, and we enjoyed that. A bit small townish - great!

Hakodate, Japan

5 out of 5
No excursion but there is lots to see within walking distance. Hokodate is much bigger than Kushiro and we enjoyed seeing the markets and shops, even though it was raining.

Yokohama (Tokyo), Japan

5 out of 5
No excursion. What an amazing and enormous port! Lots to see even close to the harbor.


5 out of 5
Disembarkation was very stress free. Embarkation and disembarkation is one thing that HAL has very well organized. Better than their competition!
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