Great destination, excellent service, OK ship

Volendam Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Vote: 1

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Volendam

7 Night Alaska Inside Passage (Vancouver Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 01, 2018

Ship: Volendam

Cabin type: Suite

Cabin number: 7028

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

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 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.

Embarkation

5 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5

Explorations Cafe

5 out of 5

Fantastic staff who were always helpful and there with a smile. The cafe area offered games, puzzles and books that was a fantastic space to relax as a family.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5

Neptune Lounge

5 out of 5

In my opinion the best feature of the Neptune Suite.

Entertainment

3 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

4 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5

Ports of call

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

4 out of 5

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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