Panama Canal was Grand

Volendam Cruise Review to Panama Canal, Central America

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 30

Overall rating:

4.1 out of 5
Verified Review

16 Night Panama Canal Holiday (Ft. Lauderdale To San Diego)

Sail date: December 18, 2018

Ship: Volendam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 2566

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Panama Canal is outstanding, considering it was finished in 1914 and using the original locks and 12 volt motors to open the locks. This is what made the trip worthwhile. Overall was a nice cruise, except the ship was cold and made some parts of the cruise a lot to be desired. The entertainment by the ship's singers and dancers was mediocre. The ships band was outstanding, especially the drummer. The excursions that we went on were very good. The room stewards were excellent. We were disappointed with the food in the dining room; the Lido Deck had better options and the food was hot when you got it. The dining staff tried their best.


4 out of 5
The embarkation went very smoothly. After checking into the cruise we had to wait about an hour till the ship was ready to be boarded.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The dining room was chilly though out the cruise, you had to wear a jacket or sweater daily. The service was slow, yet the food and choices were good. We did not partake in the specialty restaurants as most items were on the dining room menu. The Lido deck offered the widest choice of food. The service of clearing off tables was slow, yet the food stations were very good.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We enjoy going to the thermal spa and the fitness center. The pools were nice, yet not many people used them. The hot pools were used a lot.


2 out of 5
The ship's dancers were good, the singers left a lot to be desired. After the first ship show with the singers we did not brother to go. The entertainers that were brought on board at various ports were a step up but not to the standards of previous Holland America Cruises.

Children's Programs

No Children

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
The room stewards were excellent. They would try to fulfill your every need. The dining room waiters tried to provide good service yet appeared to have too many tables and guests to serve.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The cleaning staff keep all areas of the ship in fantastic shape. The ships design was very easy to get around and find on board activities.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Our room was very comfortable. The room stewards did an excellent job of keeping the room clean.

Ship tip

Bring a warm jacket or sweater, the ship was rather cool through out the cruise.

Ports of call

Willemstad, Curacao

4 out of 5
We walked around the port and then took a van around the city.

Oranjestad, Aruba

4 out of 5
We just walked around the port.

Enter Panama Canal At Cristobal

5 out of 5
Entering the Canal was exciting to realize that the locks were finished in 1914 and still in use today.

Panama Canal Transit

5 out of 5
The lake in the middle of the canal was grand.

Exit Panama Canal At Balboa

5 out of 5

Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica

4 out of 5
Did a tour of the Starbucks coffee farm; had an excellent lunch and drive through the country side; visited the oxcart factory and town.

Puerto Corinto, Nicaragua

5 out of 5
Visited the horse farm and show. What a fabulous show of horses.

Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala

3 out of 5
Just took the shuttle to the tourist part of the port, lots of handicrafts.

Huatulco, Mexico

3 out of 5
Signed up for the deep sea fishing; expensive boat ride. Did get to see a lot of the coast and was nice scenery.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

5 out of 5
Took the San Sebastian tour; got to see a lot of the country side; visited a tequila still; excellent lunch; the church at San Sebastian was nice and the family museum.


5 out of 5

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