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232 Volendam Reviews

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Disappointed in Holland Americas downward trend by tjohnsonret

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

The best part of the cruise was the shore excursions.  The on-board experience was much poorer than our previous Holland America cruises - facilities, service, food.

 

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The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly by cruise8545

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

First, the good.  The Volendam has been recently renovated and looks very nice inside.  Our Neptune Suite was lovely.  The stateroom personnel, the Pinnacle Grill servers, and the Neptune Lounge people were great.  The food in the Pinnacle Grill was great.  The weather was fantastic for the whole cruise--sunny and warm in Juneau, Skagway, and Glacier Bay.  Was cooler and cloudy but not rainy in Ketchikan.

Next, the borderline bad.  The Volendam is smaller than the Westerdam and Oosterdam.  We noticed that right away and it felt small inside.  While some may like that, we did not.  

Finally, the ugly.  Our stateroom--7008--was located directly beneath the location of the ping pong tables located on deck 8.  Of course, we could hear the players jumping around when they played--even at 1:30 and 4:00 AM.  We learned quickly to call the front desk to complain and, to their credit, they managed to stop the games so we could get some sleep.  We did not eat in the main dining room, but were there for the Mariner Society lunch.  The soup was good but the main dish was not.  We were also told by someone who ate there regularly that the service was slow and poor.  One of the servers, when asked for some bread, picked up a slice in his bare hands and put it on the table in front of the customer--not on a plate.  Can't confirm that as true but no reason to doubt it either.  We did have lunch a couple of times in the Lido buffet.  It was small (due to ship size) and so there were more limited options.  Meat was dry.

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North to Alaska by Jack3joanne

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

we had a wonderful trip on the Volendam. It is a small ship and was easily able to navigate the narrow passes on the BC west coast.  We had a calm trip with lots of sightings of wildlife.  Dining on the ship was comfortable, delicious and lots of variety.  Our state room was clean and comfortable.  Lots of activities to do on ship and on shore excursions.  We had fun and would go again.

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My Asian Adventure by debraem59

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

Very Good trip. I would have preferred to spend less time in Myanmar and have a day more in Kuala Lumpur or Phuket, which have so much more to see and do. I felt that they where forcing themselves to put together tours in Myanmar or just wanting to upsale the overnight tours.

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14-night Far East from SIN (Review) by nampng

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

- Room service is great

- Food preparation/ supply is average. Need much more improvements.

- Shore Excursion presentations are good but they do not represent their realities. They are mainly for ad. Ian did not provide details when asked in person. Ian need to be more truthfully when presenting facts.

- On cruise shows some were good but lacked their varieties.

- Luggage service distribution is great

  

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Consistently Inconsistent by nonlethal2

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: South Pacific

While the locations were excellent this ship is very middle of the road especially when it came to eating.  There is plenty of food, just generally mediocre to poor.  The non-lemon lemonade is one example as was a hard-boiled egg for Eggs Benedict.  They had lamb so tough even the carver couldn't cut it and the list goes on and on.

 

Information was poor.  For example after a week on board we learned that the New York Times had been available for free on line the whole time.  Learned other things after the fact as well.

 

Do not exchange money on board!!!!.  As an example in Indonesia they charged about 6 percent exchange rate and on shore it was under 1 percent of the official rate.

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Alaska inside passage Aug 26th thru Sept 2nd, 2015 by aschaupeter

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

The room and the ship were clean and spotless throughout the voyage. The  dinning options and food were superb. The entertain on board was outstanding and we enjoyed all the show that we saw. 

The staff accommodated our party  of twenty-four at every event. They were especially kind to our to handicapped relatives . We enjoyed every minute of the cruise.

The bingo games were fair and fun and we even had some winners in our group over the week we were on the cruise. Everyone loved the Whitney Houston concert and the singer was very much a great impersonator of Whitney. 

The crows nest lounge is simply lovely and had spectacular views of the Alaska coastline and glacier bay.  

Visiting the three cities was very easy to get off and back on the ship.

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Wonderful Cruise by techattic

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

We stayed 3 days in Vancouver before embarking on our Holland America cruise to Alaska. We loved Vancouver even though the traffic has a lot to be desired. We had wonderful weather every day of our cruise except in Ketchikan and inside the Glacier passage. I would highly recommend Holland America to anyone going on an Alaskan cruise. The trip was amazing!

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Very Nice Cruise, Within (Age) Limits by stevekimlaw

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

We just returned from taking the 7 day RT Alaskan Cruise from Vancouver, BC on Holland America Volendam.  Here are the highs and lows: The Lows:

1.  The biggest disappointment by far was the Tracy Arm non-event.  Tracy Arm is on the cruise itinerary, and we booked this cruise in particular because we were told that Tracy Arm is not to be missed.  But this cruise does NOT incorporate Tracy Arm at all.  All it does is stop at the mouth of Tracy Arm, and off-load passengers onto a small additional excursion boat that then goes to Tracy Arm.  If you do not purchase the excursion and leave the Volendam at this exchange point, you do not see Tracy Arm.  This was very unfortunate, and to me, is not made clear at any time during the voyage or in the pre-cruise marketing materials.  This was a major, major disappointment.

2.  The Crowd.  Very nice, but very old.  My wife and I are in our 50's, and we were among the younger crowd.  Our kids (ages 19, 15, and 10) were pretty much the only kids on board (yes, there were a few others, but emphasize the few).  The crew said there will be more kids in July and August.  But on this cruise, there were only a few kids.  This has ramifications for night life on board, such as dancing and karaoke, so be aware of that.  We have been told several times that is what to expect on Holland America, so that was a trade off for the itinerary that we wanted.

3.  Most of your meals will be taken in the Lido casual dining room, which is basically a buffet service.  The meals in the buffet are only okay.  I grew tired of the "same old" food by about the third day of the seven day trip.  Make no mistake, the food is plentiful and omnipresent.  However, the variety and quality leave something to be desired.  The experience is heightened somewhat by knowing what to ask for, though.  Almond milk is available behind the counter (if you ask), together with walnuts for your oatmeal (if you ask).  Just remember, the good stuff is available, but not for general consumption (you have to know to ask).

4.  The "quaint" ports of call.  Predictably, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan are comprised of hordes of gift shops all selling the same trinkets, and jewelry stores.  Skagway and Ketchikan have some charm to them, Juneau not so much.  However, the main thing to remember at each stop is that you are disembarking not into a town, but into a large collection of trinket shops.

The Highs:

1.  The scenery, of course.  Glacier Bay is as beautiful as advertised.  The Inside Passage is beautiful.  Alaska is gorgeous.

2.  The crew.  The crew on the Volendam were uniformly pleasant and service oriented.  Our cabin steward kept our cabin in tip top shape, several times each day.  The staff in the Lido (casual) dining room and the Rotterdam (main) dining room were all excellent.  There was no wait at all for unreserved dining.

3.  The Rotterdam Dining Room.  While most of your meals will be in the Lido (casual) dining room, most or all of your dinners should occur in the Rotterdam (main) dining room.  Great menus and selection, and the meals were generally quite good.  I would say between a B+ and A- most nights, which is pretty darned good for the number of dinners they have to churn out in a 3 hour period.

4.  Raymond in the Rotterdam.  We enjoyed Raymond very much.  He is a Dutch dining room officer, and he saw to our every need.  Very personable, entertaining, and customer service oriented.

5.  The Shore Excursions.  Choose these carefully, but do choose them.  Your Alaskan cruise will be much less of an Alaskan experience without them.  Our hot tips:  (1) in Juneau, we sought out Ward Air and chartered a sea plane for $740 for 6 people to go over the ice beds and glacier.  We landed in a river adjacent to a beautiful waterfall.  Ward Air is not a tour company per se, but will charter you a pilot and whole sea plane (different sizes of planes) and $740 for 6 is quite a bargain.  Compare it to $210 per person that the other "tour" companies charge, and you will see significant savings.  Plus,  you get to design your own trip/things to see.  (2) in Skagway, the wife and kids went ziplining and had a blast, while my younger son and I took the city tour and gold panning.  The ziplining got rave reviews from the wife and kids,  and the gold panning was enjoyed by my younger son (clearly a milder experience), but the tour portion was very educational and interesting about the Yukon gold rush in particular).  (3) in Ketchikan, we took the Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour.  This was totally worth the price of admission.  The tour itself is very interesting as they pull up crab pots with King crab, spot prawn, octopus, etc.  But the highlight is when you see the Bald Eagles.  If you want to see Bald Eagles up close, this is the way to do it.  We saw maybe 20 in close proximity, all of which dive bombed the boat at camera distance as they crew fed them herring.  The Eagles alone were totally worth the price.

Overall, I would give the cruise itself a B.  You must add in the correct shore excursions at each port, to raise the grade to an A. 

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Holland America Alaska by hardingh

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Excellent trip, Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan. I loved Skagway the train was fantastic Juneau was to many jewellery stores. Ketchikan was a great town all the places were polite helpful and very knowledgeable of their area's. Loved it.

The Ship was old though and needed a refit, rusted threw hand rail and other areas blistering and cover in paint, deco was slightly dated but service was good.

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Good but not great by andeharkov

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

Entertainment and food was disappointing. Itenerary was exceleent but even that could be tweaked. The service however, was top notch. Everything, was included in the price, EXCEPT everything that was not  included which was most things, inclduing internet. Much older crowd than we are used to and we are in our fifties.

We still prefer Royal Carribean, they just didn't have the right itnerary in our time frame.

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7 day cruise on the VOLENDAM by htmws

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

I would recomend this cruise to everybody !

The service was great, the food excellent, very clean, no complains at all !!!!!

 

The cooking classes : super and also the computer workshops !

The only negativ was conecting to the Internet - to slow and to expensive!

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Alaska 14 WOW! by phargis

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

We selected this cruise because we wanted to be in the Inside Passage and see the glaciers.  It was exactly what we wanted!  The four stops we made enabled us to see Alaska in its glory and  splendor!  The bar staff and wait staff were superb!   LOVED the fact that you can get a drink card and not have to worry about over-spending!  

 

The ship is outdated compared to others - bathrooms in the suites REALLY need a makeover.  I understand its going into dry dock after this season for that very thing.  The only complaint I have is while everything is going great on the ship, there are no issues and everyone is very accomodating.  However, have issues  - we had 4 - and all of a sudden they have to get with the home office, can't understand English or just don't care.  I'll take this up specifically with HAL though.  

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Alaska and the Voendam by ltapper

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

The stops in Alaska were wonderful and the nature and countryside were spectacular.  I do wish they actually let us see the Tracy Arm Fjord up close.  That would have been a highlight instead of just making a servcie call to drop off people.  Skagway and Glacier Bay were teh best stops on the trip.  Skagway's Jewel Gardens was lovely and the time in the teahouse absolutely enchanting.  The Glaciers in Glacier Bay were marvelous. 

 

I would say, however, the Volendam needs some work.  We had a crack in the tub in our room and the curtains and other apurtenances in our room and on the ship needed updating.  The food was good to excellent, although, like many cruises these days, the food seemed to slip in quality as the cruise proceeded.  The best food and experience was, of course, in the specialty restaurant, the Pinnacle Grill.  Lunch and dinner there were wonderful, as was the night at Le Cirque. 

 

The production shows were truly superior and the magician was quite good, although doing tricks that everyone knows.  The comedian was ok, but not amazing. 

 

The cruise director and many of his staff truly seemed more stand-offish than I am used to with other lines.  I was surprised that they had no real idea how to be very friendly with people.  But, that seemed to be part of teh stuffiness on the boat in general.  The exception to this was the casino staff, who mostly went out of their way to be very friendly and accomodating.  High praise to them!

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It was a good trip by trigger0620

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

We enjoyed the cruise very much. The ports of calls were great. Glacier Bay is the best stop. However, there was not much to do on the cruise ship. I believe it has to do with the age group that prefers slow and quiet time. Volendem is a small ship (roughly 1400 guests). Therefore, it may have limit its ability to provide more activities. I was not impressed with the food selection at either the dinning room or the buffet.

 

If you are looking for more to do while on the cruise ship, this one might not be the right one for you.

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Solid Holland Experience Once Again by Rolfe1

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

This is the second time we've cruised with Holland, and we would return for more cruises which pass through very scenic areas, i.e. Alaska or East Coast. The professionalism of Holland marine crew gives comfort that the best piloting is being done to protect our safety and enhance our enjoyment. This is critical on the BC/Alaska West Coast as there are tricky areas with tides and ice. The Holland cuisine in the dining room is excellent and very close to or comparable to luxury cruise lines. The menu for the specialty Pinnacle dining room didn't draw us in and the premium charged seemed unreasonable for the menu. The ambience for the Italian specialty area didn't appeal or justify an extra charge. The buffet options and staff were preferrable to other mid-level cruises we have taken, and the offerings were very good. The smaller size of Holland boats and fewer guests are a plus.

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Alaskan Cruise on the Volendam by Volendamcruiser

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

A wonderful Alaskan cruise on the Volendam travelling with friends.  Perfect weather, smooth sailing!  It was delightful cruising through Tracy Arm and visiting the glaciers again!

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Sydney to Singapore by TRAUMAX

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: South Pacific

A great itinerary with interesting ports, but very expensive excursions, which were not up to expectations.

Comfortable cabin but no fridge

Meals were excellent . Entertainment was first class.

Crew were all very helpful & friendly.

Volendam is looking tired

 

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Great way to enjoy Spring in alaska by CraigAdrian

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

I just returned from a Cruise on the Volendam to Alaska. The quality of the food and service was outstanding. The Inland passage to Alaska is wonderful. Well worth the low cost.

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Volendam - Vancouver to Juneau Aug 1-8 by NChartrandtresch

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Volendam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Older ship, needs some maintenance, railings were chipped, rust on the metal railings, obvious outdated decor in the rooms.

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