CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Volendam Alaska July 14, 2004

Best for people who want: A laidback, relaxed environment with not to many children around, midsized ship, excellent service, impeccable décor and a small splash of fun!

Age group: 40+

First impressions: When I first arrived in Canada place, Vancouver I was taken by surprise. The minute you unload your luggage you are finished any work for the remainder of the seven days of luxury and fine dining. They load your luggage on a trolley and you do not see it again until you enter your cabin (which might I add were superb). Embarkation was smooth and swift; there was a short line to go through the metal detectors(seemed long but was not at all) you then enter a short yet time consuming line to receive your ship identification card. At this line, you must present your immigration questionnaire (I strongly suggest you fill this out on the HAL sight otherwise, you will be moved to a very, very long line). You then go through us customs (you must have photo I.D. even if you are under the age of 16, I was almost denied boarding). With a quick snap of a camera and a scan of your card, you walk along the metal gangway that leads to an awaiting seven days of perfect relaxation.

Dining: Dining was excellent! Every night there was a new selection of delicacies to choose from in the Rotterdam dining room (1 of 3 dining areas). People said the food was a little normal but I strongly disagree. The Marco Polo restaurant was another restaurant you go to. I, personally did not go to this particular restaurant, mainly because of the 20$ USD surcharge but my aunt and uncle went to it and the said it was excellent! The lido restaurant was a buffet, but that did not mean there was no quality, the food was superb here and the buffet was at least 40ft long! Any meal could be enjoyed here. Also a poolside bar had salads, tacos, hamburgers, chicken burgers, hotdogs and pizza.

Cabins: The cabins are the largest around and the nicest I have ever seen (from photos that is). I was in a inside K category room (room #2563, Main deck). The two lower twin size beds could be pushed together (though the room seemed bigger if they were not pushed together), there was a bed that came out of the ceiling that the steward pulled down (my cabin steward was Joko, All cabin stewards are Indonesian) there was also a couch that the cushion flipped over to make a bed. The bathrooms had a shower, sink, blow dryer and very noisy toilet (it scared my mom every time she flushed it!).

Ship stats: 1440 double occupancy passengers 105ft beam 27ft draft 780ft length 647 crewmembers registered in Netherlands 60,906 GTR 23 knots max speed

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