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Linda Arye

Age: 50


Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Volendam

Sailing Date: March 20th, 2005

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

The sister ship the Zaandam was newer and more up to date. I understand the Volendam goes into dry dock in Dec. for a total re-do. It needs it. The rugs are stained, the menu at the Rotterdam dining room not great. The food good but NOT fabulous like when we were on the Zaandam. I was happy with the port of call on this trip. It was the 10 day Eastfarer trip and Dominica (do not confuse with the Dominican Republic) was the best. Not yet built up and still with active volcanic activity they have the BEST snorkeling in an area called "Champagne Reef". The bubbles from the geothermic gases heat and bubble the water . Saw turtles and many varieties of fish.

Accomodations: The beds were the best. New and all the new style "Heavenly bed" but he pillows felt like shriveled foam and were not comfy at all. The room was adequate but tired looking. Most of the ship in fact was tired. they all were polishing and cleaning all the time but you can vacum a stained rug and it will still be stained.

I had the best cabin steward ever "Yusef" cleaned so well I offered him a job... my teen slept until the afternoon and he still smiled and managed to clean up after us.

Just so you know. If you have late seating for dinner (and they now have 4 seating times) please let the cabin guy in to do a final clean or let him know it is ok to sign off for the night...they work 12 hour days and he had to wait for some idiot to leave his cabin at 9:00pm to clean...and the steward had been working since 7:00 a.m.

The waiter we had for the dinners was not about to go out of his way to chat. He knows he is now getting his tip no matter whether he gives service or not (it is added onto your bill at $10 per person in the cabin per day).

I will not rec'd this ship until it gets back from dock. From 1-10 I give the food a 6 and the on ship classes a 2...there was nothing interesting to do if you were not into the trivia games or making a sail boat that will hold a case of soda before it sinks in the hot tub.. .Holland America line has been taken over by Carnival and it is not the same as it once was. Everyone agreed they needed a better menu and Maybe after the re-do in a yr I will try again....but I doubt it.


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