Number of Cruises: 14
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: June 22nd, 2007
The Volendam is the nicest ship we have sailed on. It's the right size at 63,000 tons and 1400 passengers.
It was our third cruise on Holland America. We have cruised to many different places in the world. We have been on five of the Big Seven cruise lines, and this was our second cruise to Alaska..
We like the big outside cabin at 197 sq. ft., with the large bathroom with tub and shower, all the storage space, and setting area. The beds were extremely comfortable.
The embarkation was smooth and fast with Holland American representatives available to walk us through. Our luggage was picked up from our hotel room which was across the street from the pier and appeared in our cabin shortly after boarding.
We had booked late, six weeks out, so we did not have a choice of cabins, but they assigned us an outside cabin in D category.
The layout of the ship was very well done. We found it easy to find our way around. The ship has great lounges, the Crow's Nest with it's panoramic view, and the Ocean Bar with comfortable chairs and large windows.
The service was excellent. The room steward was great. The dining room staff was outstanding. From the head waiter, who appeared at our table almost every night, to the wine steward. The food was outstanding with a great selection every night. The dining room tables were not crammed together. Our table was in the stern next to the large windows. The Lido Buffet was well laid out with no long lines. The food was well above average cruise ship food. The ice cream was great.
The Pinnacle Grill Alternative Restaurant was excellent. Every member of our table of six had dined their, the two gentlemen twice. It is a must on this ship.
Two of the ports, Icy Point Strait and Sitka, we had not been to before. We cannot comment on the shore excursions. We did our own shore excursions.
The shows were entertaining but not the flashy quality of Carnival. But we don't cruise for the shows.
The service in the lounges was great. We would have before-dinner cocktails, either in the Crow's Nest or in the Ocean Bar. A waiter was at our table the minute we sat down, addressed us by name, and had short, pleasant conversations with us. They remembered us and how we liked our martinis. They provided us with peanuts and the hors d'oeuvres man would appear shortly after.
The teak deck chairs with cushions on the outside promenade deck we really enjoy but have found missing on several of the cruise ships we have been on. Holland America and the Volendam are a class act.
The disembarkation in Seward went very smooth. The six hour Kenai Fjord boat ride, before they took us to the Alasyeska Resort for two nights, was very enjoyable seeing whales, a large glacier and other sea life.
We will definitely cruise on Holland America again.