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Peter Gunn

Age: 62

Occupation:Manager

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Volendam

Sailing Date: 2011-09-4

Itinerary: Vancouver-Alaska

A very positive experience. The crew worked very hard to make the total experience as satisfying as possible. Having read previous reviews casting some doubt on the Volendam, we were very pleased with the cleanliness, service and general completeness of the ship.

Food was consistently of high quality, exceeding our expectations. The ship took a very firm line on preventing cross-infection. Hand sanitisers were fitted throughout all dining areas and no self-service was permitted for the first 48 hours. This caused no inconvenience and gave a degree of confidence in the safety of dining. The main dining room provided quality menus and quality food. The Lido was fine for breakfasts, lunch and snacks.

Our stateroom was sufficiently spacious to make the room suitable as a retreat when required. Comfy bed, clean bathroom, plenty of storage. i note that one reviewer complained about the TV programmes. Really? Why are you on a cruise? There was always something if you wanted it, but why would you?

Although there was a wide variety of on-board activities, we made only sparing use of these. Commendation for the range of reading material in the library, plenty of board games. Cooking demonstrations were enjoyable. Happy hour in the Crows Nest was a nightly highlight with friends, along with the trivia quizzes.

The excursions were somewhat of a mixture. Don't miss the White Horse and Yukon rail trip from Skagway - it is great. The Salmon Bake at Juneau was a bit indifferent, but we enjoyed the gold-panning. Sure, we all knew the pans were "salted" with flakes, but it was still fun. Also indifferent was the Best of Ketchikan by Land and Sea - enjoyable at the salmon cannery but disappointing at the Saxman Village experience and the boat trip.

Overall, a great week. A very satisfying combination of relaxation and experiences. Special commendation for the Captain and crew for the day in Glacier Bay . We were as close to the glaciers as possible and the way the ship was rotated at the glacier face to give everyone the best possible views was a great piece of seamanship.

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