We have sailed on the Volendam many times, and in fact, she is our favorite ship. The Volendam has a wonderful ambiance, friendly staff and crew and excellent officers. I think that you would be very happy with this ship.
We did a 10 day on the Volendam last year. The interary, ports were fantastic. I thought the ship itself was okay for the price we paid, a very good value for a 10 day, but I did see wear and tear here and there on the ship. And, if no one else warned you, the average age of most people on this one must have been 78, no kidding, lots of older people which didn't bother us much, we enjoyed the maturity level, We were just surprised by the amount of older people, that's all. We were one of only about 10 other couples in our age group. Mind you there the passenger capacity is about 1,400 on this ship(Late 30's & early 40's) The Buffet lines are long, older people take thier time, you know, so have patience. The ship is a manageable size, didn't seem too large and it was always easy getting on and off the ship. If you're okay with that, then go for it. I'm not entirely sure if the older set is exclusive to this ship, cruise line or what? It was a very memorable cruise for us really, one of my favorite. I love the longer cruises and I think 10-12 days is just right. My wife usually books the cruise, this time, however, I did, and I booked an inside room to save money. I do not advise that. We had a bad sewage smell the first 3 days, actually all over the ship, but worse in our room. I'm used to balcony rooms, like the fresh air. The food was extreemly excellent!, very upscale dining in the main dining room. If by chance you are going to Barbados on your cruise on the Volendam, be sure to miss the beach excursion next to the rum factory! UGH! What an ugly beach! The excursion desk said it was a new excursion, that no one else complained except for us, (very hard to believe that, they must have said that to the others too!)We complained because the beach was really really ugly, situated between an ugly rum factory and a ship yard. We told them we expected a much prettier beach, after all we were in Barbados, right? We also spent half the day touring 2 plantation homes, very very nice tour. That tour also included an Orchid garden, which I didn't care too much for, but my wife liked it. We both thouroughly enjoyed the two plantation homes. I think I spent about $799 each for our inside room. Again, if you haven't gone already, take the balcony! ( I always reccommend the balcony after that ever so smelly 3 days)I loved the pool on the back of the ship, spent a lot of time there! Going on a 10 day on Sun Princess next, can't wait, goes to St. Lucia, Antiqua, Grenada, Martinique, St. Thomas and Princess Cay. That one seems like even a better value, about $1,200 for a balcony room! You'll love the Holland America Island, Half Moon Cay, that's the best cruise ship island I've been to so far, would seriously book a cruise if it visited there!, I heard Carnival now uses that island too. Absolute heaven on earth! Is the interary still the same as when we went? St.Thomas, St.Marteen, Barbados, Dominica & Half Moon Cay?
Scott. Thanks for the enlightening. We are in our early 50's, but like to have fun. We sailed on the Sun last year on a 10 day. Had an inside on the Riviera deck. Like that deck because it's the same deck as the pool. We like the pools on Princess because they are fresh water. Is it on the Volendam? That makes a big difference to us. Also, the average age on the Sun was probably 40ish. A few older, a few younger. We are looking at either booking the same Sun 10 day in October, or maybe trying the Caribbean Princess. Kind of spoiled with the 10 day. Went last year on the Sun and the year before on the Dawn. Those extra 3 days seem to make alot of difference. Went to Barbados, but did not do the beach. Took a tour of the island. Waited and did the beach at St. Thomas. Magen's Bay is the best. Also, did the beach at Isla Margarite. Not too much else to do there. There was a foul odor coming from some marshland behind the beach, but the water was nice. I guess our biggest decision will be the pool water on the Volendam. Let me know please.
We were on the Volendam in April and May of this year, and she was in great shape. The SOE had been completed, and we really enjoyed the new Explorations Cafe and Thermal Suite. I think that the time of year and the cruise length determines the age of the passengers. While on a longer cruise, such as our 18 day to Hawaii, the average age tended to be much older, and then on our Alaska portion, there were more younger people and a lot of children.
The Volendam has an excellent crew and staff, and is well run. I hope that you have a wonderful cruise on what ever ship you choose.
we are on the 12/3 Volendam cruise. We have cruised on her sister ship, the Zaandam, and absolutely loved it. It is just the right size. We are baby boomers and find that we are pretty much in the middle of the ages represented on all of our previous HAL cruises.