The Volendam, what shall I say.... It had been having a bit if a virus problem. The one prior to our sailing had quite a few sick people. When she arrived in Fort Lauderdale We could not board until she had been throughly disenfected. They took anyone who wanted to go, by bus, up to Los Olas for 2-3 hours. but we were on board by 3 p.m. Every thing was still on code "red" , no self service of any kind. Purell everywhere!!! By the time the crusie was over I wished I had shares in the Purell cocpany!! by the end of the 3rd day the restrictons were lifted because no one got sick. Have to say some things on the ship were a bit "tired" but to me is very elegant and I prefer this type of elegance to the wild designs that are on the Carnival ships. In MHO
she just oozed comfort and homeness. And the crew were so friendly that you just feel like you are in a friends home and you don't care that her table needs refurnishing!! There was some problems with the air conditoning definetly was not consistant. Our toilet had a flushing problem a few times but it eventually flushed. So no big deal. My favourite thing about this ship (and I understand maybe fleet wide) was that you could always get a lounge bed by the pool!!(Not so with Carnival) The ship just never seemed crowded, although every night at the evening's show there were lots of people there. Our room was spotless, it was cleaned twice a day, know this because of the vacuum cleaner marks on the carpet. (we're not dirty, messy people either!!) We prefer a lower deck simply for stability sake, and this trip was one where we did not envy any one on the upper decks!! We hardly knew it was rough in our room. But the wind only lasted for a couple of days. This was nothing compared to a Greek cruise we took where one night they locked all doors to the outside and there were "barf" bags taped everywhere. Not to many attended dinner that night!! Absoutly love Half Moon Cay. We did not take a tour just spent the day on the beach. Heavenly......
Wish that there was some how that the ship could arive in Aruba earlier than noon. We took an island excursion and did not have a lot of time after for shopping in town. Know we were there till like 10 p.m., but prefer to be on ship by dark. Loved Curacao,So pretty. took an island tour here as well and did have time after for shopping and looking around.
Have to say I do love the "days at sea" This cruise was the perfect combination of both ports of call and at sea days. Of course the highlight of the cruise was the Panama Canal. we did not take any tours here, but spent the trip in and the trip out on the deck. Never missed a thing. Costa Rica is one of my favourite places and enjoyed the bus/boat/train tour here. Embarcation and debarcation went so smooth that I couldn't believe it. Usually we leave "dragging" our feet not wanting to leave the ship but I know we will be comming back "home" again soon. Till then dear Volendam safe sailing.
Thank you for your great review, oreo. The next time you're in Ft. Lauderdale and have the time, do try to get up to Las Olas Boulevard. It's a great area for shopping of all sorts of art-deco, boutique type items. There are also bistros and cafes. The best way to see Ft. Lauderdale is by water taxi. There are 2 stops on the north side of the 17th street causeway on the intracoastal waterway. One by the port and one by the Hyatt Pier 66. Glad to hear your cruise was a resounding success. Can't wait to see what your next selection will be! Welcome back!
Penny3333, We did go to Los Olas, very pretty up there with the River Walk. And the water taxi we used it on our 2 day stay before the cruise and again on the 1 day stay after. Just love them. First day we just used it as a taxi, the last day we rode it both ways from start to finish, what a relaxing way to spend a few hours!!!! Happy sailing.....
Hi- New Zealanders here....we did the Panama and the Caribbean in 2006 We were on Serenade of the Seas and it didn't stop through the canal, so there were no excursions
A great experience though, going through the canal- we loved it
Judy and Barry
We are doing ship excursions in all our ports; a "Best Of. ." tour in Cartagena, and a trip to San Jose in Costa Rica.
Rick, I see you're going to Cartagena in the future. We'll be there in late Oct on the Island Princess. It'll be our second visit to Cartagena & I can recall our first tour (Princess) not being to exciting. We did a city tour which included the fort overlooking the city, rushed to a church & rushed to the old dungeons for shopping & then rushed to the center of the city where we couldn't take out time shopping. We're still looking around for something more exciting.
About Cartagena: It is well worth getting up early to see the skyline as you sail off the coast of Colombia and into port. It is very beautiful. DH & I enjoyed Panoramic Cartagena, Folkloric Show & Shopping tour. We were so glad we hadn't signed on to climb up to the fortress as it was a very hot day. We did climb a few steps to the top of the city walls for a nice view. The walking tour of the city wasn't long and did allow us time to pick up cold beers from a street vendor. The best part of the tour was the theatre. It was lovely. The dancing by young people was lively and enjoyable. We could have skipped the shopping part. You didn't miss anything at the shops.