Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
lovely_serenity

"Live from" ms Volendam to Alaska! My First HAL Experience

Recommended Posts

Lovely_serenity, thank you SO much for your beautifully detailed review! It's what tipped Mom and me over to choosing the Volendam over the Zuiderdam this July.

 

cbr663 - we're on the Volendam to Alaska July 9th. How was she? Things you loved?

 

Hi sparklplenty, :)

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to read it! && it was my pleasure! I'm very happy to hear that I indirectly got to take part in the planning of your soon-to-be fabulous vacation! (: I'm sure you are going to love it as much as I did. Alaska in the summer is just gorgeous (well.. as long as the rain clouds stay away ^^") We had a marvelous time on it!

 

Things I loved? Oh wow this is going to take a while LOL. Well to start off, I'm just going to pour out everything my brain can think of:

 

- Afternoon teas (themed ones + regular ones) I suggest you attend every themed one and at least one regular one. They're all different!

- their sports facilities aren't bad too

- They display their dinner options in the Lido so we get a chance to see what there is to eat tonight before we even get to the dining room (we sometimes even eat some LOL)

- Hard ice cream with waffle cones with flavours that change every few hours (BEST ICE CREAM I'VE EVER HAD ON A CRUISE SHIP)

- Indonesian themed buffet that wasn't announced or promoted, we just happened upon it ^^~

- Game room with giant chess

- That we have access to the bow of the ship (unlike some other ships I've been on) on Glacier day!

 

That's all I can think of for now, but I'll spout some more if I think of some more! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the future we hope you made travel photo-journalism your career. You are fantastic;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you Sarah. Just finish reading this post. Love it. Your photos shot are amazing. Can't wait to see Alaska our turn this August.

 

My daughter is 16 and she has been cruising with us ever since when she was 4 and my son is 18 now and he is going to U this September so therefore, he won't be joining us for our next year March Break cruise. Both of my teenagers love the food on cruise, eat whenever they want and choose what they want. I am sure my daughter and you can have a very long talk regarding to cruising.

 

We all love cruising.

 

Thank you very much, and thank you for taking the time to read my report! :)

 

Haha, I can relate with your children ^^, your son especially, as I am entering university in September as well! (And my parents are going to go on another cruise without me in the fall .___. sigh) && I'm sure we'd be talking for days LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you for continuing to post on your review. I like your writing style, so I'm interested in your review of Disney Wonder in Alaska. In three years we will be doing a 3 generation family reunion on Wonder. We were on Wonder in 2005 and the youngest was a baby. Some of the family is gone now, but we've added other family members.

 

It was my pleasure (: & I will most definitely be posting a report for my upcoming cruise. It will be my second time on the Wonder! We will be having a family reunion on the Wonder this August as well! It will also be consisting of 3 generations of family :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks so much for your excellent review and photos!

 

We are trying to decide between the VOLENDAM and the NOORDAM for our July, 2015 cruise. Both depart from Vancouver.

 

So, I do have some questions if you don't mind.

 

1. Have you sailed on the NOORDAM? I would live a comparison.

 

2. We will be with our 17 year old son. We have done Caribbean cruises and he loves the pool and hot tub - isn't there a retractable roof? If so are the pool and hot tub areas warm enough to use on sea days?

 

3. Others in shore excursions and eating what is there for a 17 year old boy to do?

 

Once again, thanks

No problem! :) && thanks for reading!

 

In regards to your questions:

 

1.) Unfortunately, I have not been on the Noordam before ^^" sorry, I can't provide a comparison

 

2.) In Alaska, they leave the retractable roof pretty much closed the entire time, so the Lido poolside area is quite warm-ish. I saw several people swimming during our cruise! (I also saw some pretty brave people swimming outside on glacier day LOL). Anyways, from what I could see, several people found the temperatue comfortabel enough to swim in!

 

3.) My suggested activities for a 17 year old boy: Teen club, basketball & swimming are my main recommendations

 

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask! I'll answer to the best of my abilities! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In the future we hope you made travel photo-journalism your career. You are fantastic;)

 

Aw, haha thank you! (: Ideally, that would be my life LOL, somehow able to pay for all the vacations I want and make travel photo journalism my profession ;) sigh, that's the dream ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Does anyone have any questions or inquiries? I'd be happy to help! :)

 

Sarah, forgive my laziness in not scrolling back through every post to find the answer....very early in the review you mention that the crew wasn't as friendly as they should be and you would get to the explanation later...could you give me some examples?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarah, forgive my laziness in not scrolling back through every post to find the answer....very early in the review you mention that the crew wasn't as friendly as they should be and you would get to the explanation later...could you give me some examples?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Norris

 

Ahh right! It appeared to be earlier in the cruise that I noticed the somewhat somber vibe around the ship. In the stateroom hallways for example, the staff kind of looked at you like they were dead tired and in a bad mood. Many didn't greet you, and some only greeted you if you did it first. It wasn't until later in the cruise that we found the staff had bece somewhat perkier. I don't know, initially, the staff on the ship just seemed excessively groggy and unhappy. Our guess was that they had just dealt with a ship full of Noro when they were coming from Japan. That was why everyone was on a 48 hour quaratine-like "don't touch anything" system. It seemed to be mostly the stateroom attendants (besides ours) that were kind of like =_= the whole time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ahh right! It appeared to be earlier in the cruise that I noticed the somewhat somber vibe around the ship. In the stateroom hallways for example, the staff kind of looked at you like they were dead tired and in a bad mood. Many didn't greet you, and some only greeted you if you did it first. It wasn't until later in the cruise that we found the staff had bece somewhat perkier. I don't know, initially, the staff on the ship just seemed excessively groggy and unhappy. Our guess was that they had just dealt with a ship full of Noro when they were coming from Japan. That was why everyone was on a 48 hour quaratine-like "don't touch anything" system. It seemed to be mostly the stateroom attendants (besides ours) that were kind of like =_= the whole time.

 

Sarah-thanks for the clarification. It's not what I would want to see as I start my cruise and not something I have experienced yet on Princess.

 

Thanks again.

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Sarah,

 

Finally found someone closer to my age who has gone on Holland! I read through the first 10 or so pages of this report and I'd just like to ask, how did you entertain yourself? I might be going on a Holland cruise to Hawaii, my first cruise, which has FIVE sea days each way. From everything I've seen, Holland is geared towards seniors mostly, so I'm trying to figure out how I could keep myself entertained for that long between land. Basically just asking what activities you found worthwhile at your age and what you'd recommend onboard. (I'm 17 for reference) Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarah-thanks for the clarification. It's not what I would want to see as I start my cruise and not something I have experienced yet on Princess.

 

Thanks again.

 

Norris

 

Norris,

 

No problem! (: Indeed, I think it was just bad luck. Hopefully it won't happen again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Sarah,

 

Finally found someone closer to my age who has gone on Holland! I read through the first 10 or so pages of this report and I'd just like to ask, how did you entertain yourself? I might be going on a Holland cruise to Hawaii, my first cruise, which has FIVE sea days each way. From everything I've seen, Holland is geared towards seniors mostly, so I'm trying to figure out how I could keep myself entertained for that long between land. Basically just asking what activities you found worthwhile at your age and what you'd recommend onboard. (I'm 17 for reference) Thanks!

 

Hi! :)

 

Fro what I could see, there was actually a pretty good mix of ages (but not too many young adults or teenaged). Do you have any siblings? Or perhaps you can go to the teen club and try to find yourself some companions to occupy yourself with! Typically everything is more fun when you have someone to do them with. There was a basketball court and a tennis court, as well as shuffleboard. The were also ping pont tables. The buffet is open almost all the time and there were a few pools if you'd like to go swimming! There was also a lot of live music on board which was nice when you wanted to wind down. You could also see what movies are playing, we watched a James Bond one! Enjoy some complimentary popcorn (: Besides that, be sure to check out what's going on throughout the day according to the Daily Explorer!

 

I hope I was helpful! ^^

Edited by lovely_serenity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The crew on the Oosterdam last week couldn't have been warmer or friendlier. Everyone down to the room stewards, the dining room stewards, and the "rail polishers" always had a good word and a warm smile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The crew on the Oosterdam last week couldn't have been warmer or friendlier. Everyone down to the room stewards, the dining room stewards, and the "rail polishers" always had a good word and a warm smile.

 

That's good to hear (: Thankfully, the staff did get more cheerful later in the cruise. There were many staff members on the upper decks that were very warm and friendly! I guess some of the staff were just having a bad day?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi! :)

 

Fro what I could see, there was actually a pretty good mix of ages (but not too many young adults or teenaged). Do you have any siblings? Or perhaps you can go to the teen club and try to find yourself some companions to occupy yourself with! Typically everything is more fun when you have someone to do them with. There was a basketball court and a tennis court, as well as shuffleboard. The were also ping pont tables. The buffet is open almost all the time and there were a few pools if you'd like to go swimming! There was also a lot of live music on board which was nice when you wanted to wind down. You could also see what movies are playing, we watched a James Bond one! Enjoy some complimentary popcorn (: Besides that, be sure to check out what's going on throughout the day according to the Daily Explorer!

 

I hope I was helpful! ^^

 

Hi!

 

Did you check out the teen club at all on your trip? Was anyone even there? I'd love to find some friends on the ship since I don't have siblings but I'm very doubtful since it will be during school time and it's Holland... :(

 

Btw, saw in your signature you're going on the Disney Wonder this month! SO SO SO SO SO jealous!!! That's what I would LOVE to go on but this is my grandmother's cruise and I'm just along for the ride. I'd love to see you post a trip report like this one for your Wonder cruise after!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah - we are taking our very first cruise ( hubby, 18 y.o. son, and I) on the Volendam this month, and I have devoured every morsel of your wonderfully written review! Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

Edited by soundcruiser
Hit "enter" by mistake!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The crew on the Oosterdam last week couldn't have been warmer or friendlier. Everyone down to the room stewards, the dining room stewards, and the "rail polishers" always had a good word and a warm smile.

 

This is good to hear. It's how it should be in the service industry.

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah- I see from your signature that you sailed on a teensy-weensy voyage on my favorite ship, Diamond Princess, back in 2006 when you were....9 years old?

 

If you want a memory jogger I have a review of her in my signature below, as well as some other great Princess ships. She is, alas, no longer working in America and is based in the Far East/Australia year round. Take a look.

 

The reviews are long but I know that won't put you off! LOL.

 

Norris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi!

 

Did you check out the teen club at all on your trip? Was anyone even there? I'd love to find some friends on the ship since I don't have siblings but I'm very doubtful since it will be during school time and it's Holland... :(

 

Btw, saw in your signature you're going on the Disney Wonder this month! SO SO SO SO SO jealous!!! That's what I would LOVE to go on but this is my grandmother's cruise and I'm just along for the ride. I'd love to see you post a trip report like this one for your Wonder cruise after!

 

Hi!

 

I actually didn't bother with the teen club this time around because I has both of my siblings on board to entertain me ^^ but it's always worth a shot, right?

 

Haha I'm really looking forward to it :) I still hope you have a great time on your vacation! && I will definitely post a trip report for my upcoming cruise! (:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarah - we are taking our very first cruise ( hubby, 18 y.o. son, and I) on the Volendam this month, and I have devoured every morsel of your wonderfully written review! Thanks so much for taking the time to share.

 

Have a wonderful time on your cruise! :) & thank you for taking the time to read my trip report! && it was my please (:

 

P.S. Remember to come back here to tell me about how it went! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Volendam is a fine ship. I have sailed her many times since Nov., 2001.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sarah- I see from your signature that you sailed on a teensy-weensy voyage on my favorite ship, Diamond Princess, back in 2006 when you were....9 years old?

 

If you want a memory jogger I have a review of her in my signature below, as well as some other great Princess ships. She is, alas, no longer working in America and is based in the Far East/Australia year round. Take a look.

 

The reviews are long but I know that won't put you off! LOL.

 

Norris

 

Hi Norris!

 

LOL Yes, I remember that San Francisco voyage all too well (: I do however, have a somewhat foggy memory of what the ship was like! I will definitely take a look at it (right now! :D) Thanks for showing me!

 

LOL I don't know if I have even seen reviews as long as mine, besides Gambee's (: (I actually started making them after reading his!)

 

Thanks! :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Guys, if you're interested, please go take a look at my newest trip report! It's the Disney Wonder to Alaska! Go check it out HERE!

Edited by lovely_serenity

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sarah, just wanted to tell you that I'll be reading your entire report again since it looks like we will be doing the identical itinerary on the Volendam next August!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...