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Volendam/AK Vista Suite cabin selection


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Hello, 

I'm new to HAL and planning an Inside Passage cruise out of Vancouver on the Volendam in Aug 2020.    Debating whether to select a cabin upfront or take our chances and let HAL choose.  Is it likely we will get least desirable (noisy, etc.) cabin if we let HAL choose ?     

 

Would you spend an extra $300pp to sail in June/July (rather than 3rd week of August) or use it to guarantee a cabin mid-ship which seems to be the most desirable?

 

Also has anyone experienced seasickness on this particular route ?  I've been sick on deep sea fishing boats and on a sailboat boat on Lake Michigan in choppy waters but not a cruise (have been on 3).   I've read that motion sickness isn't so much an issue on the IP cruises out of Vancouver 

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

 

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Rough seas, weather, none of it is predictable - I think you should sail whenever is most convenient for you, or when the price is right, and not worry about things you can't control and that nobody can truly advise you on because of their unpredictable nature. 

 

If you are prone to seasickness, midships deck 4 and up might be a tad better than other locations.  I'm not sure what you meant by "upfront"... there are no forward facing cabins on Volendam. If by upfront you meant forward part of the ship, I'm not sure why that's your preferred area, but if you want proximity to the spa or gym, then perhaps.  If you are considering a guarantee cabin because of price, I think you will probably be fine with it - your post subject is "vista suite" so apparently that's what you've chosen.  Some people like the ones all the way at the back - facing the wake of the ship - the best, others like midships, and others forward, as said. You will probably not spend as much time on your little balcony as you might think. You are going to want to go to deck 3 promenade deck, the SeaView pool aft area, the bow, and the upper decks to be outside and get a much more expansive vista view than you can get from your balcony, and also you'll have the advantage of hearing the naturalists from outside.  I have been cruising to Alaska for 15 years on HAL and stopped getting balcony cabins because I prefer Ocean View with a window closer to the water, a little more room in the cabin, lower price, and being out and about (unless I am splurging on a Netune Suite, which we do sometimes - THEN the huge balcony is a different story...!)

Edited by Moriah
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Thank you that is helpful;  yes, we decided to splurge on a balcony though it is quite a bit more.   

 

By "upfront" I wasn't referring to ship location;  I meant choosing a specific cabin when booking vs letting HAL choose for you 

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5 minutes ago, barefoot_girl said:

Thank you that is helpful;  yes, we decided to splurge on a balcony though it is quite a bit more.   

By "upfront" I wasn't referring to ship location;  I meant choosing a specific cabin when booking vs letting HAL choose for you 

 

Oh, sorry, yes, of course! So you were asking is it worth $300 to choose your cabin rather than get a guarantee. Gotcha.  Everybody is different and some people are very picky about their cabin location, and that's perfectly fine.  I'm not and would rather have more money for fun.  I also, as said, and not to beat a dead horse, would not consider a balcony an upgrade over and ocean view cabin (FOR ALASKA specifially - there are so many places to be outdoors on the ship that are better, and your Vista "Suite" will have a very small balcony that isn't really usable while underway (cold)).  Others don't agree.  You will love Volendam - enjoy your cruise!! (ask more questions if you have them of course)

Edited by Moriah
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We did this exact cruise the 3rd week in August 2011 on the Volendam.  I know it can be different but the only time we felt any motion was on the way back for a few hours after leaving Ketchikan and before ducking into the safety of the inside passage.  We loved it.  Our cabin was just one door down from the aft elevators on the deck below the promenade deck.

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42 minutes ago, Moriah said:

Rough seas, weather, none of it is predictable - I think you should sail whenever is most convenient for you, or when the price is right, and not worry about things you can't control and that nobody can truly advise you on because of their unpredictable nature. 

 

If you are prone to seasickness, midships deck 4 and up might be a tad better than other locations.  I'm not sure what you meant by "upfront"... there are no forward facing cabins on Volendam. If by upfront you meant forward part of the ship, I'm not sure why that's your preferred area, but if you want proximity to the spa or gym, then perhaps.  If you are considering a guarantee cabin because of price, I think you will probably be fine with it - your post subject is "vista suite" so apparently that's what you've chosen.  Some people like the ones all the way at the back - facing the wake of the ship - the best, others like midships, and others forward, as said. You will probably not spend as much time on your little balcony as you might think. You are going to want to go to deck 3 promenade deck, the SeaView pool aft area, the bow, and the upper decks to be outside and get a much more expansive vista view than you can get from your balcony, and also you'll have the advantage of hearing the naturalists from outside.  I have been cruising to Alaska for 15 years on HAL and stopped getting balcony cabins because I prefer Ocean View with a window closer to the water, a little more room in the cabin, lower price, and being out and about (unless I am splurging on a Netune Suite, which we do sometimes - THEN the huge balcony is a different story...!)

 

I agree about the weather. Alaska can be unpredictable. 

 

Volendam doesn't have aft-facing balconies. All the balconies face out the sides. I've been toward the front and also midships on other HAL ships these sides, but not in Alaska. When we were forward, we hit some rough weather, and the ship rode well. The Vista cabins are all the same, so unless you have a desire to be near some other part of the ship, like the spa or the dining room, a guarantee for a Vista isn't a big gamble. 

 

OP, I think the big question is how you feel about choosing your location. I'm too type A to wait to know, but that's just me. 

 

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  • On this ship I would not let HAL assign my Vista cabin - pay the extra to select your own.  IMO, there are too many Vista cabins I would avoid (such as those over the Mainstage Theater or under the Seaview pool.  I would consider the "B" cabins that are over the main dining room or the 4 cabins on Navigation Deck near the aft elevators and under the Lido dining area.

As always. be very aware of what public areas are above and below your cabin.

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