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Rotterdam v. Volendam for Transatlantic


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I know it difficult to compare ships in post-Covid times, especially for a ship that has never carried a passenger.  Nevertheless we are planning a Spring, 2022 transatlantic.  We are 4* Mariners and have done five transatlantics.  We are booked on the Rotterdam for the October 20, 2021 east to west crossing.

 

Currently the Volendam is scheduled to leave for Rotterdam on April 16 while the Rotterdam is scheduled to leave on April 17.  Both will arrive in Holland on May 1.  The Volendam is the oldest and smallest ship in HAL's fleet, while the Rotterdam is the newest and largest.  The Volendam offers Lanai cabins (which we dislike based on experiences on the Zaandam) and Vista Suites.  The least inexpensive Vista Suite on the Volendam is $3,199 p/p and there are no Veranda class cabins.  The Rotterdam has Veranda cabins on the 6th deck at a cost of $1,829 per person.  The Rotterdam cruise is one day shorter than the Volendam.  Is there anything from a passenger perspective that would justify a pricier cruise on an older ship?  Maybe HAL will start to discount the Volendam.  I heard the Volendam is on the block for possible sale, but it looks like the Volendam is scheduled for cruises into 2023.

 

Volendam vs. Rotterdam seems like a no brainer.  Am I missing something?

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37 minutes ago, WisRiver said:

Volendam vs. Rotterdam seems like a no brainer.  Am I missing something?

 

Volendam is more expensive as there are fewer balcony cabins (or as they are called on that class of ship Vista Suites) and it is a smaller ship.  That sailing is also a replacement sailing for those that were booked this year and transferred to Eurodam and cannot do the Eurodam sailing on October 30th 

 

I suspect that is why the balconies are gone. That may change once all the dust settles from the cancellations and transfers.

 

Yes, if you want new and shiny it’s a no brainer.

 

We tend to book based on itinerary so for us, it depends on the itinerary.

 

If you are happy with the Rotterdam itinerary, then I would go for it.  Lots of great amenities on that ship 🙂 

 

 

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The one thing I can think of from our transatlantics on the older, smaller ships ,  is how much I always enjoyed the wide open views walking complete laps on the full promenade decks closer to the sea.


I found the Lanai cabins to be slightly too cramped, but have always loved the Lower Promenade Deck rooms - we liked the ones adjacent to the doors leading outside to the “big veranda.”. So that was the trade off for me of not having a private balcony.

 

I love the Pinnacle Class ships but miss the vintage ocean liner feel of the older ships.

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Volendam is not for sale. That was a unsupported claim by somebody here, and debunked by a HAL employee.

 

I wouldn't call any choice like this a "no-brainer". People have different tastes in ships.

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In my experience with HAL larger, newer ships are cheaper.  I assume it has to do with economies of scale,  fuel efficiency and ability of smaller ships to visit smaller ports.  The rest is personal choice.  I like the smaller ships and faced the same choice for the spring TAs to the Med, I ended up choosing the Nieuw Statendam assuming, perhaps foolishly, that it would not be sailing full.

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2 hours ago, WisRiver said:

The least inexpensive Vista Suite on the Volendam is $3,199 p/p and there are no Veranda class cabins.  The Rotterdam has Veranda cabins on the 6th deck at a cost of $1,829 per person.  The Rotterdam cruise is one day shorter than the Volendam.  Is there anything from a passenger perspective that would justify a pricier cruise on an older ship?

You get double Mariner points for the Vista Suite.  Have you compared the price of a Vista to a Vista on each ship?

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We were on the Volendam August 2018 RT Alaska.  We really liked the size and it never seemed like a cattle call for getting off the ship or in the buffet areas.  Would sail again.  

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OP, your question is comparing apples and oranges.  

 

None of us have any direct knowledge of Rotterdam VII.  Anything that is said about that Class of ship is based on the two currently in service.  Many of us have direct knowledge of Volendam.  Based on my sole experience on Nieuw Statendam, the younger sister of Rotterdam VII, I would choose Volendam.  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Gail & Marty sailing away said:

Been on both I would pick the Rotterdam ( music walk ) 

Come come Marty, you haven’t been on the Rotterdam yet.

 

lack of a real promenade on R’dam would be an issue for us especially on a TA.

Edited by KirkNC
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Volendam pros: Wide promenade with teak loungers and expansive ocean views, larger standard interior/oceanview cabins with extensive storage, full library with large unobstructed oceanview windows, uncrowded public spaces with a relaxed elegant atmosphere, staff can take more time getting to know guests and deliver more personalized unhurried service, pool areas never crowded, elegant more traditional decor with extensive antiques and classic artwork.

 

Volendam cons: no standard balcony cabins, fewer entertainment and dining options, more likely to have a few bumps and blemishes due to age.


 

Rotterdam pros: Larger and more variety of public areas, entertainment options and dining choices, new ship with fewer bumps and blemishes, larger choice or room types with balcony, elegant modern decor with contemporary museum quality art, expansive thermal suite with hydrotherapy pool 

 

Rotterdam cons: Smaller interior/oceanview/standard balcony rooms with less storage, no seating area in most interior rooms, lack of views and seating on promenade deck, more passengers can lead to crowding and less personal service, no library.

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Never been on either ship but did a TA on her sister the Nieuw Statendam (fall 2019) and we've also been on the older sister the K'dam....

We are booked on the Rotterdam for the fall TA this October.....thus we are biased and spoiled for the pinnacle class ships.....

 

I would choose Rotterdam over Volendam....My reasons....as other's have also affirmed:

 

  • cost....We can afford a balcony on the Pinnacle class....too expensive on older ships
  • more stuff to do...all the usual HAL stuff plus more......music walk, dutch cafe, big hydro suite, Tamarind, movies on lido, lots of treadmills and on and on
  • space.....bigger ship and never had a crowd problem...easy to spread out...especially when heading to the upper sun/sports decks where no-one is around.
  • newer ship.....all the newest and best of everything....great shower!

Also, for us....no library is no problem (bring reader) and we enjoy walking the promenade deck....Rotterdam/pinnacle is for us but we understand YMMV.

 

 

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On 7/1/2021 at 1:26 PM, Caribbean Chris said:

The one thing I can think of from our transatlantics on the older, smaller ships ,  is how much I always enjoyed the wide open views walking complete laps on the full promenade decks closer to the sea.


I found the Lanai cabins to be slightly too cramped, but have always loved the Lower Promenade Deck rooms - we liked the ones adjacent to the doors leading outside to the “big veranda.”. So that was the trade off for me of not having a private balcony.

 

I love the Pinnacle Class ships but miss the vintage ocean liner feel of the older ships.

@Carribbean Chris,

Just wondering if you can hear the slamming of the doors as people go in and out?  I'm worried  about that.

 

Another question I wondered about the Volendam - does deck 2 allow access to a small outside area both aft and forward?

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11 minutes ago, trixiee said:

@Carribbean Chris,

Just wondering if you can hear the slamming of the doors as people go in and out?  I'm worried  about that.

 

Another question I wondered about the Volendam - does deck 2 allow access to a small outside area both aft and forward?


I don’t recall a lot of door slamming, although I am deaf so maybe the wrong one to ask 😎. I recall that the officers would rope off use of those doors in heavy winds. 
 

We haven’t sailed Volendam so I am also not a good source on the deck 2 access. However, Maasdam had a similar open space aft on the passenger deck one level below the Lower Promenade Deck which was marked as Crew Only. I recall this because our service dog’s relief station (a patch of grass) was set up there, shared with two guide dogs on board. We didn’t see anyone but crew and dogs/dog partners back there for two weeks.

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Depending where your sailing it can be pretty cool or warm near the promenade doors with them being opened by folks coming back and forth from the promenade.

 

Shouldn’t be much of a problem on a TA but Antarctic cruises one might sense pretty cool hall way.

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On 7/1/2021 at 8:23 PM, Gail & Marty sailing away said:

It is almost just like the Nieuw Statadam. Spent 45 days on

Isn't the new Rotterdam a Pinnacle class ship?  What class is the Nieuw Statendam?

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The Pinnacle ships are lovely and new, elegant and spacious, with many more offerings as you can see in the ship descriptions.   I've been on both Koningsdam and N.Statendam and look forward to Rotterdam in October.   The only crowding, but not terrible, was around the music venues in the evening but that is on all the ships.  Volendam seemed old and past its prime in 2018 Panama Canal.  It was an excellent cruise but I would choose a newer ship every time.  The only thing missing is the larger wrap around promenade.  Enjoy whichever you choose.

 

 

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We'd choose the Rotterdam and really enjoy the Pinnacle Class Ships with all the Specialty Dining, different lunch options on Lido and the Music Walk.  

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3 hours ago, aliaschief said:

Depending where your sailing it can be pretty cool or warm near the promenade doors with them being opened by folks coming back and forth from the promenade.

 

Shouldn’t be much of a problem on a TA but Antarctic cruises one might sense pretty cool hall way.

Yes, that's another concern... we're planning on the Artic Circle cruise, July '22.  While I want to be fairly close to the doors, I won't want to be the first cabin next to the doors. 

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