Volendam - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)



Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 393 out of 500

Accommodation: 154 out of 200

Food: 265 out of 400

Service: 268 out of 400

Entertainment: 71 out of 100

Cruise: 278 out of 400

Overall Score: 1429 out of 2000

Volendam Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 61,214

Lifestyle: Premium

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9156515

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $300 million

Entered Service: Nov 1999

Registry: The Netherlands

Length (ft/m): 781.0/238.00

Beam (ft/m): 105.8/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 25.5/7.8

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (37,500kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 10

Total Crew: 561

Passengers (lower beds): 1,440

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 42.5

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5

Cabins (total): 720

Size Range (sq ft/m): 113.0-1,126.0/10.5-104.6

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 197

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 23

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 12

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2 (1 w/ sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 2

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/205

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


Dutch decor and heritage for mature-age cruisers

Overview. Volendam has the flow, artwork and comfortable feeling that repeat passengers will recognize from almost any ship in the Holland America Line (HAL) fleet.

The Ship. The ship’s name is taken from the fishing village of Volendam, north of Amsterdam. The hull is dark blue, in keeping with all HAL ships. Volendam has three main passenger stairways, which is much better from the viewpoints of safety and passenger flow. There is a glass dome-covered pool on the Lido Deck between the mast and the funnel. The main interior design theme is flowers, from the 17th to the 21st centuries. The interior focal point is a huge crystal sculpture, Caleido, in the three-deck-high atrium, by one of Italy’s leading contemporary glass artists, Luciano Vistosi. Health spa facilities include more treatment rooms.

In the casino bar, also known as the sports bar, a cinematic theme presents visions of Hollywood, and includes a collection of costumes, props, photos, and posters of movies and the actors who starred in them.

At the Lido Deck swimming pool, leaping dolphins are the focal point. The pool itself is also one deck higher than the Statendam-class ships, with the positive result being the fact that there is now direct access between the aft and midships pools (not so aboard the S-class ships).

There is a charge to use the washing machines and dryers in the self-service launderette, although it really should be included for the occupants of high-priced suites. Although room service is adequate, it remains a weak point.

Accommodation. There is one Penthouse Suite, and 28 suites, with the rest of the accommodation a mix of outside-view and interior cabins, and balcony cabins (‘mini-suites’). All standard interior and outside cabins are tastefully furnished, and have twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, but space is tight. The fully tiled bathrooms are small, and have small shower tubs, utilitarian toiletries cupboards, and exposed under-sink plumbing. There are 28 full Verandah Suites on Navigation Deck, and one Penthouse Suite. All suite occupants share a private Concierge Lounge. Strangely, there are no butlers for these suites. Each Verandah Suite has a separate bedroom, dressing, and living areas. Suite passengers get personal stationery, complimentary laundry and ironing, cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres and other goodies, as well as priority embarkation and disembarkation.

For the ultimate in accommodation and living space aboard this ship, choose the Penthouse Suite. It has a separate steward’s entrance, a large bedroom with king-size bed, separate living room with baby grand piano, and a dining room, dressing room, walk-in closet, butler’s pantry, and private balcony - though the balcony is no larger than that of any other suite. Other facilities include an audio-visual center with TV set and DVD player, wet bar with refrigerator, large bathroom with Jacuzzi tub, separate toilet with bidet, and a guest bathroom with toilet and washbasin.

Except for the Penthouse Suite, located forward on the starboard side, the bathrooms in suites and ‘mini-suites’ are a little disappointing - neither as spacious nor as opulent as one would expect. All outside-view suites and cabin bathrooms have a tub/shower while interior cabins have a shower only.

The 23 cabins for the mobility-limited have a roll-in shower enclosure for wheelchair users - none have bathtubs, no matter what the category.

Dining. There is one main dining room, and one specialty dining venue (dinner only). The 747-seat Rotterdam Dining Room is a traditional, grand room spread over two decks. Both open seating and fixed seating with assigned tables and times are available, while breakfast and lunch are open seating. Fine Rosenthal porcelain and good-quality cutlery are provided, but no fish knives. Tables are for two, four, six, or eight.

Other dining options. The casual-dress Marco Polo Restaurant seats 88, and there is no charge, although reservations are required. Created in the style of a California artists’ bistro, it provides Italian cuisine with a set menu and nightly specials. So you have more choice and an occasional change of venue; anyone booking suite-grade accommodation gets priority reservations. The Lido Buffet is a self-serve café for casual breakfasts and luncheons. The Lido Buffet is also open for casual dinners on each night except for the last one, in an open-seating arrangement. A set menu includes a choice of four entrées. Also, a Lido Deck poolside ‘Dive-In at the Terrace Grill’ features signature burgers, hot dogs and fries, and, on certain days, barbecues and other culinary treats may be featured.

Entertainment. The Frans Hals Showlounge spans two decks, with banquette seating on both main and upper levels. It is basically a well-designed room, but the ceiling is low and the sight lines from the balcony level are poor.

Spa/Fitness. The health spa facilities are decent, and include a gym with equipment, separate saunas and steam rooms, and several treatment rooms, each with a shower and toilet. There are practice tennis courts outdoors, as well as the traditional shuffleboard courts, jogging track, and a full walk-around teakwood promenade deck for strolling.

The Ocean Spa and onboard fitness classes are operated by Steiner, a specialist concession.