Cruise Review - Holland America Line's ms Volendam

Posted January 2nd, 2014

Cruiseabout's Marketing Manager, Monique, recently had the opportunity to cruise from Sydney on board Holland America Line's beautiful ms Volendam. She shares her thoughts with us here...

"As I walked aboard ms Volendam on a sunny Sydney day, ready to embark on a new adventure on a new ship I was yet to inspect, I was quite excited.  Holland America Line is renowned for its premium cruise status, so I knew I was in for a treat & I was sailing out of my favourite harbour, Sydney.

The Sydney view from my cabin

My first impression of the ms Volendam was that it was homely & I could understand why this cruise line is so popular with those cruisers 45 & wiser.   The ship had just cruised from Vancouver into Sydney & was about to embark, with a mix of Australian, American’s, Canadians & English, on a circumnavigation of Australia.

This ship boasts a strong floral theme with beautifully arranged fresh flowers on display throughout, and floral artwork on exhibition throughout the ship.  There is also an array of multi-cultural artwork & sculptures showcased throughout the ship, which made walking the hallways and public areas so much more exciting.

During my 2 nights on board I got to experience both of the speciality restaurants, with outstanding reviews for both.  On the first night, I ate at the Pinnacle Grill, the ship’s steak & seafood speciality restaurant. Because it was Sunday night, I opted for the simple Sunday night dinner of Mac & Cheese. However, it did have a 5 star flair - it was served with Lobster and chilli. It was definitely a different take on the standard Sunday night Mac & Cheese dish, but definitely worth a try!

The staff were an absolute highlight at the Pinnacle Grill, making everything from roses out of napkins for us to showing us tricks of how to balance a fork on a toothpick. I have since attempted this trick multiple times, and it is safe to do at home, but I still have not mastered it. Time & again I asked them to do it again for me so I could somehow pick up the trick, & again our waiter balanced a fork on a toothpick, but the trick seems to have eluded me!

Fork balancing trick on board ms Volendam

On the second night we enjoyed dinner in Canaletto Restaurant, and our taste buds were treated to a delightful array of Italian food in a more relaxed dining environment.

Our galley tour was an eye-opening experience with the Head Chef taking us through the engine room where all of the food is stored & prepared.  I was surprised to learn that they plan the meals & order food 3 months ahead of time for the next 3 months. That is one serious meal plan!  It was also interesting to learn about all the different ports that supplies are picked up from.  The pastry corner was one of particular interest to me, and I found some very talented bakers there, one of which had just completed the peacock cake. I would love to be taking a slice of this one!

The Peacock Cake

Lastly my impression of the rooms... I was located on deck 3 & could not view any room except for my own, however I did find my room quite spacious, with a full bathroom & bathtub in my cabin.  The only downside was the walking track was located outside of my room, however if you are an early riser, then this room is a fantastic location, and it had a very large window which allowed for a lot of natural light.

Overall Holland America Line’s staff on ms Volendam were extremely friendly and helpful, the feel of the ship was homely and comfortable, making it very easy to enjoy a long voyage.

Has Monique's experience piqued your interest in a Holland America Line cruise? Then call one of our Cruising Specialists on 1300 954 661 for more details.

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