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RWC Cruise on board the ms Volendam

01 October 2011

Staff

My husband and I were lucky enough to have almost a full 5 days (without our kids!) on board the luxurious ms Volendam recently. It was a chartered cruise for the RWC and so had lots of rugby themed events and decor on board. Even the various bars were decked out in various countries colours.

Staterooms

The Volendam is from Holland America Line and is a mid-sized ship, for about 1440 passengers so quite easy to get around. The staff were welcoming, friendly and efficient throughout our trip and our cabin steward knew our names by the end of the first day.

We were surprised by the relative spaciousness of our interior stateroom. There was a sofa to relax on as well as a vanity area and the bathroom was a good size too. It was my first time staying in an inside stateroom, and it did take a little getting used to not having a window to look out of but it didn’t feel too confined as I had imagined. The only real disadvantage was not being able to look outside to check the weather to prepare for the day ahead. (Good for sleep-in’s though!)

Dining Options and Activities

Now about the (glorious!) food... we enjoyed a good few meals at the Rotterdam Dining Room; an elegant double level a la carte dining room at the stern of the ship. As we were using the “As You Wish Dining” option we did not book for dinner, simply arrived and asked for a table, and we were seated straight away in all cases. This is great if you don’t want to be tied down to a set time every night, but the Traditional Dining at about 6pm & 8pm is also available if you prefer a schedule.

The Lido Restaurant was a more relaxed place to dine at almost any time of the day. Buffet and cooked to order items were on the menu with almost too much to choose from! The Terrace Grill alongside the Lido Pool offered Pizza and Mexican fare at lunchtime; great for something on the go.

We also enjoyed an Italian dinner at one of the speciality restaurants Canaletto one evening which was fabulous, with beautiful views over Mount Maunganui . But the absolute highlight was our last night at The Pinnacle Grill. They even send you an invitation letter to your cabin reminding you of your booking – not that you would want to miss it! A small intimate restaurant with silver cutlery, elegant crockery and refined decor, it’s something that you want to dress for dinner for. Our meal was absolutely excellent, from the “amuse bouche”, to the starter, main and gorgeous dessert! If we could do it all again, we probably would have eaten there every night – even if they did charge a surcharge.

The Crows Nest Bar offers some spectacular views, especially when departing a port, as its right at the bow of the ship. They also had a few games such as “Name that Tune” and also some rugby trivia quizzes as well as Wii competitions which was good for a laugh.

There were many other places to enjoy, from the shopping arcade and boutique to the Piano Bar, as well as events such as wine appreciation courses and cooking demonstrations at the Wajang Theatre and Culinary Arts Theatre, opposite the Pinnacle Grill. They even had a daily movie. The Health Spa had an extensive list of treatments and pampering and the Gym all the latest equipment (not that I used it!)

We also enjoyed some amazing shows at the hugely impressive double level Frans Hals Show Lounge; the best one being the Australian acrobatics act and comedy shows. What a perfect way to end dinner every night.

I can highly recommend this beautiful Holland America ship and look forward to my next cruise with them !

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