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portcbob

Which ship would you select for Alaska cruise??

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Hi all you Hal cruisers.

My wife and I are travelling from down under for our bucket list cruise to Alaska in may of 2020. We are going through our options at the moment and have the choice of these 3 ships. 

Volendam

koningsdam

amsterdam.

We have never cruised with Hal before and never been to Alaska.

Guys, which ship would you chose and why, or does it not matter at all??

Kind regards Bob and Christine 😁

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Most people will pick the ports/glaciers visited first.  Then are you planning to do a land/cruise combo or just cruise?  THEN start looking at ships.  

 

Also, is there a particular reason that you're looking at May?  

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Volendam and Amsterdam are R class ships -- mid size ships.  Both about 63,000 tons.

 

Koningsdam is a newer ship -- Pinnacle Class -- large -- about 100,000 tons.

 

Volendam begins her cruises on a Wednesday -- thus she visits on the weekends when there are fewer ships in port -- thus fewer people.  This is the cruise I would choose.

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We have cruised to Alaska five times and totally agree with Krazy Kruisers! The small ship cruising on the weekend is the way to go. There is nothing worse than Juneau with six ships in port! 

 

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Posted (edited)

Volendam, by a hair, between her and Koningsdam. Did you mean Amsterdam? I don't see her in AK in May of 2020...

 

If money is a concern, I can personally recommend Volendam's H (partially obstructed) mid-ship oceanview cabins on the Lower Promenade deck as great values. You are steps from the biggest balcony on the ship! the promenade that circles the entire ship. If money is less concerning, I myself would like to try one of the Lanai cabins on the same deck! We also stayed in a verandah cabin on her sister ship the Zaandam, with three adults, and we were amazed at the size and storage in that room. More like a Vista Suite on the K'dam, or Mini-suite on other lines.

 

We have done this very itinerary. We took six family members and all loved it! Totem Bight in Ketchikan, whale watching in Juneau (with a visit to Mendenhall Glacier), and train-up-bus-back in Skagway. I chose the shore excursions to give the five who had never been to Alaska, as much of a taste of what a trip all the way north to Seward with time there, would have given. I think I did pretty good!

 

Volendam is a well-maintained 20-yr old ship, classic in decor and experience. Koningsdam is three years old, new and shinier. Google Images for both and decide if that would make a difference to you.

Edited by crystalspin

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Posted (edited)

Amsterdam will not be sailing the 14 day round trip cruise to Alaska in 2020, she instead will be on the North American East Coast doing Canada & New England sailings.  Maasdam will take over the 14 day sailings, and they will be roundtrip Vancouver next year (as opposed to Seattle the last few years)

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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48 minutes ago, portcbob said:

Hi all you Hal cruisers.

My wife and I are travelling from down under for our bucket list cruise to Alaska in may of 2020. We are going through our options at the moment and have the choice of these 3 ships. 

Volendam

koningsdam

amsterdam.

We have never cruised with Hal before and never been to Alaska.

Guys, which ship would you chose and why, or does it not matter at all??

Kind regards Bob and Christine 😁

 

If you have never sailed HAL, I recommend going with the much newer Koningsdam.  

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37 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Volendam and Amsterdam are R class ships -- mid size ships.  Both about 63,000 tons.

 

Koningsdam is a newer ship -- Pinnacle Class -- large -- about 100,000 tons.

 

Volendam begins her cruises on a Wednesday -- thus she visits on the weekends when there are fewer ships in port -- thus fewer people.  This is the cruise I would choose.

KK said it all👍👍👍👍👍

Volendam for sure!

Denise😊

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Posted (edited)

I think a lot depends on one's "cruising personality".  For those who want a wider array of evening entertainment and dining options on a vessel with more modern decor then Konigsdam would fit the bill.  If one prefers a quieter, more classic cruising ambiance with fewer passengers, larger standard cabins, and more personalized service then Volendam would be perfect.

 

That said I agree that the fewer total # of ships in port on a given day can definitely make for a far superior experience, so for that reason might lean toward the Volendam for this particular trip.

Edited by AtlantaCruiser72

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IMHO the itinerary is at least as important as the ship.  Do they all go to the same ports?  Glacier Bay?

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Thanks guys for your responses. Slightly favouring volendam at this stage. I believe all 3 ships visit glacier bay. We are trying to package this cruise with the right Canadian Rockies land tour at the moment.

once again, thank you so much.

Cheers Bob 👍

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We have cruised to Alaska on the Oosterdam (7 days) and the Amsterdam (14 days) and were quite satisfied with ship and cruise.  Which ever Holland America ship you will choose, I believe you will be quite satisfied.

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1 hour ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Volendam and Amsterdam are R class ships -- mid size ships.  Both about 63,000 tons.

 

Koningsdam is a newer ship -- Pinnacle Class -- large -- about 100,000 tons.

 

Volendam begins her cruises on a Wednesday -- thus she visits on the weekends when there are fewer ships in port -- thus fewer people.  This is the cruise I would choose.

 

I agree - Volendam!  Small enough to really feel like you are out in the nature that is Alaska.  Also, most Volendam itineraries include the possibility of getting off the ship at sea and boarding a small boat for an excursion to Tracy Arm.  After 15 Alaska cruises on 7 different ships, that excursion remains the highlight of all of those experiences.  Amsterdam would be my second choice, but I think she will be on the opposite coast next year.  So if not Volendam, Maasdam is a nice smallish ship with a wonderful educational program that brings you even more in depth info on the itinerary.  I personally would not choose a ship larger than a Vista class for Alaska, but that's just me.  I want to be out on deck and feeling the fresh crisp air and watching for whales.

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Two of our four cruises to Alaska....in May.....were on the Volendam.....KK is right.....:)

 

I enjoyed the Koningsdam on a TA to Rome....but it's much larger and I wouldn't want to take it in Alaska....

 

May is a great month.....we had great weather....and planning another cruise there again next May......!!!

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I've been advising friends and family from Seattle to avoid at all costs any itinerary that coincides with the gigantic new Norwegian  Bliss and Joy.  Think they mostly leave on the weekend. Our Alaska cruise with HAL last year was a Monday departure and it was perfect.  We were never in port with the insanity of mega ships in the small ports!  After four cruises finally got to get into and enjoy the Red Dog Saloon!  Just a note.

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Our first cruise was to Alaska on Volendam and we have sailed on her many times since. I don't think you would regret choosing her.

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We have enjoyed Volendam to Alaska, nice comfortable size and good all around outside deck for viewing on Lower Promenade deck, close to the water for great viewing of ice and wildlife. and more open decks up top.

 

K'dam is not as good for Alaska in my opinion because the outside all around deck is mostly obstructed by lifeboats, and the up top outside viewing is limited in areas by the private area (I forget what's it called... Retreat?)   

 

If you take a room on Lower Promenade deck on Volendam avoid the mid-aft room under the galley, under teh dining area is fine.  Maureen

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Can anyone please recommend a great oceanview cabin near midship on the volendam??.

Thanks Bob 

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I would choose Main over Dolphin and avoid any with a connecting door, not for noise but because the furniture is often squeezed in to make room for the door. At least on Lower Promenade I have seen this.

 

Since they are otherwise equal (none is greater than the rest), I would pick one a few doors away from the elevator, just in case the "dings" penetrate the door/wall.

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Main or Dolphin deck midships ocean view is my cabin of choice when I can't do a Neptune Suite on the smaller ships. I prefer them over any balcony cabin.  A bit larger, and a feeling of being closer to the water.  Good choice! Since they are essentially all identical, and you've already identified midships as your desired location, I would just add that as close to the stairs/elevators as possible will make your life more convenient. I've actually never been heard elevator noises in cabins close to them on HAL. I always try for the first cabin one sees when getting off the elevator to offset my tendency to forget which way is port and which is starboard LOL, fewer steps to backtrack when I make a mistake! :) Main deck is very, very quiet. I agree with crystalspin on that: Main over Dolphin (but this isn't critical), and avoid cabin with connecting door.

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2 hours ago, crystalspin said:

I would choose Main over Dolphin and avoid any with a connecting door, not for noise but because the furniture is often squeezed in to make room for the door. At least on Lower Promenade I have seen this.

 

Are you perhaps referring to the lanai cabins? I agree they seem small for their amount of furniture. And I think the OV cabins on Lower Promenade are actually a tad smaller than those on Main and Dolphin, but I don't think there are any differences between the two lower decks' OV cabins. 

 

Also, for Bob, I forgot to mention that on Volendam I believe there are a few porthole cabins (as opposed to windows), but since you've already said you are looking midships, you would be "safe" from those.

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Our first trip to Alaska was on the Volendam 15 years ago and we loved it. I'm not sure if things have changed but we had a balcony and spent most of our outside viewing on one of the two rear decks with lounge chairs. Also back then the Volendam had laundry rooms so it was easy to wash a load of clothes. The newer HAL ships don't have laundry rooms. 

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We were on the MS Amsterdam for our Alaskan cruise and loved it because the ship was smaller.  The ship was able to get  real close to the Hubbard glacier.   For Alaska chose a smaller ship.  Go with the Volendam!

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18 hours ago, Gsel said:

We have cruised to Alaska five times and totally agree with Krazy Kruisers! The small ship cruising on the weekend is the way to go. There is nothing worse than Juneau with six ships in port! 

 

Ketchikan with five! Our Volendam cruise in May was in Ketchikan with 5 ships and it was a miserable experience. 

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7 hours ago, Moriah said:

Are you perhaps referring to the lanai cabins? I agree they seem small for their amount of furniture. And I think the OV cabins on Lower Promenade are actually a tad smaller than those on Main and Dolphin, but I don't think there are any differences between the two lower decks' OV cabins. 

Not the Lanai's -- in the connecting OV's on lower promenade, the sofa is IN FRONT OF the door. If you wanted to use the door, you have to place the sofa (loveseat) on the short wall, i.e. the wall the bathroom is on the other side of, and it is a tight fit. So yes, probably a bit smaller but location-location-location!

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