The MS Volendam is the only ship built prior to 2000 still sailing for Holland America Line. And despite her age, she still remains popular – a lot of cruisers enjoy her small-ship atmosphere, which tends to be quieter and more relaxing.
As an older ship, she does have some interesting accommodation quirks, including some rooms that you may find a little odd.
In this guide, I’ll tell you all you need to know about the various stateroom options available, and which ones you may wish to avoid when you book your cruise.
MS Volendam Cabin Types
There are three main cabin types you can choose from on MS Volendam. These each have subtypes of cabins within them…
- Inside – Large
- Ocean View – Large, Lanai, Partial Sea View Large, Fully Obstructed View Large, and Porthole Large
- Suites – Vista, Neptune or Pinnacle
Let’s take more of a look at each of these cabin types, so you can get an idea of which one is the best for you…
Interior Staterooms on MS Volendam
MS Volendam has just one type of Inside cabin that you can book:
|Large||2-4 people||Approx. 160-180 sq. ft.|
As they are with any cruise ship, Interior cabins are always going to be the cheapest option. They’re great if you’re on a budget and plan on spending most of your time outside of your cabin, exploring everything that MS Volendam has to offer.
While there is only one official classification of Inside Stateroom on MS Volendam (other ships in the fleet have both Standard and Large options), that doesn’t mean they’re all the same.
Some of the staterooms are Triples, with a sofa bed included for a third guest. And some are Quad rooms, which have a sofa bed and a pull-down bed, sleeping a maximum of four.
The Triple rooms are split across the first and second decks (Dolphin Deck and Main Deck) while the Quad rooms are all on the Main Deck. There are some Inside Staterooms on higher decks, but these are all for two people only.
I often like to cruise in the cheapest inside stateroom with my children, so these would be the rooms to go for on this ship – but if you’re looking for the cheapest family cruise, Holland America probably isn’t the cruise line for you. It’s a more premium option.
Ocean View Staterooms on MS Volendam
The Ocean View Staterooms on board MS Volendam are:
|Large||2-4 people||200-255 sq. ft.|
|Lanai||2 people||200-255 sq. ft.|
|Large with Partial Sea View||2 people||200-255 sq. ft.|
|Large with Fully Obstructed View||2 people||200-255 sq. ft.|
|Large with Porthole||2-4 people||200-255 sq. ft.|
The next step up from an Interior Stateroom, Ocean View Staterooms have a window that lets you see out over the ocean. This is the most popular type of cabin on board Volendam.
The window is nice and large in most of the staterooms, and lets a lot of bright, natural light into the room. It’s also handy if you just want to check what you should be wearing before you head out of your cabin for the day.
Take a look at this video to see what you can expect from a Sew View room:
A handful of Ocean View staterooms near the front of the ship on the Dolphin Deck and Main Deck, the lowest passenger decks on the ship, are a little different. These have smaller portholes instead. You won’t get much of a view but you will get some natural light.
And the Lanai rooms are different again. There are just 21 of these on the ship, and instead of a large window, they have sliding doors leading right onto the promenade that loops all the way round the ship.
Don’t worry, these have one-way glass so that you can see out, but nobody can see into your room from the promenade deck.
Obstructed view rooms
Some of the Ocean View staterooms have either a partially-obstructed or fully-obstructed view. There are two staterooms at the aft of the ship on the Navigation Deck where there’s a staircase leading right up to the Lido Deck which partially blocks the view from the windows. Other rooms on the Lower Promenade Deck have views partially or fully blocked by structural beams on the ship.
The rooms with restricted views, and the rooms with portholes, are cheaper, as you’d hope. They’re a good choice if you don’t care about the view but just want the natural light.
Again, there are some that sleep families, with options for three or four guests. And again, those for four people have a sofa bed and a Pullman bed. The Lanai rooms, the Partial Sea View rooms and the Porthole rooms do only sleep two guests though.
Suggested read: What is a Pullman bed on a cruise ship?
A note on Verandah Staterooms
One of the biggest differences between the R-Class ships like Volendam and Zaandam compared to the more modern ships in the Holland America fleet is a lack of Verandah Staterooms on these older ships.
That’s not to say there are no rooms with a balcony – but they are all classed as suites. In reality, a lot of the Vista Suites on MS Volendam are a similar size to a typical Verandah Stateroom on the more modern ships.
So if you were looking for a regular Verandah Stateroom, you’re unfortunately going to be disappointed on MS Volendam.
Suites on MS Volendam
The different types of Suite on MS Volendam are:
|Vista Suite||2-3 people||290 sq. ft.|
|Neptune Suite||2-4 people||390 sq. ft.|
|Pinnacle Suite||2-4 people||1,130 sq. ft.|
There are three types of suites on MS Volendam. She doesn’t have any Signature Suites like you would find on some of the more modern ships in the fleet. Signature Suites typically bridge the gap between Vista Suites and Neptune Suites.
Vista Suites are very much an entry-level into the suite class with Holland America – they’re essentially just a Balcony Stateroom that you would find on other ships, but with one or two additional benefits.
This video (complete with dramatic music!) shows what you can expect from a Vista Suite on this ship…
Neptune Suites are larger again, and they have a lot more additional benefits. Just a heads up if you were checking the deck plans yourself – Neptune Suites are marked as sleeping up to three guests, but their sofa beds are bigger and can accommodate two smaller guests. So you can comfortably fit four people in one.
The lone Pinnacle Suite on the ship is the best accommodation on board. It’s extremely spacious (with a Verandah that’s bigger than some of the actual staterooms on the ship) and has an oversized whirlpool bath too. Again, a sofa bed large enough for two guests is included if you want to enjoy this suite with your family.
If you like the idea of a suite but aren’t sure which to choose, then you should be sure to compare the different perks that you get with each. Take a look at my Holland America Line Suite Benefits Guide to find out more.
Special Cabin Types on MS Volendam
Beyond the standard selection of staterooms on MS Volendam, there are a few more choices you can make.
Almost all cruise ships have accessible stateroom and suite options – designed for guests with additional accessibility needs. And MS Volendam is no different.
On MS Volendam, the accessible rooms are split into two categories – Ambulatory Accessible, and Fully Accessible.
Ambulatory Accessible rooms are those which aren’t designed for wheelchair users, but that have small modifications to handle other accessibility needs for guests. On MS Volendam, these rooms include:
- 9 Ocean View Staterooms (including some with obstructed views)
- 3 Interior Staterooms
Fully Accessible rooms are suitable for wheelchair users, with widened doorways and a roll-in shower. These include:
- 1 Neptune Suite
- 4 Vista Suites
- 4 Ocean View Staterooms (including 2 with porthole views)
While there are some staterooms on MS Volendam that are suitable for 3 or 4 guests, the additional beds aren’t the biggest. They’re fine if you’re travelling with younger children, but for teenagers or other adults, they will be a little cramped.
But there is another option – there are connecting cabins that guests can book if they want two staterooms side-by-side. These have a doorway between them, which is normally locked. If your party has booked both rooms, you can ask for the door to be unlocked, giving all guests access to both rooms.
Connecting rooms are available for Ocean View Staterooms only on MS Volendam.
A note on Spa Rooms…
You might’ve heard about Spa cabins on Holland America ships – these are special cabins and suites that are situated close to the spa, and that have extra spa-themed features in the rooms themselves.
Unfortunately, those rooms aren’t available on R-Class ships. If you love the idea of a relaxing spa-retreat-themed cruise, consider booking one of the newer Holland America ships instead.
How To Choose The Best Room
There are a lot of different decisions that factor into picking the best cabin for your cruise, and as you can tell, there are many different stateroom options on MS Volendam to choose from too!
I’ve created a checklist to tell you what you should be looking for when you choose your room. All you need to do is pop your email address and name into the form below and it’ll be sent straight to your inbox.
MS Volendam Cabin Grades
When choosing the best room on Volendam, one thing that you’ll need to get your head around is the cabin grades.
Every cruise ship labels rooms with a cabin grade – this is usually one or two letters at the start of the room number which tell you what kind of room it is.
Different cruise lines have systems that vary slightly, but with Holland America, you just need to know what the letters stand for – that tells you the type of room. Then the digits afterwards will tell you what deck you are on, and specifically which room you’re in.
The cabins all have a four-digit number, and the first number tells you which deck you’re on.
- Dolphin Deck – 1800-1964
- Main Deck – 2500-2715
- Lower Promenade Deck – 3300-3431
- Verandah Deck – 6100-6228
- Navigation Deck – 7001-7088
The Promenade Deck, Upper Promenade Deck, Lido Deck and Sports Deck don’t have any staterooms to book.
Here’s a rundown of the different grades of cabins on MS Volendam:
|SA, SB||Neptune Suite|
|A, AA, B, BB, BC||Vista Suite|
|CA||Lanai Ocean View Stateroom with sliding doors to promenade|
|C, D, DA, DD, E, EE, F, FF||Ocean View Stateroom|
|G||Ocean View Stateroom – Porthole View|
|H||Ocean View Stateroom – Partially Obstructed View|
|HH||Ocean View Stateroom – Fully Obstructed View|
|I, J, K, L, M, MM, N||Interior Stateroom|
The Worst Cabins on MS Volendam
Now before we get to the best cabins on this ship, let’s take a look at some rooms that you may wish to avoid. It’s not that these are always bad, but depending on your circumstances, you may wish to steer clear of these rooms…
1. Cabins that could make you seasick
7058 to 7086
Some people are more prone to getting seasick than others, and most cruise passengers never need to worry about it. However, if you are one of the unlucky ones who suffers, there are certain staterooms you should avoid that can make things worse.
Those are mainly the staterooms towards the aft of the Navigation Deck. Basically, with seasickness you want to avoid being on higher decks, and you want to be as central as possible – the higher you are, and the further towards the front or rear of the ship, the more you’ll feel the motion.
The Navigation Deck hosts the Bridge right at the front of the ship, so it’s only really the aft you need to worry about.
If you do suffer from seasickness, choose a mid-ship cabin on a lower deck.
You might assume that, because MS Volendam is a smaller ship, it’s not a massive issue. Yet while it’s true you don’t have rooms on the 10th deck, you have to bear in mind that as a small ship, you will feel more of the motion everywhere on board.
2. Connecting Staterooms if you don’t use them
On any cruise ship, connecting staterooms are handy for families and larger groups. Even more so on MS Volendam, where there aren’t as many standard staterooms that sleep multiple guests.
But that’s not the reason to avoid booking them if you don’t need them. True, someone else might make better use of them, but there’s an even more practical reason why you should avoid them if you won’t be booking the adjacent room too.
Cruise ship staterooms are made from a metal frame, which offers a decent level of soundproofing. Cut a door into it – even a closed one – and that soundproofing is partially compromised.
The door may stay locked, but you’ll likely hear your neighbours, especially if they’re loud. Which also means they may hear you.
If you value your privacy, book a non-connecting room instead.
3. Obstructed Ocean View Staterooms
Any G, H or HH stateroom
This really depends on whether the view is important to you or if you just like the idea of having some natural light.
The G grade cabins have portholes, which really don’t offer much of a view at all, especially as they’re so much closer to the waterline.
H staterooms aren’t too bad – your view is only partially blocked by steel support beams. But HH rooms have a fully blocked view by those beams.
If you want a view without the cost of a suite, you’re best choosing any Ocean View cabin beginning with C, D, DA, DD, E, EE, F or FF instead.
4. Rooms directly below the swimming pools
7005 to 7029
If you’re someone who enjoys a lie-in every morning, you may wish to avoid the Neptune Suites directly below the Lido Deck.
You won’t hear the noise at night here. But what you may well hear is the sound of people grabbing a lounger first thing in the morning.
And not just reserving a lounger, but dragging it along the decked floor – and that is a sound that will carry right through your ceiling.
If you appreciate a lazy morning, and you don’t want early risers on the pool deck waking you up, book a room elsewhere on the ship.
5. Rooms right next to the lifts/elevators
1824 to 1829, 1881, 1883, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1915, 1917, 1919, 1926, 1928, 1930, 2544, 2546, 2547, 2549, 2618, 2620, 2621, 2622, 2623, 2625, 2650, 2652, 2654, 2655, 2657, 2659, 3325, 3326, 3331, 3332, 3363, 3364, 3366, 3389, 3391, 3394, 3396, 6115, 6117, 6119, 6120, 6122, 6124, 6165, 6167, 6169, 6170, 6172, 6174, 6197, 6199, 6201, 6202, 6204, 6206, 7056, 7057, 7058, 7059, 7060, 7061
Ideally, when choosing your cabin, you don’t want one that is opposite the elevator area.
It’s not super-noisy, but it does mean there’s a lot more foot traffic coming past your room – and that can generate a bit of volume, especially late at night.
Again, with the size of Volendam, it’s never a huge issue since there aren’t thousands of cabins, but things will be a little quieter slightly further from the elevators.
It’s less of an issue towards the front of the Navigation Deck – as this is where the Pinnacle Suite and Neptune Suites are located, there are fewer rooms and so less foot traffic.
6. Noisy interior cabins
M and MM cabins, 1923 to 1947
When browsing the reviews of MS Volendam and her almost-identical twin MS Zaandam, most of the feedback is generally really positive. But one recurring issue was the noise coming from the engines when you book an Interior room on the lowest deck.
Being close to the engines can be noisy, especially the closer you are to the centre of the ship – hence why Interior Staterooms tend to have more problems with it. It’s better to book a higher deck if you’re concerned about the noise or vibrations of the engines.
The Best Cabins on MS Volendam
So those are the worst cabins you could book on MS Volendam – depending on you and your travelling party. What about the best? Which are the real gems of the ship that are always worth your consideration? Let’s take a look…
1. Unobstructed Aft-View Staterooms
2702, 2713, 2715, 3429
The most sought-after views on most cruise ships are those over the wake at the aft of the ship. As you’re sailing you get to see the churning waters you leave behind, and you have the benefit of shelter as the ship moves in the opposite direction.
On MS Volendam those views aren’t as amazing simply because these rooms are on lower decks, but it’s still cool to look out over the wake, and they’re definitely preferable to other Ocean View staterooms on the same decks.
2. Pinnacle Suite
No list of the best accommodations on MS Volendam would be complete without a mention of the Pinnacle Suite, the largest suite on the ship by a significant distance.
As a guide, you could fit as many as six Interior Staterooms inside the Pinnacle Suite, and that’s just the indoor space – the balcony is also twice the size of the smaller Interior Staterooms too.
It’s not just about space though – the amenities and the perks you get for booking this suite are what really make it special. Relax in a whirlpool bath, enjoy a complimentary Mimosa each morning in your suite with breakfast, skip past lines almost everywhere on the ship – you’ll really get the VIP treatment.
It is, of course, extremely expensive compared to other staterooms and suites so it’s not for everyone. But if you have the budget available and want to treat yourself, it’s a fine choice.
3. Navigation Deck Aft Staterooms if you smoke
7050 to 7086
On most cruise ships these days, you are very limited in where you can smoke. It’s banned in your stateroom (including on the balcony) and in most public areas of the ship. On MS Volendam, there are two smoking areas – the casino, if you’re playing, and the Sea View Bar on Deck 8.
If you’re a smoker (which includes e-cigs), it can be inconvenient to trek halfway across the ship when you want to smoke. But there are some staterooms situated just one deck below the Sea View Bar, so it’s only a short walk to the staircase or the elevator and you’re in a comfortable, sheltered smoking space.
Don’t worry if you’re a non-smoker and you book one of these rooms – it doesn’t tend to drift down, since it is an open-air bar – the wind will carry the smoke away. That makes these rooms a good choice for smokers, but not a bad choice for non-smokers.
Unless you get seasick, as these are some of the cabins I’d suggest avoiding for that reason too.
What is the best deck on MS Volendam?
There is no simple answer for the best deck on MS Volendam. Typically most people prefer a deck with staterooms above and below, ideally higher up the ship. The only deck surrounded by staterooms above and below on Volendam is the Main Deck, which is low on the ship.
This makes it great for anyone who might suffer from seasickness, but it does hamper the view. You could argue that the Navigation Deck is the best deck, since this hosts the best suites on the ship.
But really, most people across any deck won’t have many problems at all with sound coming through the floor or ceiling and so are likely to be fine.
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The MS Volendam is definitely a unique cruise ship. While officially a ‘twin’ sister of MS Zaandam, it’s only Volendam that has the Lanai rooms opening directly onto the promenade.
And these rooms – just like all the others on the ship – are definitely dependent on your taste for accommodation. Yes, I’ve listed them as one of the ‘worst’ rooms, but it’s all opinion-based. You might love the idea of being able to get straight onto the promenade from your room.
The ship is old, and so not as modern as some others, but I wouldn’t say any of the rooms are bad. Most reviews are really positive and people love the small-ship atmosphere. And with this guide, you can just make sure you get the best choice of cabin for the kind of cruise you enjoy.
- Holland America Line Cruisers (Facebook)
- Cruise Critic Forums – Holland America
- TripAdvisor Reviews – MS Volendam
There are a couple of Facebook pages, rather than groups, for MS Volendam but they are small and have little activity. If you want to try Facebook for answers to your questions, I’d stick to the main Holland America group, which is very active.
NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!
Don’t miss the latest Holland America Line offers…
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