South America on Volendam
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, 30 nights San Diego to Lima and back to San Diego, hence visiting many new ports but without having to round Cape Horn. We don't go on holiday in February to be cold! Brits were in a real minority, 30 out of 1500 on board, the majority being from US and Canada escaping winter weather. I wasn't surprised by this as I had never seen the cruise marketed in the UK. The only real problem with this was the slanting of the shows and trivia questions towards North American interests! The other passengers were a very elderly bunch, average age 72 and I have never seen so many sticks, walkers wheelchairs etc. In some ways this can be a bit depressing but also you have to admire people still travelling in their 90s with disabilities. It was not a problem to us and we met many interesting people of all ages. Volendam is a good size to get around and get to know people. As always the staff and food are excellent.Holland America do a classy job if a little staid at times, but maybe catering to the clientele. There was never a problem getting a sunbed, again age profile being a factor and we liked the sliding roof over the indoor pool providing some shade or protection if windy. On sea days my husband joined in with a crowd playing pickleball, a kind if short tennis game and enjoyed it very much. We loved the itinerary, 5 days in Mexico, 5 Peru, then Equador , Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala, a good mix of ports and days at sea. Three days in Lima provided the chance to go to Machu Picchu for $2000! The weather was fabulous and the seas calm the whole time. In fact we would do it again!
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