Review of ms Volendam deck 9 (Sports-Kids-Teens)
Crow’s Nest (capacity 220 seats) is a fore-located indoor observation lounge with panoramic windows (providing 270-degree views), a large dance floor, a grand piano and is served by its own bar. The lounge is also used for pre-scheduled events by the Holland America Line's enrichment program, which includes daily dance classes, trivia games, playing cards and board games, karaoke sessions, HAL Cats (8-piece party band) performances, live grand piano performances (in the afternoons and evenings). Crow’s Nest becomes a disco (dance club) at night, with live DJ music and dance contests.
Following the ship's drydock 2016 refurbishment, the Crow’s Nest bar lounge doubles as "Explorations Central". The venue's programming additionally features multimedia series of interactive videos and guides related to the visited destinations part of the current cruise itinerary program. At the Explorations Central are provided digital media (videos, ebooks, maps) which passengers can access via Wi-Fi during the current voyage, but also online (before and after the voyage). Explorations Central also has paperback books and paper maps for all the visited destinations and ports of call.
Sliding Dome Cover is a retractable glass roof (over the midship pool area on Lido Deck/deck 8) with mounted solar panels on top.
The ship has a full-size Tennis Court and Basketball Court, plus a Shuffleboard/deck games area.
Since 2023, all HAL ships have pickleball courts (installed on the top deck) operated via an exclusive partnership with PPA-Professional Pickleball Association. HAL also offers complimentary beginner lessons (led by onboard instructors), sells branded pickleball starter kits (at the ship's retail shops) and Play Pickleball tutorial videos are included in the cabin TV programming.
Club HAL Lounge (kids club and play area, bookings are required) has two separate rooms - for children 3-7 yo and for 8-12 yo. Complimentary youth programming with supervised activities is provided. Club HAL is open between 9 am-11 pm with some pauses, depending on the ship's current location (at port or at sea).
The Loft Lounge (teens-only club area for 13-17 yo, open 10 am-12 pm, breaks between 12-2 pm and 6-8 pm) has a Video Games Arcade, PlayStations, Internet computers, big TVs, tennis tables. The teen lounge hosts fun activities like teen discos, karaoke, interactive/console gaming, watching movies, sports contests, themed parties. A supervised youth program is also provided complimentary.
Along with all outdoor activities, the Sports Deck also provides some of the ship’s best vantage points to make photos and enjoy the port- and sea views along the cruise route.