Just back from a 10 day voyage aboard the ms Noordam. The ship went from Ft. Lauderdale and back. We had stops in Half Moon Cay, Grand Turk, Dominican Republic, and the ABC Islands with 3 sea days. Over all my husband and I were pleased with the ship. We think the Holland ships are classy. Not to start off with a negative....BUT, the one negative we found (and we knew this going in) was people smoking. Our next door neighbors were 4 ladies that at all hours of the night and day had someone smoking and coughing on their balcony. We went with a SA just so that we could have a large balcony. Well, in that regard, our money was waisted because all we could do was look out the window.
Now, back to the ship. It was kept very clean, a little worn in spots, but clean. It is not a brand new ship, so we were not expecting everything to LOOK brand new. Our Captain was Robert Jan Kan, very nice guy, not a big talker but loves to be ahead of schedule and that's OK with us! We were only late leaving one port and that's because they had a tender problem, otherwise we left port early and arrived early.
Food was good and plenty of it. We ate in the Vista dining room on Thanksgiving and was very surprised with our dinner (I heard talk of processed turkey) our turkey tasted like it was cooked at home and we had all the trimming to boot. We ate in the Pinnacle Grill for breakfast for 8 mornings and twice for dinner and once for lunch. Every meal was great, food and service!!!
The staff could not have been nicer. Never did we pass someone in the hall without a friendly hello. Can't say much about the entertainment, did not go to any shows but did enjoy the music aboard. The Adagio Strings, Liz and the HAL cats, Bill Forrest at the piano and Guitarist Johnny Champagne.
Overall, we enjoyed the cruise but will never go on HAL again as long as they allow balcony smoking.