This was an excellent cruise for seeing the Eastern Med. We have now seen pretty well every place we ever wanted to visit there.
We had two excellent hotels - the Tenuta Dell Argento during a two day stopover in Civitavecchia between cruises, and the Esans Hotel in Istanbul at the end of the cruise. Both were selected based on TripAdvisor reviews.
The Noordam had good cabins and facilities, although there were a few plumbing problems for the first day or two. The entertainment was mixed. Spectacular productions were being introduced, but some were more enjoyable than others despite outstanding talent, choreography, costumes and sets. I sometimes longed for more traditional or popular music. Some other acts were kind of lame, especially one poor comedian.
There were the normal activities, including classes, demonstrations, exercise, etc. HAL shore excursions were so terribly expensive that we did not use them, but found alternatives.
We used open dining and enjoyed meeting and conversing with other passengers - a good thing, as service in the dining room was very slow (and the coffee was terrible).
The ports of call were what really made this cruise. We have seen the Acropolis, climbed to the tomb inside the Great Pyramid, had a nighttime gondola ride in Venice and seen all kinds of scenic and historic sites. It really was great.