Noordam Cruise Review by joanieg1: Holland American shines
Overall Member Rating
Holland American shines
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
I had planned this cruise for many months and love the Holland America line.
This was my second cruise (first was Niew Amsterdam Caribbean cruise) with this line, and I highly recommend. Their service and excellent cuisine is very good. There were several special GOURMET barbeques on deck where the chefs created Mediterranean cuisine on the grill--it was exceptional!
There are daily digital workshops given twice a day, tea service, etc--all at no additional cost. They had a "Dancing with the Stars" competition which was different. Daily movies, behind the scenes tours never left you with a lack of activities.
I felt their tours, which I took 3, were well run and worth the price. I did go with a group on a private taxi in Monte Carlo which worked out great, if you meet some others on the cruise who want to go together for the day in a port.
My room stewards were always cheerful and very helpful with any requests. There was always fresh fruit and ice More each day, which they asked when I arrived if I would like.
The wait staff in the dining and other food venues were always quick and efficient. There was a food 'scare' when we first came onto the ship and the other passengers who'd been on the ship (it was a 30 day start to finish cruise)all had to leave while the crew thoroughly cleaned the ship. I don't know how they were able to do it so quickly, but they did. The crew continued to clean into the night. Their health and safety standards are excellent. Less
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Cabin review: HH Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)
Plenty of storage. Quiet location mid ship which I would always recommend.We had a 'partial view' which was totally blocked by a tender.Read All Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views) (HH) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
City tours are great to get a over all picture and decide what you want to see the next day as we were in port over night. After being on a private taxi the prior port, we got tired of the bus and took a cab back to ship.
Lots of time to shop and eat a wonderful lunch in Florence. Friendly guide and a perfect day. Spent a lot of $!
Beautiful port and gorgeous location. Took a private car with 4 others which we had for the entire day. The driver was not pre booked. We just went out of the port and there were many drivers there.
We toured around the entire area including Ez, Nice, Monte Carlo, and another small village. Very worth while and we drove about and toured for over 8.5 hours. He charged 450 euro for up to 6 people. Would recommend this for a group. Perfect especially if a mixed group like ours with elderly moms who couldn't walk that far nor go up a lot of stairs. The driver would meet us at the spot where we left him which made for such an easy day.
Our guide was a older gentleman who obviously loved doing the tour. Herculaneum is a smaller site than Pompeii and really worth seeing. One of the cruisers commented to me they'd gone to Pompeii and almost everything was closed off! Not the case here. Lots of terrific pictures of well maintained site.
When we arrived from Rome at the train station there was NO ONE to help transport luggage. There were two sets of stairs you needed to navigate (going up and down) before going out to taxi location. Horrible for travelers especially elderly who need help.
Taxi drivers very efficient. It's too far to walk to the port from the train station--worth the short taxi ride.
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