This was our fourth cruise with Holland America and it was extremely disappointing.
1) We were told we were upgraded to cabin 8026. If this was an upgrade, I would truly hate to think what our other cabin would have been. When I made our reservations, I specifically asked for a midship verandah cabin as my husband has difficulty with long walks. Well we ended up on the 8th floor, very close to the bow of the ship. Hardly close to being midship.
2) When we boarded in Barcelona it was quite warm. We went to our cabin to discover the air conditioning wasn't working. We made a call to the front desk and they did send someone up. They asked us to give it 4 hours as the a/c had been turned off. Four hours later we called again to tell them it was no better and probably worse. They sent someone up with a digital thermometer and agreed it was no better. We asked to change cabins and were told none were available. They sent a fan and told us to keep our drapes drawn. My response was that I paid for a verandah to see it, not close it off! For 11 days we had a noisy fan acting as our a/c. We called repeatedly and they did send an engineer and he made an adjustment that helped a slight bit. I will say the Front Desk staff were very pleasant and understanding, but they couldn't do anything to fix the problem.
3) The next major problem was the hot water in the bathroom. It was scalding hot! You would adjust it to a moderate temperature and never knew when it would go back to scalding. When you took a shower, you hoped you wouldn't be boiled before you could finish. This is a very dangerous situation. Nothing was done. I was told that it was a problem while in port, but since most days we were in port, it was a real problem.
4) A very strong mildew/mold smell in the bathroom. I had the room stewards pour bleach down the drain and it did help for a day or so, but kept coming back. Disgusting!
5) It was our 50th Wedding Anniversary and 2 months before boarding I booked the Pinnacle for our anniversary. When we arrived at the Pinnacle, we were told our reservations had been cancelled by PMG...have no idea who that was, certainly no one we knew. Fortunately, it wasn't very crowded and Andrew, the Pinnacle captain was able to accommodate us for dinner.
6) We paid HAL $79 for a transfer ride to Rome airport. Bus had ashtrays that were filled and overflowing with used tissues. DISGUSTING!!!
In spite of the Noordam, we had a wonderful cruise and will cherish the memories from the various ports we visited. Throughout the ship, we heard numerous complaints about the Noordam and the downgrade of level of service we have come to expect from HAL....this from seasoned HAL cruisers. We were issued a credit, but frankly it didn't come close to what an interior cabin vs a verandah cabin would cost and since we had to keep the drapes drawn it might as well have been an interior cabin.