We are a couple of seasoned seniors who have cruised on several different lines. We drive from our home and use the ParkNGo service for getting to the ship. This is our 4th on HAL and we like the "older" crowd. Service on the Noordam is excellent. We had a rocky start due to the high wind and seas but it settled down the second day.
Our cabin was 6074 with fantastic A/C and a wonderful veranda. We have traveled in this type of cabin before and like the space and large bathroom. After 2 days our cabin steward finally got the message, we want ice at 4PM for cocktails, from them on things were fantastic.
The first night dining was horrible, the table mates were loud, opinionated, and I really had trouble believing their "stories". We were at the back of the ship by a window and the vibrations was too much. This is Main Seating at 8pm. The next day I called and asked to be moved closer to the front which was quickly done. From that point on we had great table mates and excellent service. I am sorry to say no escargot, don't know why. The only bad note was the wine steward, never came around, was rude to another couple at our table and just seemed not to care about selling wine. Of the 4 couples, 3 brought their own wine glasses into the dining room each night.
The ports we visited were great except in Barbados it was a holiday so all shopping was closed as well as Martinique (we would not get off there anyway). Our Concorde tour in Barbados was fantastic for retired airlines folks. If you are ever there don't miss this tour even the ride to the airport was nice with the guide telling us about the history of the island and things we passed along the way. We did stop at a local bar for free rum punch, beer, sodas or water. It was open air and had a lovely view. The Trolly Train in Dominica was just what we wanted, to see the town not the country side.
We did not see any of the shows, I enjoy the casino of which I "bought" another slot machine. The payoffs are very few but we are on a cruise and this is just for fun. The casino staff is great and make friends quickly, those tips help. I enjoyed the blackjack and roulette, 3 card poker did not pay off at all.
Embarkation was a breeze, disembarkation was crowded. I can not stand in line and our porter talked to a HAL lady who let us go to the head of the line, sorry we butted ahead. If I had know this was the way it was going I would have gotten a wheel chair. We then sailed through custom, immigration, etc. out for a very long walk to get our van back to ParkNGo.
It was a fantastic cruise with us enjoying the veranda more than usual and booking another cruise on board to take advantage of those perks.