Noordam the Snoordam
Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
I sailed on the Noordam from November 11-21st 2009, and I was very pleased with the ship. From the way the crew on board the Noordam treated us, to the service.It was fantastic and I loved the open seating. There dining was always fantastic I never had a complaint about it. They had great entertainment as well. They had the usual jugglers/comedians/Holland America dancers/ etc. Their cruise director had done a great job as well. He was probably the funniest cruise director I have ever had. The cabin stewards on the other hand were very kind, however they weren't very social with you as much as they are on other ships. I think they were given more rooms than usual because my room was never clean until about noon to 1:00. They cut back on the bowls of fruit in your room as well. It didn't bother me that much because the cruise was a lot slower in the since that everything was laid back and I never had anything planned to do on the ship. There wasn't an event happening every hour, you More
could just sit back and relax. I pretty much spent the days at sea sleeping on the promenade deck. Just listening to the ocean. The only thing that I really did not like about the ship was their program sheet. Every night you would receive one on your bed. It was nearly impossible to read. You could never figure out what was going on the next day. Then they would never give you much information on the next port you were going to. Overall though it was a pretty good cruise. Less
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Cabin review: Noordam Large or Standard Interior Stateroom Main 1011
I was in an inside handicapped room on deck 1. The room was great! It was just the right size. I know how big they are so I was expecting a good size room. It had plenty of closet space, and the bathroom was a great size. There wasn't a wall in the shower like there would be in a tub so the water would run all over the bathroom but there were extra drains. They had a huge sofa that went around the corner of the room. It could have had an additional outlet or two though. I was very pleased with the room however.
Port and Shore Excursions
Aruba was the last stop of the cruise. The ship was a ways from the main cruise terminal where the tours are so they have a shuttle bus that will take you there for free which was nice. I took a tour on that island it was a regular tour that you find when you got off it wasn't the cruise line's tours. I am sorry I took it. The lady had plenty of people on board there were maybe 3 empty seats and she sat at the port for an extra half hour just so she could fill the bus which made me mad. Then when she got the bus full there was absolutely no room at all. If you moved at all you would hit somebody else. She at least took us to some of the main sights such as what they call "Haystack Mountain." They have very skinny steps that go all the way to the top but she only stayed their for ten minutes so I couldn't climb it. Then went to these gigantic rocks that were stacked on top of one-another and they were there naturally. To get to the top you have to climb underneath some of the rocks to get to the stairs that the park had carved out. The top is about 100 ft. high. There were massive rocks everywhere. Just placed in random areas it was the oddest thing. The last stop on the tour was the California lighthouse. It was nice and all but it was pretty much just another light house. They had a lot of beaches you could go to but the ship left at 4:30 so I didn't have time. There were plenty of places to shop at which I did once the tour was over. There is a natural pool on the other side of the island that I didn't get a chance to go to and I'm sure that would be interesting to swim in. The ocean waves crash into the rocks surrounding it so the water is pretty calm. I would really recommend seeing the natural rocks.
Curacao is a desert island. They have a brand new casino right there at the pier however there are two docks. One of the docks is in a channel so you may have to take a bit of a walk nothing too far though. There is a lot of shopping to be done in Curacao. I didn't go on a tour I stayed right there in the city. They have a very neat bridge that is just floating in the channel where a cruise ship could dock. It completely blocks the channel where a kayak couldn't get through. So when a ship such as the size of a cruise ship comes through, it swings 90 degrees to the left. It is very neat to watch. If you are on it when this is happening you are pretty much stuck on it for about 20 minutes because you can't get off. They give you plenty of warnings however so you don't have to worry about getting stuck. If you are on the other side of the channel when this happens as well, you can take a ferry to the other side and the ferries are very fast. They move the bridge about every hour just to show it off. It really is something to see.
This was my first time to Dominica and I didn't go sightseeing or anything like that, instead I decided to bring a suitcase of candy and coloring books for the children at the churches there at the port. I do this every time I go on a cruise to the Caribbean. The children were so excited and couldn't believe it! It made me feel so good to see the smiles on their faces. Afterwards I did a little shopping that was right there at the pier but not much else. Dominica is a volcanic island so most people went on tours to see the vents. You could also take a tour to the highest mountain which is about 4,000 ft. Along with hikes in the rain forest The island was very interesting.
I did not go on any of the shore excursions offered by the cruise line I just went on my own. The one thing I did not like was that Holland America goes to a different port about 5 miles away from from Havenport which is where the main city is. I just went shopping for a little while because this was like my tenth time there. However for the first time ever, the Noordam was the only ship in that day. I have never been there when there's anything less than 5 ships in so I was shocked. I was only ashore for about an hour and a half so I didn't do much. There is a Sea World like zoo on the other side of the island called "Coral World." That would be neat to see if you go there. There is also a what I call a "ski lift" that goes to the top of the mountain so you can see the view from the top of the mountain. There is always plenty to do in St. Thomas.