Had a great 10 nights on board the Noordaman. Lovely ship overall serving excellent well presented food (best we have experienced so far on a cruise line). The ship never felt over crowded despite it being August & at full capacity. The Noordam is well kept, immaculately clean & well appointed. The stateroom was lovely & more than adequate - have to say it was roomier than others we have had on previous cruise lines (3 wardrobes is a bonus when travelling with a family & the bathroom was bigger).
Despite having initial reservations about HAL not being geared towards families this was not the case. Maybe at different times of year, outside of school holidays, the clientele may differ but I am sure this is applicable to all cruise lines. On average the boat was a mix of couples & families - the average age between 40-60.
Noordam does have a child only pool & kids club with games room which we felt was more than adequate for our 10 year old son requirements.
If we had to criticise the ship it would be for the lay out the children's pool - there are no steps outside leading to higher outdoor decks. You have to walk inside to get to higher sunbathing decks. Also a lot of the beds around the pool are undercover - no great if you want to sit in the sun whilst your child plays.
Also the any time dining. Great concept but did not work efficiently - yet. We liked the idea of being able to attend formal dinner at any time between 6pm-9.30pm & chose this option over the fixed time dining great to have the choice). However maybe it is something new that HAL they are still implementing? But it didn't work that well during this particular cruise - despite making reservations (as per their suggestion) we still had to wait most nights up to an hour to be seated? Although the food & presentation was superior to previous cruise lines we have been with the level of service certainly wasn't - we put this down to the fact of not having fixed dining & therefore no designated waiter.
Itinerary was as good as expected - some excellent ports of call especially Dubrovnik, Santorini & Athens.