Noordam Cruise Review by dmeden: Noordam Holiday Cruise December 2011
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Noordam Holiday Cruise December 2011
First of all the Noordam is a beautiful ship with pleasant earth colors throughout, lots of art of all types including paintings, sculptures, small beautifully appointed model ships, and tile mosaics throughout the ship. And the Dutch royal family is well represented with busts and paintings.
The veranda suite we had was typical, smaller than the older ships, but functional, and the room staff did their typically good job of taking care of us.
In general the food was up to Holland American standards. The main restaurant always had a good selection of meals, and the service was very good. The only complaint we had about food was the Lido deck buffet at dinner time. It was really not very good and food choices were very limited. Also at the other meals in the Lido the food selection was good, but a lot of smaller items were missing or in very limited supply. For example they only had Hummus once, and the same for olives which were available only one day out of the 21 More days on the ship. There were other items as well, and it appears that for lunch and especially dinner HAL is trying to cut costs and it shows. Many other passengers complained that the quality and variety of food had gone down hill from the cruises they took a year ago. We noticed this on the Nieuw Amsterdam as well. It is too bad because the food on the HAL cruise ships is one of their icons.
But other than the Lido issues, it was a good cruise, the service everywhere was up to HAL's standards, and we are still cruising with them because we like the overall ambience of the ship and crew.
One last comment in view of the Costa disaster. The Noordam Captain, as was the Nieuw Amsterdam Captain, were both very safety oriented and we even passed up stopping at Half Moon Cay because of the rough seas and their concern about its impact of the ship and tenders. Safety is also a HAL trademark. Less
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Cabin review: Noordam Large Oceanview Stateroom Main
The veranda cabins are smaller than desired, about 170-180 sf versus the older ships with cabins of around 200 sf. The difference is a two seat couch in the smaller cabin vs a three seat couch and a side chair in the larger cabins (on the older ships). This cramps our moving around and takes some of the pleasure out of the cruise, but that is the trend these days, just like airplane seats being shrunk so that only pygmy's fit comfortably.