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Noordam Review

79% of cruisers loved it
501 reviews | Write a Review
  • Pro: A full-service, mid-sized ship with lots of quiet, intimate spaces.
  • Con: Limited bells-and-whistles entertainment options.
  • Bottom Line: A good choice for adults who don't need a steady stream of onboard activities to be entertained.
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Noordam Overview

By Jayne Clark, Cruise Critic contributor
Editor Rating
4.0

Holland America Line aims to strike a balance between classic and contemporary, and Noordam, christened in 2006, manages this well. It harbors lots of nooks for conversation and quiet diversions like backgammon. Dinners in the main dining rooms and two specialty restaurants are leisurely. Pre-dinner entertainment includes listening to a violin-piano duo perform and dancing to ballroom and show-tune classics. Afternoon tea is served daily.

The best of Noordam's onboard programming skews toward the educational, such as cooking presentations and Microsoft-sponsored computer workshops. On our Alaska sailing, the late-night scene in the piano bar was about as rowdy as things got. By day, the Explorations Cafe, with its clubby, coffeehouse vibe and free online access to the daily New York Times, plus a nice selection of books and games, hosted a steady hub of activity.

Compared to some HAL vessels, Noordam's decor is downright glitzy. A three-story atrium midship sports a curvy green glass stairway crowned by a colossal Waterford crystal compass. Gold-hued tiles mirror the surrounding walls. In the elevator lobbies, oversized urns sprout artificial foliage. Ornate metal settees (some shaped like clamshells and not particularly inviting) mix it up with busts of the Dutch royal family. And, as in other HAL vessels, some impressive -- and eclectic -- artwork provides lovely visual surprises throughout the ship.

The youngest of HAL's four early-2000s-vintage Vista-class ships, Noordam shows some signs of wear (separating wallpaper seams, worn carpet in areas). But the overall ambiance makes the ship a good choice for those who don't need waterslides, zip lines or climbing walls to find their bliss at sea.

Noordam Fellow Passengers

With an average age of 55, Holland America passengers skew slightly older than those of some major lines. On our Alaska cruise in early June, 83 percent of cruisers were 51 and older. About 40 percent were over age 66. In general, Alaska and Caribbean cruises will attract more families. On Caribbean itineraries, the average age skews slightly younger.

On most sailings, Holland America cruisers are 60 to 80 percent North American. Our cruise had a mini United Nations of 31 nationalities, with Americans, Canadians and Australians making up the majority of the passenger base.

Noordam Dress Code

Daytime attire is casual, though shorts and tank tops aren't allowed in the dining rooms. The Lido Restaurant is more laid-back, but does request that diners wear shoes and a shirt. Recommended attire on most nights is "smart casual," meaning skirts or pants for women and casual slacks and shirts for men. Two formal nights on our seven-night cruise brought out a smattering of tuxes and sequins. Cocktail dresses for women and sport coats/slacks for men predominated. Alaska and Caribbean itineraries are typically fairly informal on Holland America. On European sailings, passengers tend to dress up more.

Noordam Gratuity

An automatic $11.50 ($12 for suites) per person tip is charged daily. In addition, a 15 percent gratuity is added for spa services and bar tabs. The amount can be adjusted up or down at the service desk.

Next: Noordam Cabins
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Noordam Member Reviews

Wonderful Cruise! cruisernewbieman
08/15
We just returned from a wonderful cruise to Southeast Alaska (the Tongass Rain Forest). I was concerned after reading some of the negative reviews but I didn't experience any of the problems others apparently did. The ship was beautiful, both ... Read more
ALASKA CRUISE---Summertime FIRST I want to give great thanks to Imam and Sam, who were our amazing cabin stewards! They were over-the-top in their attention to meeting our needs!!! They made you feel like you were their most important customer, ... Read more
08/15
This was our first cruise on Holland America. We have done 4 or 5 cruises on Princess (very positive experiences) and 1 on Carnival. The positives: food and service was excellent; bed was comfortable; gym was good; Glacier Bay was amazing. ... Read more
1 - 3 of 501 Reviews
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Noordam Ratings

Editor Rating 4.0 Member Rating
Category
Editor
Member
Dining
4.0
4.2
Public Rooms
3.0
4.6
Cabins
4.0
4.4
Entertainment
3.0
3.6
Spa & Fitness
3.0
4.1
Family & Children
2.0
3.4
Shore Excursions
5.0
3.8
Enrichment
4.0
3.8
Service
3.0
4.4
Value-for-Money
4.0
4.2

Sailing From

Auckland Honolulu San Diego Seward Sydney Vancouver

Cruises To

Alaska Australia & New Zealand Pacific Coastal South Pacific

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Noordam Deck Plans Noordam Cabin Reviews
Ship Stats
Crew:
811
Launched:
2006
Decks:
11
Tonnage:
82,318
Passengers:
1,972
Registry:
Netherlands
CDC Score:
100
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