837 Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

We heard that Holland America has a more mature passenger crowd and fewer kids. The activities are geared towards a more mature clientele, but there is still a kids club and swimming pool for the few kids who were on the cruise, but no ... Read More
We heard that Holland America has a more mature passenger crowd and fewer kids. The activities are geared towards a more mature clientele, but there is still a kids club and swimming pool for the few kids who were on the cruise, but no water slides, etc. Holland America really went the extra mile to keep the guests happy. One of the sightseeing destinations On the itinerary was a morning of scenic cruising in Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park (New Zealand). Unfortunately, the area was hit by major storms a few days prior to our visit. This was widely reported in the News. As a result, the fiords were inundated by large amounts of floating debris, large trees, etc and it was deemed by the authorities as unsafe for cruise ships to enter. Captain Scott and Cruise Director, Chris, went out of their way to arrange an alternative itinerary involving a visit to Stewart Island, the southern-most island of New Zealand. At short notice, they arranged for a pilot to meet the ship and guide us in to the port of Oban on Stewart Island. The organising to do this was no mean feet and, despite the disappointment of missing out on Milford Sound, we were lucky enough to be one of the few cruise ships to visit Stewart Island each year. Food on Noordam was very good. We ate our evening meal in the main dining room on about half the days and the other half we ate in the Lido buffet on deck 9. We had most breakfasts in the Lido. The variety was excellent. Coffee in the Lido seems to cater for American pallets, as it is quite week and not really that good. Espresso machine coffee is available at extra cost at several cafes and bars on the ship. We tried this once and found it to be excellent, and we were given a complimentary selection of very nice cakes and macaroons to go with it. Use of porcelain cups or glasses instead of paper take-away cups would improve the experience. The two shore excursions we did (half day tours of Dunedin and Wellington) were well organised and informative, but somewhat pricey. At each of the other ports we simply used the free shuttles, where available, or just walked into town from the ship or tender boat to explore on our own. We saw one show and it was very (VERY) good. Karaoke is available on most nights. This is great fun and it was well attended, even though the venue was quite small. Nobody minded if a singer fluffed their songs. Movies were played in the World Stage theatre (cinema style) on a number of days, I really enjoyed this and would like to have seen more of it. Every day would suit me! The gym is of a fair size and was never full at the times I went there (every day). The equipment is good, with some pieces in near new condition. Sanitary wipes are provided for users to wipe down the equipment after each use. Towels are provided as well as cold, wet face cloths in a UV light fridge. Overall the cruise was excellent value for money. If my experience on Noordam is anything to go by, I would definitely cruise on Holland America Ships again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
14 days on the newly renovated Noordam and felt thoroughly pampered every day. From the outstanding service of the room attendants to the doting Main Dining room staff ( we had a fixed 8pm seating and loved it!) this was a fabulous cruise. ... Read More
14 days on the newly renovated Noordam and felt thoroughly pampered every day. From the outstanding service of the room attendants to the doting Main Dining room staff ( we had a fixed 8pm seating and loved it!) this was a fabulous cruise. Turned out to be the retirement cruise of our HAL Captain John Scott so there we’re lots of unique touches and events to commemorate the event. The casino staff was fun and they recognized us right away and that added to the personal touch as well. The Lincoln center performances were packed every time. They are great and need a bigger venue. Why are they stuck where they are and the BBK stage is used by stupid activities during the day performances??? I think the BBK band doesn’t get rocking until the evening so it doesn’t make sense to me to squeeze the classical performances into such a small venue. I wasn’t too impressed by the Billboard performers on this cruise. I thought they did a better job on my Westerdam. The cruise director was everywhere and very sociable. Reminder this is a great cruise line for foodies, destination focused luxury oriented cruisers. This is NOT the cruise for families, budget focused, hard drinking rowdy dance rockers. They shut most stuff down by midnight! Lots of quiet reading books, puzzle players, bridge, mah jong players etc. the BB court was used mostly by staff I think. I love the Crows Nest Bar and classy Pinnacle Bar and really hope HAL does not change it at all. It is a fabulous fun place for port arrivals and sail outs. The last HAL cruise we were on had already done a conversion to a stupid computer focused Navigator lounge which was cold and useless. The one price cruise laundry can’t be beat and I strongly recommend it. I enjoyed the sauna package which was the therapy pool, saunas (wet and dry) and those wonderful heated tile beds! I would only recommend that HAL remind guests to anticipate and calculate that huge tip expenses which is added automatically to their ship account. It’s a shocker but we’ll earned. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The itinerary was good. A place we had never been before and very much wanted to see. We Hadn't been with HAL before but will never go with them again. Extortionate drinks prices, happy hour lasted 15 minutes in BB kings. ... Read More
The itinerary was good. A place we had never been before and very much wanted to see. We Hadn't been with HAL before but will never go with them again. Extortionate drinks prices, happy hour lasted 15 minutes in BB kings. Entertainment rubbish other than BBkings. Food luke warm, not much choice for vegetarians, lots of pasta and pizza and salad. They were proud of the fact they would make you some pasta with a different sauce, if you asked. Being veggie and wanting mash potatoes and vegetables and Yorkshire puddings I had to stand where raw bloody meat was . Extortionate prices for shore excursions. Extortionate automatically stopped gratuities plus 15 %service charge added to drinks. Dress code lax. Most of the staff were nice, some were abrubt. Very early disembarkation, leaving us with a seven hour wait at the airport. No tea making facilities in cabin, we took our own kettle which was taken from us at embarkation, as it was a security hazard. Tea could be ordered in room but 30minutes waiting. Lido cafe closed when most people were wanting to eat. Entertainment was awful, a guy making patterns out of sand, a BBC earth film . No shows , been on far cheaper cruises and had excellent entertainment with west end shows every night. All in all it was not what we expected for the money we paid. Would not travel with this line again or reccommend it. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We were very hesitate to go on this cruise after reading posts on this site. I am a 4 star mariner and was extremely surprised that the bad reviews were way out of line. This fall we sailed the Nieuv Statedam and in January took the ... Read More
We were very hesitate to go on this cruise after reading posts on this site. I am a 4 star mariner and was extremely surprised that the bad reviews were way out of line. This fall we sailed the Nieuv Statedam and in January took the Noordam around Australia and found the Noordam much better in almost all categories. The ship is not tired or in need of major upgrades. The crew was probably the friendliest that we have had in the last 5 cruises. including Celebrity Cruise Line. The food was great especially the fish, and I am a picky eater. They had Happy Hour at every venue all day long, even the shows. The carpets have recently been replaced along with minor room upgrades, including large flat screen TV's. The bedding and towels were clean and comfortable. Our cabin steward did an amazing job. We usually clean our room when we first arrive, we didn't find any missed areas. We have learned that when individuals have a good experience they don't always write about them ,but they sure do share their bad experiences. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise on the basis of previous happy cruises with HAL, a total of some eighty (80) days on Volendam x 2 , Westerdam and Konigsdam. The service, entertainment, and especially the food on those cruises were pivotal factors in ... Read More
We chose this cruise on the basis of previous happy cruises with HAL, a total of some eighty (80) days on Volendam x 2 , Westerdam and Konigsdam. The service, entertainment, and especially the food on those cruises were pivotal factors in selecting Noordam. We are bitterly disappointed in the Noordam cruise and it’s invisible on board management. I shall be writing to HAL CEO, Stein Kruse seeking an apology. Some points:- We ate in Pinnacle for the Sal de Mer. The food was cold and the steak inedible. Dining room fare was inevitably cold and the menus were very limited. One starter was sweetbreads on apple tarte tatin! Lido experiences were similarly mediocre, one toasted bagel was mouldy and it seems that few of the kitchen brigade can cook pasta. In room dining was haphazard. The ”special” lunch with the Captain was brunch served from 11AM ‘til Noon sharp. The duelling pianists and BB King band were very good but why have a solo harpist in the main theatre? The cruise director was rarely seen. Guest Services (sic) were palpably not interested in assisting passengers HAL Club staff were rude and indifferent to our concerns for the OH&S of children. Dress codes were never enforced -shorts, t shirts and sandals on gala nights! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise for the number of port stops and we weren’t disappointed! We got a great feel for New Zealand. We travelled with children between 7-14 and they all had a great time. Kids clubs were entertaining and staff were ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the number of port stops and we weren’t disappointed! We got a great feel for New Zealand. We travelled with children between 7-14 and they all had a great time. Kids clubs were entertaining and staff were wonderful with them. Although decor was a little dated, cabins were a great size and layout. Balconies were spacious. The new flat screen TVs with on-demand movies were great and the movie selection suited all of us. Food was generally excellent and Canaletto was wonderful and well worth the extra charge. The children particularly enjoyed the poolside Dive-In burgers and the hard scooped and soft serve ice cream readily available in the Lido buffet. Refreshed decor in the public rooms and restaurants is lovely and modern. We enjoyed a number of the shows - the BBC Planet Earth show was a particular highlight. We also enjoyed the free Kitchen Tour and several enrichment talks from Maori cultural representatives. Fitness centre was used every morning. There was usually enough equipment, and it worked, and there was a beautiful view. However the equipment could be updated (no tv screens on individual machines). Shower/locker room adjacent to gym a lovely spot for a shower! Embarkation and disembarkation are White Bay Cruise Terminal was quick and easy. This was also true in all ports we visited. Most of our shore excursions were self-directed. We did one through HAL and it was well organised. However it was usually cheaper to use companies in each port. It was very easy in New Zealand to make our own arrangements. I would not hesitate to sail with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We chose this cruise because it fitted with the dates we were available, due to work commitments. We had been to NZ before on a different cruise line, but love the place so repeat was not a problem. Embarkation was handled well, we had ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fitted with the dates we were available, due to work commitments. We had been to NZ before on a different cruise line, but love the place so repeat was not a problem. Embarkation was handled well, we had a balcony cabin on deck 5 midship. Décor a little tired but cabin was roomy enough and found plenty of space for storage. Cabin attendants were great, plenty of laughs and well looked after. We don't dine in the restaurants and found the buffet great, lots of variety and very nicely cooked. No self serve, guessing this was from illness and or wastage, but not a problem. Breakfast was crazy on sea days but we only made it up in time for a couple so no problem there, have an early lunch instead. Entertainment was a little lacking compared to other cruises we've been on but we're happy to entertain ourselves so not a deal breaker. All crew / staff were excellent, friendly and attentive. Some of our fellow passengers forgot to pack their manners and they were handled very well. We didn't book any tours, got a couple of shuttle buses where needed but prefer to do our own thing. NYE was in Hobart which was one of the best we've had for a long time, we went to the local Casino in Hobart to see Ice House and returned to the Noordam about 11pm, things were rocking around the pool - BB King band were playing and a DJ out the back bar, fantastic nibbles and great atmosphere - great night. Whilst probably not the best ever we've been on there were a lot of good things and any negatives were not enough to stop us cruising with them again. These days we look at dates, availability and best deal - rather than a specific cruise line. Over all a most enjoyable holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I am a 5 star Mariner and have more than 20 cruises on Holland America This cruise was the pits and our last on Hal.There were Minimal activities or lectures on board .The standard of the food was dismal compare to the cruise I did on the ... Read More
I am a 5 star Mariner and have more than 20 cruises on Holland America This cruise was the pits and our last on Hal.There were Minimal activities or lectures on board .The standard of the food was dismal compare to the cruise I did on the Noordam three years ago which I rated 10 -this Cruise I would rate a 1.The standard of the entertainment was dismal except for the on-board Singers and dancers. Our room stewards were fantastic as was our dining steward but in the dining room instead 2 we only had one waiter and the wait time between courses as result was our hour and a half .As a result we ate mailing in the lido .The overall experience was terrible We hardly ever saw the cruise director,there were no competitions organised. There were no barbecues on board New Year’s Eve was dismal.The new photographic policy whereby one pays $19.90 purely to get a photographic image on one’s phone money grabbing.The laundry policy has suddenly changed for the Neptune suites with no laundry allowed on the last day.I will never again cruise on Holland America. I was lied to at the on-board shopping watch store where I was quoted $256 for so-called 70% reduced price on the watch which was advertised at Macy’s at $202 .For the price for Neptune suite I would much rather travel on crystal line or Cunard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We we chose this trip because the dates fit perfectly. the price seemed justfiedbut then on bord, the cheapest wine 9 $ the cocktail 10$ always +15% Service. The The wine in the glas was manageable and the alcohol in the Cocktails barely ... Read More
We we chose this trip because the dates fit perfectly. the price seemed justfiedbut then on bord, the cheapest wine 9 $ the cocktail 10$ always +15% Service. The The wine in the glas was manageable and the alcohol in the Cocktails barely noticeable. None of the tours offered by HAL was acceptable. For a Train ride in Port Chambers charges HAL 390 $, when booking direktly in the station, the same trip was 130 NZD. The dinner in the main restaurant was boring and the portions were manageable. After a short time, we found, that the quality in the buffet restaurant was excellent, and we had the chance to create our dinner by ourselves. Compared to Azamara Cruises the main restaurant was a disappointment. Excellent was the Pinnacle Grill. Really,really good on board of the noordam are the staffs. Everyone was friendly and nice. always trying to make the trip as pleasant as possible. The size of the cabin was ok, the balcony furniture old and histotic. The bathroom was ok, but it is impossible to have a bathtube there. Passengers with an average age of over 60 years and many mit over 100 kilos weight, are not able to take a shower due to the high entry. My wife and I will not have again a cruise with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary, which we loved. The Noordam is an older ship but is well designed and in good shape. The cabin decor was a bit dated but the cabin was well equipped and layed out well. The Positives: Room ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary, which we loved. The Noordam is an older ship but is well designed and in good shape. The cabin decor was a bit dated but the cabin was well equipped and layed out well. The Positives: Room Service was punctual, hot and got our orders right every time. It is a limited menu, but we were happy. Laundry Service was prompt and they did a good job washing folding or hanging the clothes. The unlimited laundry was well worth the price and they even replaced a broken zipper on a pair of jeans at no charge. The Room Attendants did a very good job and the Guest Service desk was helpful. Embarkation and Disembarkation were both easy. The team did a good job rerouting the ship to Burnie, Tasmania when it could not visit Eden due to the bushfires. The Negatives: The service in the Main Dining room was terrible. We experienced long waits for service, missing food, not getting what was ordered and a couple of servers with poor attitudes. We signed up for freestyle dining, which may have been part of the reason. HAL has not figured out how to properly service diners who are out of phase with the fixed meal times even though they tout this option's flexibility. Lido service simply did not exist. Sell baby, sell. There is a constant pressure to buy stuff you don't want or need. At the extreme this included books for making the towel animals and the history of HAL book but it permeates through all activities aboard, The internet service was terrible. The onboard execution for activities and shows was lacking, There was never enough space for the people who wanted to attend trivia, Lincoln Center Stage or other events. The Planet Earth II show would have been great but they set up the musicians in the way of the incredibly beautiful imagery. So, instead of seeing the exotic wildlife footage, we looked at the guitar player. The onboard talent was not good, but the outside talent was enjoyable. In general, there were not enough activities for the four sea days. If the weather had been better, that may not have been an issue. Shuffleboard did not work, due to the condition of the deck the discs would not slide. I still don't get the whole EXC thing. It seems like marketing/branding without any real content. This trip needed an onboard naturalist and someone who could add knowledge about the ports visited, These are all really easily solved things that an attention to detail can easily remedy; but, unfortunately, all of HAL's attention seems to be on the bottom line. We did not do any ship excursions but found great private excursions in advance. We stayed at the Auckland Hilton pre-cruise and highly recommend that hotel. After the cruise we stayed at the West (Hilton Curio Colllection) in Sydney which was also very nice, albeit not being as close to Circular Quay as other options. In summary, if you pick a cruise based on itinerary, HAL's Noordam is a fine choice. If you pick it for the shipboard experience, you can do better with another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We are a family of 5, traveling with 3 daughters in their 20’s. Let me start by saying that we had a nice time on this cruise and it was a good value for the money for a holiday cruise. But there is certainly room for improvement by ... Read More
We are a family of 5, traveling with 3 daughters in their 20’s. Let me start by saying that we had a nice time on this cruise and it was a good value for the money for a holiday cruise. But there is certainly room for improvement by HAL. First the high points. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the crew. They work incredibly hard, always with smiles on their faces. A special mention goes to Yohannes, one of the maitre d’s in the Main Dining Room. Two of our daughters are vegetarians and Yohannes,along with our waiter Suarta, worked to make sure that they had plenty of choices for dinner. While the daily menus have vegetarian options, there are special vegetarian and Indian menus from which orders can be placed the evening before. Yohannes even worked on special requests for our daughters. The quality of the food overall is a step above similar cruise lines we have been on, but the choices were limited and repetitive in the Main Dining Room. The Lido Buffet is very good for breakfast and lunch with nice choices. We really enjoyed the Dive In Grill by the pool. The Pinnacle Grill is wonderful, but the upcharge was $39 pp. I am glad we splurged on that for one evening, and wish we had gone another evening as well (there is a slightly reduced price for a package of 2 dinners pp). Also, thank you to HAL for having a Catholic priest onboard to celebrate Mass daily. Father Joe was great. We would not have been on this cruise over Christmas without the opportunity to attend Mass. Now the areas for real improvement. There were very limited activities on this cruise, especially considering there were 5 sea days (one was cruising the Milford Sound and other fiords). On another HAL cruise, there was the America Test Kitchen with cooking demonstrations. There was nothing like that here. Also, on the other HAL cruise, there was someone talking about the birds and wildlife we were seeing. There were no talks given about that either, other than the day through the fiords. ( There were whales and dolphins that could be seen from the ship several times but there was not even an announcement about that.). Our biggest criticism was the limited information given about the ports. The cruise director did not do any reviews each night about what to expect the next day, and certainly no in-depth talks daily. I did find a port talk listed on the first night about the North Island of NZ, but it was scheduled during our dinner! There was a port talk on Tasmania on one of the sea days, and at least that gave us some information. Usually on other cruises we could go to the TV each morning to find the cruise director talking about the ports, but we never found that on this cruise — only information on ship excursions which were on the expensive side. As one prior review mentioned, the cruise director was missing in action when it came to important port information! And he certainly did not spend any time planning activities for the guests! Believe me, this was a constant discussion among all of the other passengers we met. Also, as pointed out by others, it appears that HAL has cut down on the number of servers in the Main Dining Room. These waiters worked incredibly hard carrying huge trays and actually running back and forth to serve their guests, but I believe that there is a failure by HAL to staff properly in order to provide reasonable waits in the Main Dining Room — both for dinner and breakfast. The evening entertainment certainly did not cater to an audience of all ages over the holiday season. The ship’s own singers and dancers are good, but the other entertainers were meant for a much older crowd — for example, a night of music from the 50s and 60s. And we did not understand the guy with his spinning tops. Having said that, the ports on this cruise gave us a good overview of New Zealand and at least a chance to visit Tasmania and Sydney. Our stop in Eden was cancelled due to the fires in Australia, so HAL worked to add a day in Burnie, Tasmania. Thank you to HAL for making that happen and a special thank you to the mayor, deputy mayor and volunteers in Burnie who came out to greet the ship and help organize tours for us with one day’s notice. This cruise was a very good way for our family to get at least a taste of this beautiful part of the world. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Embarkation port in Sydney is White Bay, not as convenient as Circular Quay, and not at all scenic, being a commercial port. The day before embarkation we received an email advising us not to arrive before one. It would have been much ... Read More
Embarkation port in Sydney is White Bay, not as convenient as Circular Quay, and not at all scenic, being a commercial port. The day before embarkation we received an email advising us not to arrive before one. It would have been much better for planning had the email arrived earlier. We arrived shortly after one and embarkation was fairly smooth; our cabin was also ready. Buffet: For the first three days, there were loooong lines everywhere. The Buffet was not exactly self-served. You are handed everything by a staff member, everything from food to drinks to eating utensils. You line up for a glass of water, an extra spoon, a slice of bread,… you name it. The servers were so busy they would move on to the next person if you hesitated for one split second. They also had no time to attend to any requests, such as dark meat vs. white meat, or smaller portion … etc. They would just pile up on your plate, whether you are able to finish it or not, causing a lot of unnecessary wastage. Not only were there long line-ups everywhere, they were also many guests carrying multiple filled plates and/or glasses walking around. People were understandably trying to get everything they need all at once, rather than returning to the long lines again. Accidents waiting to happen. Because of this added workload to the servers, I believe bussing people were also called to help, resulting in fewer workers clearing tables. In short, eating at the buffet took a lot of effort and time, and a lot less relaxing than when I was on other cruises. This lasted for 3 days, and on day 4, all of a sudden things went back to normal. Buffet was self-served again. Dining room: There were long wait time for everything as well. I believe many were tired of the line up in the buffet and decided to have breakfast and lunch in the dining room, causing much longer wait time there as well. Food in the dining room was generally good, but the menu choices were quite limited. Other services: In the first three days, not only was the buffet not self-served, guests were not allowed to handle many other items as well. For example, you have to go to guest services to get a copy of the newspapers, or crossword puzzles. Library books were hidden in a drawer, and it’s a pain to see what’s available. Board games were all hidden, and there was often nobody around to ask. Guest services told me this is for sanitary reasons. I understand their concern over food items, but I think they were over-reacting when it came to paper products. How does one get contaminated by handling a newspaper? If they were absolutely adamant that nothing touched by one guest is touched by another without first getting it sanitized, then perhaps they need to be following everybody around and sanitizing every railing, wall and elevator button after they’ve been touched. I think they are just causing a lot of inconvenience for the guests as well as tons of unnecessary extra work for their frontline workers. Entertainment: I particularly enjoyed the piano quintet’s performances at Lincoln Center Stage. I also attended most of the Main Stage performances and enjoyed those as well, especially the very professional dancers. Disembarkation: The ship arrived on time in Auckland. We chose to self-disembark and everything went smoothly. We would stay a few more days in Auckland before flying back home. All in all, this cruise has been an enjoyable one, with lots of beautiful scenery to look at, despite the few rainy days we had. Ports: Sydney: Because of the wild fire, Sydney was under a cloud of yellowish haze. It was rather unpleasant but the harbour was still very pretty. Air quality was much better in the early morning and later in the evening. Definitely worth spend a few days pre-cruise. Public transportation was quite easy to use. We purchased an Opal card at the airport and used it to get to our hotel, for city travel as well as a longer ride to Bondi Beach one day. Melbourne: At the port, we purchased a My Ki card, which is a reloadable travel card with enough money for the day’s travel. There was a shuttle that took us near the downtown area. We spent the day visiting the Botanic Gardens, the Shrine of Remembrance, and the downtown waterfront. Hobart: We saw the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens, the Cenotaph as well as the historical area near Salamanca. At the Botanic Gardens, the very helpful staff at the visitors centre told us they have an agreement with the Red Bus and we could take it back to the city for $3.00. Milford Sound and Fiordland National Park: Very picturesque and serene sounds. Unfortunately for us the weather wasn’t the greatest, cloudy and rainy most of the time. I am sure it would have been much more spectacular had we had a sunny day. But it was still beautiful and an enjoyable experience. Port Chalmers (Dunedin): I found the i-Site (tourist information) at every New Zealand port organized and well-staffed. On this day we purchased a half-day city and garden tour at the port. The tour programme was good, taking us to see the major sites in Dunedin, including the Botanic Gardens, the railway station, Baldwin Street, Signal Hill Lookout, etc. Unfortunately for us, the tour company we went with, Exploring New Zealand, was a bit disorganized, and we were sometimes left not knowing what was happening. Akaroa (Christchurch): We bought a shuttle ticket from French Connection at the i-Site at the pier to Christchurch and did our own self-guided walking tour. The shuttle was right on time and the driver very efficient and professional. He provided commentary on the way to and from Christchurch. In fact, most of the New Zealanders associated with the tourism industry that we encountered during this trip were very professional. The downtown area is walkable and we had a great time exploring the Canterbury Museum and Botanic Gardens in Christchurch. Picton: Picton has a number of hikes right from the port area. We hiked up Tirohanga Track, and from there, had a nice view of our ship and the downtown area. If the weather had been better, we’d probably have done another short hike, but it started to rain, so we decided to just spend a little time in the downtown area. Wellington: It started out as a very rainy day. Pretty much everyone opted to go Te Papa Museum. I hadn’t planned on visiting this museum for very long, but it was so rainy we had no choice. That rain turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Te Papa is truly one of a kind. It’s like a few different museums under one roof. The art section is so creative and full of great ideas; the war section so thought-provoking… I thoroughly enjoyed every minute we spent inside. Don’t miss this if you’re going to Wellington. Napier: My research on this town prior to the trip yielded very little, so I did not know what to expect. The ship was there for just a few hours. So I thought perhaps this is just a little town for a short cruise stop-over, and I did not have much expectation. It turned out this is one of the best ports we visited. It’s well-organized, clean, and oh so pretty. I enjoyed the Marine Parade with the beaches, Sunken Garden, and the MTG Hawkes Bay Museum. The Art Deco architecture is so beautiful. We had a great time in this picturesque town. Tauranga (Rotorua): We booked an excursion with Shore Trips and Tours prior to our cruise to see Wai-O-tapu, Whakarewarewa Maori village and Rotorua. Everything went according to plan and we had a very professional guide and driver. Auckland: Disembarkation was smooth in Auckland. We stayed for another four nights before flying home, and had a great time visiting this lovely city and some of the surrounding areas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We received an email that boarding would be delayed at the start due to illnesses on the previous cruise. Only a couple of hours so no big deal and we wanted a clean ship. For the first 48 hours the LIDO market food service was limited ... Read More
We received an email that boarding would be delayed at the start due to illnesses on the previous cruise. Only a couple of hours so no big deal and we wanted a clean ship. For the first 48 hours the LIDO market food service was limited to being served by crew and no self service. We have been through this on other cruises so we know the drill. The lines were incredible and everything was locked down. No Salt/Pepper. To get your meal you stand in line for tea or coffee. Stand in another long line for a salad. Stand in another long line for dessert. By the time you stand in all the lines the table are full. We thought for 48 hours we could survive. NOPE. After about 2-3 days the captain said the illnesses were getting better but would continue the lock down on meals for another 24-36 hours. NOPE. It lasted for all 14 days. No apology or updates. As with previous Holland America cruises we look forward to the taco bar at the end of the day of tours. NOPE.. Closed on all 14 days due the lock down. For Breakfast I like eggs benedict. Stand in line for that. Would like a sticky bun. Stand in another line for that. Would like a glass of cranberry juice. Stand in another line for that. Would like a cup of coffee. Stand in another line for that. Don't dare ask for salt or pepper for your eggs. NOPE. Every meal was a chore. We did eat at the dining room a few times and it was a little better there. But we prefer the flexible dining. I am a 3 star..almost 4 star with Holland America but I was so turned off by this cruise we will take a year or two off from them. We understand safety and the need for controlling diseases. But this was handled poorly. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I will start with the title of this review. Embark, disembark all OK - most lines have this in the bag. We chose this cruise on Noordam, because we love Vancouver, we wanted to go to Sydney and we love sea days. This cruise bore not ... Read More
I will start with the title of this review. Embark, disembark all OK - most lines have this in the bag. We chose this cruise on Noordam, because we love Vancouver, we wanted to go to Sydney and we love sea days. This cruise bore not the remotest resemblance to our 2 x cruises on Volendam Dec.16 and April 18. Where has the elegance gone? The fresh flowers everywhere? The sophistication? Dancing? Cocktail bars? It's just not possible to be entertained for 26 days, of which 16 were "at sea", with Billboard, BB Kings and Lincoln Centre. The bars are all empty by 2000 hrs, and they do not refill after dinner and shows - there is just nothing to do. There is a limit to how many times you may be introduced to the BB King Band in just one night let alone 26. They perform in 3 x segments every night, and this intro stuff happens in every segment, every night for 26 nights! Well, we lasted 2 x nights and just didn't go back there. The 2 x pianists in Billboard seemed more bored than we were. The performances in the Lincoln Centre are in a closed off room - very serious, stuffy, a room full of people, seated, facing the stage, concentrating on classical music. We love classical music, but you are allowed to talk and laugh aren't you? Not in the Lincoln Centre, I wore a bracelet that jingled and got some serious looks! Paleese, it's a cruise! There is a bar on Deck 1 - next to Guest Relations - how peculiar! Only utilisation over 26 days was cocktail tasting at 1700 - no atmosphere, on a good evening you may hear someone balling out the staff, they are so close. There is a place called Nightlights or some such, between Casino and Theatre side entrance - what happens there? Never saw a soul in there. It's all black! There is a Grand Piano in Ocean Bar, on a dais! Never played - but no worries, the dance floor has been carpeted over. There is a "library" of 30 cruises, most >15 days and we love sea days so it answered those calls but was still boring. There were 2 x lecturers in the fields of Pacific peoples and The Stars - we went to a few, but again after 26 days the variety just was not there. Enough, something positive. Most of the crew are polite, caring and competent. We had several very sick pax taken to non scheduled or scheduled ports for medical evac. This was handled very well. We enjoy any time dining, but on this ship it was assigned to deck 1 and the engine noise and vibration was horrendous. Not to mention the dim lighting - most had to remove the tea lights from the table lamp to read the menu. We transferred to Deck 2 and the same 2 x person table every night, a first for us. The best outcome for this switch was our dinner crew - have rarely laughed so much, nor experienced the expertise of Maitre'D Johannes, wine expert Eric,and the lovely Sumatomo and Ambrullah, attentive food waiters. The food was mostly good - when it was good it was superlative, with stunning flavour and brilliant cooking skills. When it was not good, it was mostly inedible. The former was more prevalent than the latter, but it did puzzle us a little. We missed the contact with different dinner companions and conversation. We dined at the buffet a few times, and found it very good, easy to find a table, We did enjoy a couple of shows - the dance troupe were absolutely fabulous, very very talented, and the comedian was a clever chap with a very complex and funny routine involving (very willing) audience participation. The Filipino and Indonesian Crew shows were fabulous - nothing amateur about these performances, so much effort from everyone, even after all their hard work round the ship. I cannot comment on Excursions, Trivia, the Spa, the Pool Deck as we did not engage. Last but not least, the cost of liquor on board is daylight robbery. We loved old HAL, but not anymore. There were many very disappointed HAL devotees on board. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
To the traveler who complained that his November 23 cruise from Auckland had the food service "locked down", at least you didn't get Norovirus like more than 200 of us did on the trip from Sydney to Auckland! Someone ... Read More
To the traveler who complained that his November 23 cruise from Auckland had the food service "locked down", at least you didn't get Norovirus like more than 200 of us did on the trip from Sydney to Auckland! Someone brought Norovirus onboard in Sydney (we had been fine from Hawaii to Sydney). The result was mass illness - passengers, crew, entertainers; all due to NO lockdown of self-serve for the first 3 days. By the time they instituted a stop of self-serve and closed the taco bar, the virus had spread and 20-25 people PER DAY were getting sick! I would rather have the waiter salt my food than get sick with Noro again. I suspect that the virus continued to infect people on your cruise (although hopefully not as many) and that is why they maintained the sanitary practices. I am a 4 star Mariner - almost a 5 star - and I have already booked 3 cruises in the next 12 months. My husband (who was felled by a serious bacterial infection triggered by the Norovirus) has said that he wants to cancel at least 2 of those trips. We lost a week of our cruise to illness and my husband could have lost his life. For the record, the doctor on board is excellent and the medical center is supplied with IV antibiotics that saved my husband and prevented the medical evacuation that might have happened. In terms of the rest of the cruise, the service was good with the staff being very friendly and attentive. We did find it difficult to get the attention of servers in the Zlido at lunch if we just wanted tea. Everyone just wanted to sell liquor. Dining room food was mostly good but lacking in as much variety as in previous cruises. Desserts were much worse. There were no fruit pies at all and the crisps were more crisp than filling. Most nights there was not even one chocolate dessert which is horrible for a chocoholic! The exc lectures were terrific- when we weren’t too sick to attend - but the evening entertainment was lacking. We don’t like the singing and dancing but love comedians and magicians. One decent comedian and no magic on the entire 33 days. One guy did terrible yo-yo tricks! We mostly read our books or enjoyed the Lincoln Center group in the evenings. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Our itinerary: 26-day Vancouver to Sydney, Oct. 13 to Nov. 9, 2019 We visited three ports in Hawaii, one in American Samoa, three in Fiji and three in New Caledonia. We explored Van Dusen Botanic Garden in Vancouver before the ... Read More
Our itinerary: 26-day Vancouver to Sydney, Oct. 13 to Nov. 9, 2019 We visited three ports in Hawaii, one in American Samoa, three in Fiji and three in New Caledonia. We explored Van Dusen Botanic Garden in Vancouver before the cruise. The gardens were gorgeous in mid-October and their were few people, giving us quiet time in many areas. There were still lots of flowers blooming with the added beauty of leaves changing color. Highly recommended. Being 4-star, we breezed right through embarkation. We chose the last group for disembarkation, got off the ship about 9:45 a.m. and waited in a very long taxi line to get a ride to our motel. I recommend you plan on 45 minutes to get a taxi if your ship disembarks at White Bay Cruise Terminal. The taxi's were there, they kept coming, but there was a long line of cruisers needing rides. We spent 4 days in Sydney before flying back to the US. The Noordam had just come out of a two-week dry dock. She had new carpet in the common areas, new flat screen TVs in the staterooms and seemed fresh and clean. I heard that the higher-class staterooms and suites had more updates, but our cabin, 4072, a partially-obstructed on Deck 4, didn't have any other updates except the TV. A slight problem was that the thermostat was a little off. On the same setting of the control, sometimes it was too hot, sometimes too cold. If we moved the dial slightly, the temperature adjusted to normal, so it was no big deal. Sometimes a worker would be outside the window working on the equipment out there; just beware if you have the curtain open. New friends had a room down the hall, 4092, and outside their window were the tenders used in getting to shore. They said that when the ship anchored at tender ports, it was noisy early in the mornings as the lifeboats were lowered to the sea. Speaking of the TV, there were numerous movies available on demand with enough variety to please anyone's taste. There were so many movies that you could probably spend all your time in the stateroom watching movies and not see them all, even on a 26-day cruise. In a change from all of our other cruises, we ate most of our dinners in the Lido instead of the dining room. It was nice to get in and get out in about 30 minutes in the Lido instead of the two-hour meal in the dining room. I missed the variety of the dining room after a while, though, and so went back ocassionally. Both had good food. Advantages of eating in the Lido for dinner: we didn't gain as much weight and our ankles didn't swell up like they have on most cruises. I read the food is more salted in the main dining room which may be the reason for swollen ankles. We ate breakfast in the Lido always. There was plenty of variety and it was all good. Lunches were either in the Lido, Taco Bar or Dive In, all were good. There were some good entertainers and some great entertainers on the Main Stage, from comedians to singers to mind reading/mystic stuff, something for everyone. There were two interesting lecture series, one speaker talked about astronomy, one about history of the South Pacific area. On the trip over from Vancouver to Honolulu, passengers could learn the hula and those that did put on a show in the Main Stage before we docked in Hawaii. America's Test Kitchen did regular demos, a duo of pianists entertained at Billboard Online (fun!), BB King's was rocking most nights and there were regular performances of classical music at Lincoln Center Stage. I don't think the Northern Lights was used much. I only saw people there once, when we participated in a ship's Bar Crawl one night. All the HAL ships have a crew of singers and dancers. I typically skip those shows on the Main Stage. Not this trip! After their first show, when everyone said how much they enjoyed the show, I gave it a try. They really are the best singers and dancers I've seen of all troupes in the HAL fleet. Same with the crew shows, the Indonesian and the Filipino Crew shows were outstanding! Don't miss them. There were bingo games. I played once. We played trivia twice a day on sea days and once on port days. Pins to the winning teams had either South Pacific or Australia/New Zealand themes. Our team won some of each, enough that my DH and I had extras to give away to our friends at the Crow's Nest Happy Hour. Our only complaint on the whole cruise was that Trivia at Billboard Onboard and Happy Hour in the Crow's Nest were at the same time. We had to sacrifice and only have a half-hour happy hour after rushing to the Crow's Nest after Trivia. (Life is so hard!) Service was great everywhere. Our room attendants couldn't have done a better job and we found some favorite bartenders and Lido servers. Captain John Scott had the passenger's best interest in mind and showed it when we had to make two detours to get ill passengers to medical care on shore. I had some favorite ports, and enjoyed all the ports we stopped at. We had never been to the South Pacific and liked it immensely. Shore Excursion choices from HAL were plentiful, and if those didn't please you, there were plenty of options on shore on your own. The 14-hour flight home from Sydney to Colorado was a bear. For that reason, I'm not certain I would do it again. Definitly enjoyed the cruise though! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
I enjoyed my cruise! I particularly enjoyed the lincoln center stage and the walking track. I really enjoyed walking around the deck as it was good exercise after the big meals. I didn't find the entertainment that great other then ... Read More
I enjoyed my cruise! I particularly enjoyed the lincoln center stage and the walking track. I really enjoyed walking around the deck as it was good exercise after the big meals. I didn't find the entertainment that great other then the lincoln center stage although I heard one of the comedians was quite good - i'm not interested in comedians. The dance number was good but at the billboard singing event they did the singers were horrible. I found there were a lot of talks during the day to keep me busy but the scenery was the main attraction for most days. One example of a talk was on the Pacific Giants (whales) that was good. There was a naturalist on board and I attended one of her talks on salmon. She also held wildlife sighting sessions, although I didn't attend that. There was a really good Alaska in Concert show where they had a film of alaska accompanied by the musicians of BB Kings and Lincoln Stage. The food was good. I preferred the main dining room to the buffet. There was a seafood night in the buffet though on the ketchikan day that was good. I particularly liked the steak and lobster tail on the second gala night although unfortunately it was rough that night leaving ketchikan and I couldn't completely enjoy it. I was a solo traveller but I found everyone friendly at the dining room. The only tour I did was a rail/bus excursion by Chilkoot charters in Skagway and it was nice it only had 24 people on the bus instead of the 60 provided by cruise lines. Make sure you sit on the right if you are going up to Fraser on the bus as you will have better scenery. Note the bow is open on the Glacier Bay day and the inside passage day. Luckily we had a nice day for Glacier Bay. Note that while overall we had good weather, september has 3 times the rain as May or June. So you are taking your chances in September that you will have good weather - I lucked out. Some people complain of Noordam looking worn but that didn't bother me. I thought it looked nice. I liked being on what felt like a small intimate cruise ship - lots of nooks and crannys to sit in. Disembarkation went really smoothly as I chose to carry my own bags. My only complaint was if i'd know I would have a more leisurely breakfast! Overall, a great first cruise. If cruises weren't so expensive for singles, I would cruise again but as it is I would have to be picky about prices to choose Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was our first real cruise and was one of our bucket list items so we took part in the cruise with great expectations. The cruise fulfilled all of our expectations. The cabin stateroom was wonderful and we enjoyed the time in our ... Read More
This was our first real cruise and was one of our bucket list items so we took part in the cruise with great expectations. The cruise fulfilled all of our expectations. The cabin stateroom was wonderful and we enjoyed the time in our stateroom. Bed was exceptionally comfortable. We dined in the main dining room for dinner, and although we were assigned open seating, we talked to our waiter and maitre de the first night and got the same table and time for the remaining nights, giving us the same wait staff. Dinners were exceptional in our opinion and we complemented the meal with a pricey but delicious bottle of california wine. The wine steward would keep the unused wine and bring it out for our dinner each night. We wold eat breakfast and lunch in the Lido buffet and thought the variety and type of foods was always changing, high quality, and appealing. I appreciate that the breakfast room would open early on mornings when we had early excursions so we could always have a good breakfast before embarking. On at sea days we took advantage of the America's Test Kitchen presentations and sat through all of them, sat in on a few naturalists presentations on the Alaskan wildlife, and even managed to attend a few Lincoln Center performances. There always seems like plenty of things to do if you wanted to stay engaged. Service on the ship seems always top notch...people were friendly, courteous, and made us feel welcome at all times. We did the typical shore excursions in Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway and enjoyed the time off ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because there was a great deal (including gratuities) just a few weeks before sailing. We live in Vancouver, so the transportation to and from the ship was easy, as was the embarkation and disembarkation (just ... Read More
We chose this cruise because there was a great deal (including gratuities) just a few weeks before sailing. We live in Vancouver, so the transportation to and from the ship was easy, as was the embarkation and disembarkation (just about the smoothest we have experienced). We would consider the Noordam to be a mid-sized ship and although we generally prefer smaller vessels, the Noordam has retained some of the charm of the past (which we enjoy). Our sail-away inside cabin assignment was roomier than many and convenient (10th floor outside the Crow's Nest) although I think that we got an extra dose of the fog horn when it needed to be sounded (just a couple of nights). We also suffered from poor sound insulation and neighbours who kept their TV on loud all day and all night. A sound machine function on my phone managed to drown/muffle the sound enough for us to sleep. The cabin steward team was very capable and provided good service without being intrusive. The food in the main dining-room was generally very good as was the service. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Market and generally enjoyed the food there as well, although sticky buns (dry), French toast (little egg content) and pancakes (under-cooked) were disappointments. Fortunately, they have kept the tea and that wonderful opportunity to relax and meet some interesting new people (a highlight of cruising for us). The vast majority of the crew were friendly and helpful. The Cruise Director (Stone) was very polished in her delivery and we valued her engaged but not hyped approach to her announcements and presentations. Entertainment was a bit hit and miss. The EXC and BBC enrichment presentations were very good, but not up to the standard we are used to with live presentations by people with real knowledge and experience. The production singers and dancers were about average. The comedians were mostly good, but one experiment with a comedy club style comedian died an ugly death. He just didn't research the demographics well and wasn't able to figure it out to adjust his material on the fly. I doubt that HAL or the comedian will try that again. The Lincoln Center musicians were very skilled, but a bit too stuffy for my tastes. I prefer the older Adagio duo approach with a mix of classical and popular music. Speaking of stuffy, the room they played in was way too small and way too hot for comfort. They did schedule some ballroom dancing on a few days at 5 pm, but really didn't make much of an effort. The first day they just plain forgot about it until someone called the front desk. Thereafter, music just started playing in BB Kings at 5 pm from an invisible DJ. Most of the time we were the only couple there. Bad venue, Bad timing and Bad music... A real disappointment after our last Amsterdam cruise with a trio playing dance music in Oceans Bar most evenings. It sad that there is so little live music and it all starts in the evening (even on sea days). It is too bad that they don't spread their entertainment investment a bit further and more frequently. We didn't do any excursions as we have been to the ports multiple times, but were able to find great hiking trails within walking distance at each port. All in all, it was a great experience, but sadly, some of the charm of HAL is slipping away and they seem to be following the bad example of bigger ships and less class. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
It was part of a cruise and excursion to Alaska and Yukon territory. The land part of the vacation was very well done and the land coordinator was exceptional. The ship must have a naval architects nightmare. It was very poorly designed ... Read More
It was part of a cruise and excursion to Alaska and Yukon territory. The land part of the vacation was very well done and the land coordinator was exceptional. The ship must have a naval architects nightmare. It was very poorly designed for efficient flow of passenger from one part of the ship to another. We usually choose not to go to the main dining room because of the time it takes to eat a meal. The Lido was extremely understaffed on this cruise. Only a couple of times on the seven day cruise were we even offered beverages except for alcoholic ones dining at the Lido. I usually had to go find pitchers of beverages, fill my own glasses, and return to our table. The quality of food on this particular cruise was by far the worst we have ever experience on a Holland cruise, and we took a 34 day cruise with them last year and the worst meal for 34 days was better than the best meal on this cruise. They routinely ran out of the featured meats for the meal. This will be out last cruise on a Carnival owned line since quality and service are no longer a priority. I recommend that you very carefully consider that your service on a Holland ship may be dismal. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Having cruised on some of the bigger ships with RCL, Princess and others, we were not expecting much from Holland America and just thought the itinerary would make up for the ship, but what a surprise! It turned out to be a fantastic ... Read More
Having cruised on some of the bigger ships with RCL, Princess and others, we were not expecting much from Holland America and just thought the itinerary would make up for the ship, but what a surprise! It turned out to be a fantastic cruise. The staff were some of the friendliest we have ever met, the food was fabulous, and the fact that they served it to you in the buffet was a much better idea than the free for all on most ships, which encourages greed and mess. The one thing they need to address though, is that there is no insistence of hand washing before dining etc, we hardly saw anyone using the hand sanitizers, then they wonder why people get ill. It isn't the ships fault, its the people being unhygienic! We were on the same cruise as the lady who said people were coughing all over the ship, well we didn't encounter one of them. There was no illness on that cruise that we saw. The balcony cabin was very adequate with a few issues, like broken shower curtain, but nothing to complain about. 24 hour room service was amazing. So much choice, and beautifully presented. All in all it was a really great cruise, and we were lucky with the weather. I don't think I would sail on this ship to the Caribbean as the pool is so small and there isn't much entertainment, but for Alaska it was perfect! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
A couple of years ago, my husband and I went on our first cruise for out 40th anniversary to the Baltic - on Oceania. Maybe starting at close to the top wasn't the best idea! :) . We loved all of it. This summer we wanted to do ... Read More
A couple of years ago, my husband and I went on our first cruise for out 40th anniversary to the Baltic - on Oceania. Maybe starting at close to the top wasn't the best idea! :) . We loved all of it. This summer we wanted to do Alaska and our agent recommended Holland-America because we wanted to go to Denali and they are among the few lines that offer the Denali experience as a seamless part of the cruise. We knew our ship, the Noordam, was a few years past new, but decided to go for it. We really wanted a king size bed on the cruise and to get that had to have a suite. And, the suite was lovely and large with a fantastic deck. The stewards were amazing, too. That being said, this ship is ready to go into dry dock next year and it needs it. Nothing is worn or frayed, but it just feels middle-aged - a little saggier than before and not quite as glitzy! We departed from Vancouver and sat on our lovely, large deck all that afternoon as the weather was quite pleasant. Concierge service was good...first time I had used this. I'm not totally sure it was worth the extra money, except, again, we wanted the large deck and king bed and they were a combo. Food on the ship was okay - perhaps we were spoiled by the food on Oceania. This food was okay, but not outstanding, but then, they are feeding 2000 people. We didn't eat in any of the specialty restaurants for dinner, as there was a substantial upcharge - again on Oceania 1 dinner at each specialty was included. However, with a concierge suite, you get to eat in a specialty restaurant for breakfast and that was VERY lovely! (although it was a little unclear to me at the start....I thought it was one day, but it was every day...much better than room service with free mimosas!). Back to food - there are two "seatings" - something like 5 and 7:30.....we wanted to eat in-between, of course, and then we sometimes had to wait. Best food surprise - the hamburger stand on the Lido deck. GREAT burgers! All the amazing excursions we did through Holland America were well worth it (I'll review them separately). Entertainment was enjoyable - especially the piano bar near the casino. A not to miss is the Lincoln stage - 30-40 string quartet concerts at various times of the day. Just wonderful to sit that close and listen and relax. Also wonderful (if you are a cook) were the America's Test Kitchens demonstrations. The comedians were good, but you have to get there early to get a seat - it fills up too fast. The talk on the Iditarod was also fascinating. Do not get in the line for the free charm bracelet - poorly organized and the darn bracelet doesn't work well at all (and the charms are extra...plus the "free" charm doesn't fit the bracelet!). The day at Glacier Bay was awesome - get out on the deck and drink it all in! Other activities - we are early risers and were sad to learn that the hot tubs are not open until 8. Actually, they are drained every night (good news, bad news) and so really aren't ready at the time we would have liked - 6am with a cup of coffee! Also, the fitness center is adequate, but classes cost extra - if you use the ship's app to see what's going on that day, they don't tell you there is an upcharge for the class unless you actually click on it. If you just see there's a class, you won't know...and the yoga class was just very okay. In addition, on Oceania, guests can use the sauna, steam room, and quite room without a spa booking. Not true here...and the price for a message ($60 at home) is crazy ridiculous....how could I relax paying those prices! :) Finally, Holland America did a terrific job of moving people - after we docked in Seward, they got groups on a bus to Denali (us), others on buses to the airport, others on buses to Fairbanks, etc. Well done. We had a similar experience in Denali - well organized. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our trip on the Noordam Holland America was planned by my in-laws. My preference is Regent Cruise lines. Coming on the ship I had very low expectations and I my expectations were correct. The ship is somewhat worn. The food is ... Read More
Our trip on the Noordam Holland America was planned by my in-laws. My preference is Regent Cruise lines. Coming on the ship I had very low expectations and I my expectations were correct. The ship is somewhat worn. The food is average. I will say the service especially in the dining room was outstanding. Our waiter was Nadi, assisted by Ed and Janela. These three people were the highlight of the trip. Very attentive and aware of everything. I hate being nickeled and dimed but that’s what this cruise line is all about. We paid a small fortune for our suite. One would think WiFi would be included....not. If you want to use a spin bike in the gym, nope.....unless you take an 8 am class for 15.00 per person. In the spa, be careful. They will ask you if you like this or that. If you say yes, they will upcharge your bill. Many people will look at the base price of a cruise line like this and think I’ll save money vs Regent. When you add up all the add in charges: Drink package Excursions Mini bar in the room (not included in drink package) Automatic small print tips of 16.00 per day per person and compare to the price of Regent, you’ll come out pretty close on total cost. All these things are included on Regent. I’ll not take another Holland America cruise and I recommend you look at Regent. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We have a big family reunion come all of the world. before this cruise the biggest worry for me was the condition of the ship, I saw many reviews that people talking about how bad the ship was. First the embarkation went smoothly, even ... Read More
We have a big family reunion come all of the world. before this cruise the biggest worry for me was the condition of the ship, I saw many reviews that people talking about how bad the ship was. First the embarkation went smoothly, even was raining that day at Seward, there were umbrellas available for walking up the ship, no long line at all, took us about 15-20 mins to get on ship. The ship was clean and well maintained, even it was an old ship from the décor I could tell, but it was tasteful and nice. we had various rooms from balcony to inside cabin, I visited all and they were nice and clean. Only first day one of our cabins had issue with hot water and they were moved to an ocean view from an inside room, One room had plumbing issues and was handled right away. The staff were very polite and helpful, the cabin-keeper introduced themselves to us and most impressed was Vista Dining room server, they are not only professional and also very friendly. As we expected the onboard activities was not much but the main stage show were fine, Lincoln Center performance were delightful, we did not attend any other shows. The food at Vista Dining Room were excellent, meet our expectation. Buffet had good days and some day were par. We bought some excursion on board, but we did find the price for similar tour were cheaper at the port off the ship. Unfortunately due to weather, they canceled helicopter glacier landing and dog sled. We did White Pass train ride, that was ok, I enjoy the ferry ride from Haines to Skagway better than the train ride. Over all, we really enjoy this cruise, HAL showed us great time. Disembarkation was little mess due to taxi line issue, so took us long time to get out Port Canada. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The best thing about this ship are the four extra elevators they added either as an afterthought or in retrofit — Two on each side of the ship in the middle give us a total of seven elevators at entry point. These glass elevators on the ... Read More
The best thing about this ship are the four extra elevators they added either as an afterthought or in retrofit — Two on each side of the ship in the middle give us a total of seven elevators at entry point. These glass elevators on the side of the ship are much faster than the normal elevators and so wait time was actually quite minimal. A cruise ship leads a hard life, the cabins are constantly occupied 12 months a year the elevators are constantly moving so things do you wear out quick... noordam isn’t bad at all But too many elevator button lights are burned out, Drain on bathtub broken,the toilet stopped working for a while, There is some wear on the furniture in the cabins. The TV reception and remote isn’t very good. I certainly can’t mark it down because it caters to an older crowd, 80 percent 50 plus, but be aware of that when you are looking at cruise lines. The entertainment budget goes for a string Quartet that does Bach, not trapeze artists. Relatively limited dining options. Food is just OK. Wine is prohibitively overpriced even for a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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