32 Holland America Line Noordam Cruise Reviews

What was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime was spoilt by choosing Holland America as our cruise line. We were on a 15 night cruise starting from Sydney on February 26th. Although this ship was refurb the only changes to the cabins was ... Read More
What was meant to be a holiday of a lifetime was spoilt by choosing Holland America as our cruise line. We were on a 15 night cruise starting from Sydney on February 26th. Although this ship was refurb the only changes to the cabins was the television on the wall. The bathrooms are very tired and our friends whose cabin was next door had the enamel peeling off the bath. On return from our holiday I checked my bank account and noticed we had been overcharged by $70. We called HAL and they were extremely unhelpful said it would take weeks to look into it as they are busy doing refunds. After not hearing from them my husband chased and they sent us a copy of our bill. We could clearly see where the overcharge was they took money for a dressing gown and the plastic cover they put on the bed before you put the suitcase on it. First of all I would not want to steal a dressing gown that hundreds of people have worn and secondly why would I want a piece of dirty plastic that hundreds of suitcases have been on. We are still trying to get our money back and we have been told we have to wait a further 28 days for them to look into it. I am absolutely disgusted with this company and will never travel with them again. The service on this ship was not good, we had dirty glasses left in the cabin for days on end. The waiter who served us at dinner after about 12 days of serving us still could not get it that one of us was vegetarian and kept offering her meat. I was told by head office before we went that the men could wear smart shorts in the dining room but when we got there they refused to let them in shorts. Some of the staff were rude which is not what you should experience when you are paying the sort of money you pay to cruise. I have been on Celebrity, Princess and Royal Caribbean and have never experienced rude staff before only on HAL. We were overcharged one night for drinks in fact we had about three different charges for one lot of drinks. (This overcharging seems to be a pattern). The entertainment was non existent and I think we saw the Cruise Director once, all he was was a voice on the tannoy system. Nothing happening at all at night, we would leave the dining room at about 9.15pm and there was not a sole around it was a ghost town. BBKings is the same every night so after a few times its extremely boring and the two piano players were so bad it was a cringe worthy experience. In the theatre they had hardly anyone on so the same people entertained twice in the 15 days. Once you have sat listening to a very bad comedian once you do not want to have that experience again. In my opinion the worst cruise company going and if you want to be bored and spoken to in a bad manner then yes HAL is the company to go with. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We chose this cruise because we had heard good things about Holland America and it was going to places we wanted to visit. We have been on many cruises before always using Cunard, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean in the past without ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had heard good things about Holland America and it was going to places we wanted to visit. We have been on many cruises before always using Cunard, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean in the past without criticism. However, from the moment we boarded we were disappointed. The ship looked very tired. Our stateroom had a balcony and we had paid a lot of money for it. The room itself was ok. Not amazing but ok. The bathroom was another story. Quite frankly it was horrible. It had a manky old bath with a vile shower curtain. The bath was literally peeling i.e. there were large loose flakes of bath hanging loose on the base. The bathroom overall was very old fashioned and looked like it needed ripping out and starting again. The food was very mediocre. In the buffet it was much as you would expect from a ships buffet but the dining room was disappointing. At the start of the 15 day cruise I explained to our waiter that I was vegetarian. He still persisted in recommending me meat dishes every single evening despite me repeating that I was vegetarian. On one occasion he brought me soup with pieces of meat floating in it. The menus were not always clear as to what dish was vegetarian and the soup was a cream soup so I thought I was safe. He should have picked up on that! The internet was exorbitantly expensive and we opted for the top level on the recommendation of the Holland America staff. This we purchased before we boarded. We found that the internet was incapable of sending simple e mails a lot of the time. This was not how it was sold to us. We were overcharged for drinks and often found ourselves queuing at guest services in order to complain. The evening shows were not very good and by about 9.30 you could walk the ships communal areas and not see another human being. There were two bars that were a little more lively - BB kings and the piano bar. However by 11.00 pm there was no life, no atmosphere whatsoever. Some of the stops were lovely but there were three stops that were a waste of time. Whilst there were tours available, it felt as if to do one of these would merely be for the sake of it. The ship stopped in Hobart Tasmania from 5pm until around 11pm the following night. There was nothing to do there and no life whatsoever. Very very small town atmosphere. We stopped in Dunedin in New Zealand which I thought was boring and likewise Gisbourne in New Zealand. Judging by conversations with other passengers we were not alone in our views. We learnt a very important lesson from this trip. Never book Holland America again!!! 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 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
My husband and I did the Double Denali with 7 day cruise down the inner passage. What a mistake that was!! I had one day on-board the Noordam before I got ill. One day to enjoy the ship - that's all. I had one day before I fell ... Read More
My husband and I did the Double Denali with 7 day cruise down the inner passage. What a mistake that was!! I had one day on-board the Noordam before I got ill. One day to enjoy the ship - that's all. I had one day before I fell dreadfully ill with a virulent flu virus which I contracted while staying in the Holland America chalet in Denali a few days before (together with up to 90% of other people on the same holiday, according to what the medical staff on board told us). I was told by their medical staff that it takes up to 4 days to show after infection so that takes it firmly into the Denali stay period. It was also a ‘seasonal identified influenza virus’..Presumably a local virus? We certainly never heard a holiday maker on our bus/train etc coughing - not until we got on the Noordam. Certainly by the end of the cruise people were coughing all over the ship. My temperature reached 104 degrees and I was 'isolated' and 'sanitized' in my room for 3 days. This was done in the most insensitive and unkind way - making me sit there in the room feeling like a leper. I sat crying while staff in gloves and masks swilled the room over with cheap smelly disinfectant (which, by the way, aggravated my throat and cough). I was too ill to do anything about it except get very upset and later to get very very angry. We were told to use the room service. Most of the food offered in the room service booklet was inedible to me as I was feeling so ill. My husband spent 3 days going up and down the ship getting me glasses of water and bits of food I could eat (cold by the time he got it to me). Ringing room service was very difficult as the phones are so weak that it was difficult to hear anyone on the other end and always so busy, and the people answering them often had poor English. Room service always said there would be at least a 45 min wait for anything. At no point were we offered or told about anything that might be available to us to help us. My husband couldn't even get a jug for water - he was only allowed to bring water by the plastic glass. There weren't even any trays to carry things on. We have never done a cruise before so all this was new to us and we didn’t know how to cope with it. We didn't get our down-turn service or any other niceties. We missed the ships activities, nice dinners, and worst of all our bucket list excursions which we had planned and paid for months in advance. We didn't even get any reassurance we would get our money back from them until much later. We felt largely abandoned and sacrificed so that their epidemic wouldn’t spread -which was ironic really since the whole ship sounded like it had the same cough by the end of the trip. When I was eventually allowed out of my cabin after 3 days I was very angry indeed and I spoke to one of the managers in customer services but he was cold, distant and indifferent. He had no empathy what so ever and said in the end that - quote 'if he compensated me he'd have to compensate all the others and he wasn't going to do that'. He even inferred that it was my own fault for not knowing how to use room service more and asking for what I wanted. He seemed to want to blame me and any other staff - he had no empathy or conception that I had been deliriously ill with fever and was still very ill and that we had never been on a cruise before and didn't know the ropes. I even ended up with a medical bill of $348! The rest of the cruise was dreary because I had such a sore throat I couldn't speak, I lost my voice, and I was weak and unable to do much. I had no appetite. I still don’t feel completely well even now. In short, the cruise experience that my husband and I had with Holland America was absolutely abysmal and it has put us off ever going on a cruise again. Not only were we treated pretty dreadfully, we never got the experience we were promised and we had a holiday from hell, with no recompense or care or compassion. I have emailed them about this many times since we got home and they have totally ignored me – except to send adverts for cruise holidays!!! How insensitive and inappropriate is that? As a good tip I would say that when you are looking for a cruise it would be wise to first find out how the company will treat you if you get ill while you are with them. I got my flu virus while in the care of HAL, - I was infected while staying in their accommodation - but this is what happened to me and my husband. I wish I had looked into it more myself. I cannot review most of what the ship had to offer because I wasn't well enough to explore it properly. My husband and I did feel that the food was of very poor quality though. Our balcony floor had a huge mound of rotting metal in it. Our cabin was very comfortable - but it didnt make up for all the awful stuff!! There were many others ill like me on this cruise, and I read in a previous review in March this year that a flu epidemic swept the ship then. Maybe the air con is suspect? I hope my experience helps people make their minds up about whether to do this cruise or not. We regret doing it very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
This was a Dave Koz Charter Cruz! Ship was contaminated with a flu bug. Hundreds of passengers on Week 1 and Week 2 got seriously ill with a flu bug (Cough, sore throat, chills, fever and loss of appetite - lasted for over 4 days). ... Read More
This was a Dave Koz Charter Cruz! Ship was contaminated with a flu bug. Hundreds of passengers on Week 1 and Week 2 got seriously ill with a flu bug (Cough, sore throat, chills, fever and loss of appetite - lasted for over 4 days). The ship was very old and when we hit rough waters it showed. Many people were sick and also got sick in the main dining hall. Germs were spreading everywhere. Food selections were scarce and they up-charged you a 15% service charge regardless of the service received. a Would not cancel our massage during the heavy turbulence going to Tasmania and I got really ill on the table. Paid for a massage that I did not enjoy. I felt sorry for the crew being forced to work in this environment. Also had to organize our own excursions due to limitation of Holland America. I would never cruise on this line again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Overall Rating - Pacific Isles, Tasman & Bass Srts 1/5 We have completed over 50 cruises including World cruises on Cunard, Celebrity, Princess et al, with another booked in April on Celebrity Solstice. This cruise on the ... Read More
Overall Rating - Pacific Isles, Tasman & Bass Srts 1/5 We have completed over 50 cruises including World cruises on Cunard, Celebrity, Princess et al, with another booked in April on Celebrity Solstice. This cruise on the Noordam has been our worst ever, never to be repeated. I do not enjoy writing a bad review, but this needed to be said, honestly and fairly as it happened. Here is a sampling: ship and verandah room in disrepair (visible rust everywhere, wallpaper peeling, bedding old and uncomfortable), food lackluster (served luke warm, absent seasoning in Lido and Main), evident influenza epidemic, but only a warning issued of “Seasonal Flu” at the end of 1st segment). We cannot help but believe that this cruise cut corners at every level. It was short on entertainment (except for Noordam singers & dancers), food quality (except for Canaletto), things to do, dilapidation of the ship (rusting in every corner). Frankly, there is too much competition and too may choices of better cruise lines, and we have sailed with many. Further, the Australia routes are gouged price wise compared to USA and European routes, but then again, Australia is gouged at every level anyway as an easy unsuspecting target. Stateroom Location #8134 AFT: 1/5 What a terrible mistake we made through our Agent. The Navigation deck AFT is right below the pool deck area. Constant moving of chairs beginning at 5.30am every day and picking up around mid morning and mid afternoon. Also the room is too small, making it difficult to navigate. Barely room to walk past the bed! The deck is so small it does not serve any useful purpose., so it went unused. Our previous cruise on the Noordam we had a Neptune Suite. Finally, refuse from the above pool deck collects on the small balcony! The TV is located to the right of the balcony sliding doors, where you need to be a contortionist to see it! Conclusion: Be prepared to pay the significantly extra cost for a Neptune or Mini Suite, otherwise pass on the Noordam. We will pass anyway. Too many other choices of great cruise lines. Ship Quality: 1/5 Sorry, this ship is very much in need of a complete renovation. The ship was already tired during our last voyage, 2 years ago. and it is worse on this cruise. The only reason for taking this cruise again was a decision to take a cruise over the Xmas/NY Season. Rust and corrosion everywhere, dingy carpeting, peeling wallpaper. Conclusion: This ship has not been maintained. We did not see one person painting rust during the 2 segments. During our quarantine for illness for 5 days, the balcony wash washed down very briefly and poorly once, insufficient to remove the debris collected from the above pool deck! We suggest waiting until the renovation takes place if you are considering the Noordam! Health & Influenza: 1/5 We encountered several passengers who were down with either the gastro infections, the flu or the Influenza virus. We took every precaution to avoid it, unsuccessfully. There had been no alert issued by the Noordam. Notwithstanding taking every precaution to avoid infection, I first contracted gastro infection, then my wife came down with the flu, then I came down with influenza, which was horrible, quarantined to the cabin for 5 days. There was neither any mention nor WARNING of these pervasive infections from Noordam until the last day of the 1st segment to be aware of “Seasonal Flu”. Evidently Noordam management opted to put their head in the sand, and let the passengers fend for themselves! It seems the preference is to raise no alert! Restaurants: 2/5 Canaletto (Service and Food) – Syarif & attendants great servce 5/5 Pinnacle Grill (Service Excellent, food very good) – Stephen and Wohan great service 5/5 Main (Gilroy tries hard but all other Service fair, food poor) 1/5 Lido (no trays available, table service very good, ) Food station service poor, food poor) 1/5 Kyrisha @ Pasta Station has consistently poor attitude, having observed her rudeness with passengers over the course of the Cruise. If you prefer hot food, you will need to pay extra at the Canaletto or the Pinnacle. We had food delivered to the room several times from the Canaletto and the Pinnacle, but it would arrive warm or cold. Entertainment: average at best 2/5 Noordam singers and Dancers 5/5 Other entertainment (Comedians, Magicians etc) 1/5 Cruise Director 1/5 Constant barrage of announcements made by Jae, Cruise Director,who likes to hear himself over the speaker morning noon and night, with little tangible effort beyond that. Spoke directly with the Jae on New Years Eve, questioning why there were no chairs provided on the Lido deck. He responded in an insolent, rude and undignified manner, and laid the blame squarely on a decision and directive made by Home Office that no chairs should be provided. If this is true, and if this is the level of Head Office involvement on the Noordam, what is the need for Jae? Both my wife and I agreed that this must have been a decision taken on the Noordam, with Jae shifting blame for a stupid decision, and an unwillingness to take any responsibility for a stupid decision. Then, for the final stage performance by the Noordam Singers and Dancers, with all passengers having been kept waiting15 minutes past start time, Jae, Cruise Director, arrived on stage as though all is great, asking how everyone is enjoying the cruise, only to announce that due to audio problems, the show has been cancelled. This is clearly Jae’s responsibility to ensure all systems are a go, where audio etc should be validated well prior to the performance. This is yet another example of the ineptness, with no admission of responsibility nor apology. We have been on many cruises where the Cruise Director steps up when needed. Not in this case. Guest Services: Request to move to a Suite 2/5 We spoke with Guest Services at the start of our cruise on the 1st segment, requesting to move from #8134. A Neptune Suite was available. We were quoted an extra US$4,000 for the upgrade on the 1st segment only, with no guarantee on the 2nd segment, or where we would be located! We offered US$2,500 given the move and the uncertainty for the 2nd segment. Guest Services countered with their final offer of US$3,500. We passed. We requested an upgrade to a mini suite on the 2nd segment. After two calls to follow up with guest services, being informed they were checking with Corporate, and in the middle of the 2nd segment without a response, we contacted guest services a 3rd time asking why they had not extended the courtesy of a response. They were failed to provide any reasonable response, simply apologizing profusely. Festivities: 2/5 Christmas Eve & Day Celebrations – very basic 2/5 New Year Eve Celebration 2/5 Both celebrations missed the mark by a long shot. Nothing special or memorable offered. NYE celebrations were held on the Lido decks, with windy conditions outside, and NO CHAIRS provided inside. Room Service 2/5 Since we were ill and isolated in our cabin, we were required to order room service. The order taking over the telephone resulted in incorrect deliveries, cold food, one very late delivery on the Canaletto, with totally COLD food (where it had been sitting for some time), or missing items. On one occasion room service called us to see if we enjoyed our meal. We responded we were still waiting for it to be delivered. Embarkation Sydney: 5/5 Fast check in, went smoothly. Bags arrived at Stateroom before us! Suggestion: arrive at port around 2pm after the crowd for easy no hassle check in. Disembarkation Ports & Tenders: 5/5 Few wait lines, efficiently handled Ports of Call: 3/5 1st Segment: Mostly Island beaches and sparsely populated. You need to like beaches and seclusion with few things to do. The French in New Caledonia were neither warm nor friendly, living up to the French reputation. Non French Islanders were warm and receptive, appreciative of the Tourist Dollars. The Noordam failed to deliver nightly information in advance of ports of call, which is a first! The weather was mixed and unpredictable. 2nd segment: limited with Port Arthur (a must see for Australia history), Auckland, Adelaide, and Kangaroo Island, collectively difficult to justify. Spa Thermal Pool 3/5 Upon boarding the Noordam we visited the Spa to sign up for the Hydra pool package, only to be told they were sold out! We enjoyed this on our prior cruise on the Noordam. We were able to sign up on port days in the afternoons. We were able to sign up for the package on the 2nd segment, but since we came down with influenza, we had to cancel. The package is definitely worth it, as it is one of the few things worthy on the Noordam. Spa Hairdresser 5/5 Sally gave cuts and styling to both my wife and self. Sally was very professional and gave great cuts and styles. Stores on board: 2/5 General items are sparse. Purchased needed items at port visits. Internet 1/5 Signed up for the package with full access excluding video. The Internet Is VERY SLOW, and often kicked me off the Internet entirely, or unable to connect. It was Impossible to search on the Web. Its only use was emails & basics, if you can connect! This Internet Service is in serious need of an upgrade, comparable with the Internet connections available on more advanced liners Reception: 5/5 Responsive.. Standout is “Roma”. Be prepared for long lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We booked this cruise to get home to Australia from North America. We were assured when booking that the ship was to be refurnished in early 2018. On embarking we found a stateroom with tatty furniture - holes in the upholstery, peeling ... Read More
We booked this cruise to get home to Australia from North America. We were assured when booking that the ship was to be refurnished in early 2018. On embarking we found a stateroom with tatty furniture - holes in the upholstery, peeling wallpaper, chips in bath and sink and bathroom mirrors degrading. The public areas were no better. Meals in the dining room and lido were at best lukewarm no matter where or when we ate. The only way to get fresh hot food was to dine in the pinnacle grill or canalettos both of which were excellent. Having paid for one's food one shoukd not have to pay twice. A lot of the fruit on board was old from the start of the cruise and off by the time we reached Fiji. The ship ran out of english breakfast and tetley tea bags and corn flakes. Only one flavour of yoghurt available at a time. But notbto worry there were at any one time inumerable boxes of a full range of caffeine free teas! The numbers of servers has been reduced so much that the tables could not be cleared between diners and on some evenings it took over 25 minutes to place one's order for dinner. When it arrived the food was usually tepid at best and when returned to the kitchen to be reheated it came back no better. It was ridiculous that as we crossed the Pacific passengerd had to wear sweaters inside the ship because the airconditioning was so cold. The standard of evening entertainment was poor with large gaps when nothing was happening at all. The internet access was described by a member of Holland America staff as abysmal most passengers were much ruder about it. The 'range' of dvds available was a joke the staff asked psssengers for a list of requested titles then couldn't deliver any of them I am not sure what Holland Americ's agenda is; whether they are trying to move down market within the CCL group. If so they may well succeed but they alienated a whole lot of experienced mariners on this cruise. Many times I heard fellow passengers express the determinstion never to cruise HL again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked a signature suite on this cruise which showed on the HAL website as being a newly refurbished suite with new couch and chairs,marble top counters ,big screen TV on the wall and bright fresh interior but what we actually got when ... Read More
We booked a signature suite on this cruise which showed on the HAL website as being a newly refurbished suite with new couch and chairs,marble top counters ,big screen TV on the wall and bright fresh interior but what we actually got when we came onboard is a tired old suite with marks all over the walls,an old bathroom with old grubby shower curtains, an old TV that you couldn’t make out what was on the screen due to the fuzziness on it. boy were we disappointed! They have since replaced the TV but have stuck paper serviettes under it for whatever reason which looks terrible but at least we have a clearer picture, . We have complained to the customer relations desk onboard who were really disinterested and said we should have read the fine print that says the photos of the cabin are not necessarily representing the actual cabin!!!! That is false advertising as ok the layout may vary or the colour scheme but not when the photos are actually under the Noordam and showing a new cabin and not a dinghy old cabin that is desperate to be refurbished. A number of suite passengers have complained as it is all suites and cabins that have not been fefurbished, The Noordam overall throughout the vessel is very worn with old grubby carpets throughout the dining rooms,stairwells and quite a bit of the public rooms. Around the covered pool area they have set up long trestle tables with plastic chairs which has made the whole area overcrowded and very tacky looking. The room service has delivered us cold toast and cold water for tea so now on day 4 we have despaired with room service and will have to tackle the throngs of people in the Lido. We are 4 star mariners and are very dissatisfied with what is happening with HAL and the standard of the ship as it once was a fantastic line to sail with. On a positive note the Staff are always a pleasure but with the cutbacks on staff they are working twice as hard and consequently the tables in the pool area are not being cleared and no delivery of water or tea and coffee any more but of course you can still purchase a beer because that creates revenue. If you are booking the Noordam for travel before I understand November 2019 just bear in mind you are not getting the cabin as shown in the pictures or on the website As there are a lot of disgruntled passengers onboard. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ship is not up to the standards one expects from a modern cruise liner, the ship is old at 10years & tired. It is the only cruise line where you have to submit credit card details per passenger in order to get a boarding card they ... Read More
The ship is not up to the standards one expects from a modern cruise liner, the ship is old at 10years & tired. It is the only cruise line where you have to submit credit card details per passenger in order to get a boarding card they took the equivalent of 900$ from each of our accounts & that was before we had even stepped a foot outside the UK, Boarding was a farce, queuing up in an old warehouse with no seating no toilets that I could see . The cabin was barely adequate, very cramped you couldn't get out of the bathroom if someone wanted either to come in to the cabin or wanted to get at the wardrobe. The balcony or veranda as HA put it had furniture that looked as if it came from the 20s cushions that could not be removed so were continually wet. The public rooms were OK just, but there was no library as such just a collection of books in book shelves spread across two of the public rooms without rhyme or reason & very few at that. We always opt for fine dining, in this case it was anything but that, the menus looked impressive full of culinary terms no one understood, when the food came it was either cold or burnt or both, the staff soon learnt not to serve the table with cold food, The majority of the food was just about edible, as if the chef really didn't know the meaning of fine dining, a good example was one night we had roast beef & Yorkshire pudding, the beef was ok, not the best cut but the yorkshire pudding was terrible, it was so bad & tough that I could have used it to sole my boots, we later discovered that the chef was Indian, we asked him for an indian meal he said ok but it never materialised, throughout the ship the food seemed to be of an equally poor standard. No where on the ship could you get a half decent cup of coffee, apart from the coffee stall in the explorers lounge, else where it was stewed with in an inch of its life. For the most part the staff, Indonesian, were helpful & friendly, it was when you came to the american staff that the trouble started, the impression they gave was that they couldn't be bothered with you, an example was our cabin air conditioning seemed to be permanently stuck on very cold, even in New Zealand in November the weather is chilly, we reported the fault & eventually a young girl came to check it out, "nothing wrong with it" she said "it is meant to be cold" I pointed out that if that were the case why it the dial have red numbers on it. As nothing further was done I went back to the front desk & complained, after 2 days an engineer arrived, " your quite right, the thermostat is us" & promptly fitted a new one. I wont even talk about the entertainment, one or two good acts the rest rubbish. Shore excursions we chose not to take the ships advertised shore excursions but used an online agency who's prices were 60% cheaper than the ships & didn't include the 15% surcharge the ship puts on every thing. My wife & I are both over 70, we have been cruising every year for over 10 years, so we have had a lot of experience of what to expect from a cruise line, we have always wanted to visit this part of the world & due to other commitments we had to go at this time of the year. Holland America will I'm sure be pleased to know that we will never step foot on one of their ships ever again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Mediocre food. They have great sounding creative menus, seemingly quality ingredients, then ruin it with poor execution. Watery pasta dishes, overcooked meats, limp crusted pizza, hot food served cold or lukewarm, etc. Almost laughable ... Read More
Mediocre food. They have great sounding creative menus, seemingly quality ingredients, then ruin it with poor execution. Watery pasta dishes, overcooked meats, limp crusted pizza, hot food served cold or lukewarm, etc. Almost laughable at every meal. The hamburgers on the pool deck were really good, though. A dearth of entertainment options. Shows were boring and uninspired. Piano bar and blues club entertainment were great for a couple nights...not 15 in a row. It got really boring. Daytime activities almost non-existent. No cruise port talks the first week. Zero. No fitness center classes the first week--all were canceled. America's Test Kitchen is great, but the instructor missed the boat while in port one day and they did not wait for her or pick her up at the next port...they just canceled the rest of the classes. They could have provided substitute culinary related talks or demos...they certainly have the staff. I understand they are not allowed to use the Test Kitchen without the designated instructor because of their contract. That doesn't mean they couldn't use the showroom for an alternative food-related activity. No one cares. I was told it all comes down to the cruise director's decision, so, sorry Andy...you get a big fail. The ship needs a refurb really badly. Seems old and tired with no wow factor in any area. This goes for the cabins as well. Waiters, housekeeping, and food servers at the buffet were very friendly and tried to be helpful. Anyone in management in the buffet, however, just stood at their podium or walked around making sure not to make eye contact with passengers, like they were above it all. Never again, Holland. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We chose this cruise as a way to get back from Alaska to Vancouver. We were hoping for a smaller, less crowded, low-key cruise. What we got was a filthy ship, illness everywhere, change in itinerary, the worst customer service I've ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a way to get back from Alaska to Vancouver. We were hoping for a smaller, less crowded, low-key cruise. What we got was a filthy ship, illness everywhere, change in itinerary, the worst customer service I've every experienced, really lame entertainment - I mean the worst!, and did I mention how dirty everything was? The good - our room was great. We had a verandah suite with a balcony. The Piano Bar and the BB King Blues Club was a blast. Our room stewards were amazing and we left them a very large tip. And now for the bad. I feel terrible writing all of this and hate to be a person who complains, but I'm hoping to warn people before they choose this cruise line or maybe catch the attention of HAL to make some changes (I did fill out their customer service survey, but didn't get a response). Be warned - this is not a young persons cruise. We are late 30's early 40's and I would not recommend this cruise to anyone under 70 - or hip and fun 80/90 year olds. You will be bored, hungry, and disappointed. The food selection. We've cruised before and were treated to wonderful food, awesome buffets, beautiful dining room experiences. This was the lowest quality food I've experienced, very little selection, terrible dining service, and very limited meal times. You know when they say that you can eat any time you want on a cruise? This is not the case on Holland. The food times are hit and miss and even then, there's very little selection. One evening I was really hungry so I went down to the Lido. I was told by one staff when the Lido was going to be open. I went down there and there was nothing available except the pasta bar. When I asked a group of employees about when it was going to open, they first half ignored me as if they couldn't be bothered (they were standing in a group just hanging out). Finally, one just told me the pasta bar was the only option. We gave up numerous times and tried to get room service. Well, half of the time no one answered and once you could get through, it would take over an hour to get the food. Half of the orders weren't even correct. I'm literally not exaggerating. We tried the dining room. We had one good night of dining on our 7 day cruise. One night, we were completely forgotten about. With HAL, you have to give them your entire order at the beginning of dinner. On other cruises, you could try anything you wanted and even order more of something if you really liked it. This is not the case on HAL. We ordered espresso to go with dessert. Well, they brought the dessert, and then about 30 minutes later brought over the coffee. Oh well. The food selection seemed to be kind of the same every night. Heavy meat, mashed potatoes and limp veges. There was a salad bar and that helped a little. There were very few dessert options and the pizza was sub par as well as their hamburgers on deck. I still don't understand how they can mess up a hamburger bun. For lunch there were pre-made sandwiches. That's right - nothing to order, you were at the mercy of what they decided to prepare that day (I'm lactose intolerant and literally went hungry and lost weight on this cruise). We tried to eat at the dining room for lunch one day and we missed it because they closed at noon. I felt the meal times and food selection catered to...hmmm...an older crowd. Mushy traditional food options felt retirement-homish. In one of the bars, the tables were filthy, there were empty glasses everywhere and we couldn't get any service, not even at the bar. We were told that we had to wait for the waitress to come around. After quite a wait, she finally came over (it was not busy at all), took our drink order and while she was leaving, we asked if she could take the empty glasses from our table. She acted completely put out, picked up the glasses and literally left the used napkins. There was no attempt to clean or wipe the sticky dirty table. We had to hold our drinks because it was unsanitary to put them down. One morning we bought coffee in the coffee shop before we got off the ship at a port. While we were getting off we were told that we couldn't take it with us. They never mentioned this at the coffee shop where we had just gotten the coffee (backpacks and gear clearly indicating that we were headed on shore). There was no apology, we were rudely told to dump it. We were given some lame excuse about the noro outbreak. Ok, no problem, but put up a sign at the coffee shop if that was the case. Interestingly, we were able to buy a bottle of water to take on shore right at the same place. $10 wasted! I went to the spa - which was ok. Not great, but ok. The waiting room didn't have any water or anything to drink. They claimed it was because of how many sick people were on board. Great! I was really thirsty after being in the sauna before my massage and mentioned this to my massuse who just said - sorry. I'm so glad I paid over $200 for this "luxury" spa experience. They could have put out some bottled water. The icing on the cake - they gave us the wrong disembark tag - 3 times! We had even booked our ship to airport transfer with them and filled out all of the paperwork and they still gave us a time that would make us miss our flight. After 3 visits to the front desk, I finally lost it. I demanded the earliest time, demanded that they refund our transfer fee, and we kept our suitcases and left as early as we possibly could. Thank goodness we did because this was the only way we were able to make our flight on time. They could care less. I've never felt more relief than getting off this ship in Vancouver. I could feel my whole body relax. We are both professional kind patient people (I'm a counselor with an advanced degree who works with children and families). I felt like we were on the cruise from hell. My biggest regret was not getting off in Juneau and flying home early. What a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
My wife and I are 3 Star Mariners on Holland America and have taken many Holland American cruises since 1978. They have always been great, memorable cruises. My wife had been wanting to visit Alaska and Denali. This seemed to be the ... Read More
My wife and I are 3 Star Mariners on Holland America and have taken many Holland American cruises since 1978. They have always been great, memorable cruises. My wife had been wanting to visit Alaska and Denali. This seemed to be the perfect cruise. We left the Vancouver Port on Sunday,and cruised the inner passage all day Monday arriving in Ketchikan the following day. Ketchikan was a quaint little town that we just walked around enjoying the surroundings. A couple of days into the cruise, I didn't feel well and visited the ships doctor. She diagnosed and treated me for constipation. We then visited Juneau and traveled on to Skagway. We didn't participate in the shore excursions that we paid for since I was still feeling ill. I visited the ships doctor again and was told to continue the treatment she had previously prescribed for the constipation. . We were scheduled to travel the Inner Passage the next 2 days viewing Glacier Bay and arriving in Anchorage 2 days later with no scheduled stops. I felt pretty bad and thought that I might have had to have an emergency evacuation while we cruised for those 2 days if it got worse. I tried to get a plane out of Skagway with the conceriege's help so I could get to my own doctor in Alabama. No planes were available so we had to take a ferry back to Juneau to catch our flight to Seattle, stay overnight, and finish our trip to the East coast the following day. When we got home I visited my doctor who diagnosed me with a respiratory infection. He gave me a shot in the office and prescribed additional medications. I felt much better the next day, enough so that I could have continued with the cruise if I had been correctly diagnosed by the ships doctor and received the same treatment on board the ship. I called HA and explained the situation to them and asked if they would provide me credit for a follow-on cruise. They said that since I decided to discontinue our cruise, which was not authorized as an emergency by the doctor, they did not feel responsible. They said I should have gotten trip insurance. NOTE to Cruisers- Trip insurance will not provide any reimbursement when the ship's doctor did not call for an emergency evacuation or recommend the passenger discontinue the cruise. BEWARE-you can pay a lot of money for trip insurance and not get one cent in return if you felt it was an emergency but the ships doctor did not agree that you should discontinue the cruise. My last great cruise on HA was in 2006. This is not the same Premier Cruise line it once was. It has deteriorated greatly since being acquired by Carnival Corp. If I had known that when I booked my cruise I probably would not have used Holland America since I had cruised on Carnival one time and was so disappointed that I said "never again". NEVER again will I cruise Holland America, nor will I ever recommend them. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Holland America made many promises about Neptune class but failed to deliver:- 1. Promised express boarding for Neptune class - DID NOT Happen we had to wait among the hundreds of people - very slow. 2. Promised cocktail party with ... Read More
Holland America made many promises about Neptune class but failed to deliver:- 1. Promised express boarding for Neptune class - DID NOT Happen we had to wait among the hundreds of people - very slow. 2. Promised cocktail party with Captain/ senior officers - DID NOT happen 3. Promise priority bookings - DID NOT Happen 4. Promised express embarkation at ports - DID NOT happen 5. Entertainment we sub par - extremely poor, dancers out of time, singers very poor, th comedian was NOT funny and only catered to older Americans no one else could follow his alleged jokes - nothing for international travellers 6. Promised good food at all facilities - NOT the case, very average and often NOT tasty. 7. Speciality restaurants very average, sub par 8. Crew quite friendly 9. Ports generally ok but found the rice of excursions from the ship over the top - much cheaper at local venues. 10. We wanted to get to Scagway but NO help from ships crew, we found excellent help on shore. Found numerous other cruise ships in Scagway why was Holland America docked in a run down no where town? 11. We just finished (Jan 2019) a similar length cruise on P&O (in a suite similar too our previous HM suite) on an ex HM ship - this experience left HM for dead! Better service, better food, better entertainment, better everything!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Chose it because it went where we wanted to go but didn't ant to go all the way to Vancouver but we were told we couldn't get off in Honolulu unless we paid for entire leg to Canada. That being said the reasons we were terribly ... Read More
Chose it because it went where we wanted to go but didn't ant to go all the way to Vancouver but we were told we couldn't get off in Honolulu unless we paid for entire leg to Canada. That being said the reasons we were terribly disappointed are many. I got food poisoning in the formal dining room and was treated like a criminal for even suggesting that the escargot was bad. The front desk told me to go to my room and stay there until they released me. No one in the medical staff saw me, took my temperature or helped me at all. When I wanted food while in my room no one answered the phone in room service or the front desk for at least an hour. When I finally went to the front desk (yes, I left my room!) they had room service call me.15 ins later they called and took an order for me and my husband they said it would be there in 30 mins. which ended up being an hour and a half later. I called the medical staff to find out when I would be able to leave my room, she told me she would let me know sometime the next day after 9 a.m. and then hung up on me before I could saying anything more. Before they released me they came to "sanitize" our room. Which included wiping down a few surfaces but NOT the phone, door handles or bathroom door or the arm chairs. After they supposedly had sanitized the bathroom, I took a wad of TP and wiped under the rim of the toilet seat. It was filled with brown slime and black mold!!!! I let the front desk know this and they said they would mention it to the proper staff, but it never got cleaned. At least 70-80% of passengers were sick with a cold for the entire 36 days. There weren't any waste cans to dispose of used tissues so people were putting them on their used plates, behind curtains next to the tables etc. on Lido deck. I never saw anyone wipe off the chair arms (sticky, oily film covered the arms) I did see them wipe off the handrails but nothing else. The excursions were pretty lame in some cases very good in a few cases. Orcas were touted on the ship as being plentiful on the Orca Whale watch in Victoria but were nonexistent after 3 hours in the cod and rain. To be honest they should call it a wildlife tour since they said while we were on the tour that they hadn't seen or heard of any Orcas being seen for a long time. There was no more to do on sea days than on in port days but much more crowded of course. No games or entertainment around the pool on sea days. In fact one day they took most of the pool chairs away and had a "big sale" on stuff they hadn't been able to get rid of in the last 30 something days. Service in the Lido dining room was the best thing we experienced. The service people were friendly and hard working. Many times though on sea days we had to bus our own tables and get our own beverages because the help was over worked, not enough help. Roasting the same meats is not my idea of cooking. Pretty much roast pork leg and fried chicken every day. Lots of mashed potatoes and carrots. The salad bar was wonderful and was the saving grace for the food department. Finally the last day was the crowning insult. We paid (through the excursions department) $58 for the 2 of us to be transported to the airport to catch our flight. The whole process was chaos both the ship and the bus company were to blame. There was no sense of urgency through the whole chaotic ordeal and culminated in many of us on our bus missing our flights which of course incurred even more fees and getting home 8 hours later than our original flight. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My rating is really based on Holland America Line in general.. This review of Noordam just confirms past experiences. My choice of HAL was based on convenience rather than comfort. All onboard services have degraded to poor. The focus ... Read More
My rating is really based on Holland America Line in general.. This review of Noordam just confirms past experiences. My choice of HAL was based on convenience rather than comfort. All onboard services have degraded to poor. The focus of HAL is generating onboard revenue, not guest quality. Meals in Vista dining room are poorly prepared, I expect due to reduced meal budgets from corporate. Menu has been significantly reduced with few options which were plentiful in past years. The only meal with reasonable quality was in Pinnacle Grill always at increased cost. I object to new tipping policy which is automatically added to folio without prior notification. I recommend always to request modification of gratuity as soon as you board. HAL has gone from tippng not required to virually mandatatory tipping policy. This is how HAL increases revenue at the expense of reduced labor cost by pushing the labor cost to already paid passengers. This is unfair to passengers and service personnel onboard the ships. Any other cruise line will be better than HAL Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
But it went downhill from there. the dinning room was 1 1/2 hours to eat, the service just to get water refills was next to impossible, nobody liked the lobster it was very tough, and waited 3 days for a ashtray on our verandah, as far as ... Read More
But it went downhill from there. the dinning room was 1 1/2 hours to eat, the service just to get water refills was next to impossible, nobody liked the lobster it was very tough, and waited 3 days for a ashtray on our verandah, as far as the band, they were constantly being pulled for show night, we always enjoyed dancing before and we now have BB king show, so loud we couldn't stay. i found the staff really not that friendly. The last 2 cruises have not been good. It was good with the Dancing with the Stars. the next one we were stuck in the elevator, couldn't turn the hot water down in the room, and had no air for a day and a half, I slept on the balcony and we never knew where the AA meeting was they would change it without anyone knowing but we were compensated now on our cruise we booked for Jan 4th there is no smoking on balcony to make it short we enjoy danceable music Holland's is in slow motion so our next cruise with be with another line Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This Holland America line Alaska cruise on the Noordham was sold to us as an add-on to the Rocky Mountaineer experience. Our cabin was an upgrade from the standard cabin Rocky Mountaineer usually books as an add-on. It was spacious with a ... Read More
This Holland America line Alaska cruise on the Noordham was sold to us as an add-on to the Rocky Mountaineer experience. Our cabin was an upgrade from the standard cabin Rocky Mountaineer usually books as an add-on. It was spacious with a large bed, the washroom had a separate bath and shower and the outside verandah had a table and chairs. Now for the bad news. During our conversations with Rocky Mountaineer and Holland America, no one ever mentioned that smoking was allowed on board the ship. After we booked our trip and paid, an information package was made available after we checked in online. This information package directs the reader to find another document which describes the Holland America smoking policy. My wife and I are non smokers. The smoking areas on the ship are restricted to the casino area, the rear top deck outside lounge and the outside verandahs of the cabins. We expected to be able to sit on our verandah and enjoy the scenery and fresh sea air. Instead smoke from the neighbouring verandah constantly drifted over and made our verandah unusable. We asked the ship's front office for a change of cabin and we were offered another one, but the staff would not ask the occupants of the neighbouring cabins if they were smokers. There was no guarantee that the new cabin would not have smoking neighbours so we declined to change cabins as our existing one was quiet and comfortable. Another item not mentioned by anyone is the US $12.00 per person daily hotel service charge automatically added on to your bill so the price quoted for your cruise is not what it will actually cost you. We have no problem tipping for extraordinary service but a gratuity added automatically for just doing your job is not acceptable. Meal service was sometimes a hit, at other times it was a miss. For meals we had open seating in the restaurant. The food quality was excellent though at times some dishes were too salty. The menu descriptions of the meals were often lacking in detail and surprise items and sauces would be present when the food appeared. Deserts though were excellent. On some occasions the wait staff had been shuffled around and the service left much to be desired. Food would take forever to appear. It took about up to two hours to have breakfast, lunch or dinner served!! We ordered in cabin breakfast a number of times. The food was delivered at the time requested. Quality was reasonable except for the last day when it was obvious that the watermelon pieces in the cut fruit bowl had been sitting around for quite some time. A daily list of activities is distributed each day. On the surface it appears that there is much to do on board, but upon closer look many of these activities and presentations are nothing more than attempts to sell something. Similarly, a number channels on the shipboard TV broadcast system are just Holland America "shopping channels". The cruise called at three ports. In each of those ports the weather was not the best and in advance we had decided not to take any organized sight seeing tours or flights. The highlight of the cruise was the slow sail past of the glacier. We could not, however, enjoy it from the comfort of our verandah because of the smoke from the neighbouring verandah. On the last day of the cruise the weather was warm and sunny. After lunch we decided to get some exercise and walk around the ship. While walking along the top deck cabins hallway we noticed the smell of fresh paint. When we got outside we saw numerous wet paint signs. Someone had decided to start repainting the ship during the cruise - not a good move, especially for those who had top deck cabins and are sensitive to paint solvents. To summarize, there were a number of tolerable annoyances during the cruise but thanks to the lack of disclosure of on board smoking and the daily service charge, this was our first and last Holland America cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I am so sorry to give this review to anyone who has already paid their hard earned money to go on this cruise. I have sailed with Holland America in the past and truly enjoyed my trip. My husband and I are much younger (about 30 years) ... Read More
I am so sorry to give this review to anyone who has already paid their hard earned money to go on this cruise. I have sailed with Holland America in the past and truly enjoyed my trip. My husband and I are much younger (about 30 years) than the average HAL cruiser and we enjoyed that. We were looking for a chill cruise without the usual drunks. We did get a more tame crowd which was good, but other than that, we did not get anything we had hoped for. First, I eat healthy for 51 weeks a year, saving my love of sweets and more indulgent food for my vacation. The food on the Noordam was bland and forgettable. My husband and I chose to do anytime dining. Our experience was horrible. If we chose to eat early around 6, they rushed us out and if we at late around 8, our dinner took nearly until 10. The service was poor, the servers were rude and the food wasn't very good at all. My husband and I wonder if the world renowned chefs who have their name on each menu have actually tasted what is being served each night. I usually love to eat in the dining room...the whole process, the dressing up, the wonderful service. This year, we actually chose the Lido more than the dining room. Service in the Lido was lacking. I would ask for honey for my tea and I was asked if I looked on the other side. One morning I asked for Sriacha for my eggs and then i waited and waited...and waited. After about 10 minutes, my husband got up and found some. The server finally walked by and giggled that she forgot. I did not have a hot meal all week. Literally, everything we ate was room temp. When I asked for no oil in my omelet the server clearly started talking about me to the cook next to her in her native language. It was so embarrassing. Our room was lovely. It was a great size and our verandah was awesome. Our cabin steward was not. We would order room service coffee every morning. Around 9 we would go up for breakfast and then head to the gym. On every other cruise I have taken our room was cleaned immediately. On this cruise we would come back around 12 and our room was still unmade and our morning coffee would still be there. One day our room was still left unmade at 1 in the afternoon. I know I can make my own bed, but that is half the fun of a cruise right? On the morning of our disembarkation, we were encouraged to stay in our rooms and not congregate in the halls. This was fine with us, until we had no less than 6 people in our room well before 9am. Where were these people all week? At one point, I was getting dressed and I looked up and there was a maintenance worker out on my balcony! How inappropriate. My husband said it right when he called this cruise the Isle of Misfit Toys. It appeared that everyone who could not make it on a good cruise ship all ended up on the MS Noordam. After this trip, I will never give my money to HAL and I will highly encourage anyone cruising to not go with HAL. What a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were so looking forward to sailing on the Holland America Line after watching all there TV ads. It started badly with taking 4 hours to board, even though we were there 7 hours early. Our balcony cabin had been triple booked and we kept ... Read More
We were so looking forward to sailing on the Holland America Line after watching all there TV ads. It started badly with taking 4 hours to board, even though we were there 7 hours early. Our balcony cabin had been triple booked and we kept getting other people's luggage in our room. The balcony adjoining door banged all night and when we reported it , we just got a oh ok , from reception. The ship smelt of mould and they had blowers all around the ship trying to disperse the smell. It also had a terrible vibration all through the ship, which was so bad in the gift shops all the perfume bottles were bouncing all round the place. Our bed vibrated so much, it was like something out of a bad B grade movie. The shore excursions were very badly organised and some passengers were very late for their excursions. It was so bad the tour operators were complaining as it was holding up their tour times. It just seemed very unprofessional , they just didn't seem to know what they were doing. The ship was badly under staffed and none of them seemed happy. We had just come off the Radiance of the Seas and they were very professional and the cruise was fantastic. My husband and I advised Holland Amercia of the vibration problem. The ship really needs a overall and a good tune up. The vibration felt like the propellor was bent. It was very hard to get to sleep. We also paid extra to get a BB balcony and it was under the smokers chairs , so we had scraping chair noise above our heads all day and smoke wafting in as well. Will never do a Holland America trip again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We were on a cruise of 3 eleven day legs and if not for the ports, which is what we took this cruise for, the experience of Holland America and the Noordam would turn you off from ever wanting to go cruising again. We are not novice ... Read More
We were on a cruise of 3 eleven day legs and if not for the ports, which is what we took this cruise for, the experience of Holland America and the Noordam would turn you off from ever wanting to go cruising again. We are not novice cruisers and have taken at least 15 cruises on other cruise lines but this was the first and last on HAL and have never experienced such treatment. We were in cabin 1060, below the Queens Lounge which was the venue for BB Kings Blues Club. This went on for over 3 hours from 2030 finishing at approx. midnight. There was three of us in the cabin so we were using the bunk bed. On the first night the bunk bed vibrated, the walls and wardrobe doors vibrated and the air pounded in your ears from the sound. It was impossible to sleep or even relax in the cabin. We reported the issue to the front office in the hope of being moved to another cabin only to be given ear plugs and suggested that we find another venue every night they are on, until they finish and then go to bed. Naturally we informed the front office that this was not a suitable suggestion. We were informed that an effort would be made to move us the next day however we were later told that the ship was full and we would have to remain there for that leg and efforts made to find us another cabin for the next leg. I asked for the Hotel Director to contact us the next day to discuss the problem only to receive a phone call that morning indicating that he was in a meeting and would contact us later, never heard from him.Tried to see him on two more occasions but no response. I ended up sleeping on sofa bed for over 2 weeks as bunk could not be used and no other cabin available for 2nd leg. Can go on and on about this but the end result was they did offer compensation at the end of the 33 nights but what was offered was a complete insult to us for what we missed out on for the whole cruise. The ports on the cruise were great however it would have been good if the Captain was on board as the cruise logs given out at end of each cruise were incorrect with wrong port, wrong weather and wrong berthing indicated. Excursions are too expensive and at times do not meet expectations. The food in both the restaurant and Lido are at a very low standard when compared to other cruise lines and even food on RCL is of a better standard. I guess due to the bad experience all problems stand out like, luggage being damaged both embarking and dis-embarking, failure for linen to be changed that required us to ask, cabin set up for only two people and having to ask for extra needs, for first two legs volume in show lounge way too loud with many of the audience having to walk out (this was rectified on 3rd leg). My suggestion is that if you are planning a cruise that you think about another cruise line where possible as HAL is not a cruise line that puts passengers/guest first. The comments above are not a reflection on the crew themselves, except upper management, as they try hard however penny pinching and a drop in standards means they also have to try to stay within these constraints. One big thank you to Carlo, at front office, who was the only person to show some sympathy for our predicament.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
From start to finish, this 22 days Mediterranean cruise has been the worst cruise we have taken. It all started on day 1 when our Signature Beverage Package cards were not in our suite. Several hours later, the Neptune concierge advised ... Read More
From start to finish, this 22 days Mediterranean cruise has been the worst cruise we have taken. It all started on day 1 when our Signature Beverage Package cards were not in our suite. Several hours later, the Neptune concierge advised that we only had an 11 day card beverage card because the 22 day card was very expensive. It took four additional days for the front desk supervisor to call Seattle to get this corrected. The next day, we arrived for breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill to be told that the espresso coffee machine was broken. Service in the PG was poor and erratic at all times. The only other breakfast I had at the PG, the staff told me that my wife must be seated by 9 am or she could not have breakfast. Needless nasty attitude for premium paying customers. I advised that I would order for her and that she would arrive by 9 am, which she did. For the next 15 days or so, the espresso machine at the PG was broken. No effort was made by staff or the Matire D to obtain an espresso at breakfast or dinner. Since I do not drink American Coffee and always have espresso for breakfast, I could not enjoy breakfast in the PG. The poor service assured I would not return. The Maitre D was absent during our second dinner at the PG and was also absent on my second and final breakfast there. Our group of 8 arrived at the Pinnacle Grill for our only dinner there and the Maitre'D pointed us to the Main Dining Room because he did not have a table for 8. He later realized that we had a reservation for 6 and another for 2 and that we were in the right place for dinner. Made us feel unwelcomed at the Pinnacle Grill. Up until this cruise, I regularly dined at the PG during 30-50 % of the cruise days and always had breakfast there. The needless attitude by staff for simple requests caused us to abandon the PG for breakfast and dinner on this 22 day cruise. Room service fared little better. Room service rarely arrived between the times requested and almost always missed breakfast items. Eventually, we stopped ordering breakfast from room service because it was not worth the hassle. Only after day 19 when the Dining Manager came to seem me personally did room service improve the last 3 days of our cruise. Despite this breakfast was still 20 minutes late on the last Sea Day. The espresso machine in the Neptune Lounge was also broken and inoperable for many days. Other times, when it supposedly worked, it would not produce coffee drinks properly. Having to get a hold of a Neptune concierge to get a coffee was difficult on many occasions. It was also time consuming. On three occasions, personal items left in the pool area and the dining room disappeared. On one night, my daughter left her favorite cap in the dining room during the late seating when there were less than 20 people left in the dining room and it was still not recovered. We do not believe fellow passengers would be taking our personal items on three separate occasions, which leaves only crew members as our likely suspects. Having had this happen to us 3 times with no items returned left a bad taste in our mouths about the crew. For the vast majority of days on this cruise, I had to stand in line at the Explorations Café to obtain my coffee and then stand in line at the Lido to obtain breakfast for my family. This is not the type of service I expected when I booked a Neptune Suite. On the tendering days, there was no cold water when boarding the return tender. I saw the Celebrity ship had plenty of cold water for its guests while HAL ran out on every day we tendered. The dry cleaning seemed to return the clothes with the same stains intact no matter how many times we sent the items back. Eventually, we simply became accustomed to this and accepted it as “normal.” The daily program frequently misinformed about events on board. I went to see a scheduled movie on the first sea day of our second leg, only to learn it was a mistake. Another time, I missed the variety show because it was not on the schedule. Even the casino advised that I could not retrieve the money on my stateroom card because their system needed updating. The next day, I was told that I could still not retrieve my money. On my third trip to the casino, I was finally able to retrieve my money. We experienced a total lack of service on this ship, especially for premium paying guests. On numerous individual occasions, crew staff were inattentive to simple requests. When my wife wanted a cotton ball with a little bit of nail polish remover from the spa, she was told she needed to purchase a treatment. Certainly, someone could have checked that we were Neptune Suite passengers and been a tiny bit more attentive. Disembarkation was a total mess. We had opted for the early-off option because we had an early flight but had to wait more than 40 minutes to get off the boat. The elevators did not allow access to A deck so we had to carry our large bags down two sets of stairs. Proper ending for a terrible cruise Being a Neptune Suite passenger on this 22 day cruise simply meant we were entitled to pay more for the same service as everyone else, albeit in a larger room. As a loyal HAL customer for many years and the past six years in a row, who regularly books a Neptune Suite, I have been thoroughly disappointed with virtually all aspects of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Holland American was truly more than a disappointment. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Service, activities, food, cabin, dining were below average standards. FYI-arrived to our "suite" with balcony and had little to no air conditioning ... Read More
Holland American was truly more than a disappointment. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. Service, activities, food, cabin, dining were below average standards. FYI-arrived to our "suite" with balcony and had little to no air conditioning for over 5 days-complained to our cabin person and was put off daily. Finally went to head of services on Main Deck and spoke to supervisor they will look into it. After many so called adjustments it did not get better. I was constantly told they checked the air flow and it seems OK-solution to them was to keep our drapes closed- after much time and aggravation they finally admitted there was a problem with the air conditioning belt-they send a bottle of wine for our inconvenience and we took it down to dinner and was told that there would be an $18.00 corking fee. Took wine back to Main Deck the super was not happy and assured us that he would have wine served that evening-dinner came and in the middle of dinner the staff could not find our bottle of wine, until the end of dinner-spoke to supervisor again and told the poor communications this ship the attitude of the staff was less than poor. The cabins were in disrepair, the cruise ran out of many of the food items after 5 days, the fruit was over rip and poor quality as was the vegetables and most of the meals were below any standard I ever had on any cruises. It seems this line was bought recently and Princess, and Carnival along with Holland American are all sister ships. The drinks, cokes, teas,, anything are NOT FREE anymore, in fact when purchased you are charged a 15% gratuity fee along with tax, that 15% gratuity is on all charges. On your bill you are charged a daily rate of $12.00 per day to go toward gratuity for help on the ship. This charge is not told to you ahead of time, but simply put on your bill. The atmosphere from other cruisers were much dissatisfaction -I found out about this $12.00 per day charge from past Holland American persons who have cruised this ship and would never return. I was told to go to the Main office and request removal of this charge, I did and they did it, regretfully. The staff, crew were generally unaware of where things were etc. Not a happy lot. The disrepairs in the cabins, and ship itself were unfortunate and not pretty. This is a tired cruise line that does not care about its clients. Would NEVER advise this line to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Let me begin by saying that by no means are we rookie cruisers and we are both over the age of 60.  We have cruised on Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, RCI, Carnival, and NCL but never cruised on HAL.   I have been wanting to do this ... Read More
Let me begin by saying that by no means are we rookie cruisers and we are both over the age of 60.  We have cruised on Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, RCI, Carnival, and NCL but never cruised on HAL.   I have been wanting to do this particular cruise for the last 3 years because we hadn't been to several of the ports on this itinerary.  I had also been told that the food and service was better on HAL and also that it was a little more upscale than some of the other lines.  So finally my husband agreed to go and we were off on what we hoped was a fun and exciting vacation.  Embarkation went smoothly, until we boarded the ship, I was disappointed that we didn't get a glass of champagne like we typically get on Celebrity. That always made me feel just a bit special and welcome. Instead, it felt more like a cattle drive heading everyone into the chutes.  We located our room and it was an aft facing balcony.  Nice big balcony, with a great view.  I loved the room.  Only issue was that it was hot in there.  We located the cabin attendant and ask him if there was a problem with the A/C and he said it should get better after we were sailing and told us to keep the curtains closed....WHAT???  If I wanted to keep the curtains closed I could have gotten in interior room for 399.00 plus port charges. I also noticed the blanket on the bed in between the sheets, it was disgusting.  Dirty and full of hair.  That was changed immediately. (Not sure if this is true or not but was told that they have 24 cabins to keep up after, that's almost impossible to do.)  We headed down to the embarkation lunch at the main dining room only to be told that it was full and to go to the Lido.  We got to the Lido and it seemed very disorganized.  No one seemed to know where the line began and ended.  People cutting in line like the hadn't eaten in days.  No place to sit.  When you found a table that had been vacated it was another story trying to get the tables cleared.  I chalked it up to the 1st day chaos.  But after the 2nd day it was evident that they had cut the help in the Lido.  Also rather annoying was the fact that people would just go there not to eat, but to grab the tables by the windows to play cards or just sit there.  If you aren't eating be considerate enough to go to the lounges to sit. Getting a drink was another issue.  They were almost always out of drink glasses, all they had were small juice glasses and I might add you would have to look for the clean ones.  Then maybe only 2 choices of drinks.  When you would try to find someone to replace a drink that took forever.  With all the concern about people getting sick, after the 1st day we never saw anyone with the sanitizer making people clean their hands.  Seemed like we were the only ones doing it.  But the most disgusting thing that I saw day after day was by the drink station.  They had a large plastic tub with an ice scoop in there that people were to use to get ice for their drinks.   After they handled it the scoop would fall back into the ice and water for the next person to dig out their ice...YUCK...I would NEVER use that ice, I always went to the machine. The food in the Lido was subpar.  The omelet station in the morning was good.  But the only other food that I thought was good was the seafood salad and the drunken shrimp out by the pool.  If you didn't grab a dessert before dinner and hide it in your fridge the choices were very limited by 7:00pm Day 2 was Half Moon Cay and it was wonderful.  We rented a cabana and glad we did as shortly after getting settled, the rain poured for just a few minutes.   About 20 minutes later there was the most incredible rainbow I have ever seen.  You could see where it began on the water.  It was definitely a Kodak moment.  The bbq that they had on the beach was nice.  The jerk chicken was good, but again trying to get a drink from the machines that were empty was a pain.  By the time they were filled up your food was cold   Day 3 at Grand Turk almost didn't happen.  Due to the high winds, the Captain aborted the first try and said he would give it one more try and if he couldn't dock we would have to move on.  It took him about 1 hour but amazingly enough he made it.  As we waited at the gangway to get off, it almost became a mob scene.  People squeezing and pushing and 1 lady in particular became irate and screamed at the top of her lungs at the other passengers that she was there 1st and they should wait.  As she was getting off she got separated from her partner and again screamed ...TC...several times.  This was just getting off in a port.  I can't imagine how people would have reacted in an emergency situation. If you ever go to Grand Turk, get off and pass Margaritaville and go to the end of the beach to Jacks Shack.  We are so glad that we did.  Its only about a 5 minute walk, but the sand and the beach there was awesome.  We rented an umbrella and chairs and literally had the place to ourselves.  Plus the drinks were about 1/2 the price of Margaritaville.   Day 4 was to me was a total disappointment.  Due to high winds we couldn't port in Samana.  This was 1 port that I had never been too and had a great independent tour scheduled there.  However I appreciate the fact that the Captain didn't port there due to the safety factor.  But the sea day was PAINFULLY BORING.  The cruise director came over the loud speaker and said that they would be adding some activities to the schedule for the day and would announce them shortly.  Good thing, because the things on the current schedule were  nothing that we were interested in.  The only other option was that you could go shopping and pay way too much for the jewelery and other things.  On most of out cruises we get liquor at the duty free shops, but not on this cruise.  The prices were about $2.00 cheaper than what I can get it for back in the states, so not worth the trouble of packing it.    Here is just a little of the itinerary and keep in mind the ones that include dollar signs – because these will cost you extra. Indoor Cycling ($$) – 5 Minute make over  – Art Auction ($$) – Body Sculpting ($) – Acupuncture ($$) – Bingo ($$) Shopping ($$) - Discover Windows 8 – History of Fabrege – Reinvent your Outlook Email – Spa Seminar – Wine Sampling ($$$) - Win a free cruise at Bingo ($$) and my favorite Party Night Buy one Drink get one Free and in small print it says on SELECT BEVERAGES ONLY.   Soon came the announcement...and let me tell you it went from bad to worse.  One of the things that they added was how to do a place setting and fold a napkin...HUH????  Or we could learn how to make a bow....REALLY??? We walked the ship hunting for some action and only thing we found was nothing to do.  Even most of the bars were closed.  Thanks heavens I stopped at Total Wine before boarding and grabbed 3 bottles of wine.  HAL is definitely set up to cater to the older 75+ crowd that is content to sit in the library reading a book or playing cards or just sitting looking out the window. So we decided to watch TV, again nothing on there either.  You could watch reruns of Bonanza or watch the port excursions that you have already been to over and over.   I didn't pay 350.00 a day to do nothing, I can do that at home for free. I'm not expecting a thrill a minute, but I do expect a little excitement. It seems like a lot of the crew, on top of their daily duties were parts of the entertainment as well.  I wonder when they get some rest.  I talked to several of them and they told me that they work 7 days a week 12-14 hours a day. No days off for months at a time.  We did take 4 computer classes but the the room was so small and if you didn't get there 40 minutes before it was SRO.  I spoke to several people while waiting in line and ALL of them said they were very disappointed in that sea day.  So again, I chalked it up to it was a last minute thing and tomorrow (another sea day would be better) but boy was I wrong.   Day 5 as bad or worse than day 4.  Today we had the option of taking an "advanced napkin folding class"   We took Celebrity 2 years ago and the sea days were so much fun.  There were great bands or just some good music playing by the pool almost all the time and it wasn't the same thing day after day.  They had fun contests and people were up dancing and having a good time. They also had a WONDERFUL champagne brunch on 1 of our sea days.  There were ice sculptures, chocolate fountains and at least 30 carvings done out of fruit.  It was amazing and so was the food.  One evening we had a dessert extravaganza that was out of this world... Not on this boat.     We did have Debra with the steel drums and the 1st 3 times we heard her it was good but seemed like she was the only one out there during the day and at the end of the cruise if I heard HOT HOT HOT again I was ready to jump overboard.   Day 6  Bonaire AMAZING SNORKELING Day 7  Curacao  Did Porto Marie  Wonderful beach with good snorkeling and facilities Day 8 Aruba  Eagle Beach Beautiful clean beach with a palm shade and chairs Day 9 and 10  Two more brutally boring days at sea    On to the main dining room.  We only ate there a few times and I wasn't impressed with that either. Those poor waiters are running themselves ragged.  Seems like they have cut the staff there too.  Sitting there for 2 to 2 1/2 hours for dinner is not fun to me.  Couldn't get your tea refilled because they barely had time to blink.  The night of the Captain dinner the "filet" was no more than 1/2 inch thick.  Not a filet in my book.  Just a hunk of mystery meat.   Because it took so long to eat we missed the show that night so again, nothing to do. Our last 2 sea days were the same. Entertainment big fat "0".   We were walking past a venue and I remarked to my husband that they must be having karaoke because the singing was so bad and one of the crew said,"oh no, that is the ship band and singer."   Yikes...  There was a man singing in the piano bar that was equally as bad.  One other person standing beside me said the butchered the song up so badly he couldn't tell what it was.  Or you could go listen to the piano player and the violinist where most people were falling asleep.  The casino was the only thing happening, but after throwing some money in there that gets expensive.   On a positive note...I can't say enough nice things about our cabin attendant.  He was always smiling and worked really hard at keeping our cabin clean.  One of the highlights of the day was seeing the wonderful little towel animals the he would leave for us each night.  The ports that we did get to go to were AMAZING and lots of fun.   We did get to see 2 shows that we really enjoyed and that was the Ventriloquist show and the Rock and Roll Legend show.   In conclusion, my husband and I both thought we should rename this ship from the "Noordam" to the "The Boredam". 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Sail Date December 2013
So this is late but as I'm currently looking into another cruise and spending time cruise critic reminds me that I never posted my review. We stayed in room 7142 category SB. The room was located in the back of the ship and had a wrap ... Read More
So this is late but as I'm currently looking into another cruise and spending time cruise critic reminds me that I never posted my review. We stayed in room 7142 category SB. The room was located in the back of the ship and had a wrap around balcony. The room we had was a fabulous room and the room steward was perfect. One perk of this type of room was a private lounge area that provide snacks through out the day plus coffee and juice. Plus there was 2 stewards just for the use of passengers of that category of room. We were disappointed in the buffet options it seemed that whatever was being served in the main dining room was served in the buffet as well. Several times items from the buffet were over cooked making them inedible. And they regularly ran out of items. I was also disappointed that they didn't have a chocolate night. So now to the reason why I would NEVER go on a holland america cruise line again. Its the day of disembarkation we are reviewing the bills getting ready to go to a last breakfast before leaving, while reviewing the bill we discover a $300.00 discrepancy. The charge came from photography. The night before we went to photography and looked over the 7 or so photos we took, picked a few out and placed and order. Charge was just under $100. The additional charge was for a package of every picture you took plus a cd of the pictures and several other things. We did not take enough pictures to justify this package. And the charge was made 15 minutes after our original purchase while we were at dinner. When we went to photography and tried explaining to the sales woman the issue she told continuously interrupted us and told us how it happened and there are two receipts at guest relations as proof. She refused to listen to anything that we had to say. We went down to guest relations and the gentleman (who was very helpful) brought out the two receipts. One had my sisters signature and one was a completely different name. He then called to photography and spoke to the manager there who at first refused to come downstairs. After going back and forth to the manager for over 15 minutes the charge was finally removed. Since this was the last day of the cruise and was the final experience and it left a lasting impression. After we went home we filled out the after cruise survey the only one to get a response was my sister in the form of an email. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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