377 Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

New Zealand was on my husband's bucket list for a long time. We decided the best way to get a feel for the country is to do a cruise & sample as many ports as possible. So we chose Holland Americas 14 day cruise with 8 ports. ... Read More
New Zealand was on my husband's bucket list for a long time. We decided the best way to get a feel for the country is to do a cruise & sample as many ports as possible. So we chose Holland Americas 14 day cruise with 8 ports. It was fantastic. Lots of stops in the South Island and also on the North Island. Unfortunately, because of large swells in the port of Christchurch where we were mooring because of damage to the wharf from the earthquake, we had to skip this port. It was unsafe to transfer to/from a tender. But everything else was fairly smooth sailing. The upside was that we were able to spend another 3/4 day in Dunedin & we saw a castle that we wouldn't have otherwise seen! Yeah! Food was delicious in both the Lido and main dining area. We did not try the "pay" restaurants, but hear good things from others. Entertainment (with the exception of 2 acts) was the only area that could use improvement. The Noordam singers/dancers were not the caliper that we are used to on Holland. Also the "other" activities on sea days could have been improved. No free popcorn for movies...boooo!!! Cabin attendants were friendly, helpful, and showed up when we were not there. Invisible little elfs! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
my 3rd time on the Noordam, 9 weeks totol, so i know her well. For the price of apx 110 per night for a balcony the value is terrific. The BBKing band plays 3x per night and are an exellent ship dance band. The Theater ... Read More
my 3rd time on the Noordam, 9 weeks totol, so i know her well. For the price of apx 110 per night for a balcony the value is terrific. The BBKing band plays 3x per night and are an exellent ship dance band. The Theater is awsome, the shows ok. The piano bar is good, The room good, the food great. The evevators were fast and frequent and all over. There are two one hour happy hours per day, so two good coctails are only 12 dollars including tip. The Microsoft classes are very good and free. The personell are great, and knowledgeable. I would pick a balcony room on floor 4 because it is larger and near the action. I don't have any real complaints. but here are a few. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR PLANET -- I dislike people grabbing four towls for each visit to the pool, (why not take them back to your room for reuse) People throwing away lots of uneaten food, at the buffet seconds are free- so get small portions of what you do not know for shure you will enjoy. Maybe take back to your room what you can not finish for later. At the show if the theater will likely fill up do not leave on empty seat between the person your sittinng next to. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Three first time cruisers, 19 days from Honolulu to Sydney. Loved the ship, great size 1900 guests., not too big not too small. Found the ship to be elegant and stylish for my tastes. Our travel agent choose cabin F1001 on the main ... Read More
Three first time cruisers, 19 days from Honolulu to Sydney. Loved the ship, great size 1900 guests., not too big not too small. Found the ship to be elegant and stylish for my tastes. Our travel agent choose cabin F1001 on the main deck with window on the outside due to three sharing (two singles + sofa bed. Great size and very quite. Loved the MDR for breakfast and dinner, menu selections and quality of food was excellent. All servers were outstanding. Did not enjoy the Lido that much for both quality or choice (just me) the other two I travelled with did enjoy the Lido. Tried Cannoleto and enjoyed it, lunch at the Pinnacle Grill and found to be not as good as the MDR in both quality or service. We found the entertainment a bit lacking. The HAL singers & dancers (think Glee) we enjoyed and a couple of the featured singers. But overall a bit drab. BB Kings was a stand out and the cooking shows I enjoyed. The service generally was outstanding all over the ship, especially our cabin stewards, servers in the MDR. Just loved late night drinks in the Crowsnest (amazing team) Visited lots of South Pacific ports which were generally fun and interesting. Organised 4 ship excursions and 4 non-ship excursions. Ship excursions expensive in comparison but enjoyed them. The only place really didn't care for was Suva (on all sorts of levels) but didn't do a tour just walked the town and local museum Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We needed a cruise to return home to Sydney & the Noordam was leaving at the right time. We have never sailed on a HAL ship before, it was not our first cruise. Found the ship very nice, inside cabin very roomy & great ... Read More
We needed a cruise to return home to Sydney & the Noordam was leaving at the right time. We have never sailed on a HAL ship before, it was not our first cruise. Found the ship very nice, inside cabin very roomy & great service from our room stewards, The Buffett section was very nice & a good variety of food with exceptional service, the dinning room was also very good, liked the bit you did not have to book a table at a set time, you just turned up & sat with different people. The evening entertainment was not always the best. The lectures were very good especially the ones given by Jay Christofferson. Do not find Vancouver port the easiest one the board on they seam to take ages to get you on board. Our taxi driver dropped us on level 2 not level 3 & we had to carry our cases down a flight of stairs, with having a bad knee that was not easy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We had sailed HAL once previously for a Sea of Cortez cruise which we thoroughly enjoyed. The entire cruise was a repositioning cruise from Vancouver, BC to Auckland, NZ however, because we are ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We had sailed HAL once previously for a Sea of Cortez cruise which we thoroughly enjoyed. The entire cruise was a repositioning cruise from Vancouver, BC to Auckland, NZ however, because we are not yet retired and the entire itinerary would have stretched our time off too much, we decided to pick it up for the Honolulu to Sydney segment. So when we got onboard, there were already many passengers who had been on the ship either from Vancouver or San Diego. Other than feeling we had missed out on some of the entertainment which came before we boarded, it was a good decision. We arrived at the port in Honolulu about 1:30 p.m. The ship was overnight here. About 800 passengers embarked along with us, but we were one of only about three other couples boarding when we did - so easy and quick! We got unpacked and went off to get reacquainted with Honolulu. Next day rented a car and circled Oahu - great day! Made stops at all our favorite places. Midnight on day 2, we set sail for Lahaina, Maui. It was a tender port and quite bumpy, in fact a fellow passenger fell between the tender and the ship, basically ruining her day while making her a minor celebrity. Won't attempt to place blame as we were not there when it happened. But we enjoyed Lahaina and then on to Hilo. Met up with good friends in Hilo and had a fun day. Then we were off for 5 days at sea on our way to Pago Pago, American Samoa. After Hawaii, the ports were all new to us and we had a great time visiting new places. We went to Vanuatu, Fiji, and New Caledonia. 10 ports of call in all including Hawaii and Sydney. As for the ship, I had read that it was getting tired, which I somewhat agree with, some of the furnishings - mirrored table surfaces in particular - were worn, but overall, it was a clean, classy, beautiful ship with enough room for all the passengers. There were some special little cabanas on deck 10 which seemed to get very little use. Also the spa therapy pool was underused. Should be opened up to all passengers. Of everything about our cruise, we most enjoyed the people - fellow passengers as well as staff. Service was superb and I'm always amazed when I read other reviews where people berate the staff in any way. Fellow passengers were open and friendly. We made many new friends. The enrichment program on the Noordam was wonderful. It is something we look forward to on any cruise. Bud Murch did a lecture series on Astronomy while Brian Stoddard covered the sociology of the South seas. Very interesting. We mainly attended Bud Murch's lectures and were enlightened and educated as well as entertained. Well done!!! The Hawaiian Troupe was very fun and they provided music and Hula along with local crafts and ukulele lessons. Great! Other entertainment was good with musical shows, comedians (loved seeing Bud Anderson again), ventriloquist, pianist, harmonica aficionado and magic/comedy. Was disappointed not to find any live music out on deck. Fellow passengers loved Adagio, a violinist/pianist duo and the pianist in the piano bar. We fell in love with Sydney. Can't say enough nice things about this place. People were especially friendly for a city of its size. For my usual complaints, smoking on the balconies is still permitted, drinks and excursions are overpriced. We did not use the casino. We booked shore excursions from local vendors (which is why I did not rate shore excursions) as we arrived and were not disappointed. Would definitely sail on Noordam again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Like uncrowded, mid-sized, cruise ships that visually, look like classic 'Ocean Liners'...not amusement parks. Don't wish to spend my vacation lining up with 4000 other passengers for dinner or shows....on some of the ... Read More
Like uncrowded, mid-sized, cruise ships that visually, look like classic 'Ocean Liners'...not amusement parks. Don't wish to spend my vacation lining up with 4000 other passengers for dinner or shows....on some of the huge cruise ships being launched now-a-days. Enjoy more sophisticated crowd on Holland America...less 'Booze Cruise'...with cultured Guest Speakers and Seminars. Prefer the gracious Indonesian and Filipino dining and room stewards, versus multi-cultural cruise staff, who don't speak each other's languages (worry about this safety factor, in the unlikely event that an emergency occurs...but as we all know....does happen on occasion). Good service with fine food (although would be nice if some nights lobster, crab, etc. were served in main dining salon and didn't cost extra)....but then again, not at this price point...very good value for money. Special mention is the Dive Bar where absolutely the best ever burgers and french fries are served. Enjoyed daily....along with a Split of Henkell Troken sparkling wine. And the French Onion Soup was delicious...think I had most days. Really enjoyed 10 day cruise to Hawaii in Signature Suite (larger room with full sized couch and two chairs, full bathroom with tub, plus large balcony). Can't wait to book again with Holland America....maybe we'll save our pennies and book the even larger Neptune Suite next time! Shore excursions in Vancouver, San Diego and Hawaii were great, but would skip Astoria....even though, historically speaking, just down the road, is where Lewis and Clark finally made it to the Pacific Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband chose this cruise as a gift for my birthday. I had previously enjoyed travel on the Holland America Line ships and others had good things to say about HAL. It was his first ocean cruise. There was plenty to do. We really ... Read More
My husband chose this cruise as a gift for my birthday. I had previously enjoyed travel on the Holland America Line ships and others had good things to say about HAL. It was his first ocean cruise. There was plenty to do. We really enjoyed the lectures and the concerts and the exercise facilities, including the Promenade Deck for walking. Jay Christofferson was an excellent presenter. My husband played Bridge frequently, while I wrote and took photographs, etc. We met interesting people, some of whom now remain friends. The ship was wonderfully set up for any disability. One of our new friends could not walk and was on his 10th cruise. The food was first rate, beautifully prepared, fresh and healthful and the service excellent for all meals. Our stateroom stewarts were always very helpful. One of our favourite activities was watching the sun set and the stars appear from our verandah looking out on the starboard side over the Pacific. We would certainly travel Holland America Line again. Some of our onboard friends have already booked their next HAL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Cruising to New Zealand was number one on the list and the words of my wise Mother before she passed away, "Do it sooner rather than later!" Prompted us to book. We had only every taken one other cruise and that was on the ... Read More
Cruising to New Zealand was number one on the list and the words of my wise Mother before she passed away, "Do it sooner rather than later!" Prompted us to book. We had only every taken one other cruise and that was on the Zuiderdam in the Caribbean. Since the Noordam and Zuiderdam are sister ships we pretty knew what to expect as far as the layout and age of the ship. Although many more experienced cruisers found the ship run down, we were quite happy with every aspect. The staff worked tirelessly to keep all areas "shipshape" and always greeted us with a big smile. Our room stewards, Maryo and and Hari were second to none. All requests were quickly taken care of. We opted for open seating and enjoyed chatting with new people each night that we went down to the dining room. Forty-three days of fine dining were a bit much for us so we often opted for the Lido for a lighter fare. Sometimes it was crowded so we would come back a bit later. Very difficult for the staff to judge how many would opt to go there. Always found the servers cheerful. We especially enjoyed the Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. A very nice touch. A highlight of the trip was seeing the lava flowing into the ocean after we left Hilo. Beautiful! The Polyenesian Islands were all new to us. Thanks to Nicola at the excursions desk for suggesting we try the Zip and Dip excursion in Suva Fiji. What a great time. The group we were with were great sports and for many of us it was a first time zip lining! Tasmania was beautiful. So happy we got to see some of the native Australian animals before heading across a very rough Tasman Sea. That was an adventure but could have been worse I'm thinking if we had left later as originally planned. Sailing the Sounds was magnificent, even in the rain. New Zealand did not disappoint. So many shades of green. We were so glad we had a 2 week extension to revisit the South Island after we disembarked in Auckland. I would encourage anyone who is thinking of doing a cruise to New Zealand to be sure to allow more time to explore this beautiful country. HAL did not disappoint. So now it's on to the Koningsdam and Rome and the Mediterranean. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Well, we took another Holland America cruise to Alaska. This one was seven days on MS Noordam round trip from Vancouver BC As a matter of fact, it was so late in September that this was the last Alaska cruise for Noordam before she heads ... Read More
Well, we took another Holland America cruise to Alaska. This one was seven days on MS Noordam round trip from Vancouver BC As a matter of fact, it was so late in September that this was the last Alaska cruise for Noordam before she heads south and then on to Australia. The weather was absolutely gorgeous! It only rained once all week and that was when we were sailing up in Glacier Bay. And even then it stopped in the afternoon. Glacier Bay was extremely beautiful. It is so quite in there that you can hear the glacier popping and cracking and we even witnessed a calving which is very exciting and also very loud. Embarkation out of Vancouver is somewhat hectic. Traffic into Canada Place on Sunday morning was very heavy and frustrating. Allow plenty of time if you are driving into Vancouver on embarkation day. We parked right at the terminal at Canada Place. I pre-booked it well in advance and printed a bar code which worked just fine for entry and exit. In contrast, disembark was a piece of cake. Once off the ship, we were in our car and on the road in less than 30 minutes. BTW, the cost for parking was $190cdn. for the week. Once on the ship we went straight to our stateroom (6087) and our luggage was already in there. This was a Signature Suite and a great location to boot. No plumbing, electrical, HVAC or odor problems. Our cabin stewards were fantastic as always. Of course, the TV’s are still the old style so there is that. The ship will be undergoing an extensive overhaul/upgrade in 2018 and to tell you the truth, I’m surprised it is going to wait that long. She’s a great ship but definitely showing her age in a lot of areas. Food was pretty good. Room service breakfast was always on time and just what we ordered. Lido salads and pizza were very good and everything else was fresh and tasty. I had one made to order sandwich. It was OK bu I do miss the custom sandwich station that HAL used to have. The coffee did seem to run out quite often as they were always “Still Brewing”. I did see people filling up their own carafes though so that probably contributed to the rest of us having to wait. The custom omelets and crepes and waffles were very good and it is always fun to interact with the personable people who always seem to man these stations. Didn’t do too many lunches in the Lido but it did seem as though the hours and selections were somewhat limited at those times. The Dive-In hamburgers and the taco bar out by the Lido pool were very good with little wait. The MDR was very good and service was fast and efficient. We had “As You Wish” dining and did not have to wait long if at all although we were always willing to share a table and that does cut down on any wait time. On board entertainment was very good. The Noordam Singers and Dancers were (are) amazing. There are 12 of them and each and every one has an amazing dedication to their craft. A “behind the scenes” tour was offered and it was a great way to see what these highly talented people go through in order to put on the shows that they do. A very funny comedian and a magician also performed and they were very entertaining. The piano bar guy was fun but kinda hit and miss. I usually love Adagio but this duo was not my favorite. The violinist was somewhat screechy and the piano player was a little hard on the keys. They did redeem themselves on one very lovely romantic number though. “The Band” was good, It was a five piece and they always had people dancing at happy hour. The casino was non-smoking for the entire cruise EXCEPT for the final Gala night when smoking was allowed. That did seem odd. There were a few “fun and games” activities during the day but it did seem like there should have been more. Daily trivia was fun as usual and this is a good time to give a shout out to our Cruise Director John Clefner. John is very distinguished and professional. He is unobtrusive but at the same time he is always around. A very good trait. We saw him for the last time as he was on the pier saying goodbye to each and every passenger. I’ve never seen that before on three previous HAL cruises. It was a very nice touch! We had a promo for the internet and I have to say, it was a VERY POOR experience. Slow and frustrating. I’m just glad I didn’t pay for it or I would have been asking for my money back. Also, I never saw a librarian assistant in the library to help out with any issues. Noordam had the Library/Explorations Café area on the third deck instead of up by the Crow’s Nest on some other ships. I liked the layout because it was easier to get to but I did miss the movie theater that it replaced. I suppose the change was done in order to increase traffic to the Café. The gym was great and all the machines worked. No wait for a treadmill. Bar staff was very pleasant and efficient and snacks were served during Happy Hour (4-5pm) in the Crows Nest and Ocean Bar. Juneau was a nice port and we took the floatplane ride up to Taku Lodge. It was well worth the price. A very well run tour and the lunch at the lodge was great. I highly recommend this if you want a great shore excursion. We also took a private tour in Ketchikan from a taxi that was circling around downtown. Cost was $70.00 for the four of us. I ended up giving her $85.00 because she was so good. The driver took us out to Herron Creek to see wildlife and also to the Totem Village and the waterfall. Not only that but we passed a garage sale along the way and we all got out and went shopping. It was a lot of fun. That sure beat the pier price of $50 pp that the busses wanted. We had another great Holland America cruise experience and already have another one booked for the Panama Canal in April. I’ll check back after that one and let you all know how it went. Happy Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This is my return cruise to Alaska to see it in the Fall as last time was in the Spring. Travel was swift with practically no turn around time in Seattle. Going through Canadian customs at the airport was relatively quick apart from the ... Read More
This is my return cruise to Alaska to see it in the Fall as last time was in the Spring. Travel was swift with practically no turn around time in Seattle. Going through Canadian customs at the airport was relatively quick apart from the distances to be covered and the crowd which slowed things down. The process of getting our documents to board from Holland America took about 10 minutes. The American version of customs was about as time consuming as the Canadian for people without Global Entry. Global Entry sped the process greatly. To give you an idea of the walking involved my friend clocked 11,000 steps for the trip from the plane to the ship. The ship was in immaculate shape, the cabin (Oceanview) was spacious, neat and clean. Dining whether in the Lido, the Dining Room or the Specialty Restaurants was a delightful experience with delicious food, solicitous service, decent wine selection and full stomachs. The entertainment was enjoyable whether it was the comedian, the singers and dancers or the magician. I was too busy doing other things to partake of the activities. The service was excellent. The crew tried to do everything they could to make the voyage as memorable as they could from the Captain to the Front Office to the wait staff in the Dining Room to the Room Stewards to the Chef. Everyone aboard was there for you. The ports were the most interesting in Southeast Alaska for me. I went go karting through the forest in Ketchikan, viewed the glacier and went whale watching in Juneau and finished up with a trip into the Yukon Territory from Skagway. The latter had the most magnificent views of the land as well as viewing Emerald Lake (yes, it is a clear green color) and the world's smallest desert [;-)]. I couldn't recommend this cruise on this ship more highly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Noordam Triple Denali Land and Sea Journey Sept 2016 A wonderful trip with excellent service, food, and fun entertainment. We had not cruised in 30 years and did not even think about spending an extra day or two in Vancouver. We ... Read More
Noordam Triple Denali Land and Sea Journey Sept 2016 A wonderful trip with excellent service, food, and fun entertainment. We had not cruised in 30 years and did not even think about spending an extra day or two in Vancouver. We wished we had done this as Vancouver looks like a great place to visit with lots to do. Regardless, we were met at the airport by a HAL representative. Our bags were whisked away and we boarded a bus for the dock. When we arrived at the port, I was taken aback by how many people were in line, but was greatly relieved to find those people WERE NOT boarding the Noordam and were in line for another ship. Our check in was smooth with no waiting. We boarded the ship,and found our way to our suite. Our bags had already arrived. Fresh fruit and flowers were in the room. Our stewards came by to introduce themselves--Heri and Anang. When my husband found his suit had been wrinkled in transit, Heri quickly appeared to take it for pressing. Our cabin was a Neptune suite. It was worth every penny. The room was large with king sized bed, desk, 5 closets, a sectional sofa, small flat screen TV, eclectic lamps. The verandah was perfect, with a table and 4 chairs, as well as 2 lounge chairs and ottomans. The entry to the bathroom had a makeup area. The bathroom had 2 sinks, full jetted tub and separate shower. The Elemis bath products are spa quality. Everything was immaculate. We had elected free style dining. Our wonderful concierges, JR and Anne made reservations for us to dine each evening. We were seated with other travelers, allowing us to meet new friends and hear stories of other cruises and travel sites. Food was excellent, served hot every day. Our waiters made suggestions, if we were undecided. The sommeliers were quite helpful. There were a variety of activities on the ship. The comedian was hilarious and his show was SRO. The magician was amazing, although a little hokey. The Noordam players are a very talented group of young singers and dancers and we enjoyed them very much. Chamber music was played before dinner; a nice touch. The BB King Club is not to be missed. The casino was small; we are not gamblers so spent only about 30 minutes there. We did enjoy the free gaming lessons for craps. The service on the Noordam was exceptional. We never waited for anything. Our every wish was granted immediately with a smile. JR was very computer literate and was able to set up our WiFi and internet connection within minutes. Anne helped with excursion planning. Laundry was sent out in the morning with our stewards and returned by mid-afternoon. Having never traveled to Alaska before, the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway were perfect for a taste of Alaska. We scheduled a sea kayaking excursion through HAL in Ketchikan. A guide met us at the dock and drove us out of the city about 15 miles. We were provided life jackets and were jetted away in a large zodiac. During the ride, we saw lots of eagles, jumping salmon, whales. We arrived at a small island and were fitted with different life jackets and equipment for kayaking. We spent 2 hours among the Tatoosh Islands. It was a glorious day and the guides were excellent at pointing out the wildlife. Our other excursions were hiking in Juneau, and hiking and rafting in Skagway, set up through other vendors. In Glacier Bay, the Park Service Ranger who boarded the ship was informative and gave educational talks throughout the day. Since no other ships were in the bay, the captain was able to bring the Noordam within a 1/2 mile of the glaciers for spectacular views. Disembarkation was a breeze. Simply followed the instructions given. We were met by a bus with an entertaining driver and taken on the 10 hour ride to Denali in pouring rain. Unfortunately, there was not too much to see on such a bad weather day. Without such an amazing driver and his stories, the ride would have seemed much longer. Several stops were made along the way. Upon arrival in Denali, a HAL representative boarded the bus and passed out packets with all our information concerning our stay in Denali, including our room keys. The bus driver then dropped passengers at each building. Again, our luggage had arrived ahead of us. No fuss, no muss, no waiting. This was a fabulous experience for us. The Noordam was the perfect ship for us. No running children, no craziness, no excessive noise. Excellent service. Plenty of activities, both fun and educational. The ship captain made announcements daily and also announced when wildlife was within sight of the ship. Frequent announcements were made about the need for hand washing. We appreciated this reminder. HAL had this trip organized down to the last detail. My husband had not been impressed by a short cruise with another line 30 years ago and had to be talked into this trip, He has been sold and we will definitely be cruisers. Would we go again? Absolutely! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise as the second half of a 13 day D1 Denali land tour through Holland America. Fairbanks We flew into Fairbanks a day early and stayed at the Westmark Fairbanks. Upon arrival we unknowingly bypassed the HAL desk at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the second half of a 13 day D1 Denali land tour through Holland America. Fairbanks We flew into Fairbanks a day early and stayed at the Westmark Fairbanks. Upon arrival we unknowingly bypassed the HAL desk at the airport and showed up at the hotel without our welcome packet. Christine, at the HAL tour desk, was so helpful. She issued us a temporary room key and let us go ahead and get settled in while she arranged for our packet to be shuttled to us. We enjoyed our room and our time at the Westmark. We enjoyed our meals at the Red Lantern, and our breakfast at the Northern Latitudes, both on site. We walked down to the riverside park on our extra day and enjoyed our time there.(Even though the phone system was down our last night and we failed to receive a wake up call to enjoy the Aurora Borealis.) :-( HAL made leaving on the bus to the Riverboat Cruise very easy, and we enjoyed the cruise, the meal following, and the bus ride to McKinley Chalet resort. Denali National Park and McKinley Chalet Resort We received our welcome packet on the bus, and were dropped off at the stop for our cabin. Our luggage was waiting for us there, and we settled in. We found our room to be very satisfactory. We were in room W206, next to the river. It seemed new and clean, and our only complaint about the room was the lack of anyplace to hang anything. There are no closets, but there is an offset area in the rear bedroom that might be appropriate for some hooks on the wall at least. We had absolutely no issues with transportation, either on site or to other locations. We rarely waited more than a few minutes for a shuttle bus, and it was nice to soak in the atmosphere while we did wait. We found our experience at the complex to be peaceful and relaxing, even the time we spent hauling our laundry to the Canyon Lodge. Some laundry facilities closer to the rear cabin areas would be appreciated! We ate most of our meals at Karsten's in Denali square, with the exception of one dinner at the steakhouse in the main lodge. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the food we had on site. We did the Tundra Wilderness Tour on our second day, and ran into the only weather of our two week trip that was less than ideal. It was a cloudy, misty morning, and we never had a chance of seeing Mount Denali. We saw caribou, dall sheep, and a very minimal look at a moose wrestling with a tree. By the time we were dropped back at the resort, the weather had improved, and was absolutely perfect for the rest of our trip. After a day of relaxation at the resort we gathered in Denali Square for the trip to the train station to board the McKinley Express to Anchorage. McKinley Wilderness Explorer The trip to Anchorage was quite enjoyable. The train is very comfortable, the food served was delicious, and the time went flying by. We got a measure of revenge as we were treated to views of Mt. Denali that were nothing short of spectacular! Anchorage Westmark We had room 502 in the Anchorage Westmark. We were transferred from the train depot to the hotel by bus. Again, we were given our welcome packet before leaving the bus and the entire transfer from the train to our room was flawless. Room 502 had two queen sized beds, one of which was somewhat jammed against the heating/air unit. The facility is adequate. Old, but clean and could use some updating. We had dinner and breakfast the next morning in the restaurant on site. The food was quite good. While waiting for the bus back to the train depot we saw an example of how adept HAL is at handling large amounts of luggage. It is impressive to see their system at work. Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward The excursion train from Anchorage to Seward, while not as comfortable as the McKinley Explorer, was very enjoyable, with good food and some absolutely incredible scenery. It was an experience well worth doing. This is a ride not to be missed. And it is extremely helpful that they complete the check-in process for the ship before you reach the port in Seward. Embarkation Embarkation could not have gone smoother for us. Having requested wheelchair assistance for embarking, we went straight through security and were onboard in no time. Thank you to the very helpful Noordam staff for making this process work so smoothly. With the train arriving late in the afternoon, we found our luggage waiting for us in our cabin, and were able to unpack somewhat before the muster drill. The muster drill was delayed slightly by a gentleman requiring emergency medical disembarkation. We sincerely hope that everything turned out well for him and his family. The MS Noordam We were in cabin 7057, a Neptune suite located adjacent to the Neptune lounge. This booking was the result of a last-week upsell offer from HAL that we accepted, having originally booked a verandah stateroom on the 8th deck. The suite was everything we could have hoped for, and more. Spacious and very comfortable, with a large verandah and far more storage than we could find a use for. Heri and Anang, our stewards, kept the cabin clean and in order in spite of us. :-) We would like to thank these gentlemen for all of their efforts and assistance. Should we never receive another upgrade/upsell offer from HAL, we will forever be glad we accepted this one. The Neptune lounge was very nice. Quiet and convenient for grabbing a quick drink or snack between meals. And there might not be adequate words to describe the patience, helpfulness, and did I mention, patience, of the Neptune concierge staff, Anne and Laura. They seemed to always have a smile and a yes answer to whatever question or request we asked of them, be it large or trivial. They are a very pleasant and positive asset, and we appreciate all of their help immensely. We very much enjoyed most of the meal experiences onboard the Noordam. Both breakfast and dinner in the Pinnacle Grill were excellent, and Rick gave us excellent service. We certainly wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. We found Canaletto to be very good and got some helpful assistance from the wine steward there. We enjoyed dressing for Gala nights in the MDR, and it was fun seeing the number of people who still find the experience worthy. We found Noordam to be a beautiful ship, with some signs of her age here and there. We could be as relaxed and as comfortable as we chose to be pretty much anywhere on board, and thought the overall décor to our liking. We spent the majority of our shipboard time relaxing in our cabin or on our verandah. We did not attend many shows, although we did enjoy an evening of B.B.King's All Stars and the Filipino Crew show. The Galley tour on the last day was informative and very popular. And we managed to squeeze in some shopping time.... Our time spent cruising Glacier Bay is unforgettable. It was a beautiful day and the sights and just the atmosphere of that place are incredible. Listening to the sounds emanating from Margerie Glacier as the ship spun slowly in front of the face was worth the entire trip. Overall, our time on board the Noordam was what we had hoped for. It was relaxing and exciting at the same time, comfortable, enjoyable, and we are so glad to have done this trip. Thank you to Captain Bos, his staff and crew, and everyone affiliated with Holland America for helping us to have a wonderful first cruise/trip experience. And thank you to the Good Lord for blessing us with two weeks of almost perfect weather. Excursions We did two Allen Marine excursions and enjoyed them both. The Best of Juneau whale watching/Orca point lunch/Mendenhall glacier tour was well worth the price. An hour at Mendenhall, which is a beautiful and very educational visit, followed by whale watching which delivered at least three whales and numerous sightings of Stellar sea lions and then a tasty lunch at Orca Point Lodge. The scenery visible on such a beautiful afternoon would have been worth the time even without the wildlife sightings. The Misty Fjords Wilderness Explorer took us on an extended jet boat ride into Misty Fjords National Monument. The vistas were amazing, with the boat drifting closely past waterfalls tumbling down from sheer rocky cliffs. It was a beautiful day, with abundant sunshine on our way into the park and some of the namesake mists settling in around the peaks as we exited. We enjoyed the ride, the scenery, and viewing the petroglyphs left by the native peoples. Disembarkation Unfortunately, our trip ended as it had begun, with a medical emergency. On the last night, someone required medical assistance which ultimately led to the ship pulling into Vancouver nearly two hours early for a medical disembarkation. Again, our thoughts and prayers go with those affected. The rest of the disembarkation process went fine for us. We chose to check our carry-on bags for the return flights home, so after having put our luggage out in the hall the night before we had an easy time making the transfer to the airport from the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We prefer a smaller cruise line like Holland America. This was our third cruise with HAL. We were delighted with the cruise and especially with the smooth transfer to the land part of the trip. All transfers were efficiently handled with ... Read More
We prefer a smaller cruise line like Holland America. This was our third cruise with HAL. We were delighted with the cruise and especially with the smooth transfer to the land part of the trip. All transfers were efficiently handled with assigned seating for the motor coach and train parts of the land trip. The cruise itself went to Ketchikan , Juneau, Skagway, and Glacier Bay. The ship picked up a park ranger and Native Alaskan to help make the experience of Glacier Bay all the better. Big points for that! One highlight was the McKinley Express train to Denali. We spent two nights in Denali which we are recommending to everyone. A tour of Denali Park was included in the trip and was great. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and had a very good personality. Overall food quality was good but many dishes needed a bit more seasoning. Bar poured generous drinks. Service was excellent. The ship itself was spotless. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Everything was great. SKIP THE PINNACLE GRILL!!!!. The Pinnacle grill was at par with an Outback Steakhouse, except smaller, slower service, and more expensive. The steaks were over seasoned, and not worth paying the extra fee for this ... Read More
Everything was great. SKIP THE PINNACLE GRILL!!!!. The Pinnacle grill was at par with an Outback Steakhouse, except smaller, slower service, and more expensive. The steaks were over seasoned, and not worth paying the extra fee for this dining option. The Italian restaurant, however was very good. When in Skagway, rent a car to travel to the yukon and Whites Pass. There is an Avis location in Skagway and you can book the car before your cruise. It is much cheaper, and more comfortable than riding in a train/bus. In Ketchikan, we enlisted Ketchikan Taxicab Tours to show us the area via mini van. Again, a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the normal tour options. Again, we booked this tour before he cruise. Your driver will make sure you see the salmon run, if they are there. To get one of the good lounge seats on the observation deck, you have to get there early and stay there. Its the best place to see the world go by. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
First time cruise, anniversary trip with my husband and sister and brother in law. Was one of the best vacations I have ever experienced. Holland knows customer service, we felt pampered every day, from the wonderful cabin stewards and ... Read More
First time cruise, anniversary trip with my husband and sister and brother in law. Was one of the best vacations I have ever experienced. Holland knows customer service, we felt pampered every day, from the wonderful cabin stewards and the folded towel animals to the dining stewards. They all took exceptional care of us and they were friendly and funny. Felt like traveling with lots of friends. Loved the staff entertainment night, where they sang songs from Indonesia and told stories. Excursions were great, Glacier Bay was beautiful, should have taken hats and gloves. Was very cold that day. Was able to buy a hat and gloves for a very reasonable price. The only downside was small, we paid for dinner in the pinnacle restaurant, would not do that again. Service was not as good as in the dining room and our steward never brought our tea or coffee. Seemed overpriced as the food in the dining room was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose the Alaska land and cruise package that included the 3 night Denali pre-cruise trip. We flew into Anchorage on July 12, two days before the official start (always concerned about flight delays). Flights on Delta from ... Read More
We chose the Alaska land and cruise package that included the 3 night Denali pre-cruise trip. We flew into Anchorage on July 12, two days before the official start (always concerned about flight delays). Flights on Delta from Syracuse-Minneapolis-Seattle-Anchorage were all on time. Arrived in Anchorage on time and met at the airport by HAL staff and, after collecting checked bags, promptly boarded a bus to our hotel (the Westmark). The hotel was conveniently located and definitely had an older feel but the room was clean and comfortable. While in Anchorage we had dinners at Crush (a wine and tapas bar) and the 49th State Brewery - both were excellent - and we visited the Alaska Museum, worth the time if you can make it. On the morning of the 14th, we were bused to the domed rail cars at the train station (a five minute drive) for our trip up to Denali. This trip was fantastic. The scenery was magnificent and the host/commentator gave us plenty of great information along the way. We had lunch in the dining area of the car (it's the lower level) and the food was very good. We had several sightings of Denali itself - very impressive as it towers well above everything around it. Arrived at the McKinley Lodge around 5PM. McKinley Lodge is a very nice property. It's more of a campus with several restaurants and shops and rooms are in many buildings. They have an effective shuttle system to get you around if you don't care to walk. Food in the restaurants was very good and, I thought, reasonably priced considering where you were. It's more than you'd probably pay at home but certainly less than if you were in NYC or any other large city. On the 15th we embarked on our Tundra Wilderness tour of Denali Park. You ride in a bus and at first you think it's rather uncomfortable but you forget all about that when you spot your first wildlife. Our driver, Joe, was very informative all along the way. We spotted grizzlies, caribou, Dall Sheep, brown bear and more. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular. It's basically an all day thing and well worth it. Our helicopter/glacier landing on the 16th was cancelled because of the weather (fog at the glacier) so we had free time to explore on our own and get some much needed rest. Had dinner that night at the Salmon Bake - great food and a really quirky place. On the 17th we boarded our bus to Seward for the start of our cruise. This trip took all day, starting at 8:30 and arriving at 6PM. They try to coordinate the arrivals with the train so that the lines for embarkation don't get too long. Once again, our driver was a wealth of knowledge and offered commentary as we traveled. Lunch was included. Embarkation was quick and easy and all of our luggage was in our room when we arrived. We unpacked and then headed to the dining room at 8 for dinner. Cruise notes: We ate in the main dining room every night but one. Food was always very good, hot and tasty, no bad meals. Service was outstanding. Tuesday night we at in the Pinnacle Grill - excellent meal - the filet mignon was fork tender and delicious. We also ate all of our breakfasts and lunches in the main dining room (except when we were off the ship). Only had one meal from the Lido so no comments on that. We didn't do much in the way of entertainment - a few trips to the casino. We're more interested in the Alaska scenery than the shows. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 just below the spa. Great cabin attendants, room was always clean and made up while we were at breakfast. The balcony was a plus for enjoying the scenery. Ports: Our first treat was not a port at all but the ship cruised through Glacier Bay. Everywhere you looked we were impressed. We spotted many bald eagles and seals. The high point was getting very close to the Margery Glacier and hearing the ice cracking (sounds like thunder) and seeing it fall into the bay. Next, in Skagway we did the White Pass Rail trip. Well worth it. Again, the views and the scenery were awesome. A box lunch is provided. In Juneau we did a hovercraft trip to the Taku Glacier - also well worth it. You get up close and personal with the face of the glacier as it makes its way to the water - it's one of the few that are still advancing. Where a sweater as your standing really close to millions of tons of ice. In Ketchikan, we walked the town on our own with no excursion planned. On to Vancouver with a sea day in between, we sailed the inside passage for more awesome scenery and whale and seal sightings. Spent the night in Vancouver at the Four Seasons before returning home the next day. Air Canada flights were on time and very pleasant. This trip has to be on everyone's bucket list. Alaska is one of, if not the, most beautiful places on earth. So much of it is untouched. The air is fresh and clean and the wild life seems to be everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were guided to this cruise to Alaska through the Inside Passage on the Noordam by Peter at Discount Cruises. The occasion was our 44th wedding anniversary combined with my husbands 50th class reunion. Four classmates and their wives ... Read More
We were guided to this cruise to Alaska through the Inside Passage on the Noordam by Peter at Discount Cruises. The occasion was our 44th wedding anniversary combined with my husbands 50th class reunion. Four classmates and their wives from India joined us. Peter arranged everything so that we were living next door to each other in beautiful balcony rooms, sitting together for our evening meals for 7 days and during the land portion of our trip to Denali and on to Anchorage, staying together on the train, bus, and in the hotel before our departure. Holland-America was over-the-top accommodating, kind, and efficient. We never wanted for anything. When our toilet stopped working, the steward fixed it immediately and we received a follow-up apology. We were amazed. The food was delicious whether we were eating at the Lido or in the dining room. The entertainment in the evening in various places brought us together in a different way. We danced and sang and enjoyed each night's events. In Denalli, we saw wildlife up close, including a mother moose with her young just outside the window of the Visitor's Center, a grizzly that stood up and began walking toward our bus. Leaving Denali for Anchorage by the Holland-America dome train was such a fabulous ending to our journey with great food, excellent commentary on the history of what we were seeing. All in all, our 11 days on this cruise/land journey was so memorable. We want to take another Holland-America cruise, perhaps to New Zealand. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Classy experience. Ship: Noordam. Well appointed, clean, well maintained. Hand sanitizers available everywhere, with overhead and live reminders to use or to wash hands. Great implementation! Excellent emergency training ... Read More
Classy experience. Ship: Noordam. Well appointed, clean, well maintained. Hand sanitizers available everywhere, with overhead and live reminders to use or to wash hands. Great implementation! Excellent emergency training pre-embarking. Captain Bos kept us informed on wildlife sightings and beautiful vistas as we approached. Ports: Departed Seward, AK, and charming town. The Sea Life Aquarium was wonderful, showing sea life from both above and below the water. Ports: Haines - tiny town, not much to do; schedule excursion this stop. Juneau - take the Tram to the top of the mountain for exquisite views & eagle sightings. Open-air Crab Shack serve King Crab legs for lunch, which was ourstanding! Ketchikan - was last port. Juneau & Ketchikan as very commercialized and similar, as one might expect. Shops open when the cruise ships dock! Lots of junky souvenir shops and Tanzanite/Diamond stores. We found most eateries and gift/jewelry shops overpriced. We'd recommend knowing which ports' attractions appeal to you most & select your cruise factoring in that. It seemed to us that many of the vendors onboard making presentations promoting certain jewelry or other stores were likely being compensated by stores at the various ports. Glacier Bay Cabana Rental: Reserve this as soon as you board, if your ship spends the day at Glacier Bay. $50 pp for private outdoor cabana with 2 chaises with wool blankets and 2 chairs with table. Irish coffee, Spanish coffee, and mulled wine served all day, and lunch was served.. While others were freezing on a lower deck, the cabanas broke the wind and protected us from the frigid air around the glaciers! Well worth it! Cabin: Stateroom 7142. We reserved a Neptune Suite on Rotterdam Deck (7th floor), with perks that enhanced our vacation experience...bottle of champagne; bottle of sparkling water; 2 large bottles of spring water; silver basket of fruit replenished daily; Elemis toiletries; separate tub & shower; access to the Neptune Lounge (with elegantly prepared hors d'oeuvres, chocolates, fruits, cookies, latte/cappuccino/coffee maker, tea, juices. Sodas & cocktails were extra); personal Concierge in lounge, and complimentary daily breakfast in their high end Pinnacle Grill. Additionally, our boarding, disembarkation and luggage handling were treated with priority as a suite guest. We were told to enter the Priority Entrance lane and passed about 500 other people waiting to board -- took us 15 minutes to check-in and be on the ship! If able, we would recommend traveling at this level. Regardless of room level, the staff were all friendly and eager to accommodate any request. Our room steward, Danang, besides being friendly and always with a smile, was a perfectionist and had our room looking crisp & fresh twice a day! A very polished, professional group of employees on ALL levels. TV was 18-24" size with very few channels & poor reception in port especially. ***There are no outlets next to the bed, so if you must plug in a medical device, or entertainment device, you will need an extension cord; OR, check with HAL before departure to see if one is available onboard. Dining: We ate breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, except for an excursion day when we ordered room service. Pinnacle Grill is exquisite - both food & service. Lunch was good at the Lido. It had very crowded feel, but many varieties of food; this is a help yourself-type restaurant. We never tried the Pool/Lido Deck fast food bar. Dinner was mostly done in the Vista Restaurant, and the food was delicious and beautifully prepared. Service was impeccable, and the servers knew our names in public after Day 2! Regarding dinner attire - Gala Night allowed dressy casual; we did not wear nor see formal wear. Entertainment: We did not attend any of the shows or visit any of the bars/lounges, though some of them had beautiful decor. Overall a great experience. We left with a very positive feeling about the Holland America Line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We always wanted to go to Alaska and our travel agent at AAA found this for us. We had sailed with HAL before and were very happy. It is for the older crowd like middle age to seniors. There were only 60 people under the age of 18. The ... Read More
We always wanted to go to Alaska and our travel agent at AAA found this for us. We had sailed with HAL before and were very happy. It is for the older crowd like middle age to seniors. There were only 60 people under the age of 18. The cruise portion was just outstanding. The service we received was the best and everyone on board was courteous and helpful. Food was great in the dining room. Couldn't ask for better and the choices were very broad. The downside to the trip was the land portion. Way too long on trains (12 hours) and buses (8 hours) and this didn't include the excursion we took in Denali. The towns we visited were all very unique and fun to visit. We had what turned out to be a private tour in Skagway that was out of this world. Our guide is a native Alaskan and has just started her business this year. Look up http://midnightsunexcursions.com/ and Raymie will you won't be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We did a HAL Alaska Land & Sea cruise from Vancouver that included 3 days in Denali, and we added 5 days onto the end of the trip to explore on our own. It was the right combination of land and sea for us. The cruise up the inside ... Read More
We did a HAL Alaska Land & Sea cruise from Vancouver that included 3 days in Denali, and we added 5 days onto the end of the trip to explore on our own. It was the right combination of land and sea for us. The cruise up the inside passage was captivating but Denali was truly the pinnacle of the trip. The extra 5 days allowed us to explore the Kenai Peninsula, which was the icing on the cake. Holland treated us very well throughout. Our Neptune Suite 7087 had plenty of space and storage, with a nice V-shaped verandah so we could look forward as well as to the side, which was great for photos. We made extensive use of the Neptune Lounge amenities and concierge. The included laundry service was a definite plus. All of the HAL staff we interacted with did a fantastic job of making us feel welcome and appreciated. Our special "date night" meal at the Canaletto was one of the best meals we've had anywhere. The Main Dining Room meals were good, although a little chaotic due to the size and noise of such a large space. We had two excellent dinners delivered to our room when we were too tired to deal with that. There were enough onboard activities to keep us busy during the at-sea days, sometimes too many to choose from. The Greenhouse spa was beautiful and a welcome diversion. I had a massage on the first day and enjoyed a few hours relaxing in the Hydro pool another day after a long day of hiking. We did only one shore excursion through HAL, a 3-hour evening photography tour near Denali, which was excellent. Other than that, we explored on our own without any trouble. The one glitch we experienced was that the staff was not prepared for the deluge of arrivals when we reached the McKinley Chalet. It was cold and rainy that evening, so not at all conducive to walking very far. The property dining shuttle was overwhelmed so many visitors waited nearly an hour for a shuttle that was not already full with passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was a mother/daughter cruise. My daughter is 19. As first time cruisers, the choices were overwhelming, but this cruise line seemed to have a lot of options for a reasonable price. A big draw for us was the Art Gallery, Cooking ... Read More
This was a mother/daughter cruise. My daughter is 19. As first time cruisers, the choices were overwhelming, but this cruise line seemed to have a lot of options for a reasonable price. A big draw for us was the Art Gallery, Cooking Demonstrations and formal nights. The ship was luxurious with many elevators and stairwells. The cabin was small, but well laid out for the two people. 2 single beds worked for us, but they could easily be moved into a Queen bed if it were a couple. Didn't feel cramped and there were lots of other places to go if we needed to get away from each other. Dining options and food were excellent! We tried the room service, ate in the Lido Market during the day and had fixed seating in the evening. Very, very nice. Staff were incredibly friendly, professional and happy. Heard later from the gallery staff that this line has the best food of them all. Art gallery is worth a special mention. The staff were absolutely incredible. My daughter is an artist and spent most of her time there getting a crash course in art history, techniques and how to promote your work. She also purchased an original Goya etching for a reasonable price. Free champagne for me didn't hurt either. :-) We went to Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan with a full day cruise in Glacier Bay. Enjoyed the ports and excursions - especially the less traveled ones like Photography and Rock Climbing. As a first timer, I felt compelled to purchase these in advance. That isn't necessary and maybe not even a good idea - do you want to do a major hike on a rainy miserable day? Ports did seem a little commercial, but if you were willing to walk a bit, you could find some of the local color. Great value for the price if you discount the extras like alcohol and spa treatments. Lots of extra deals once you are on board. Discounts arrive daily in your room's inbox. Again, don't feel too pressured to buy everything right away. Would absolutely cruise again - even do the Alaska cruise again. So much to see and do, so little time! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Our cruise to Alaska on the Noordam was amazing. We were very lucky as the weather the entire week was perfect. Very sunny and warm. We brought 2 bottle of wine with us onboard...no problem. The scenery along the entire route is ... Read More
Our cruise to Alaska on the Noordam was amazing. We were very lucky as the weather the entire week was perfect. Very sunny and warm. We brought 2 bottle of wine with us onboard...no problem. The scenery along the entire route is beautiful. There was still snow on the top of the mountains. We did see Orcas, some wales, 2 bears, lots of birds and otters. The Ship - We enjoyed our time on the Noordam. Loved having the balcony as we used it a lot. We sailed from Vancouver thru the inland passage in British Columbia thru to the Alaskan Section. Smooth sailing in these inland waters. I would not go from Seattle as the ship would be on the ocean side of Vancouver Island and Prince of Wales Island in Alaska. It was very smooth most the way. The ocean was a little rough just north of the tip of Vancouver Island, the ship handled it well. You could always see land in the distance. Thru the passage you see land very close to both sides of the ship. The interior (public) areas of the ship were kept very clean, decks clean, public bathrooms clean. Nice art pieces, the library felt like a private club.There was always something being cleaned, painted or polished. Our Room - ( VD 6030) The stateroom was immaculate, lots of closets and great storage. Nice size bathroom with a tub. Hotel like soaps and shampoos & hair dryer. I think the room was about 270 Sq ft. Bed very comfy. Nice little sofa to watch the shoreline go by. Nice glass patio front so we could see the ocean. The room was quiet and black out curtains helped with the 4:30 A.M. sunrises. Lots of videos and some TV...not important to us. We brought our Ipad with music. ****Glad we brought binoculars and a small bungie cord so we could keep the door open. The Food - We only went to the buffet once. Not really our thing. It was popular and well stocked. The dining area here is also attractive. We ate in the Vista dining room for lunch while cruising and every night open seating in the Vista Dining room. Never had a problem getting a table, any wait time was short. The food and service was excellent. The crew were very polite and seemed very well trained. Continental style service. Nice lines, silver and china. We both have hotel management backgrounds. Service in the the dining room was top notch. We had breakfast in our cabin every morning. We did upgrade two dinners, both were excellent. Caneletto, the first night served some of the best Italian food we have ever had. The steak house (Pinnace Grill) was also very good and service excellent. Wine, beer & cocktails - Prices were fair and selection very good. We had a bottle of wine with dinner at night and shared wine with other guest. Some people took their bottle of champagne on the deck and would sit there enjoy it and watch the scenery go by. We never saw any one intoxicated. There was a happy hour in some of the lounges with specials and food. The staff never push drinks in the lounges. The Ship Experience - The ship was very clean and decorated very nice, like a posh floating hotel. Very comfortable. We loved the promenade deck for walking. Lots of little lounges & seating areas to tuck into. The library is well stocked and very comfortable. Big windows. The ship never seemed crowded, except for the buffet area. Coffee and tea were available in the buffet area any time. Staff said good morning and hello as they walked by. Their uniforms looked sharp. Housekeeping staff was also very friendly. Entertainment & Formal Nights - The entertainment was great. We enjoyed the shows at night, the BBC planet earth series, had fun in the piano bar, good morning Noordam was funny and informative. There were 2 formal nights. Most men work jackets and ties. We saw few tuxes. The ports were interesting, we took the Alaskan Railroad tour in Skagway. Glad we did it .May not be a big deal for people who live in mountainous areas. People that did not want to dress up went to the buffet. Most looking smart casual. We would wear jeans in the daytime. Shopping on board - There was always something on sale. Nothing was every pushed at you. Some people really enjoyed the sales. Shopping on shore...well you can buy anything you forgot at home in any port. Good deals on fleece jackets, gloves etc. But it was sunny and 75F/22C in Ketchikan. People - All types - As for being a gay couple on the ship....no big deal. People were very nice, no issues. We had a blast. The staff was always polite. We never felt uncomfortable. The age group was mixed between the late 40's to ??? Most children are in school so very few kids on this cruise. There was a teen area and a place to place basketball. SPA - Keith got a spa pass for the day and really enjoyed it. Cruise again - I would go back to Alaska again. The stateroom with patio was a treat. Getting on and off the ship was easy and Vancouver has a beautiful terminal right in the heart of the city. Easy to get to from YVR by skytrain all the way. We stayed on on Vancouver for three days. Beautiful walkable city. Lots to see and do. No wonder it is considered one of the top cities in the world. Mobile Connections / TV - No problem in any of the ports and sometimes on the ship in some areas. We have T-Mobile so my phone worked fine in British Columbia and Alaska. Text and calls are included. I heard the internet on the ship was expensive. We never used it. There was a daily newsletter in the library for different nationalities. Thoughts about our first cruise - You can make the cruise your own. Be with people or escape them. Watching the scenery go by was dreamlike. The Noordam gave us a glimpse of what it must have been like on the ocean liners in the past. The teak decks and deck chairs, late night sunsets.....well worth it. Now saving up for a cruise maybe on the North Sea and Baltic. I am glad we had a cabin with a private deck especially on a cruise that is so scenic. If I was going to other places a room with window would be OK. I don't think I would like a room without some form of natural light coming in. Negatives - Going back to work. 1). No washer/dryers on ship. (Not that I was going to do laudnry) You can wash some things by hand and hang in shower/tub area. Laundry prices seemed reasonable. 2). The route of the ship was on the TV screen in the room. I just wish it could have been bigger. Sometimes we would go by a small village on the coast and I would wonder what it was called and the location. 3). Selling expensive hot chocolate on the deck in Glacier Bay was taky. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We chose this cruise because we were traveling to Sydney to see family. My cousin suggested a tour of New Zealand, which we took by bus. - It was with APT Tours & was wonderful After a 3 week stay in Sydney we wanted to take a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling to Sydney to see family. My cousin suggested a tour of New Zealand, which we took by bus. - It was with APT Tours & was wonderful After a 3 week stay in Sydney we wanted to take a leisurely trip back to the US via Vancouver, BC There are not enough accolades to give the Noordam & her crew. From the moment of embarkation until we docked in Vancouver we were surrounded by wonderful people, service & food ( & lots of it) There were enough on-board activities for everyone, no matter what your interest. HAL utilized lecturers with in depth knowledge of the areas & islands we visited. The Cruise Director, Carlos & his staff kept us busy on the sea days, with daily team trivia, pool games, etc. The evenings entertainment was top-notch. We became nightly denizens of the piano bar! We celebrated Anzac Day for those Kiwis & Aussies on board. There was a Passover Seder and anyone interested was invited to attend. Our favorite area on any cruise is always the Spa & this was no exception. We indulged ourselves for the many spa amenities & were very pleased. We visited New Caledonia, Lautoka , Vanatu, Noumea, Pago Pago, Mystery Island & Honolulu for 2 days. We crossed the International Date line & had April 16th twice. We also crossed the Equator. They had an initiation ceremony for those new crew members who crossed the Equator for the first time! "Kiss the Fish"! I could easily get used to life on board a ship! & we have already booked our next cruise with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We booked a 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise on the Noordam about 6 weeks before departure because of the incredible deal being offered. We had never sailed with Holland America before, and we were not disappointed. The Cruise ... Read More
We booked a 14-day Australia and New Zealand cruise on the Noordam about 6 weeks before departure because of the incredible deal being offered. We had never sailed with Holland America before, and we were not disappointed. The Cruise Critic overview of this line is pretty accurate. It is a different experience from Carnival, NCL or RCL, as the entertainment options are more limited and the ship is quieter overall (don't expect a live band at the pool). We felt the service and food were better than what we experienced on or last RCL cruise. Since we prefer a quieter ship their education offerings, we would definitely cruise with them again. We are 'value' cruisers and normally take an inside cabin. The one we were assigned was a bit odd (larger side-to-side than deep) which was not typical for this ship. It was a bit harder to navigate than other cabins we have had, but was comfortable, had adequate storage, and was better maintained than some we have had. We enjoyed every port-of-call in both New Zealand and Australia, especially Tauranga/Rotorua, in NZ. We booked one excursion through Holland (Eden, Australia because of limited alternatives), but all others on our own. No significant issues with any of them Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 2nd cruise with HAL. Last one was on MS Oosterdam in Dec 2014, which was good but some aspects were definitely lacking. By comparison the MS Noordam is far superior in every way. First & foremost, the food was perfect ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with HAL. Last one was on MS Oosterdam in Dec 2014, which was good but some aspects were definitely lacking. By comparison the MS Noordam is far superior in every way. First & foremost, the food was perfect & we ate every dinner at the Vista dining room. Had same table every night, same wonderful servers & wine steward, all gracious, friendly, eager to please, accommodating & spot on with their suggestions! Compliments to the chefs who gave us delectable 3 course meals every single night. Had one dinner at Pinnacle Grill & although lovely it was of similar standard to Vista dining room, so there's really no need to pay the extra money. Lido buffet was also lovely, both for breakfast & lunch. Pasta bar a favourite for us. Staff all over the ship were incredibly friendly, happy & genuine, much more so than on the Oosterdam. Cabin stewards always around to say hello & assist if required. Cabin itself (8040) was kept immaculate & no issues with anything. We truly enjoyed our Noordam cruising experience! The BB King Blues club band were simply amazing & we saw them on many nights. Am more than happy to recommend both HAL and MS Noordam to anyone. Their staff, crew & chefs are a credit to HAL & could teach the Oosterdam a thing or two. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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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