1st time cruiser; HAL Noordam: Noordam Cruise Review by georgina56

Noordam 4
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating

1st time cruiser; HAL Noordam

Sail Date: October 2012
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Other
First i must say we have never cruised before and didn't really know what to expect. We choose the cruise primarily for the itinerary and style/size of ship.

The pick-up at the airport was a little disorganised in that the representatives walked very fast losing people along the way with no instructions given for where to pick-up the coach. The luggage was gathered together and left unattended in the terminal - worrying. However when we boarded the ship there were no delays and we were made to feel welcome - although a welcome drink would have been nice. The overall impression of the ship (approx. 2000 passengers)was stylishly classic and our cabin was fine with a good sized balcony.

The food and drink - another priority for us - was generally very good with far too much available and there was lots of choice. The main Vista restaurant served very good four course meals in a semi-formal setting; we had opted for anytime dining which meant pot-luck with size of table More and we met lots of nice new people. The Lido - the only other restaurant with no cover charge - was an informal buffet, again with lots of choice.

The crew were generally friendly and helpful and cabin stewards were very good. Some of the waiters/servers were obviously lacking training and were not up to hospitality standards and a few in the Lido were very off-hand.

We did not bother with any excursions- we prefer to do our own thing and the excursion prices were extortionate.The ship provided extremely good info/maps about each port.The drinks were not too expensive and we were allowed to bring wine on-board to consume in the cabin.

The Pool areas were good with plenty of loungers available and all the bars were very attractive and relaxing. We only managed to get to one show as the times always seemed to clash with evening meal times for us - the 'Los Vegas' show was good if a little dated.

So overall we enjoyed our cruise very much with a few minor irritations. If and when we cruise again we will definitely try a different cruise line - probably an all inclusive as the tips, drinks and service charges soon add up. Less

Published 10/22/12

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No problem with cabin except would prefer a sliding door to balcony. Very quiet, fairly spacious, comfy bed.

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Port and Shore Excursions

We took the metro which is easy and cheap although half an hours walk from the port. The acropolis is amazing but would not recommend going in the height of summer.

Corfu town very easy to get by bus from inside the port. The old forts are very intersting and the town is very pretty if a little tatty. We had been to Corfu before so caught a bus to Dassia (20 minutes) and went for a swim and a peaceful lunch in a waterside Taverna.
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Excellent - easy to get to and from and plenty to see - very beautiful.

Right next to the port - a very pleasant relaxing little town and Olympia was interesting although not well presented.

Very attractive town with small fort on island near port. We went to Ephesus in a shared taxi - remember to haggle- very cheap and good service. Ephesus- the most impressive ruins after Rome - brilliant.
Read 614 Kusadasi Reviews

Long way from Cittevechia but well worth an overnight or two stay.

Santorini is probably the most beautiful island i have ever seen. But and it is a big but; the cable car wait was two hours when we arrived and one and half hours on the way back. The alternative is the donkey trail which is something the islanders should be ashamed of. The donkeys are very badly treated - left in the hot sun all day with no water and mercilessly driven up and down the steep trail. Needless to say we walked both up and down which is ok if you are agile and brave - we saw a couple of accidents with people being pushed against the rocks and walls. It is very surprising no-one is seriously injured while walking or while riding a donkey.

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