The entire Noordam staff were graduates of smile school, and were very accommodating to any need that we expressed. - The Maitre 'd made a point of soliciting our comments about the Vista Dining Room ("tepid soup, slower service between courses than expected"- which he remedied). Portions seemed smaller than I remember from previous cruises, so we often visited the Lido deck later to get a bite. - The Excursion Director, KK, provided an informative overview of the destinations and had scheduled hours at her Main Deck desk to respond to individual questions; she had unlimited patience in dealing with people who did absolutely nothing on their own to become informed (and who also wasted everyone else's time). We took one HAL excursion and explored other destinations on our own- I find that privately arranged tours are about half the charge of HAL's and you can alter them as you'd like. Hop On-Hop Off buses are also a fairly quick and inexpensive way to get the lay of the land. - The crew was especially attentive to passenger safety during tendering operations at ports where the ship couldn't dock. Our single significant disappointment was that complimentary wifi wasn't available- not in the cabins nor in a central location such as the library. Cruisers get pumped about their activities and increasingly want to share their excitement through email and facebook (generating some buzz for potential HAL cruisers?). While Motel 6 provides it free, HAL gouges passengers 75c a minute, or lesser amounts if you shell out for a package of minutes, starting at $55 for 100 minutes ($.55 a minute). If capacity was a significant factor, I'd suggest providing some basic minutes free and charging for usage over that amount.

Enjoyed ourselves

Noordam Cruise Review by Bobaloo66

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2013
  • Destination: Italy
The entire Noordam staff were graduates of smile school, and were very accommodating to any need that we expressed.
- The Maitre 'd made a point of soliciting our comments about the Vista Dining Room ("tepid soup, slower service between courses than expected"- which he remedied). Portions seemed smaller than I remember from previous cruises, so we often visited the Lido deck later to get a bite.
- The Excursion Director, KK, provided an informative overview of the destinations and had scheduled hours at her Main Deck desk to respond to individual questions; she had unlimited patience in dealing with people who did absolutely nothing on their own to become informed (and who also wasted everyone else's time). We took one HAL excursion and explored other destinations on our own- I find that privately arranged tours are about half the charge of HAL's and you can alter them as you'd like. Hop On-Hop Off buses are also a fairly quick and inexpensive way to get the lay of the land.
- The crew was especially attentive to passenger safety during tendering operations at ports where the ship couldn't dock.
Our single significant disappointment was that complimentary wifi wasn't available- not in the cabins nor in a central location such as the library. Cruisers get pumped about their activities and increasingly want to share their excitement through email and facebook (generating some buzz for potential HAL cruisers?).
While Motel 6 provides it free, HAL gouges passengers 75c a minute, or lesser amounts if you shell out for a package of minutes, starting at $55 for 100 minutes ($.55 a minute). If capacity was a significant factor, I'd suggest providing some basic minutes free and charging for usage over that amount.
Bobaloo66’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin
Very comfortable- had everything we needed except complimentary wifi
  Noordam Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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  • Amalfi Coast
    Second time we've used this outfit for a private tourAs before, they were exceptional: right outside the building when we arrived, recent vintage 8-passenger Mercedes van, friendly, well-dressed English speaking driver/tour guide for 400 euros. He asked what we wanted to see/do and accommodated every request. Even recommended a sea food restaurant on the water in Amalfi that was tourist free (even though there were 8 tour buses parked at the small port.Also stopped in Positano- beautiful as ever!
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    Walked extensively to points & routes recommended by the Excursion Director. Could also get free wifi at a restaurant very near the dock.Took a cab to the Hotel Grand, about a mile from the city center. Very nice setting for lunch, but expensive (24 euros for a club sandwich & fries).The Verdi Opera House was impressive, but couldn't get in for a tour (an employee said "Tomorrow").
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  • Sardinia
    Olbio replaced Tunis as a stop. We did another self-guided walking tour of the central city and had a leisurely lunch ashore.
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