We are new to Caribbean cruising, having only sailed on European river cruises before, and we were very pleasantly surprised by our cruise on the Noordam. Food was excellent, good variety in both the buffet and dining room, portions not too large so that you could have more than one appetizer or even dessert. People online complain about the cost of alcoholic beverages and pop, but there was always water, coffee, tea available for free in the buffet, 2hr room service, and beer and pop in the bars was reasonably priced in our opinion. The service was uniformly excellent -- our cabin steward Yassa and waiter Juan anticipated every need. The ship is just the right size to provide the amenities we enjoyed -- multiple dining rooms, entertainment areas, full promenade deck to walk around outside, two pools and hot tubs -- but small enough to find our way around and get into ports like Bonaire. We neither felt trapped nor lost. We never had to wait for elevators or line up for lunch or to leave or return to the ship (unlike the Carnival ship docked beside us at Grand Turk, whose passengers had to wait more than an hour in the hot sun to go aboard). Entertainment was pretty good, but the comedian Matthew DiSero was hilarious. The cruise was excellent value for money, with two exceptions, luckily both optional: 1. internet access is expensive and unreliable. Wait for the free or cheap wifi available at most ports. If you do use the ship's wifi, make sure you log out, not just shut down your device or quit your browser or turn off wifi. 2. excursions offered by the ship are two to three times as costly as those you can get onshore, and no better. Next time I would just arrange something as we disembarked and there are lots of good options in every port, with the possible exception of Samana.

Excellent Value, Relaxing Cruise

Noordam Cruise Review by MayTen

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We are new to Caribbean cruising, having only sailed on European river cruises before, and we were very pleasantly surprised by our cruise on the Noordam. Food was excellent, good variety in both the buffet and dining room, portions not too large so that you could have more than one appetizer or even dessert. People online complain about the cost of alcoholic beverages and pop, but there was always water, coffee, tea available for free in the buffet, 2hr room service, and beer and pop in the bars was reasonably priced in our opinion. The service was uniformly excellent -- our cabin steward Yassa and waiter Juan anticipated every need. The ship is just the right size to provide the amenities we enjoyed -- multiple dining rooms, entertainment areas, full promenade deck to walk around outside, two pools and hot tubs -- but small enough to find our way around and get into ports like Bonaire. We neither felt trapped nor lost. We never had to wait for elevators or line up for lunch or to leave or return to the ship (unlike the Carnival ship docked beside us at Grand Turk, whose passengers had to wait more than an hour in the hot sun to go aboard). Entertainment was pretty good, but the comedian Matthew DiSero was hilarious.
The cruise was excellent value for money, with two exceptions, luckily both optional: 1. internet access is expensive and unreliable. Wait for the free or cheap wifi available at most ports. If you do use the ship's wifi, make sure you log out, not just shut down your device or quit your browser or turn off wifi. 2. excursions offered by the ship are two to three times as costly as those you can get onshore, and no better. Next time I would just arrange something as we disembarked and there are lots of good options in every port, with the possible exception of Samana.
MayTen’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 5039
Located near the elevators, which was handy, but not so close that the dinging of elevators was a bother. Cabin has a good verandah with a clear railing and open view out. We enjoyed breakfast on it each morning. Suitcases fit under the bed, lots of other storage in bathroom and stateroom. Safe is too small for large laptop. Decor is fine, bathroom fittings a bit tired but did not bother us. Cabin is perfectly comfortable.
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins