We are a family with 2 teenage children and have enjoyed 4 cruises with HAL. There must be something quite satisfying about a HAL cruise which keeps us coming back. Venice is a fantastic place to visit and from which to embark, the sail out passed the island and St Marks etc. is something to behold. We booked cabin 4015 which has a more spacious balcony but has a metal balcony front (not glass). This wasn't a problem as we were glad to have the extra space. The cabin is ok for 4 with one pullman (pull down bed which comes down over the head end of the double bed, and a sofa bed, although it's difficult to navigate to the balcony when the sofabed is extended, not a big deal though. The friidge is very handy. I've read the ship has signs of wear, I didn't see anything particularly displeasing. The entertainment was ok but we were quite content to amble around the ship, stop and have a drink, preferably the Crows Nest which was very enjoyable. We always find the staff friendly and accommodating and have seldom had cause to make any representations. The ports of call offered a variety of attractions. We tend to make our own arrangements and either book rental cars or private excursions before setting off. What works particularly well for us is we always go ashore together but the children find new friends aboard and have great fun. They stay in touch with children from all over the world and coincidentally bumped into some old friends from previous cruises this time around. The food is everything we expect it to be and our waiters have been an excellent source of entertainment. It's well worth asking their advice on where to visit ashore or where to get a good Wifi signal etc. We have previously had some excellent meals in the Pinnacle Grill and booked a table for a family celebration. Once again, we weren't disappointed albeit the service can sometimes be a little bit hit and miss. Pools were obviously very busy but could always find a lounger if we wanted. The pool side burger bar was well worth the wait. Ports: Athens, we walked 20 minutes (out of port and left along shoreline to train station) return tickets to centre of Athens were about 24 euros for 4 of us and takes about 30 minutes, it's reasonably easy to walk around the main attractions. Santorini Walked up through the donkeys, it's a good workout but preferable to waiting for the cable car or paying to sit on a donkey.(wear proper shoes, not flip-flops) Once in the main road on the other side from the tourist shops, we turned left and walked against the traffic for 5 - 10 minutes and found a quad bike rental shop on right. 50 euros for a day, we hired 2 and had a great day zipping about the island. Napflio We pre-arranged a cab to take us to Tolo (watersports beach resort) it's 20 minutes and about 30 euros return. We rented a small motorboat from poseidon for 50 euros for the whole day including fuel. Absolutely fantastic, stopped off for lunch in a little harbour, no tourists to be seen anywhere. Kusadasi Walked up the hill to the Atta Turk statue, great view over the harbour. The locals pester tourists quite a bit but not oppressively. I took my 13 year old son to a Hamam, 5 minute walk in back streets from port shops. Cost about 35 euros for us both and took about 1 hour 15 mins. What an experience but nothing to worry about.

Another Great Cruise With HAL

Noordam Cruise Review by andy183

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2014
  • Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We are a family with 2 teenage children and have enjoyed 4 cruises with HAL. There must be something quite satisfying about a HAL cruise which keeps us coming back.
Venice is a fantastic place to visit and from which to embark, the sail out passed the island and St Marks etc. is something to behold.
We booked cabin 4015 which has a more spacious balcony but has a metal balcony front (not glass). This wasn't a problem as we were glad to have the extra space. The cabin is ok for 4 with one pullman (pull down bed which comes down over the head end of the double bed, and a sofa bed, although it's difficult to navigate to the balcony when the sofabed is extended, not a big deal though. The friidge is very handy.
I've read the ship has signs of wear, I didn't see anything particularly displeasing. The entertainment was ok but we were quite content to amble around the ship, stop and have a drink, preferably the Crows Nest which was very enjoyable.
We always find the staff friendly and accommodating and have seldom had cause to make any representations. The ports of call offered a variety of attractions. We tend to make our own arrangements and either book rental cars or private excursions before setting off.
What works particularly well for us is we always go ashore together but the children find new friends aboard and have great fun. They stay in touch with children from all over the world and coincidentally bumped into some old friends from previous cruises this time around.
The food is everything we expect it to be and our waiters have been an excellent source of entertainment. It's well worth asking their advice on where to visit ashore or where to get a good Wifi signal etc.
We have previously had some excellent meals in the Pinnacle Grill and booked a table for a family celebration. Once again, we weren't disappointed albeit the service can sometimes be a little bit hit and miss.
Pools were obviously very busy but could always find a lounger if we wanted. The pool side burger bar was well worth the wait.
Ports:
Athens, we walked 20 minutes (out of port and left along shoreline to train station) return tickets to centre of Athens were about 24 euros for 4 of us and takes about 30 minutes, it's reasonably easy to walk around the main attractions.
Santorini
Walked up through the donkeys, it's a good workout but preferable to waiting for the cable car or paying to sit on a donkey.(wear proper shoes, not flip-flops)
Once in the main road on the other side from the tourist shops, we turned left and walked against the traffic for 5 - 10 minutes and found a quad bike rental shop on right. 50 euros for a day, we hired 2 and had a great day zipping about the island.
Napflio
We pre-arranged a cab to take us to Tolo (watersports beach resort) it's 20 minutes and about 30 euros return. We rented a small motorboat from poseidon for 50 euros for the whole day including fuel. Absolutely fantastic, stopped off for lunch in a little harbour, no tourists to be seen anywhere.
Kusadasi
Walked up the hill to the Atta Turk statue, great view over the harbour. The locals pester tourists quite a bit but not oppressively. I took my 13 year old son to a Hamam, 5 minute walk in back streets from port shops. Cost about 35 euros for us both and took about 1 hour 15 mins. What an experience but nothing to worry about.
andy183’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VE 4015
good value, great balcony
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins