Hi all well I'm back 5 days since my 11 day S Caribbean cruise on the Noordam out of NYC ! First time ever cruising from NYC in the winter time .2/16 to 2/27 .First off this was my 7 time on HAL and 70 over all cruise .We have been cruising since 1980 . I was booked on the Explorer of the seas doing a 12 day S Caribbean cruise out of Cap Liberty NJ on 2/24/008 .But i had a ship visit and lunch on the Noordam Nov. 06 .And having cruise with Royal Caribbean 3 times in 07 .I changed from the Explorer to the Noordam . With this cruse i was looking for a more laid back cruise ..And got it .The food and service on HAL is better then RCCI .But RCCI is a better overall cruise . There is no night life to speck of on the Noordam after 11:30 pm .The ship closes down ! Also this was my 2nd solo cruise .And best one . I go with my wife and 2 teen boy"s most times . But like last year nobody could get off this time of year !!
Getting to the ship we live on the other side of the Hudson river in NJ over looking the cruise ship piers in NYC .So for the first time i took the ferry to the pier back & fourth .It worked out just great . I got to the ship in an half hour same coming home !! And besides all that no flying in the wintertime from the NY NJ area !!There was 2 ships in port that day the Noordam on pier 88 and the NCL Gem on the new pier 92 . Being mid winter here in NY the weather was great the day we left .Very sunny with the bluest sky's and no wind to speck of in the low 30"s not bad for a wintertime cruise from NYC .The seas down and back from the Caribbean was very calm .On the fist seas day it was a little windy ! It was a great send off for a great 11 day cruise !!
The ship The Noodam is the last ship it the Vista class of HAL ships .We did the Zuiderdam when she was brand new and like the Noordam better .It always seem the last ship in any class is the best one . I Booked an Guar. inside cabin .And didn"t know where my cabin was until 2 days before the cruise .I got bumped up to an outside cabin on deck four .A very big cabin with floor to ceiling windows .And a bigger bathroom with a tub ! cabin # 4058 it was in a great spot on the ship one deck down from the main decks . The ships lounges are really nice .I use most of them .But like i said around midnight it was dead !! Really nice art work all over the ship .I love the pool areas on this ship .The Lido is a cover area pool witch opens up in good weather.And the pool on the stern of the ship is all opened up ..The great thing is that you can see the ocean and really feel like your on a cruise !!
The food I love anytime dinning .Wasn"t sure if i would like it before the cruise. I hated it on Princess !! Well it was great .I went to the dinning room most nights at between 8 & 8:30 pm and i could pick my table i wanted !! The food was the best i ever had on a HAL cruise .In the past i always thought the food was good but on the bland side ! The service was just as good as fix dinning !! The crew on HAL has to be the friendliest at sea ! I didn"t use the Pay dinning this time . HAL's Lido Cafe is still the best at seas in my opinion
The shows .They were good to very good .I have seen some of them before on other HAL cruises we have done .
The ports for the cruise were Tortola Dominica Barbados St Maarten St Thomas San Juan and 2 days at sea going down and 2 days at sea coming home .All sea days were very calm !! The best port for me having been to everyone of them many times over was in St Thomas i spent the day at St John"s at Trunk bay .Being a sat. and only 2 ships in .I kind of had the hold beach to myself , unlike other times there where you couldn"t even find a spot on the beach !! With so many ships in port at one time !!I also think St Maarten is the new St Thomas by far .It"s great they are building a new pier for the larger ships .But if you just want to spend a day doing some shopping and sitting on a really great beach this port has it all .The water taxi is great !!
Well i had another great cruise this time like 7 other time on HAL it was great i got just what i was looking for a more laid back cruise.This ship and cruise line is not for everybody .I did see alot of people who really belonged on RCCI Or Carnival !! Those ship have great night life after the shows are done .When we do RCCI & Carnival we never get back to our cabin until after 2:30 am !! Club HAL is great for young kids. Don"t even think of bringing Teens agers on !! My to boys love club HAL when they were young .But when they were 13 & 15 on the Zuiderdam they got very bored very fast !!! There is just so much more for them on RCCI is really the best and Carnival !! Those larger ships has everything for them We never seen them when we go on those line !! I like HAL because it"s a more dressy cruise line .And very laid back kind of cruise .Big ships that feel small .Great service the friendliest crew afloat .And very clean ships.If you are on a HAL cruise they just started a future booking program .Where you put down $100 deposit for your next cruise witch you can book any time up to 4 years .with a ship board credit!! Our next cruise is the Explorer of the seas to Bermuda 5 day then the Adventure of the seas a 7 day cruise out of San Juan 3/8/09 then the New RCCI 225.000 ton class . And back on HAL in 2010 for a Panama Canal cruise. Mr Veendam Hope you enjoy my review .And hope all your cruises are what you want them to be !
IT WAS GOOD TO BE ON A WELL RUN SHIP