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Noordam Cruise Review
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
832 Reviews

THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

Noordam Cruise Review by JDOUGLEJ

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Mar 2008
  • Destination: the Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Our last 4 cruises have been on RCCL Voyager, Caribbean Princess, Carnival Conquest, and now HAL Noordam. Before every cruise I read every review understanding that there will be some cruisers that never complain and unfortunately some that are never happy. Anyone that has ever read my posts know I have often said we have never met a cruise we did not enjoy and we never let a negative ruin our cruise vacation. With those things in mind here is my Noordam review. First-The Good: The Noordam is a beautiful ship. Fresh flowers are great and every section of the ship is pretty and clean. Crew is extremely polite and anxious to help. Our stateroom steward (Saiful) was fantastic and a pleasure to be around. Every dining room attendant (AYW Dining) was great. Food was almost always excellent as far as taste and presentation. Dining room, Lido, and the Pinnacle were great. Filet in Pinnacle outstanding (better than ribeye). Surf and Turf on last formal night was perfect. Our Veranda cabin was definitely sufficient for closet and storage space as well as bath area. Mattress was definitely most comfortable we have ever had on a cruise ship. Veranda nice size. Should you wish to just relax in your cabin the Noordam had a very good selection of movies. Bartenders were excellent especially at the Ocean and Sea View Bars. Second-The Bad: Embarkation disorganized just like RCCL and Carnival. Princess checking in by decks seems a better idea. We found more crew than normal with very limited understanding of English. Several times in the Lido our drink order was no where near accurate. Also, on several occasions you could tell they had no idea what you were saying. Breakfast in the Lido was an experience. Omelets in one line, Meats, bread, etc. in another line, and waffles in another line. Big eaters (Like me) have to wait too long and some food cold before you start eating. Some people solved this problem by eating in line. GROSS!!! Have never had that much wait time in single line. We found food selection lacking some time as we do not like lamb or salmon, just a personal thing. Another personal preference, We found the entertainment lacking in quality. Crew shows are OK but we believe professional entertainment is part of cruise price. Certainly not the case on this ship. I chose AYW Dining as 5:45 was too early and 8:00 was too late. Reservations for AYW were at 5:15, 5:30, 8:00, and 8:15. Should be called ATW (AS THEY WISH). When there is a dress code, it should be enforced. Several Jean wearers in public rooms on formal nights. Even a few shorts. Enforce it or change it. Same 4 formal night photo shots. Not enough in my opinion and who really wants small formal photos that just drive up the price. Give me 8x10 at reasonable price and I will buy several. Third-The Ugly: Disembarkation was complete disaster. Said our color would be off by 9:30. Finally called at 10:20. Some suitcases in correct area, some in another area. Not enough porters and you have to find the line to stand in to get one of them. Should be informed of these things before you get to terminal. Finally, and foremost, Room Service was non existent. Follow this time line and statements. Called at 5:50 to order suggested dinner items for my seasick wife. Was told 35 to 40 minutes. Very reasonable considering many seasick passengers. Told her at 6:25 her food would arrive soon and I was going to Lido. Returned at 7:20 and no room service. She said she called at 7:10 and they would check on order and call back. I called again at 7:30 and was told 35 to 40 minutes. I said no I expect it a lot faster than that and was told it was leaving for our cabin right now. 8:00 I go to the Lido and get saltine crackers which I had to ask for and BUY Ginger Ale at poolside bar (no 7up or sprite). Return to cabin at 8:20 and of course no room service. I arrive at front desk around 8:30. After telling young lady I understand it is not her fault I go over entire time line with her and inform her I have never had such lousy response on a cruise ship. I return to cabin and get call from Room Service manager at 8:55 (3hrs, 5mins)He says if I will give him order he will bring himself. Why would he need order if it was on the way to our cabin ay 7:30? Said it probably fell on floor and got lost. Which time did the order fall on floor? Told him wife was in bed trying to sleep and not interested now. Assured me it would not happen again and I assured him I knew it would not as I have been lied to about 3 times now and would never try again. Three days later we got bottle of Champagne and chocolates courtesy of room service. Nice gesture but does not really impress me. GOOD SERVICE IMPRESSES ME! I know this is long but there you have the good, the bad, and the ugly. Did we enjoy our Cruise? Yes we did. Would I cruise again with HAL? Well, of our last 4 cruises Princess would be #1 with RCCL a close #2. HAL would be a distant #3 with Carnival a Close #4. In order to choose HAL again I would have to consider the price a REAL BARGAIN. When traveling with Grand Children, Carnival would replace HAL at #3. I truly regret I could not write a more positive review. I sincerely hope your cruises regardless which line you choose will be great. I know ours will be starting in August on Carnival with Children and Grand Children. HAPPY CRUISING!!!


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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VA 7041

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