ALASKA CRUISE---Summertime FIRST I want to give great thanks to Imam and Sam, who were our amazing cabin stewards! They were over-the-top in their attention to meeting our needs!!! They made you feel like you were their most important customer, like you were their only customer! Anyway we just returned from a 7 day Alaskan inside passage cruise with Holland America on the m/s Noordam, sailing dates August 8th thru 15th, 2015. My 3rd cruise, and my wife's 5th cruise. We were in 7106, a verandah cabin on the 7th level deck. Boarding went smoothly but we had some level of special care, so I am not 100% sure what it is like to board with everyone. As soon as you get on the ship everyone is there to help. In general, just board with a positive attitude and patience and it will be just fine. Weather is unpredictable; it can be rainy in the summer months. Bring layers, short sleeve shirts, some polyester undershirts (not all cotton), fleece and something to wear in the rain. I used both a rain jacket and rain pants on two different excursions! I brought a bunch of collared shirts and pants that were NOT jeans, and it was a waste of space. Now, I did not do the formal nights or go to the casino so that probably had something to do with what I did not need, but mostly I wore jeans in good shape and t-shirts (long), and it was fine. I never wore a sports coat! I was there for the excursions and views, not the entertainment or going out. Super casual dress was just fine for the shows! In fact, each evening a program is delivered to your room that lists all the activities/shows for the next day. The staff is amazing, always VERY friendly and super helpful (esp. Imam and Sam).The buffet is fine for most food-edible. The two specialty restaurants on board that require payment for lunch or dinner were very good; we had friends in a room where you could order room service from those restaurants and the quality was markedly better! The grill at the main pool has burgers and fries, hotdogs, and a taco bar; it was very good as well. And of course, there was ice cream at an ice cream bar-also good! Overall, we both agreed it was the best organized cruise with the best service of all we had previously. Order coffee in the morning? and it was there within 10-15 minutes! In fact, anytime we needed anything, we got it quickly and it was always correct! We used the laundry ($49 for unlimited use in our category) and it was amazing---always done quickly and done well. They were extremely detail oriented. By the way, we also had to pay for water and soda (in our category), but it was only a few bucks. I think it was $3.25 for a huge bottle of water. I forget how much soda was but it was inexpensive. Do not forget to bring BINOCULARS. I had some old ones and agonized about what new ones to buy. I did a ton of research and bought some Bushnell Legacy 8X42; and they were perfect-better than my wife's with higher magnification and better than my friends' who had super expensive brands. Binoculars are often specified by a set of numbers such as 7×35 or 8×40; the first number indicates the strength of magnification (how many times closer the subject is to you, 7 times closer, 8 times closer, 10 times closer) and the second number is the size of the objective lens measured in millimeters going across.The magnification of my Bushnell was fine for the distance of anything we saw on the cruise or excursions and the size of my objective lens was awesome compared to the 25-28 of my wife's and friends'. I do not think it is a good idea to buy super cheap ones, but no matter what, buy some! Of course, if you forget, they sell them on the ship but I'll bet they are more expensive for whatever quality they sell? We did excursions at each of the 3 ports we stopped at and were pleased with all 3. We pre-booked all 3 and used our local travel agent to research the best. If you are going to use a company, google it for reviews and tips. We did not use the cruise boat's companies. Our excursions and the related companies were as follows: August 10 – Juneau – in port 1pm to 9pm, excursion began at 2:30 Company: Above and Beyond Private Channel Islands Marine Park Kayaking – 5 hours Included transport to and from cruise ship Motorboat transport to Channel Islands (6 people each boat) Double Kayaks Light bag meal August 11 – Skagway – in port 7am to 9pm Company – Rainbow Adventures Chilkat Bald Eagle Rafting Adventure – 6.5 hours Included transport to and from cruise ship Included 45 minute shared ferry to Haines Guided rafting Lunch along the river August 13 – Ketchikan – in port 10am to 6pm Company – Where the Eagles Walk Tour with Tribal Elder through Native Village and Clan House Short tram ride, totem viewing Included transport to and from cruise ship THEY WERE ALL EXCELLENT AND GREAT FUN! I recommend all those companies and excursions! And finally, I want to again say Imam and Sam made our great experience even better! TIP your cabin stewards well!!!

Noordam ROCKS--In a good way! Yay for Imam and Sam, our cabin stewards!!!

Noordam Cruise Review by santabarbaraserenity

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
ALASKA CRUISE---Summertime

FIRST I want to give great thanks to Imam and Sam, who were our amazing cabin stewards! They were over-the-top in their attention to meeting our needs!!! They made you feel like you were their most important customer, like you were their only customer!

Anyway we just returned from a 7 day Alaskan inside passage cruise with Holland America on the m/s Noordam, sailing dates August 8th thru 15th, 2015. My 3rd cruise, and my wife's 5th cruise. We were in 7106, a verandah cabin on the 7th level deck.

Boarding went smoothly but we had some level of special care, so I am not 100% sure what it is like to board with everyone. As soon as you get on the ship everyone is there to help. In general, just board with a positive attitude and patience and it will be just fine.

Weather is unpredictable; it can be rainy in the summer months. Bring layers, short sleeve shirts, some polyester undershirts (not all cotton), fleece and something to wear in the rain. I used both a rain jacket and rain pants on two different excursions! I brought a bunch of collared shirts and pants that were NOT jeans, and it was a waste of space. Now, I did not do the formal nights or go to the casino so that probably had something to do with what I did not need, but mostly I wore jeans in good shape and t-shirts (long), and it was fine. I never wore a sports coat! I was there for the excursions and views, not the entertainment or going out. Super casual dress was just fine for the shows! In fact, each evening a program is delivered to your room that lists all the activities/shows for the next day.

The staff is amazing, always VERY friendly and super helpful (esp. Imam and Sam).The buffet is fine for most food-edible. The two specialty restaurants on board that require payment for lunch or dinner were very good; we had friends in a room where you could order room service from those restaurants and the quality was markedly better! The grill at the main pool has burgers and fries, hotdogs, and a taco bar; it was very good as well. And of course, there was ice cream at an ice cream bar-also good!

Overall, we both agreed it was the best organized cruise with the best service of all we had previously. Order coffee in the morning? and it was there within 10-15 minutes! In fact, anytime we needed anything, we got it quickly and it was always correct! We used the laundry ($49 for unlimited use in our category) and it was amazing---always done quickly and done well. They were extremely detail oriented. By the way, we also had to pay for water and soda (in our category), but it was only a few bucks. I think it was $3.25 for a huge bottle of water. I forget how much soda was but it was inexpensive.

Do not forget to bring BINOCULARS. I had some old ones and agonized about what new ones to buy. I did a ton of research and bought some Bushnell Legacy 8X42; and they were perfect-better than my wife's with higher magnification and better than my friends' who had super expensive brands. Binoculars are often specified by a set of numbers such as 7×35 or 8×40; the first number indicates the strength of magnification (how many times closer the subject is to you, 7 times closer, 8 times closer, 10 times closer) and the second number is the size of the objective lens measured in millimeters going across.The magnification of my Bushnell was fine for the distance of anything we saw on the cruise or excursions and the size of my objective lens was awesome compared to the 25-28 of my wife's and friends'. I do not think it is a good idea to buy super cheap ones, but no matter what, buy some! Of course, if you forget, they sell them on the ship but I'll bet they are more expensive for whatever quality they sell?

We did excursions at each of the 3 ports we stopped at and were pleased with all 3. We pre-booked all 3 and used our local travel agent to research the best. If you are going to use a company, google it for reviews and tips. We did not use the cruise boat's companies. Our excursions and the related companies were as follows:

August 10 – Juneau – in port 1pm to 9pm, excursion began at 2:30

Company: Above and Beyond

Private Channel Islands Marine Park Kayaking – 5 hours

Included transport to and from cruise ship

Motorboat transport to Channel Islands (6 people each boat)

Double Kayaks

Light bag meal

August 11 – Skagway – in port 7am to 9pm

Company – Rainbow Adventures

Chilkat Bald Eagle Rafting Adventure – 6.5 hours

Included transport to and from cruise ship

Included 45 minute shared ferry to Haines

Guided rafting

Lunch along the river

August 13 – Ketchikan – in port 10am to 6pm

Company – Where the Eagles Walk

Tour with Tribal Elder through Native Village and Clan House

Short tram ride, totem viewing

Included transport to and from cruise ship

THEY WERE ALL EXCELLENT AND GREAT FUN! I recommend all those companies and excursions!

And finally, I want to again say Imam and Sam made our great experience even better! TIP your cabin stewards well!!!
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VD 7106
Great closets with lots of space, storage for three very LARGE bags under bed. And drawers for clothes everywhere - under the bed, in the side tables and under the couch. We had WAY TOO much stuff and we were able to store it all away. A fourth large bag may have presented a challenge though.
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