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

4.5 Stars - We can't give 5 Stars on our 1st cruise can we?

Noordam Cruise Review by kahrah01

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2015
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

At our friends' urging for us to try cruising, and not wanting a daily docking, we went all out with this 25 day, 10 port cruise. It took two days to get the gist of the routine, but by day three, we were hooked.

HAL definitely met our expectations and pleasantly so. We knew the average age would be senior and often less mobile, but that was ok. This was our first retirement getaway and we were under no time pressure.

The cabin was prefect #6047. Midway between the main decks of #3 (dining and entertainment) and #9 (cafe, spa/gym, sun decks and pools). Not only did we get into the routine of using the gym and spa everyday, but we rarely used the elevators (only 6x's I remember).

Cabin was as per our expectations. Lots of storage, a nice balcony, and a very comfortable bed as were the pillows. The cabin stewards, Rudi & Lee, were excellent and accommodating. The TV screen was small (14"+/-) and could have been larger as the 4 movies shown each day were well selected. Not that you couldn't choose from a large selections from the CD catalogue (free!). This is not to say we watched a lot of TV, but for what we did watch, the TV could have been larger.

Food offerings were very good. The Lido cafeteria has nearly everything you would want for breakfast lunch and dinner. The more formal (mostly Smart Casual and once weekly Formal) Vista dining room was very good for dinner. Portions were smartly presented and were small in size, but a simple request for a larger portion when ordering was always pleasantly accepted. And second helpings are not an issue. Basically I saw this as a way to keep food waste to a minimum. We didn't try either of the "specialty" restaurants. We couldn't justify the added surcharge. But I did hear from many others that they very much like those offerings.

We did take advantage of room service breakfast nearly everyday. Very effective way of starting each day.

Overall we were very happy with this first cruise. Entertainment was very entertaining, and different every night over 25 nights. A very professionally run theatre program. We took full advance of the health club facilities and paid the surcharge for use of the hydro-thermal pool, steam rooms and thermal-beds (Love these!!!). For the 25 day cruise, these were well worth the surcharge.

The administration and execution of activities, events and embarkation/disembarkation at the start, end and each port was well organized.

If we have any criticism of the cruise, it was the background music and the age of the musical entertainment offerings. Yes, the average age of the guests were closer to 70+/-, but even a 70yr old was listening and concerting to Rock and Roll in the 60's and 70's. I am sure some entertainment playing music from the early Rolling Stone's, the Beatle's, CSNY I am confident would have been appreciated. I am only 55, but if I am on a ship when I'm 70, they better be playing music from "the Lost 80's".

Hope this helps the next passenger. Ahoy!!!


kahrah01's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VD 6047

Cabin was as per our expectations. Lots of storage, a nice balcony, and a very comfortable bed as were the pillows. The cabin stewards, Rudi & Lee, were excellent and accommodating. The TV screen was small (14"+/-) and could have been larger as the 4 movies shown each day were well selected. Not that couldn't choose from a large selections from the CD catalogue (free!). This is not to say we watched a lot of TV, but for what we did watch, the TV could have been larger.

Liked the cabin location as it was 3 stair flight up or down to the major decks. We were 3 doors away from the elevator/stair lobby. PS: Ships usually dock on the starboard (right) side, so we had visual access to the activities when the ship is docking and in port.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Vancouver

Vancouver is a fantastic city.

The ship docks beside the city, not in an industrial pier, so good access to city, taxi's and tourist stuff.

San Diego

Ship docks beside the city and not at a remote pier, so access to city, taxi's and tourist stuff is easy.

We didn't do any excursion, but just started walking and found an excellent 6 block long farmers market that was happening that day.

We have been to San Diego before and Balboa Park beside the Zoo and Hotel de Coronado are interesting to see and visit.

Helicopter Tour

It was an overcast day, so views were limited to downward versus seeing the island as a whole. The copter pilot was ok in his guide talk, but very mono-tone. Again, depends on how much the guide likes their job.

View All 37 Helicopter Tour Reviews
Volcano National Park & Hilo Waterfall Tour

It was a great tour, but it depends on how well the tour guide talks and explains. Ours was fantastic.

View All 134 Volcano National Park & Hilo Waterfall Tour Reviews

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kahrah01
1 Reviews Written
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