This was our twenty second cruise - our second on Holland America. We are sold, and will book with Holland if at all possible from here on! We arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale about noon. The embarkation procedure took the expected 45 min or so, and was uneventful. We were directed to the Lido deck for lunch - the selection was wonderful, as usual. Anything form burgers & pizza to Asian food. Dessert selection varied - with great ice cream choices (different every day). We booked a large inside cabin (6071) and found it very spacious. We had friends in oceanview categories, and our cabin was actually bigger! Food was , as expected, wonderful. We were not able to get reserved seating (early or late)and we made our reservations last April! This is my only criticism of Holland. The entire lower level of the main dining room was open seating. You could make reservations for either 5:15, 5:30 0r 8:15. Otherwise, you just walked in and took your chances. We made reservations daily for 5:15 and had a group of 9. This worked out, as we had the same waiters every night and service was good. Most complaints we overheard onboard revolved around not having a scheduled table and time. I REALLY encourage Holland to go back to scheduled main & late seating for all. The Lido deck is always available to people who don't want a schedule. Entertainment was the best overall we have seen on any ship and any cruiseline. Keep up the good work! Great shows in Vista almost every night, and wonderful music (whatever your age or choice) in many different lounges. Our scheduled stop in Martinique was cancelled at the last minute due to a general strike. We aren't thrilled with this port anyway (find the people very unfriendly). We ended up in Dominica and got a fabulous opportunity to go whale watching. It was a 3 1/2 hr boat ride about 10 miles off the shore. We saw many dolphins & a"herd" of "false" killer whales. The highlight was two sperm whales (40 & 60 tons) just floating on the waves. We were alongside of them for about ten minutes before they dove. Absolutely amazing experience! Unfortunately - I left my camera in the car!! Better luck next time! My husband spends time each evening in the casino, usually playing the poker machines. His luck was up & down through the week, but he was down a few hundred dollars the last evening. Right after dinner he won $1000, and I went on with friends to the piano bar. Long story short - one of his buddies asked him to play a few hands of Caribbean poker, since he didn't want to be the only one at the table. My husband sat down for 10 hands. Just as they were ready to leave, he was dealt a royal flush in hearts and won $14.900!!! That really made our cruise!! Disembarkation turned out to be problematic. It was supposed to be a "silent" disembarkation. Due to "problems not in their control", everything was delayed, and they ended up calling tag colors. Instead of gettin off @ 8:00, it was closer to 10:00. We were driving, so it wasn't an issue, but I'm sure some people missed their early flight. Overall, this was our best cruise ever (have cruised many other lines). The staff & service was exceptional, food fabulous and the casino outstanding!!!! We are booking our next cruise on Holland America this week!

A REAL WINNER !!!

Noordam Cruise Review by Sandra Cooney

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2009
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
This was our twenty second cruise - our second on Holland America. We are sold, and will book with Holland if at all possible from here on!
We arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale about noon. The embarkation procedure took the expected 45 min or so, and was uneventful. We were directed to the Lido deck for lunch - the selection was wonderful, as usual. Anything form burgers & pizza to Asian food. Dessert selection varied - with great ice cream choices (different every day). We booked a large inside cabin (6071) and found it very spacious. We had friends in oceanview categories, and our cabin was actually bigger!
Food was , as expected, wonderful. We were not able to get reserved seating (early or late)and we made our reservations last April! This is my only criticism of Holland. The entire lower level of the main dining room was open seating. You could make reservations for either 5:15, 5:30 0r 8:15. Otherwise, you just walked in and took your chances. We made reservations daily for 5:15 and had a group of 9. This worked out, as we had the same waiters every night and service was good. Most complaints we overheard onboard revolved around not having a scheduled table and time. I REALLY encourage Holland to go back to scheduled main & late seating for all. The Lido deck is always available to people who don't want a schedule.
Entertainment was the best overall we have seen on any ship and any cruiseline. Keep up the good work! Great shows in Vista almost every night, and wonderful music (whatever your age or choice) in many different lounges.
Our scheduled stop in Martinique was cancelled at the last minute due to a general strike. We aren't thrilled with this port anyway (find the people very unfriendly). We ended up in Dominica and got a fabulous opportunity to go whale watching. It was a 3 1/2 hr boat ride about 10 miles off the shore. We saw many dolphins & a"herd" of "false" killer whales. The highlight was two sperm whales (40 & 60 tons) just floating on the waves. We were alongside of them for about ten minutes before they dove. Absolutely amazing experience! Unfortunately - I left my camera in the car!! Better luck next time! My husband spends time each evening in the casino, usually playing the poker machines. His luck was up & down through the week, but he was down a few hundred dollars the last evening. Right after dinner he won $1000, and I went on with friends to the piano bar. Long story short - one of his buddies asked him to play a few hands of Caribbean poker, since he didn't want to be the only one at the table. My husband sat down for 10 hands. Just as they were ready to leave, he was dealt a royal flush in hearts and won $14.900!!! That really made our cruise!!
Disembarkation turned out to be problematic. It was supposed to be a "silent" disembarkation. Due to "problems not in their control", everything was delayed, and they ended up calling tag colors. Instead of gettin off @ 8:00, it was closer to 10:00. We were driving, so it wasn't an issue, but I'm sure some people missed their early flight.
Overall, this was our best cruise ever (have cruised many other lines). The staff & service was exceptional, food fabulous and the casino outstanding!!!! We are booking our next cruise on Holland America this week!
Sandra Cooney’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin I 6071
Inside cabin (large). Plenty of storage and moving round room. Even had enough hangers!
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews