Noordam Triple Denali Land and Sea Journey Sept 2016 A wonderful trip with excellent service, food, and fun entertainment. We had not cruised in 30 years and did not even think about spending an extra day or two in Vancouver. We wished we had done this as Vancouver looks like a great place to visit with lots to do. Regardless, we were met at the airport by a HAL representative. Our bags were whisked away and we boarded a bus for the dock. When we arrived at the port, I was taken aback by how many people were in line, but was greatly relieved to find those people WERE NOT boarding the Noordam and were in line for another ship. Our check in was smooth with no waiting. We boarded the ship,and found our way to our suite. Our bags had already arrived. Fresh fruit and flowers were in the room. Our stewards came by to introduce themselves--Heri and Anang. When my husband found his suit had been wrinkled in transit, Heri quickly appeared to take it for pressing. Our cabin was a Neptune suite. It was worth every penny. The room was large with king sized bed, desk, 5 closets, a sectional sofa, small flat screen TV, eclectic lamps. The verandah was perfect, with a table and 4 chairs, as well as 2 lounge chairs and ottomans. The entry to the bathroom had a makeup area. The bathroom had 2 sinks, full jetted tub and separate shower. The Elemis bath products are spa quality. Everything was immaculate. We had elected free style dining. Our wonderful concierges, JR and Anne made reservations for us to dine each evening. We were seated with other travelers, allowing us to meet new friends and hear stories of other cruises and travel sites. Food was excellent, served hot every day. Our waiters made suggestions, if we were undecided. The sommeliers were quite helpful. There were a variety of activities on the ship. The comedian was hilarious and his show was SRO. The magician was amazing, although a little hokey. The Noordam players are a very talented group of young singers and dancers and we enjoyed them very much. Chamber music was played before dinner; a nice touch. The BB King Club is not to be missed. The casino was small; we are not gamblers so spent only about 30 minutes there. We did enjoy the free gaming lessons for craps. The service on the Noordam was exceptional. We never waited for anything. Our every wish was granted immediately with a smile. JR was very computer literate and was able to set up our WiFi and internet connection within minutes. Anne helped with excursion planning. Laundry was sent out in the morning with our stewards and returned by mid-afternoon. Having never traveled to Alaska before, the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway were perfect for a taste of Alaska. We scheduled a sea kayaking excursion through HAL in Ketchikan. A guide met us at the dock and drove us out of the city about 15 miles. We were provided life jackets and were jetted away in a large zodiac. During the ride, we saw lots of eagles, jumping salmon, whales. We arrived at a small island and were fitted with different life jackets and equipment for kayaking. We spent 2 hours among the Tatoosh Islands. It was a glorious day and the guides were excellent at pointing out the wildlife. Our other excursions were hiking in Juneau, and hiking and rafting in Skagway, set up through other vendors. In Glacier Bay, the Park Service Ranger who boarded the ship was informative and gave educational talks throughout the day. Since no other ships were in the bay, the captain was able to bring the Noordam within a 1/2 mile of the glaciers for spectacular views. Disembarkation was a breeze. Simply followed the instructions given. We were met by a bus with an entertaining driver and taken on the 10 hour ride to Denali in pouring rain. Unfortunately, there was not too much to see on such a bad weather day. Without such an amazing driver and his stories, the ride would have seemed much longer. Several stops were made along the way. Upon arrival in Denali, a HAL representative boarded the bus and passed out packets with all our information concerning our stay in Denali, including our room keys. The bus driver then dropped passengers at each building. Again, our luggage had arrived ahead of us. No fuss, no muss, no waiting. This was a fabulous experience for us. The Noordam was the perfect ship for us. No running children, no craziness, no excessive noise. Excellent service. Plenty of activities, both fun and educational. The ship captain made announcements daily and also announced when wildlife was within sight of the ship. Frequent announcements were made about the need for hand washing. We appreciated this reminder. HAL had this trip organized down to the last detail. My husband had not been impressed by a short cruise with another line 30 years ago and had to be talked into this trip, He has been sold and we will definitely be cruisers. Would we go again? Absolutely!

Alaskan Land and Sea Adventure: Vancouver to Denali

Noordam Cruise Review by Roxy5341

26 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Noordam Triple Denali Land and Sea Journey Sept 2016

A wonderful trip with excellent service, food, and fun entertainment. We had not cruised in 30 years and did not even think about spending an extra day or two in Vancouver. We wished we had done this as Vancouver looks like a great place to visit with lots to do. Regardless, we were met at the airport by a HAL representative. Our bags were whisked away and we boarded a bus for the dock. When we arrived at the port, I was taken aback by how many people were in line, but was greatly relieved to find those people WERE NOT boarding the Noordam and were in line for another ship. Our check in was smooth with no waiting.

We boarded the ship,and found our way to our suite. Our bags had already arrived. Fresh fruit and flowers were in the room. Our stewards came by to introduce themselves--Heri and Anang. When my husband found his suit had been wrinkled in transit, Heri quickly appeared to take it for pressing.

Our cabin was a Neptune suite. It was worth every penny. The room was large with king sized bed, desk, 5 closets, a sectional sofa, small flat screen TV, eclectic lamps. The verandah was perfect, with a table and 4 chairs, as well as 2 lounge chairs and ottomans. The entry to the bathroom had a makeup area. The bathroom had 2 sinks, full jetted tub and separate shower. The Elemis bath products are spa quality. Everything was immaculate.

We had elected free style dining. Our wonderful concierges, JR and Anne made reservations for us to dine each evening. We were seated with other travelers, allowing us to meet new friends and hear stories of other cruises and travel sites. Food was excellent, served hot every day. Our waiters made suggestions, if we were undecided. The sommeliers were quite helpful.

There were a variety of activities on the ship. The comedian was hilarious and his show was SRO. The magician was amazing, although a little hokey. The Noordam players are a very talented group of young singers and dancers and we enjoyed them very much. Chamber music was played before dinner; a nice touch. The BB King Club is not to be missed. The casino was small; we are not gamblers so spent only about 30 minutes there. We did enjoy the free gaming lessons for craps.

The service on the Noordam was exceptional. We never waited for anything. Our every wish was granted immediately with a smile. JR was very computer literate and was able to set up our WiFi and internet connection within minutes. Anne helped with excursion planning. Laundry was sent out in the morning with our stewards and returned by mid-afternoon.

Having never traveled to Alaska before, the ports of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway were perfect for a taste of Alaska. We scheduled a sea kayaking excursion through HAL in Ketchikan. A guide met us at the dock and drove us out of the city about 15 miles. We were provided life jackets and were jetted away in a large zodiac. During the ride, we saw lots of eagles, jumping salmon, whales. We arrived at a small island and were fitted with different life jackets and equipment for kayaking. We spent 2 hours among the Tatoosh Islands. It was a glorious day and the guides were excellent at pointing out the wildlife. Our other excursions were hiking in Juneau, and hiking and rafting in Skagway, set up through other vendors. In Glacier Bay, the Park Service Ranger who boarded the ship was informative and gave educational talks throughout the day. Since no other ships were in the bay, the captain was able to bring the Noordam within a 1/2 mile of the glaciers for spectacular views.

Disembarkation was a breeze. Simply followed the instructions given. We were met by a bus with an entertaining driver and taken on the 10 hour ride to Denali in pouring rain. Unfortunately, there was not too much to see on such a bad weather day. Without such an amazing driver and his stories, the ride would have seemed much longer. Several stops were made along the way. Upon arrival in Denali, a HAL representative boarded the bus and passed out packets with all our information concerning our stay in Denali, including our room keys. The bus driver then dropped passengers at each building. Again, our luggage had arrived ahead of us. No fuss, no muss, no waiting.

This was a fabulous experience for us. The Noordam was the perfect ship for us. No running children, no craziness, no excessive noise. Excellent service. Plenty of activities, both fun and educational. The ship captain made announcements daily and also announced when wildlife was within sight of the ship. Frequent announcements were made about the need for hand washing. We appreciated this reminder. HAL had this trip organized down to the last detail. My husband had not been impressed by a short cruise with another line 30 years ago and had to be talked into this trip, He has been sold and we will definitely be cruisers. Would we go again? Absolutely!
Roxy5341’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SC 7083
Our cabin was a Neptune suite. It was worth every penny. The room was large with king sized bed, desk, 5 closets, a sectional sofa, small flat screen TV, eclectic lamps. The verandah was a perfect viewing area, with a table and 4 chairs, as well as 2 lounge chairs and ottomans. The entry to the bathroom had a makeup area. The bathroom had 2 sinks, full jetted tub and separate shower. The Elemis bath products were spa quality. Everything was immaculate.
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Hiking
    Private hiking excursion up the west side of Mendenhall Glacier. The guide was an amazing person, well versed in geography, botany, zoology, glacier science, native Alaskan history, and photography. Very educational and fun experience. This trip was not for the inexperienced hiker as it was a climb up slippery rocks and uneven terrain to reach a summit above the glacier. When we popped into the lookout, there was an amazing view of the glacier and the lake. Because there were only two of us with the guide, we were able to stop whenever we wanted to ask questions and to take pictures. Eric, our guide is a photo journalist, so he took pictures of us and for us, later emailing professional quality pictures to us.
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  • Kayaking
    Tatoosh Island kayaking. Well organized. Beautiful scenery. This kayak trip can be done by anyone. No experience necessary as the waters are calm and all equipment provided. The guides are knowledgeable and great at explaining the plants and wildlife. It is a serene experience, to be away from the city and out in the islands with the quiet. Just the birds and the wildlife. This part of Alaska is a rain forest. Amazing greenery!
    View All 56 Kayaking Reviews
  • Hiking
    We were driven to Dyea where we started up the Chilkoot trail used by the stampeders. The trail went through rain forest covered in moss. The guide was knowledgeable about Gold Rush history and about rain forest plants and animals. Truly amazing and educational. The hike goes over narrow trails, slippery rocks,climbing up and down, and ending at the Taiya River. We floated down the river back to the trailhead after donning rubber boots and life jackets. A glorious day. Lots of bald eagles along the way. Seals were seen in the river, also.
    View All 39 Hiking Reviews