This was our second time with HAL, we took our first cruise with them, and this set us up to enjoy cruise holidays.We orginally booked a best ocean view cabin, but we were given a balcony, very nice.  We always have had a balcony cabin, but we were economising this cruise.  Bathroom was a bit small, and shower felt dark.  There was a small bath.  Plenty of drawer space.  Dressing table was a little small.  Noticed there wasn't as much info on tv as in previous cruises, couldn't book trips or view menu, or access your bill.  So much paper sent to rooms, advertising etc.  Was a daily 'paper' either UK and US.  Balconies ok, but perhaps chairs could be more comfortable.  Had breakfast in room a few times, always arrived on time, and what we asked for.  Was not cleaned one day, but when we told cabin steward was most apologetic. The check in was painless, and our rooms were ready more or less as soon as we boarded, and our cases followed quite soon.  A perfect start to our holiday.We asked for a table for two, second seating which we got.  The  food was excellent.  I  started off missing a course, but I couldn't resist the food.  The waiters were excellent always remembering our names, and any requests we made.  We purchased a five bottle wine package $149 dollars, which we thought a bit steep, but we realised you could purchase house wine for $19 dollars, which I wished we has seen before, as it was ok, unless you are a wine buff.The entertainment was a bit bland, a girl singer with a band, who were quite boring.  They tended to do the sail away parties, but made you feel like jumping over board.  Then there was a male singer with a guitar, who was ok, but always played slow songs, and I think one night I fell asleep listening to him, or was it the cocktails I had just drunk?.  There was a comedian one night who was funny.  We aren't much into the shows, ie, the singers and dancers so I can't comment.  It did tend to be quiet after 10.00pm, but we put it down to people doing the tours during the day.  There seemed to be a lot of card playing groups, and people reading.  We tried to do the 3 laps (1 Mile) around the deck to keep fit most days.  We did put our head in the gym, but never returned.  The spa looked lovely, but I think they are too expensive.The was usually a barbi on deck in the afternoon, you can't resist the smell can you.  The Lido restaurant was good for lunch.  We loved the stir frys.  You were always served your food, so no one came away overloaded, of course you can always go up for seconds!We booked a trip when we docked in Sciliy, which was good, Taomina, with a good view of Mt Etna, and a walk through the town.  The other ports we just got off the ship and walked around.  Pireaus was a pain as the taxi drivers wouldn't  let you alone as you exited the port, if you want a taxi you ask, you don't want to be hounded.  We were warned by friends about Kusadasi, another place they won't leave you alone, so we keep away from the shops, and just wandered along the sea front.  We like being on the ship, when it's docked, as its nice and peaceful.  The trips are quite expensive now, so it adds quite a lot to your billl at the end of your holiday.  We did book a trip on the day we docked back in Rome to kill time, as our flight was  not till 5pm, we were off the ship at 7.15am, and we did see Rome from tnhe coach, which was a marvellous sight, but we were dropped at the airport at 11.30am, so we had a long day.All in all we enjoyed our cruise, I prefer the caribbean ports, as the med one's aren't as pretty.  I can certainly recommed Holland America, but not if you want a rave up at night, try another cruise line, or take up cards.

Second Timer

Noordam Cruise Review by pat pincher

Trip Details
This was our second time with HAL, we took our first cruise with them, and this set us up to enjoy cruise holidays.We orginally booked a best ocean view cabin, but we were given a balcony, very nice.  We always have had a balcony cabin, but we were economising this cruise.  Bathroom was a bit small, and shower felt dark.  There was a small bath.  Plenty of drawer space.  Dressing table was a little small.  Noticed there wasn't as much info on tv as in previous cruises, couldn't book trips or view menu, or access your bill.  So much paper sent to rooms, advertising etc.  Was a daily 'paper' either UK and US.  Balconies ok, but perhaps chairs could be more comfortable.  Had breakfast in room a few times, always arrived on time, and what we asked for.  Was not cleaned one day, but when we told cabin steward was most apologetic. The check in was painless, and our rooms were ready more or less as soon as we boarded, and our cases followed quite soon.  A perfect start to our holiday.We asked for a table for two, second seating which we got.  The  food was excellent.  I  started off missing a course, but I couldn't resist the food.  The waiters were excellent always remembering our names, and any requests we made.  We purchased a five bottle wine package $149 dollars, which we thought a bit steep, but we realised you could purchase house wine for $19 dollars, which I wished we has seen before, as it was ok, unless you are a wine buff.The entertainment was a bit bland, a girl singer with a band, who were quite boring.  They tended to do the sail away parties, but made you feel like jumping over board.  Then there was a male singer with a guitar, who was ok, but always played slow songs, and I think one night I fell asleep listening to him, or was it the cocktails I had just drunk?.  There was a comedian one night who was funny.  We aren't much into the shows, ie, the singers and dancers so I can't comment.  It did tend to be quiet after 10.00pm, but we put it down to people doing the tours during the day.  There seemed to be a lot of card playing groups, and people reading.  We tried to do the 3 laps (1 Mile) around the deck to keep fit most days.  We did put our head in the gym, but never returned.  The spa looked lovely, but I think they are too expensive.The was usually a barbi on deck in the afternoon, you can't resist the smell can you.  The Lido restaurant was good for lunch.  We loved the stir frys.  You were always served your food, so no one came away overloaded, of course you can always go up for seconds!We booked a trip when we docked in Sciliy, which was good, Taomina, with a good view of Mt Etna, and a walk through the town.  The other ports we just got off the ship and walked around.  Pireaus was a pain as the taxi drivers wouldn't  let you alone as you exited the port, if you want a taxi you ask, you don't want to be hounded.  We were warned by friends about Kusadasi, another place they won't leave you alone, so we keep away from the shops, and just wandered along the sea front.  We like being on the ship, when it's docked, as its nice and peaceful.  The trips are quite expensive now, so it adds quite a lot to your billl at the end of your holiday.  We did book a trip on the day we docked back in Rome to kill time, as our flight was  not till 5pm, we were off the ship at 7.15am, and we did see Rome from tnhe coach, which was a marvellous sight, but we were dropped at the airport at 11.30am, so we had a long day.All in all we enjoyed our cruise, I prefer the caribbean ports, as the med one's aren't as pretty.  I can certainly recommed Holland America, but not if you want a rave up at night, try another cruise line, or take up cards.
pat pincher’s Full Rating Summary

Cabin Review

Cabin 5015
Bathroom was a bit small, and shower felt dark.  There was a small bath.  Plenty of drawer space.  Dressing table was a little small.  Noticed there wasn't as much info on tv as in previous cruises, couldn't book trips or view menu, or access your bill.  So much paper sent to rooms, advertising etc.  Was a daily 'paper' either UK and US.  Balconies ok, but perhaps chairs could be more comfortable.  Had breakfast in room a few times, always arrived on time, and what we asked for.  Was not cleaned one day, but when we told cabin steward was most apologetic.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews