Noordam Cruise Review by cruzin_ga_gal
- Sail Date: November 2016
- Destination: Australia & New Zealand
- Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Having sailed with HAL before, I knew there would be a pleasant staff, but this group far exceeded my expectations for helpfulness and willingness to assist a passenger. I was in a Neptune Suite and experienced nothing but pleasure to help from the Concierge JR and Saldi. The room stewards, Made and Yuba were aware of what I needed before I even knew. I've sailed extensively and this has been the best staff to date.
The ship was nice. I chose this sailing for the itinerary and was more interested in where we were going than how I was getting there. My Neptune suite was very roomy, especially for one person with plenty of space for 29 days of "girl stuff", after all there were 6 gala nights.
The main dining room was for the most part had great service. There were a few nights that the service was on the slow side, but having good dining companions made the time seem less. If I wanted to make a show, I just went earlier. Room service needs improvement - no attention to detail paid when setting up the trays. Wrong items, items omitted, wrong quantities, etc. It happened more times than should have. There are only so many times one can speak with the maître d and see no improvement. When calling in room dining to pick up the trays, there was never a response after being told they would send someone. I called the concierge desk to call housekeeping. They happily came to pick up. Food overall was good. Being there for basically two sailings did cause some overlap with menus, but it was a chance to try something different.
Entertainment was really good. The singers and dancers were great. They had a Q and A period and were also found to be very passionate about what they do and willingness to help out outside of the stage. The Piano Man Mike was good. He was entertaining and had a way to pull the audience together for good laughs and not so good singing from the groupies. The BB King band was really good. I just felt kind of bad that on several occasions I witnessed they had opened up with only a handful of people in the lounge. They still performed like it was a packed house. I heard from many other passengers that they felt the music was just too loud to go back a second time. The mentalist was fun to watch. I still don't know how they do that! I was reluctant to go to a destination speech, as I thought it would be a shopping guide. No, it was very informative on the history, culture etc. I'm actually glad I went and went to several.
I gambled and lost my allotted $20. Never went after that and walking through, it appeared to be used by a handful of people each night. Activities were limited with not a lot to do on sea days. It was a nice relaxing time.
Disembarkation was smooth. It was well organized and most all guests went when and where they should have which made for an easy departure from the ship.
Overall, it was a great cruise. The ports were fantastic. I am glad that I experienced the So Sea Islands, but not sure if I would recommend them to others. Australia/New Zealand I would tell anyone one that can go, should!
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