New Zealand was on my husband's bucket list for a long time. We decided the best way to get a feel for the country is to do a cruise & sample as many ports as possible. So we chose Holland Americas 14 day cruise with 8 ports. It was fantastic. Lots of stops in the South Island and also on the North Island. Unfortunately, because of large swells in the port of Christchurch where we were mooring because of damage to the wharf from the earthquake, we had to skip this port. It was unsafe to transfer to/from a tender. But everything else was fairly smooth sailing. The upside was that we were able to spend another 3/4 day in Dunedin & we saw a castle that we wouldn't have otherwise seen! Yeah! Food was delicious in both the Lido and main dining area. We did not try the "pay" restaurants, but hear good things from others. Entertainment (with the exception of 2 acts) was the only area that could use improvement. The Noordam singers/dancers were not the caliper that we are used to on Holland. Also the "other" activities on sea days could have been improved. No free popcorn for movies...boooo!!! Cabin attendants were friendly, helpful, and showed up when we were not there. Invisible little elfs!

Fantastic itinerary

Noordam Cruise Review by karenbink

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: South Pacific
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
New Zealand was on my husband's bucket list for a long time. We decided the best way to get a feel for the country is to do a cruise & sample as many ports as possible. So we chose Holland Americas 14 day cruise with 8 ports. It was fantastic. Lots of stops in the South Island and also on the North Island. Unfortunately, because of large swells in the port of Christchurch where we were mooring because of damage to the wharf from the earthquake, we had to skip this port. It was unsafe to transfer to/from a tender. But everything else was fairly smooth sailing. The upside was that we were able to spend another 3/4 day in Dunedin & we saw a castle that we wouldn't have otherwise seen! Yeah!

Food was delicious in both the Lido and main dining area. We did not try the "pay" restaurants, but hear good things from others.

Entertainment (with the exception of 2 acts) was the only area that could use improvement. The Noordam singers/dancers were not the caliper that we are used to on Holland. Also the "other" activities on sea days could have been improved. No free popcorn for movies...boooo!!!

Cabin attendants were friendly, helpful, and showed up when we were not there. Invisible little elfs!
karenbink’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SA 7051
The cabin was huge, luxurious and well appointed. The addition of having the Neptune Lounge was a huge plus. Many benefits to this cabin catagory. We will never go "back" to less than the Neptune!!
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Auckland
    Extremely interesting. It started with a mini tour of Auckland near the ships dock, then over to Devonport. Many stops along the way to stretch & use facilities. The tour guide was very informative & interesting. The tour ends in Devonport where you are given a ferry ticket to return at your own pace back to the ship. EASY to do and the ferry runs about every 15 minutes and takes about 10/15 minutes to Auckland. The walk from the ferry to the ship is about 5 minutes max.
    We asked for a good italian place to eat & our guide recommended Portofino. Excellent choice! Delicious food & friendly service & free WIFI !! It was a good birthday lunch for my hubbie!
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  • Bay of Islands
    This boat is not a sailboat, it is a motor cruise. But it was a fantastic tour of the islands. There are 60 islands & we learned a lot about the history of about a half dozen islands. Our guides were informative and friendly. Snacks available for purchase on board. Our goal was to cruise THRU the "Hole in the Rock". We were lucky & the seas were mild, so we were able to do this incredible fete! Fun day! Highly recommend
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  • Larnach Castle
    Although small by castle standards, it has an interesting ownership history & the tour was great.
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  • Water Rafting
    The only downside of this excursion is the one hour travel to and from the location. Other than that, we all had a blast! Beware that you will get wet, even if the "rapids" are NOT rapid!! Just hitting a small rock/bump, someone fell in. They were well prepared & all the saftey features were in place, so no harm, just WET!!! DO NOT take a camera that is not 100% waterproof & hooked onto your person.
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  • Picton
    Fun time was had by all. The biking consisted of only 2 miles to TWO wineries, so not a lot of work. But a whole lot of wine tasting & yummy lunch at the last winery. The "tapas" style lunch was great & so was dessert!
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  • Tauranga
    We could have done without the Hell's Gate---caution, be very careful walking the paths as they do not have railings & the water is 200 degrees F at some points.
    The CRUISE was WONDERFUL. Really large catamaran, friendly crew, beautiful scenery and a delicious "tapas style" lunch was served. Highly recommend this cruise.
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