This is our 5th Alaska cruise. We love going to cool and beautiful places in the hot summers back home. We usually go up and back from Vancouver, which is wonderful. This time we flew to Anchorage, spend a week there and in Seward and took the Noordam south to Vancouver. it was a wonderful experience, the best we have had. The ship was comfortable and very enjoyable. We upgraded to a Signature Suite for the first time and that gave us a larger cabin (we previously only stayed in a Veranda cabin) that we really enjoyed: 2 sinks in the bath, more cabin room, larger veranda, etc. We found that eating breakfast and dinner in the dining room was great, more personal, better food, and kept us out of the highly competitive Lido dining. We asked for and got the same table each evening so that meant our serving staff got to know us and we got to know them too. We loved the fact that HAL gave us a full wrap-around walking deck that we could enjoy each day. Three times around the deck was one mile, and the beauty of the surroundings made walking a few miles really easy. We love going to Glacier Bay with the National Park rangers on board and that is something everyone who cruises this way should enjoy. This was the first time we had stopped in Haines, instead of Skagway, and that too was a surprising joy. We rented a car from Captains Choice rental cars and struck out on our own day of discovery. We saw lots of whales and wildlife on our shore excursion out of Juneau, and suffered through another required day in Ketchikan. Every cruise stops there and it is crazy busy. The Noordam needs a bit of refitting and I understand that is planned. But overall, this was a great ship and a great cruise.

One of our best cruises

Noordam Cruise Review by orth1

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
This is our 5th Alaska cruise. We love going to cool and beautiful places in the hot summers back home. We usually go up and back from Vancouver, which is wonderful. This time we flew to Anchorage, spend a week there and in Seward and took the Noordam south to Vancouver. it was a wonderful experience, the best we have had. The ship was comfortable and very enjoyable. We upgraded to a Signature Suite for the first time and that gave us a larger cabin (we previously only stayed in a Veranda cabin) that we really enjoyed: 2 sinks in the bath, more cabin room, larger veranda, etc. We found that eating breakfast and dinner in the dining room was great, more personal, better food, and kept us out of the highly competitive Lido dining. We asked for and got the same table each evening so that meant our serving staff got to know us and we got to know them too. We loved the fact that HAL gave us a full wrap-around walking deck that we could enjoy each day. Three times around the deck was one mile, and the beauty of the surroundings made walking a few miles really easy.

We love going to Glacier Bay with the National Park rangers on board and that is something everyone who cruises this way should enjoy. This was the first time we had stopped in Haines, instead of Skagway, and that too was a surprising joy. We rented a car from Captains Choice rental cars and struck out on our own day of discovery. We saw lots of whales and wildlife on our shore excursion out of Juneau, and suffered through another required day in Ketchikan. Every cruise stops there and it is crazy busy.

The Noordam needs a bit of refitting and I understand that is planned. But overall, this was a great ship and a great cruise.
orth1’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SS
Larger than normal cabin with great beds and a lot of room for storage. We loved it. Bath had both shower and tub, and 2 sinks. Veranda had more room, a table, 2 lounge chairs. Worth the upgrade if you can afford the difference.
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    This is one of the very best reasons to see Alaska on Holland America. Only 2 cruise ships per day can go to Glacier Bay and HAL has the most ships going into this extremely scenic National Park.
    View All 653 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Glacier Bay Cruise Port Review
  • Wildlife Tour
    We made an independent arrangement to see this extremely entertaining and educational wildlife experience. But learned that you really have to go along with an arranged tour. If you go to Haines, this is a must see/do experience.
    View All 10 Wildlife Tour Reviews
  • Whales, Bears and Glaciers
    We have gone out to see whales on our own for the past 5 cruises. This time, we choose a HAL tour with Gastineau Guiding and we will definitely do that again. Unfortunately, you can only arrange this through a cruise line. But this is a science oriented excursion that is a little longer than other whale watches (4 hrs vs 3 hrs) and the naturalists on board (in our case Scott Ranger) is a real biologist who knows the wildlife and biology of the area. We saw lots of whales, but also other marine creatures that we have not seen before. Great experience. We did not have kids with us but it would be great for children as well.
    View All 52 Whales, Bears and Glaciers Reviews
  • Ketchikan
    The best thing about K for us is the history museum in town. It is a great orientation to Southern Alaska, its history, cultures and careers. Otherwise, this is town that pushes shopping and crowds. Not our kind of place.
    View All 1,690 Ketchikan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Ketchikan Cruise Port Review