We chose this cruise because of the overall itinerary (triple Denali followed by 7 day Southbound cruise). Overall we had a wonderful vacation but there were reservations. 1. Denali was a bit of a let down - our booking was supposed to include a 7 hour Wilderness Tundra tour with a snack included but just days before we flew out we received an email saying this had been changed to a 4 hour Natural History tour with no snack. The revised tour covered a much smaller part of the park & didn't go to the parts where most of the wildlife was likely to be. We had to start at 6AM and it didn't get light until after 7 so the first hour was in darkness. We did see 3 bull mooses but the first was while it was still dark, the second would have been good except the driver kept moving the bus so we were unable to get any good photos and the third we didn't stop for because of the amount of cars around it (apparently our trip was during the lottery period when cars are admitted to drive throughout the park. We were given strict instructions not to even put an elbow out of the window so as not to disrupt the wildlife but apparently this didn't apply to the car occupants who were out of their cars walking around in the open) 2. Our cabin was right next to an elevator which would not have been a problem if it wasn't for the 'bing bong' every time it stopped on our deck - even this would have been OK if they had only turned it down overnight! 3. Sleep was further disturbed by the air conditioning unit immediately above our bed! We tried to get this turned off (you really don't need it in Alaska especially overnight) but this was also found to be impossible 4. After a couple of days we checked our statement to find $13.50 per person was being added as a 'management charge'. We were under the impression that service etc was included but apparently not so this was a large & unexpected payment. 5. On around the 5th day we had a 'mini bar' item added to our account which we hadn't used. Strangely so did other cabins and we never did manage to get it explained or removed! 6. We celebrated our Silver wedding anniversary on board & I bought the 'Happy Anniversary' package as a surprise for my wife. Generally this went well but part of this was supposed to be a photo. I asked the front desk about this & was told I could go to the studio & get a photo taken so went to them after a few days to make arrangements. There I was told I had to use one of the 'candid' ones taken during the week & it was suggested we had one done during the Gala evening. We duly had this done then went to collect the next day only to be told the one we had posed for wasn't one of the 'candid' ones so we couldn't use that (apparently the 'candid' ones are taken at the table although this was never offered). We ended up having to pay an extra $20 to get one we were happy with. Overall the staff were superb & we were very happy but it is often the little quibbles & unexpected extra charges which are remembered. Holland America could do well to copy some of their rivals who include service charges & honour their commitments. We were particularly pleased with the dining staff in the Vista & Pinnacle restaurants who looked after us magnificently - especially on our anniversary.

Generally great but with some reservations

Noordam Cruise Review by Royksuk

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Transpacific
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We chose this cruise because of the overall itinerary (triple Denali followed by 7 day Southbound cruise). Overall we had a wonderful vacation but there were reservations.

1. Denali was a bit of a let down - our booking was supposed to include a 7 hour Wilderness Tundra tour with a snack included but just days before we flew out we received an email saying this had been changed to a 4 hour Natural History tour with no snack. The revised tour covered a much smaller part of the park & didn't go to the parts where most of the wildlife was likely to be. We had to start at 6AM and it didn't get light until after 7 so the first hour was in darkness. We did see 3 bull mooses but the first was while it was still dark, the second would have been good except the driver kept moving the bus so we were unable to get any good photos and the third we didn't stop for because of the amount of cars around it (apparently our trip was during the lottery period when cars are admitted to drive throughout the park. We were given strict instructions not to even put an elbow out of the window so as not to disrupt the wildlife but apparently this didn't apply to the car occupants who were out of their cars walking around in the open)

2. Our cabin was right next to an elevator which would not have been a problem if it wasn't for the 'bing bong' every time it stopped on our deck - even this would have been OK if they had only turned it down overnight!

3. Sleep was further disturbed by the air conditioning unit immediately above our bed! We tried to get this turned off (you really don't need it in Alaska especially overnight) but this was also found to be impossible

4. After a couple of days we checked our statement to find $13.50 per person was being added as a 'management charge'. We were under the impression that service etc was included but apparently not so this was a large & unexpected payment.

5. On around the 5th day we had a 'mini bar' item added to our account which we hadn't used. Strangely so did other cabins and we never did manage to get it explained or removed!

6. We celebrated our Silver wedding anniversary on board & I bought the 'Happy Anniversary' package as a surprise for my wife. Generally this went well but part of this was supposed to be a photo. I asked the front desk about this & was told I could go to the studio & get a photo taken so went to them after a few days to make arrangements. There I was told I had to use one of the 'candid' ones taken during the week & it was suggested we had one done during the Gala evening. We duly had this done then went to collect the next day only to be told the one we had posed for wasn't one of the 'candid' ones so we couldn't use that (apparently the 'candid' ones are taken at the table although this was never offered). We ended up having to pay an extra $20 to get one we were happy with.

Overall the staff were superb & we were very happy but it is often the little quibbles & unexpected extra charges which are remembered. Holland America could do well to copy some of their rivals who include service charges & honour their commitments.

We were particularly pleased with the dining staff in the Vista & Pinnacle restaurants who looked after us magnificently - especially on our anniversary.
Royksuk’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VA 8066
Not as large as the description 'Deluxe' would imply. Noises from the adjacent elevators (especially through the night) and air conditioning caused disruption to sleep.
The cabin stewards were very good & we really appreciated the towel animals which we saw every night.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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