My wife and I spent 42 days aboard the Noordam, a medium size cruiseship of Holland America Line for about 2000 passengers from Sept. 24 to Nov. 6, 2017. This was just trhe right time for us with pleasant temperatures throughout our cruise. Moderate autumn weather along the Canadian und US West Coast and the first sea days on our way to the Hawaiian islands, getting warmer and more sunny by the day, hot and more trpical from Hawaii to Fidji and New Caledonia and moderate again along the Australian East Coast, Tasmania and New Zealand. The Noordam is an older (built in 2006) but reasonably comfortable cruiseship with average size staterooms, many with balcony. The ship requires major renovation and refurbishing both at the ship level primarily with respect to the air condition and the sewage system as well as the cabins with often old furniture and worn out carpeting.
What we particularly liked during our cruise was the first class service of all of the ship`s staff. Everybody who we met exceeded our high expectations. This relates particularly to the very friendly and helpful room stewards as well as the waiters and their assistants in the various restaurants and bars. The quality and selections of the food were generally good at the buffets on deck nine and excellent during dinner in the main dining rooms on decks two and three including lobster and filet mignon at no extra cost on special occasions i. their gala nights of which they had seven during our cruise. Another great service was their laundry service. We were charged US $ 248 for this service for the entire cruise and had all our laundry done within one day. This service was absolutely super and reliable.
But there were also issues which we didn`t like i.e the extremely high charge for WiFi (US $ 0,75 per minute!!), no free drinking water in the cabin (roughly US $ 4.50 for 1.5 litres), very steep prices for shore excursions as well as limited time in most ports.
While the Noordam offers excellent shore excursions at higher prices there are however plenty of opportunities to book personal and private tours at bargain prices in most ports in particular in New Zealand where we had longer times ashore.
All in all we had a fun cruise and enjoyed our time on the Noordam.
My wife and I spent 42 days aboard the Noordam from Vancouver/ Canada to Auckland/New Zealand from Sept. 24 through Nov 6. 2017. We had a relatively small midship balcony cabin on deck 4. The cabin was furnished with a comfortable bathroom with bathtub; the stateroom furniture was old and included two separate relatively comfortable beds and a seating area with sofa, arm chair and small table as well as a sideboard. The balcony in comparison to the size of the stateroom was large and furnished with two beach chairs. Although we felt quite at home in our cabin, it was our impression that the Noordam being built in 2006 definitely needs a complete overhaul. And this includes the entire toilet and sewage system as there were several situations where the toilets could not be used for several hours both in guest rooms as well as public toilets especially on decks 3 and 9. I want to emphasize ,however, that the repairmen did their utmost to take care of problems for which we were very thankful. Also special thanks should go to our cabin stewards who did an excellent job taking care of our needs.