Over the summer of 2017, my family and our close friends took an Alaskan cruise on the Noordam boat. My whole family enjoyed it and we all wished it had lasted longer. Everyone in the group had a special occasion, including anniversaries, 13th birthdays and 50th birthdays. Families or couples should make an effort to cruise on the Holland America Line because the food is great quality and taste, the rooms are tolerable, the activities and entertainment are chosen well, and the staff and customer services are extremely nice and helpful.
The food on the boat was great quality and great taste. We had many options to choose from including, a burger and hot dog stand on the pool deck, a buffet and a dining room. They were all located on the 9th floor except the dining room was located in the back of the boat on the 2nd and 3rd floor. The buffet was open from 5am to 2pm then opened back up at 5pm till 10pm. The food to choose from was, pizza and pasta, salad bar, sandwiches and soups, sushi, and Asian and Indian food. The dessert bar was almost always open, with fruit and ice cream, cookies, pies and lots more. For breakfast it was always crowded. Options at that time where, waffles, cereal, omelets, crepes (which were a BIG hit), bacon and breakfast meats, fruit, yogurt and all types of juices. There was always a big thing about getting window seats. Since our group was so big (15 people) I would always walk around and try to find tables near each other, but that didn’t always work. Toward the end of the trip we found out that the dining room served breakfast so we started to eat there in the morning for breakfast. It would have been nice if we could have known at the beginning of the trip that the dinning room did breakfast. They would served almost the same things but more detailed. Dinner in the dining room was always a different menu, especially on gala nights. If you didn’t sign up for reservations before cruising then there was always a wait for dinner. Our group didn’t sign up for reservations, and with so many people we didn’t always sit with each other. Sometimes on gala nights, we called the dining room early to make a “day of reservation” but we were put on hold a lot. Since we were cruising to Alaska, Alaskan salmon was always a special. The food portions were not as big but always kept you enough room for dessert. You could order several meals one after another. One time my uncle ordered 4 entrees. Overall food quality and taste was great.
The activities that took place on the Noordam were chosen very well and the entertainment was really amusing. Almost every night the music and dance team on the boat would put on a performance. When the cruise staff didn’t put on there own show, there was a comedian and a magician, which were fantastic. Also on board were several bands, a piano bar, cooking shows, trivia, bingo and even a 5k that raised money for cancer research for when we were at sea for a whole day. There were also kids clubs for different age groups. There was an inside and outside pool with 5 hot tubs. There was a spa for scheduling a massage and a gym that has classes or you can work out by yourself. For always being a person who is quickly bored, I was never bored on this trip. Having so many activities probably made the trip more fun.
The customer services on the Noordam were extremely helpful and the staff were very nice. Our first night we met our favorite waiter his name was Suef, with a silent f. He memorized everyone’s names at the tables. Any other time we saw him the would say, “How‘s it going Cali?” or “What's up Finn!” Our room service staff were extremely kind and anytime we asked for something, they would always follow up with a big smile. The customer service on the main floor were always there to answer your questions. This trip couldn’t have been extremely relaxing without the help of all the staff.
From memories of elevators and stair races to our room, magnificent views out every window, to eating ice cream at least 3 times a day, I had the best time ever. There is not a day I don't look back to that trip. By the time the trip was over and we were sitting in the Vista Lounge waiting for our bus, it didn't feel like the trip was 7 days. It went by very quickly. I am sure that everyone else sitting around me was thinking that too, whether they knew it or not. Altogether the trip was amazing, and everyone had a great time. Holland America did a great job planning the trip. I will definitely, in the future, be looking for more cruises on the Holland America Line.
The rooms on the Noordam were tolerable. Maybe if we didn't have 3 adults and 1 child in my immediate stateroom, we would have more space. We had a balcony which is definitely worth investing on when cruising in Alaska. Our group had a total of 5 rooms and we all had balcony. We requested to have our deck doors all opened so we could walk from one deck to the next.Our stateroom had a pull out couch, a pull down bunk bed and queen bed that could pull apart to become 2. If the pull out bed was tucked in there was a lot more room. There was lots of storage including, a large closet with shelves and hanging space, drawers under the bed and under the bed space for storage of suitcases. There was a tv, and a desk with a mirror. Where was also a mini fridge with drinks inside for purchase. The bathroom was small and the shower was small too. But my mom said it was larger than bathrooms she had seen on other cruises. The bathroom also provided storage under the sink and behind a mirror. Over all stateroom experience was okay. When all 4 people where in the room it could get a little hectic.
It was my first time being in Vancouver and it was amazing. The view was great and the city and gorgeous.
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Glacier Bay was amazing we stayed on the boat all day and saw beautiful glaciers
After the wonderful cruise, we took a all day bus tour to Denali National Park and spent 3 days there. We had an amazing time and it was nice to know that when the cruise was over that our vacation was not.