This was a last minute cruise for us - we wanted to get away for a few days so we were looking for something with a short flight to get there and then be able to relax. There were great prices on this 7 day Alaska cruise on the Noordam so we grabbed it. We usually cruise on HAL, so we knew pretty much what to expect - and we enjoy what Holland has. We did fly in to Vancouver the day before just to be safe. I had been reading about difficult embarkation in Vancouver (long lines, luggage problems, etc), so we went down to the terminal about 10:30 AM. Our taxi dropped us off at the luggage drop off, and we went right thru that, then up to the HAL check in, thru US Customs (yes, US because we were cruising to the US), and then we were done - took maybe 10 minutes! We were on the ship by 11:30, so I've got to say the embarkation was about perfect! We enjoyed lunch in the MDR then took time to wander and explore the ship. The Noordam is a sister ship to the Zuiderdam, which we've cruised on several times, so no surprises there. Our cabin stewards were excellent and took care of our every need. The concierges in the Neptune Lounge were very helpful to answer questions and help solve anything that came up. We usually had lunch on the Lido (I love the DIVE-IN) and dinner in the MDR. The food was great, the service was excellent - and if you have the chance to have the Gianduiotto for dessert, ask for 2 right off - if you like chocolate, you'll think you died and went straight to Chocolate heaven! - THE BEST We used the ship's excursions twice - the whale watch in Juneau and the White Pass & Yukon raiload in Skagway - it was actually less expensive than the one we tried to book on our own. We loved the railroad experience - it was a motor coach up to Caribou Crossing/Yukon then back to Fraser, BC to get on the train. We saw great scenery both ways but wish we could have had the train from Carcross, insread of Fraser. We didn't go to many of the shows at night - not because they weren't very good, but we were pretty tired from such a full day and wanted to be ready for the next day. We did enjoy the Lincoln Center Stage each night - just wish the room was larger. It was very popular and lots of SRO. We did enjoy America's Test Kitchen but wish they would be able to share what they cooked. On past HAL cruises I enjoyed the Digital Workshops, but the ones offered here were ones I had done already - maybe they could get some new options for repeat cruisers. Disembarkation in Seward was good - a nice bus ride up the Anchorage (driver was very knowledgeable about the area and what we were seeing). We got to the airport in plenty of time to catch our 1 PM flight. We cruise on Holland America because we don't go on a cruise for the flowriders, rock walls, water slides, etc - we like to relax and enjoy the view. We love Holland America and will continue to enjoy their service and their "Classic" cruising.

Great Cruise on the Noordam

Noordam Cruise Review by Herbs Mom

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
This was a last minute cruise for us - we wanted to get away for a few days so we were looking for something with a short flight to get there and then be able to relax. There were great prices on this 7 day Alaska cruise on the Noordam so we grabbed it. We usually cruise on HAL, so we knew pretty much what to expect - and we enjoy what Holland has. We did fly in to Vancouver the day before just to be safe.

I had been reading about difficult embarkation in Vancouver (long lines, luggage problems, etc), so we went down to the terminal about 10:30 AM. Our taxi dropped us off at the luggage drop off, and we went right thru that, then up to the HAL check in, thru US Customs (yes, US because we were cruising to the US), and then we were done - took maybe 10 minutes! We were on the ship by 11:30, so I've got to say the embarkation was about perfect! We enjoyed lunch in the MDR then took time to wander and explore the ship. The Noordam is a sister ship to the Zuiderdam, which we've cruised on several times, so no surprises there.

Our cabin stewards were excellent and took care of our every need. The concierges in the Neptune Lounge were very helpful to answer questions and help solve anything that came up.

We usually had lunch on the Lido (I love the DIVE-IN) and dinner in the MDR. The food was great, the service was excellent - and if you have the chance to have the Gianduiotto for dessert, ask for 2 right off - if you like chocolate, you'll think you died and went straight to Chocolate heaven! - THE BEST

We used the ship's excursions twice - the whale watch in Juneau and the White Pass & Yukon raiload in Skagway - it was actually less expensive than the one we tried to book on our own. We loved the railroad experience - it was a motor coach up to Caribou Crossing/Yukon then back to Fraser, BC to get on the train. We saw great scenery both ways but wish we could have had the train from Carcross, insread of Fraser.

We didn't go to many of the shows at night - not because they weren't very good, but we were pretty tired from such a full day and wanted to be ready for the next day. We did enjoy the Lincoln Center Stage each night - just wish the room was larger. It was very popular and lots of SRO.

We did enjoy America's Test Kitchen but wish they would be able to share what they cooked.

On past HAL cruises I enjoyed the Digital Workshops, but the ones offered here were ones I had done already - maybe they could get some new options for repeat cruisers.

Disembarkation in Seward was good - a nice bus ride up the Anchorage (driver was very knowledgeable about the area and what we were seeing). We got to the airport in plenty of time to catch our 1 PM flight.

We cruise on Holland America because we don't go on a cruise for the flowriders, rock walls, water slides, etc - we like to relax and enjoy the view.

We love Holland America and will continue to enjoy their service and their "Classic" cruising.
Herbs Mom’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Noordam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SB 6084
We love the Neptune Suites and all of the little perks it offers, particularly the free laundry and breakfasts in the Pinnacle Grill. Although a bit out of date, our suite was in great shape - the bed was very comfortable, TONS of closet and drawer space, a comfortable sofa and chairs and a large balcony. We enjoyed the balcony, especially going thru the Inside Passage and Glacier Bay. The ship provided blankets on the Promanade deck to wrap around yourself as you enjoyed the scenery - we enjoyed they on our balcony.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Glacier Bay
    We've been to Glacier Bay, and it interesting to see how it's changed over the years. I especially enjoyed having two National Park Service Park Rangers on board. They gave great commentary on each glacier, knew when to keep quiet (and encouraged others on the public decks to do the same) and were available to answer questions.
    View All 645 Glacier Bay Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Glacier Bay Cruise Port Review
  • Whale Watching
    We were only away from the dock about 10 minutes when we saw our first whale, and saw many humpbacks. Also saw Bald Eagles and seals - a fun morning!
    View All 772 Whale Watching Reviews
  • Lumberjack Show
    This is about a 5 minute walk from the ship - no need to book an excursion. Just walk down on your own. We had heard the ship excursions got to go in first and get the best seats, but this wasn't true for us. Everyone just lined up and walked in and got their seats. It was a fun show - good, clean entertainment. It was raining when we were there, but there is a cover over the audience and heaters, so we were good. We'd recommend the show for a fun time.
    View All 275 Lumberjack Show Reviews
  • Seward
    Our experience in Seward was the motor coach to the Anchorage airport. It's a 90-120 minute ride so it was nice to have a driver who pointed out things along the way and made the trip very interesting.
    View All 175 Seward Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Seward Cruise Port Review
  • White Pass Scenic Railway
    Our tour was a motor coach to Caribou Crossing and lunch, then back to Fraser, BC to get the train. We wish we could have taken the train from Carcross back down, but our bus did allow us to see some great scenery that was different from the train route. We had a great motor coach driver/tour guide - we stopped often for photo ops and had a nice lunch at Caribou Crossing. The train was great! Each bus was assigned to a different train car - the view were spectacular! The train had a person who narrated as we went along, so we all learned a lot, too!
    View All 1,022 White Pass Scenic Railway Reviews