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Noordam Review

3.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
832 reviews
31 Awards

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Review for Noordam to Alaska
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Teacherprof
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

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Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2018
Cabin: Superior Verandah Suite

We have previously cruised with Holland America, and like them overall. Their mid-size ships are better (in my opinion) than the larger ships with sooo many people. The clientele is generally adults and families. We had previously traveled to Alaska with HAL; we went back because the scenery is awesome and we wanted to do Denali this time.

The Noordam has mostly balconies, and does not have the Lanai suites that are on some HAL ships. Though you don't spend lots of time in your room, it is nice to be able to step out on the balcony and enjoy the scenery from there. Hotel service is outstanding as is so typical on cruises: rooms made up twice daily including evening turndown, plus fun towel animals. Our stewards were awesome. We had a suite and it included a whirlpool tub and two sinks. I was blown away (in a good way) to find this on a ship.

There are multiple food choices. I am partial to eating in the main dining room. On vacation, I don't want to have to collect my food in a cafeteria line; I would rather be served. Service at dinner was super. We had a fixed seating with the same two servers, and they got to know our tastes and preferences. Breakfast was still nice, but we didn't feel the service was as good. They came by immediately after you were seated and brought juice, coffee, water, and pastries, but sometimes it slowed down after that. Still, in a dining room, you're not looking for "fast food." We did breakfast in our room once, because we had an early tour. They were right on time and the order was accurate. Food tasted good though the toast was not hot.

Cabin Review

Superior Verandah Suite

Port Reviews

Seward

We only boarded the ship in Seward; did not do any activities, so cannot say anything about it.

Glacier Bay

Everyone stays on the ship in Glacier Bay. The scenery is amazing! Be sure to take time to get outside - they even open the deck on the front of the ship for viewing.

Denali National Park and Preserve

The park itself is great - 5 stars. You will likely see wildlife and you might see Denali. (Only about 30% of visitors see it; the other 70% see clouds covering it.) You have to tour on a school-type bus because the park road is limited in size and in number of vehicles per day, in order to preserve it. The bus was crowded with not a lot of leg room and it was hard to take pictures through the school-bus windows, but what are you going to do? This tour was provided by the cruise line as part of our Denali package, called the "Wilderness Wildlife Tour" (Holland America). Departures are VERY early - ours was at 6:00 a.m. but some were even in the 5:00 hour.

I couldn't find a way to review this separately, so will include it here. The Gold Nugget Saloon show at the McKinley Chalet Resort is not so good. The cruise line pushed it, even promoting it on the train as "you have to eat anyway." Yeah, well, you can do better for dinner. There was soggy salad, salmon that smelled funny, barbecue that was cold, mashed potatoes that were fine, and an unmemorable vegetable, maybe green beans. The entertainers themselves were talented. The show's content, which purported to tell the story of Denali (which is why we booked it) was okay, but told with a kind of goofy storyline that included a flashback in time. Overall, it was not worth the money, and I don't recommend it.

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