We flew to Ft. Lauderdale the evening prior to embarkation and stayed at a Sleep Inn that was about 10-15 minutes away from Port Everglades, with free shuttle service. For those of you that are wine enthusiasts and don't already know that you can bring on as much Wine and Champagne on the ship as you wish, we went to Publix (a 3 minutes walk from the hotel) and purchased 6 bottles of wine before making our way to the ship. We did do our online check-in prior to arriving in Florida and although we had only a Guaranteed Balcony, our room information was ready when we entered into the building. The whole process may have taken 15 minutes. The staff is very friendly and efficient. Our Cabin (8143) was ready for us by the time we made it on board (around 2 p.m.). This cabin is located all the way Aft on the ship, which was a great location, with a great view. The only downfall of being right at the back is the slight noise and vibration from the propulsion of the ship's engines. In regards to Food and Beverage Services on the ship, we were both very impressed with the Staff and all that was offered throughout our cruise. I am in the Hospitality business and usually a tough critic, but other than a couple of points that really don't merit a negative comment, I was extremely impressed. I read a recent review complaining about there not being tray service and the staff serving your buffet food to you. I for one think that this is a great service. For sanitary reasons alone, it is a necessity, as lets face it, people are pigs. Furthermore, for portion control. If you want more than what they gave you, just ask, it's quite simple. We selected the "as you wish" dining feature and were quite pleased. As we were on our honeymoon, we wanted to sit by ourselves which required a bit of waiting on 2 occasions, until one of the great hosts insisted that he just make us reservations for the 2 of us for the rest of the cruise in order to avoid waiting. I must say that we were impressed with this action. I recently read a review about the portion size and the lack in quantity on the plates. I would have to strongly disagree with this opinion, as both my wife and I were always full after our 3 course dinner... we didn't even bother having 4 courses, it's just too much food! We also ate in the Pinnacle Grill on one occasion and thought that it was well worth the $20 more per person. Our servers were very attentive and the menu options were even more impressive than that of the Vista Dining Room. There were a lot of things to see and do while on board and although we didn't participate in many activities, we were impressed while reading the daily newsletter listing all of the things that were scheduled. I know smoking is an issue for many cruisers and although I am not a smoker, I do enjoy a Cigar from time to time and especially when i am on vacation. I must say that my wife and I enjoyed our daily post dinner visit to the Oak Room. In many reviews I have read about reserving of loungers, etc. I know this is frustrating for everyone, but I don't believe there is really much that can be done. I yet to not experience this while on vacation, whether it is an all inclusive or a cruise. As you have read, yes we really were on our Honeymoon on a HAL ship. We met several people on board who questioned us on why we would chose a ship with such an aged population. Well, for starters, yes, it is an more aged population on HAL, but that didn't bother us... we had the ship to ourselves after 10 p.m.. Secondly, I believe that this aged population is probably more demanding than their younger counterparts, therefore service needs to be exceptional. I would have to say that we were very impressed with all of the service staff... everywhere on the ship. Thirdly, we were not interested in cheesy games (Carnival) all day by the pool and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on the Noordam. However, we both were quite surprised at the number of elderly people with very limited mobility that go cruising. I don't understand why they would choose to do so, even more so taking excursions that require some mobility and/or getting off the ship when it is in port by tenders... All in all, we had a great experience with HAL and would love to cruise with them again.

A Honeymooon to remember on MS Noordam

Noordam Cruise Review by rookiecruisers2009

Trip Details
We flew to Ft. Lauderdale the evening prior to embarkation and stayed at a Sleep Inn that was about 10-15 minutes away from Port Everglades, with free shuttle service. For those of you that are wine enthusiasts and don't already know that you can bring on as much Wine and Champagne on the ship as you wish, we went to Publix (a 3 minutes walk from the hotel) and purchased 6 bottles of wine before making our way to the ship.
We did do our online check-in prior to arriving in Florida and although we had only a Guaranteed Balcony, our room information was ready when we entered into the building. The whole process may have taken 15 minutes. The staff is very friendly and efficient.
Our Cabin (8143) was ready for us by the time we made it on board (around 2 p.m.). This cabin is located all the way Aft on the ship, which was a great location, with a great view. The only downfall of being right at the back is the slight noise and vibration from the propulsion of the ship's engines.
In regards to Food and Beverage Services on the ship, we were both very impressed with the Staff and all that was offered throughout our cruise. I am in the Hospitality business and usually a tough critic, but other than a couple of points that really don't merit a negative comment, I was extremely impressed. I read a recent review complaining about there not being tray service and the staff serving your buffet food to you. I for one think that this is a great service. For sanitary reasons alone, it is a necessity, as lets face it, people are pigs. Furthermore, for portion control. If you want more than what they gave you, just ask, it's quite simple.
We selected the "as you wish" dining feature and were quite pleased. As we were on our honeymoon, we wanted to sit by ourselves which required a bit of waiting on 2 occasions, until one of the great hosts insisted that he just make us reservations for the 2 of us for the rest of the cruise in order to avoid waiting. I must say that we were impressed with this action. I recently read a review about the portion size and the lack in quantity on the plates. I would have to strongly disagree with this opinion, as both my wife and I were always full after our 3 course dinner... we didn't even bother having 4 courses, it's just too much food!
We also ate in the Pinnacle Grill on one occasion and thought that it was well worth the $20 more per person. Our servers were very attentive and the menu options were even more impressive than that of the Vista Dining Room.
There were a lot of things to see and do while on board and although we didn't participate in many activities, we were impressed while reading the daily newsletter listing all of the things that were scheduled.
I know smoking is an issue for many cruisers and although I am not a smoker, I do enjoy a Cigar from time to time and especially when i am on vacation. I must say that my wife and I enjoyed our daily post dinner visit to the Oak Room.
In many reviews I have read about reserving of loungers, etc. I know this is frustrating for everyone, but I don't believe there is really much that can be done. I yet to not experience this while on vacation, whether it is an all inclusive or a cruise.
As you have read, yes we really were on our Honeymoon on a HAL ship. We met several people on board who questioned us on why we would chose a ship with such an aged population. Well, for starters, yes, it is an more aged population on HAL, but that didn't bother us... we had the ship to ourselves after 10 p.m.. Secondly, I believe that this aged population is probably more demanding than their younger counterparts, therefore service needs to be exceptional. I would have to say that we were very impressed with all of the service staff... everywhere on the ship. Thirdly, we were not interested in cheesy games (Carnival) all day by the pool and enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on the Noordam. However, we both were quite surprised at the number of elderly people with very limited mobility that go cruising. I don't understand why they would choose to do so, even more so taking excursions that require some mobility and/or getting off the ship when it is in port by tenders...
All in all, we had a great experience with HAL and would love to cruise with them again.
rookiecruisers2009’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Noordam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.