This was our 33rd cruise and our fifth time on HAL. We chose this itinerary as a means to return to North America after a long adventure in Australia.
First the things we liked: The BB King All Star Band was terrific every time they performed, playing excellent cover versions of classic pop, soul and funk songs The BB King club was a great place to relax and dance. Overall the food was good enough. HAL has the same dishes on all of their ships, the variety is good and the quality is good enough. Generally the service all over the ship was quite good.
Unfortunately the ship itself was old and the interior design was dated, unpleasant and downright ugly. This was a shock to us as we have found other HAL ships to be attractive. But the Noordam was like a bad cheap hotel with almost no pleasing public spaces. The Noordam is in desperate need of a complete make-over.
We liked having a Neptune Suite, but I don't recommend this specific cabin. It is handicapped-accessible and in order to leave room for a chair or scooter, a lot of open area was created. As a result there was no room for a full-sized couch. The large rear-facing verandah looked lovely but it was often unusable because the ship's dirty smoke stack rained down lots of filthy soot. There are regular often loud metallic bangs, day and night.