We booked the 6 Day Wine Country & Pacific Northwest Cruise on Noordam (Neptune Suite 7081) immediately following the 14-Day Great Alaskan Explorer which we took in Noordam’s Neptune Suite 7088. One plus of this cruise, it allowed us (as US citizens) to avoid flying on an "international flight" - flying out of San Diego rather than Vancouver.
Originally, we had booked these two cruises in an interior room - to give us an idea what a smallish room would be like on a long (19 + day) cruise. As an explanation - We were considering some of the “Grand Voyage” cruises, and the smaller rooms are FAR less expensive than even a veranda balcony room…… so, we thought to try an interior room……however, in the end we needed to use cruise credits before they expired - so, we upgraded to a Neptune Suite (aren’t we posh!).
The transition day - between the two cruises - was very simple (far simpler than we encountered - when doing the same thing in Fort Lauderdale, Florida!). We did not have to get off the ship - our shipboard account transfer was seamless, our luggage was transferred to our new room without issue or fuss (even though we were on the other side of the ship, and so, had a different set of stewards). The new key cards were actually brought to us at the pool deck (although, honestly, that was probably due to our being in Neptune Suites). We had to go through the whole pre-cruise safety briefing process and trip to the muster station, etc …….. however, we were changing rooms & sides of the ship. I don’t know if we’d have had to re-do all of that if we had stayed in the same room.
Quite Nice. Our suite (7081) was actually a nicer ROOM than our previous suite (7088). That said, the balcony on 7088 is among the best on the ship. If you are considering a room in this category - I suggest that you look at the itinerary....... something like an Alaska cruise (with lots of glacier & fjord days spent on the balcony) - 7088 might be a better option.
We spent a full day here (arriving around 5 AM and departing at 11 PM) so, we had plenty of time to take a tour and still explore on our own. Additionally, it was "Fleet Week" in San Francisco.......this was both good and bad. Good - the Blue Angles were flying over the bay & there were US Navy ships open four tours. Bad - crowds. We took a (HAL sponsored) driving tour and a trip to Alcatraz, and enjoyed it.
We took the (HAL sponsored) driving tour of the town with a several hour stop at the wonderful Buchart Gardens. Although it was fall, the gardens were still very beautiful!