Noordam Review

Make your own fun - Alaska!

Review for Alaska Cruise on Noordam
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T. Advisor King
10+ Cruises • Age 110s

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Sail Date: Apr 2024
Traveled with children

My son and I sailed on the Noordam on April 30 on its 5-night itinerary to Ketchikan, AK and Prince Rupert, BC. It was my second Alaska cruise (my 11th overall) and my son’s first time in Alaska. For both of us, it was our first experience with a Holland America line ship.

Overall, we had a fun time and any complaints are more about details than core elements. As I always say, the mass market cruise lines are more similar than they are different.

We booked relatively late (about three weeks in advance) and opted for a balcony cabin to be assigned by the cruise line. I had gone into the booking process expecting to select an ocean view (based on price), but found that the cost of a balcony under this option was only about $100 more (total) than the cost of the OV that we would have chosen.

Cabin Review

Port Reviews

Ketchikan

We didn’t take any ship’s excursions in port, and rarely do. Much of the things on offer (kayaking, whale watching, lumberjack show, salmon bake) are things we can do at home on any given weekend if we want.

In Ketchikan, we waked up to Creek Street, then continued behind it, up the hill, then up the road past the baseball field toward the Deer Mountain trailhead. We walked about 25 minutes up the trail and then back. We understood that the return time for the entire trail would have been 3.5 hours, which would have been doable had we been prepared for it (and inclined to do it). But there was also apparently snow on the upper portions of the trail. Regardless, we still walked about 8km before returning to the ship for lunch

After lunch, we walked Northwest along the dock area, stopping at the Tongass Trading Outlet store, until we got to the end of the boardwalk-like area. We turned around, and walked in the opposite direction, past the ship and around the Thomas Basin Boat Harbor and along the breakwater to the end. Then we walked back to the dock and to the very south end of the dock, which we assumed was blocked off, but actually wasn't. The after-lunch portion of the walk added another 4km.

Prince Rupert

We didn’t take any ship’s excursions in port, and rarely do. Much of the things on offer (kayaking, whale watching) are things we can do at home on any given weekend if we want. We had considered playing golf at the local course, which would have been an easy walk from the terminal. But ultimately, we decided just to do some walking and not overbook ourselves.

In Prince Rupert, we walked northeast, parallel to the water, to the Rushbrook trailhead, then completed that trail. Instead of turning around and going back, we looped around, then walked back through a residential portion of Prince Rupert, then through the downtown area (for a total of just over 9km) before going back to the ship for lunch.

After lunch, we walked over to Sunken Gardens Park, then walked southwest along the water, stopping at the Wheelhouse Brewing Company for some drinks. It is a lovely venue with outdoor seating (albeit in the shade at the time) as well as an upstairs section with large windows, where we found a table. The drink prices were very fair, so we enjoyed the stop. After those beverages, we headed back to the ship (for a total afternoon walking distance of about 2.5 km).

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