Wonderful 10 days on the Noordam: Noordam Cruise Review by mdpooh

Noordam 5
Member Since 2011

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Wonderful 10 days on the Noordam

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
My husband and I recently returned from a 10 day cruise aboard the Noordam, our first cruise with Holland America. Our cruise left from Ft. Lauderdale and visited St. Maarten, St. Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, a private island in the Bahamas. We were considering a similar cruise on Royal Caribbean and Princess but took this cruise because Holland America was offering a verandah suite guarantee for the cost of a regular outside cabin.

I have to say that Holland America delivered a wonderful 10 days for a very reasonable price. This ship is the size we prefer, around 85,000 tons with less than 2000 passengers. The new mega-liners are not appealing to us. The ship is in excellent condition and both the common areas and the cabins were spotless. We hardly ever saw our cabin stewards but our they took excellent care of the room throughout our voyage.

We enjoyed many of the lounges, the shops and the gym during our stay. The shows were More consistently of high quality, as were the daily activities that were offered for passengers staying on board. We left the ship in each port and were sorry we missed some of them!

The food was the best we've had on any previous cruise. I cannot say anything negative about the quality of the food anywhere onboard. We had breakfast a couple of times in the main dining room, a few times at the Lido buffet, and also had room service deliver breakfast one day. Most of our lunches were at the buffet. We originally planned to have a couple of special dinners at the Pinnacle Grill but enjoyed the food in the main dining room so much that we never did. We were also very lucky to have wonderful table-mates. Our waiter, bus boy and wine steward were extremely efficient, professional and friendly, though we did occasionally have to wait a little while till the wine steward could get to us. Important note: you can bring wine, beer and bottled water on board for consumption in your cabin!

As with other cruise lines, the land tours are expensive and not as satisfying as some excursions you can arrange on your own with local tour companies or a private cab driver. We had a wonderful tour in St. Lucia with a local company called Cosol Tours. In Barbados, you can try Glory Tours. We had a wonderful private taxi driver named Emerson Clarke, whose name appeared in many reviews of Barbados.

We certainly will cruise with Holland America again. An excellent choice for an "older" crowd, of which we are members. Most of the people onboard were from 50-70 years old. There were some younger people and also a few families, but the majority of the passengers were in the age group mentioned. Holland America seems to do a great job with people with disabilities. There were many people in wheel chairs, scooters and using walkers. Less

Published 04/18/11

Cabin review: SA Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite

Quite a bit larger than inside or regular outside cabins, sitting area in addition to sleeping area, good storage space, small refrigerator, in-room safe. Loved the verandah! We probably wouldn't have paid extra for it but ship had a promotion going when we booked.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Beautiful island. Great variety in scenery from West to East coasts. Booked a private tour with Emerson Clarke, a wonderful guide whose name appeared on many websites and reviews. He can be reached by email at eclarke34@hotmail.com. Glory Tours also does a good job. The people of Barbados are well educated, proud of their island and have a high standard of living.
Read 1226 Barbados Reviews

Unfortunately, we were in Martinique on a Sunday morning when everything was closed. We also sailed at 1, not giving us much time to explore. We did take a ship's land excursion and visited St. Pierre, the town destroyed by Mt. Pele in the early 1900's and went to the botanical garden. Very beautiful island.

Beautiful island but much poverty. Highly recommend "COSOL Tours." We saw much more than any of the ship's shore excursions did for a much lower cost.
Read 1136 St. Lucia Reviews

Lots of shopping near port. Port area much improved since we were there 20 years ago.Since we had been there before we didn't take any tours. Took a local bus to Marigot, the French capital, and spent a pleasant afternoon visiting sir Roland Richardson's art gallery and had lunch at the harbor area.

6 ships were docked the day we were there. Visited Megan's Bay Beach. Breathtakingly beautiful and not crowded, even though so many people were in port. Had wanted to snorkel at Sapphire Beach but it was very windy. Easy to take a cab to the beaches. Recommend "Sunny Liston Tours" if you want a general tour of the island and a beach and shopping stop. The main town, Charlotte Amalie, is crazy busy! Jewelry all over the place, as you'll fine in all ports.

Half Moon Cay, though not listed as a port, was a lovely beach and a pleasant stop.

Read 4002 St. Thomas Reviews

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