Just returned from 10 great days aboard the Noordam. Previous swiss gentleman has detailed a lot of the good and bad things about the cruise,so I won't bore you with detail suffice to say the good wins over the bad for us.       The ship........Fantastic !! First time on a ship of this size,we were still losing our way on the last day. Facilities are great being something for everybody from movies to string quartet's. Always able to get a seat where we wanted and no problem with queues on the ship.Very slick embarkation/dis-embarkation operations including port visits. All in all 9 out of 10 for us.       Food.....Breakfast and lunch in the Lido and dinner in the Vista. We were determined not to eat too much so we tried to eat healthily at breakfast fruit,bran flakes and omelette's. Lunch much the same plenty salad and chicken wraps for us....then we caught site of the dessert cabinet.Need I say more.   Dinner was nice in the Vista.We were lucky enough to be seated at the rear of the ship on a few occasions and were able to watch the magnificent sunsets.   Ate at the Italian Canneletto restaurant one night,I enjoyed my fish but my wife was a tad disappointed in her Milanease steak,being a bit on the dry side.Our only gripe about food on the whole cruise.All in all 9 out of 10.Entertainment.....Plenty options for the evening but we were disappointed with the main show and felt that too much emphasis was made on 50's and early sixties music.Appreciate maybe the majority of passengers were of this period but there were still a lot of people on the cruise brought up with 70's and 80's music and we only got a short set on this one night.We even wandered into the nightclub on a couple of nights and noticed quite a few of our age group did the same.In fact we outnumbered the younger element by far but the DJ only played either 'thump thump' music or stuff I never heard off.   Missed a trick there HAL as most people stayed for a drink and left. Just think of all those 40 and 50 somethings just dying to get out there and strut their stuff!!.   Have to give 5 out of 10 for effort.   Ports/Excursions......Read the Swiss guy's comments before booking any shore trips.We concur with everything he says.It's as if HAL are trying to squeeze as much money out their customers as they can. Why pay $8 to take you less than half a mile into Corfu town.Use Ephesus shuttle from Kusadasi to Ephesus.$15 pp in an air cond coach with a guide and complimentary guide book paid on your return to the port.I won't embarrass HAL by quoting how much they wanted for the same trip.Port negatives....Too many cruise ships arriving in Santorini at the same time.   When we got off the ship there was a queue of 90 minutes for the cable car.Declined the offer of a donkey and set out to walk up the 600 steps up the cliff along with the donkeys. This is an experience you will never forget ,as the donkeys use the same path to go up and down.When they come down they are in a hurry and don't mind if they bang into you and push you over the wall!!.   After a while we realised they make a dash for the shady areas ,so keep out on the sunny side and you will be ok. You do need to be relatively fit and have water to do this by the way ,even at 8 in the morning. Athens was the same too many people on the Acropolis at the same time.I felt it was bordering on the dangerous to be honest ,just due to the sheer numbers of people accessing the site. What should have been a half hour journey took some of the tour coaches 2 hours.Again we used local transport to good effect.   HAL tours 5 out of 10

Taste Of The High life

Noordam Cruise Review by clivemac

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2011
  • Destination: Eastern Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)
Just returned from 10 great days aboard the Noordam. Previous swiss gentleman has detailed a lot of the good and bad things about the cruise,so I won't bore you with detail suffice to say the good wins over the bad for us.
 
 
 
The ship........Fantastic !! First time on a ship of this size,we were still losing our way on the last day. Facilities are great being something for everybody from movies to string quartet's. Always able to get a seat where we wanted and no problem with queues on the ship.Very slick embarkation/dis-embarkation operations including port visits. All in all 9 out of 10 for us.
 
 
 
Food.....Breakfast and lunch in the Lido and dinner in the Vista. We were determined not to eat too much so we tried to eat healthily at breakfast fruit,bran flakes and omelette's. Lunch much the same plenty salad and chicken wraps for us....then we caught site of the dessert cabinet.Need I say more.
 
Dinner was nice in the Vista.We were lucky enough to be seated at the rear of the ship on a few occasions and were able to watch the magnificent sunsets.
 
Ate at the Italian Canneletto restaurant one night,I enjoyed my fish but my wife was a tad disappointed in her Milanease steak,being a bit on the dry side.Our only gripe about food on the whole cruise.All in all 9 out of 10.Entertainment.....Plenty options for the evening but we were disappointed with the main show and felt that too much emphasis was made on 50's and early sixties music.Appreciate maybe the majority of passengers were of this period but there were still a lot of people on the cruise brought up with 70's and 80's music and we only got a short set on this one night.We even wandered into the nightclub on a couple of nights and noticed quite a few of our age group did the same.In fact we outnumbered the younger element by far but the DJ only played either 'thump thump' music or stuff I never heard off.
 
Missed a trick there HAL as most people stayed for a drink and left. Just think of all those 40 and 50 somethings just dying to get out there and strut their stuff!!.
 
Have to give 5 out of 10 for effort.
 
Ports/Excursions......Read the Swiss guy's comments before booking any shore trips.We concur with everything he says.It's as if HAL are trying to squeeze as much money out their customers as they can. Why pay $8 to take you less than half a mile into Corfu town.Use Ephesus shuttle from Kusadasi to Ephesus.$15 pp in an air cond coach with a guide and complimentary guide book paid on your return to the port.I won't embarrass HAL by quoting how much they wanted for the same trip.Port negatives....Too many cruise ships arriving in Santorini at the same time.
 
When we got off the ship there was a queue of 90 minutes for the cable car.Declined the offer of a donkey and set out to walk up the 600 steps up the cliff along with the donkeys. This is an experience you will never forget ,as the donkeys use the same path to go up and down.When they come down they are in a hurry and don't mind if they bang into you and push you over the wall!!.
 
After a while we realised they make a dash for the shady areas ,so keep out on the sunny side and you will be ok. You do need to be relatively fit and have water to do this by the way ,even at 8 in the morning. Athens was the same too many people on the Acropolis at the same time.I felt it was bordering on the dangerous to be honest ,just due to the sheer numbers of people accessing the site. What should have been a half hour journey took some of the tour coaches 2 hours.Again we used local transport to good effect.
 
HAL tours 5 out of 10
clivemac’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)
Cabin HH 1079
we were in cabin 1079 (boy and terry) personally thought the location was great.Mid-ship ,one up to the Vista dinning ,one down to the embarkation point and the main desk was 30 seconds away.Quiet location despite being close to the main facilities would definitely try for this one again.
Upper Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins