3 Holland America Noordam Entertainment Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of itinerary (ports of call). There were a lot of sea days, but past experiences told us that we would have decent entertainment and events to fill the time. Wrong! Holland America, has cut back so ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of itinerary (ports of call). There were a lot of sea days, but past experiences told us that we would have decent entertainment and events to fill the time. Wrong! Holland America, has cut back so drastically on the quality of the cruise experience, that we would avoid travelling with them again. We paid substantial money, and did not get decent value for it. The nighttime entertainment on our 31 day cruise, included 4 evenings with juggling acts (that were appropriate for a child's birthday party), a movie that was featured twice, the ships own singers and dancers that did their 3 shows, twice, as well as some Australian singers that were promoted as professionals of high calibre, but may have been appropriate as lounge singers. Gone are the days of afternoon entertainment and live music on the Lido deck. I was told that this has been taken away frome all Holland America's fleet. The Sailway parties are now unhosted, so they never get started as a party, and the only music for them is not age appropriate to the crowd, and is only over the PA system. There are no more on deck parties, as they have had in the past, and forget about any organized events like they have done in the past with horse races and decorating the horse or karaoke. Sincerely, you can stay home and read or play bridge at no cost, whereas they charge a bundle to supply a chair for you to do this. The portion sizes of meals have shrunk, although you can always order more, but you pay an additional cost to eat in their other restaurants, and the food in no better. Their beef meals are outstanding, but be prepared to be disappointed with overcooked and mushy fish. Five out of six fish meals I ate, including in the premium restaurant were overcooked, and these are professional chefs! Be prepared to pay $13.50 per person per day, for gratuities, plus an automatic 15% gratuity added to all drinks, which are already overpriced. Don't expect to find anything more than a mediocre bottle of wine for only pennies under $30. Keeping in mind that they purchase all their alcohol, Tax and duty free, they still charge prices equivalent to mid to high-end market prices. We asked for the daily paper to be delivered to our cabin. Never saw it. We booked and had written confirmation for dinner nervous reservations at a premium restaurant, they screwed up the date. We had our Australia visas all lined up and printed. They told us that one of ours wasn't registered, but for $35, they could do that for us. When I proved it was all in order, they discovered it was another passenger that wasn't registered for the visa. This after I waited in a long line up to prove my point, and I am not sure that I got a sincere apology. The best ports of call seem to have very limited stop overs, and some secondary ports have long ones. Ship excursions are priced significantly higher than the equivalent tours purchased directly from local vendors. It seems that this cruise line constantly has their hand in your pocket, once you have paid for the trip and boarded the ship. The well to do, like to be ripped off. Those of us of average means seem to get ripped off as a result. Many of the free seminars, are just sales pitches to promote the over priced spa treatments, or to sell you their "snake oil" health and beauty products. All in all, for value for money, there are better options available than Holland America. Shame on their management for down grading what was a great Company! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted a quieter, more mature cruise. It was a Seattle to Seattle cruise with a 2 day Denali Land Tour add on. We booked the Signature Suite which was quite nice. Lots of extra room, great bathroom with ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted a quieter, more mature cruise. It was a Seattle to Seattle cruise with a 2 day Denali Land Tour add on. We booked the Signature Suite which was quite nice. Lots of extra room, great bathroom with double vanity, shower and a bathtub. Beautiful veranda and the bed was quite comfortable. Our Room Steward was great! I've only sailed on small ships so this was a "big" midsize ship for me and we were testing it out. The staff and crew were wonderful, helpful, nice and friendly. My problem was with the cruise set up and the old and worn ship, definetly in need of a refurbish. The cruise before ours had an outbreak of Norovirus so a strict safety protocol was instituted. I have no problem with safety, I certainly don't want to get sick, but what I do have a problem with is the lack of enough staff to serve the guests. Nowhere was this blatantly apparent but on the Lido deck buffet. We had to wait in line for 10-15 min just to get one cup of coffee. We were not allowed to serve ourselves which is where the lack of staff came in. The lines were horribly long and the portions served very small. If you wanted more you had to wait in that line again and the food was mediocre. After a few days the safety protocols were slackened but we had another outbreak so back to the lines we went. By the end of the cruise we felt like cattle being herded here and there. I do have to say that the Pinnacle Grill was fabulous. On a good note, the weather was amazing, not one day of rain which is unusual I'm told. The ports were interesting and fun as were the excursions. The captain did a great job cruising Glacier Bay making sure everyone on each side of the ship got to see it all. Next we were loaded into motorcoaches for the drive to Denai. It was an 8 hour drive with rest stops and lunch along the way. It was a very long day and th buses were not that comfortable and dirty. Some guests upgraded to the train, which would have been nice to know. The Denali tour was indeed worth seeing, beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. We stayed at McKinley Chalet which we enjoyed very much. Our room was nice except that there was no air conditioning which made it extremely uncomfortable as it was very warm. Even the fan they provided gave little relief. With the prices you pay for an Alaskan Cruise you'd think they could put in at least a wall unit. After Denali we took the McKinley Explorer to Anchorage. It was a very pleasant trip, beautiful domed viewing cars and a nice breakfast and lunch available in the dining car for purchase. Our tour guide, Jake, was absolutely wonderful. He's a local Alaskan and filled our journey with colorful stories of life in Alaska. I must say he was the best guide we had the whole trip. So our hotel in Anchorage, The Westmark, was old and dated. It felt dirty. I'd rate it a 2 star at best. Our room was nice and large with a balcony overlooking the bay which was great. We ate dinner across the street and it was very good. We had breakfast at the hotel and it was adequate. I expected much better accommodations and was severely disappointed. So would I recommend this cruise line? I'd have to say no. I do not have experience on these big ships but have to say the smaller ships far surpass this ship in accommodations, food and service. Alaska was wonderful and I highly encourage anyone considering going to do it!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Picked this trip for Itinerary and HA reputation. We have cruised many times and this by far was one of the more expensive and least favorite. Fortunately Alaska is beautiful so the HA did not affect that. Sea days and lack of ... Read More
Picked this trip for Itinerary and HA reputation. We have cruised many times and this by far was one of the more expensive and least favorite. Fortunately Alaska is beautiful so the HA did not affect that. Sea days and lack of activities left for boring, wasteful time on the cruise. Bar tenders acted as though they were put out to get as drink and overall service was weak as they already are guaranteed their gratuity. Getting on and off the ship was well organized so that was good. The land portion was good, primarily because of the train and Denali park trip inside the park. The accommodations were just ok and pretty much on your own to figure out what to do. We did like the package f r purpose for complete laundry for the week. Thought it was fair and good. We did enjoy the comedian and magician they had on board. Casino was small but decent. no place to really dance as the house band would only play a 45 min set Rate the cruise and HA about a 3-4 out of 10 as we typically see at least a 7-8. We have cruised many times in many itineraries internationally Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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