4 Holland America Noordam Gay & Lesbian Cruise Reviews

I was on a 12 night cruise from New Zealand via Tasmania finishing up at Sydney Australia. The cruise was to include New Zealand North Island, New Zealand South Island, Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney Australia. Embarkation in ... Read More
I was on a 12 night cruise from New Zealand via Tasmania finishing up at Sydney Australia. The cruise was to include New Zealand North Island, New Zealand South Island, Tasmania, Melbourne and Sydney Australia. Embarkation in Auckland was bad. Their boarding ramp broke and this added a few hours to the ordeal. Not a great start. The room (see below for cabin description) was very poor, dated and with quite a few issues. The ship itself was quite dated and in need of a lot of attention. Hit and miss on reception staff. I took pictures and videos which I presented to the reception staff who did a lot of nodding, agreed to do things and then didn't do anything. Needed constant chasing. That said, eventually one reception person did sort me out and was very good. (they are on shifts so quite hit and miss). I had also had a problem where my door didn't close at all. This was quickly sorted out. The other staff on the boat were very good (restaurant etc) and very friendly. I approached Holland America head office with these issues, offered to show them the evidence in the form of pictures and videos I took of the knocking noises, and of the poor customer service on the ship regarding this. They were not interested and all I got from them was a dismissive "Sorry you feel that way" type response, to quote them "extend our apologies if you feel their response was unacceptable". Very poor response. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This review is for an Atlantis Events cruise from Auckland to Sydney with six stops on a Holland America ship, Noordam (built circa 2006). This was my first cruise. We chose this cruise because many of our friends have done them and speak ... Read More
This review is for an Atlantis Events cruise from Auckland to Sydney with six stops on a Holland America ship, Noordam (built circa 2006). This was my first cruise. We chose this cruise because many of our friends have done them and speak highly of their experiences. We spent two days in Auckland before departing to Gisborne, Wellington, Akaroa (Christchurch), Hobart (Tasmania), Melbourne and Sydney. Boarding problems delayed our departure, but before long we were on our way. Being my first cruise, I wasn't really aware of and didn't pay attention to the fact that we were circling an island for several hours after we left Auckland and I am still unsure why we changed course. Atlantis Events and/or Holland America diverted the ship from making the planned stop in Akaroa (Christchurch) due to weather. Hard for me to believe that since Akaroa is a protected harbor. If you look on a map, the cruise was to go from Wellington to Akaroa and then south around the south island of New Zealand. Instead, we were stuck for three days at sea while we lumbered along at a leisurely pace to keep on schedule (i.e., not get to Hobart before we were scheduled). This significant change in schedule was, in my estimation, unnecessary, and definitely infuriating. The change in course lead to Holland America and/or Atlantis Events saving tens of thousands of dollars in fuel. We didn't get so much as a credit toward a future cruise. Keep in mind that many of the staff on the ship were lovely. Very attentive, happy to help and genuinely appeared to enjoy their jobs. Most were from Indonesia and the Philippines, and they were outstanding. Unfortunately, there were 20-25% of the employees that absolutely hated their job (or hated us). You could tell because they didn't smile, make eye contact or go beyond the minimum of what they were required. I have heard for years about how great the food is on cruises. Not being someone who enjoys eating large amounts of food (read, all-you-can-eat buffets), I wanted quality over quantity. I also don't eat a lot of meat, but there were plenty of hunks of unknown meats under heat lamps that didn't look particularly appetizing. The salad bar (not self-serve) on our cruise was ALWAYS busy and very understaffed. It was frustrating. You could go to a sit-down restaurant with table service (rather than the buffet-style food served on the lido deck), but this food was only marginally better. There was, of course, the extra-special option of going to a restaurant and actually paying for a high-end meal. Since I wasn't impressed with the food on the lido deck or the sit-down restaurant, I didn't bother. The number of deafeningly loud announcements through over-driven speakers by the crew at all hours was very disrupting and usually sounded like the adults on Peanuts. I felt like an announcement that loud should have been left for "abandon ship!" instead of "we're having a sale on (overpriced) watches on the lido deck" or whatever equally silly announcement they were making. It was ridiculous. The 'drinking' water on this ship tasted like it had been stored in a plastic container in the sun for a day or two, making it taste horrible. The upside was that we could drink the four $5 bottles of water (12 oz) left in our room every day when attendants came in to make our bed. If you're a coffee drinker, you'll need to lower your expectations considerably since the swill they served for coffee made instant coffee taste like Italian espresso, but you can go to their 'espresso bar' and pay $4.50 for a latte, so you aren't totally screwed. If you ask me, it takes a lot of chutzpah to provide undrinkable water and coffee, and then essentially force you to pay their outrageously over-priced bottled water and coffee. In the end, we paid an outrageous $1,354--almost all in drinks and one $100 bottle of wine for my birthday dinner. Holland America also enjoys using only US Dollars as its onboard currency and does not recognize the currency of those countries whose ports they frequent, so you won't enjoy any 'deals' on exchange rates. Buyer/cruiser beware! Take note of the year your ship was built. Read recent reviews of it so you know what you're getting yourself into. Ultimately, I don't think I would ever do another Atlantis Events cruise, and I would NEVER do another Holland America given this experience. Good luck! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Ship was chose for us as a charter cause i would not have picked it myself. While the crew were overall very nice and glad to see us, the ship itself was extremely dated and not worth the money. The furniture was worn and torn, half the ... Read More
Ship was chose for us as a charter cause i would not have picked it myself. While the crew were overall very nice and glad to see us, the ship itself was extremely dated and not worth the money. The furniture was worn and torn, half the rooms had blasting a/c and the other half were saunas. Constant plumbing issues, power issues, and the fact that the maintenance staff were either so overworked or just past the point of caring that nothing seemed to get fixed. When i realized that part of why my room was so warm was that a prior passenger had squeezed a cruise daily into the a/c vent, i called and knowing that i wouldnt get much help i begged the person to bring a phillips head screwdriver so we could get it done rather than have them look, evaluate, and schedule. The promised they would...they brought a corkscrew. They called another staffer who brought a broken leatherman with a phillips bit so worn it was an icepick. They were discussing what to do and i grabbed the leatherman and used the flat head to get it open. That and the televisions on the ship are widescreen tubes that can only be watched in a totally dark room with tylenol for the static. Rooms were caked in salt and dust and mold. There are much nicer and newer vessels out there. Do NOT pick this one. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I have been on a total of 10 cruises in the past 10 years (8 of which were in Europe), four on Celebrity, two each on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, one on Princess, and this one. I was under the mistaken belief that HAL would be on a par ... Read More
I have been on a total of 10 cruises in the past 10 years (8 of which were in Europe), four on Celebrity, two each on Royal Caribbean and Norwegian, one on Princess, and this one. I was under the mistaken belief that HAL would be on a par with Celebrity. Not only was that belief mistaken, but Holland America is far worse than any of the others. First, the good. Our stateroom accommodations (Superior Verandah Suite on Deck 8) were lovely. The ports of call were excellent, but that was the primary reason we chose this particular cruise. The quality of the food in the main dining room and the Italian specialty restaurant was good. The medical staff was outstanding. Room service was prompt and very good. Now, for the bad (in no particular order): The general level of service was abysmal. In the Lido and pool areas, items were not cleared from tables and surfaces. In fact, one Lido employee refused to clear items from our table. This was called to the attention of a supervisor, but his response was unintelligible. The service in the main dining room was hit or miss, depending on the server and the day. Some was excellent, but at other times the staff seemed overwhelmed. The amount of space in the Lido and pool areas was sometimes insufficient to meet the number of people on the cruise. People were eating on furniture in the elevator lobby area outside the restaurant when they couldn't find tables and were laying all over the deck when they couldn't find lounge chairs. Besides the aforementioned, the Lido had other problems as well. Lunch hours were insufficient given that many people returned from tours about the time lunch ended. The presentation of some of the items (e.g., salad bar, desserts, juices) was poor. Ice was frequently in short supply and drink dispensers ran out or dispensed the wrong thing (e.g., water instead of lemonade). The ship ran out of lemonade two or three days prior to the end of the cruise and lettuce the day prior to the end of cruise. The condition of some of the furnishings was in disrepair. For example, I think if I attempted to donate your pool lounge chairs to Goodwill, they would reject them as being not sellable even at Goodwill prices. The manner in which the Tunis port was cancelled was really unacceptable. Passengers were not advised officially of the cancellation until well after the time that the ship should have docked. Until the captain spoke, no ship employee would confirm anything. Since the decision was supposedly made around midnight, a letter should have been slipped under every cabin door so people would not have found it necessary to rush in the morning to prepare and have breakfast. No real reason was given for the cancellation except for the very vague safety concerns. Given the fact that other sailings had also skipped Tunis, the ship should have been prepared with a contingency plan to call upon another port, if necessary, rather than have a sea day. It was certainly foreseeable that a diversion might occur and alternative arrangements should have been made in advance. I had occasion to visit the medical staff because of a fall I took on a wet deck. The reason the deck was wet in that area was because an employe was pushing water from the deck above onto the deck below, directly in front of an entry door. Upon embarkation, we found that the toilet in our cabin was not clean. There was a caked on substance on the bottom of the seat that appeared to be feces. We advised our cabin steward and it was cleaned. On the last morning of the cruise at about 3:00 AM, there was a fire in the incinerator. The captain made repeated announcements about it, but some people apparently did not understand and donned life jackets and went into the hallways.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
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

Find a Noordam Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click