1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a Dave Koz Charter Cruz! Ship was contaminated with a flu bug. Hundreds of passengers on Week 1 and Week 2 got seriously ill with a flu bug (Cough, sore throat, chills, fever and loss of appetite - lasted for over 4 days). ... Read More
This was a Dave Koz Charter Cruz! Ship was contaminated with a flu bug. Hundreds of passengers on Week 1 and Week 2 got seriously ill with a flu bug (Cough, sore throat, chills, fever and loss of appetite - lasted for over 4 days). The ship was very old and when we hit rough waters it showed. Many people were sick and also got sick in the main dining hall. Germs were spreading everywhere. Food selections were scarce and they up-charged you a 15% service charge regardless of the service received. a Would not cancel our massage during the heavy turbulence going to Tasmania and I got really ill on the table. Paid for a massage that I did not enjoy. I felt sorry for the crew being forced to work in this environment. Also had to organize our own excursions due to limitation of Holland America. I would never cruise on this line again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Our group of six couldn't be more pleased. The stewards (room and dinner) treated us like Kings and Queens. The daily service was exceptional in every way besides be so helpful and friendly, but truly respectful. When we go on a ... Read More
Our group of six couldn't be more pleased. The stewards (room and dinner) treated us like Kings and Queens. The daily service was exceptional in every way besides be so helpful and friendly, but truly respectful. When we go on a cruise again, I hope its this staff and crew. The ship was clean, the rooms always up to snuff. Oh the food, beyond our expectations. The dinner stewards that we had for our set dinner hour was top notch. Truly professional in all phases. Always there to please no matter what we asked, they provide without hesitation or difficulty. The set meals were four or five course dinners with all the trimmings served with the upmost standards anyone could accept. Our tour included several ports which were well organized with great organziation and throughput. We are truly amazed just how large Holland America line is. They of course have the ship line, sister line of Princes, along with all the land base hotels, were all owned by Holland America, which made every stop transparent and smooth going. No complaints there either. Just to notch in every since of comfort and price. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
I am not a complainer and prefer positive feedback. This is a little of both. I can only compare to P. & O. Stateroom, food, staff exceptional. I did not find as much fun as P. & O. lines. The Gala nights were almost not, ... Read More
I am not a complainer and prefer positive feedback. This is a little of both. I can only compare to P. & O. Stateroom, food, staff exceptional. I did not find as much fun as P. & O. lines. The Gala nights were almost not, sure we dressed up but nothing special went on. I missed the buzz of theme nights. Activities were mostly, to me and my two daughters, boring. I mean who goes on a holiday to have lessons in cooking, computer and digital camera. The art was exceptional, the Spa was great albiet very overpriced. Shops were better than P. & O. and the bars were great altho the cocktails I love just did not taste the same as P. & O. We loved our rooms next door to each other and balconies which were opened so we enjoyed going in and out of each others rooms without having to knock. When I was sick it was great my daughters could check on me without me getting out of bed. The Restaurants were wonderful and staff everywhere as I said were exceptional,. Entertainment was mediocre but enjoyable. Summery: Theme nights more fun, activities which are fun rather than chores. Would I go on a Dam again. Not sure, but as an avid cruiser it is possible. I did win a "cruise" but was told that it is not actually a cruise you get whereas when I won one on Aria, myself and friend have a balcony suite for two and ten day cruise, so with P. & O. I did win a full cruise, have not rung yet but will be interested to see exactly what I won with Noordam. Excursions - unfortunately I am physically unable to get into a tender so could only do two shore excursions which I enjoyed immensely. I took a photography package and photographer was wonderful, we have everlasting memories. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Heard good things about Holland America and we agree. Food and service was exceptional. Our room with a balcony was very comfortable. Only negatives were that the excursions were pricey, charging for water when going on excursions, and ... Read More
Heard good things about Holland America and we agree. Food and service was exceptional. Our room with a balcony was very comfortable. Only negatives were that the excursions were pricey, charging for water when going on excursions, and charging for very poor internet. The excursions were expensive and thought they could have had a better selection. However, most the stops were very accessible on your own. The major cities were very crowded and involved a lot of waiting. Also, thought their ship announcements were very hard to hear. The ship offered a Windows 10 class which was excellent and was filled most of the time. The instructor was very good and they just needed more space. The ship was exceptionally clean and there was certainly no lack of food at any time. The exceptional service on the ship really made a difference as everyone smiled and made you feel special. Would definitely recommend Holland America. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I recently returned from an Alaskan land/sea cruise on Holland America. We were met at the Anchorage AK airport by a cruise line employee who directed us to the bus which took us to our Anchorage hotel for the land portion of our ... Read More
I recently returned from an Alaskan land/sea cruise on Holland America. We were met at the Anchorage AK airport by a cruise line employee who directed us to the bus which took us to our Anchorage hotel for the land portion of our cruise. The drop off point is the side entrance of the hotel (whose name escapes me) where we checked in with more cruise line personnel. The hotel itself was an absolute dump and one I would never have booked for myself. The place is in need of a total renovation from top to bottom. The following morning we were transported to the rail station where we boarded a glass top train to Denali National Park. The scenery from the train was absolutely beautiful and the train personnel were full of information. I loved the Denali part of the vacation. However once we boarded the boat things went downhill. We were part of a large retirement party that also included a wedding onboard. There were supposed to be champagne, chocolate covered strawberries and a wedding invitation in our cabins upon arrival. Needless to say they did not appear until AFTER the wedding. Additionally, there was confusion as to the place for the ceremony itself. Apparently the site for the ceremony was changed and no one told the wedding guests or even the bride and groom. The day of embarkation I had a massage scheduled for 8:00 p.m. just as the ship was to leave port. Immediately after the safety meeting I went directly to the spa only to find absolute chaos. There were more than a hundred or so people milling around the spa/gym for some type of raffle. The employees were scrambling around and no one could point me in the right direction. When I finally checked in I was shown to the dressing room and told to undress and put on a robe. I did so and was then escorted through the halls full of people. I was mortified to be walking around with nothing but a robe through hall after hall. The massage thankfully was blissful and put me in a better mood, although I had to then go back through those same halls to get back to the dressing room. I returned to my room to relax and unpack and found a note advising that my dinner reservations for the Pinnacle Grill were that evening at 8:30. Obviously this wasn’t very helpful to me since it was now 10 p.m. It would have been nice to have this information ahead of time so that I could have changed the day and time. The dinner was part of a package. Unfortunately for me the dinner wasn’t the only reservation screw up. Prior to the trip I booked several excursions. While reviewing my itinerary online a few days before the trip I noticed two of the excursions were not on my itinerary. I contacted my Holland America rep and asked why they weren’t listed. She emailed back and noted the itinerary would be given to me once we reached Anchorage and checked into our hotel. This didn’t occur. Once onboard I went to the Excursions Desk to inquire about the issue and was told I was not booked on any of those tours. Fortunately the tours I booked still had availability and I didn’t have to blow my top. One morning I was jerked awake by workmen hammering and drilling at 8:30 a.m. Also that morning there was a drill scheduled for the crew at around 9:30ish that shut down the elevators while people were still headed to or from breakfast or off the ship. Why couldn’t these things have been scheduled for a bit later when the majority of the ship was off on excursions? As for the food – breakfast time on the Lido deck was an absolute mess. It was obvious there wasn’t enough staff and the lines for everything were ridiculously long. They also only had one waffle maker and one crepe maker on the entire deck. Really? There were also times when I went to eat and everything was closed down. Now I have only been on one other cruise before (a cruise through the Mediterranean on Celebrity which was phenomenal in every way) and food was available until after midnight. Grant it I didn’t expect to have every choice available but a few things at least. There were a few other issues but I’ve said enough. Overall this was a letdown for something that I spent a good amount of money for and was really looking forward to. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I’m torn. I wanted so much to be able to praise my recent cruise on the NOORDAM. In the past, I’ve had several wonderful experiences with HAL, and I was hoping this would just add to the list. Sadly, that’s not the case. Don’t get ... Read More
I’m torn. I wanted so much to be able to praise my recent cruise on the NOORDAM. In the past, I’ve had several wonderful experiences with HAL, and I was hoping this would just add to the list. Sadly, that’s not the case. Don’t get me wrong: I had a nice time. But, for me, it just wasn’t up to the standard that I’ve come to expect from HAL. Maybe it was because it was a short three night cruise, I’m not sure. When I arrived at the Vancouver airport, I found the HAL rep who directed me to where the bus would be for the ride to the pier. He said the bus would be there in thirty minutes. Fifty minutes later, there was still no bus, so I found him and asked him what the deal was. He went off on me, rambling on about whose fault it is that the bus wasn’t there, and that people don’t go on line and put in their flight info, so they have no idea when to pick people up. In mid-sentence, I stopped him in his tracks and said, “Forget it, I’ll take a cab. I’m not about to stand here and listen to you berate me about why there’s no bus.” The cab cost 35 dollars, Canadian, and took about 40 minutes. Check in at the pier took another 45 minutes. Once on board, I ran into some of the other folks who were waiting for the bus at the airport; they said it didn’t arrive for another hour after I left. Ridiculous. Cabin – I had a category VC balcony room, cabin VC6046 to be exact, and it was very nice. Although the room was small, the king bed was very comfortable, and there was plenty of storage space. There was a fold-out sleeper sofa that had seen better days…the material was faded, wrinkled and the arms were worn. Which brings me to another bone of contention. This room had a king bed, a sofa, a makeup table, a stool for the makeup table, an oval coffee table, and an extra side chair. No wonder the room seemed so small. I put the side chair on top of the sofa to make more room, and it was still tight. I was traveling as a single; I can only imagine if there had been more people in the room with me. The bathroom had a small tub, and everything was in good repair. The balcony was of a nice size, and there was no obstruction whatsoever. The Ship – NOORDAM is a nice-looking ship. Her exterior lines are appealing, and she’s a very manageable size. That being said, her interior layout is a mess. It looks like they just slapped anything anywhere they could. Walking through the ship is like walking through a funhouse…curves, turns, hallways, dead ends, etc. The décor is tired and, while pleasant, there’s no wow factor at all. Perhaps that’s the way HAL passengers wanted things years ago, but those people are falling to the wayside, and the line needs to keep up. Don’t get me wrong: she’s very pretty inside….but nothing sticks out as being memorable. The fittings are also getting shabby; time for new carpet, furniture, etc. I can only hope that HAL is planning a major refit to bring her up to speed. The atrium is small, and there’s never much going on…..even in the few bars that surround it. It’s not a center hub for activities – in fact, nowhere on board is there a place that serves as ‘activity central’. On Main Deck, the atrium is flanked by the front office, shore excursions desk and future cruise sales. Even that seemed like a ghost town. The view from The Crow’s Nest is breathtaking, and it’s a very pretty, open room. In fact, it’s one of the few rooms on the ship that doesn’t feel cluttered or closed in. Her outer decks are all discombobulated. Forward on the Observation Deck is The Retreat (HAL’s version of Princess’ Sanctuary and Carnival’s Serenity). There are private cabanas that can be rented. Problem is many of the cabanas overlook the sliding metal and glass dome that covers the lido pool one deck below on Lido Deck. Why would anyone want to spend money to look at that? Also, there are no outdoor staircases in the area of the main pool leading to the deck above…people have to walk inside to get up there. Crazy. I will say that I absolutely LOVED the wraparound promenade…IMO, it’s the ship’s best outdoor feature. Nice and wide, plenty of real teak deck chairs, and, best all, no going inside to cut across to the other side. I was pleased to see several open decks that offer forward-facing views over the bow, but was totally disappointed when I found everyone one of them closed off to passengers. I finally went out anyway. I waved up to the guys on the bridge, and they waved back, so I guess it was okay. Dining – For the most part, everything was good. The food in the main dining room was just fine, and the lido restaurant offered a lot of variety. The problem (for me anyway) is the main dining room’s layout; another total mess. Walking through it, having to wind through tables that seem to be just plopped down anywhere, is ridiculous. The Lido Restaurant is even worse. Lines everywhere, super crowded, and very hectic. Another area I hope they revamp when it comes time for a refit. Unfortunately, because it was such a short cruise, I didn’t have the opportunity to try Canaletto or the Pinnacle Grill. I did enjoy the taco stand out by the pool….lots of choices, and usually very fresh. Service – Here’s where I was reminded of my past HAL cruises. Service throughout the ship, and on deck, was excellent. It was never pushy or intrusive, they were always smiling, and they couldn’t do enough to make you happy. I’ve always thought that HAL’s crew is its biggest asset, and, while I wasn’t elated by the ship, I can find no fault in the service whatsoever. Entertainment – Here’s where everything really goes south. Well, maybe not everything, but almost everything. First, I’ll say that the live band that played in the B.B. King Lounge was incredible. Great musicians, good song selection, lot of energy…just fantastic. Unfortunately, that’s where the good entertainment ended. The cast of the production shows had absolutely no soul or mojo to them at all. Everything was just so homogenized and sterile. They were also sharp and/or flat a good part of the time. The last evening they had a pianist in the main show lounge, and while this guy could play, he was cheesy to the point of being insulting. He rambled on and on about where he was from, what he majored in, his life story, etc. Who cares? Just play the piano. After suffering through three of his tunes, we left. From there we stopped by the piano bar. What a hilarious mistake. This guy couldn’t sing his way out of a paper bag, and he had an attitude. I know that HAL isn’t known for strong entertainment, but all this was just sad. Seattle & Victoria – So, HAL doesn’t dock in downtown Seattle. While it’s sort of a pain, they do provide free shuttle service to downtown, dropping and picking people up close to the market. The market itself is wonderful, and good for, maybe, two hours at the most. In addition to the market, a group of us did a basic tour of Seattle, which was very nice. As far as stuff to see and do right by where the ship docks, there’s nothing. And I mean nothing. That being said, the ship nut in me appreciated the fact that I could walk around the pier area and take photos without being harassed by security. Victoria is a lovely city, and the ships dock about a 25 minute walk from the downtown area, which is very nice. Of course the big draw is Butchart Gardens, but it takes about 45 minutes to get there by taxi or bus….and there’s no free shuttle service. A taxi costs 55 dollars, Canadian, each way, and admission into the gardens is 31 dollars per person. They also offered afternoon tea at the gardens for an additional 30 dollars. Ouch! I found four other people who wanted to share a taxi, so that took some of the sting out of the cost. The HAL excursion was about $79 usd per person, so, in the end, that might be the way to go. The gardens are incredible; I’ve never seen anything like it on this side of the Atlantic. However, I can look at flowers for only so long, so about 90 minutes was enough of that. The area around the ship in Victoria was sort of cool in that there’s a finger pier with a light house at the end of it, and you can walk out and get some great photos. The DISNEY MAGIC and an NCL ship were also in port, and I could walk right up to the front of it them and take photos. Conclusion – I realize I had many negative things to say about this trip, but, in the long run, I did have a nice time. I’m just not in any hurry to go back on HAL again anytime soon. Once the new ship comes out, or if I have the opportunity to go on one of their newer ships, like EURODAM or NIEUW AMSTERDAM, I might feel differently. I also understand that, being a short cruise, this might not be the best trip to base that decision on…at this point, I simply reporting my experience. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
My second cruise on the Noordam. The food & food service were great (very very good about handling Gluten Free requirement.). The LeCirque dinner was not as good. The excursion staff are not knowledgeable enough about the ... Read More
My second cruise on the Noordam. The food & food service were great (very very good about handling Gluten Free requirement.). The LeCirque dinner was not as good. The excursion staff are not knowledgeable enough about the walking/stairs requirements of the tours, which they should given the average age of HA cruisers. Rooms were added on deck 10 and we were excited to be up where we'd have great views from our balcony. We did, but we froze... the temp in the room ranged from cold to freezing. The main desk and maintenance staff tried to tell us the temp in our room was mormal. Finally, the last day, someone came snd admitted it was very cold and it got fixed... the LAST DAY!! :-( Read Less
Sail Date: February 2013
HOLLAND AMERICA WAYFARER SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE ON NOORDAM. The private garden tours led by Andre Viette were fabulous. The only positive aspect of the trip. Embarkation was slow. Once on the ship there were very few crew members ... Read More
HOLLAND AMERICA WAYFARER SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN CRUISE ON NOORDAM. The private garden tours led by Andre Viette were fabulous. The only positive aspect of the trip. Embarkation was slow. Once on the ship there were very few crew members available to ask for directions. The ship smelled like mildew. The ship maps kind of matched the ship layout. We had a verandah room in the forward of the ship though we requested a midship room (travel agent issue). At the front desk we learned the travel agent had not given us the on board credit and they would not honor the promotion even though I had the paperwork. Also, they would not move us to another stateroom. About the cruise and Holland America, I would never recommend Holland America Noordam ship. The ship is old, public areas had peeling wallpaper and scruffy carpet, lighting very dim and overall dingy. In the stateroom there are no safes or coffee pots. For several days, there was intermittent toilet service on the ship. At night you would go to bathroom only to find it would not flush. A couple of days the water in the sink did not work for a few hours. The Dining option "as you wish" does not work. Reservations were available for 8.30pm or later unless you go to Italian restaurant or Pinnacle; both have a service charge. Neither should have a service charge; it is simply not worth it. In the main dining room the tables for "as you wish" diners are near the service stations along the walkways. Constantly being bumped and ignored by staff meant we used room service or went to the buffet. We missed many of the special dinners like surf and turf. Room service has a limited menu of sandwiches and salads. Other cruise lines offer whatever is being served in the dining room. Other than breakfast, room service is slow and generally unresponsive. The room service can take 45 minutes or 1 hour 45 minutes. The pickup of the trays is delayed. Seven nights our dinner room service tray was not picked up. In the morning the breakfast guy could not take the dinner room service tray. We learned to put trays on balcony - oh well, sometimes stuff vanished in the night. The ship is not well ventilated. You can smell the cooking even outside of the buffet area. Some areas have strong smell of mold and mildew. Outside buffets had gnats and flies. Beverage service was quick. The cleaning off of tables was not -- once during rough seas we watched many an item fly off of the tables and hit people. The beverage folks did not do much about it. The entertainment of the "Vegas Style" shows were very bad. My mother commented that the dance recitals I was in as a child were better done with prettier costumes. The scenery was minimal. The comedy was all about married couples and often I found it demeaning to women. They painted the ship several days and the strong smell invaded the ship. The cleaning of the stateroom is haphazard at best. We had to request that our bed linens were changed after 3 days. I took a warm washcloth and wiped the walls and the cloth came back brown. Gross! Nausea was our constant companion. The spa had vinyl cushions in the pedicure chair that were cracked with exposed foam. The ship shops were nice and service there was far beyond that found elsewhere. A bad value for the cost of the trip. After the perpetual news about the Carnival ship problems, since this experience, NEVER again will I go on Holland America or any Carnival owned ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2012
This was our 17th cruise, 3rd on Holland America(HAL). We chose this cruise because it included 7 ports: St Martin, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominica, St Thomas and Half Moon Cay. We've visited Dominica and Martinique only ... Read More
This was our 17th cruise, 3rd on Holland America(HAL). We chose this cruise because it included 7 ports: St Martin, St Lucia, Barbados, Martinique, Dominica, St Thomas and Half Moon Cay. We've visited Dominica and Martinique only once prior but the remainder several times. Our favorites remain St Lucia and Barbados. The people and country side are very different but they have the most to offer in scenery and hospitality. This reinforced our original impression of HAL that it caters to the very senior population. Actually our two previous cruises on HAL were much better. This cruise had a "very" senior population. It felt like a cruising nursing home with a myriad of walkers, canes, motorized chairs, and men in shorts with compression stockings. Embarkation seemed very slow in comparison to other cruises. We boarded early but had to wait in a large warehouse with about 700 other cruisers till our number was called. Lines moved slowly. As always, the rooms weren't ready so you are directed to the Lido for a late lunch where everyone is confused due to the wierd buffet design of HAL. All food is lined on two narrow traffic ways with two cross overs to each side. Can you imagine a bunch of seniors navigating this food arrangement, much less trying to make a decision on what to eat. If you want pasta and salad, you have to walk the length of the ship to obtain each. We mostly ate in the Vista Dining Room. We enjoy meeting other people and were seated with 3 other couples from Georgia, Canada and Florida. The selection was adequate but taste frequently marginal becoming boring as the cruise progressed. The wait staff was good while the matre'd was annoying. The highlite was eating at the Pinnacle Grill. Food was excellent but be prepared to eat at a very slow pace. The ship's decor can best be described as "heavy." My wife described it as somewhat Old World and somewhat modern. Rather eclectic. Large lamp shades, ornate furniture with the colors of rose, bold aquas and royal blue. We were surprised at the amount of excess smoking on this cruise. The smell of cigarette smoke was common in the room hallways, much of the 2nd Deck, Deck 9 and on our verandah at times. Again, we never experienced this on other cruises. To compound this, we frequently experienced fresh paint smells in the hallways. Many railings were being varnished. Most ship excursions are overpriced so we generally hire a local driver as we did in Barbados. Outstanding tour of the West Coast for $20. We did a ship tours in St Lucia and St Thomas. The best value was the World Heritage Tour in St Lucia due to a young tour guide named Mitch. We traveled from Castries to Soufrier where the ship came to pick us up next to the Pitons. In St Thomas we generally go to St Johns. This turned out to be a bummer. After arriving on St Johns by Boat, we boarded our safari truck only to go around the corner for a 35 minute rest room break. Who wants to waste 35 minutes on this beautiful island? Then the driver proceeded to tell us all about Cruz Bay for another 15 minutes all of which we heard on the ferry. Entertainment in the Vista Lounge was just average. Several comedians, a pianist and several ship sponsored variety shows which lacked spark. Exception was the combo called Halcats. The small combos in the various lounges were excellent such as the Neptunes in the Ocean Bar and the Adagio Strings. The bar tenders in the Ocean Bar were great. We met what will be life long friends from England at the Ocean Bar. Overall, the cruise just lacked enthusiasm. Maybe it was due to the population. HAL does seem to be doing some cost cutting and squeezing of the dollar which is showing in service. Very sad! It may take awhile before we again select HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2012
We took a 20 day cruise (16 ports of call) with Holland America on July 16th 2012 and the first thing they do is loose are luggage. The one with $2,000.00 worth of RX's in it.! The Cabin boy put it in someone else's room and they ... Read More
We took a 20 day cruise (16 ports of call) with Holland America on July 16th 2012 and the first thing they do is loose are luggage. The one with $2,000.00 worth of RX's in it.! The Cabin boy put it in someone else's room and they had to do a search of the ship to find it, 8 hours later we received it thank god. the bag had are cabin number on two tags, one red and are name on three tags, but English is they second or third language after all! The entertainment was enjoyable but average, and because it was 20 days they repeated four shows. But sold the cruise as a 20 day cruise? What were they thinking! The food was good but not exceptionable. The first 10 day we had the best waiters, but the 2nd 10 days it was a different waiters and the service was nowhere close to the other waiter and was mostly one not two waiters. The staff is friendly. The ship is great. The verandah was ok but small as you hit the bed a lot moving around the room. The lighting in the room was poor at best. You open the closet door and it blocked all the light and the safe was in it. Bring a flashlight! HAL is one of the few lines that doesn't sell a "coke" card. You buy it in $25.00 sums? The bed was great and very comfortable. The verandah was small and of course on the wrong side of the ship, in most ports of call. (left) Your view was little or nothing, containers mostly! The tender in one port was the the last one and you had to walk foever to get to it. Overall the cruise was good but could of been a lot better. Read Less
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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