Cruise Ratings
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
My husband and I did this first cruise together and on HA. We stayed at the Best Western/Cruise Location in Fort Lauderdale the night before, it was super. They had a shuttle to the ship and got us there by 10:30 AM, great staff at ... Read More
My husband and I did this first cruise together and on HA. We stayed at the Best Western/Cruise Location in Fort Lauderdale the night before, it was super. They had a shuttle to the ship and got us there by 10:30 AM, great staff at the hotel, good location for a pub nearby for dinner and a supermarket to get our 2 bottles of wine for our cabin. You are entitled to take 2 onboard for no charge. Our room itself was fine, everything worked well. The TV was fine, we aren't on a cruise to watch TV. Temperature was good. The staff were beyond excellent. Room was kept in great condition, was so sad to get home and have to make my own bed!! Bed was comfy, no problem in getting extra blankets, loved the bathrobes. Lots of storage, and luggage fit under the bed no problem. No complaints at all. Loved the size of the ship, can't imagine going on one of those monster ships. 1900 folks is just right. Interesting decor.....very 1980s brass and light wood????? But fine. Loved the NY times being free, checked it fairly often in the cafe. Too many pieces of paper in your mailbox....the art gallery was handing out papers every day it seemed. Mark the cruise director was very good, personable and got the job done. Temperature in the common areas was fine, not cold at all. Appreciated in the Captain keeping us informed of delays and changes, he was super. We enjoyed the evening entertainment, went to most of it. Very good singers and dancers. Good variety of shows, sometimes a hit, sometimes a miss. But lots to do in the evening. We had a 6PM sitting for dining in the Vista room. Our staff there was super. Meals were all very good. Ate there most nights. Liked the formal nights, and we made the effort to 'look good' on the other nights. The Lido was good, breakfast was yummy. Always a variety of food, didn't see anyone going hungry! A few negatives......our cabin was directly below the aft pool/smoking area. Could hear chairs being dragged across the deck. There should be a warning when you book that you are directly below the bar. One night they moved what we think were stacks of chairs at 3 in the morning, we asked at the front desk for them to check on that. It never happened again. They were very nice and even offered to move us. Smoking.....time to make the WHOLE ship non-smoking, it's 2015 folks, stop!! Spent a good deal of time in the aft pool area, and the 'saving' of lounge chairs should be stopped. You aren't there for 30 minutes, and you lose it. People dump their stuff in the AM and don't show up for hours. Port Everglades was super, getting on board no problem. All ports were fine in arriving. In San Diego we were in the customs line for about 15 minutes, went very quick. US customs were great. Used the fitness club for yoga, which I enjoyed. In Cartagena we did our own tour, loved it. Claudia's tours it was. In the HA shore excursions we were often rushed. Antiqua was way too short, In Costa Rica, San Jose we were taken to a souvenir shop right off the ship, and stayed there for a whole hour of our 4 hour tour, BAD move on their part. In Nicaragua going to Leon, again, not enough time. Don't understand, you are in a port for so many hours, but the HA shore excursions are brief, when they could be extended/give you more time. And please stop ALL mandatory visits to stores for shopping. I am not in Leon, once in my life to go shopping!!! Since this was our first cruise we weren't sure how it all worked. Now we would never book a HA shore excursion again, each port had numerous people waiting to take you out. Others did this and we heard of no problems. San Diego, Huatulco, Cabo we did our own thing and had a great time. Really enjoyed the Panama day, with all to see and the information presented. Getting off in Vancouver was super easy as we filled out the customs forms early and Border Services checked them early. A great time, we were with 2 other couples and we all had a good time. Our cabins were side by side and we were able to have the barriers removed to have one big balcony. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Stateroom staff: best we have ever had, thank you to Rohman & Roni-they anticipated our needs and the first day we asked for something specific to be done every day and they never forgot. Great job! They always kept our fruit bowl ... Read More
Stateroom staff: best we have ever had, thank you to Rohman & Roni-they anticipated our needs and the first day we asked for something specific to be done every day and they never forgot. Great job! They always kept our fruit bowl stocked and ice in our cabin which was appreciated without asking. We also always had fresh flowers in our cabin that they replaced if they were dying. Food: We have never had a bad meal on HAL and love their food and presentation. We ate at all venues and enjoyed them all. Our preference is the main dining room and have never had a bad meal there. There was also an outdoor aft BBQ which was fantastic. I was not eager to do this but we did and they had salmon, ribs, pork, chicken, prawns and more. The prawns were my favorite. The Dive-in also has improved. Main Dining room: We had anytime dining. Seems the staffing level has diminished which puts much more pressure on the staff and they barely have time to breath let alone chat to guests which is a shame. We dined here for lunch a couple of times and for dinners often. Pinnacle Grill: we had breakfast here often since we were in a Neptune Suite and the service was top notch. Previous cruises we have found it very slow but not this time. We also dined one evening and we both had the filet mignon which was perfectly cooked and delicious. Again, staff were fantastic. $29 pp. Canaletto: A bit disappointed this time as they have changed it up. They suggest a lot of sharing. I would prefer smaller dishes and not be encouraged to share. You DO NOT have to share though. Food was good but not sure we would try it again. Miss the big antipasto plate they used to take around. $10 pp. Entertainment: BB Kings Club was very good but as others have said, very loud. Great band. Ocean Bar had good dancing music (and listening) and wish it was every night. Have to check the "On Location" to make sure the times there is entertainment as some evenings they don't and the time can vary. We did not go to Piano Bar so can't comment on that. In the Vista lounge when the Noordam Entertainers performed, I enjoy those shows but my husband not so much. I do think that HAL lacks in their entertainment in the evenings though. We have only been on Princess once before and found they have several venues at the same time and you could pick which you preferred. (for example either you like the music that you can ballroom dance to or if not there was another venue to choose from). We just felt HAL was lacking in this area. Entertainment guests on this cruise were: Bande Artistique; Comedian Buzz Sutherland; Count Dimas; Sephira; Sister Twist; Michael Menes; Matilda and Patrick Murray (ventriloquist); Salvtore Hasard; Kevin Jordan; Indy and Jeff Peterson. All were good but our favorites were comedian Kevin Jordan who was hilarious and Salvatore Hasard who could play numerous instruments and had a fabulous voice. Desserts: I have to comment on this because I think they have improved. I never liked their cheesecakes before but tried one this time and it was very good. I also tried the German cake (with coconut) and it was fabulous. Pools: We used both Lido pool and aft pool. The Lido pool I can stand up in and the lounge chairs are very comfy. We spent most of the time though in the non-smoking area of the aft pool, at a table in the shade as we play cards. Library, computers and Explorations Cafe: These are all located in the same spot. The library is huge and very impressive and used lot-the librarian/computer helper is kept very busy. Lots of computers to use but we were disappointed that they did not offer unlimited internet like they did for the Westerdam Panama cruise that left before us. It sounds like they are trying it out on various ships and I think would be a smart thing to do. We bought the 250 minute package for $100 but it is very frustrating with the amount of time wasted just trying to get connection at times. Other times it was quick. Loved getting my latte at the Cafe and the staff are very nice. Flowers: The flower arrangements around the ship are beautiful and I'm glad to still see them. Hope they don't cut back too much on those. We flew to Ft Lauderdale 2 days early (luckily we did because AA lost my luggage until the next day) and stayed at the Hyatt Pier 66 Tower King room. It was a beautiful room with a view of the cruise port. The grounds and pool were beautiful and having the marina there for my husband to drool over the yachts was worth it! Final thoughts: We loved going through the Panama Canal and spent the day outside. We enjoyed the whole cruise but did not take excursions in all ports. In Columbia we booked with other CC members with Dora Tours and had a very interesting excursion. Mercedes was our tour guide and she was excellent. In Costa Rica we also did another excursion with CC members and booked with Odyssey Tours who again were very good. In Huatulco we did a snorkel trip and had another one booked through HAL for Cabo but it was canceled due to rough seas. In San Diego we took the HAL trolley which was interesting. The other ports we either just wandered at the port or stayed on the ship to enjoy the quietness by the pool. Arriving back to our home port of Vancouver is always wonderful too and it was a picture perfect, beautiful day. It was a breeze getting off the ship because we had already done the customs forms at our stop in Victoria. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2015
The food was excellent and the entertainment was great. Got to score that as close as possible to 10 out of 10. The port and shore excursions could have also been 10 out of 10 if San Diego was not included on the list. What a dirty place. ... Read More
The food was excellent and the entertainment was great. Got to score that as close as possible to 10 out of 10. The port and shore excursions could have also been 10 out of 10 if San Diego was not included on the list. What a dirty place. Looked more like a 3rd world country and the US security was both an embarrassment and a huge inconvenience. Suggest they could take some tips from any of the other countries. Now here is why I would never go again. We just froze on the ship due to the air conditioning. Lucky the weather was fantastic outside, so one could take his or her food out and eat it in comfort. If you plan to use the eating and entertaining areas, bring a ski jacket and wool socks. At first we thought it was just us, but after complaining to others sharing a table we heard from more than a dozen people, who felt the same. Most of us come for a warm get away not a meat locker experience. We ended up with awful colds and later heard from others that told us they too had to go to their family doctors after returning home. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2007
My wife and I embarked in NY for an 18 day cruise through the Panama Canal with disembarkation in Long Beach. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt, midtown NY, for five days before the cruise. The room and services were good. Location next to ... Read More
My wife and I embarked in NY for an 18 day cruise through the Panama Canal with disembarkation in Long Beach. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt, midtown NY, for five days before the cruise. The room and services were good. Location next to Grand Central Terminal and 42nd Street was great. The hotel cost about $2,500. msNoordam is new, beautiful and enjoyable. The staff and services were great. The ride was fine, smooth and trouble free. Food was very good. All other services were above average. Overall: good to superior. Embarkation: A porter took our bags where the taxi dropped us. Group numbers were assigned by Holland America Line (HAL) personnel when we arrived. The ship arrived late pushing the boarding process back 4 hours. When groups were called we quickly reached a processing agent, received our boarding pass and when aboard ship. The cabins were ready shorting afterwards. Cabin: Our four empty bags fit nicely under the bed. We had very adequate closet space and two large draws at the end of the bed. Two storage spaces above the sofa were very handy. A TV with DVD player offered CNN and several satellite channels with others for shipboard information and repeats of lectures or shows. The bath was a tub/shower combination with a storage vanity and shelf underneath the sink. The bed was comfortable. Activities: A teak deck on level 3 was very popular for walkers, some fast and some slow. Deck chairs with towels were available on levels 3, 9 and 10. Two swimming pools, a spa, gym and hot tubs were popular. Other activities included: specialists lectures on various topics, first run movies (with popcorn), bingo, bridge, crafts, team trivia, dance lessons, shopping, internet (55 cents per min) and lots of free time to relax. Variety entertainment was offered at two shows each evening. Service: The room stewart was exceptional with continuous attention to keep our cabin perfect. Meal room service was very good and prompt. The buffet on level 9 was available about 18 hours per day with very good quality food and service. A taco bar/hotdog/hamburger service was available poolside. Shore Excursions: We booked one in each port. All were enjoyable but about half were not worth the money. Most ports did not offer service near the pier so either a tour or taxi ride were required. Dining: We had early seating (5:30-6:00) on the upper level (3 vs 2) at table 12 (6 people vs 2/4/8) next to a window. The table stewart (Wayan) worked two tables with an assistant (Bodi). The attention was excellent and the food very good. We had a different menu each night. Children's Clubs: We only saw about a dozen children onboard. Disembarkation: Very smooth with and practiced elegance. We were sorry to leave. Read Less
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
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise