97 Holland America Noordam Senior Cruise Reviews

Noordam 82318 tons 918 cabins Last Drydock 2018 9/28/2017 Room 6090 The Good Our room was in a great location! Only a few rooms aft of the midship elevator. We had two panoramic midship elevators on either side, ... Read More
Noordam 82318 tons 918 cabins Last Drydock 2018 9/28/2017 Room 6090 The Good Our room was in a great location! Only a few rooms aft of the midship elevator. We had two panoramic midship elevators on either side, and also some central midship elevators. We had the pilot boat arrive right under us. We also got to see the Sydney Opera House from our balcony as we arrived into Sydney. On the other hand, we had a crane sitting right outside our window in one of the Fiji stops. Signature Suites come with some nice square footage (280 square feet of room and 100 square feet of balcony). If we’re going to be on a long cruise, we want some elbow room! They’re wide enough that one of us didn’t have to back up if we met at the foot of the bed on the way to the bathroom. For those with mobility problems, this is key. We had a tub/shower with a separate shower and two sinks. The bathroom was also wide enough that one could move past someone standing at the close sink to the other sink. We had a European and American outlet at the desk, and also the vanity. Since we have an international adapter sets for Kindle and iPad, we were able to utilize all the plugs. Great cabin steward! On embarkation day, we give them a written list of preferences to break the ice with them. We about two weeks in, we put him in our top five of a lot of cruises, and later in the cruise we moved him to the top three. We never returned to a dirty room in 38-days. We did leave the “Make Up Room” lock holder when we left for Breakfast and Dinner. Dining - MDR. Another excellent experience. We give the waiter, assistant waiter and boss with a list of preferences to make it easier for them. We had the same team for the entire 38-day voyage. We ate in the MDR. I don’t think we missed an evening. Our assistant waiter served us coffee with HEATED cups! Our waiter managed my allergy seamlessly. He would bring the next day’s menu with the dessert and say “take your time.” Lectures - The lectures San Francisco to Sydney were fabulous. The container lecture was the most interesting lecture of the batch for me. Especially when we got to the Pacific Islands, and saw all container ports. We wished they’d been able to continue the lectures after Sydney. Pinnacle Grill - Lunch - Really great service! We had the same waiter the five or six times we visited. I loved the chocolate dessert with caramel popcorn! Ocean Bar - Great Waitress! Again, one of the top waitresses we’ve had! We met each sea day at the Crow’s Nest for Knitting, Crochet, and Stitching. Our group numbered over 20, and we had a great time sharing stories, suggestions for upcoming ports. (One member planned to do all the Lord of the Rings Shore Excursions.) After Sydney, one of the bartenders visited daily for drink orders. All cargo ports in the Pacific Islands and New Zealand, so no Wifi. All Kiwi (New Zealand citizens) needed a permit to enter their ports. Security entered the bus and checked all ship cards and identification cards. Before we could leave the ship, they played a recording of forbidden items in New Zealand: no food, honey, wood, of any kind, etc. Only commercial bottled water. Once or twice the cruise director told us only unopened bottled water. In Napier they had a band playing in port when we returned from our EXC tour. Bus drivers must take a driving test every year, and we were happy to learn that they must exit the bus and stand next to the door to help tourists if needed. EXC Tours - Each Guide was very knowledgeable and made our tours memorable. . Clean Windows on the Buses. Nice grab bars to help climb those really tall steps to onto the bus. Good lectures by the guides. Great buses with nice long seatbelts in Sydney and Melbourne. Mentioned the super high bus steps (Tasmania’s bus step came up to a couple inches below my knee), to the EXC staff must have mentioned this to the tour groups, because the bus drivers started providing step stools. Also, noticed the bus drivers started driving the buses right up to the gangplank in New Zealand. Fabulous guide in Hobart Wildlife and Waterways. This lady is finishing her PhD in Tanmania History. Best tour guide of the trip! Napier - Sheep Sheering & Scones Mountain Ride! Great guide and great bus. This bus had comfortable seats, a screen at the front showing a live view of the road ahead. With strict food rules in New Zealand, it’s a good idea to book an excursion with a snack or meal included. This guide trained the others to drive up the mountain road. “Ice Cream Sample” was much larger than expected, I think those 4 ounce single servings at our grocery store were smaller! It would have been much better to stagger the two busloads. At the sheep sheering and afternoon tea, since both were at the same location, have one bus doing the tea while the other did the inside part of the sheep sheering, then switch. Very crowded store at the sheep shearing stop. Wellington - Guide’s coffee recommendation was SO true. Very strong coffee but not bitter. We’re so glad he suggested it, but it’s taking a long time to get used to American Coffee. Wellington has some very interesting rules for bus drivers. He pulled down a narrow street, and the cars had to make room for him by either backing up or going over curbs. The Needs Improvement One of the elevators was down for four straight days. Cruise Director did not schedule our Knitting, Crochet and Stitching group in the daily program, but it may not have been his fault. We heard this decision came from corporate. He seemed glad we found each other. At the collector’s cruise lecture, he read word for word from the handout. At the end of the presentation, he declined to answer a question about a possible conflict with a EXC tour and muster drill, and walked back stage. EXC Tours I had sent an email to headquarters about my disappointment with the way they organize the shore excursions, but so far no answer. The tours need to be staggered so only one bus load at a time at each stop. Some of the tours were to crowded, I didn’t want to shop the local stores. With a few exceptions, too rushed, not enough time at each stop, too crowded. Each bus seemed to have something wrong: A/C blowing very warm air, middle bus door didn’t open, etc. When we have a 15-minute stop, and it takes five minutes to load and unload the bus, there’s not much time left for viewing the sights. Cancellation policy now 48 hours. EXC employee worked at the desk and in the Vista Lounge with some type of upper respiratory infection. She tried to announce shore excursions on port days while she had no voice. A few days later, we both came down with upper respiratory infections too. Some EXC tours had meeting times at 11 am, but the Lido opened at 11:30 am. Also, no food stalls just off the ship in port. With strict food rules in New Zealand, I wish they’d have at least a snack on all tours offered. Tauranga - Yes, it goes in the “bad” section. We’re not planning on booking any more EXC tours in Tauranga. Our bus had very uncomfortable seats, no head rests, no seatbelts. Front seats foot area was so narrow, a man next to us couldn’t put his foot all the way down. It had a ramp down the center aisle to a step, and I saw several people fall. Also, the bus had backward facing seats. The tour guide sat in an open seat for a few minutes, then stood back up and spent the rest of the four hour tour standing at the front of the bus. We almost quit the tour at the first stop and took a taxi back to the ship. Did you make the sale? Yes, we got a couple more Future Cruise Deposits Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I spent 42 days aboard the Noordam, a medium size cruiseship of Holland America Line for about 2000 passengers from Sept. 24 to Nov. 6, 2017. This was just trhe right time for us with pleasant temperatures throughout our ... Read More
My wife and I spent 42 days aboard the Noordam, a medium size cruiseship of Holland America Line for about 2000 passengers from Sept. 24 to Nov. 6, 2017. This was just trhe right time for us with pleasant temperatures throughout our cruise. Moderate autumn weather along the Canadian und US West Coast and the first sea days on our way to the Hawaiian islands, getting warmer and more sunny by the day, hot and more trpical from Hawaii to Fidji and New Caledonia and moderate again along the Australian East Coast, Tasmania and New Zealand. The Noordam is an older (built in 2006) but reasonably comfortable cruiseship with average size staterooms, many with balcony. The ship requires major renovation and refurbishing both at the ship level primarily with respect to the air condition and the sewage system as well as the cabins with often old furniture and worn out carpeting. What we particularly liked during our cruise was the first class service of all of the ship`s staff. Everybody who we met exceeded our high expectations. This relates particularly to the very friendly and helpful room stewards as well as the waiters and their assistants in the various restaurants and bars. The quality and selections of the food were generally good at the buffets on deck nine and excellent during dinner in the main dining rooms on decks two and three including lobster and filet mignon at no extra cost on special occasions i. their gala nights of which they had seven during our cruise. Another great service was their laundry service. We were charged US $ 248 for this service for the entire cruise and had all our laundry done within one day. This service was absolutely super and reliable. But there were also issues which we didn`t like i.e the extremely high charge for WiFi (US $ 0,75 per minute!!), no free drinking water in the cabin (roughly US $ 4.50 for 1.5 litres), very steep prices for shore excursions as well as limited time in most ports. While the Noordam offers excellent shore excursions at higher prices there are however plenty of opportunities to book personal and private tours at bargain prices in most ports in particular in New Zealand where we had longer times ashore. All in all we had a fun cruise and enjoyed our time on the Noordam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
To seem Denali after missing it 19 years ago. It was well worth the wait. Train trip from Anchorage was stunning. Experience, overall, was enjoyable. Noordam shows its age but service was excellent along with destinations. Ship's ... Read More
To seem Denali after missing it 19 years ago. It was well worth the wait. Train trip from Anchorage was stunning. Experience, overall, was enjoyable. Noordam shows its age but service was excellent along with destinations. Ship's officers were first class. Shows were disappointing. Comedian was best by far. Tours tended to be very pricey. Lido Deck food could have been better. Not too many choices, way too crowded. But not having gym open after 9 p.m. was something I still can't get over. Nobody's going to walk off with a treadmill. Individual efforts by staff were appreciated, but having to have a cabin drain unclogged on first night (11:30 p.m.) after a 10-hour bus ride and a 45-minute check-in process were upsetting, but drain issue was resolved that night. Onboard shops could offer more selection. Getting off in Vancouver was the best organized of any cruise line we've traveled. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I chose this cruise because after visiting the interior of Alaska and going to Skagway, I wanted to experience the Southeast and the Inside Passage. My primary criterion for the cruise was to visit to Glacier Bay on a one-way cruise. HAL ... Read More
I chose this cruise because after visiting the interior of Alaska and going to Skagway, I wanted to experience the Southeast and the Inside Passage. My primary criterion for the cruise was to visit to Glacier Bay on a one-way cruise. HAL met those requirements. That said, I was a little disappointed in parts of the cruise, especially the Lido buffet. The food was ok, but the started closing half of the lines with only half of the open time gone. Combining that with the fact that you could not serve yourself but had to be served by the staff, it created some longer-than-expected waits. I had read that the size of the servings was poor, but I did not find that to be the case. If I ever wanted more, all I had to do was ask. I actually had to stop them more from giving too much more often than asking for more. Now to the low-light of the cruise: The Pinnacle Grill. We had to take an 8:00 reservation on the last night of the cruise which might have influenced the service, but it was awful. It wasn't the wait staff; it was the kitchen. They couldn't get the food out in a reasonable time. It took about 20 minutes to get our entree after finishing the appetizer and then 15 minutes after that to get the dessert course. We ordered steak for one and halibut for the other and shared the two. The steak was ordered medium. It came out medium rare in places and very rare (almost raw) in others. We didn't dare send it back; we would have been there another two hours. The halibut I had was not even hot, just room temperature, and was no better than what I've had at other restaurants. All in all, I would recommend that you not waste your money on The Pinnacle. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Free drinks with the HAL means a poor choice of low quality wines with excellent food. This is not a good combination. Even with a group of 7 guests ( 7 x $ 9 = $63) they do not offer you to order a bottle or 2 with a better quality. ... Read More
Free drinks with the HAL means a poor choice of low quality wines with excellent food. This is not a good combination. Even with a group of 7 guests ( 7 x $ 9 = $63) they do not offer you to order a bottle or 2 with a better quality. The free drinks package means 15 drinks. Max per drink is $ 9. They don’t offer you the premium package if you booked explore 4 in advance !. For a suite if you don’t take explore 4 they offer you a $ 500 discount, which in our case is a better deal. The problem with the shops on boards is that the assortment is similar on all Carnival ships ; little choich for men. The hotel in Anchorage was far below the standard of the HAL, especially when you booked a pinnacle suite. In our suite we were surpised with polished shoes from another suite and the same with laundry, but then 2 times. The pinnacle suites on the HAL re just twice the size than a balcony stateroom and that's it. Not really a suite like with other cruise companies like Celebrity and Oceania. Regards, Peter Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The stateroom, amenities and food were excellent. The entertainment and activities were a bit disappointing, but the primary purpose of the cruise was to see Alaska, not participate in shipboard activities. The entertainment was ... Read More
The stateroom, amenities and food were excellent. The entertainment and activities were a bit disappointing, but the primary purpose of the cruise was to see Alaska, not participate in shipboard activities. The entertainment was adequate. We took advantage of the casino, the Piano Bar and the Adagio classical presentations, as well as informative talks about Alaskan flora and fauna, an overview of Glacier Bay and the Native American culture. The trivia games, bingo and America's Test Kitchen were on our tentative itineraries, but we had so much to do that we never made it to those venues. Unfortunately, we had a sick traveler on our day in Glacier Bay. Seeing the ship's doctor, cancelling the remainder of the trip and getting ourselves home was a nightmare I will never forget. Although we had the Platinum Protection program, we had to pay for all charges up front (over $3,600) and then file a claim. Three days after our return, I'm still waiting for claim forms. Additionally, I did not make it home with a large jewelry item purchased in AK. I believe it was taken from our cabin during the cruise. In short, this cruise was very costly and did not end well. I would advise any U.S. senior citizen to take a cruise on a domestic cruise line. Holland America is a foreign line, and medical crises are a real issue. I will say that the doctor was competent and helpful, so there is quality healthcare. However, Medicare doesn't pay the bill in most instances, so if you did not buy the Platinum travel insurance, the treatment will cost quite a bit. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The ship needs a little sprucing but is due for dry dock this fall. The service and the meals were excellent as usual. The ship is lovely, newer and well planned. We loved the cruise. The last 2 weeks, the rain and fog had been present ... Read More
The ship needs a little sprucing but is due for dry dock this fall. The service and the meals were excellent as usual. The ship is lovely, newer and well planned. We loved the cruise. The last 2 weeks, the rain and fog had been present daily but for us, things changed and the temperature was very good for the whole week. The embarkation was a breeze and there was no crowds on the ship during the week and we never had to line up except briefly at some more popular food stations in the Lido. Entertainment was varied but a bit weak. The BBC films and special activities were the best. Everybody did a good job. The cruise was pleasant and we enjoyed ourselves. We went to the Pinacle and Canelleto and enjoyed both venues with local specialties of fresh fish and gorgeous steaks. The staff everywhere did their utmost to please us. There were amost 200 children on board but we hardly saw them and they never bothered us. All were well behaved. It was one of our best Alaska cruise so far. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Really enjoyed my first cruise onHAL Was on a cruise land tour through Discover Alaska and they are affiliated with HAL. The ship was very nice and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. alaska was on my bucket list soI ... Read More
Really enjoyed my first cruise onHAL Was on a cruise land tour through Discover Alaska and they are affiliated with HAL. The ship was very nice and I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the ports of call. alaska was on my bucket list soI really looked forward to the ports of call as well as the land tour. I had a balcony cabin which was very spacious, and the cabin itself was also spacious.. The food was really good and great selections.. The entertainmment was just okay, really nothing spectacular with their big productions shows. The service on the ship was excellent from the cabin steward to the diningroom staff all first rate.Since it was mostly if not all adult passengers it was a rather subdued cruise but I most say I did enjoy the peace and quiet. I recommend HAL for an Alaskan cruise, they really do a nice cruise land package Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Both the wife and I wanted to do a cruise to Alaska. Several friends that had sailed to Alaska on different lines recommended Holland America as the one we would enjoy the most. They also said to book a balcony as you could just watch the ... Read More
Both the wife and I wanted to do a cruise to Alaska. Several friends that had sailed to Alaska on different lines recommended Holland America as the one we would enjoy the most. They also said to book a balcony as you could just watch the world go by your balcony. We ended up with an aft corner Neptune. The cabin could not have been better. There was plenty of room to do whatever we wanted and the balcony was huge. We could walk up the side and see what was coming up or sit in one of the chairs or lounges and see where we had been. Our cabin stewards filled every wish and whim we asked of them. We had fresh fruit and flowers every day along with plenty of ice in the bucket. We chose "open dining" so that we could meet new and different people each night. We never had to wait for a table when we walked up at the MDR. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night and at the Canaletto one night. Of the two I preferred the Canaletto, and my wife enjoyed both equally. We met so many interesting people during the entire cruise and enjoyed seeing them later on and comparing experiences. We booked at least one excursion each port, plus walked around on our own. We enjoyed the totem poles, whale watching, and the train ride. The only downside of the trip was our accommodations at Denali Park. After sleeping on the bedding on the ship the mattress on both beds left a lot to be desired. They said accommodations were "rustic" but I think a $79 mattress from Walmart would have slept better! The bus ride from Seward to Denali was long! It was broken up by the commentary of the bus driver and spotting Moose, and other wildlife. The stories of all the excursion drivers were delightful and added a lot to the trips. Did you know there is a Walmart in Alaska that sells more than 200 miles of duct tape every year? The train ride back to Anchorage was much better than the bus trip out. When we left Denali it started snowing. For the NC woman I am married to this was a highlight not to be missed! The hotel we stayed at in Anchorage had a fantastic view from our room. The next morning we flew back to Seattle where we spent the night. We had an early flight out the next morning. One of the advantages of a Neptune Suite was priority boarding. In Vancouver there were two cruise ships boarding at the same time. We zipped past all the people waiting in lines and it took us around 10 minutes to have our cabin cards in hand and walking up to the ship. I have been told it sometime takes 3 hours of standing in line at Vancouver to board. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I wanted a nice relaxing cruise. We drove from our home in Northern BC to Vancouver so we could combine road trip sightseeing on the way o the cruise and back home. We booked midship as I am very prone to motion sickness. ... Read More
My husband and I wanted a nice relaxing cruise. We drove from our home in Northern BC to Vancouver so we could combine road trip sightseeing on the way o the cruise and back home. We booked midship as I am very prone to motion sickness. VA 5088 was right above lifeboats but did not obstruct view other than directly below. Nothing there to see anyway and it added privacy. I would have said five stars but the bed was awful due to worn out mattress. Felt like I was as going to slip out of bed due to the sagging mattress. The only other issue was failure to pick up dirty dishes after room service even when we called. The room attendant always took the next day when he cleaned the room. The view even from the room was great. We didn't go on the balcony much because we could easily see from our room. The room steward was very good. Room service delivered fast. We ate at the Lido or room service all but once. That time we ate in the dining room. My husband said it was the best steak he ever had. I had lobster from the Lido once and it was great. We are age 49 and 59 and I think most people were around 50 or 55 with a few looked to be 65. A few children racing down the hall every morning. But saw children only in the Lido other than that. And very few. We walked around the ports and did not do exursions as we wanted no time constraints, just relaxation and my husband grew up seeing whales and we have bears and moose where we live. We stayed at PanPacific and parked there. Loved it. We loved the cruise and want to go on another longer cruise with more ports. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Chose cruise because it was at the right time, and we didn't have to fly. The ship was lovely and comfortable, and the crew was friendland seemed very happy to be working there. I need gluten free/lactose-free food, and, as usual, ... Read More
Chose cruise because it was at the right time, and we didn't have to fly. The ship was lovely and comfortable, and the crew was friendland seemed very happy to be working there. I need gluten free/lactose-free food, and, as usual, this was accomodated cheerfully with delicious food. Just ask to preorder the previous evening or before noon, to make it easier for the staff. By the way, this also worked in the Cannaletto and Pinnacle restaurants. There is free stretch & abs/TBC every morning, which I liked. Team trivia was lots of fun, and educational. Our grandaughter and parents' room steward was a "saint": he rearranged their oceanview stareroom perfectly to fit a crib in a good place for them, and even sterilized the baby feeding equipment every day, and made their chaos into a pristine clean tidiness twice daily. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled smoothly. The ports were a real treat - we just choses to do walking tours becasue of the baby carriage, and there was tourist info. in each port to expedite this. In Juneau, I got off in plenty of time to take back to Invisible World an alpaca sweater which we had torn, which they had time to repair and give back to me the same afternoon. Great service all around! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had already been on the Volendam with HAL and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and this cruise was visiting the South Pacific and Hawaii. We were on board 16 nights Sydney to Honolulu we felt this was long enough for us and it was. ... Read More
We had already been on the Volendam with HAL and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and this cruise was visiting the South Pacific and Hawaii. We were on board 16 nights Sydney to Honolulu we felt this was long enough for us and it was. The entertainment was far better than on the Volendam we enjoy the evening entertainment in the Vista Lounge and the guest speakers in the day were all very interesting. We enjoyed our evening meals in the main dining room and the Staff did everything possible to serve us well. We chose a table for 6/8 which meant we sat with different couples each night. Therefore we met some lovely people from Canada America and Australia. We also enjoyed our breakfast and lunch in the Lido where the Staff were very helpful and we met lots of lovely people there also. In fact we met a lovely couple from Australia we had met on Volendam two years previous what a coincidence. The places we visited were very beautiful the small island of Davuni in Fiji. Our cabin had a balcony on level 5, it was great and we were looked after very well by our cabin boy. We only have a couple of things which we were not happy with. One was the cost of the Wifi and the fact that it was of very poor quality. The other thing was at the end of our cruise we needed the reception to call the company we had booked our transfer to the hotel in Honolulu with to confirm the time we would be disembarking the ship but they said they could not do it as we had not booked it through them, we had no phone so unfortunately we waited for an hour in the hot sun outside the cruise terminal and our transport did not turn up so we had to pay for another taxi and lost the Money we had already paid but I suppose this was a minor problem. We also contacted the chesty thing in the last couple of days on the ship which in fact turned out to be Whooping Cough which was confirmed by blood test by our local GP and we are still coughing now after 7 weeks. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I never sailed the islands of the Pacific, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. A few days in Sydney prior to sailing allowed two visits to Hunter Valley (two different companies) and a lunch at the top of the Sydney Tower. ... Read More
I never sailed the islands of the Pacific, and this was a perfect opportunity to do so. A few days in Sydney prior to sailing allowed two visits to Hunter Valley (two different companies) and a lunch at the top of the Sydney Tower. Staying at the Sydney Harbor Marriott allowed wheeling your luggage right up to the ship with no problem....very handy! Boarding was quick and easy. Tropical Cyclone Cook interrupted our visit to two ports in New Caledonia, but one stop in Vanauatu was substituted. Days were hot and sunny as we visited Fiji and Samoa - great for those who are wild about beaches, but not much in the way of historic signts. Lots of sea days - some five in a row - gave plenty of time to kick back and read if you weren't attending a cooking demo, lecture, movie or bingo. The daily "Sip & Savor" with two wines ($4 per glass) and a good snack were led by the somalier with explanation of the wines. Something new each day, and always interesting and tasty. The wine package offerered two levels of wines - Navigator and Admiral - a variety of choices in either. I chose the lower priced Navigator and was never disappointed. My major concern was the fact that my 3-star Mariner rate allowed a 25% discount on the wine package (but a 15% service charge was added) - making it 10% lower than the price listed in the brochure. The 3-star rating didn't do a thing toward discount pricing of a glass of wine at any lounge or even the purchase of a full bottle of wine in the dining room. All coffee at the Explorations Cafe was also discounted, but specialty coffee elsewhere was full price. Dinners at LeCirque were enjoyable but not that exceptional considering the charge. At my second one, the Sea Bass offered was replaced with baramundi which is just not the same thing at all. On the other hand, the Cellar Master's Dinner was excellent. Aside from food and wine - my favorite thing on board was the Piano Bar lounge that was packed every night. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
After sailing on Holland America Line (HAL), four times and the last on the Noordam in February 2017, we have come to the conclusion that HAL treats some places better than the south Pacific. 1. Ships meals have been reduced in quality ... Read More
After sailing on Holland America Line (HAL), four times and the last on the Noordam in February 2017, we have come to the conclusion that HAL treats some places better than the south Pacific. 1. Ships meals have been reduced in quality and service as 4 meals had to be sent back, due to; 1 being cold, 2 overcooked and dry, 3 a steak that was tough and suspect quality while, 4 the fish was again overcooked and tasteless, 5 a Pasta carbonara was dry without any sauce, some sauce was supplied after I ask for it, then it was edible. 2. The hygiene control on the ship was/is lacking, as my wife was infected with the cruise cough/flu like symptoms this was the second time (again Holland America) and yet has NEVER been infected on the other cruise lines we have sailed with. We have sailed around New Zealand 4 times, twice with HAL, once with Cunard and Celebrity X, however my wife was struck down with ship flu both times on HAL, but not on the other cruise lines. Therefore, the food/ships hygiene on HAL appears to be at fault. 3. It appears that HAL uses the sailing in Southern climes of Australia/New Zealand as a training ship or just the area with disdain, knowing that Australian/New Zealanders do not complain/demand as much as some other natation’s do/can. 4. The Gratuities that are expected are also in contrast to other means of transport, such as airlines where the crew wages are similar for respective position and ranks on HAL but only draw their wages/salary. Also, it has been rumoured that the crew do not get all the monies collected, but a proportion it goes into the company revenues. 5. Defects with the ship a. 3 windows cracked, 2 on the Crow’s Nest lounge forward windows and the 3rd on the external glass wall (ship) of the aft/rear right side elevator on the 4th deck b. 2 lifeboats had damaged entrance/exit hatches (the stitching had separated from the hatchway) allowing water to enter the lifeboat, which would jeopardise the safety and integrity of both, the lifeboats were 11 and 14. They were reported 3 times to the front desk and each time I was given incorrect/differing answers, they were finally repaired. Photos are available. c. In the Lido dining area, a glass tea bag caddie was cracked with glass splinters missing, it was reported and it was changed to another position, again it was reported and it was finally removed to??? d. The cup/mugs for tea/coffee in the Lido were not washed properly (suspect the dishwasher) with foreign bodies/food being left in/on the mugs. e. Our cabin bathroom was in disrepair as the floor tiles were adrift/lifting and the shower wall tiling grout was missing, with several areas having dark mildew type stains. As we were dissatisfied with the overall Hotel and engineering (safety equipment) we spoke to many other passengers and they were of the same opinion that Holland America have lowered their standards and treat the south pacific cruises as training. Also, you can see by the above list, this cruise with Holland America Line was not as comfortable or as pleasant as the other cruise lines we have sailed with, (some 10 in all) then being told that we must pay the gratuities, gives an idea of what they think of the south pacific, so much so that I doubt it very much that we will sail with Holland America Line again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This cruise was for the New Zealand Destinations... with a lot of great port stops along the way. Noordam is our fifth HA ship, and much the same facilities as the others. It seemed that the temperature control was much better than some ... Read More
This cruise was for the New Zealand Destinations... with a lot of great port stops along the way. Noordam is our fifth HA ship, and much the same facilities as the others. It seemed that the temperature control was much better than some of the other HA ships we have been on, so we were not freezing in some venues this trip. We opted for a cabin with the steel balcony near the bow, and it proved to be great... only minor problems with some exterior panels rattling in the wind, which were quickly attended to by the staff. We enjoyed the trivia, Windows 10 courses, daily devotions, Piano bar, and all of the special sessions keyed to the locations on route, like learning the "Haaka" before arriving in New Zealand. The evening entertainment was mostly good, with a couple of weaker evenings with entertainers that were not of our tastes. The HAL players were good, but of course started to repeat as we did a double length cruise. The service was good on open dining, except some tables near the back farthest from the kitchen seemed to take much longer between courses. The choices in the Lido buffet were good and never more than a few in the lineups in front of us. Had to ask for lactose free sorbet, but it was available on request, just not on the signs. We did all independent touring supported by the cruise critic forum, and made many friends through the meet and greets and activities organized on the forum. We really enjoyed the Noordam, and are planning to book another HA cruise in the future. .. and 43 days was about the right length, and 5 sea days at a time is not too many!. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to visit Tasmania and Melbourne, and this cruise went to both. In retrospect, an overnight in melbourne would have been good, Pros- The food in the Main Dining Room was wonderful. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. We wanted to visit Tasmania and Melbourne, and this cruise went to both. In retrospect, an overnight in melbourne would have been good, Pros- The food in the Main Dining Room was wonderful. The $99 package for unlimited laundry was great - we could have traveled with one small suitcase. The staff was friendly and accommodating. Our cabin was super confortable. Cons - Embarkation was a mess. Standing in the rain, waiting to get our luggage accepted, and then an hour long wait inside the terminal to be checked in was really unacceptable. No organization at all. Disembarcation was better,but just barely. They forgot to send down one of the bins with some of our luggage, Internet was non-existent for most purposes. There is little to do aboard the ship on At Sea days. I like Trivia, but not 3 tines a day Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was very misrepresented in the website and available information from the cruise line. It was only "back to back cruises" not a separate all in one cruise. entertainment and activities were mostly repeated the second two ... Read More
This was very misrepresented in the website and available information from the cruise line. It was only "back to back cruises" not a separate all in one cruise. entertainment and activities were mostly repeated the second two weeks (which were slim pickings even the first two weeks). Everyone had to disembark in Sydney and could not get back on the boat until time for new passengers to board. Would have been good to understand all of this before deciding to book this cruise. Destination was unbelievable! Did almost all private prearranged tours and really saw New Zealand. 10 days of port calls there! First time on Holland America. Best a embarkment, allowed on early and went straight to rooms! Excellent disembarkment also. Very nice staff. Staterooms have a lot of storage space. Beds and linen amazingly comfortable. Free room service wonderful, but could have had increased selection of items. Buffet eating with staff serving made utilizing this area much nicer and safer (decreased germs from passengers!), so much more comfortable utilizing this option than on many other cruise lines. Loved Explorers' Lounge area, except puzzles and may items were old and missing pieces. All need to be thrown out and new ones bought. Excellent Microsoft classes and teacher! Added more new computers after trip completed, but not enough and not enough space for these popular classes. Culinary Center was beautiful, but most times was empty and not well utilized. Salad bar and pasta bar were excellent, but terrible pizza and premade Italian dishes. Many of foods in buffet area were not warm when served. Salmon was always great, as well as shrimp. Ship is old and staterooms not completely updated and our balcony had several large rusty holes in it that were not even covered with rugs to protect us (we had to ask for this). Pictures very old and not worth looking in stateroom area and halls. Entertainment was very poor. I love entertainment on cruises and not much by cruises' performance staff and only one act that was great one night. Only showed movies in theater during port days while docked! Stateroom TV's and system were antique and very poor reception on top of that. Menu was also antique and slowly scrolled three hr span, but you had to watch time spans already completed and next day before getting to your time, then info screen then start all over and you were so bored you blinked and missed the time you were looking for! This was really disappointing. Activity choices were slim pickings! Except for the occasional item in the Culinary Arts Center, local related program and Microsoft classes there was nothing much going on activity wise on the ship! Most of my time spent walking on the outside walking deck (did help me eat too much and keep the same weight though!). Vegetarian menu was nice to order from. Should have had menus more easily available, as well as ordering options improved for days did not eat the night before in the dinning room. Also, "Dive in" eating area by pool should have other vegetarian choice such as regular vegetable burger, not just mushroom burger and grilled cheese would be nice. Signature Suites were very misrepresented online. Often read about "Suites" and thought this referred to all suites, but only was for non-Signature suites. Extra space and separate tub & shower were great. No concierge ,no pillow menu or choices and not much else. Food and choices were very nice the first few days, but declined as cruise continued. Much smaller portions and presented as two course meals, though you can order a three course meal or whatever you want. Quantity was good for me, but many who have more of appetites or binge on cruises will be surprised compared to other cruise lines. Not many standard choice that are available every day. Thank goodness the salmon was good and I could eat it. One of the few entrees available most days, but on gala nights/ special occasion nights, the menu was had even less choices and the daily items were not available. Invited to many special occasion lunches/ meals but expected to eat provided meal, even if on a special diet. No one cared to even try to eat dietary needs these days. Many days after the first week, I was tired of the vegetarian choices and had nothing I could eat on the regular menu and they did not care enough to fix something for me as always do on other cruise lines. Desert choices were slim, especially on gala nights (which is good for the waistline, but not what I expect on a cruise. Only once got a real piece of regular cheesecake which is so unusual and most of their ice cream is not worth the calories to me with most days having only vanilla, chocolate and strawberry plus sometimes one other choice. ( which is very unusual from what I am used to when sailing!). Not many vegetables served and in the dining room it was only like a garnishment (except potatoes & rice were always available). Never had so many of the staff being fairly close to the start of their contract. Tried to be helpful, but not aware of many things when asked. Always nice, but just did not display that "at your service/ cruise ship" attitude I am used to.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We like NZ and have been there on land, but wished to see the Sounds and ports offered. In the past HAL gave reasonable value for $ and "tried" to sort our differences. We are two 70yr olds and travel on ships geared for minimal ... Read More
We like NZ and have been there on land, but wished to see the Sounds and ports offered. In the past HAL gave reasonable value for $ and "tried" to sort our differences. We are two 70yr olds and travel on ships geared for minimal children.This trip had abysmal dining and very poor entertainment and shore assistance. We could not get palatable food and found that the feedback forms gave no option for feedback so after the first form went off on day 2, I fired off another on day 5 with our contact details and problems. [ Food in Vista was too rich and/or spicy for our tastes and stomachs. Standards of dress had dropped. Children allowed unsupervised and intrusive.Wait staff abrupt/overworked. Supervisors would not listen/understand. Gassed out of cabin twice by maintenance painters. Heart monitor on bike in gym was erratic/busted and supervisor took little interest. Shore/port assistance very poor.] In sheer frustration I fired off another feedback form on day 10. We got to be able to preorder meals with notes regarding the spices on day 12!! We got some decent food for the last 2 days!! There was never any personal feedback until one supervisor gave us a free bottle of sparkling wine on the last day - but no discussion. As usual the cabin staff were good. The cabin was tidy but getting a little tired. Would we go again on HAL/Noordam? We'd go anywhere if the price is right and itinerary interesting - but only if there was personal interaction BEFORE and during the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our annual company closedown in January each year, when we must take most of our annual holiday leave. The price was great for this peak holiday time in Australia. Both the embarkation and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fitted in with our annual company closedown in January each year, when we must take most of our annual holiday leave. The price was great for this peak holiday time in Australia. Both the embarkation and disembarkation processes ran extremely well, no queues All food was fresh and good quality, with the dining room providing gourmet meals each night. We initially asked for extra vegetables with our meal, thereafter a separate plate of steamed vegetables was automatically provided for our table to share each night. Dining room service was excellent. The free food on the swimming pool deck was welcome, we have cruised with other lines three times & always needed to pay for food outside the dining room & cafeteria. In addition, each day a self-serve Mexican food bar was set up on that deck, enabling us to enjoy tacos & nachos - the pulled beef was yummy! WE dined in the Pinnacle Grill for lunch on two occasions. For an extra US$10 per head for three courses plus tea or expresso coffee, this was most worthwhile. The prawn bruschetta (entree) & seafood in tomato broth (main) were highlights. We were each able to take a 750ml bottle of wine aboard on embarkation, which we could drink in our cabin. To take a bottle to the main dining room incurred a corkage fee of US$18. When we visited a wine region in New Zealand, we were each permitted to take a further bottle aboard for use in the dining room, without incurring the corkage fee. A good move by Holland America. The first sitting for dining was at 5.30pm, which meant we sometimes missed dining there due to still being ashore on port days, or missed viewing the ship's departure from ports as we were in the dining room. In hindsight we would choose the later dining option. Our major gripe was with the cost on internet on board the ship, very expensive. Also quite slow according to those who did use it. Accordingly, we waited for port days to use free wifi at local libraries or cafes. However, in NZ this was not always satisfactory as it appears they are still using 3G, at times we were unable to read incoming emails & text messages, & most times could not send emails, although text messages were fine. The entertainment on board was first class, ranging from an in-house band, in-house singers & dancers, to guest comedians, musicians, & singers. There were a variety of classes especially on sea days, including a unique series of computer classes dealing with all aspects of Windows 10, & also several computer Q & A sessions .Everyone found these classes very helpful. Other activities included cooking demonstration, DIY cocktails, galley tour, fitness classes, health & beauty talks, excursion previews, just to name a few. We didn't take any ship organised excursions, mainly due to cost. As we travelled with another couple, we hired cars at two ports to travel further afield, & noticed other groups especially families, did this as well. One excursion I saw advertised privately online prior to the cruise for NZ$50 (Napier town tour 1 hr), yet the ship charged US$69 for exactly the same tour, with the same company, which was double the price (taking into account the exchange rate). This is something cruise ships need to look at closely, to encourage more use of their own shore excursions. For the cost of our cruise, we would definitely sail with Holland America again! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Xmas and New Year at sea. What more could you want. You want to take that special bottle along with you, and if you are flying in from interstate then don't share your baggage. Your baggage is going to be confiscated because ... Read More
Xmas and New Year at sea. What more could you want. You want to take that special bottle along with you, and if you are flying in from interstate then don't share your baggage. Your baggage is going to be confiscated because you have bought more than your allocated share of alcohol on board and you are not going to get your bags until you go and get them. The lines of people waiting for customer service are horrendous so be prepared. We finally got our bags at 11PM. The ship is probably in need of an upgrade, however the cabins are very comfortable and you could not ask for better service from the cabin stewards, but once again things fall apart. If you want room service the wait could be 45 minutes for a coffee There is no where to get one close to your room. Breakfast room service was on time whenever you wanted it and great if you wanted to just sit out on the balcony without having to try and hustle to get a table at the Lido Buffet This did not deter the positives. Dining In the Main dining area was exceptional so if you want a good memory then book this in when you first book. The service in this area was also incredible so I am not being over critical Entertainment. B.B.King.Bar. WOW. What a great show. New Years Eve. Truly a night to remember. It could not have been bettered. Well maybe the fireworks at the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The night was something that Holland America can be proud of. Ports. I think everyone tells you about the Shore excursions. We along with everyone else took our obligatory photos. Fiji and the environs are known for their people and the pristine waters. They lived up to both. The people are wonderful. I am glad we have them as neighbors. The waters abound with beauty and you can't not like it Then all of a sudden you are on your way home and it sinks in that the holiday is almost over. Yes it has been good. It could have been great . What can I compare it to?. I can only compare it to some of the hotels of Asia or Europe, after all this is a big floating hotel. Did it live up to some of them?. I have stayed in some places that Holland America could take some lessons from in customer service. The service desk on board was abysmal. The Hanoi Elegance Group and even the Bich Duyen in Ho Chi Minh are pillars of high standards of service that this ship could learn from. I am home now. I open my bag of duty free alcohol. Only to find. No it could not happen. Yep they have given me the wrong one. Several emails over the next few weeks have gone unanswered by Holland America. Did that make me feel like a small fish in a big pond?, Do they even care? Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
my 3rd time on the Noordam, 9 weeks totol, so i know her well. For the price of apx 110 per night for a balcony the value is terrific. The BBKing band plays 3x per night and are an exellent ship dance band. The Theater ... Read More
my 3rd time on the Noordam, 9 weeks totol, so i know her well. For the price of apx 110 per night for a balcony the value is terrific. The BBKing band plays 3x per night and are an exellent ship dance band. The Theater is awsome, the shows ok. The piano bar is good, The room good, the food great. The evevators were fast and frequent and all over. There are two one hour happy hours per day, so two good coctails are only 12 dollars including tip. The Microsoft classes are very good and free. The personell are great, and knowledgeable. I would pick a balcony room on floor 4 because it is larger and near the action. I don't have any real complaints. but here are a few. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR PLANET -- I dislike people grabbing four towls for each visit to the pool, (why not take them back to your room for reuse) People throwing away lots of uneaten food, at the buffet seconds are free- so get small portions of what you do not know for shure you will enjoy. Maybe take back to your room what you can not finish for later. At the show if the theater will likely fill up do not leave on empty seat between the person your sittinng next to. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
This was our sixth cruise and the 4th line we've been on. We liked the ability to visit Australia and New Zealand in one trip. Most of the ports were very interesting, with the exception of Picton, New Zealand. The ship is older ... Read More
This was our sixth cruise and the 4th line we've been on. We liked the ability to visit Australia and New Zealand in one trip. Most of the ports were very interesting, with the exception of Picton, New Zealand. The ship is older and has low ceilings with often dark carpet, ceilings or walls which makes public spaces seem small. We were usually back at the ship for dinner and ate in the dining room. The food was mixed, sometimes very good and sometimes not good at all. This is the only line we've been on with fixed seating. When they issue your ID card it includes your table. If we had chosen anytime dining I'm sure this wouldn't be an issue, but we like having the same wait staff who know our preferences. We were on our anniversary so not having a table with some quiet and privacy was a big negative. All the staff on the ship were very friendly and the room stewards and wait staff were excellent. The only frustration was taking eight days to properly fix our toilet. The in room entertainment is from the dark ages. We had a balcony room and the TV was small and in a corner so not convenient to watch, the remote didn't have numbers so you had to scroll slowly to get from one channel to the next, there had few non-news stations to choose from, reception was good to poor and the TV guide can't be advanced so if it 10 pm when you turn on the TV and the guide is at 6 am you have to wait a couple of minutes before it gets to 10 pm. There is a DVD player so you can go to the front desk a get a DVD but I don't think any are movies released within the past 10 years. We typically do shore excursions because the cruise line excursions tend to be less organized, slower getting started and are over priced. We used Zealander and Canterbury Leisure Tours and we very pleased with both. We did an excursion with the ship in Napier, Hawke's Bay Express which was fine. Melbourne is probably the most confusing port. Go to the terminal at Pier Station and by Tram or Bus tickets. The Tram is a bit faster but you have to walk a block to get to the stop, so if the weather is bad, take the bus. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
The Noordam is one of HAL's older, smaller ships. It's in good condition but doesn't sparkle. The crew is well trained and very nice. But the reasons for taking the Atlantic Coast cruise are the stops. Each one is a gem, ... Read More
The Noordam is one of HAL's older, smaller ships. It's in good condition but doesn't sparkle. The crew is well trained and very nice. But the reasons for taking the Atlantic Coast cruise are the stops. Each one is a gem, even if you just stay in the cities for the day. We loved Montreal, Quebec City, PEI, Nova Scotia, Bal Harbor, Boston, NYC, Charleston and Ft. Lauderdale. There was a terrible storm one night and all I could envision was the life boat drill and having to try reach the life boats if the alarm sounded. ...(The housekeeping staff was available with anti-nausea pills.) But the capable (and charming) captain steadied the ship and we made it through the night. Whew! Here are my thoughts about the ship: Internet is outrageously expensive. There was a Microsoft professional aboard giving excellent courses....but there was no connection to the internet for the courses. Ridiculous We tried open seating dinner the 1st night (we were with friends). With no reservation they gave us a small table in a very noisy area. The food was overcooked and cold. The wait staff indifferent. The next night we changed to the upstairs dining room and the food and service were very good. Avoid open seating. The shops on the ship were pitifully stocked....simply nothing to buy, not even a decent souvenir. The evening entertainment was not first class. After a few tries, we simply avoided going to the shows. The piano bar entertainer was excellent. So were the pre-dinner violin concerts. Our room was adjacent to a gang plank....be sure to avoid any rooms near gang planks....noise when disembarking and re-embarking, banging doors during the storm. Should be changed to a storage room. Overall the atmosphere on the cruise was friendly and happy. Lots of retirees out to see the beautiful east coast of Canada and the USA. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Three first time cruisers, 19 days from Honolulu to Sydney. Loved the ship, great size 1900 guests., not too big not too small. Found the ship to be elegant and stylish for my tastes. Our travel agent choose cabin F1001 on the main ... Read More
Three first time cruisers, 19 days from Honolulu to Sydney. Loved the ship, great size 1900 guests., not too big not too small. Found the ship to be elegant and stylish for my tastes. Our travel agent choose cabin F1001 on the main deck with window on the outside due to three sharing (two singles + sofa bed. Great size and very quite. Loved the MDR for breakfast and dinner, menu selections and quality of food was excellent. All servers were outstanding. Did not enjoy the Lido that much for both quality or choice (just me) the other two I travelled with did enjoy the Lido. Tried Cannoleto and enjoyed it, lunch at the Pinnacle Grill and found to be not as good as the MDR in both quality or service. We found the entertainment a bit lacking. The HAL singers & dancers (think Glee) we enjoyed and a couple of the featured singers. But overall a bit drab. BB Kings was a stand out and the cooking shows I enjoyed. The service generally was outstanding all over the ship, especially our cabin stewards, servers in the MDR. Just loved late night drinks in the Crowsnest (amazing team) Visited lots of South Pacific ports which were generally fun and interesting. Organised 4 ship excursions and 4 non-ship excursions. Ship excursions expensive in comparison but enjoyed them. The only place really didn't care for was Suva (on all sorts of levels) but didn't do a tour just walked the town and local museum Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Having been on a number of cruises with Holland and having over 50 cruises of varying lengths we chose this one for the itinerary. While the entire trip was above average there were things like no hot water in our suite for the first ... Read More
Having been on a number of cruises with Holland and having over 50 cruises of varying lengths we chose this one for the itinerary. While the entire trip was above average there were things like no hot water in our suite for the first week, long dinners (2.5 hrs at times) due to insufficient or lazy waitstaff, desk personnel who couldn't or wouldn't take responsibility and help, and a cruise director John who was less than stellar. On the plus side our room stewards were exceptional, the on board lectures were absolutely great, and once the hot water issue was fixed our suite was good too. The BAND was also great being able to accompany a variety of acts brought on board to entertain. The security on the ship while getting on and off was the best I've seen on any recent cruise. They were courteous and helpful, especially since I couldn't go through their scanners. Holland America, in the past, has catered more to the crowd over 50, but now appears to be trending toward a younger crowd, at least according to the cruise director John and from what we witnessed on board. We regret this trend and feel there are other ships for families and the younger crowd to sail while maintaining a means for the older crowd to enjoy their cruise. We just may need to find another way to sail. They gave up the Neptune dance band, the singer in the crows nest, and other once cherished memories we enjoyed for those over 50. Instead they have opted for loud music, bright lights flashing into the faces of the audience and more of a disco or loud New York night club scene. The lead singers were not as strong as in the past but the dancers were good, when you could see them through the fog they constantly pumped through. There were a number of us who complained the fog made breathing more difficult, but Holland took no heed and the cruise director said it was all part of the show. The entertainers were exceptional except for the "mind reader" who constantly was speaking into his lapel microphone to his second on stage. It was almost comical he was so bad. Before ending I must send Kudo's and best wishes to Jackson, up in the Leido. He knew my name and started making my breakfast omelet the moment he saw us. Keep it up Jackson you started every day with your ray of sunshine. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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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