25 Holland America Noordam Senior Cruise Reviews

Cruise was part of 23 day Rockies and Alaska package. Paid extra $1200 to be upgraded to Verandah and had a cabin that was partially obstructed and the balconies from higher decks looked down on our balcony. Food in the main dining room ... Read More
Cruise was part of 23 day Rockies and Alaska package. Paid extra $1200 to be upgraded to Verandah and had a cabin that was partially obstructed and the balconies from higher decks looked down on our balcony. Food in the main dining room was extremely patchy and not of the standard promoted. The embarkation process at Vancouver was very prolonged as guests were herded like cattle from area to area. Once on the ship the cabins were available which was a plus. Found it almost impossible to hear announcements as they are not on the ships TV. The information provided on the ship tv was respective and the same movies/ shows played all day. Our cabin attendants were helpful but were not fluent in English - great service with always replacing towels etc. The whole experience was mediocre at best and it is an experience I do not wish to replicate Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have Christmas and New Year on a cruise and the HAL had been recommended by some American friends. We had a wonderful surprise when we were upgraded from a SS midship to a Neptune suite at the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to have Christmas and New Year on a cruise and the HAL had been recommended by some American friends. We had a wonderful surprise when we were upgraded from a SS midship to a Neptune suite at the back of the ship.A really big cabin with an L shaped veranda at the back. Having access to the Neptune lounge was a plus, the 2 concierges could not have been more friendly and helpful and the free capuchino was another plus! As a handicapped person I did find the long distances to other places on the ship was a problem,which was why we booked midship, but we worked around that problem by choosing room service a lot of the time.We had some problems the first few days, with cold food and missing items, but after a visit to the desk and a talk with Gilroy, the maitre d, it was soon fixed. Our main problem, which caused us to leave the cruise after the 1st section, was the ship's doctor.We had problems understanding him, and the other medical staff, and he did not seem to understand us.He seemed to be very unsure about what procedure to take, even after speaking to my own home doctor on the phone. He did not seem to have had any experience with my problem, a U.T.I. and said that he was not happy about me staying onboard for the last 2 weeks of the cruise in case the infection got worse and he would have no facilities to help if we were at sea or in the small islands that were next on the itinerary. So we had to leave the cruise after the 1st 2 weeks of what should have been 4 wonderful weeks. So much for our much anticipated month in the Pacific!! Now I have to deal with our travel insurance office and try to get reimbursed for the 2 weeks we missed. NOT how I expected to be spending my time at New Year!! This was our 1st and last cruise with H.A.L. after 27 cruises with Princess I think we will be staying with them. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had sailed with HAL on 3 previous cruises. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had just been on Celebrity Solstice six weeks prior to this one and so comparisons between them were fresh in our minds. Where Solstice is clean ... Read More
We had sailed with HAL on 3 previous cruises. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and had just been on Celebrity Solstice six weeks prior to this one and so comparisons between them were fresh in our minds. Where Solstice is clean crisp lines with what we thought were much higher ceilings, Noordam is lower ceiling, less open spaces, fine arts but darkened lounge areas. Noordam did not come close to Solstice from the quality of their food, attention to detail and service of the crew. Embarkation for Noordam was slow. Our cabin was spotless our only complaint were the lumpy pillows. Our attendants always had a smile and were happy to assist to meet our needs. Dining - this is one of the features of cruising that we enjoy and were let down terribly. The menu selection and quality of food was poor, even in the Pinnacle Grill. We thought the standard in the Main Dining Room had dropped from our previous cruise with HAL but had improved measurably in the Buffet Dining (Lido). At all three dining venues we found the selection of deserts (and slices) disappointing. The attention to hygiene on board the ship was lacking. Rarely did we see a crew member ensuring that passengers used the sanitizers before entering the dining areas. The Air conditioning was poorly balanced and some areas of the ship were warm and others were very cold. Hence there were a lot of sick people on board. In the theatre during lecture and showtime there was constant coughing by passengers. Activities - not a great deal of variety or imagination used in planning the activity programme. The Test Kitchen was American food which was not to the Australian culinary style. exc Talks - Two great speakers were the Barrier Reef Pilot and Brian Stoddart who did a series on the Pacific the influences through history, art, internationalisation etc. The other speaker did a series on World War II in the Pacific is content was very disappointing. Entertainment - The highlight was the Planet Earth documentary accompanied by the String Quartet and Band. Fantastic! Mix of entertainers and three dance/shows. The BB King had us all tapping along with the music - they were great. Our first port of call was Gladstone....A wasted day. Not much to do or see the city tour included pointing out Bunnings and the local Library as sites of the town! Alotaou was not so much scenic as historically interesting port. If you are interested in the Second World War and the fighting in Milne Bay you will find doing a tour/excursion worthwhile. You will find locals portside who will take you on a tour of Alotaou. The next 2 ports were Kiriwina and Kitava Islands. Both beautiful islands where you can meet friendly tribal people These islands surpass the South Pacific Islands for swimming and snorkling in their lovely clear coral waters. You could buy wooden bowls carved by the village men or woven bags from the ladies. They do appreciate KENNA currency. Buy your currency before you leave home. Dont buy it off HAL they would not take back any unused currency (and they could sell you notes in poor condition that a bank will not accept - this happened to one passenger on our cruise). Next stop was Conflict Islands - this is a group of Islands owned by an Australian. It is very picturesque but very commercialized. (Buy any carvings or bags on this Island and expect to pay at least four times the price as on the other two islands... and you are not buying from the tribes person direct.) Our other ports were Cairns (Yorkies Knob) and Airlie Beach and then Brisbane. This cruise is not a cruise for those with disability issues. Only 3 ports were to a dock, five ports were by tender. The tenders were efficiently run and we did have to wait more than a couple of minutes at each port. It was extremely hot and it was lovely to have ice water and iced handtowels to greet us on and off the islands. One thing we did appreciate was the limited "on-sell" of spa, dining & drinks packages. It only occurred the first day or two. There are two issues that really were unsatisfactory.... 1. US$25 per person to get a shuttle bus from the wharf to Brisbane CBD. At Airlie Beach we paid A$5 in Australian dollars. Didn't add up paying Australian dollars on one occasion and USA dollars (at an exorbitant price) on the other. 2. No Christmas Carols on board the ships PA system. The ship was decorated with Christmas Decorations but no music. At requesting at the Guest Relations for some Carols to be played on the PA we were advised that the company had made a directive that no HOLIDAY MUSIC be played until the 22nd December. Yet they were quite happy for us to pay the ship's photographer to take "our CHRISTMAS PHOTO taken by the CHRISTMAS TREE". This is not the cruise line for children.. and especially around Christmas time. We were so disappointed at not being put into the Christmas spirit, that I doubt we will ever go on a cruise at Christmastime again with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were on only the first part of the cruise and got off in Hawaii. I knew the ship was not new but I found very little wear and tear. The food was good, not exceptional, except for the Mariners lunch when ONO was offered, The travelers ... Read More
We were on only the first part of the cruise and got off in Hawaii. I knew the ship was not new but I found very little wear and tear. The food was good, not exceptional, except for the Mariners lunch when ONO was offered, The travelers were mostly seniors. The young people were polite but i think disappointed with the slow pace, I was with the one in four using a cane! The staff and travelers were all polite and friendly. Those staying on to do the entire 38 days settled in with knitting, books, etc. Very little was offered so the seats filled long before the few events. The lei making was well attended so only enough flowers to make a halo lei. The observation deck is the highlight of the ship. Nothing but ocean on this cruise but it would be a delightful way to cruise Alaska. I did not want to fly both ways to Hawaii so the cruise fit my needs. It is open ocean most of the way. I loved the rolls and dips from the swells.Our cabin, guaranteed balcony, was 4005 just three cabins from the aft. This meant lots of walking to the food on the opposite end of the ship. We had a little of the entertainment noise from the deck below but it did not disturb us. Sailing into Honolulu just at sunrise was beautiful. The city light were still on as the sun came up. The doors were opened on deck 4 for the arrival. Many passengers scurrying past our door! The lack of daily activity was my only complaint but I knew that ahead of time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Mainly chosen for the destinations on route, but also anticipated a 4* ship. Expected the passengers to be around retirement age because of he length of the cruise. Very disappointed with the geriatric nature of a lot of the entertainment, ... Read More
Mainly chosen for the destinations on route, but also anticipated a 4* ship. Expected the passengers to be around retirement age because of he length of the cruise. Very disappointed with the geriatric nature of a lot of the entertainment, which was also repetitive and lacking any fun. No deck parties, even though we spent around 3 weeks in the hot sunshine, no proper ‘ sailaways’ to remember. Food was OK, but the scrap in the Lido Bat was awful. Difficult to find a seat once you had been served. Ended up taking food down to the cabin to eat it. The food generally I could only call OK, as it was not as I remember the last cruise I took a few years back. I can see that everything has been cut back and is much more frugal generally. Cushions on the sum beds around the walking deck areas were turquoise coloured (once) and Covered in stains. Not at all what we expected to see. I had no desire to sit on any of them without putting down a towel first. On the lido deck, everything was brown and colourless, making the ship look drab and uninviting. In the gym, half the equipment was not working, and there were classes held in what was a very small area, making it difficult to even get in there. I should also post out that there was nowhere for people to dance (I mean proper dancing) lots f people like to walk, or maybe line dance, but there is no dance floor on Noordam apart from in BB Kings night club, (which doubles as America’s Test Kitchen during the day, twice a day, every day....) Overall, we were very disappointed with Holland America. If this is 4* cruising, then I would hate to be on a ship with only 3*. I would also say that HA needs to check out its up an coming geriatrics, ie those of us in our 60’s now, as we still have plenty of life in us. The older ‘old people’ currently cruising, won’t be around In another few years, and there will be no market for my generation if the nature of the cruise is not reviewed. I say this not only for myself but for others who we met on this cruise and who voiced similar comments. On. Plus note, the staff are incredible, and HA should be very grateful for that!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We decided to take a slow and indulgent route back to Canada from Australia and this cruise seemed perfect...and in general it was. Embarkation was quick and easy and the crew very welcoming. The ports were excellent with a great mix of ... Read More
We decided to take a slow and indulgent route back to Canada from Australia and this cruise seemed perfect...and in general it was. Embarkation was quick and easy and the crew very welcoming. The ports were excellent with a great mix of culture thrown in for good measure. The dining experience was very good, thanks mainly to 2 very attentive waiters and a section manager who really seemed committed to ensuring the best service for his passengers. The ship was good too with a fair mix of things to do in the evening...not always to our taste, but you can't please everybody. Without doubt the staff, as is usual for many cruise lines, are the stars of the show, making our time on board a very relaxing experience...until we went back to our cabin each night. As we readied ourselves for bed we would wonder what time the noise would begin in the morning For some reason HAL decided to upgrade us from the large inside we'd chosen at booking to an obstructed outside, despite us requesting 'no upgrades'. Most mornings we were woken by either Deck Hands noisily rearranging furniture, engineers carrying out maintenance on the lifeboat or gear outside our window, or others readying the lifeboat for tender duty. Yes, I appreciate that all these things have to happen, but at 6am in the morning it's not funny...and precisely why we chose an inside cabin and requested 'no upgrade'. We complained at reception, but I try to be polite and respectful and probably didn't make enough fuss. We were told there was no alternative cabin available...but strangely the following day another couple who were being quite loud and angry were attended by a manager and got moved. Oh well, maybe I need to attend 'assertiveness training'. I'm glad we did the trip and we did have a great time, but the cabin situation did spoil it somewhat. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The cruise was the type of itinerary that I was Looking for, within in the time period available to me. This was our first time cruising and My Wife and I were really looking forward to our first cruise. I will preface my remarks by ... Read More
The cruise was the type of itinerary that I was Looking for, within in the time period available to me. This was our first time cruising and My Wife and I were really looking forward to our first cruise. I will preface my remarks by saying that I am easy going by nature and not overly fussy. Embarkation was from White Bay Terminal Sydney. This was handled very well and I have no complaints at all. The cabin was of adequate size in need of refurbishment, The cabin was clean and tidy. The TV was a complete joke. Dining was adequate, the better dining areas attracting a fee(surcharge). With the entertainment being very ordinary we read for most of the time. Entertainment was esoteric with charges applicable to many of the activities. Most of the activities were of no interest to myself and after talking to others on board they were of the same opinion Service was good overall except for the ubiquitous tipping. Applying a 15 per cent fee added to the final account at the end of the cruise while applying 15per cent tip on purchases made during the cruise. I would rather they pay the staff a proper wage, include the extra cost in the advertised price of the cruise. Ports of call:- due to inclement weather a number of ports had to be missed. This is out of the control of Holland America however days at sea were boring and tedious. Holland America line excursions were way too expensive, I was able to book my excursions on line before we left home and they were great at fraction of the price wanted for the ship excursions. Disembarkation was handled very well, and we were glad to get off. There were a number people who were of the same opinion as myself. Holland America should take note that most people do not complain they remember. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Only our second cruise, had previously sailed from Hawaii to Sydney in 2016. We were so impressed with that cruise, the brand and the ship. So we choose to revisit with HAL and the Noordam again, this time the New Zealand leg of the ... Read More
Only our second cruise, had previously sailed from Hawaii to Sydney in 2016. We were so impressed with that cruise, the brand and the ship. So we choose to revisit with HAL and the Noordam again, this time the New Zealand leg of the Pacific Cruise. We love the size and style of the Noordam, and having sailed before felt really comfortable with layout and facilities. Our cabin was on the main deck 1050, we were 3 males travelling together so the cabin had twin beds and the cabin attendants converted the sofa to a third bed every evening. Bedding,size of cabin were all really comfortable. Both trips I loved the dining facilities on-board, preferring the main dining area for most meals, breakfast and dinner. The quality, portions, presentation & service were outstanding. Don't like the Lido deck much at all, but that's just my preference. The Dive In by the pool makes the best burger, hot-dog and fries ever for a lunch time snack! The entertainment was quite boring this trip, liked the Noordam singers & dances but only performed irregularly. Piano bar was excellent, BB King's is good, the disco was appalling and the rest of the entertainment revolved trivia and an odd dance class. The cooking classes were good on the last trip but this time around a "new" commercial partnering left us bored. I felt this trip there had been a significant cultural shift in service, staff and management, and this was collective impression by us. Our "impression" was there seemed to be less people doing more work, staff seemed to be pushed harder, slightly stressed and less friendly. Found the entertainment director and his associates somewhat condescending and patronising at time and management generally the same. The service standouts were without doubt the dining & drink servers in the main dining room plus the bar staff in the Crows Nest. Ports visited were all interesting with Milford Sound first day outstanding! Due to the size and nature of the ports it was difficult to dock and weather reliant. We booked 2 excursions with the ship both outrageously expensive. The first was Wellington and the tour was very good, the second was Auckland and was cancelled due to weather conditions. The cruise was plagued by difficult weather conditions and can understand it comes with the territory. On the way up the coast we missed Napier due to bad weather, we missed Auckland and Bay of Islands due to weather, the captain retraced our steps and came back to Napier which was nice. Overall made us question if we would travel HAL again, and would certainly look at a fly drive option as a better way of seeing NZ Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
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
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
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
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
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
We selected this cruise for the itinerary for 43 days. We wanted to see Hawaii, some of the South Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand. We opted for a Neptune Suite which had the perk of the Lounge, which we thoroughly enjoyed and ... Read More
We selected this cruise for the itinerary for 43 days. We wanted to see Hawaii, some of the South Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand. We opted for a Neptune Suite which had the perk of the Lounge, which we thoroughly enjoyed and used a lot for an intimate continental breakfast and lite bites throughout the days at sea. The suite itself had very comfortable beds and an abundance of space but horribly uncomfortable chairs at the desk and coffee table. It was also miserable to have a full meal served inside on the coffee table so we did not do that very often. The food that we enjoyed the most was in the Pinnacle Grill which had excellent meat and side dishes simply and tastefully prepared; not drowned in some weird 'gourmet' sauce. For that reason we avoided the main dining room and for the fact that green salads were very scarce on that menu. It was gourmet fare, which we don't enjoy, and required patience to wait for service. We took advantage of the salad bar in the Lido every night, frequently to the exclusion of other entrees offered and stuck with ice cream for dessert. I lost 10 pounds as a result...pretty good for a 43 day cruise! We are avid readers so loaded our Kindles and did not participate in ship activities or entertainment other than the casino and Bingo. I am mobility challenged and have found that I cannot fully participate in large bus tours so did not arrange but 2 with Holland America. I arranged private tours on my own. Accessiblity on the ship itself was very good. The most outstanding part of the cruise was the service. It was absolutely impeccable while on board. However, I was dropped on my own to disembark since I didn't request a wheelchair but I had a walker and luggage and was not offered any help from the ship into the luggage area. Miserable! Yes, I will consider Holland America for another cruise but maybe on a different ship with nicer décor. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This cruise was on our "bucket list!" The ports in New Zealand and Australia that we did visit were good. We did run into a mechanical problem and were not able to sail to Auckland or Bay of Islands. This was unfortunate, but ... Read More
This cruise was on our "bucket list!" The ports in New Zealand and Australia that we did visit were good. We did run into a mechanical problem and were not able to sail to Auckland or Bay of Islands. This was unfortunate, but these things happen and I feel we were fairly compensated for the delay. We did spend an extra day in Napier and everything that could be done was done to make our extra day enjoyable. The trans-Pacific repositioning portion of the cruise was hampered by some bad weather and outrunning a couple of storms. We had three or four ports where there were only beaches to enjoy and I am not a beach person. I am a "seasoned" cruiser and found the food had deteriorated in both selection and quality since our last cruise a year ago. The cutbacks being made are beginning to really show! Have you ever heard of macaroni being served as an entree? The servers were run off their feet and the food was "warm" and not "hot" when it arrived at our table. The Indonesian and Phillipine staff continue to amaze me with their smiles and desire to help you. Entertainment was - for the most part - very good. The cruise director, Carlos, was exceptional. Unfortunately, the Captain was visible to passengers only when it was essential. Unfortunately, this was far from the best cruise we have taken with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We arrived in Auckland 4 days early to enjoy the sights and sounds. Nice small city- easy to walk around. Jump on-off bus service available daily to see the sights and boat trips available round the bay. Lovely clean and fresh feel to ... Read More
We arrived in Auckland 4 days early to enjoy the sights and sounds. Nice small city- easy to walk around. Jump on-off bus service available daily to see the sights and boat trips available round the bay. Lovely clean and fresh feel to the air and warm enough in March! Because I owned up to having a sore throat had to wait 20 minutes for the nurse to reappear. Thought we were not going to be allowed on the cruise liner. People were being processed rapidly but not us. Nurse was miffed when a staff member pointed out that we had been waiting for her to reappear after her departure. Surprise, surprise once on board my sore throat did not seem to be a problem to anyone. (It developed into a full blown cold but I bought medication and treated myself for the next two weeks. We also made sure that we kept to ourselves to contain the germs.) Thought we could enjoy a leisurely cruise round New Zealand and part of Australia seeing plenty of scenery. This was our first cruise and it was a special anniversary! Most of sailing done at night so little to see and too far off shore anyway. What we did see we generally enjoyed. Napier gave the cruise ship arrival a very good welcome followed by a great jazz band send off. For us the boat was too crowded. Breakfast and lunch you had to search to find clear/clean tables. It looked as though the dining facilities had been increased at some time with extra chairs and tables put along the walkways into the dining facilities. Staff tried to cope but everyone trying to eat at once made it a trial. The odd member of staff looked out of place walking round displaying cans of coke etc could have been better utilised. Will say that dining staff morning, noon and night were good and did their best for passengers! Disappointed in the Gala Night. In 4/5 star hotels it is a completely different experience! Evening meal generally were good and fair selection of courses. Felt charging guests 15% extra on top of cost of wine bit excessive. Attended a wine tasting session (paid extra) it was said to be a fun session but it ended rather quickly (one hour) and felt that it was a good way to get rid of wines that were not selling very well. (oh synical me!) Cabin was roomy enough and staff attentative. There was one evening we attended a show and there was a very good ventriloquist - had everyone in tucks laughing. Saw him again a few nights later - different program - very good. Plenty of excursions and it depended on how much you wanted to do. We generally chose to do our own thing visiting museums, botanical gardens. Being elderly did not want to over tax ourselves. One point - we had requested a cabin in a quiet location. It was great until the last few days when it sounded as though there was a child running and jumping overhead. We ignored it initially but the next evening (usually between 5.00 pm and 8.00 pm the noise started again. I phoned the 'Front Desk' to ask could someone have a word. Nothing appeared to happen. Next night - again the noise started up only more so. Rang 'Front Desk' again. A representative came to the cabin to talk to us - by this time it had gone a bit quiet. Whilst we were talking there was some noise but not as much. The representative said that they had tried calling the cabin but had not received an answer so they had not been able to do anything. (Don't think it occurred to the lady that perhaps the child had been left in the cabin whilst the grown ups were elsewhere.) She did suggest that perhaps we should use earplugs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Overall we would not have missed visiting New Zealand and Australia but would never ever go on a cruise that had so many passengers (1500). That is if we ever go again. On disembarking at Sydney, stayed four days seeing the sights. Went then mainly via Greyhound up to Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour (staying one night each). Then to Lennox Head via Ballina for four days. The Northern Rivers area is lovely. Great long beaches and very good weather. Finally we traveled to Brisbane for a couple of nights - again a great compact city with good public transport facilities. See the botanical gardens and the beach on the river where there are numerous eateries. Love to visit again. Greyhound service great! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my second HAL cruise, my first being in October on the Maasdam out of Montreal. this time the ship was better (the Maasdam old at 22 years for a cruise ship) but still tired and in need of a refit although a beautiful ship. My ... Read More
This was my second HAL cruise, my first being in October on the Maasdam out of Montreal. this time the ship was better (the Maasdam old at 22 years for a cruise ship) but still tired and in need of a refit although a beautiful ship. My bathroom smelt of mildew and mould and despite the very best efforts of my delightful cabin crew who kept it spotlessly clean they couldn't solve the problem. My toilet was scratched and scarred and should have been replaced before I saw it. My cabin wallpaper was split at the seams - and although a lovely cabin the condition of both not good enough for the line. The crew were excellent, absolutely no complaints there but the food mediocre at best and cost cutting was evident in the vegetables in the dining room and fruit in the Lido. Having to pay $US1.50/75 for coffee after dinner was an insult - surely the line could absorb that, it would have cost that to process to the account!! As for $US150 to do the tour of the ship - this totally blew me away. This was outrageous!!!!! $US20 for the shuttle off Dunedin wharf (no other way of getting off there unless you were on a tour) was excessive - think of a family of two adults and three children who would be down $US100 before they got into town - totally unacceptable. The Wellington shuttle at $NZ10 return very fair and the others were free. On the upside the cruise director was excellent and I enjoyed most of the entertainment. A broken handbag strap was dealt with at the front office very quickly and efficiently and with no charge - I would have been most happy to pay for this as I deemed it an extra service. A piece of property lost from my cabin was quickly found in the laundry by my cabin steward and returned to me. The Captain's daily communication was excellent and we particularly applauded his dealing with a passenger who had been using unacceptable language to a staff member after the ship was unavoidably delayed out of Auckland - very well done there. A first class Maitre' D in the dining room sat me at thoroughly enjoyable tables (I was travelling alone) where I met delightful friendly people and after the first time, he knew me and knew I didn't want to eat alone. Well done. To summarise, I think the Line has much to improve on it's cost cutting penny pinching problems and dining room food.. I have cruised many times and have to say I would use HAL again but they would be my lower choice rather than preferred. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Ok - new Zealand was great - except for Akaroa where we were not able to tender because of high winds (do not book a tour called the Mail Run - they do not refund). All other ports were great and interesting. Fiji portion - well if you ... Read More
Ok - new Zealand was great - except for Akaroa where we were not able to tender because of high winds (do not book a tour called the Mail Run - they do not refund). All other ports were great and interesting. Fiji portion - well if you have nothing else to do book it - I would not do it again (remember I am from Canada) the best port on that trip had to be Drauni Island, a small island of about 200, if you look back at the old movies with Fiji in them then this is what you will see. The people made you feel at home and welcomed. Now more on the ship, on the second part the Christmas decorations came up making it more festive nice treat as were heading into Christmas. The Pinical - needs to change their menu basically three items steak and steak and steak (all portions way to big) with a chicken dish and a seafood also think it is getting over prised at $60.00USD. The Vista dinning room all meals good but after a while the deserts were all the same cream in various shapes and forms they need to add texture to the deserts, best I had, had to be the snickers cake, main course all good but to me they need something to kick them up just not sure what presentation of all meals is still very good. Lastly the STAFF - how they can say EXCELLEANT day after day with their friendly smiles I do not know, wish they would share their secret!!! Get to know them you will be surprised! They start to open up a bit, has to be hard away from family for 10 months. Suggest we serve them (obviously can't do all) on some special occasion say a BBQ on the bow. Not sure if that will ever fly but I think it would be great for us and make them feel appreciated too This tour had a fast tour of the kitchen which was a great treat - you can spend a few hundred and get a tour of the workings of the ship, to me this was cheap and tacky (nickel and diming). The second week they also raised the daily tip amount from $11.50 to $12.50 pp yet when we booked it was no mention of an increase (did not argue this point as we felt the staff could use it and it was Christmas too) Also had issue with credits to the Pinical, went to front desk and asked for number of credits and clarification - the number was agreed to - but when the bill came that was not the case, my position in the end was it no longer is what the policy is - you stated this and I booked in good faith on that - in the end they removed the charges. So stick to your guns. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We are not habitual cruisers and use mainly repositioning voyages to avoid air travel. We had previously made a transatlantic trip on this ship three years ago and our comments are in comparison to that experience. This trip included a ... Read More
We are not habitual cruisers and use mainly repositioning voyages to avoid air travel. We had previously made a transatlantic trip on this ship three years ago and our comments are in comparison to that experience. This trip included a pre cruise stay at the Pan Pacific hotel located right on the cruise ship pier and which was also good and made the embarkation very easy, espially the luggage which was dealt seamlessly by the hotel staff. - both embarkation and disembarkation were very efficient, particularly compared to our prior experiences in the USA. The ship has had some minor refurbishment but the overall cruise clearly showed cost cutting by HA compared to our previous trip. - service whilst pleasant was not very efficient and from recollection crew numbers had been reduced on the hospitality side. - food, attractively presented, probably due to the use of celebrity chefs , but not as good as remembered and "portion controlled", except in Canaletto where far too much was served. Pinnacle was OK but not worth the surcharge for basically the Vista menu. The Pinnacle specific wine list is not exciting although recourse could be had to the general list if required. - beverage, spirits and beer still reasonably priced, wine packages were not worth buying as the general list was far wider and little more expensive. The soda card is an absolute waste of money as it apparently covers only fizzy drinks, not water or coffee or indeed bitter lemon. -entertainment, not a priority for us but uninteresting, other guests were scathing. - itinerary, well worth it as a bucket list trip for the scenery which is spectacular, the ships routing also made the best of the narrow channels, glaciers, mountains and fiords. The scheduled towns, Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan largely subsist on fishing and tourist shopping and can be seen in a couple of hours at most. Tours were incredibly expensive and other than the narrow gauge railway in Skagway not worth the expense. Do not expect to see wildlife; it sees you first and departs. Cabin, we had a Neptune suite which was worth the additional cost over a signature suite (really only a balcony cabin). It gave access to Pinnacle for breakfast, the Neptune lounge, which we used a lot, and a concierge which gave preferential booking at restaurants etc. Our suite, #7088 was particularly good as it had an angled balcony giving side and forward views, a huge panoramic window and an unusual square layout without a "corridor" section which gave a large sitting area in addition to the king size bed, separate vanity area and massive wardrobe capacity. The TV was a small flatscreen and should be replaced with a much larger unit. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We enjoyed everything but there could be a few improvements. Embarking took two hours of herding like cattle. Too long! Have never had to wait so long before! Disembarkation was much more organised. We booked the wine tasting ... Read More
We enjoyed everything but there could be a few improvements. Embarking took two hours of herding like cattle. Too long! Have never had to wait so long before! Disembarkation was much more organised. We booked the wine tasting which we loved on our last cruise on the Oosterdam in the South Pacific. We were sat at a table with nice people and then the wine expert began his lecture. He did not take breath for 50 minutes of information that was over the top. We did not get a chance to interact with our fellow cruisers and it was obvious that most of the audience found his speech to be egoistic. He is knowledgeable but has no customer rapport. It was a terribly boring one hour. The other problem was the unsuitable entertainment. The HAL singers nod dancers were excellent but the comedian was dreadful and resorted to silly potty humour. The drummers, although talented, were too loud and did not suit the older age group on board. The BB BLUES band were fabulous. The shopping on board was very reasonable. The Pan Pacific Hotel was an excellent hotel for embarkation. I will try one of the other cruise lines next time I think, just to compare. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Sailed on 20 March. First time with Holland America. Had high expectations, was let down. Ship felt dated. The ship did not appear to be maintained as a once beautiful ship built in Italy in 2006. Sound system around the pool cracked ... Read More
Sailed on 20 March. First time with Holland America. Had high expectations, was let down. Ship felt dated. The ship did not appear to be maintained as a once beautiful ship built in Italy in 2006. Sound system around the pool cracked and spit many times making it hard to enjoy music. The overhead retractable ceiling on the Lido deck leaks all over the lounge chairs when it rains. Pool just plain ugly. Painting around the outline of the pool white with black smears, not attractive.! Great crew, worked really hard to help everywhere. Loved the fruit options in the cabins, the orchids in the Lido buffet. The fresh flower arrangements were beautiful. Cabin staff kept rooms perfect. Problem with balcony door when wind picked up, whistled like three tea kettles going off at the same time different pitches. This sound was heard repeatedly on many decks as other rooms seemed to have the same problem with door seals. Reported to front desk multiple times and the solution was ear plugs. Don't think so. Need Plexiglas around outside railings of ship to keep small one from falling to their death. " Front office" name needs to be changed to Guest Services, reminded me of school days. Some staff in" front office" need retraining on problem resolution techniques. Loved the fresh squeezed orange juice included. First dinning felt rushed and hectic, kitchen could not keep up, making the dinning servers look bad. Too much paper used for adds daily, switch to digital and put it on the TV. Great safety presentation, well done. Deck chairs on Deck three need some attention and a little varnish. Cushions on Deck 3 no longer cushion. Food was good, but did not impress, except on last night. It was totally a 10. Serve food like that nightly and you will always have a full ship. Entertainment very good. Beautiful theater. Do not take the Curacao Trolley Train Tour over priced for what you get and not worth it. The other excursions from the cruise line in Bonaire was one of the best ever. The ship excursion in Aruba good too. The comment heard most often on the ship was "Well it's going into dry dock when it gets back" Most people were commenting on the great need for a facelift. The food served on the Lido deck at the food buffet outside by the pool was at deck temperature. Cold should be cold, and hot, hot. This was not.!! Chicken and beef at deck temp. for extended periods is not a good thing. Crew amazing. Always so helpful thank you. Would like to see the dinning room open daily for sit down service even if it is only one hour. It was not. The afternoon tea was delightful, great idea. The coupon for 1 hr free hydrotherapy pool was most appreciated while in Port. Thank you. If you paid the last minute price you would not be disappointed in this cruise, however, if you paid the price from two months earlier, think again. Curacao and Bonaire and Aruba great destinations. They were so different from the typical Easter/Western run. Must see. The library area is a nice change from the rest of the ship with books to read, magazines and games, comfortable seating. The coffee shop in the library area serves good coffee, maybe offer a reward card. Child care was wonderful, they took great care of the kids and offered a myriad of options. Confused when in port till 11pm, however child care area closed at 4pm.(unless on a ship excursion) I was told. No other cruise line shortens the child care available while in port whether you are on a ship excursion or not. Thank you to Katie and Katy for a great job. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
This was our first cruise on Holland America and our expectations were admittedly high. The Noordam was great, we loved it. Our cabin was nice and decently appointed, except that they don't have CNN. (Why not?)The public areas are ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Holland America and our expectations were admittedly high. The Noordam was great, we loved it. Our cabin was nice and decently appointed, except that they don't have CNN. (Why not?)The public areas are comfortable, nicely and tastfully done and offer a cozy atmosphere. The buffets are well laid out in a manner that makes them accessible, yet uncrowded. The main dining room is elegant and the two premium dining options, Pinnacle Grill and Canalettos, are well worth the few extra bucks. However, we were dissapointed in the lack of good quality cuts of meat and total lack of fresh seafood. There is no carvery where fresh cuts of beef, ham or lamb are served, and I was told by the Culinary Director himself that Holland America does NOT server fresh seafood. How unfortunate. During the course of the cruise we spoke with numerous other passengers, many who had sailed many cruises on Holland America ships, and almost all deemed this ship's food less than expected as compared to other Holland America Ships. Again, not my words, theirs. All the above having been said, the cruise and ports of call were fun and the good memories made are many. We highly recommend the cruise and the ship, but set your expectations low in the quality and variety of food department. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
After a wonderful cruise to Alaska on the Rotterdam, this was a huge disappointment. Rotterdam felt gracious and elegant. Many issues on this voyage of the Noordam made the trip less that wonderful. The cruise staff -- front line workers ... Read More
After a wonderful cruise to Alaska on the Rotterdam, this was a huge disappointment. Rotterdam felt gracious and elegant. Many issues on this voyage of the Noordam made the trip less that wonderful. The cruise staff -- front line workers -- gracious and kind and wonderful. The management -- opposite. Workers seem overworked and on duty constantly and scurrying around with lots of pressure. The dining room felt stressful with armloads of trays being carried out and people rushing around and noise and less than peaceful. The entertainment is..OLD. After one night...we could take it no more. Dull and dated but then perhaps that is what the target market is...and we do not fit the profile. And being told by the dining staff and the entertainment staff how to evaluate them on the final evaluation -- "give us 9's" -- seems strange. The climate and mood on the ships was completely different. We will not do Holland America again. This was too boring and not stimulating for us. Port stays were cut short and we saw the Pittons on St. Lucia in the dark! We went on the cruise to see "as promised". Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
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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