7 Holland America Noordam Senior Cruise Reviews

We chose this as Holland America once had a good reputation for cruises. The dining was very poor quality food with very little choices offered ( no turkey for Christmas day dinner). The ship is very outdated and in dire need of major ... Read More
We chose this as Holland America once had a good reputation for cruises. The dining was very poor quality food with very little choices offered ( no turkey for Christmas day dinner). The ship is very outdated and in dire need of major refurbishment and we found that the balcony in our cabin to be extremely small given the extra cost paid to have one. Only just about enough room for two deck chairs. We found that it compares very badly with its competition eg Celebrity Cruises. Entertainment on board only moderate to fair and very limited. Port and shore excursions were quite good and well organised with an interesting variety. Neither I or my partner would recommend Holland America line for any cruises on the the Noordam unless as stated previously that it improved the quality and choices in its dining room and a full refurbishment of this ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As this was a special occasion, we spared no expense and booked a Neptune Suite with large aft wrap around balcony. Expectations were high, more so as we have cruised extensively before and enjoyed our Cunard and Celebrity cruises ... Read More
As this was a special occasion, we spared no expense and booked a Neptune Suite with large aft wrap around balcony. Expectations were high, more so as we have cruised extensively before and enjoyed our Cunard and Celebrity cruises immensely. The trip started positively, embarkation was quick and friendly. Things went downhill from there. Cabin (and ship) decor is very dated and years overdue for a refit. Furniture and fittings are of low quality, and this was especially evident in the bathroom. Main dinning room was mediocre, decor again dated, dark and stuffy. Worst part was the food, despite an effusive menu littered with culinary terms, the food was basic, low quality, dumped on the plate and served lukewarm. We ate there twice and then never returned. Lido dinning was even worse. Very limited choice, mostly pizza and pasta, and poor process for dishing out food, leaving people waiting ages for their order to be filled. Worst was the service times, if you wanted food outside their designated times, only dried up pizza was available. Not a vegetable in sight. At 8.30pm most stations were closed, and I have a picture of staff coming through vacuuming while diners still eating ! By day three, we reverted to eating all meals onshore when in port. On sea days we ate at the Pinnacle Grill, which was excellent, but at an xtra cost of $35 per head each time. Enrichment program was limited and focused on selling stuff. Entertainment stage shows were okay, but cruise director was clearly just coasting and did not bring any energy or interest to the cruise. Officers were rude and uninterested on the rare occasion we saw them or spoke to them. The only redeeming factor was the general staff, who were worked so hard to make up for the inadequacies of the ship, the processs and the lack of leadership. They were without exception, cheerful, helpful and engaging. To all of them, our sincere thanks. Other passengers we spoke to had mixed views, many shared our views, but others were very happy, so maybe it’s a matter of expectations. For us, this was our first experience with HAL and based on this we would not book them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
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
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 have cruised with P&O and Princess in excess of 25 occasions and have often seen Holland America ships alongside. We have admired the appearance of efficiency and cleanliness and decided on that basis to give them a try. We took ... Read More
we have cruised with P&O and Princess in excess of 25 occasions and have often seen Holland America ships alongside. We have admired the appearance of efficiency and cleanliness and decided on that basis to give them a try. We took our 8year old granddaughter and 11 year old grandson with us as a special treat and initially were offered cabin 1036. This is under the nightclub and, as experienced cruisers, we know not to take such cabins because of noise. We were then offered cabin 1061 which was under the Culinary Arts Centre and Queens Lounge. We challenged Holland America UK office regarding any possible noise intrusion in this cabin from the Lounge above and were assured that the Culinary Arts Centre and Queens Lounge were not in use at night and there would be no noise. We booked on that understanding. Our first night proved that the Queens Lounge is used every evening by the BB King Blues Band and the noise intrusion in our cabin was horrendous. After two days of complaining (we were initially offered ear plugs like a previous cruise critic commentator who occupied cabin 1060 on an earlier trip) we were moved to a much better cabin thanks to Andreia Santos, the Passenger Services Supervisor. Cabin apart, we found the service in the Lido Buffet to be very poor; waiting staff had to be asked repeatedly to remove used crockery and even following complaints to Restaurant supervisors and front Desk staff there was no improvement; service of food was also poor and occasions we had to wait for 20 minutes to get food served even when then were only a few customers present; the biggest failing was the inability to have replenishments ready to replace the empty trays as food was served. It felt as if no one was really in control and the standards simply didnt match those on other ships. The quality, selection and standard of food, in particular desserts, felt well short of our expectations. Waiting service in the bars was, in our experience, poor and we had to seek out the waiters rather than the other way round - we frequently gave up! Perhaps we were just unlucky on this particular cruise but we also found a significant number of older passengers who were simply child intolerant and they had to be reminded that if they wanted absolute peace and quiet they should choose a ship with NO children. On one such occasion a man asked the children in the swimming pool to be quiet because he was reading his book! It should be notd that the swimming pool at the rear of the ship is adult only but it was evident that the better quality sun beds are surrounding the Lido Pool where children are very much allowed.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Everything was adequate, but certainly no "wow" factor. Steward tried to overcharge us multiple times for water from the minibar. Even though we sat at the same table every night, the waiters never learned our names or beverage ... Read More
Everything was adequate, but certainly no "wow" factor. Steward tried to overcharge us multiple times for water from the minibar. Even though we sat at the same table every night, the waiters never learned our names or beverage preferences. They were polite, but very rushed, and service was impersonal. Many repeat HAL cruisers expressed disappointment at the cutbacks. They all said it was the "little things" that were gone, all done to trim the budget. The welcome glass of champagne, the flowers in the cabin, the "higher end food", etc. The food and service at the Pinnacle Grill was at the level you originally would have had in the main dining room - for no extra charge. At the same time, the aggressive approach to get you to spend money was very noticeable - ridiculously high internet fees, charging you for a soft drink with your lunch, or loud promotionals to get you to shop,shop, and shop some more. Age is a state of mind. Some have commented on the age of the passengers. It's not so much the chronological age of the passengers, but their physical and mental shape. It was a traffic jam of walkers, Hoverounds, and wheelchairs. Others were walking around disoriented or confused, or fell sound asleep at the dining tables. Suffice it to say, the fitness center was never crowded. Entertainment was mostly music from the 1940's and 1950's. (Doris Day not Little Richard). Although I qualify as a "senior citizen", I felt like I was a bit young for HAL's "target audience". In all fairness, many seemed to be enjoying the cruise, but I'll look for different cruise line for future cruises. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
We got our 100-day medallions on that cruise. We were celebrating my wife's 75th birthday. The food was inferior to all of our other cruises. The meals in the Lido buffet were inferior (mostly funky foreign dishes). Nobody knows how ... Read More
We got our 100-day medallions on that cruise. We were celebrating my wife's 75th birthday. The food was inferior to all of our other cruises. The meals in the Lido buffet were inferior (mostly funky foreign dishes). Nobody knows how to cook short ribs even though they were served three different times and never were they short ribs. The turkey was liked pressed meat. Never got escargot; a favorite for years. Steaks were hard as nails and filets were below par. I could go on and on! The only good meals were in the Pinnacle Grill where we ate twice. Breakfast was the only reliable good meal as well as the hot dogs and hamburgers at the outside grill for lunch. VERY DISSAPOINTING. But the final straw was when the cruise excursion group cheated us out of more than $100 buy not giving us the same opportunity as others to cancel an excursion when we arrived late in port. When we disembarked, we were told to wait off on the side until 3:00 pm. Apparently shortly thereafter, they were informing people that they had an option to cancel. At 3:00 pm, the 12-14 of us who were not informed showed up for an excursion that missed a few places because it had to be cut short because of darkness. We got back in total darkness at the time the ship was scheduled to depart. We were running for the gang plank and my wife who has COPD was almost falling down and crying. She was so upset that we skipped dinner. I confronted the excursion manager the next day he provide a small rebate after a heated discussion. I then attempted to contact the hotel manager at the front desk and the feedback the next day was that he would not see me and that the excursion manager had already handled it! That's not the way to treat Mariners. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
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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