9 Rome (Civitavecchia) to Mediterranean Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

We are in our 70s, celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and are 4 star mariners. We had a verandah cabin on the Verandah deck. We had a table for 2, early sitting. All the excursions we took were booked through Holland America. All ... Read More
We are in our 70s, celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary and are 4 star mariners. We had a verandah cabin on the Verandah deck. We had a table for 2, early sitting. All the excursions we took were booked through Holland America. All that being said, our cabin was wonderful as was our room stewards. Everything was clean, neat and in good repair. We really enjoyed our meals in the main dining room. I especially noticed that there were more vegetarian choices which I often chose. We appreciated that the serving sizes were smaller than in the past so we could enjoy all 5 courses. If you had a large appetite you could order two or more servings of anything. We ate two evenings in the Pinnacle Grill. The steak was cooked exactly as asked for and the second evening I had the halibut and it was absolutely wonderful. We usually had breakfast and lunch on the Lido deck. We experienced excellent service from all wait staff, especially those in the main dining room. We also thought the food throughout the ship was very good to excellent. The entertainment in the Vista from the HAL singers & dancers was excellent. We do not enjoy magicians or comedians but the BB King group was amazing and we also enjoyed the guest violinist. Many evenings we relaxed in the Explorers Lounge listening to the duo from the Ukraine. We also found the musician in the piano lounge to be very personable and an excellent entertainer. The only complaint re the entertainment was sometimes the volume was too loud in the Vista. Re the condition of the ship we thought it looked good with the only exception being a few chairs in the Explorers Lounge which needed to be repaired. All shore excursions (except for one) met or exceeded our expectations. Holland America do an excellent job searching for topnotch tours. The one exception was one hour shorter than scheduled and the guide was not "topnotch" -- we wrote a note to Shore Excursions and the same day received a refund of 1/3 of the cost and a letter from Shore Excursions (we believe other passengers also complained). All in all, we had an excellent cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation both were smooth. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We were in a VB veranda on Deck 5 and have previously sailed with RCCL and Celebrity. There have been mixed reviews of the Noordam of late, but we found little fault and the experience exceeded that of our RCCL cruise and came close to ... Read More
We were in a VB veranda on Deck 5 and have previously sailed with RCCL and Celebrity. There have been mixed reviews of the Noordam of late, but we found little fault and the experience exceeded that of our RCCL cruise and came close to that of Celebrity. The stateroom was in fine condition with no faults of note and it was well attended to by Tee and Dodik. The air con worked efficiently and the bathroom was in great order. We found the food to be of a high standard, the As You Wish section of the Main Dining Room work well, we got tables quickly and there were no delays in the service. The food came cooked to the correct level, the portion sizes were just right, and if you wanted something extra it was never a problem. We enjoyed breakfast and a light lunch in the Lido and here again we found the food to be of a good standard, especially the Bread & Butter pudding !! There were no unacceptably long queues and stocks of hot food were being constantly replenished. It was also good to see the senior catering staff present on the floor monitoring the situation and chatting to the guests. We had room service breakfast on 5 of our 11 mornings, and it was delivered on time with the eggs still warm and runny. The Pinnacle Grill was a great experience and the staff were most attentive, we went three times, so you can see we enjoyed it. The Rome to Venice and back itenary was fantastic, we took three HAL shore excursions, Taormina in Sicily, Cavtat in Dubrovnik and the palace trip in Corfu. They were enjoyable, but we would have like a bit more time in both Taormina (you had about one hour of free time) and Cavtat where there was a rather miserly 45 mins to enjoy this delightful resort. We didn't go to any of the main shows, but did enjoy the HAL Cats and the BB King bands. All in all, we found Noordam to be in great condition, the crew and staff were all pleasant and welcoming and we had a relaxing cruise with enough attention to make us feel special, Well Done Captain Robert and Cruise Director Kieran. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have only cruised 5 or 6 times, but we have experienced a number of cruise lines. We anticipated that Holland America would be at the 'high end' of cruise experiences but that wasn't our experience. I should say that many ... Read More
We have only cruised 5 or 6 times, but we have experienced a number of cruise lines. We anticipated that Holland America would be at the 'high end' of cruise experiences but that wasn't our experience. I should say that many of the issues stated in other reviews were not issues for us - the air conditioning worked; we had an aft stateroom with balcony and no problems with soot, and only very slight vibration when the ship started up; our on-board credit was in the room etc etc. The staff were universally friendly and helpful. The decor is a little old-fashioned, but that isn't a major issue for us. The issues for us were: the food and the 'hard sell' atmosphere. First, the food. We found the Lido buffet restaurant to be a very stressful experience. Waiting in queues; fighting through crowds; some of the food stations were not organised as we expected (baked beans on the Asian section?); lack of tea cups; my partner's order was overlooked and then everything he had ordered was finished. The food itself was cafeteria quality, the carveries served grisly, cheap cuts of meat. In the restaurant, the menu was good, but the delivery was often poor. Overall, the food was far too salty. Eventually, after complaining about this, my partner was offered a low sodium menu, which meant he had to choose his meal the previous night. Really, all that needed to happen was for the sauce to be served separately. The ingredients were not as expected and were inconsistent in quality. Steaks were not cooked properly; a 'New York' cheesecake was made with Ricotta which provided entirely the wrong outcome; a Bomb Alaska was served with egg whites which were not set at all. On the plus side, the bread rolls were superb. The Cannelleto speciality restaurant was especially disappointing. We saw no sign of the Italian plates to share. My pasta was uninspiring, we were served Tiramisu made of some sort of reconstructed powder! The Dive grill, next to the swimming pool, was the best option if you wanted fresh food! We decided not to take the drinks package and to see what we spent. As it turned out, this was a wise move, even though we like wine with dinner and the occasional Pina Colada by the pool. However the drinks were very expensive and we found the on-board system of presenting prices without including the tax and service charges, misleading. The house wine was very acceptable, and was available at a fairly reasonable price. All other wine was very expensive. My partner had booked me a massage as a birthday treat. This was very enjoyable, however straight after I was presented with the products that the masseuse recommended as if I was, of course, going to buy them - for $63 each! She had also correctly identified that I have trouble with my feet, and suggested I have a free footprint assessment after the massage. This I did, and my existing problem was correctly identified. However I was then offered two small shoe inserts for a special on-board price of $189! Is this hard sell? Well, I think some people might feel unable to say 'no' in these situations. I have trained myself to overcome my embarrassment and politely told him I was not going to buy them - a response that was politely taken. The price my partner had paid for the massage, unknown to him, had not included the tax and service charges. When it was added to our bill, there was an additional $20 to pay. This would be a nasty surprise for anyone who had been bought a gift and who then had to pay the service and tax themselves! We have 4 children and like children to be happy. However the 'adult' pool is not an adult pool and is not monitored, so children engaged in forbidden activities like diving and bombing, shrieking as they did so. They were having a great time, however it was rare that the pool was OK for us to swim in and on one occasion it had to be closed due to - well, you can guess what for. The 'no reserving beds' policy is also poorly monitored, although the attendants did remove towels from beds when we told them they had been unoccupied for an hour. These little things add up to influence your customer experience on an expensive cruise, and we had not anticipated that this would be the case with Holland America. However although we enjoyed the trip and the ports we visited, we find ourselves talking about the issues far more than the ports. I think we had been spoiled with Celebrity X - Solstice. Now that really was a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We have just competed our 11th cruise on a 22 night HAL Mediterranean cruise. Itinerery was great as was cabin amenity. Cabin boys were friendly and attentive. However standards have dropped since our previous two cruises with HAL. The ... Read More
We have just competed our 11th cruise on a 22 night HAL Mediterranean cruise. Itinerery was great as was cabin amenity. Cabin boys were friendly and attentive. However standards have dropped since our previous two cruises with HAL. The lack of variety and poor quality of the food was our main disappointment but a number of smaller issues also were frustrating. Incorrect and overcharging to our account needed several contacts with front office to rectify. Ship's shore shuttle bus service costly (previously free) with some long queues when cheaper taxi services were available on wharf. Dining room service varied from good to long waits up to 2.5 hours for 2 course meal. Did not use minibar but noticed seals on miniature liquors all broken and obviously been there for long time. Some lunch categories cleared away by 2.30 when a lot of guests are returning from shore excursions expecting to eat lunch or a snack. Overall the cruise was enjoyable primarily because of the great itinerary but HAL need to lift their game if they are to retain their previous high standard and reputation.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
From start to finish, this 22 days Mediterranean cruise has been the worst cruise we have taken. It all started on day 1 when our Signature Beverage Package cards were not in our suite. Several hours later, the Neptune concierge advised ... Read More
From start to finish, this 22 days Mediterranean cruise has been the worst cruise we have taken. It all started on day 1 when our Signature Beverage Package cards were not in our suite. Several hours later, the Neptune concierge advised that we only had an 11 day card beverage card because the 22 day card was very expensive. It took four additional days for the front desk supervisor to call Seattle to get this corrected. The next day, we arrived for breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill to be told that the espresso coffee machine was broken. Service in the PG was poor and erratic at all times. The only other breakfast I had at the PG, the staff told me that my wife must be seated by 9 am or she could not have breakfast. Needless nasty attitude for premium paying customers. I advised that I would order for her and that she would arrive by 9 am, which she did. For the next 15 days or so, the espresso machine at the PG was broken. No effort was made by staff or the Matire D to obtain an espresso at breakfast or dinner. Since I do not drink American Coffee and always have espresso for breakfast, I could not enjoy breakfast in the PG. The poor service assured I would not return. The Maitre D was absent during our second dinner at the PG and was also absent on my second and final breakfast there. Our group of 8 arrived at the Pinnacle Grill for our only dinner there and the Maitre'D pointed us to the Main Dining Room because he did not have a table for 8. He later realized that we had a reservation for 6 and another for 2 and that we were in the right place for dinner. Made us feel unwelcomed at the Pinnacle Grill. Up until this cruise, I regularly dined at the PG during 30-50 % of the cruise days and always had breakfast there. The needless attitude by staff for simple requests caused us to abandon the PG for breakfast and dinner on this 22 day cruise. Room service fared little better. Room service rarely arrived between the times requested and almost always missed breakfast items. Eventually, we stopped ordering breakfast from room service because it was not worth the hassle. Only after day 19 when the Dining Manager came to seem me personally did room service improve the last 3 days of our cruise. Despite this breakfast was still 20 minutes late on the last Sea Day. The espresso machine in the Neptune Lounge was also broken and inoperable for many days. Other times, when it supposedly worked, it would not produce coffee drinks properly. Having to get a hold of a Neptune concierge to get a coffee was difficult on many occasions. It was also time consuming. On three occasions, personal items left in the pool area and the dining room disappeared. On one night, my daughter left her favorite cap in the dining room during the late seating when there were less than 20 people left in the dining room and it was still not recovered. We do not believe fellow passengers would be taking our personal items on three separate occasions, which leaves only crew members as our likely suspects. Having had this happen to us 3 times with no items returned left a bad taste in our mouths about the crew. For the vast majority of days on this cruise, I had to stand in line at the Explorations Café to obtain my coffee and then stand in line at the Lido to obtain breakfast for my family. This is not the type of service I expected when I booked a Neptune Suite. On the tendering days, there was no cold water when boarding the return tender. I saw the Celebrity ship had plenty of cold water for its guests while HAL ran out on every day we tendered. The dry cleaning seemed to return the clothes with the same stains intact no matter how many times we sent the items back. Eventually, we simply became accustomed to this and accepted it as “normal.” The daily program frequently misinformed about events on board. I went to see a scheduled movie on the first sea day of our second leg, only to learn it was a mistake. Another time, I missed the variety show because it was not on the schedule. Even the casino advised that I could not retrieve the money on my stateroom card because their system needed updating. The next day, I was told that I could still not retrieve my money. On my third trip to the casino, I was finally able to retrieve my money. We experienced a total lack of service on this ship, especially for premium paying guests. On numerous individual occasions, crew staff were inattentive to simple requests. When my wife wanted a cotton ball with a little bit of nail polish remover from the spa, she was told she needed to purchase a treatment. Certainly, someone could have checked that we were Neptune Suite passengers and been a tiny bit more attentive. Disembarkation was a total mess. We had opted for the early-off option because we had an early flight but had to wait more than 40 minutes to get off the boat. The elevators did not allow access to A deck so we had to carry our large bags down two sets of stairs. Proper ending for a terrible cruise Being a Neptune Suite passenger on this 22 day cruise simply meant we were entitled to pay more for the same service as everyone else, albeit in a larger room. As a loyal HAL customer for many years and the past six years in a row, who regularly books a Neptune Suite, I have been thoroughly disappointed with virtually all aspects of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We picked this cruise especially for the ports of call. First time on Holland America. We were delighted to find the passengers mainly mature adults and that the staff welcomed family groups, many celebrating special reunions or other ... Read More
We picked this cruise especially for the ports of call. First time on Holland America. We were delighted to find the passengers mainly mature adults and that the staff welcomed family groups, many celebrating special reunions or other occasions. The staff was very kind and helpful to elderly passengers, many in wheelchairs or using walkers. However we found our cabin suite older and not as well appointed as the lower cabins, with no windows. The bathroom shower needed regrouting and did not look like it had been cleaned very well. Our cabin had a/c issues for most of the cruise and we were visited several times by crew taking measurements or doing repairs on the system. We slept with the balcony door open 2 nights as a result (blocked open with sturdy waste basket). When a taxi strike occurred at the disembarkment port, the staff had no information or any interest in assistance unless you booked airport transfer with them. Front desk personal very uninterested in providing any assistance. Warning for those expecting internet/wifi - not consistent and slow enough to be useless. Also want to warn passengers to check your bill as there were many issues with ours. Fortunately, they got settled by cruise end. The excursions are very expensive but many were well done; informative and hitting all the high spots of each port city. However, we had to walk quite a way to get to excursion buses either at port or for the return. Food onboard was adequate. The specialty restaurants were worth extra cost. I could not believe the size of glassware in the buffet section or at the bars and that you had to pay for soda, but iced tea and juices were included. I would recommend this cruise for my 55+ friends warning them to have low expectations about cabin and food. Would advise to book suite for upgrades and to research and plan your own excursions. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
My husband and I (both in our 60's) sailed on the Noordam for an 11 night cruise. This was our first HAL cruise and we would definitely do it again (and again and again). We flew to Rome and embarked the same day; we flew out of ... Read More
My husband and I (both in our 60's) sailed on the Noordam for an 11 night cruise. This was our first HAL cruise and we would definitely do it again (and again and again). We flew to Rome and embarked the same day; we flew out of Venice the day the cruise ended. Next time we will plan better and allow a couple days at the start/end of the cruise to have a little more time to enjoy the beginning and ending ports. We did use HAL's cruise/air plan and have no complaints about that - the price was quite reasonable and the HAL staff was great in getting us from the airport to the ship and vice versa. Our cabin (8112) was located under the pool but we did not have any noise problems whatsoever. We did not have water pouring from the pool deck onto our balcony either. We found the cabin placement convenient (close to elevator, one deck below Lido deck). Our cabin was a decent size and having a balcony was great. Our cabin was a VF category but prior to our cruise the same cabin was a VA. Cabin stewards were attentive and we experienced none of the plumbing problems I have seen mentioned in other reviews, The food was good and plentiful. We opted for anytime dining and there was only 1 night where we waited longer that 10 minutes to be seated. The absolute best part of this cruise was the itinerary and was the reason we chose this cruise. We stopped at Messina, Malta, 2 ports in Greece, 3 ports in Croatia, Montenegro, and an overnight for the last day in Venice. The only port I found lacking was Messina; the rest were fantastic, Our weather was great and we did mostly everything on our own. The only HAL tour we took was the first day - a glimpse of Rome. The tour was worth it as it took us by most of the major sights in Rome. Only complaint is we wish we could have stopped at more than one place while in Rome. We loved the Croatia ports and of course we loved all the time we had in Venice. The only disappointment we had was with the info provided by the shore guide. She gave us some wrong information about a couple of the ports that ended up causing us to walk a LOT longer than we should have had to walk to get where we were going. We relied on public transportation in the ports and that was a whole lot cheaper than using the transportation arranged/recommended by HAL. We did not find the entertainment to be all that good except for the Blues Band. But, quite frankly it did not matter to us as our entertainment was visiting the ports and seeing all the wonderful sights each had to offer. We did sign up for the hydrotherapy pool but after using it once, we decided we would probably be forcing ourselves to use it for the remainder of the cruise just to get our money's worth. So, we asked if we could cancel and HAL allowed us to and charged just for the one use we had. We found the regular Jacuzzis to be just fine for what we wanted. Our experience was so good we want to do another cruise next year and I have already started looking. My husband is not enthusiastic about cruising so for him to want to do another one is a big compliment to HAL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Wanted to see the Med. The Captain, John Scott, was the friendliest and most personable one ever. The staff went out of their way to make us feel special. The ship was brand new, and everything was just pristine. We had a balcony for ... Read More
Wanted to see the Med. The Captain, John Scott, was the friendliest and most personable one ever. The staff went out of their way to make us feel special. The ship was brand new, and everything was just pristine. We had a balcony for the first time, and were kept up to date with the islands and shores we were passing. The entertainment was excellent, and the comedians were really really funny. My husband loved the Captain's coffee hour each day at sea, and got to know him very well. He shared funny stories about his history as a ship's captain, including some really good ones about herding sheep and a shop steward. I will not say more. The cooks let us show them how to make real Cajun gumbo, and meals were very good and I loved the Tuscany excursion to the Wine Country, made me want to move there. I did quite a lot of excursions, and I found you don't have to be on the really expensive ones to have a great excursion. Care has been taken by HAL to have the best excursions available. I recommend highly the back to back eastern and western Med cruises out of Rome. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
We thoroughly enjoyed our 21 day cruise last year and could not fault the service on the ship. A little on the downside was the cabin on deck 4 with a lifeboat obstructed view, which we knew we would be getting, was still very comfortable, ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our 21 day cruise last year and could not fault the service on the ship. A little on the downside was the cabin on deck 4 with a lifeboat obstructed view, which we knew we would be getting, was still very comfortable, although next time we would be booking a cabin with a balcony as friends had one on a deck higher up which was just magic! The 2 stewards were amazing and looked after us really well. We did ask after 7 days for an upgrade but there were none available. Our meals were first class and the staff aimed to please. We always had our table booked in the Vista Room for the same time each night and the same excellent waiter remembered each night what drinks we would be ordering. We only did one organised tour which was well organised and worth paying the money for and we were advised to do because of the safety aspect. An excellent memorable cruise which we thoroughly enjoyed and will book again for another one in 2013. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

Find a Noordam Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click