9 Seward Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

The stateroom had a small we could not get rid off...finally found mold on shower curtain. Mirrors in staterooms were old and needed replacing. Dirt in corners remained throughout cruise. They were no activities for young ... Read More
The stateroom had a small we could not get rid off...finally found mold on shower curtain. Mirrors in staterooms were old and needed replacing. Dirt in corners remained throughout cruise. They were no activities for young adults..everything geared toward old retired crowd. All talks and presentaions geared to selling instead of onformation. Tv in state rooms did not work well....they were ancient. Service last night in main dining room was terrible..rest of time was good. Service in upscale restaurants and the value of food was worse than on lido deck and main dining room. All activities geared toward geriatric population. My young adult son's were bored to tears. Although the naturalist on board was great. We enjoyed his presentations. The shore excursions were either terrific...or horrid. Avoid the Duck tours. The glacier tour was great and going through Glacier park made it all worth. We had 3 in cabin...and all promotions wr re only for two leaving one of us out. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We did the cruise tour. This was the first time I did the cruise tour. The tour was before the cruise. The boarding pass has good information as to how the luggage is going to be handled. Hotel check in at Anchorage was smooth and the ... Read More
We did the cruise tour. This was the first time I did the cruise tour. The tour was before the cruise. The boarding pass has good information as to how the luggage is going to be handled. Hotel check in at Anchorage was smooth and the agents there was helpful. Check in at Denali was easy. But I found the agents there were very unorganized and most of the time we didn't even know what was going on. We booked excursions both days and there were no agent there to tell us which one is our excursion. We had to look for the buses and at times asked almost every bus driver. On our way to Seward at a buffet lunch, the bus driver never explained what we were supposed to do and we had to just follow other people. Or maybe he did say something but most of the people couldn't even hear him! We were sitting in the middle of the bus! But the scenery was amazing! I am glad we did the tour part! The cruise was very good. The Glacier National Park was just beautiful. Love the photographer took my photo at the deck by the glacier! What a memorable photo! The captain was nice to stay at the Margerie Glacier for a long time so we can see calvings! It was amazing! Our cabin was at the back of deck 4 with amazing balcony with great views! The cabin is a lot more spacious than other balconies. My complain is the server at the buffet. There were couple people looked like they were mad at everyone! When we ordered something, no eye contact, no thank you, not even a word came out of his mouth! His attitude was a little better after a few days! Then the food, both the dinning room and the buffet were just ok. The buffet menu repeated, it was just a 7 day cruise! Excursions were over priced but good. We didn't go to any of the entertainment. We were group of 4 high school friends, reunion! I don't think I want to go to the Noordam again! Read Less
Sail Date May 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
My husband and I just returned from an HAL Alaska land/sea cruise aboard the Noordam. Seeing Alaska is very ambitious and something we could not have navigated on our own, there is just too much land to cover. I think the two-week package ... Read More
My husband and I just returned from an HAL Alaska land/sea cruise aboard the Noordam. Seeing Alaska is very ambitious and something we could not have navigated on our own, there is just too much land to cover. I think the two-week package met many of our needs. However, I didn’t find it a perfect experience To start with our first hotel in Fairbanks was the WestMark and it was DISGUSTING. We slept in our clothes on top of the bedding. For the first two days much of the group could only talk about how gross our accommodations were. We were convinced we made the biggest mistake of our lives booking this tour. Fortunately, things got better. As with all organized tours, there has to be a spirit of compromise. We didn’t find everything interesting but we were part of a group and it wasn’t all about us. The staff was great with the luggage. We would leave our luggage outside in the morning and always find it waiting in our room at the next stop. This was great because we packed a lot, (Alaska was really part of longer vacation). We paid for a breakfast package and that was a good investment. But at our last hotel we had to pay for a breakfast because the hotel said they were not part of Holland America’s network. I can afford it and I don’t really care too much but I was told all the breakfasts were included and it wasn’t. The once we boarded the ship we were able to settle in and unpack. The ship itself is getting old around the edges and can use some TLC. There was some good talent at the venues. The cabin attendants were attentive and hardworking. The food was only mediocre; nothing was great. I also hate waiting on line for food so the Lido didn’t do it for us plus the food there reminded me of an average college cafeteria., You could get a decent omelet but lousy fruit, bacon and sausage.. Also, as members of the Starbucks generation, we love strong coffee; there wasn’t a decent cup of coffee available at any of the restaurants on board. We used to buy coffee and add two shots of espresso to make it acceptable. The main dining room and the other two speciality restaurants were better (still not great) and we would have returned to each one but we couldn’t get another reservation at either of them. In summation, I don’t regret the trip because I saw Alaska but I will explore other cruise lines before I cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We have cruised a variety of lines- Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney- and were really looking forward to trying Holland America for our Alaska cruise. Unfortunately, a serious dearth of on-board activities and entertainment ... Read More
We have cruised a variety of lines- Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Disney- and were really looking forward to trying Holland America for our Alaska cruise. Unfortunately, a serious dearth of on-board activities and entertainment left us struggling to find things to do any time we weren't on land. Good things about this cruise: the public areas are nice, embarkation was smooth and friendly, food was definitely a cut above what we have experienced on other lines, and the service was impeccable. Bad things about this cruise: itinerary was just okay (we loved Glacier Bay, thought Juneau and Skagway were okay, and got absolutely nothing out of Ketchikan), and as I mentioned in the overall comment.. there were so, so few activities on board. The daily programs that were delivered to our cabin each night after dinner could have fit on a cocktail napkin. We aren't the kind of people that need to participate in belly flop contests or need a rowdy crowd to have a good time. But it's nice to have SOMEthing to do when you're on the ship. We found ourselves bored and aimless quite frequently. The TVs haven't been upgraded yet and our stateroom's TV was fuzzy and of poor quality, so even relaxing in our rooms before bed wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been. HAL could take a cue from Celebrity in this regard; it's a stately, refined crowd, but there are all kinds of cooking demonstrations and informational lectures and different get-togethers that make being on-board and at sea enjoyable. Usually sea days are our favorite parts of cruises; on this cruise, we came to realize that once we weren't setting foot in Alaska, our options for entertainment and amusement decreased sharply. What's particularly frustrating about this is that I can see many of the same complaints on these boards, so HAL has to know that they're coming up short in this regard, but they do nothing. All I can say is, if you're thinking of booking a cruise with HAL and wondering if the negative reviews you're seeing that mention no entertainment or activities are true, let me assure you: there is truly a serious lack of entertainment on this ship, lovely and well-serviced though it may be. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
First time on Noordam. Have cruised in the past on the New Amsterdam and enjoyed it greatly. Our main complaint here was that dining arrangements through out the ship were poor. In the main dining room tables for eight or 10 prevailed. ... Read More
First time on Noordam. Have cruised in the past on the New Amsterdam and enjoyed it greatly. Our main complaint here was that dining arrangements through out the ship were poor. In the main dining room tables for eight or 10 prevailed. If wanted a table for 2 they were normally placed in high traffic areas and often required a wait. The one time we agreed to sit with others, we had to summon the pastry server because he had been to our table before we arrived. We were never offered juice. The staff was generally inattentive and often we didn't know who our main waiter was. A lunch one day my wife ordered a salad as a starter and I ordered a sandwich as my main. I had to watch my wife eat her salad and then she watched me eat my sandwich. Very odd. A particular Maitré Di was particularly unhelpful. We ended up leaving The Pinnacle Dining room on our one visit after waiting for 10 minutes after our plates were cleared and not being offered dessert. The Lido was a seating disaster with most tables set for six or four and the few tables for two in high traffic areas. The 6 and 4 person tables quickly filled up with parties of 2 leaving many people searching for a table despite the fact that there were many unoccupied seats at occupied tables. If you wanted wine or a drink with dinner, you had to bring it yourself because service was sparse. I saw several people clearing tables to find a spot. Disembarkation was a host of conflicting and incorrect instructions. And crew people contradicting each other. We enjoyed the sights, our stateroom was immaculately maintained. our only complaints were the food service and disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
For years our bucket list has included a trip to Alaska. We are newly retired and chose the 14-day land/sea package offered by HAL. Having only cruised two other times, both with other cruise lines, this was our first HAL experience. We ... Read More
For years our bucket list has included a trip to Alaska. We are newly retired and chose the 14-day land/sea package offered by HAL. Having only cruised two other times, both with other cruise lines, this was our first HAL experience. We arrived in Fairbanks on July 26th, 2016 at around 2 pm. HAL’s bus pickup in Fairbanks went smoothly. There was limited confusion – as with most things, anyone who listened had no problems. After check-in at the Westmark hotel, we had the evening to ourselves. We chose to walk to Bobby’s for dinner. We were very happy with our food. My salmon was juicy and flavorful. My husband said his meal was excellent and he raved about the carrots – HA! Our Westmark room was typical. The bed was hard and uncomfortable for me, but I find most hotel beds to be that way. And I HATE the tiny pillows everybody seems to be using these days! Jul 27th: We took the three-hour sternwheeler Riverboat Discovery tour. The weather was very warm and clear, which added to our experience. We enjoyed this excursion very much and would recommend it to anyone going to Alaska for the first time. The guides were informative and fun. The lunch provided at Steamboat Landing was fantastic and very well organized. Later in the day, we were bussed to Denali National Park. When we arrived at the McKinley Chalet Resort, we were bussed right to our building, the Cottonwoods, which was at the very far bottom end of a large complex of buildings. We were told shuttles came by often but we didn’t find that to be the case. It was a very long uphill run to the main lodge, where we rushed immediately when we were informed our evening excursion (river jet boating) had been cancelled due to mechanical problems. The desk supervisor was extremely ambivalent about our situation, pausing just long enough to say our money would be refunded before she went back to her office. She offered no alternatives, but we were lucky enough to find a young man who reviewed our options and got us on a jeep tour instead. In hindsight, we are glad this happened. We had a great time in our own jeep, and we actually saw Denali Peak, something only 20% of tourists ever see. We also saw moose and beaver, and picked wild blueberries before it got dark. Our room in the Cottonwoods building of the McKinley Chalet was a big disappointment. Although fairly clean, it was decorated with furniture that looked like second-hand store rejects. The carpet was soiled and the bedspread (yes, bedspread, yuck) was ancient. The room was hot and there was no air conditioning. Apparently HAL doesn’t plan on it getting hot in Denali. When I tried to open the window, I discovered it had no screen, and since mosquitoes are the size of small airplanes, I couldn’t open it until the screen was replaced. That was completed while we were on the jeep excursion. However, the replacement screen was severely bent and didn’t fit well. We asked for a fan, then found another one in the bottom of our wardrobe (I use that term loosely), so we turned both fans on us for the night. That seemed to work for our three-night stay. There was a small deck off of our room, just big enough for one chair. It was covered with spider webs and wasn’t very appealing to us since only one of us could be on it at a time, but the view was beautiful and the sound of the river was very nice. July 28th: I wish someone had warned us about the 8-hour Tundra Wilderness tour into the national park. It was about 6 hours too long. The day was drizzly and foggy, and we were smashed into repurposed school buses with no restrooms. The windows were possibly the originals, miserable vertical sliders that people had difficulty opening and closing. They got foggy and dirty really quick. One of the guests on our bus kindly cleaned the windows at the rest stops. Thank goodness those stops came about every 2 hours or so – the women all made a mad rush to stand in lines at the biffies. We were provided with “hearty snacks” for the day, but my husband and I purchased sandwiches before we boarded, and we were glad we did. During the day, I heard quite a few complaints about the cramped busses, the lack of restroom facilities, and the sheer madness of an 8-hour ride in the fog. We saw very little wildlife and it was foggy so we didn’t see Denali either. July 29th: In the afternoon we went on the water rafting excursion. We had a blast – we recommend you do this. They put you in dry suits, it’s great. My head was soaked, but my body stayed dry and warm. The water was quick and high so we got a great ride. That evening we went to the dinner and show on the chalet property. The show was cute enough and we were entertained. The food was served family style, and although it was hot, it was very mediocre. The salmon was so dry I choked on it and had to leave the table for a few minutes. July 30th: We were transferred to the McKinley Explorer, a two-story train, and we loved everything about it. The views were extraordinary. The food was good. Our tour guide was witty, knowledgeable, and very personable. We arrived in Anchorage and were bussed to our hotel, the Hilton Anchorage. That evening we walked to Club Paris for dinner and weren’t disappointed – the food and service were both outstanding. I slept more comfortably on the Hilton bed. July 31st: We rode the Cruisetrain to Seward, which is a narrated journey. Although not a double-decker like the McKinley Explorer, we had wonderful views, sat at tables for the entire journey, and were served by a well-informed guide who has spent most of her life in Alaska. She even had her own photo album of fishing and hunting experiences for us to peruse. This was one of our favorite days simply because of the unbelievable scenery. We were gob-smacked at the beautiful country. The train took us right to the dock in Seward, where we boarded HAL’s Noordam. We left port that evening. We were pleasantly surprised at our room, #4054 on the port side. Our deck gave us great views both straight out and forward. To the rear our view was blocked by life vessels, but we didn’t find that to be an annoyance. Our bathroom was very adequate. The room was quiet – the only thing that ever disturbed me was the slamming of other guest’s deck doors as they went out or in. The room seemed to be neat and clean except for several quarter-size spots along the sides of the bed, and our deck looked like it hadn’t been maintained or even washed and cleaned in quite some time. Our evenings onboard were usually spent wandering after dinner. We enjoyed a comedian one night, a performance of the cruise employee’s orchestra alongside a video one night, and a night in the piano bar, where that talented lady could play anything you yelled out. We didn’t lack for things to do, and aside from our ‘luggage debacle’, we were satisfied with our cruise. The “Luggage Debacle”: Our luggage arrived late the first evening onboard and I was shocked when I saw the severe damage to my bag. I purchased what I thought was a very nice set for this trip, and the largest bag had been grossly mishandled. The adjustable handle at the top of the bag had been wrenched so hard from the bag that it had even ripped the stitching down both sides for a distance. The exposed handle end showed not just a hard plastic sheet had been ripped through, but also a metal sheet! This was not normal wear and tear. And somebody knew they had caused the damage because they had to reattach my identification tag to another one of the handles. Yet there was no note, no explanation, no call, no contact. The bag was just left in my room like nothing had happened. I was very upset but left the situation until morning, then went to customer service for reparations. The service employee that dealt with me for the next three days gave me the distinct impression he wished I’d just go away. He had very limited decision-making capability. I just mean that he was there to give lip service, not given the authority to make decisions. He said he’d like to take my luggage to the ship ‘upholsterer’ for a fix. WHAT?! OK, here’s where I went off the rails a bit. I knew it couldn’t be fixed. And he said I couldn’t go with my bag to the upholsterer to talk with that person or see what he intended to do. I was told I couldn’t know where my bag was going, it’s a secret place they don’t want tourists to know about. But over all my objections, I was pressured to give my bag up for ‘repair’. It was returned the next evening. The broken handle end was tucked inside the bag, held there by a huge hex bolt and nut! The bolt was about 1-1/2” long and protruded into my bag over an inch. A metal washer had been put on the outside of the bag and had been crushed by the head of the bolt until it curved up like a saucer. Heavy-duty blue thread (my bag is black, gray, and orange) was used to stitch a few very large running stitches along the ripped fabric and tie a large exposed knot. Now I was really upset. Again no note, no explanation, no call, no contact. I guessed I was just supposed to like what I saw. I returned to customer service the next day with my bag in tow. The service employee asked me if I liked the repair?!?!?! When I assured him I didn’t, he said he would like to let the “upholsterer” try again. I was very frustrated but gave him the bag and returned to my room. This problem was running on for two days and was beginning to take over my vacation. After another day with no bag and no resolution, both my husband and I returned to Customer Service and demanded the problem be elevated. But again we saw the same employee. He said the decision had been made that HAL would not reimburse me, so I asked to see the person who made that decision. He reaffirmed his position and said HAL sub-contracts out their luggage handling so it’s not their fault. He said I should try to see their side. We said that sub-contractors don’t mean anything to us, we paid HAL and HAL has to accept the liability/responsibility. We demanded to talk to the manager who had made the decisions, and he finally left us. Another woman came out in a few minutes, very kindly apologized for our inconvenience, and agreed to give a refund. But she said HAL needed to keep my luggage. When I asked her how I was supposed to get my belongings back home, she suggested I go ashore at one of the next ports and buy another piece of luggage! I had to explain why I had a problem with this suggestion. First of all, my damaged bag was part of a set, so where in Alaska was I supposed to get a match? Second, where was I going to get a good deal on a piece of luggage offered at one of the next tourist-trap ports we stopped in? Third, I had booked excursions – was I supposed to miss those so I could shop for luggage??? She finally saw my point and said the photos they’d already taken should be adequate for HAL. So I was reimbursed and came home with a piece of jerry-rigged luggage. But I digress. Aug 1st: This was a full day at sea and we had a great time looking for wildlife. The food on the Lido was typical and we usually had breakfast/lunch there. We enjoyed the Vista for our dinners, and we found the food to be pleasing, always hot and fresh. We were quite amazed at how organized the Vista was. We never had to wait for a table and the servers were all very happy and accommodating. Aug 2nd: We loved the full day at Glacier Bay. We especially loved our deck because we had our own viewing area and didn’t have to join the crowds on deck. August 3rd: Haines. This was the only time we booked a non-HAL excursion. We went with First Choice Charters on a halibut fishing trip for five hours. There were only two other people with us. The weather was a bit wet but we had a great time August 4th: Juneau. We took the Mendenhall Glacier excursion in the morning and loved it. While there we were able to see two black bears up close and personal, fishing in the river for spawning salmon. We were standing within 20 feet of them, on the bridge above, and it was fascinating. In the afternoon we took the “Best of Juneau Whale Watching” excursion and had another great time. This was probably the highlight of my whole vacation. We saw nine hump-back whales feeding in a “bubble net” formation that was just amazing. We would definitely suggest these excursions for first-time travelers to Alaska. August 5th: Ketchikan. We took the “Behring Sea Crab Fisherman’s Fishing” excursion and were glad we did. This is another excursion we would recommend to others. Very informative, hands-on with craband prawns, and they take you to a place where they feed the eagles so you can see them up close and personal. Just awesome! August 6: Another day at sea, cruising the inside passage. This was a very relaxing day where we watched more sea life, bears on the shore, etc. A perfect last day at sea. August 7th: HAL shuttled us right to the Vancouver airport steps. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We cruised on the Noordam from Seward to Vancouver on July 31, 2016. We enjoyed the cruise. It is a smaller boat than we are used to but quite nice. The cabins were a little tight but serviceable and plenty of storage space. The food ... Read More
We cruised on the Noordam from Seward to Vancouver on July 31, 2016. We enjoyed the cruise. It is a smaller boat than we are used to but quite nice. The cabins were a little tight but serviceable and plenty of storage space. The food was good...small portions however the option is there to request more but you would have to wait. Choice of menu was fine however on other cruise lines there has always been a few everyday choices (good standbys) and then the nights choices, therefore if you did not like, or could not eat the nights choices, (as I can't eat shell or regular fish) you could always chose the steak, etc. The buffet was always good with plenty of choices. The crew was good, no complaints. All the crew (including officers) were friendly and helpful. We felt the entertainment was lacking. The comedian and the house dancers/singers were great, however they performed only once or twice. Other times it was a movie????? Also, for the cruising days, there was not enough activities offered. We enjoyed the Digital computer/photo classes however room was VERY limited. We attended the Trivia games a few times but boring. All summed up, if there had not been land stops, there was not enough to do. The Captain was very good notifying us know when there was sea life to view in the area. P.S. we did have a 2:30am emergency wake up with smoke in the engine room. The Captain was very good in notifying and keeping us informed that after checking, it was taking care of. My husband and I had dressed and gathered necessary items but was glad to put them away and go back to sleep. Would we cruise Holland again????? Maybe !!!!! not sure Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I have been wanting to visit Alaska, this cruise seemed like the perfect opportunity. The ship was granted access to cruise through Glacier Bay and through the Inside Passage. The cruise itself was amazing. The captain made daily ... Read More
I have been wanting to visit Alaska, this cruise seemed like the perfect opportunity. The ship was granted access to cruise through Glacier Bay and through the Inside Passage. The cruise itself was amazing. The captain made daily long winded announcements regarding the ship's travel path and the wild life surrounding the ship. The onboard activities were truly lacking Unless you want to play Bingo everyday!!! The evening entertainment was subpar. The magician (and his assistant; his wife) were totally ridiculous. The show was appropriate for a child's birthday party! The ship's dancers / singers were okay at best. Their shows were nothing special. The cruise director made a big deal about a new movie that was only being shown on Holland America in collaboration with BBC. Well, it was good for the first five to ten minutes but that's all. My husband fell asleep. I looked around the audience, many of the guests either walked out OR fell asleep too. The only highlight was the comedian, he was excellent. Luckily he performed one and a half times during the entire 7 day voyage. If you like a night life, this is not the ship for you. Nothing to do after 10:45 PM except the Casino. Unfortunately there is no comedy after hours. The cruise is really for an older crowd that sleeps early. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Noordam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.8
Family 2.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 3.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.3

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