16 Seward Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

First large ship cruise. It was better than expected. Very organized as to getting on and off ship. Went into Fairbanks a day early so we could see sights on own. Enjoyed the Fountainhead Car Museum, caught MAC local bus, and the ... Read More
First large ship cruise. It was better than expected. Very organized as to getting on and off ship. Went into Fairbanks a day early so we could see sights on own. Enjoyed the Fountainhead Car Museum, caught MAC local bus, and the University of Alaska free shuttle from car museum, along with walking along the Chena River in morning. Westmar k Hotel was nice. Bus to Denali, stayed McKinley Lodge, nice. Ate at local Pizza/beer joint for lunch and Moose-Aka's Serbian restaurant for dinner, both great. Took free shuttle to Park and hiked, then took free shuttle to Savage River. Actually saw Denali! Next day long drive to Seward on motorcoach. Great driver, made good time and stopped for photos of Denali and nice lunch in Wasilla. Embarktion at Seward went smoothly, took shuttle to view small town. We liked going to the local saloons before getting back on board to be with locals. Cruise was great, no rough seas, sunny everyday, no high pressure to purchase anything. Food was good, met many nice people at meals, we had open seating. Waiters were fantastic!! Enough time in ports to hike and take excursions of our own. Free shuttles in each town and libraries in port were great to catch up on wifi. Happy hours were great buy, although didn t mind paying $10 with tax for Lemon Drop. Got many great photos of Glaciers, not too crowded on deck. Great art throughout ship. Lincoln center Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We did a fifteen day land and sea journey that started in Fairbanks and loved every minute of it. The Westmark hotel in Fairbanks was terrific, we stayed in South Tower, how anyone could complain about these rooms is beyond me. We went ... Read More
We did a fifteen day land and sea journey that started in Fairbanks and loved every minute of it. The Westmark hotel in Fairbanks was terrific, we stayed in South Tower, how anyone could complain about these rooms is beyond me. We went on the River boat cruise and did the Gold Dredge eight which was a lot of fun, a great way to get started. Denali was awesome, we spent two days there before moving on. Rode ATV and did the Denali Tundra wilderness tour, which was eight hours but had the most amazing sights and we saw a decent amount of wildlife along the way. The weather was perfect for most of trip, rained first day and last day, other than that we had tons of sunshine and warm temperatures. The two lodges were very nice with a rustic feel, we really enjoyed them. Then we took the train to Talkeetna and the train was fun with great views, and good hosts pointing out highlights as we passed them. Saw two moose along the way as well. Bartender on board to make sure everyone had a good time, we certainly did. After spending the afternoon in Talkeetna a great little quaint town with fun people, from there we went to Mt. Mckinley Princess Wilderness lodge which gave us some amazing views of Denali as well. Off to Anchorage on a tour bus to the Westmark Anchorage, an older hotel but kept up nicely. Spent the evening, morning exploring Anchorage which is a very nice city on the inlet. In the afternoon we went to the wildlife preserve where we say many of the native animals up close. Then we went to Mt. Aleyska Resort to spend the evening in the town of Girdwood. The resort was fantastic, very beautiful, high end with endless scenery. Many chose to go into town, we to the tram to the top of mountain and spent the evening eating dinner up there and enjoying the view. Then we went down and spent time exploring the hotel and it's many bars. After an enjoyable evening at Mt. Aleyska we boarded a bus for ride to Seward to board the ship. We got to explore Seward for a few hours before we boarded the ship which was easy and painless. We had a Verandah room with balcony on port side. Nice room, loved view from balcony, had lots of storage for luggage and clothes. Suitcases fit under bed and closets held a lot of cloths. Our room stewards Anom and Novi met us upon arrival and were great guys who did and outstanding job. Wonderful guy and people. The entire staff on the ship were top notch not a complaint on anyone, polite, friendly, helpful and boy do they keep this ship clean. We had great weather and smooth seas as we left port heading for a day at sea before Glacier bay. Glacier bay was phenominal being on port side we saw everything, Captain did a full two rotations at Margie glacier so everyone could see the glacier, I know we saw some calving it think everyone did, what a great day. Most of the cruise we had breakfast in suite with room service, it was hot an delivered on time. We enjoyed sitting on balcony having breakfast while we docked or pulled into port. Our first port of call was Haines, we had an exscursion planned, Portage glacier so we only had a few hours to tour area around ship. The excusion had a wonderful boat ride to the area of the glacier a bus ride to a camp where we suited up with life vests, boots and an oar (boy was my wife suprised) and hiked a half mile to ten man canoes. We only had to paddle about fifty yards before they could use trolling motor on back of boat. then we went ashore about a hundreds yards from portage glacier for pictures etc. Decent tour not sure wife would do it again, it was rustic, the outhouses were terrible. Juneau was our next port we had time to explore before and after our Whale watching excursion, with Mendehal glacier tour. I wish we had more than an hour at the glacier, theres a water fall Nugget falls thats walkable but its a two mile walk, I got pictures but I would've like a closer view. We saw five whales on our cruise to Orca Lodge for a great lunch and shopping (yes more shopping & the only place they don't have gift stores is the bathrooms in Alaska). It was a nice excusion, very well executed and narrated. We went to red dog saloon, I had five Duck fart shots which were very good, wife didn't care for them. Walked around Juneau for the rest of the day before heading back to the ship for dinner. We only ate in the main dining room once and it was very nice and good. Most of the time we were busy and just hit the Lido buffet which had similar items as main dining room, but finding a seat was a chore sometimes. Food was getting cold by the time we sat down. From Juneau we headed to Ketchickan where we saw first day of rain in some time. We had two hours to look around before we went to Neets bay for bear watching via floatplane. I was worried they may cancel flight but it went off without a hitch. The plane ride was great on the way to Neets bay. At neets bay we saw three bear up close and personal at the hatchery, evidently we were at the end of one salmon run and very beginning of another. The bears were within 20 yards but we were on observation deck. On the flight back to Ketchikan our pilot took us over some of the Misty Fjords and then thru some spectacular scenery, saw seals on rock, Dall sheep on hillside it was a wonderful flight back. Once back on ship we watched two adult eagles with a juvenile down on the shore line. Upon leaving Ketchikan we headed towards the inside passage in the rain and some rough seas. Once we got to the inside passage the seas smoothed out. Woke up saturday morning watched us pull into Vancouver which is a beautiful city for disembarkment. We had breakfast in room as we waited for our group to be called, we had a 9-9:30 time and we were at the airport by 10:15ish very easy. Overall it was a marvelous trip, I'd do it again in a minute. Holland America was very organized and terrific. The Noordam was well maintained, clean and the right size. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have previously cruised with Holland America, and like them overall. Their mid-size ships are better (in my opinion) than the larger ships with sooo many people. The clientele is generally adults and families. We had previously traveled ... Read More
We have previously cruised with Holland America, and like them overall. Their mid-size ships are better (in my opinion) than the larger ships with sooo many people. The clientele is generally adults and families. We had previously traveled to Alaska with HAL; we went back because the scenery is awesome and we wanted to do Denali this time. The Noordam has mostly balconies, and does not have the Lanai suites that are on some HAL ships. Though you don't spend lots of time in your room, it is nice to be able to step out on the balcony and enjoy the scenery from there. Hotel service is outstanding as is so typical on cruises: rooms made up twice daily including evening turndown, plus fun towel animals. Our stewards were awesome. We had a suite and it included a whirlpool tub and two sinks. I was blown away (in a good way) to find this on a ship. There are multiple food choices. I am partial to eating in the main dining room. On vacation, I don't want to have to collect my food in a cafeteria line; I would rather be served. Service at dinner was super. We had a fixed seating with the same two servers, and they got to know our tastes and preferences. Breakfast was still nice, but we didn't feel the service was as good. They came by immediately after you were seated and brought juice, coffee, water, and pastries, but sometimes it slowed down after that. Still, in a dining room, you're not looking for "fast food." We did breakfast in our room once, because we had an early tour. They were right on time and the order was accurate. Food tasted good though the toast was not hot. I don't know if this is something that just the Noordam did or if they have changed it across the line, but I loved how they handled tour meetings. In the past, we have had to go to a lounge, get stickers, and wait. On this trip, the meeting point was on shore, and it was up to us to get ourselves off the ship and find the person with the sign for our tour. This was definitely preferable to the other way. It gave us flexibility to get off earlier if we wanted to walk around before a tour, and/or buy a coffee, or whatever. The cruise line offered ample tour options in each port. We like the assurance that the ship will wait if we're late, so we generally book with the ship unless we want to sightsee on our own. Probably our highlight excursion on this trip was the whale-watching in Juneau. The company with whom they have contracted (Gasteau Guiding) uses boats that are specially designed for whale watching, and there are only about 20 people on board. They guarantee you will see a whale. We saw multiple whales; it was truly amazing. We had little interaction with the EXC tours staff because we booked our tours online in advance. All of our tickets were delivered to our stateroom, so there was no standing in line, which was great. On excursions, I would also highly recommend the hop on/hop off bus with luggage transfer for Vancouver if your flight arrangements permit. We had wanted to see Vancouver, and were afraid we would have to spend a night. But the flight that HAL arranged was a "red eye" that didn't leave until 11:00 p.m., so we had all day in Vancouver. They provided us special luggage tags on board for checking our bags with the hop on/hop off people, and those people were in the cruise terminal as we exited. It was a fairly smooth process to leave our bags with them and get started on the bus. Then we had all day to see Vancouver, hopping off and back on whenever we wanted. The ticket includes both the park route and the city route. When we were finished, we hopped on the "Sky Train" (ticket included in the excursion) and headed for the airport. At the airport, we picked up our luggage from the hop on/hop off people (pick up point a little tricky to find but worked out ok) and then checked in for our flight. The hotel where they put us in Anchorage prior to Denali had great staff but needs an update. The hotel staff were awesome but the contracted tour people in Anchorage (who handle transfer to the train and optional excursions) were not real helpful. We paid for a transfer from the airport to the hotel and they ended up putting us in a cab with a voucher. In hindsight, we would have paid far less to just get a cab ourselves. We also did a pre-trip to Denali, which I definitely recommend if you have the time and $. The train trip up is amazing - on a special Holland America train car with upper deck seating for all and restaurant on lower deck. There is a guide and a bartender who serves, in addition to adult beverages, coffees and other items. They run a tab, and during the last hour of the trip, bring you your bill and you settle with your credit card. Very convenient and efficient! The ship had a variety of activities. The asst. cruise director, Johann, was particularly visible as he ran trivia games and deejay-ed in the evening. The string group, now called "Lincoln Center," was very good and very popular - you had to arrive early to get a seat for their performances. The main stage shows were varied, with two Broadway-type shows on our 7-day cruise, plus a comedian, a magician, and a BBC Earth film of Alaska with musical accompaniment (this was GREAT!). We felt that music was too loud for the mainstage shows & probably damaged our hearing but the performers were good. The cruise director himself did not seem to be very present on the ship, at least to us. (Maybe we just didn't go to the right places to see him?) He did work to minimize announcements, which I appreciate. Embarkation at Seward was amazing. Maybe there were more crowded times, but we basically walked right up to an agent, who had everything ready, and we were on the ship within about 5 minutes. Disembarkation at Vancouver was also efficient. I love that they let you stay in your cabin now until you disembark, which made it more comfortable. Re-embarkation at that various ports was also pretty efficient and smooth, unlike another cruise line we have traveled on that has larger ships but just one magnetometer, so it takes forever to get back on the ship! It appears the Noordam was last re-fitted/upgraded in 2006, and there were some signs of wear, but the crew was also continually painting, repair, etc. to keep it in ship shape. Overall, we are satisfied and happy with this Holland America Cruise.Every ship can have little problems, but overall, things went well and we definitely plan to sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We are first timers, so we were a bit apprehensive. However we thought ship was excellent esp. staff, service, food, and most of all the classical quintet in the Lincoln Center. Other plus points were the gym, quiet areas around ... Read More
We are first timers, so we were a bit apprehensive. However we thought ship was excellent esp. staff, service, food, and most of all the classical quintet in the Lincoln Center. Other plus points were the gym, quiet areas around ship, state of decor. The food and service in the MDR were top notch , including afternoon tea every day. The cabin service was very good, prompt and polite. A few negatives such as the show on the main stage which wasn't great, the rangers talks, the kitchen tour ( which was a very short walk through and a few words from the head chef). Overall the experience exceeded our expectations and we would recommend this ship. Although having said that we are first timers so we have no other cruise ships to compare this one with. We had room no. 5189 verandah deck at rear of ship and we were very happy with it . Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The food in both the dining room and on the lido deck was excellent and always presented beautifully. Service was excellent. The ship was sparkling clean everywhere we went. I would highly recommend this ship. We liked our room with a ... Read More
The food in both the dining room and on the lido deck was excellent and always presented beautifully. Service was excellent. The ship was sparkling clean everywhere we went. I would highly recommend this ship. We liked our room with a veranda. It was not near the elevator, which is good. You don't want a room in the open hall by the elevators because when people get off the elevator they talk loudly and wake you up. We played a lot of trivia, which was fun, but the competition was stiff. We also liked America's Test Kitchen. This cruise was on the inside passage in Alaska, from Seward to Vancouver. The scenery was beautiful and we loved the stops in Haines, Juneau and Ketchikan. We went for a whale-watching day trip in Seward before the cruise and were not disappointed. We saw orcas, humpbacks, sea otters, seals, sea lions, and bald eagles. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Overall a great cruise experience , the ship well maintained throughout , the cabin was very nicely appointed and there was plenty of storage . In addition , the cabin steward service was excellent . The main dinning room food was average ... Read More
Overall a great cruise experience , the ship well maintained throughout , the cabin was very nicely appointed and there was plenty of storage . In addition , the cabin steward service was excellent . The main dinning room food was average , however the upscale additional fee restaurants were very nice and the food was excellent . As a blues fans we really enjoyed the excellent entertainment in the BB King lounge , it was really top notch . The main shows in the large auditorium each night were also very entertaining , a combination of dance and music. . The crew was attentive and eager to please . Very few children on this voyage , so it was relaxing and quite. Additional on-board activities included art appreciation seminars and an on-board art auction . There was also several classical music recitals that were well preformed and you had an opportunity to get to know the artists. The ports were all enjoyable and the scenery to and from them was amazing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I chose this cruise because it was the only cruise to go to glacier bay. I felt the ship was classic. Perfect size to not get lost and interact with others. Our cabin and bathroom was larger than other ships. The specialty dining in ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it was the only cruise to go to glacier bay. I felt the ship was classic. Perfect size to not get lost and interact with others. Our cabin and bathroom was larger than other ships. The specialty dining in pinnacle and the Italian were extraordinary. The dining room and vista lounge food was very good and service excellent. We had a beverage package which was good but wine choices were limited. The entertainment in the B.B. king lounge was the best talent ever. We went to every show every night. The other shows were mediocre. The comedian was funny but the ship performance was boring. A bit of variety in the dance would have made it a bit better. The excursions were ok and ports terrific. I traveled with r couples of family and friends. There were a few children on the ship but cloud was older which was what I liked. The test kitchen was a great contribution to the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This is our 5th Alaska cruise. We love going to cool and beautiful places in the hot summers back home. We usually go up and back from Vancouver, which is wonderful. This time we flew to Anchorage, spend a week there and in Seward and took ... Read More
This is our 5th Alaska cruise. We love going to cool and beautiful places in the hot summers back home. We usually go up and back from Vancouver, which is wonderful. This time we flew to Anchorage, spend a week there and in Seward and took the Noordam south to Vancouver. it was a wonderful experience, the best we have had. The ship was comfortable and very enjoyable. We upgraded to a Signature Suite for the first time and that gave us a larger cabin (we previously only stayed in a Veranda cabin) that we really enjoyed: 2 sinks in the bath, more cabin room, larger veranda, etc. We found that eating breakfast and dinner in the dining room was great, more personal, better food, and kept us out of the highly competitive Lido dining. We asked for and got the same table each evening so that meant our serving staff got to know us and we got to know them too. We loved the fact that HAL gave us a full wrap-around walking deck that we could enjoy each day. Three times around the deck was one mile, and the beauty of the surroundings made walking a few miles really easy. We love going to Glacier Bay with the National Park rangers on board and that is something everyone who cruises this way should enjoy. This was the first time we had stopped in Haines, instead of Skagway, and that too was a surprising joy. We rented a car from Captains Choice rental cars and struck out on our own day of discovery. We saw lots of whales and wildlife on our shore excursion out of Juneau, and suffered through another required day in Ketchikan. Every cruise stops there and it is crazy busy. The Noordam needs a bit of refitting and I understand that is planned. But overall, this was a great ship and a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
The embarking process was very organized. Our bags were waiting for us at our room. Service was awesome in dining rooms and cocktail lounges. I am a late night person and would have like to have the lounges open late. Room service ... Read More
The embarking process was very organized. Our bags were waiting for us at our room. Service was awesome in dining rooms and cocktail lounges. I am a late night person and would have like to have the lounges open late. Room service and front desk crews were friendly and helpful. The food quality and selections were above expectation-all plates were prepared as requested. The wait staff accommodated all requested changes to substitute menu items. The staff was able to arrange a table for our entire party (8) each night of the cruise at the same time, having the same waiter enhanced the dining experience. Housekeeping on the boat was excellent everything was kept clean. The quality of the entertainment was very good, but repetitious each night. The shore excursions were informative, the tour guides were knowledgeable and made the excursions interesting. My expectations for the cruise were high and the crew delivered. Holland America stressed the importance of good hygiene during the cruise that helped insure a safe and healthy trip for all. We would travel again with Holland America Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our first cruise, and first time in Alaska, and both were amazing! The land tour was the first part of the trip, and the highlights of that tour were spending a day in Denali (recommend hiking the Savage Alpine Trail) and the ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and first time in Alaska, and both were amazing! The land tour was the first part of the trip, and the highlights of that tour were spending a day in Denali (recommend hiking the Savage Alpine Trail) and the train ride from Denali to Anchorage. Excellent tour guides made the transfers from city to city fun and informative. Once on the ship, the embarking process was very organized and our bags were waiting for us in our room. Service was excellent in the dining room and at the cabana, and the food in the main dining room was delicious. The cabin stewards were great and fixed a couple of problems with our inside cabin right away (plumbing and air conditioning issues). We also loved the "towel animals" that greeted us each night! For entertainment, we really enjoyed dancing to the BB King All Star band, the games and books in the Explorations Cafe, and our cabana. We didn't book any excursions through the cruise line, but we enjoyed all the ports. Overall, great service, yummy food, and fun live music to dance and listen to made this cruise a fantastic experience for this 30-something couple! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Have wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for years and this was just the right time for us to do the cruise. From planning the cruise with our travel agent, to embarkation, after the "land portion", to debarkation everything was well ... Read More
Have wanted to do an Alaskan cruise for years and this was just the right time for us to do the cruise. From planning the cruise with our travel agent, to embarkation, after the "land portion", to debarkation everything was well planned and taken care of. No worries and no stress made for an awesome vacation. Stateroom was just the right size for the 2 of us and what can one say about the food --------- AWESOME! Our nightly visits to the "dessert bar" on the Lido deck should be the telling factor of how we enjoyed this cruise. We could hardly wait in the late evening (early mornings some times) to return to our cabin so we could find out what "towel animal" would greet us. From the cabin stewards to the dining room staff everyone is awesome and you are well taken care of and pampered to the maximum. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This cruise was arranged by a travel agent friend. We enjoyed every part: the shuttle from Anchorage to the boat dock, the cabin, food, activities, ports of call, efficient embarkation and debarkation and the congenial staff. The room ... Read More
This cruise was arranged by a travel agent friend. We enjoyed every part: the shuttle from Anchorage to the boat dock, the cabin, food, activities, ports of call, efficient embarkation and debarkation and the congenial staff. The room was equivalent to a upscale hotel room with private bath. The ship diagrams posted all over helped us get around. The overall route maps in the crows nest were informative. The food was plentiful and we always managed to find a place to sit, even at the busiest times. Crew members constantly greeted us with smiles and seemed happy to answer any questions we had. There were plenty of activities to appeal to varying interests,and the days at port were leisurely We did not have to wait to get on and off the ship. The crew did their best to prevent illnesses by providing plenty of hand sanitizing stations, and periodically disinfecting handrails. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this cruise as the second half of a 13 day D1 Denali land tour through Holland America. Fairbanks We flew into Fairbanks a day early and stayed at the Westmark Fairbanks. Upon arrival we unknowingly bypassed the HAL desk at ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the second half of a 13 day D1 Denali land tour through Holland America. Fairbanks We flew into Fairbanks a day early and stayed at the Westmark Fairbanks. Upon arrival we unknowingly bypassed the HAL desk at the airport and showed up at the hotel without our welcome packet. Christine, at the HAL tour desk, was so helpful. She issued us a temporary room key and let us go ahead and get settled in while she arranged for our packet to be shuttled to us. We enjoyed our room and our time at the Westmark. We enjoyed our meals at the Red Lantern, and our breakfast at the Northern Latitudes, both on site. We walked down to the riverside park on our extra day and enjoyed our time there.(Even though the phone system was down our last night and we failed to receive a wake up call to enjoy the Aurora Borealis.) :-( HAL made leaving on the bus to the Riverboat Cruise very easy, and we enjoyed the cruise, the meal following, and the bus ride to McKinley Chalet resort. Denali National Park and McKinley Chalet Resort We received our welcome packet on the bus, and were dropped off at the stop for our cabin. Our luggage was waiting for us there, and we settled in. We found our room to be very satisfactory. We were in room W206, next to the river. It seemed new and clean, and our only complaint about the room was the lack of anyplace to hang anything. There are no closets, but there is an offset area in the rear bedroom that might be appropriate for some hooks on the wall at least. We had absolutely no issues with transportation, either on site or to other locations. We rarely waited more than a few minutes for a shuttle bus, and it was nice to soak in the atmosphere while we did wait. We found our experience at the complex to be peaceful and relaxing, even the time we spent hauling our laundry to the Canyon Lodge. Some laundry facilities closer to the rear cabin areas would be appreciated! We ate most of our meals at Karsten's in Denali square, with the exception of one dinner at the steakhouse in the main lodge. We thoroughly enjoyed all of the food we had on site. We did the Tundra Wilderness Tour on our second day, and ran into the only weather of our two week trip that was less than ideal. It was a cloudy, misty morning, and we never had a chance of seeing Mount Denali. We saw caribou, dall sheep, and a very minimal look at a moose wrestling with a tree. By the time we were dropped back at the resort, the weather had improved, and was absolutely perfect for the rest of our trip. After a day of relaxation at the resort we gathered in Denali Square for the trip to the train station to board the McKinley Express to Anchorage. McKinley Wilderness Explorer The trip to Anchorage was quite enjoyable. The train is very comfortable, the food served was delicious, and the time went flying by. We got a measure of revenge as we were treated to views of Mt. Denali that were nothing short of spectacular! Anchorage Westmark We had room 502 in the Anchorage Westmark. We were transferred from the train depot to the hotel by bus. Again, we were given our welcome packet before leaving the bus and the entire transfer from the train to our room was flawless. Room 502 had two queen sized beds, one of which was somewhat jammed against the heating/air unit. The facility is adequate. Old, but clean and could use some updating. We had dinner and breakfast the next morning in the restaurant on site. The food was quite good. While waiting for the bus back to the train depot we saw an example of how adept HAL is at handling large amounts of luggage. It is impressive to see their system at work. Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward The excursion train from Anchorage to Seward, while not as comfortable as the McKinley Explorer, was very enjoyable, with good food and some absolutely incredible scenery. It was an experience well worth doing. This is a ride not to be missed. And it is extremely helpful that they complete the check-in process for the ship before you reach the port in Seward. Embarkation Embarkation could not have gone smoother for us. Having requested wheelchair assistance for embarking, we went straight through security and were onboard in no time. Thank you to the very helpful Noordam staff for making this process work so smoothly. With the train arriving late in the afternoon, we found our luggage waiting for us in our cabin, and were able to unpack somewhat before the muster drill. The muster drill was delayed slightly by a gentleman requiring emergency medical disembarkation. We sincerely hope that everything turned out well for him and his family. The MS Noordam We were in cabin 7057, a Neptune suite located adjacent to the Neptune lounge. This booking was the result of a last-week upsell offer from HAL that we accepted, having originally booked a verandah stateroom on the 8th deck. The suite was everything we could have hoped for, and more. Spacious and very comfortable, with a large verandah and far more storage than we could find a use for. Heri and Anang, our stewards, kept the cabin clean and in order in spite of us. :-) We would like to thank these gentlemen for all of their efforts and assistance. Should we never receive another upgrade/upsell offer from HAL, we will forever be glad we accepted this one. The Neptune lounge was very nice. Quiet and convenient for grabbing a quick drink or snack between meals. And there might not be adequate words to describe the patience, helpfulness, and did I mention, patience, of the Neptune concierge staff, Anne and Laura. They seemed to always have a smile and a yes answer to whatever question or request we asked of them, be it large or trivial. They are a very pleasant and positive asset, and we appreciate all of their help immensely. We very much enjoyed most of the meal experiences onboard the Noordam. Both breakfast and dinner in the Pinnacle Grill were excellent, and Rick gave us excellent service. We certainly wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. We found Canaletto to be very good and got some helpful assistance from the wine steward there. We enjoyed dressing for Gala nights in the MDR, and it was fun seeing the number of people who still find the experience worthy. We found Noordam to be a beautiful ship, with some signs of her age here and there. We could be as relaxed and as comfortable as we chose to be pretty much anywhere on board, and thought the overall décor to our liking. We spent the majority of our shipboard time relaxing in our cabin or on our verandah. We did not attend many shows, although we did enjoy an evening of B.B.King's All Stars and the Filipino Crew show. The Galley tour on the last day was informative and very popular. And we managed to squeeze in some shopping time.... Our time spent cruising Glacier Bay is unforgettable. It was a beautiful day and the sights and just the atmosphere of that place are incredible. Listening to the sounds emanating from Margerie Glacier as the ship spun slowly in front of the face was worth the entire trip. Overall, our time on board the Noordam was what we had hoped for. It was relaxing and exciting at the same time, comfortable, enjoyable, and we are so glad to have done this trip. Thank you to Captain Bos, his staff and crew, and everyone affiliated with Holland America for helping us to have a wonderful first cruise/trip experience. And thank you to the Good Lord for blessing us with two weeks of almost perfect weather. Excursions We did two Allen Marine excursions and enjoyed them both. The Best of Juneau whale watching/Orca point lunch/Mendenhall glacier tour was well worth the price. An hour at Mendenhall, which is a beautiful and very educational visit, followed by whale watching which delivered at least three whales and numerous sightings of Stellar sea lions and then a tasty lunch at Orca Point Lodge. The scenery visible on such a beautiful afternoon would have been worth the time even without the wildlife sightings. The Misty Fjords Wilderness Explorer took us on an extended jet boat ride into Misty Fjords National Monument. The vistas were amazing, with the boat drifting closely past waterfalls tumbling down from sheer rocky cliffs. It was a beautiful day, with abundant sunshine on our way into the park and some of the namesake mists settling in around the peaks as we exited. We enjoyed the ride, the scenery, and viewing the petroglyphs left by the native peoples. Disembarkation Unfortunately, our trip ended as it had begun, with a medical emergency. On the last night, someone required medical assistance which ultimately led to the ship pulling into Vancouver nearly two hours early for a medical disembarkation. Again, our thoughts and prayers go with those affected. The rest of the disembarkation process went fine for us. We chose to check our carry-on bags for the return flights home, so after having put our luggage out in the hall the night before we had an easy time making the transfer to the airport from the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Everything was great. SKIP THE PINNACLE GRILL!!!!. The Pinnacle grill was at par with an Outback Steakhouse, except smaller, slower service, and more expensive. The steaks were over seasoned, and not worth paying the extra fee for this ... Read More
Everything was great. SKIP THE PINNACLE GRILL!!!!. The Pinnacle grill was at par with an Outback Steakhouse, except smaller, slower service, and more expensive. The steaks were over seasoned, and not worth paying the extra fee for this dining option. The Italian restaurant, however was very good. When in Skagway, rent a car to travel to the yukon and Whites Pass. There is an Avis location in Skagway and you can book the car before your cruise. It is much cheaper, and more comfortable than riding in a train/bus. In Ketchikan, we enlisted Ketchikan Taxicab Tours to show us the area via mini van. Again, a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the normal tour options. Again, we booked this tour before he cruise. Your driver will make sure you see the salmon run, if they are there. To get one of the good lounge seats on the observation deck, you have to get there early and stay there. Its the best place to see the world go by. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose the Alaska land and cruise package that included the 3 night Denali pre-cruise trip. We flew into Anchorage on July 12, two days before the official start (always concerned about flight delays). Flights on Delta from ... Read More
We chose the Alaska land and cruise package that included the 3 night Denali pre-cruise trip. We flew into Anchorage on July 12, two days before the official start (always concerned about flight delays). Flights on Delta from Syracuse-Minneapolis-Seattle-Anchorage were all on time. Arrived in Anchorage on time and met at the airport by HAL staff and, after collecting checked bags, promptly boarded a bus to our hotel (the Westmark). The hotel was conveniently located and definitely had an older feel but the room was clean and comfortable. While in Anchorage we had dinners at Crush (a wine and tapas bar) and the 49th State Brewery - both were excellent - and we visited the Alaska Museum, worth the time if you can make it. On the morning of the 14th, we were bused to the domed rail cars at the train station (a five minute drive) for our trip up to Denali. This trip was fantastic. The scenery was magnificent and the host/commentator gave us plenty of great information along the way. We had lunch in the dining area of the car (it's the lower level) and the food was very good. We had several sightings of Denali itself - very impressive as it towers well above everything around it. Arrived at the McKinley Lodge around 5PM. McKinley Lodge is a very nice property. It's more of a campus with several restaurants and shops and rooms are in many buildings. They have an effective shuttle system to get you around if you don't care to walk. Food in the restaurants was very good and, I thought, reasonably priced considering where you were. It's more than you'd probably pay at home but certainly less than if you were in NYC or any other large city. On the 15th we embarked on our Tundra Wilderness tour of Denali Park. You ride in a bus and at first you think it's rather uncomfortable but you forget all about that when you spot your first wildlife. Our driver, Joe, was very informative all along the way. We spotted grizzlies, caribou, Dall Sheep, brown bear and more. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular. It's basically an all day thing and well worth it. Our helicopter/glacier landing on the 16th was cancelled because of the weather (fog at the glacier) so we had free time to explore on our own and get some much needed rest. Had dinner that night at the Salmon Bake - great food and a really quirky place. On the 17th we boarded our bus to Seward for the start of our cruise. This trip took all day, starting at 8:30 and arriving at 6PM. They try to coordinate the arrivals with the train so that the lines for embarkation don't get too long. Once again, our driver was a wealth of knowledge and offered commentary as we traveled. Lunch was included. Embarkation was quick and easy and all of our luggage was in our room when we arrived. We unpacked and then headed to the dining room at 8 for dinner. Cruise notes: We ate in the main dining room every night but one. Food was always very good, hot and tasty, no bad meals. Service was outstanding. Tuesday night we at in the Pinnacle Grill - excellent meal - the filet mignon was fork tender and delicious. We also ate all of our breakfasts and lunches in the main dining room (except when we were off the ship). Only had one meal from the Lido so no comments on that. We didn't do much in the way of entertainment - a few trips to the casino. We're more interested in the Alaska scenery than the shows. We had a balcony cabin on deck 8 just below the spa. Great cabin attendants, room was always clean and made up while we were at breakfast. The balcony was a plus for enjoying the scenery. Ports: Our first treat was not a port at all but the ship cruised through Glacier Bay. Everywhere you looked we were impressed. We spotted many bald eagles and seals. The high point was getting very close to the Margery Glacier and hearing the ice cracking (sounds like thunder) and seeing it fall into the bay. Next, in Skagway we did the White Pass Rail trip. Well worth it. Again, the views and the scenery were awesome. A box lunch is provided. In Juneau we did a hovercraft trip to the Taku Glacier - also well worth it. You get up close and personal with the face of the glacier as it makes its way to the water - it's one of the few that are still advancing. Where a sweater as your standing really close to millions of tons of ice. In Ketchikan, we walked the town on our own with no excursion planned. On to Vancouver with a sea day in between, we sailed the inside passage for more awesome scenery and whale and seal sightings. Spent the night in Vancouver at the Four Seasons before returning home the next day. Air Canada flights were on time and very pleasant. This trip has to be on everyone's bucket list. Alaska is one of, if not the, most beautiful places on earth. So much of it is untouched. The air is fresh and clean and the wild life seems to be everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Classy experience. Ship: Noordam. Well appointed, clean, well maintained. Hand sanitizers available everywhere, with overhead and live reminders to use or to wash hands. Great implementation! Excellent emergency training ... Read More
Classy experience. Ship: Noordam. Well appointed, clean, well maintained. Hand sanitizers available everywhere, with overhead and live reminders to use or to wash hands. Great implementation! Excellent emergency training pre-embarking. Captain Bos kept us informed on wildlife sightings and beautiful vistas as we approached. Ports: Departed Seward, AK, and charming town. The Sea Life Aquarium was wonderful, showing sea life from both above and below the water. Ports: Haines - tiny town, not much to do; schedule excursion this stop. Juneau - take the Tram to the top of the mountain for exquisite views & eagle sightings. Open-air Crab Shack serve King Crab legs for lunch, which was ourstanding! Ketchikan - was last port. Juneau & Ketchikan as very commercialized and similar, as one might expect. Shops open when the cruise ships dock! Lots of junky souvenir shops and Tanzanite/Diamond stores. We found most eateries and gift/jewelry shops overpriced. We'd recommend knowing which ports' attractions appeal to you most & select your cruise factoring in that. It seemed to us that many of the vendors onboard making presentations promoting certain jewelry or other stores were likely being compensated by stores at the various ports. Glacier Bay Cabana Rental: Reserve this as soon as you board, if your ship spends the day at Glacier Bay. $50 pp for private outdoor cabana with 2 chaises with wool blankets and 2 chairs with table. Irish coffee, Spanish coffee, and mulled wine served all day, and lunch was served.. While others were freezing on a lower deck, the cabanas broke the wind and protected us from the frigid air around the glaciers! Well worth it! Cabin: Stateroom 7142. We reserved a Neptune Suite on Rotterdam Deck (7th floor), with perks that enhanced our vacation experience...bottle of champagne; bottle of sparkling water; 2 large bottles of spring water; silver basket of fruit replenished daily; Elemis toiletries; separate tub & shower; access to the Neptune Lounge (with elegantly prepared hors d'oeuvres, chocolates, fruits, cookies, latte/cappuccino/coffee maker, tea, juices. Sodas & cocktails were extra); personal Concierge in lounge, and complimentary daily breakfast in their high end Pinnacle Grill. Additionally, our boarding, disembarkation and luggage handling were treated with priority as a suite guest. We were told to enter the Priority Entrance lane and passed about 500 other people waiting to board -- took us 15 minutes to check-in and be on the ship! If able, we would recommend traveling at this level. Regardless of room level, the staff were all friendly and eager to accommodate any request. Our room steward, Danang, besides being friendly and always with a smile, was a perfectionist and had our room looking crisp & fresh twice a day! A very polished, professional group of employees on ALL levels. TV was 18-24" size with very few channels & poor reception in port especially. ***There are no outlets next to the bed, so if you must plug in a medical device, or entertainment device, you will need an extension cord; OR, check with HAL before departure to see if one is available onboard. Dining: We ate breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, except for an excursion day when we ordered room service. Pinnacle Grill is exquisite - both food & service. Lunch was good at the Lido. It had very crowded feel, but many varieties of food; this is a help yourself-type restaurant. We never tried the Pool/Lido Deck fast food bar. Dinner was mostly done in the Vista Restaurant, and the food was delicious and beautifully prepared. Service was impeccable, and the servers knew our names in public after Day 2! Regarding dinner attire - Gala Night allowed dressy casual; we did not wear nor see formal wear. Entertainment: We did not attend any of the shows or visit any of the bars/lounges, though some of them had beautiful decor. Overall a great experience. We left with a very positive feeling about the Holland America Line. 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

Find a Noordam Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click