5 Seward Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

My husband and I did the Double Denali with 7 day cruise down the inner passage. What a mistake that was!! I had one day on-board the Noordam before I got ill. One day to enjoy the ship - that's all. I had one day before I fell ... Read More
My husband and I did the Double Denali with 7 day cruise down the inner passage. What a mistake that was!! I had one day on-board the Noordam before I got ill. One day to enjoy the ship - that's all. I had one day before I fell dreadfully ill with a virulent flu virus which I contracted while staying in the Holland America chalet in Denali a few days before (together with up to 90% of other people on the same holiday, according to what the medical staff on board told us). I was told by their medical staff that it takes up to 4 days to show after infection so that takes it firmly into the Denali stay period. It was also a ‘seasonal identified influenza virus’..Presumably a local virus? We certainly never heard a holiday maker on our bus/train etc coughing - not until we got on the Noordam. Certainly by the end of the cruise people were coughing all over the ship. My temperature reached 104 degrees and I was 'isolated' and 'sanitized' in my room for 3 days. This was done in the most insensitive and unkind way - making me sit there in the room feeling like a leper. I sat crying while staff in gloves and masks swilled the room over with cheap smelly disinfectant (which, by the way, aggravated my throat and cough). I was too ill to do anything about it except get very upset and later to get very very angry. We were told to use the room service. Most of the food offered in the room service booklet was inedible to me as I was feeling so ill. My husband spent 3 days going up and down the ship getting me glasses of water and bits of food I could eat (cold by the time he got it to me). Ringing room service was very difficult as the phones are so weak that it was difficult to hear anyone on the other end and always so busy, and the people answering them often had poor English. Room service always said there would be at least a 45 min wait for anything. At no point were we offered or told about anything that might be available to us to help us. My husband couldn't even get a jug for water - he was only allowed to bring water by the plastic glass. There weren't even any trays to carry things on. We have never done a cruise before so all this was new to us and we didn’t know how to cope with it. We didn't get our down-turn service or any other niceties. We missed the ships activities, nice dinners, and worst of all our bucket list excursions which we had planned and paid for months in advance. We didn't even get any reassurance we would get our money back from them until much later. We felt largely abandoned and sacrificed so that their epidemic wouldn’t spread -which was ironic really since the whole ship sounded like it had the same cough by the end of the trip. When I was eventually allowed out of my cabin after 3 days I was very angry indeed and I spoke to one of the managers in customer services but he was cold, distant and indifferent. He had no empathy what so ever and said in the end that - quote 'if he compensated me he'd have to compensate all the others and he wasn't going to do that'. He even inferred that it was my own fault for not knowing how to use room service more and asking for what I wanted. He seemed to want to blame me and any other staff - he had no empathy or conception that I had been deliriously ill with fever and was still very ill and that we had never been on a cruise before and didn't know the ropes. I even ended up with a medical bill of $348! The rest of the cruise was dreary because I had such a sore throat I couldn't speak, I lost my voice, and I was weak and unable to do much. I had no appetite. I still don’t feel completely well even now. In short, the cruise experience that my husband and I had with Holland America was absolutely abysmal and it has put us off ever going on a cruise again. Not only were we treated pretty dreadfully, we never got the experience we were promised and we had a holiday from hell, with no recompense or care or compassion. I have emailed them about this many times since we got home and they have totally ignored me – except to send adverts for cruise holidays!!! How insensitive and inappropriate is that? As a good tip I would say that when you are looking for a cruise it would be wise to first find out how the company will treat you if you get ill while you are with them. I got my flu virus while in the care of HAL, - I was infected while staying in their accommodation - but this is what happened to me and my husband. I wish I had looked into it more myself. I cannot review most of what the ship had to offer because I wasn't well enough to explore it properly. My husband and I did feel that the food was of very poor quality though. Our balcony floor had a huge mound of rotting metal in it. Our cabin was very comfortable - but it didnt make up for all the awful stuff!! There were many others ill like me on this cruise, and I read in a previous review in March this year that a flu epidemic swept the ship then. Maybe the air con is suspect? I hope my experience helps people make their minds up about whether to do this cruise or not. We regret doing it very much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise as a way to get back from Alaska to Vancouver. We were hoping for a smaller, less crowded, low-key cruise. What we got was a filthy ship, illness everywhere, change in itinerary, the worst customer service I've ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a way to get back from Alaska to Vancouver. We were hoping for a smaller, less crowded, low-key cruise. What we got was a filthy ship, illness everywhere, change in itinerary, the worst customer service I've every experienced, really lame entertainment - I mean the worst!, and did I mention how dirty everything was? The good - our room was great. We had a verandah suite with a balcony. The Piano Bar and the BB King Blues Club was a blast. Our room stewards were amazing and we left them a very large tip. And now for the bad. I feel terrible writing all of this and hate to be a person who complains, but I'm hoping to warn people before they choose this cruise line or maybe catch the attention of HAL to make some changes (I did fill out their customer service survey, but didn't get a response). Be warned - this is not a young persons cruise. We are late 30's early 40's and I would not recommend this cruise to anyone under 70 - or hip and fun 80/90 year olds. You will be bored, hungry, and disappointed. The food selection. We've cruised before and were treated to wonderful food, awesome buffets, beautiful dining room experiences. This was the lowest quality food I've experienced, very little selection, terrible dining service, and very limited meal times. You know when they say that you can eat any time you want on a cruise? This is not the case on Holland. The food times are hit and miss and even then, there's very little selection. One evening I was really hungry so I went down to the Lido. I was told by one staff when the Lido was going to be open. I went down there and there was nothing available except the pasta bar. When I asked a group of employees about when it was going to open, they first half ignored me as if they couldn't be bothered (they were standing in a group just hanging out). Finally, one just told me the pasta bar was the only option. We gave up numerous times and tried to get room service. Well, half of the time no one answered and once you could get through, it would take over an hour to get the food. Half of the orders weren't even correct. I'm literally not exaggerating. We tried the dining room. We had one good night of dining on our 7 day cruise. One night, we were completely forgotten about. With HAL, you have to give them your entire order at the beginning of dinner. On other cruises, you could try anything you wanted and even order more of something if you really liked it. This is not the case on HAL. We ordered espresso to go with dessert. Well, they brought the dessert, and then about 30 minutes later brought over the coffee. Oh well. The food selection seemed to be kind of the same every night. Heavy meat, mashed potatoes and limp veges. There was a salad bar and that helped a little. There were very few dessert options and the pizza was sub par as well as their hamburgers on deck. I still don't understand how they can mess up a hamburger bun. For lunch there were pre-made sandwiches. That's right - nothing to order, you were at the mercy of what they decided to prepare that day (I'm lactose intolerant and literally went hungry and lost weight on this cruise). We tried to eat at the dining room for lunch one day and we missed it because they closed at noon. I felt the meal times and food selection catered to...hmmm...an older crowd. Mushy traditional food options felt retirement-homish. In one of the bars, the tables were filthy, there were empty glasses everywhere and we couldn't get any service, not even at the bar. We were told that we had to wait for the waitress to come around. After quite a wait, she finally came over (it was not busy at all), took our drink order and while she was leaving, we asked if she could take the empty glasses from our table. She acted completely put out, picked up the glasses and literally left the used napkins. There was no attempt to clean or wipe the sticky dirty table. We had to hold our drinks because it was unsanitary to put them down. One morning we bought coffee in the coffee shop before we got off the ship at a port. While we were getting off we were told that we couldn't take it with us. They never mentioned this at the coffee shop where we had just gotten the coffee (backpacks and gear clearly indicating that we were headed on shore). There was no apology, we were rudely told to dump it. We were given some lame excuse about the noro outbreak. Ok, no problem, but put up a sign at the coffee shop if that was the case. Interestingly, we were able to buy a bottle of water to take on shore right at the same place. $10 wasted! I went to the spa - which was ok. Not great, but ok. The waiting room didn't have any water or anything to drink. They claimed it was because of how many sick people were on board. Great! I was really thirsty after being in the sauna before my massage and mentioned this to my massuse who just said - sorry. I'm so glad I paid over $200 for this "luxury" spa experience. They could have put out some bottled water. The icing on the cake - they gave us the wrong disembark tag - 3 times! We had even booked our ship to airport transfer with them and filled out all of the paperwork and they still gave us a time that would make us miss our flight. After 3 visits to the front desk, I finally lost it. I demanded the earliest time, demanded that they refund our transfer fee, and we kept our suitcases and left as early as we possibly could. Thank goodness we did because this was the only way we were able to make our flight on time. They could care less. I've never felt more relief than getting off this ship in Vancouver. I could feel my whole body relax. We are both professional kind patient people (I'm a counselor with an advanced degree who works with children and families). I felt like we were on the cruise from hell. My biggest regret was not getting off in Juneau and flying home early. What a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Holland America made many promises about Neptune class but failed to deliver:- 1. Promised express boarding for Neptune class - DID NOT Happen we had to wait among the hundreds of people - very slow. 2. Promised cocktail party with ... Read More
Holland America made many promises about Neptune class but failed to deliver:- 1. Promised express boarding for Neptune class - DID NOT Happen we had to wait among the hundreds of people - very slow. 2. Promised cocktail party with Captain/ senior officers - DID NOT happen 3. Promise priority bookings - DID NOT Happen 4. Promised express embarkation at ports - DID NOT happen 5. Entertainment we sub par - extremely poor, dancers out of time, singers very poor, th comedian was NOT funny and only catered to older Americans no one else could follow his alleged jokes - nothing for international travellers 6. Promised good food at all facilities - NOT the case, very average and often NOT tasty. 7. Speciality restaurants very average, sub par 8. Crew quite friendly 9. Ports generally ok but found the rice of excursions from the ship over the top - much cheaper at local venues. 10. We wanted to get to Scagway but NO help from ships crew, we found excellent help on shore. Found numerous other cruise ships in Scagway why was Holland America docked in a run down no where town? 11. We just finished (Jan 2019) a similar length cruise on P&O (in a suite similar too our previous HM suite) on an ex HM ship - this experience left HM for dead! Better service, better food, better entertainment, better everything!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
My rating is really based on Holland America Line in general.. This review of Noordam just confirms past experiences. My choice of HAL was based on convenience rather than comfort. All onboard services have degraded to poor. The focus ... Read More
My rating is really based on Holland America Line in general.. This review of Noordam just confirms past experiences. My choice of HAL was based on convenience rather than comfort. All onboard services have degraded to poor. The focus of HAL is generating onboard revenue, not guest quality. Meals in Vista dining room are poorly prepared, I expect due to reduced meal budgets from corporate. Menu has been significantly reduced with few options which were plentiful in past years. The only meal with reasonable quality was in Pinnacle Grill always at increased cost. I object to new tipping policy which is automatically added to folio without prior notification. I recommend always to request modification of gratuity as soon as you board. HAL has gone from tippng not required to virually mandatatory tipping policy. This is how HAL increases revenue at the expense of reduced labor cost by pushing the labor cost to already paid passengers. This is unfair to passengers and service personnel onboard the ships. Any other cruise line will be better than HAL Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
But it went downhill from there. the dinning room was 1 1/2 hours to eat, the service just to get water refills was next to impossible, nobody liked the lobster it was very tough, and waited 3 days for a ashtray on our verandah, as far as ... Read More
But it went downhill from there. the dinning room was 1 1/2 hours to eat, the service just to get water refills was next to impossible, nobody liked the lobster it was very tough, and waited 3 days for a ashtray on our verandah, as far as the band, they were constantly being pulled for show night, we always enjoyed dancing before and we now have BB king show, so loud we couldn't stay. i found the staff really not that friendly. The last 2 cruises have not been good. It was good with the Dancing with the Stars. the next one we were stuck in the elevator, couldn't turn the hot water down in the room, and had no air for a day and a half, I slept on the balcony and we never knew where the AA meeting was they would change it without anyone knowing but we were compensated now on our cruise we booked for Jan 4th there is no smoking on balcony to make it short we enjoy danceable music Holland's is in slow motion so our next cruise with be with another line Read Less
Sail Date June 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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