105 Sydney (Australia) Holland America Noordam Cruise Reviews

NOORDAM was a beautiful ship and we enjoyed our cruise tremendously! It was our second venture onto Holland America Line and as we did with our transpacific cruise in 2014 we would highly recommend HAL. This trip was to New Zealand one ... Read More
NOORDAM was a beautiful ship and we enjoyed our cruise tremendously! It was our second venture onto Holland America Line and as we did with our transpacific cruise in 2014 we would highly recommend HAL. This trip was to New Zealand one of the most beautiful countries in the world. The people are friendly and the scenery spectacular. The service aboard could not be faulted, the cabin stewards were attentive and had a special treat each night with a towel animal creation which must have taken extra time and effort. The food and wine selections were amazing and we never dined anywhere except in the main dining room. We decided on an Admiral's selection of wines from all over the world something that we would not normally do (never drink much) so this was a real treat. It was a little too cold for swimming for us but some hardy soles braved the elements and looked to be enjoying themselves in the heated pool. I think there was something for everyone on board and as a senior person it was pleasant to be without too many youngsters on board. Thanks Holland America for keeping up the traditions of the sea we will definitely be back!! My partner and I are keen birders and we were not disappointed in New Zealand, we choose HAL short excursions that reflected our interest and we had the opportunity to add to our lifelist. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Ok - new Zealand was great - except for Akaroa where we were not able to tender because of high winds (do not book a tour called the Mail Run - they do not refund). All other ports were great and interesting. Fiji portion - well if you ... Read More
Ok - new Zealand was great - except for Akaroa where we were not able to tender because of high winds (do not book a tour called the Mail Run - they do not refund). All other ports were great and interesting. Fiji portion - well if you have nothing else to do book it - I would not do it again (remember I am from Canada) the best port on that trip had to be Drauni Island, a small island of about 200, if you look back at the old movies with Fiji in them then this is what you will see. The people made you feel at home and welcomed. Now more on the ship, on the second part the Christmas decorations came up making it more festive nice treat as were heading into Christmas. The Pinical - needs to change their menu basically three items steak and steak and steak (all portions way to big) with a chicken dish and a seafood also think it is getting over prised at $60.00USD. The Vista dinning room all meals good but after a while the deserts were all the same cream in various shapes and forms they need to add texture to the deserts, best I had, had to be the snickers cake, main course all good but to me they need something to kick them up just not sure what presentation of all meals is still very good. Lastly the STAFF - how they can say EXCELLEANT day after day with their friendly smiles I do not know, wish they would share their secret!!! Get to know them you will be surprised! They start to open up a bit, has to be hard away from family for 10 months. Suggest we serve them (obviously can't do all) on some special occasion say a BBQ on the bow. Not sure if that will ever fly but I think it would be great for us and make them feel appreciated too This tour had a fast tour of the kitchen which was a great treat - you can spend a few hundred and get a tour of the workings of the ship, to me this was cheap and tacky (nickel and diming). The second week they also raised the daily tip amount from $11.50 to $12.50 pp yet when we booked it was no mention of an increase (did not argue this point as we felt the staff could use it and it was Christmas too) Also had issue with credits to the Pinical, went to front desk and asked for number of credits and clarification - the number was agreed to - but when the bill came that was not the case, my position in the end was it no longer is what the policy is - you stated this and I booked in good faith on that - in the end they removed the charges. So stick to your guns. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our 2nd cruise with HAL. Last one was on MS Oosterdam in Dec 2014, which was good but some aspects were definitely lacking. By comparison the MS Noordam is far superior in every way. First & foremost, the food was perfect ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise with HAL. Last one was on MS Oosterdam in Dec 2014, which was good but some aspects were definitely lacking. By comparison the MS Noordam is far superior in every way. First & foremost, the food was perfect & we ate every dinner at the Vista dining room. Had same table every night, same wonderful servers & wine steward, all gracious, friendly, eager to please, accommodating & spot on with their suggestions! Compliments to the chefs who gave us delectable 3 course meals every single night. Had one dinner at Pinnacle Grill & although lovely it was of similar standard to Vista dining room, so there's really no need to pay the extra money. Lido buffet was also lovely, both for breakfast & lunch. Pasta bar a favourite for us. Staff all over the ship were incredibly friendly, happy & genuine, much more so than on the Oosterdam. Cabin stewards always around to say hello & assist if required. Cabin itself (8040) was kept immaculate & no issues with anything. We truly enjoyed our Noordam cruising experience! The BB King Blues club band were simply amazing & we saw them on many nights. Am more than happy to recommend both HAL and MS Noordam to anyone. Their staff, crew & chefs are a credit to HAL & could teach the Oosterdam a thing or two. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have just disembarked in Sydney from our 16 night cruise around New Zealand over the 2015 Christmas and new year period. The cruise experience was enjoyable but, having cruised with Holland America in 2010, it just felt that the company ... Read More
We have just disembarked in Sydney from our 16 night cruise around New Zealand over the 2015 Christmas and new year period. The cruise experience was enjoyable but, having cruised with Holland America in 2010, it just felt that the company is cutting corners and is turning every cent. The staff were visibly tired and overworked. The entertainment (yes I know it's not the cruise line with a reputation for great entertainment) was dull and amateurish. That having been said, they sport the BB Kings Band who were simply fabulous but after 16 nights we yearned for something different. Whereas the prices commanded for alcohol were exorbitant, the wines sold on board ranged from average to cheap. Coming from South Africa, we recognized that the South African wines sold at a mark up was at least 75 percent. The cost of the onboard activities (such as gym classes and at the spa) were prohibitive to say the least. And this says nothing about the shore excursions - do the research and you can do the identical tours with far fewer people at a fraction of the price if you organize them locally. The ports were interesting and we enjoyed seeing them from the sea as they are mostly on the shore line save for Christchurch and Rotarua which are inland. Wellington, Picton, Auckland and Sydney are all fabulous destinations whereas Napier, Dunedin, and the bay of islands were also enjoyable stops. The country is very focused on tourism and with the minimum of effort one can plan your activities well in advance. The car rental services mostly met us in the port and most of the ports lay on a free shuttle service In and out of the towns. The entire cruise only had two tender ports - both of them were long but reasonably organized. At every port the New Zealand travel information services -I-site- were fully represented and local tours could be booked independently of the cruise line. Although one can book cheaper tours by going on line, the local tour organizers that met the passengers on shore were able to offer identical tours at a fraction of the price of the shore excursions offered on board. My teenage daughter had a fabulous time - she met lots of new friends and the activities offered were good and the staff fabulous. Unfortunate there were a number of unruly small children on board but that is probably due to the timing of the cruise. The dining was good albeit that the choices were much more limited than on previous cruises. For someone who seldom eats fast food, I can say that the 'dive in' hutch made fabulous burgers. The Christmas and New Years activities centered around large outdoor barbecues which focused on quantity and not quality. I would definitely recommend that anyone who does this cruise researches the activities ahead of time or at the local I-site centers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my second HAL cruise, my first being in October on the Maasdam out of Montreal. this time the ship was better (the Maasdam old at 22 years for a cruise ship) but still tired and in need of a refit although a beautiful ship. My ... Read More
This was my second HAL cruise, my first being in October on the Maasdam out of Montreal. this time the ship was better (the Maasdam old at 22 years for a cruise ship) but still tired and in need of a refit although a beautiful ship. My bathroom smelt of mildew and mould and despite the very best efforts of my delightful cabin crew who kept it spotlessly clean they couldn't solve the problem. My toilet was scratched and scarred and should have been replaced before I saw it. My cabin wallpaper was split at the seams - and although a lovely cabin the condition of both not good enough for the line. The crew were excellent, absolutely no complaints there but the food mediocre at best and cost cutting was evident in the vegetables in the dining room and fruit in the Lido. Having to pay $US1.50/75 for coffee after dinner was an insult - surely the line could absorb that, it would have cost that to process to the account!! As for $US150 to do the tour of the ship - this totally blew me away. This was outrageous!!!!! $US20 for the shuttle off Dunedin wharf (no other way of getting off there unless you were on a tour) was excessive - think of a family of two adults and three children who would be down $US100 before they got into town - totally unacceptable. The Wellington shuttle at $NZ10 return very fair and the others were free. On the upside the cruise director was excellent and I enjoyed most of the entertainment. A broken handbag strap was dealt with at the front office very quickly and efficiently and with no charge - I would have been most happy to pay for this as I deemed it an extra service. A piece of property lost from my cabin was quickly found in the laundry by my cabin steward and returned to me. The Captain's daily communication was excellent and we particularly applauded his dealing with a passenger who had been using unacceptable language to a staff member after the ship was unavoidably delayed out of Auckland - very well done there. A first class Maitre' D in the dining room sat me at thoroughly enjoyable tables (I was travelling alone) where I met delightful friendly people and after the first time, he knew me and knew I didn't want to eat alone. Well done. To summarise, I think the Line has much to improve on it's cost cutting penny pinching problems and dining room food.. I have cruised many times and have to say I would use HAL again but they would be my lower choice rather than preferred. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
The cruise started promising: beautifull big cabin (neptune lounge facility) large balcony-two stewards-not good at cleaning. activities: poor-very poor. port and shore excursions:verry expensive dinning:verry good (sometimes bad in ... Read More
The cruise started promising: beautifull big cabin (neptune lounge facility) large balcony-two stewards-not good at cleaning. activities: poor-very poor. port and shore excursions:verry expensive dinning:verry good (sometimes bad in specialty restaurants.entertainement: non existent . Disembarkkation: fortunately very quick summary very expensive from any aspects;exchange rate (on ship) for a$100.00 nz $ 80.00 incredible bottle of black label jonny walker approx a$ 100.00 for use incabin. The only thing free:use of lift on ship (but this is included in your purchase price) balcony on our cabin never cleaned-the table on balcony wobbley,the glass never cleaned.sugest to future passengers check prices for any additional services (drinks-excursions or anything else).cost of trip only approx 20000.00 austr. Dollars. We have been on18 other trips crystal,seaborne,azamara ,royalcarribyen, etc. B ut will never again go on holland america line. The choice is yours. try and rent a wheelchair cost a$ 500.00 ????????? Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our 7th cruise but the first with Holland America. We normally book a balcony room but as the choice was so limited when we booked we went for an ocean view and were very happy with the cabin. The bed was the comfiest we have had on any ... Read More
Our 7th cruise but the first with Holland America. We normally book a balcony room but as the choice was so limited when we booked we went for an ocean view and were very happy with the cabin. The bed was the comfiest we have had on any cruise , the bathroom layout was very good with both a bath and shower and the window was much larger than expected. The room was at the very front on the bow so we had the wonderful view of the ship going forward, if you are tend to suffer from motion sickness i would say this room would be one to avoid though as it did get a bit rocky on a few occasions , for this reason we did not spend as much time in the cabin as we would usually do. There was a door near our room to allow access to the small balcony on the bow and i was concerned that people would be out there looking in our window , i was told by the cabin steward that it was only very rarely unlocked and the window was made so you could see out but no one could see in. As it happened they opened the door to hose it down while we were in a port and they allowed us to have a look so i can confim all you see is your own reflection when looking in from outside. But It was never unlocked again any way. We enjoyed the food in both the dining room and the Lido buffet, the Lido was set out really well with staff serving everything so not the usual free for all grabbing that we have experienced on other ships. Some passengers said the entertainment was poor but we were surprised to hear this as we were out every night till very late and there was always somewhere to go and some entertainment going on, we loved having a few drinks listening to the piano man then spending some time in the BB King bar or the crows nest and there were plenty other bars a casino plus a show every night in the Theatre. There were movies shows to go to , sports bar with big TV screens and a classical music Duo which was always well attended. For the very late nighter's there was a small nightclub styled bar as well . The Ports of call were very good and there were plenty of tours to choose from though we did think they were over priced and mainly did our own thing . We thought the organisation on and off the ship was great and everything went very smoothly for us. We are looking forward to going back on the Noordam or trying another HA ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We sailed on the Noordam in Cabin SS6109 ( a Signature Suite) as a novel way to spend Christmas and New Year and avoid all the hype that can be attached to buying and preparing expensive food and indulging in the giving of unwanted ... Read More
We sailed on the Noordam in Cabin SS6109 ( a Signature Suite) as a novel way to spend Christmas and New Year and avoid all the hype that can be attached to buying and preparing expensive food and indulging in the giving of unwanted presents. It could not have been much better. The small suite is quite spacious with a remarkable amount of storage and a very comfortable cabin and spacious bathroom. The shower could have been bigger but I have yet to find one a cruise ship that is big enough to suit me. I also think it is about time that shower curtains were replaced with b-fold doors. The balcony was large with enough space for four people in comfort. Cabin staff were very attentive and met all our wishes with a smile and professional service. The food was five-star. We opted for a late-sitting in the main dining room with a dedicated booking for two. The food and wine waiters were first class. The range of food was remarkable and we never found selecting a fine dining experience difficult. We opted to pay extra for one night $29 more), a lunch in the Pinnacle Grill and another in the same venue for The Cirque ($49). None was really necessary as the food in the restaurant for evenings and in the Lido (mainly buffet) were excellent. The only surprise in this department was in the Caneletto ($10 surcharge) for Italian fare which was very special. We tried to book another night but it was booked out. The ship was full but there was plenty of space most of the time. Entertainment was a bit ho-hum although a couple of specialty acts turned out to be better than expected. Drinks can be expensive although we shared a bottle of wine over two nights. Ou before dinner drinks comprised a litre bottle of gin and three splits for around $40. Excellent value. Of course, this is a ship which uses $US and insists on standard gratuities in US Dollars. When translated into Australian currency it can be pricey. We did not undertake any of the Holland America tours. We mostly had visited the ports of call previously and were happy to our own thing. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
I have cruised with Holland America twice before in America and I was very pleased with this cruise line but that was eight years ago. I bought a last minute special in a verandah cabin and was very excited to cruise again. Firstly,I ... Read More
I have cruised with Holland America twice before in America and I was very pleased with this cruise line but that was eight years ago. I bought a last minute special in a verandah cabin and was very excited to cruise again. Firstly,I would like to say that this ship is very clean and the cabin stewards work day and night to keep the cabin clean.The crew are very friendly and the public areas and bars are well maintained and look quite opulent. The captain always kept us well informed at all times. The problems for us started when we were shown to our cabin we were very disappointed as the door of the cabin was covered in graffiti! The fold out devan bed was made but could not be pushed down into its hide away position so it was half out! It took days for a engineer to fix as best he could but it never folded in completely.The room was in need of a makeover, the bed was uncomfortable and I had to request a foam overlay and the pillows were very worn so on our first port stop I bought a pillow. The restaurants onboard are average although we did enjoy the specialty Italian one very much. Some of the entertainment was good but the overall experience with the singers was very average. I just can't believe a cabin with graffiti on the window was sold to me! Unfortunately this was our last cruise with HA. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Neptune suite was great and he Neptune Lounge is fantastic. No waiting in line at the front desk and terrific concierge help at the Neptune suite. First three/fourths of the trip was great. But at Napier, New Zealand, we broke down. A ... Read More
Neptune suite was great and he Neptune Lounge is fantastic. No waiting in line at the front desk and terrific concierge help at the Neptune suite. First three/fourths of the trip was great. But at Napier, New Zealand, we broke down. A defective thruster. We were supposed to leave Napier at 4:30 PM. That departure time came and went and we stayed there at the dock overnight and NOT ONE WORD from anyone on the ship. Nothing from the captain. The next morning, captain announces the thruster is fixed but we will continue to stay in Napier another day and not depart until 10:30 PM. As a result, he announced we will skip the next two ports of call, which were Bay of Islands and Auckland! Compensation was $100 a person OBC and 20 percent off your next cruise. Concensus among the passengers was that we could have at least stopped at Bay of Islands, since it was a tender port. Next: food on the Lido deck is prepared and individually served, usually by one person. Limited seating. Lines were usually ten to fifteen minutes long, even for toast. Could they not have two people preparing the meals??? Lido food service closed at 8 PM every night. Food in the DR is good but as the trip progressed, there was more and more soup, such as apricot soup, peach coconut soup, mushroom soup, potato soup, parsnip soup, carrot soup, and my favorite-- meatball soup. As the days went on, there was less and less fresh fruit, such as strawberries. At one point, the wine steward charged someone else's drinks to our account. When I pointed this out to the front desk, I was told it had to be investigated (?) I protested and on the spot, the purser took it off the bill. The gym is outdated with old, chipped, rusted equipment and the connection for sound on the tread mills did not work on any of those machines. Gym attendant said it had been reported but no one had tried to fix it. Shore excursions were a little confusing as there was lacking signs on the docks. Otherwise they were very good, altho expensive. Entertainment at night is "fair", with performances by a Chinese accordian player, a ventriloquist and a guitar player. Activities during the day are poor. Only one lecture that did not involve trying to sell us something. There are gatherings everyday for Gays and another separate gathering everyday for LGBT folks. There are digital classes everyday but since the room only holds 28 people, you have to stand in line almost 30 minutes to get a seat. There are also cooking demos. Note that by 9 PM every night, there was almost no one on board. They were all in bed. Even the casino was almost always empty. Our suite was lovely and the cabin attendants were cheerful and very attentive and all the staff is very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Bucket list cruise including Australia and New Zealand. We arrived in Sydney a week early so we could explore a bit of Australia before the cruise and we truly enjoyed every day. We spent most of our time in Sydney, but did take a train to ... Read More
Bucket list cruise including Australia and New Zealand. We arrived in Sydney a week early so we could explore a bit of Australia before the cruise and we truly enjoyed every day. We spent most of our time in Sydney, but did take a train to The Blue Mountains to visit friends who live in that beautiful area. Our hotel was on Darling Harbour (PARKROYAL Darling Harbour....Club room was quite nice and the Club Room was great for food, beverages all day long) and we certainly were glad we chose that area as it was convenient walking distance to so many places. We boarded the Noordam in Sydney for our 14-15 day cruise around New Zealand and what a beautiful cruise it was!! The weather was perfect and the views were amazing We booked a lot of independent tours in NZ and each and every licensed tour guide was professional and we had such great tours of this beautiful country!. Although we have cruised on HAL before, this was our first experience on the Noordam and that class of ship, we've always had the larger, newer ships. All in all, the Noordam was in good condition and the Signature Suite we booked was well worth the cost because this was a lengthy trans-pacific repositioning cruise. After our New Zealand portion we returned to Sydney for the day and then embarked on the Island hopping to Vancouver, Canada. Honestly, some of the islands were simply not that interesting at all, but we did have some good experiences. Of course, Hawaii was delightful but by then, we had had enough of shipboard life and wished we had chosen to disembark in Honolulu as quite a few others had chosen that option. The food onboard the Noordam was quite good overall, the entertainment was better than we expected but the piano bar was disappointing. A big disappointment was the size of the TV and variety of movies offered..we are spoiled with flat screens on the Eurodam and Niew Amsterdam) We also enjoy going to a "theater" for movies and this ship doesn't have a theater, movies are shown in the BB King Blues theater, so seating is less than ideal but certainly adequate. Several of the lecturers were excellent! Repositioning cruises in general don't have a big variety of activities but we did enjoy the trivia, the pool, the gym, the cooking shows ETAL. I wish there had been more to do that wasn't a sales pitch but that's so true of all the midrange cruise lines that I can't fault HAL alone...it's a trend we'd love to see end . As usual, the service on Holland America was exceptional. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We selected this cruise to see New Zealand, particularly Auckland, for the first time and to return to the USA via a transition cruise across the Pacific from Sydney to Vancouver. Our first impression was not too good as Noordam ... Read More
We selected this cruise to see New Zealand, particularly Auckland, for the first time and to return to the USA via a transition cruise across the Pacific from Sydney to Vancouver. Our first impression was not too good as Noordam obviously needs a refit with dated and dirty passageway decoration and graffiti on our balcony door glass.The air conditioning system is of the old design which will not shut off and is extremely annoying. On more modern ships the air cuts off when the balcony door is left open so you can breath real air! The HAL maintenance people managed to fit a part incorrectly and we were stranded in Napier for 2 days which caused the Auckland and Bay of Islands stops to be cancelled! HAL would not organize a coach to take interested passengers on a day visit to Auckland. Compensation offered was totally inadequate at $100 per passenger plus 20% discount on a future cruise within 12 months.HAL to date have refused to rectify this - will be talking to my attorney. A very high percentage of the passengers and some crew became seriously ill and I developed bronchitis which is still being treated. The Noordam is simply a germ machine. We departed healthy and both returned home seriously ill. Normal hand sanitation practices were being promoted but I am convinced that the closed system air conditioning is and was the culprit - circulating germs around the ship. With 2000 passengers the air system should be sanitised every week and the cabin filters changed. HAL should employ health experts for a full independent investigation in the interests of public safety. Cabin, restaurant and bar staff were excellent and most of the food a reasonable standard with the exception of some steak and particularly lamb which was very tough. We will not cruise with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This cruise was on our "bucket list!" The ports in New Zealand and Australia that we did visit were good. We did run into a mechanical problem and were not able to sail to Auckland or Bay of Islands. This was unfortunate, but ... Read More
This cruise was on our "bucket list!" The ports in New Zealand and Australia that we did visit were good. We did run into a mechanical problem and were not able to sail to Auckland or Bay of Islands. This was unfortunate, but these things happen and I feel we were fairly compensated for the delay. We did spend an extra day in Napier and everything that could be done was done to make our extra day enjoyable. The trans-Pacific repositioning portion of the cruise was hampered by some bad weather and outrunning a couple of storms. We had three or four ports where there were only beaches to enjoy and I am not a beach person. I am a "seasoned" cruiser and found the food had deteriorated in both selection and quality since our last cruise a year ago. The cutbacks being made are beginning to really show! Have you ever heard of macaroni being served as an entree? The servers were run off their feet and the food was "warm" and not "hot" when it arrived at our table. The Indonesian and Phillipine staff continue to amaze me with their smiles and desire to help you. Entertainment was - for the most part - very good. The cruise director, Carlos, was exceptional. Unfortunately, the Captain was visible to passengers only when it was essential. Unfortunately, this was far from the best cruise we have taken with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We thoroughly enjoyed the ports we visited, however we did encounter a few missed ports due to both weather conditions and a problem with the ship's starboard thrusters. Parts had to be ordered from Finland so we spent two days in ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed the ports we visited, however we did encounter a few missed ports due to both weather conditions and a problem with the ship's starboard thrusters. Parts had to be ordered from Finland so we spent two days in Napier. Unfortunately Aukland did not have a berth to house the ship the next day so we returned to Sydney. We also missed the Bay of Islands stop. The food on the Noordam was not up to Holland America's normal standards - except in the Pinnacle Grill. We were also surprised that the Captain only showed his face when it was absolutely necessary! I found the final "show" was a total waste of our time. On previous cruises, the entire ship's crew - including the captain and his officers - appeared on stage and the ship's entertainers did a short show. This "windup" consisted of crew staff coming on stage, facing left, right, and centre for picture taking and that was the end of the show! A real disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We flew to Australia and toured by land for a month. Then we embarked in Sydney for a two week cruise around New Zealand and a Pacific crossing to Vancouver. I would recommend seeing New Zealand by land also. The ship had mechanical ... Read More
We flew to Australia and toured by land for a month. Then we embarked in Sydney for a two week cruise around New Zealand and a Pacific crossing to Vancouver. I would recommend seeing New Zealand by land also. The ship had mechanical problems when we reached Napier so we missed two ports. The only advantage that I can see about seeing New Zealand by sea, is traversing the fjords. They are truly spectacular. Besides the mechanical trouble, the ship leaked a lot when it rained. In the Crowe's nest, in the hallway on deck 6, even in a stateroom that friends of ours were staying in. Towels were everywhere to soak up the water. Our friends weren't given another stateroom because the ship was full they were told. I don't think this cabin should have been sold in the first place and I question possible health issues from the dampness. It the cruise line wants to encourage repeat business, I think they should address the disrepair of this ship Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This is our third cruise with Holland Cruise line. We have enjoyed all of them but a little disappointed this time because we had to miss two ports that we were looking forward to visiting. The ship had "Mechanical issues" and ... Read More
This is our third cruise with Holland Cruise line. We have enjoyed all of them but a little disappointed this time because we had to miss two ports that we were looking forward to visiting. The ship had "Mechanical issues" and we had to remain in Napier overnight. It was very stressful because it was first announced that the ship had problems but that we would be underway soon and that we would reach Auckland on schedule. Then no more announcements and we were still docked in port. We went to bed that night only to wake up still docked in Napier. There was such a long period of time before the Captain informed us that we would be remaining in Napier and that buses would we available to take people into town and that we would be leaving at 1030pm AND would miss Auckland (no berth available) AND Bay of Islands ( not enough time to cover distance) (????). Mechanical problems happen. The lack of timely communication was my issue. We received credit for the port charges, excursions and $100 OBC as well as 20% off our NEXT cruise. To Holland's credit, they did allow us to use that 20% credit on a cruise that we had previously booked. The food was good in the Lido but they stop serving dinner at 8pm. The MDR food was excellent on the two occasions that we dined there. The Pinnacle Dining was fantastic. The food was above average with great service. The Shows were very good (some better than other's) the Holland Staff Accordion Player, she was a Great show all by herself and the BB King Band and Singers were Great. We went to the BB King lounge several nights and we didn't hear the same songs over and over. They changed it up with a variety of numbers. Very entertaining. We were every lucky to get an up sale to the Neptune Suite 5190 which was the aft wrap. The suite is well appointed with so much space and storage. A dressing room with 3 closets, as well as 4 closets in the main cabin. On a couple of nights during heavy rain and winds, my husband said the vibration of the ship woke him up. I did feel the vibration one night, but it in no way took away from the enjoyment of the cabin. I would take that up sale again in a heartbeat. The Neptune Lounge with Michelle and Anne was great and they both helped with everything. They happily made my call to Sydney so I could confirm a post cruise reservation for us. The Casino staff, Roxanne, Julia and Ernest were the greatest. We always book Holland excursions and the excursions that we did take were well organized. One suggestion that I made, was that there be a more visible Holland port guide on the pier, because in Akaroa (Christchurch) we had trouble finding our pickup point. Embarkation was smooth, (Neptune status helped I'm sure) because otherwise there were lines everywhere. Disembarkation was so fast, We were off the ship and in a cab before we knew it. The service on the ship everywhere was great. The Lido Pool Terrace Grill food is great with fast service even when they are busy. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Holland America claims to be a 5* cruise line so I had high expectations. This particular holiday was a once in a lifetime luxury cruise, so we decided to pay the extra for the experience. Embarkation was at the White Bay Cruise ... Read More
Holland America claims to be a 5* cruise line so I had high expectations. This particular holiday was a once in a lifetime luxury cruise, so we decided to pay the extra for the experience. Embarkation was at the White Bay Cruise terminal (Sydney) which can only be likened to a cattle market. Be prepared to stand in line for 1 - 2 hours. Once on board, we were given immediate access to our room and luggage which was nice as this is not always the case on other cruise liners. Cabin was well appointed and staff were polite and friendly. Presentation of food was excellent, but a case of style over substance. Food in the restaurants was served warm which was disappointing. As part of the 5* experience, we dressed up for the formal nights only to find that we needn't have bothered as other diners wore trainers, jeans, polo shirts and sports wear. I was disappointed in the entertainment as it was limited to 30-40 minutes in the theatre. Nine days into our cruise, the ship developed a technical fault resulting from (as I understand it) a part that had been fitted incorrectly which caused damage to the starboard propeller. This delayed our departure from Napier and resulted in us having to stay there another day. The knock on effect of this was that the planned stops at Auckland and Bay of Islands was cancelled. So very disappointing as we were looking forward to these stops - the delays were caused by HAL. Compensation for the cancelled ports was a derisory $100 per person which was re-credited to our on board accounts and a 20% discount off a future cruise booked with HAL. I asked for financial compensation instead of 20% discount, but HAL remain resolute and will only offer the discount off a future cruise. It appears that HAL have had my money and are not prepared to repay an equitable amount of the fare to compensate for the missed ports. In order to gain compensation, I have to spend more money with them!!!! SO VERY DISAPPOINTED. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was my celebration cruise for my retirement and it was the perfect way to celebrate! We were upgraded to a Neptune Suite upon embarkation and everything from there was amazing! The food was excellent and, even though we ran into ... Read More
This was my celebration cruise for my retirement and it was the perfect way to celebrate! We were upgraded to a Neptune Suite upon embarkation and everything from there was amazing! The food was excellent and, even though we ran into some bad weather along the way, the captain did a great job of keeping us out of the worst of it. Plenty to do during time at sea and the islands we visited were gorgeous. Truly the trip of a lifetime! The only complaint would be the cabin steward and I would have expected a much higher level of service for Neptune Suites. He paid no attention to details and we never got clean robes or beach towels unless we specifically asked. You would not want to use the same robe for 24 days at home and these should be changed out weekly, at the very least. Often our cabin was not cleaned until the afternoon, even though we had requested service for earlier so that we could feel free to nap in the afternoon if we wished. Otherwise, the entertainment was good, not spectacular, but enjoyable. The music was tailored to a bit older crowd, which was disappointing, but we managed to find plenty to do to keep us busy throughout the entire time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise because we were traveling to Sydney to see family. My cousin suggested a tour of New Zealand, which we took by bus. - It was with APT Tours & was wonderful After a 3 week stay in Sydney we wanted to take a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were traveling to Sydney to see family. My cousin suggested a tour of New Zealand, which we took by bus. - It was with APT Tours & was wonderful After a 3 week stay in Sydney we wanted to take a leisurely trip back to the US via Vancouver, BC There are not enough accolades to give the Noordam & her crew. From the moment of embarkation until we docked in Vancouver we were surrounded by wonderful people, service & food ( & lots of it) There were enough on-board activities for everyone, no matter what your interest. HAL utilized lecturers with in depth knowledge of the areas & islands we visited. The Cruise Director, Carlos & his staff kept us busy on the sea days, with daily team trivia, pool games, etc. The evenings entertainment was top-notch. We became nightly denizens of the piano bar! We celebrated Anzac Day for those Kiwis & Aussies on board. There was a Passover Seder and anyone interested was invited to attend. Our favorite area on any cruise is always the Spa & this was no exception. We indulged ourselves for the many spa amenities & were very pleased. We visited New Caledonia, Lautoka , Vanatu, Noumea, Pago Pago, Mystery Island & Honolulu for 2 days. We crossed the International Date line & had April 16th twice. We also crossed the Equator. They had an initiation ceremony for those new crew members who crossed the Equator for the first time! "Kiss the Fish"! I could easily get used to life on board a ship! & we have already booked our next cruise with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary in Australia and New Zealand. This was my second trip on Holland America, the first being to Bermuda and I was hoping for a better experience. First for the positives: the cabin ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise because of the itinerary in Australia and New Zealand. This was my second trip on Holland America, the first being to Bermuda and I was hoping for a better experience. First for the positives: the cabin stewards and dinning staff, inclusive of the restaurants and Lido deck, were all very accommodating and attentive to our needs. The cabin, a suite, was very comfortable and well maintained. The ports visited were interesting and a fairly good variety of excursions were offered. Now for the Negatives: There was a definite lack of organization for the excursions and the information provided for the ports of call was not properly vetted. In Melbourne we chose to go ashore on our own. We were told there was a tram that does a city loop and we would be able to get off at different points of interest. We specifically asked if the trams were accessible to a motorized scooter and we were assured that they were. Well......not all are and specifically those that loop the city are not. Unfortunately because of this misinformation our trip to Melbourne consisted of waiting at tram stops to get back to the ship and not being able to see any of the sights (so much for my dream vacation) In Akaroa we chose the Nature Cruise. We took the tender assure and according to the tickets the meeting place for the cruise was the "tender pier". Well we were sent back and forth from one end of the pier to the other before we were finally told that the meeting place was in the middle of the pier. My husband, as well as a number of other guest with disabilities, found it very difficult to get around. The entertainment left a lot to be desired. There were not enough activities during sea days and port days, especially since this was not a warm weather cruise and spend hours at the pool was not optimal. Many of the activities were bunched closed together making it necessary to opt out of some. We originally had a set diner time (asked for a table of 6) but we switched to open seating because we were put at tables that were often empty....... Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
we wanted to see Australia and New Zealand and also have some cruise days. We read a review The Noordam is a germ machine. It is true. My wife got a cold the firs day of the cruise and the last day. I got a flu right in the middle of ... Read More
we wanted to see Australia and New Zealand and also have some cruise days. We read a review The Noordam is a germ machine. It is true. My wife got a cold the firs day of the cruise and the last day. I got a flu right in the middle of the trip. I think that the Noordam tries to minimize this and warns folks to use the hand sanitizer, etc. But there were a number of ill guests. The staff was very nice and helpful. Very friendly with a sincere desire to made our trip pleasant. We saw some lovely beaches. New Zealand was extremely cold and had a hard time going to see it. My wife had a cold and the weather was cold and rainy so we stayed on the ship and let her rest. We liked the entertainment, except for the magician. We made some friends on board. A couple in their late 80's. Husband had a slight hearing problem He really wanted to see the magic show and sit up front. The magician asked me to stand up and pick a card out of his deck. i pointed to elderly husband and said choose him. He really loved magic. Magician addressed husband (I dont want to share his name without his consent) and told him to stand up and pick a card out of the magician's deck. he stood up. But said "What did you say, I didnt hear you" Magician snidely said "I dont like you. You can't hear. Please sit down". I thought that this was rude and uncalled for. There was another guest, a lady who was an english as a second language speaker. He asked her to stand and asked a question and she didnt understand him at first and he rudely told her to sit down. How do I report this to HAL? One of his "tricks" was to pound a bottle with a hammer. He pounded it with a hammer and said" I hate you dad, I hate you dad, i dont want to be a lawyer. I want to be an entertainer" I think he should think about entering the practice of law. His personality is suited for it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Travelling with Qantas from ATL, I flew to LAX then on to SYD for arrival same day as sailing. This was a 29 day collector's voyage travelling to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, other So Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand. I ... Read More
Travelling with Qantas from ATL, I flew to LAX then on to SYD for arrival same day as sailing. This was a 29 day collector's voyage travelling to Fiji, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, other So Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand. I was a solo cruiser taking my longest voyage to date and the furthest from home. I had booked the transfer to the ship. Upon arrival, I did not find the HAL representative and after travelling for 22 hours, just decided that I wasn't going to sweat it and took a taxi. I had exchanged money prior to leaving and had AUD on hand to pay the $60 taxi ride. Upon arrival at the pier, I was checked in and at my cabin within 15 minutes. Having sailed with HAL before, I knew there would be a pleasant staff, but this group far exceeded my expectations for helpfulness and willingness to assist a passenger. I was in a Neptune Suite and experienced nothing but pleasure to help from the Concierge JR and Saldi. The room stewards, Made and Yuba were aware of what I needed before I even knew. I've sailed extensively and this has been the best staff to date. The ship was nice. I chose this sailing for the itinerary and was more interested in where we were going than how I was getting there. My Neptune suite was very roomy, especially for one person with plenty of space for 29 days of "girl stuff", after all there were 6 gala nights. The main dining room was for the most part had great service. There were a few nights that the service was on the slow side, but having good dining companions made the time seem less. If I wanted to make a show, I just went earlier. Room service needs improvement - no attention to detail paid when setting up the trays. Wrong items, items omitted, wrong quantities, etc. It happened more times than should have. There are only so many times one can speak with the maître d and see no improvement. When calling in room dining to pick up the trays, there was never a response after being told they would send someone. I called the concierge desk to call housekeeping. They happily came to pick up. Food overall was good. Being there for basically two sailings did cause some overlap with menus, but it was a chance to try something different. Entertainment was really good. The singers and dancers were great. They had a Q and A period and were also found to be very passionate about what they do and willingness to help out outside of the stage. The Piano Man Mike was good. He was entertaining and had a way to pull the audience together for good laughs and not so good singing from the groupies. The BB King band was really good. I just felt kind of bad that on several occasions I witnessed they had opened up with only a handful of people in the lounge. They still performed like it was a packed house. I heard from many other passengers that they felt the music was just too loud to go back a second time. The mentalist was fun to watch. I still don't know how they do that! I was reluctant to go to a destination speech, as I thought it would be a shopping guide. No, it was very informative on the history, culture etc. I'm actually glad I went and went to several. I gambled and lost my allotted $20. Never went after that and walking through, it appeared to be used by a handful of people each night. Activities were limited with not a lot to do on sea days. It was a nice relaxing time. Disembarkation was smooth. It was well organized and most all guests went when and where they should have which made for an easy departure from the ship. Overall, it was a great cruise. The ports were fantastic. I am glad that I experienced the So Sea Islands, but not sure if I would recommend them to others. Australia/New Zealand I would tell anyone one that can go, should! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
my 3rd time on the Noordam, 9 weeks totol, so i know her well. For the price of apx 110 per night for a balcony the value is terrific. The BBKing band plays 3x per night and are an exellent ship dance band. The Theater ... Read More
my 3rd time on the Noordam, 9 weeks totol, so i know her well. For the price of apx 110 per night for a balcony the value is terrific. The BBKing band plays 3x per night and are an exellent ship dance band. The Theater is awsome, the shows ok. The piano bar is good, The room good, the food great. The evevators were fast and frequent and all over. There are two one hour happy hours per day, so two good coctails are only 12 dollars including tip. The Microsoft classes are very good and free. The personell are great, and knowledgeable. I would pick a balcony room on floor 4 because it is larger and near the action. I don't have any real complaints. but here are a few. FOR THE SAKE OF OUR PLANET -- I dislike people grabbing four towls for each visit to the pool, (why not take them back to your room for reuse) People throwing away lots of uneaten food, at the buffet seconds are free- so get small portions of what you do not know for shure you will enjoy. Maybe take back to your room what you can not finish for later. At the show if the theater will likely fill up do not leave on empty seat between the person your sittinng next to. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
First time with HAL and the last. What a boring, tired ship. The lighting is so dim everywhere and there is just no atmosphere at all! I travel mostly with Royal and Celebrity and there is no comparison. I found the ship cold, and it ... Read More
First time with HAL and the last. What a boring, tired ship. The lighting is so dim everywhere and there is just no atmosphere at all! I travel mostly with Royal and Celebrity and there is no comparison. I found the ship cold, and it didn't help that the weather wasn't good and that I wasn't well throughout the whole cruise. I also found the staff very aloof, like nothing I've experienced before. The whole ship needs to be revamped. Its just shabby and lack luster. I couldn't find a central point such as a main deck area or promenade - the ship is so disjointed and really odd. I've been on 22 cruises so I am not a newbie, to tell you the truth, I couldn't wait to get off the ship. It was the worst cruise experience I've ever had, and it was expensive as I pay double being a solo traveler. Perhaps their newer ships have more going for them. There were some nice touches. I liked the bathtub in the room, and I liked the PG tips. Just thinking back to this cruise makes me feel depressed so I really didn't want to write a review, but after about 15 email requests I decided to go ahead. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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