March 2016 - Noordam to South Pacific - Australia
We have always heard good things about Holland America, and when we found this re-positioning cruise at a good price, we jumped on it. Our first impression upon boarding the Noordam was how dark everything was.
New Zealand was beautiful, and we would like to return there someday to see more. The ship had a mechanical problem with one of the thrusters, and we were forced to stay an extra day in Napier (which was nice, but not enough to see to warrant 2 days) Then because of that delay, we had to skip the next two ports and spend an extra day at sea getting back to Sydney.
Holland america offered compensation in the form of a discount on our next cruise, but since we were not pleased with this cruise, we won't be taking another.
About the ship itself: we had problems with noise in our cabin coming from the private cabanas on the deck above us. This mostly occurred at night which was strange being as there should have been no one up there at night. The crew kept telling us that they would fix it, but it continued to happen.
The atrium is small and cramped. Only thing it is used for is the front office and shore excursion desks.
In the buffet: breakfast was good - lots of variety. But lunch was very limited. We don't eat pizza, pasta, sandwiches, asian food so we didn't find anything to eat there. Hamburger and hot dogs by the pool were delicious, and the taco bar also.
Eating meals in the main dining room always took forever. It seemed like the waiters were on top of everything, but the kitchen was slow. Food was good, but not anything special, and breakfast was always the same menu. We are used to the menu being changed daily.
Service personnel always spoke to each other in their native tongue, which can get annoying. We are used to other cruise lines where they always speak English around the passengers.
Cruise director was on the PA many times throughout the day advertising the various things for sale. We have never heard so many announcements trying to sell us something.
To be fair, we did hear some loyal Holland America passengers say that this ship is not up to par with other ships. But we won't spend the money to risk that another ship would be better.