Noordam Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
24

4 out of 5

Relaxing and Rejuvenating

Sail Date: May 31, 2006

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Room Type: Inside

I would highly recommend the Noordam and the specific cruise through the Greek Isles, Turkey, Croatia, that we went on. I would NOT recommend bothering with most of the shore excursions as they are designed to keep you on a bus and listening to information better suited to the Encyclopedia Brittanica. I would also discourage you from too many of the Cruise Director's shows/activities, as most of the time they will feel as if they were designed to amuse those two steps from the nursing home and even condescend to retirees. The staff on the Noordam were unbelievably kind and helpful. There was not a staff member without a smile and willingness to help. I would not invest too much time in the Corfu port, as there isn't much to see. However, spend every moment you have in Dubrovnik (get a taxi to the old city) and Santorini (take the bus to the Oia Village, it's the one excursion that is worth the trouble). Try to get off the beaten path in Turkey as well otherwise you will be swamped with salesmen bugging you. Food on the cruise is plentiful, try not to miss the dinners in the Vista Dining Room or the pool buffets/barbeques on the Lido Deck. Lots of activities for kids, so if you are worried about keeping them active, that is no problem. Internet on the ship is unreasonably expensive, so be careful with usage. And when all else fails, the Mojitos and Pina Coladas on the Lido Pool Deck can make the whole world seem new. Overall, we had a wonderful time, even if it best suited for an older crowd (60 plus).

Pros: Long days in port in Santorini and Dubrovnik

Cons: Bus trips with old people going nowhere

Entertainment
The cruise director must've worked in a nursing home before this job. Boring and campy as can be.
Ship Quality
Food and Dining
Try to get out of the habit of eating breakfast in the room, as you will get tired of the limited choices quick. Better off in the dining room.
Cabin / Stateroom
Service and Staff
UNBELIEVABLE staff-- I cannot speak higher of the staff, in particular the ship stewards, waiters, etc. The most helpful and kind people you can imagine.
Children's Programs
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
Check out the shops in town and see Olympia.
Don't Miss: Olympia.
Messina, Sicily
Go shopping in Piazza Navona.
Don't Miss: Shopping
Corfu, Greece
DO NOT take any bus trips. The excursions in Corfu will just take to you the worst tourist traps you have ever seen and make you car sick.
Don't Miss: There is none.
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Take a taxi to the old city, don't bother with the rest. Walk the wall and check out the shops. A few museums in the old city that are interesting, but you can easily find them walking. Eat the local fare, don't stop in the first few little restaurants in the old city, get in deeper and eat the fresh fish specials.
Don't Miss: The Old City, within the walls.
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey
See Ephesus and spend as little time in the tourist trap stores right off the port. Walk down the narrow alleys and get away from all the salesmen if you do try to shop. Wondeful people, but they do the hard sell.
Don't Miss: Ephesus.
Santorini, Greece
Take the excursion to Oia Village and come back to Thira in the latter part of the day. Wander every moment you can-- get up early as this will be the best port of the trip. See the church in Thira and make sure to eat local fare in Thira too.
Don't Miss: Oia Village.


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