We still love Holland America - but are concerned they are changing

Noordam Cruise Review to Transpacific

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 62

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Verified Review

39 Night South Pacific & Oceania Discovery (San Diego To Auckland)

Sail date: September 29, 2016

Ship: Noordam

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 7121

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 5 years ago

Review summary

Holland is our favorite line because they cater to older folks (we are 62 & 70); there are very few kids and they offer duplicate bridge.  We however heard a rumor they were trying to dump the bridge as an activity.  The Noordam was very nice - not too large and the food was the best of any Holland ship were have lived on.  The Noordam still has a traditional sing along piano bar which we love.  Mike McCabe was on contract and very, very talented.  We made our best friends on the cruise at the piano bar and at bridge.  The staff couldn't have been nicer and we loved the south seas and Australia/New Zealand itinerary.  The 39 days flew by for us.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
We loved the bridge, the lectures. We wanted to go to dance classes but they were always at the same time as bridge. They could improve their scheduling. There was alot of Trivia. Karaoke was problematic because they had it set up poorly with the singers having their backs to the audience. We would like to have gone to some Digital Workshops but the room is small and the old folks lined up to get in there. We loved the Black and White Ball and Q & A sessions (wish they had been offered more over our 39 day cruise)


3 out of 5
We like the HAL Cats and Neptunes which you only find on the oldest ships now. We did not have a solo guitar player either, so there was only music during happy hour on days when "The Band" - the kids that had to play everything were not playing a show in the Vista Lounge. We are not R & B/Motown fans so we danced once in awhile at the BB King lounge - but thought the music was too loud and not very good for dancing.

Children's Programs

5 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
It was fine. We generally like being farther forward rather than in the back, but it was fine. You walk the length of the ship either way. We had to replace our DVD player twice and the shower head once, but they took care of it. The film on the glass door needs replaced and they were apparently out of film. They gave us new deck furniture before the second leg and it was very nice.

Ship tip

Get to know Thomas Schumann (Executive Chef) - if you have any food issues, he will take care of you! He is awesome.

Ports of call

San Diego, California

3 out of 5

Honolulu, Oahu

3 out of 5

Hilo, Hawaii

3 out of 5
We rented a car and went to the Volcanoes National Park (take your senior pass), the Akaka Falls State Park and the Botanical Gardens. Awesome day. Wish we had been at this port longer.

Pago Pago, American Samoa

3 out of 5

Suva, Fiji

3 out of 5
Had the best iced coffee of my life at a cafe straight up the street from the port - about 6-7 blocks.

Port Vila, Efate, Vanuatu

3 out of 5
Hidden island is worth the fee; great snorkeling


3 out of 5
Pay for the snorkeling - it is worth it.

Noumea, New Caledonia

3 out of 5

Sydney, Australia

2 out of 5
We were at a distant port and didn't get good information about the walk to the opera house. They also stopped transportation early and we had to take at $40 cab ride back to the ship in traffic (we went to see My Fair Lady). We loved Sydney, but make sure you get good information and directions.

Melbourne, Australia

3 out of 5
The Royal Botanical Garden are awesome (and free) - plan to spend a few hours there.

Hobart, Tasmania, Australia

3 out of 5

Milford Haven, Wales

2 out of 5
We were there really early, so we slept through it.

Cruise Fjordland National Park

3 out of 5

Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand

3 out of 5

Akaroa, New Zealand

3 out of 5

Picton, New Zealand

3 out of 5

Wellington, New Zealand

3 out of 5

Napier, New Zealand

3 out of 5

Tauranga, New Zealand

3 out of 5
There is a gorgeous hike just to the left of the port that no one tells you about. Take it if you are mobile.

Auckland, New Zealand

3 out of 5
This was the only Holland tour we took because they handled our luggage to the airport, but it was fine. Kelly Dalton's aquarium is awesome.
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