The ship was very clean and the staff was wonderful! We enjoyed getting to know our kind and lovely waiters, and we found all the ship's staff to be helpful, knowledgeable and friendly. We especially loved our day in Glacier Bay, with a knowledgeable and interesting park Ranger on board providing guidance on what we were seeing. Loved that the captain turned the ship's engine off so we could enjoy the sounds of the glaciers!!
Drink package was nice. room was good. enjoyed food. pinnacle grill was good. dessert wasn't great. love chocolate melting cake that other ships offer.
itinerary was great.
Could have used a wider variety of activities on sea days, as well as more variety day to day on the Lido menu.
Room stewards were awesome.
Bar staff could have been nicer.
median age of passengers was retired and up.
Food was excellent, crew and staff were very friendly and always smiling. Our room stewart and restaurant servers called us by name and always had time to talk with us.
It would have been nice if the Noordam had a movie theatre.
This cruise was "fine".
Not exceptional, certainly not the best I've been on; but fine.
HAL ships always seem to be clean and orderly, well laid out and fairly easy to navigate. I appreciate their concern with health and the omnipresence of hand sanitizer. The food is solid, and the staff is generally very friendly and helpful.
The ports of call on this itinerary aren't the most exciting in the world, but certainly interesting if approached with the right attitude. Much more about culture, history, and lifestyle than anything overly thrilling or magnificent. Overall, I'd say this cruise is one of the most low-key I've been on.
Was incredibly disappointed that we were only able to cruise one of the three featured Sounds (Dusky) in the Fjordland National Park due to severe weather conditions. I understand no one can control the weather; but it was nonetheless a big disappointment, as that was perhaps the part of the trip I was most looking forward to.
Areas for improvement:
- The notably limited hours for general food availability on the Lido was a constant frustration. Holland America easily has the most restrictive food availability of any company I've cruised with.
- Internet connectivity continues to be a severely limiting factor in cruising. I understand satellite-assisted wifi is an ever-evolving field, but cruise lines need to increase investment in this area. Personally, I would probably cruise at least 3-4 time more frequently than I do now were I able to have access to consistently reliable Internet connections at a reasonable price.
- Bathroom electrical outlets -- need to be more accessible.
- Entertainment -- easily the most mediocre of the five cruises I've been on (the piano singer was especially bad!)
- The dining room staff was exceptional, as usual!
- The hydropool and thermal spa were great, and the spa staff were terrific. I especially appreciated that only once following my three spa treatments was I push with a not-so-hard sell to buy product -- big improvement over past cruises. (If I'm going to spend more money at the spa, I'd rather just book another treatment -- upsell me to that!)
- The variety of trivia events each day was a hit with my family, as was the considerable movie library available for check-out on sea days and evenings.
The cruise is basically transportation to the various populated destinations but one stop blew us away - sailing into Milford Sound. That was worth the price of the ticket itself! Absolutely breathtaking! We loved visiting all the New Zealand cities too - wonderful country and friendly people!
We were very disappointed with the "night life" on board the ship. HA caters to an older customer (like us) but the total lack of dancing opportunities on board was horrendous.
The buffet dinning area - most of the meat items were over cooked and dry as a bone- people came early to get good seats and stayed long after eating making it difficult to enjoy dinning. Many food items (left-over) are served the next day in a different fashion. There was no mention of Alcohol limited to bring on board in either your info or Holland America's info until we were in Auckland so several bottles were removed from our luggage and returned at the end of the cruise. The was a 15% surcharge on all drinks purchased on board, $4.00 for a bottle of water (crazy)!!! Not piping most of the announcements into the staterooms made it hard to keep current. Visa for Australia was to be $35.00 on board purchase there was an additional $16.70 fee for New Zealand??? Several ports we had to pay for transportation to the city center. Holland America has to step up to the plate. I have been on many river and ocean cruises where you can bring alcohol on board and they save free beer and wine at all meals and water is always free!! Thanks but no more on this cruise line!!!
My daughter needed a vegan diet and the chefs really provided good food for her. This is always a problem for us traveling away from home. This made our whole cruise experience great. While the weather was not quite as good on our trip as expected we had no real problem with the rough seas we experienced. Mother Nature can not totally be controlled or predicted and definitely some on our cruise suffered from sea sickness. The Noordam had a very good acupuncture specialist on board who is capable of providing relief to this malady. I bought his services for other maladies and was very satisfied. Holland America has provided this type service on other cruises and I really appreciate that.
We also really enjoyed the Noordam Singers and Dancers shows and also Clara Helms, a great singer. Anna and Svetlana played beautiful music several times a night in one of the lounges so we were able to enjoy great music most nights.
We really enjoy staying in one of the Neptune Suites and the great service provided by the room stewards. We liked having dinner in the Vista main dinning room and especially enjoyed dinning at the Evening at Le Cirque (in the Pinnacle Grill). This was one of the best meals we have ever had and the service was superb!
First time to ever go on a cruise and fortunately for me, it was with Holland America. I never felt so pampered, felt so special, and so taken care of than while I was on board the MS Noordam, from waiters to cabin boys, the front desk staff and the whole sailng crew.
Need more entertainment shows!
While it is difficult to select a "favorite" part of the cruise, perhaps the most impressive part was the precision and timeliness with which every operation was handled. Typically short and rapidly moving lines, baggage at the cabin door or airport entrance promptly, excursion bus in place and on time, etc.
We loved the Pacific Islands; Dravuni and Lefou were particularly amazing in their beauty. The Australian cities had plenty of sights, museums and history. When we arrived in New Zealand we saw a country of great beauty with plenty of sheep and a big dairy business. We especially liked Wellington as a great city having the best museum (Te Papa).
As far as the Noordam is concerned, the food was good, but not over the top, and their cabin and restaurant service was very good. We have sailed HAL in the past and plan to do so again. We did not use many HAL excursions as we found that we could walk ashore and generally get about the same for much less. This was especially true of the railway trip in Duneden.
The scenes, cultural experiences, and tours of the islands generated wonderful memories. We would recommend this to anyone who would like to gain knoweldge about the history of this area of the world and learn about the lifestyle of the people living there.
The size of the Noordam was ideal for this trip because of the various size ports we visited. The ship staff was very good at meeting the needs of the passengers. The ship was very clean but was beginning to show the need for a remodel in areas like the staterooms. The BB King's band was super and we enjoyed watching them several times a week. The entertainers in the Vista Lounge were, as a group, average for a cruise ship.
The open seating for dinner worked well for us. The wait staff was very good and there was no waiting to be seated. The variety of the food and the quality was very good. I did not feel the need to attend a specialty restaurant to have a good meal.
Most of the passengers were of retirement age but having a cruise of 27 days limits the population able to take a cruise of this length.
I would definitely cruise on the Holland America Noordam again but I would probably wait until it is remodeled.
Great service; great spa (for a fee); very good gym; good food; good entertainment; spacious balcony stateroom. Met or exceeded my expectations in every way.
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