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Service left something to be desired but Alaska was beautiful by pjwise

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (young children)
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Service was not as good as I have encountered on other cruise lines.  There was no one in the buffet to help my brother who was in a wheel chair.  There was no waiter by the pool area and very rarely in the Casino to get us drinks.  The service in the dining room was top notch but everywhere else seemed to be lacking!  The destination was great.  Alaska was beautiful.

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best scenery ever...! by francoisedunnne

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska

I've taken 6 of my cruises to Alaska..loved everyone of then all the ports are different..the scenery is spectacular..the weather is cool and never snowy maybe some rain..the glaciers are slowly disappearing..so go quick for a great view of them..i will always pick Alaska as my best of 25 cruises.! I'll be back again...love Alaska!! Happy

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wonderfull by rusb46

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

I will go again// wonderful cruise, beautiful scenery breathtaking / next time  will go as far north to anchorage/   the weather was great also on my next cruise i want to do the dog sled excursion

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Noordam Alaska Cruise by hansonsy

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Staff on this ship were friendly and efficient.  Entertainment onboard was good. We especially enjoyed having breakfast delivered to our stateroom every day. (This allowed us to avoid the main cafeteria.) The meals in the reservation-required dining rooms was quite good.  The stateroom was comfortable for 2, but would have been very crowded for 4, which was what it was slotted for. The only bad experience was the main cafeteria-style dining room, which had very minimal selections for a cruise ship, and the food was not tasty.  It was always very overcrowded, and it was difficult to find a table. The combination of overcrowding, limited selections, and food that was cheaply prepared and actually a bit gross in this dining room made meals there less than pleasant.  The drawback to eating at one of the other dining rooms was that they all required a reservation, and it was hard to get a convenient time, and sometimes difficult to get a reservation at all. They had a nice library with games and a good selection of books. Other than the food service, we enjoyed our trip!

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First Timer Who was pleased by xhefri

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Holland America really goes out of the way to make the cruise as good as possible. This was my first cruise and to be honest, I was skeptical. I have heard horror stories about rowdy drunk passengers, lack of cleanliness, noro-virus outbreaks, etc.  This ship was clean, most of the travelers on this cruise were not heavy-duty partiers. The staff went out of the way to be friendly and to provide great service. I will be doing this cruise again and maybe one in Australia or Europe.

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Seven day Alaskan cruise with Holland America Noordam by terewoodfo

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

This was a perfect way to see those towns that are only accessible by ship or sea plane. I want to travel the interior of Alaska at some point but this was a good introduction to the beauty and diversity of our country. Speaking of diversity, there was a variety of cultures represented on the ship. This brings me to the food which was fabulous. I couldn't believe the variety of foods that were offered. There were so many dining choices but I enjoyed the buffet style. I would like to offer some advice. There were many people who chose to have room service. That includes me and my travel partner. It totally overwhelms the staff and is not what cruises were intended to be. Please enjoy the company of others and avoid eating in your room. Before ending, I would like to say the ship was so clean. Every day you would see people cleaning! Do yourself a favor and book the Noordam. You won't be disappointed.Happy

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Poor quality by kenmcin

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

very very disappointing. service was mediocre, very slow. Food was not good.  

in room meals menu extremely limited. what was on the menu was nor what was served , ie smoked salmon with cream cheese, capers, and pickled red onin was in reality smoked salmon with lemon, mixed nuts became only peanuts.On day 2 we asked for the movie pack and were told "we are out, we have a lot of orders" really day 2, frankly poor planning. Was it a surprise how many people were on the ship?

Mini bar was not restocked with any degree of  regularity or consistency, some days they would add diet coke and others not. How do they charge if they are so inconsistent?

Shows were okay but not great. The piano bar and the Blues club sounded good but the rooms were so small we could not get in. Again it seemed there was poor planning for the number of people on ship.

Last day (docking day) we placed an order for breakfast to arrive at 6-6:30, at 7 I called and was told first there was no order and then when I said I saw them pick it up was told it was for 7, then I was told it was on the way. It never arrived. at the airport we ran into the people in the next cabin and they asked if we ordered breakfast. they had the same experience of not receiving their food.

a great number of the staff did not speak or understand English and were unable to assist us.

Extremely disappointing.

while we loved the scenery and the shore trips. I would not recommend Holland American for anyone and would not travel with them again.

We have traveled on Carnival before and had great food, great in room menu and great service.

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10 Comments

Alaskan cruise by boomer4752

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

My overall experience was very positive. The ship was very nice and well maintained. The staff was excellent. Very helpful and polite always going out of their way to accommodate each passenger. The food was very good, they just needed to have more variety. The shows were very good. I think they should spend more time in Ketchikan and less time in Skagway. The only negative was we were supposed to get a coupon book which we never received.

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wonderful cruise by cthelight2

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

great sites, service. food very good. great cruise director. could not understand captain when giving announcements due to heavy accent. too long of lines when embarking

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Wonderful Time! by teacherbraun

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

The first thing I must say is that the Noordam has the friendliest, most efficient crew I have ever experienced!  Our room steward and his assistant called me by name from the very first day to the very last day!

 

Our cabin was comfortable, with extremely comfortable beds, and more than ample room!

 

The shows were great, the food was great, but the slot machines in the casino were tight (no surprise there!).

 

All service was first rate!!!  

 

Happy

 

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First and last Holland America cruise by dianeglen

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: 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.

 

 

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Our cruise was a complete disaster. by leonardoblanco4

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (young children)
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

Unfortunately, the Holland America cruise was a costly fiasco, and the worst cruise we've experienced. I'd like to point out only a few key examples of our experience aboard the ship, on our first day we noticed a bad combustible/ diesel like odor in our cabin, this was while trying to get some sleep, as well as a loud whistle-like noise throughout the entire cruise. Less than halfway through our cruise we had mechanical problems and the ship stayed in  Napier for two entire days which meant we missed two different ports and consequently missing some incredible and three of the best planned tours. This meant the ship was not at sea for the 4 days that was promised but for an entire 7 days instead.  My wife and I spent many months extensively planning this dream cruise, we were extremely excited to go to New Zealand, however this ship, its food or staying at sea were not the reason why we chose to go to New Zealand, that we wanted to get out of our trip to this beautiful location is to truly experience its world known geographical beauty and it's people.

 

We were offered a 20% discount towards another cruise by Holland America representatives, which was humorous and upsetting at the time especially when our cruise was a disaster and Holland America ruined our very costly and what we hoped to be our dream vacation. 

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5 Comments

Good but not the Best by vermont

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

The food was good but not always great.

The service was excellent.

Spa Service was wonderful

The entertainment was good but not great

We crossed from New Zealand to Australia in a Gale; the waves were 11-30 feet; it was exciting and a little scary; frequent weather updates were not reassuring.

Large Library; Cooking classes; Computer and Camera classes; Mixology classes

Supplied over-priced medically needed distilled water and then slapped a bar surcharge on it to add insult to injury.  Of the 7 other cruise lines that I have been on, none charged for distilled water.

Lido deck closed regularly, had limited hours, and limited coffee access

They kept laying new carpet in major hallways (at night) but I expected this kind of work to be done when ship is docked for "repairs"

5 ports on the first five days of the cruise left me exhausted; I will look at this more carefully in the future.  If it were not listed on the elevator floor, I truly wouldn't know what day it was.

Room Service was great.

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13 Nights NzZAustralia Cruise on Holland America Noordam by psharmamba

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

The cruise was good.  Staff is very nice.  They provided us with special food which was palatable but not exceptional. The ship met with high winds for three days and was rocky perhaps that may be due to the fact that it is relatively a smaller ship.  What was not good was that there were very few day time entertainment opportunities.  The lack in this area big time.  Their Microsoft seminars were great and often people waited to get in to the small size room and went back as there were very few seats available.

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noordam New Zealand by lamantia

Sail date: / Traveled as: Family (older children)
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

Used the anytime dining ,loved it and the service provided By Inman Marco and Allan my wine steward Table 183 I continued to request this table because of the care and service

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Another check off the Bucket list by barlyd

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

Excited to go to the continent of Australia and then New Zealand.  Enjoyed great shore excursions, good food and entertainment!  Ship is very clean and staff is friendly.  

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New Zealand in depth by rickm87

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

The first reason for choosing this cruise was that had eight stops and nine days to take incursions. I also have found Holland America a cruise line that fits my life pace and quality dinning. I was a little disappointed with both the quality and variety of choices in the main dinning room. The service was excellent as expected. I was also disappointed  with lack of on board entertainment. Not taking away from the night show after dinner. There was know or little educational programs. I do want to thank Holland America for encouraging and allowing church services.

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Another Great HAL Cruise by scs7985

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

Our 5th HAL cruise and 2nd on the Noordam. We were not disappointed. The service and dining on the boat were both fantastic.The Noordam was well taken care of as we saw constant cleaning, polishing, and upkeep. We opted for a suite this time and it was lovely. We used the gym, spa, casino, lounges, and attended all the shows and music we could fit into our schedule.

BB King Blues Club singers were great, offering a wide variety of music. Adagio players in the Explorer's Lounge were exceptionally good. Captain Henk Draper sailed the ship beautifully, knowing when to slow her down to avoid excess motion and when to speed her up.  There was plenty of trivia, music, culinary classes, port talks, and information sessions throughout the 14 days. We could not fit everything in our schedule that we wanted to do while on board.The ports of call were fantastic. Plenty to see, information at each port available for "sight seeing on our own". Shuttle buses provided where needed and everyone we encountered was friendly, helpful and smiling.

See detailed reviews below for each category. We took many pictures, I've shared just a few.

 

 

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Our Trip by carolynfriese

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: South Pacific - Australia

We obviously enjoyed our trip based on the five star rating.  While every shore excursion was either very nice or wonderful, the length of the excursion often precluded time for anything else in the town.  

 

Holland America could set themselves apart by offering free on board wifi.

We purchased extended leg room seating on both Delta and Air New Zealand.  Delta was fine.  Seating on Air New Zealand very disappointing and just plain cramped.  Would not to choose to fly that airline again.

 

We loved New Zealand.  Glad the itinerary included cruising Milford Sound.

 

Julie, from Cruises Only, was wonderful.  Attentive.  Helpful. Friendly.  Professional.  Good job, Julie!

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2nd Time Holland Traveller by dvoigt

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Noordam / Destination: Alaska - Inside Passage

Embarkation at Vancouver was tedious and not very well organized.  The rest of the cruise was as advertised with only minor hiccups along the way.  The rest of the trip/cruise was uneventful.  Second time on this same itinerary.  Really enjoyed the service provided.

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