We took the 14 day re positioning cruise from Honolulu to Sydney on the Noordam. This was only our second time on a cruise ship and the thought of such a long time on the water was a bit daunting. This concern soon disappeared. As with our first cruise, we chose a balcony cabin which we really
made use of. Leaving Honolulu, the first 5 days straight were at sea, and many hours were spent on the balcony just watching the ocean pass by. The weather was near perfect and often we had glass out seas. The Noordam exceeded our expectations in almost every way:, food, service, facilities, activities etc. The common areas on Decks 2 and 3 were great for a quiet read, coffee or a drink at one of the bars. The 5 o'clock happy hours with two-for-one drinks were also a good time to get together with the new cruise buddies. Our only disappointment was the band playing live music, which did not live up to their billing of "BB King All Stars". However, for the age group of most passengers on the ship, I'm pretty sure there was plenty of good entertainment throughout the cruise. Especially good was the comedian and ventriloquist, who would have had many people coming back for multiple shows.
I love cruising and recommend it to all my friends. My cruise on Noordam was my second with Holland America Line and I must admit this cruise was not quite as good as my first. It was still fantastic but I suspect that there were not as many crew this time. The food was of a high standard and well
presented. No problem with dinner seating, turn up be seated, no wait. The ship offers many dining options. We had dinner in the Pinnacle Grill on our last night and the Alaskan Crab Claws were the best seafood meal I have ever had. The entertainment was a little disappointing as the guest entertainers were the same as on my cruise 2 years ago. The bars and happy hours are very relaxing. The ship is well presented with interesting paintings and model throughout. The stewards who looked after our stateroom were fantastic. We had a number of special requests during the cruise and nothing was a problem. The room was always clean and tidy. The two guys were extemely friendly and polite. I like the movable roof over the main pool. they close it or part close it when the weather is less than perfect so you can still relax in comfort even during a tropical squall. Something I found strange was spening the last night on board in Sydney (my home) and disembarking the next morning. Also having to go through imigration the day the ship docked, then get back on board for the night and then go through Customs the next day was novel to say the least. Not HALs fault. I wanted to stay on board for the next cruise.