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.
Registered in the Netherlands and christened by actress Marlee Matlin in February 2006, the Noordam is 936 feet long, 105 feet wide and has a maximum speed of 24 knots. Her 11 passenger decks can carry a full complement of 1,924 passengers and 800 crew members.
The Noordam's spaciousness carries on into the staterooms, which fall into five categories: Interior, Oceanview, Verandah, Signature suites and Neptune suites. Little touches like premium mattress toppers, bathrobes, egyptian cotton towels and fresh fruit on request make all stateroom options feel comfortable and luxurious. There are accessible staterooms for wheelchair users.
Pools, a fitness centre, a library and all kinds of organised activities keep Noordam passengers happy during the day. The line is especially good at offering classes and learning opportunities, with highlights including technology workshops and cooking demonstrations in the Culinary Arts Centre.
Low-key and fabulous bars and lounges host evening revellers, with live music and other entertainers keeping things interesting. The Vista Lounge is the main theatre, showing all kinds of productions. There's also an onboard casino.
From sit-down meals in the Vista Dining room to fabulous food stations and the Italian Canaletto experience in the Lido Cafe, there's lots of good stuff to eat on the Noordam. There is just one specialty restaurant - the Pinnacle Grill.
24-hour room service is a perk of sailing with Holland America! The line has excellent choice for vegetarians, and fantastic service in all eateries.