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.
We asked at front desk for adjustment of tipping as we tipped our cabin person individually. We filled in a form, were given an amended statement and final account deleting gratuities and assurances that we would not be billed. Now three weeks later and after two emails the amount of USA $600 plus
is appearing on my statement. .
If this is solved I would then totally recommend Holland America cruises as one of the best. The food is great. The staff very polite, pleasant and friendly. The Maasdam is a beautiful ship. Surroundings very impressive and could not be faulted..having a choice of two pools on a smaller ship was good and the plenty of deck chairs made for a very relaxing holiday. Though we didn't use any of the port tours arranged by the ship what we heard from fellow travellers were all positive. The serving of the food can be a little daunting as queues formed at each bay. Hand sanitising is left to the individual, other cruises we have been on have made this mandatory and this is reassuring. The tipping issue really has slightly negated our experience. We are not dining room users and found the buffets more than satisfactory.
The staff on the ship were exceptional. The food was good and the choices were adequate. The entertainment was a bit average. The main problem was the cabin noise. We had a balcony cabin on deck 7 and directly overhead was the Lido buffet dining room which also has outside dining areas. There was
constant noise of furniture being moved around and across the deck, people walking around, trolleys being rolled across - it was extremely noisy and went on from 5am till around midnight every day. We were travelling in a group of 34 and all of the group on this deck suffered the same noise problem. After reporting it to customer service they stated that they would remind the crew to be quiet but it wasn't always the crew making the noise. It was impossible to relax in the cabin during the day and interrupted our sleep overnight. After a number of complaints from many people the cruise line line gave us a $200 credit on our bill. This was appreciated but didn't make up for the discomfort caused during the entire trip.
If travelling on this ship I would highly recommend deck 6 as the passengers in our group on this deck all had quiet cabins. A disappointing problem on an otherwise great cruise.
We cruised 2 times with Holland America in a few weeks both trips were amazing. We went up to Alaska then returned also by ship it was a cheaper option to flying and you got to visit all the great places again. That was so good as it is so hard to choose between all the excurtions available so that
way you got to do so many more of them. The ships are great so many areas to check out. The staff were wonderful and couldn't do enough for you, they work very hard to keep the ships running smoothly. There were lots of fun activities to do while sailing, bingo, music trivia, game of fun, dancing competitions all sorts. The shows were so professional beautiful costumes and singing. The crew nights were also fabulous they were all so busy don't know when they had time to practise for it. The information talks on all the places we were going to visit were very informative. The daily news letters kept you up with everything that was happening daily on the ship it was difficult to decide which things to do most days. The variety of food was great. Give yourselves a treat and go for a cruise you will not regret it.
Looking for a holiday where you can totally relax and forget about the hassles of life? Look no further, book a cruise! Cruising is an incredibly relaxing holiday and extremely good value. Besides your alcohol and land tours etc everything is included. Imagine room service for the length of your
journey - well with cruising you can have this as part of the deal. My cruise was a Hollland American ship from Sydney to the South Pacific. The departure through the heads of Sydney Harbour is magical and from that moment it's total relaxation. A cruise is a mixture of sea and land days. The sea days are wonderfully organised by the crew and you can do as much or as little as you want. The days on land allow some great touring and once again the flexibility of doing your own thing or being organised as part of a bigger tour. The food is a highlight - lots of restaurants to choose from and bars as well . The happy hours are a great way to save money as well. The entertainment is first class with a nightly shows which entertains everyone. All in all a hassle free holiday from the moment you board to the time you embark. Forget the hassles of airports - departing and arriving is a dream! Enjoy!
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.
The ship itself is tastefully decorated and kept scrupulously clean. The boarding and delivery of luggage went without fuss and our holiday began as soon as we boarded. The staff were attentive, if not always knowledgeable. This cruise line seems to market towards the older generation (>60) and the
entertainment and food reflects this. We chose 2 back-to-back Mediterranean cruises, each one leaving from Venice but following different routes. We stopped nearly every day at a different port, something that we prefer (rather than days looking at nothing but ocean). The food was good quality, but repetitive to the point of becoming tiresome. We ate in the dining room a few times but found it difficult to book a table or stay seated with our group of 6. We eventually gave up and chose to eat in the Lido bistro restaurant upstairs which is where we encountered the repetition of food. It seemed like they'd cornered the world market of beef tenderloin and pork belly because each was served every other night. The crew were attentive although it's clear that alcohol servers are paid a bonus on what they can sell because they try to upsell, sometimes to the point of being pushy. Overall the cruise was fantastic, we had a great time visiting so many different places. I'd recommend Holland America to the older generation who like a bit of luxury, peace and quiet...and who like "meat and 3 veg" style food.
While I am a devoted cruise junkie, I must say that this cruise was a bit of a disappointment. What really got me feeling cheated was the fact that I paid for two people ( as I was on my own) and there were people on board who paid a fraction of the price I paid - however, I did not get rewarded in
any way for paying a premium on the fare. Other cruise liners give you double the rewards as is only fair. I have no idea what rewards I got, if any as it was not mentioned at all and my boarding card colour did not reflect the multiple cruises I have done in the past. However, I do recommend the spa. the service was great! Also, the food was not too bad.
We recently cruised for the first time with HAL on the Volendam. It was a 28 day cruise from Singapore through Asia ending in Hong Kong.
Our cabin was nice and comfortable and our steward very helpful and pleasant. The food was good but service not as good as we have experienced on our previous cruises and at times we had to wait for other diners to arrive in the dining room before we could be allocated a table.The food and service at the Pinnacle grill was excellent. There was a Gastro outbreak on board which the crew managed admirably taking all precautions needed to prevent it spreading further.
The biggest disappointment on this cruise was the lack of entertainment during sea days. There was nothing fun to do or join in with and mainly consisted of seminars on various subjects related to the spa on board. Bridge lessons and bridge sessions and how to use digital camera and catologue photos , how to use Microsoft applications etc. There were none of the fun activities that we have experienced on previous cruises and we spent a lot of time in our cabin watching movies due to lack of entertainment on the ship. if i could have viewed the on board daily activities programme before booking we would not have booked with HAL but chosen another cruise line with more fun activities to offer.
Having cruised with HAL before I had previously rated them my favourite cruise line but although we had a fantastic time standards seemed to have slipped . Oosterdam is a lovely ship but looking a bit neglected with torn carpet and seating in the theatre. I was expecting a festive atmosphere
(promised my grand daughter fantasic Xmas decorations ) but when we disembarked on 19th Dec staff were only just putting them up!! Entertainment was ok but where were the lunchtime live music performers and deck parties (only 1 pool party in 14 days). The singers and dancers were great and the highlight for us were the dance band Ben and the Hal Cats....they were great at all genres and engaged their audience to participate in all their shows. My 15 year old grand daughter had agreat time but only because her group of teenagers made their own fun The Loft activities as advertised never seemed to happen....youth staff need to be more in tune with their age group.
Dining experiences were not the best, the food was good but the service not what I have experienced previously on Volendam and Veendam, often having to ask the waiters for missing items such as cutlery and chase up the wine waiter to bring back our wine refills before dessert.
In summary I enjoyed the cruise but it was not quite up to standard.