Yesterday I had the pleasure of an inspection and lunch on the Holland America’s Noordam at Circular Quay.
I went on board with an open mind, having had some second hand feedback about Holland America’s offering but very little direct knowledge or experience myself.
The Noordam’s classic styling and décor is very welcoming, I would describe it as traditional with a twist, the twist being it doesn’t feel dated or old, but rather modern in a classic style. The cruise line’s Dutch roots are visible, with interesting Dutch inspired art and individual touches present throughout, which does distinguish it from it’s contemporaries.
I would recommend this ship for customers aged 50+, who are still active and looking for a more of a boutique experience with lots of inclusions. For example, 24 hour room service included and only two dining experiences on board that are not included in their cruise fare. Those being Canaletto (Italiano) and Pinnacle Grill (steakhouse). I was very impressed by the layout of the Lido restaurant, which is their buffet style dining option. The layout, design and décor are so far removed from a food court, I would call it buffet fine dining with the tables already made up ready to use, no need to collect your own cutlery and napkins here before you sit down to enjoy our meal.
The most exciting thing I learnt on board, was the range of entertainment options offered. As a big music fan and lover of live music of all forms and styles, I was very impressed with the options presented as we toured the ship. If you expect RSL style shows when you are cruising, you will be pleasantly surprised by the entertainment on offer on the Noordam.
The BB King Blues club operates nightly, with musicians steeped in the traditional music of the deep south, from soul to blues, to jazz and funk, all presented in an intimate club atmosphere.
For something a bit more classic, another exclusive space is the Lincoln Centre stage, also on offer every night, where live chamber performances occur with classically trained violinists, cellists and pianists. But it won’t all be Mozart and Beethoven, they are just as likely to do a repertoire of Radiohead interpretations or Coldplay… Holland America also offer a first at Sea ‘ Dancing with the Stars: At Sea’ modelled after the show with the same name so if you love to dance then Holland America is for you!