My wife and I are booked on Noordam Sept 29, her 50th birthday! Sailing from Itanbul around the Eastern Medditerrean (sp), Rhodes, Cyprus, Isreal, Egypt, Sciliy, Rome on a 10 day cruise. We have a inside cabin. Does anyone have any information about the Noordam for us? Many thanks in advance.
It has been about 5 years since I was last on the Noordam. We sailed thru the Panama Canal from L.A. to Florida. (14 days) I liked the ship very much, it is a beautiful "older" ship, small number of people, no long lines to wait in, and without neon lights and bright colors, very understated. I thought the staff was everything Holland America is known for, and the food was better than average. No complaints at all, really. You will have a great time and congratulations to your wife!
Paul Motter wrote:
> <http://www.cruisemates.com/articles/cruiseguide/shiptour/tours/HAL/Noordam.cfm> CruiseMates ship review of Noordam.
I heard the cabins may be smallish. I am having a hard time visualizing the HAL specs of 155 sq feet. Last cruise we were on Celebrity Galaxy. The Galaxy had a cabin of 177 sq feet, which was adequate seeing we did not spend too much time in cabin. This will only be our 3rd cruise, so we are still novices. Is it true HAL has no tipping policy? Also do we need an escort in Istanbul?
HAL has a "no tipping required" policy which is what it says - you may tip if you feel the service is exceptional, or if you feel you should because you asked for extra services, but it is never required.
You can take a ship's tour in Istanbul - you don't need a private escort. It is probably better than seeing it on your own.
We"ve been on this ship four cruises. The cabins are quite adequate in size and closet space is generous - four. Two of you can dress at the same time without bumping into each other. In fact on one recent trip we shared a cabin with two teenage granddaughters (4 total) and managed quite well. Drawer space is a little small, but hang what you can in the closets. There is a total of 3 large drawers and 6 small ones. This is a comforable ship and you will enjoy it. By the way, I don't think it is the Noordam's 50th anniversary!
> the way, I don't think it is the Noordam's 50th anniversary!
Thanks for your informative replies, I really appreciate it. I have a heart condition and tend to be sorta cautious about ships and destinations. Istanbul has me a bit scared. However, thanks to you and others I feel quite comfortable about the Noordam. I got a chuckle at my misrepresentations of 50th birthday ;-)) Our sailing date, Sept 29, is my wife's 50th b'day ;-)) I see HAL sent me an application for use of a Visa service for Turkey. Ever use a Visa Service? I can't see why I can't save myself a hundred bucks and go to the Turkish Embasy in NYC and just pay the $45 per person VISA fee instead of $170.00 the VISA sevice is asking. Any thoughts?
go to the embassy - the visa is 45 dollars. If you use the visa service it is 86 dollars or so. I will be leaving the Noordam (Rome to Istanbul sept 16th) as you are boarding -
I have been to Istanbul previously - it is a wonderful city!
Must see the Hagia sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque. If you have difficulty walking, take a tour. There is a good bit of walking once inside these sites - thought you might want to know!
Thanks so much for your reply. I just got notice that we got a post cruise layover in Rome. I am so happy for that. The itenerary for the Noordam looks very ambitious. I do have a bum heart, but I am not gonna let that get me down. Do you have a list of tours offer by HAL? I looked at HAL's website and could not find a list of tours offered. I did buy the Lonely Planet book "From Istanbul to Cairo" which is chock full of info.
I appreciate you tips re: Istanbul. How much time will you have there?
Have you heard the Noordam was dry docked in spring 2000. Not sure if it was mechanical repairs of if some refurbish work was done? Have you heard about any of that.