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Old July 19th, 2003, 10:49 PM
Thomas L. Luehne
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Default mediterranean cruise

My wife and I will be leaving Rome on September 23rd on Holland Americas Noordam for a 10 day cruise. Would like info on the Noordam as well as the cruise itself. I've sailed with Holland America before and enjoyed it very much. Was the Westerdam, which is now out of service. I understand that the Noordam is their oldest ship right now, but have heard it is still very nice. We booked this cruise/tour through Grand Circle Travel out of Boston. Haven't ever dealt with Grand Circle Travel, so don't know if it's good or bad. The people I've dealt with have been great up to this point. Hope they are as good as they profess to be. We will be stopping 8 times on this cruise, 2 times in the greece area. 2 times in itlay, 2 in france and 2 in spain. Our tour begins in Rome with a 3 night pre-cruise stay and ends in Barcelona for another 3 night stay before heading back to the United States. Any information you cruise people can give me will be appreciated. Thanks, Tom from Wisconsin.
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Old July 20th, 2003, 12:14 PM
SF Sharon
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Hi, my husband and I sailed the Noordam during her inaugural year, A GENERATION AGO, and we liked the ship very much, with the exception of the Lido buffet restaurant at the stern. That place always vibrated like a cheap motel bed, and not just when leaving port. Please come back and let us know if that has been fixed, and give us a review of your cruise.

I don't know how many changes there have been with the Noordam over the years, but I would imagine that the staircases haven't changed. I really loved the fact that in addition to the main staircases, there were what I called "my secret staircases", totally public but seldom used, that provided me fast and easy access to public areas. There were many art objects on display, and the floral arrangements were incredible. The show lounge (unless it has been changed) was not theater-style, but rather more like a double-decker cabaret. This worked very well for the talent aboard: Dave Brubeck and his Band, Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd (I hadn't heard of Woody Herman but my Mom sure had!) and another jazz band. This Jazz Cruise was simply wonderful.

We didn't care for our cabin, a large inside double. It was not well-lit, and the cabin was not as maintained as well as it should have been. Because of that experience, we have only had ocean-view or balcony cabins since. On the other hand, because we didn't like our cabin at all, we left it early and came back late and enjoyed the rest of the ship very much.

We loved the size and the beauty of the interior of the ship and enjoyed the promenade. As I recall, it had a decent-sized gym for its size, too. Enjoy your cruise!
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Old July 21st, 2003, 12:13 PM
Thomas Luehne
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Thanks for your information on the Noordam. My wife and I have booked an inside cabin simply because we never spend much time in them and for the added cost for an outside, just didn't seem practical. However, as we have traveled with HAL before, I'm hoping to get an upgrade to outside at no additional cost. Don't know at this time if the cruise is sold out or not, although I doubt it. I'll post a review when I get back.
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Old July 23rd, 2003, 07:52 PM
SF Sharon
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Default Re: mediterranean cruise

Please come back and post when you learn what your cabin is, and I wish you good fortune in getting an upgrade.
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