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Noordam, the Final Ship in Holland America's Vista Class

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Noordam, the Final Ship in Holland America's Vista Class
(c) Holland America.

What to Expect Aboard Noordam:

Launched in 2006, Noordam is considered a luxury ship (that's one tier below the premium category). The fourth and final ship in Holland-America's Vista class, Noordam is sleek, spacious, and, in a word, classy.

Quality materials, artwork and antiques, Delft-blue tiles that remind passengers of the line's Dutch heritage, and a huge crystal gyroscope in the atrium add elegance to Noordam's public spaces.

Cabins Aboard Noordam:

Noordam cabins are well-designed, in the sense that they provide more storage space than other luxury-class ships. The wall-mounted flatscreen TV conserves space as well, and a magnifying makeup mirror is located on the desk beneath it. The unnecessary bedspread has been removed, revealing a crisp white duvet. Bathrooms with beige plastic walls and fixtures and Elemis-brand amenities are adequate. 85% of staterooms have an ocean view and 2/3 have a private veranda.

Dining Aboard Noordam:

Frankly, I've never been impressed by the food on Holland America. But having to feed 1,918-passengers three meals a day can't be easy. Whenever I wanted a good meal, I headed for the Pinnacle Grill. There's a fee to eat there instead of the Vista Dining Room or Lido buffet, but the service and quality of food are worth it. Noordam has introduced a Culinary Arts Center where celebrity chefs and culinary experts offer tips and tastings in the ship's “show kitchen at sea.”

Weddings and Honeymoons Aboard Noordam:

For information on Holland America weddings and honeymoon cruises, click here. Passengers sailing Caribbean itineraries who stop at Half Moon Cay, the line's private island, can be married in its sun-washed chapel.

The Best Places Aboard Noordam:

Keeping up with the Times (literally), Noordam introduces a hip Exploration Cafe and adjacent Coffee Bar on Noordam. Cafe space includes comfy leather chairs and couches, desks with computers that have Web access, and books and The New York Times to read.

A traditional Holland America feature, the top-deck Crows Nest is an ideal place to sit back and watch the horizon. Live music, tea service, and games are offered here at different times of the day.

Spa Aboard Noordam:

Greenhouse Spa & Salon aboard Noordam features both single and couples massage rooms and a range of "signature sensory experiences" that include a nurturing relaxation ceremony with hot stones and a 50-minute side-by-side couples deep tissue muscle massage. The spa includes a hydrotherapy pool separated from the Lido pool area by a glass wall; we wondered how private it would feel. Yoga and Pilates are among the classes offered in the fitness center.

Who Sails on Noordam?:

Holland America has traditionally attracted an older, more conservative crowd that appreciates traditions such as set dining times and at least one formal night per cruise. The average age of its passengers is 58. In an effort to attract younger ones, Noordam has expanded its Club HAL and teen programs.

Is Noordam Right for You?:

Pretty, spacious, and offering good amenities ranging from the Explorers Cafe to the hydrotherapy pool, Noordam is a nice ship for a cruise of a week or so. Foodies are likely to be unimpressed, but other travelers in search of a relaxing time are likely to enjoy time spent aboard.

Where to Find Out More About Noordam:

  1. About.com
  2. Travel
  3. Honeymoons / Romantic Travel
  4. Cruises for Couples
  5. Aboard Holland America's Noordam Cruise Ship

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