Aboard Holland America's Noordam Cruise Ship

MS Noordam in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
••• MS Noordam in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Wikimedia Commons/Bob Nicolescu

Launched in 2006, Noordam is considered a luxury ship (that's one tier below the premium category). The fourth ship in Holland America's Vista class, Noordam is sleek, spacious, and, in a word, classy. Given the number of floating behemoths launched since Noordam, at 1,924 passengers this ship is considered mid-size today.

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 generous storage space than other ships in this class. The wall-mounted flatscreen TV conserves space as well, and a 5x 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. Approximately 85% of staterooms have an ocean view and 2/3 have a private veranda.

Dining Aboard Noordam

Dining aboard Holland America is not overtly impressive, but for a reliably good meal, head 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. 

In 2016 Holland America doubled down on providing passengers with a culinary experience. The company launched a partnership with America's Test Kitchen, a half-hour cooking show that runs on public television, to add cooking lessons on board.

 The ship's Culinary Arts Center is being transformed to replicate the television set where the chefs of America’s Test Kitchen TV whip up dishes during cooking demonstrations and hands-on workshops.

Weddings and Honeymoons Aboard Noordam

Passengers sailing Caribbean itineraries who stop at Half Moon Cay, the line's private island, can be married in its sun-washed chapel.

Find out more information on planning weddings and honeymoon cruises.

The Best Places Aboard Noordam

Keeping up with the Times (literally), Noordam offers a hip Exploration Cafe and adjacent coffee bar in its public spaces. The café 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, which may impede on how private your spa experience might 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. Given the number of passengers in wheelchairs, it's likely that Noordam is one of the most accessible ships.

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. Do keep in mind that the ship is aging, so you won't see the most current design. Foodies are likely to be unimpressed by the ship's restaurants other than the Pinnacle Grill, but other travelers in search of a relaxing time are likely to enjoy time spent aboard.