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Booked on Noordam

Discussion in 'Holland America Line' started by g&gkiwis, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Hi all, My wife and I are first time cruisres booked on the Noordam sailing out of Civitavecchia on August 19th for 20 nights. Ports that we are to visit are: Ddubrovnik, Corfu, Katakolon, Santorini, Kusadasi, Athens, Messina, Livorno, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tunisia, Trapani, Naples. Any tips on shore trips or the ship would be appreciated.:thankyou::cheer:
  2. Krazy Kruizers

    Krazy Kruizers Holland America Specialist

    Welcome to Cruise Addicts.

    You will love the Noordam.

    Great views from the Crow's Nest.

    Check out the Ocean Bar and Crow's Nest for 2 for 1 drinks between 4 and 5 nearly every day.

    Haven't been to those ports in years.
  3. earl_m

    earl_m Social Host

    Welcome aboard! You selected a good ship . hope you have agreat cruise!!
  4. sme5461

    sme5461 Active Member

    hello g&g kiwis,

    we are a family of 4 booked for the first half of the Noordam cruise (10 days). another cruise forum recommended a guide for ephesus - levent solmaz. his email is info@leventsolmaz.com . we sent him an email to inquire about the ephesus tour. it is better if there are more from the cruise to join his tour.

    you might want to check out his reviews at cruisecritic.com. if you decide to go with his tour, then maybe we can form a group. we have not really decided but it seems his tour offers more (7 hrs) than what the cruise is offering.

  5. Bars78

    Bars78 Active Member

    Boy, you guys like to jump in with both feet! Couldn't you have started with something less ambitious for your first cruise? Never been to any of those ports -- have no ideas! Enjoy
  6. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Thanks for the welcome and tip on the Crow's Nest. Cheers Graham & Gill
  7. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Thankyou for your good wishes.
  8. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Hi, We will look into your tour and get back to you. I have noticed that some of the longer tours include lunch, not a big deal to us.
  9. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Nothing like going in boots 'n all!:spyglass:
  10. Krazy Kruizers

    Krazy Kruizers Holland America Specialist

    I can remember that when we first started cruising years ago Europe, Baltic, etc., we also jumped in and did as much as we could in every port not knowing when we would be able to get back to those places.
  11. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    Since you are first-time cruisers (congratulations on a superb itinerary!), I would like to offer some suggestions inasmuch as I've been cruising for many years. I think you are far better off taking ship's tours instead of venturing off on your own, except if you're simply going to walk around town. Remember that you must be back on board at least 30 minutes prior to sailing. If you've taken a ship's tour and are delayed, the ship normally is held for you. If you've gone off on your own and miss the departure, it is your responsibility (at your expense) to get to the next port.

    That being said...I've not been to Dubrovnik, Katakolon, Mallorca, Tunisia, or Trapani.

    Corfu and Santorini - I, personally, enjoy simply walking around the center of town of each island. The city of Kerkyra (Corfu) is the main town on the island sharing its name; Thira (Fira) is the fabled town high atop Santorini from which so many photos are taken. You reach it either by funicular near the tender landing, by mule (and you'll smell like a mule) or an energetic hike.

    The main excursion from Kusadasi are the wondrous ruins of Ephesus - a must see.

    Athens - works stoppages, sometimes spur-of-the-moment, are a way of life in Greece. I definitely recommend taking a ship's excursion from the port of Piraeus. Since you reside so far away, I suggest a tour that includes the Acropolis if you do not have any mobility issues.

    Messina - depending upon how long you are in port, I recommend one of two excursions - either the lovely and historic resort town of Taormina, or a ride up Mt. Etna which is the most active volcano in Europe.

    Naples - several excursions come to mind, again depending upon how long you are in port. You can visit the Isle of Capri, or tour Herculaneum and Pompeii (destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius in 79A.D.), or drive the beautiful Amalfi coastline.

    Livorno (Leghorn) is the port for Florence, about a 90 minute drive inland each way. Given the distance, I definite recommend a ship's tour. There are several possibilties - a tour that includes both Florence and Pisa, Florence only, or motorcoach only to/from Florence and then you tour on your own. I really don't suggest the latter because it's the tour guides who can get you into the museums with the least delay. The Accademia (where the original statue of David is housed) is notorious for long lines if you're on your own).

    Monte Carlo is delightful to walk on your own - the Casino, Hotel de Paris, the Palace. A word of caution - bring regular shoes with you instead of tennis shoes because there's a very strict dress code in many places, including the hotels and casino.

    Barcelona - there are so many sights to see. I would suggest a tour first, and then, if there's time, a walk on Las Ramblas.

    If you wish more details, just ask.
  12. Krazy Kruizers

    Krazy Kruizers Holland America Specialist

    I also agree that since this is your first cruise -- do the ship's excursion -- we did.
  13. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. We were leaning towards the ship tours at the main points of interest for the very reasons you have stated. Cheers Graham & Gill:doubleup:
  14. Calgon1

    Calgon1 Awaiting results of mental evaluation

    First time? And, you're going with HAL?

    The bad .... HAL will spoil you for most other lines.

    The good ... Just about everything!!!!!!!

    Other hints -

    When you board, turn off your cell phones and put them in the safe (in your cabin).

    Don't think you have to buy every picture. Collect 'em in one location and wait till the day before the end of the cruise to make your selection(s).

    Bring along an over-the-door pocket-style shoe rack. Put it on the inside of your bathroom door. Makes it very easy for keeping all the toiletries sorted, off the counter and still within reach.

    Each evening, pick up a couple schedules for the next day (at the Purser's Desk). Use a highlighter to pick what interests you, then[\u] compare with your partner. Don't feel you have to do everything together. This way, you'll have more to chat about.

    Use a dry erase marker to leave notes on the vanity mirror (post-its tend to fall off or get lost). Makes it easier to track each other down when one is doing one thing and the other is doing something else.

    Try to avoid the elevators. Stick to the stair. Will help burn off the calories you'll be packing on with a dozen meals per day.

    OK. I'm a 'foodie', so ...

    Try to have breakfast in the MDR (main dining room). Did you know that breakfast can be a six course meal????

    Hot o'dourves in the bars and lounges start an hour before the evening meal ...

    If you go with an assigned table in the MDR, try to get a large one. If one couple or another decides to dine somewhere else on any particular night, no one is left alone. Plus, again, you'll have more to chat about each evening. Also, rotate your seats each evening, That way, you have different dining partners and avoid any cliquisness (sp?).

    Also in the MDR - experiment. If there's something on the menu that you have no idea what it is (or how to pronounce it), give it a try. If you don't care for it, your waiter will be only too happy to replace it with something else. If you do like it, order a couple more!

    If there you manage to narrow your choices to a couple selections ... order both!

    Two words - "Chilled Soups".

    Don't forget that there is no charge for cappuccinos in the MDR. Makes all those deserts taste so much better ...

    In the evening, when you're about a half hour from calling it quits for the night, use a phone at one of the bars and call room service. Having a plate of warm cookies and a glass of ice cold milk waiting in your cabin makes a great ending to another perfect HAL day.

    Let's see ..... what else?

    Oh, each time you leave your cabin, fold the toilet tissue back into a point .... It'll drive your steward nuts !
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2010
  15. ShipMaven

    ShipMaven Forever Remembered

    You are most welcome, Graham and Gill. If you have other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

    In which part of New Zealand do you live? Your country is beautiful! I now reside in the Phoenix Arizona metropolitan area, but used to live on the Eastern coast of the United States.
  16. Krazy Kruizers

    Krazy Kruizers Holland America Specialist

    And don't forget to try the Pinnacle Grill -- make reservations early -- we usually call Ship Services at 1-800-541-1576 to amke our reservations and always request an e-mail back confirming your reservation. It is $20 per person and worth every penny.

    Also in the Pinnacle try the Chocolate Volcano Cake as well as one of the soufles. One thing with the soufles -- you must tell your waiter when you place your order at the beginning that you want one --they make them from scratch and it does take time. You have a choice of chocolate or vanilla soufle.

    Also -- everyday at lunch time in the Lido -- look for the bread pudding with vanilla sauce.
  17. Einstein

    Einstein Well-Known Member

    Enjoy that 1st Cruise. :boogie: Might I also suggest if U already have NOT purchased on to purchase some type of money storage device (aka Money Belt, etc.) for your trip. Pickpockets are quite prevalent unfortunately in Europe and prey on visitors.

    I echo Mary Ann's take on Barcelona with the Las Ramblas walk and do enjoy the Mimes. If time allows a tour of Sagrada Familia (Antoni Gaudi) is a must. Here is a Link for U to persue thru.


    Also while is a distance to get to some ships do offer the Montserrat tour and I would HIGHLY recommend it.

    Here is as Link to some Photos that might also help U out for our Spain trip a few years back.


    Enjoy that 1st Cruise and hopefully one of MANY that will come in your future travels. :doubleup:

  18. michelsheps

    michelsheps Banned

    that good trip enjoy a lot
  19. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Hi ShipMaven,

    We live in the North Island 35km north of Auckland City at Red Beach, Whangaparaoa (Means Bay of Whales) and yes I think we are very lucky to live here. Thanks once again for your advice.
  20. g&gkiwis

    g&gkiwis Active Member

    Thanks so much for your advice and links. We have purchased money belts more for peace of mind than anything else.

    Cheers Graham & Gill

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