On board the Holland America Line Noordam, August 6, 2018
Our first day on board the Noordam was a relaxing one as we cruised the Gulf of Alaska in route to Glacier Bay. We decided to take our time in the morning and have a leisurely coffee in the Explorations Cafe. Then we were off to take some photos of the ship and a selection of its art work. The ship is designed in muted colors and the day was rainy. Many of the photos are on the dark side for which I apologize. I still think they provide an accurate reflection of the ship and its art.
Lets start our tour in the Lido Market. We have always felt that Holland America had an outstanding buffet and the Noordam did not let us down. There was plenty to choose among from Asian, to Italian with multiple pizzas to choose from, sandwiches and so much more. No table stayed dirty for long, as busy boys were numerous and attentive. Here are a couple of shots of the Lido.
Outside of the Lido, moving toward the bow, is the Lido pool which has a sliding dome cover. The cover makes the pool available in all kinds of weather and was popular with my grandchildren. Also in this area is Dive In, a grill that prepares to order hamburgers and sausages. Next to Dive In is a small Mexican buffet where you can prepare tacos and other Mexican snacks.
Here is a shot of the Crows Nest which is a lovely lounge overlooking the bow and a great place to sit and observe sailing. On our rainy, gusty, cold day in Glacier Bay the place was packed.
A great deal of the artwork is found in the staircases. We this in mind, JoAnn and I traveled up and down all the staircases on the ship.
Here is a montage of some paintings. The paintings are all by Stephen Card, an artist who has painted most, if not all, of the HAL ships. Lets start with the present Noordam; one of many ships to carry that name.
Here are other Stephen Card painting of Noordams from the past.
When JoAnn and I started cruising, one of our first ships and one of our favorites, was the Noordam III. It sailed from 1984 to 2004 when it was retired. Here is a Card painting of the Noordam III, as it sailed through the Alaskan Inside Passage.
We have always believed that dining on Holland America was superior and the Vista Dining Room did not disappoint. We dined there on five evenings. Our server, Dede, and his assistant, Rana , were excellent and food preparation and choices were also excellent. There was fish, meat and vegetarian each night. Appetizer selections were good and there are always shipboard prepared soups. Needless to say, everyone in our party was very happy with the dining room and our servers. I also want to compliment our wine steward, Raymond, who was extremely attentive and never allowed us to see the bottoms of our glasses. Here are a couple of photos of the Vista Dining Room.
The ship is lovely and here are additional pieces of the artwork on board.
The day, as you undoubtedly know by now, was gloomy and rainy. Here is a photo taken on the Promenade Deck.
Even on a day like this, being at sea is a wonderful experience.
HAL presents a wide range of music for diverse tastes. Piano and string recitals are presented in Lincoln Center Stage. These statues, outside the entrance to Lincoln Center Stage, provide a serene presence as they listen, day upon day, to the beautiful music flowing from the performers at this venue.
Lincoln Center Stage and photos on display of New York performances.
I thought this sculpture was interesting. It’s titled “Odalisque” and is a painted cast iron piece. It puts me in mind of some painting of the French revolution.
Most nights, prior to dinner, we stopped in the Ocean Bar for a cocktail or two. We were fortunate to have a wonderful server, Mae, wait on us. She is a delightful person who quickly knew our names and our likes. She went out of her way to make us feel welcome and like family. Here is a photo of JoAnn and Mae.
Here are a couple of photos of the Ocean Bar and the areas around it, including the staircase and hanging sculpture in the atrium.
I thought the entrance to Northern Lights, the late night disco, interesting. I did my best to photograph Marilyn; hope you agree.
Here is the interior of Northern Lights.
I have always found the stories about Carl Faberge and the eggs he created for the Russian Imperial family fascinating. In the last number of years people alledgedly decesdent from him have developed eggs of their own. These eggs are beautiful and it so happens that HAL offers some of them in their luxury shop. These eggs are also works of art and here is one of them.
The casino did not see us very much but JoAnn did have a good night and walked away with a little bit of their money. Me, I’m happy when I win 25 cents. All-in-all it’s a nice facility.
Holland America Line is Dutch in origin. That would explain the busts of Queen Juliana, Queen of The Netherlands, 1948 – 1980, and King William I, King of The Netherlands, 1815 – 1840. Truth to tell, initially I did not pay much attention to the plaques adjacent to the busts and I thought, based on the styles of the artwork that they ruled at the same time. Live and learn.
I talked about the dining room and the great food and service. We also ate at Canaletto one night. It is an Italian bistro in the Lido. Each night they take a section in the Lido and convert it to a lovely bistro. The seven of us all enjoyed our dinners. JoAnn and I had liver Venetian style and it was terrific, the equal to anything we could get in a good restaurant at home.
To say that the artwork on board has a nautical scheme would be an understatement. Here is a sampling.
A photo of the photographers’ area is certainly apropos. Here is one of JoAnn by one of their display boards.
What is the Pinnacle Grill? It is the premier specialty restaurant on all the ships throughout the HAL fleet and this one was as good as any; and that’s good! We dined there on our last night on board. We started with shrimp cocktail. The shrimp were big, really big, plump and the equal of the best restaurants on land. The same can be said for the steaks, fish and side dishes. A visit to the Pinnacle Grill is a must. Here are a couple of shots of that lovely venue.
Elevator doors can also be art and those on the Noordam prove that point. Have a look.
Pictures like the following one remind me of the closing scenes in Indiana Jones, Raiders of the Lost Ark. That scene opens with the Ark on a dolly being rolled into a never ending warehouse where you know it will be stored and never seen again. Good night Noordam.