Sailing aboard the NOORDAM this November 2017

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#21
Gold Coast
10,068 Posts
Joined Sep 2007
Originally posted by SeaDog-46
Another way & I consider even better break in your trip to Auckland NZ.
Depart LAX only on a Saturday after 11pm on Air NZ to Raratonga - Cook Islands.

It is only a 10 hr. flight & you arrive around dawn into a beautiful tropical island.
The locals are much friendlier that the Tahitians & they use NZ currency & you will not pay Tahiti prices.
Then daily flights onwards to Auckland.

Note : when onboard Noordam - do not complain to Aussies & Kiwis about your long trans Pacific flight - or you will be ear-bashed on how many flying hours from NZ & Aust. to UK.
Agree with suggestion to make the Cook Islands your stopover en route. It is our favourite stopover. If you have time, Aitutaki is well worth a side trip. With stopovers, the journey becomes part of the trip.

Agree with suggestion to not overnight in LAX. We used to, but stopped once going through US Customs became a nightmare! You need a minimum of three nights for a stopover anywhere to be a relaxing break.
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#22
deltona florida
45 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
WOW. Good answers to lots of my questions. My wife is really interested in RAROTANGA , so I'll start looking into hotels and maybe ITUTAKI. I'm on her login.
I wonder how long it takes to go from the cook Islands to Auckland. I want 1 day(at least) for that part of the trip. That way I have some extra time built in to relax and then catch the NOORDAM .

As for port excursions. Is there anyway we can get "other" tour operators(that you know) that we c an use when we hit these port? I'm a fisherman , SSSOOOOOOOO , I want to get some fishing in at some point.

So much to learn and so little time.
Anything special hit you guys on any of he ports you visited?

one more dumb question. Where is the meet and greet blog?

ancientmarinerjoe
#23
deltona florida
45 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
We are looking at Raratonga. Just the name , R A R A T O N G A has My honey excited. Seeping sand beaches with o/hanging palm/coconut trees , Sweeping views , soft gentle breezes. Decompressing after that 10 hour flight , will really have us in "THE MOOD" for a great time. After all this it's on to Auckland and a great cruise. We got some great private tours in the listings above . Wow. Great people cruise HOLLAND and cruise Critic.
Now I hope Cruise Critic gets the Meet and Greet up for our 11/6/17 cruise on Noordam. Can't wait to meet more cruisers and have lots of fun meeting more people. I just know we will get lots more info to make this a trip of a lifetime.
Nancy is worried that my climbing that SYDNEY bridge will be to much for this 78 year old body. I hope not , as this is my bucket list.
Has anyone done that bridge climb? Is is harder is done after dark? I'll bet the views AND the photos should be wonderfull. Can't wait to hear all your insights about that.
Ancientmarinerjoe
#24
17,252 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
Originally posted by ancientmarinerjoe
WOW. Good answers to lots of my questions. My wife is really interested in RAROTANGA , so I'll start looking into hotels and maybe ITUTAKI. I'm on her login.
I wonder how long it takes to go from the cook Islands to Auckland. I want 1 day(at least) for that part of the trip. That way I have some extra time built in to relax and then catch the NOORDAM .

ancientmarinerjoe
An Air New Zealand flight from Rarotonga to Auckland is approximately 4 hours 30 minutes.
#25
deltona florida
45 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
HI All:
Any help in self guided tours @ each stop on this cruise?
After researching all this, I realize that were novices on guided(?) tours @ each stop. I don't want to get burned and is the ship,etc.
The tours offered by HAL are just to darned expensive for three of us. OUCH!
Were looking to hook up with tours that other HAL shipboard guests will be on.
We hear that watomo(?) is a place to visit.
WE especially want to see the original MAURI village and GREETING are one highlight we don't want to miss.
ancientmarinerjoe
#26
Arlington, Virginia
2,633 Posts
Joined Sep 2010
Originally posted by ancientmarinerjoe
HI All:
Any help in self guided tours @ each stop on this cruise?
After researching all this, I realize that were novices on guided(?) tours @ each stop. I don't want to get burned and is the ship,etc.
The tours offered by HAL are just to darned expensive for three of us. OUCH!
Were looking to hook up with tours that other HAL shipboard guests will be on.
We hear that watomo(?) is a place to visit.
WE especially want to see the original MAURI village and GREETING are one highlight we don't want to miss.
ancientmarinerjoe
If you have not already done so, post your query about private tours in NZ and Australia on the Ports of Call forum for "Australia and NZ". I'd also go to Trip Advisor and post on the NZ and Australia forums. (Unfortunately, I can't help you with guided tours as we used our own car in Australia and rented cars in NZ so that we could do sightseeing on our own.)

Also, it's "Waitomo" and "Maori"--you'll want to make sure the spelling is right for internet searching.
#27
California
1,043 Posts
Joined Feb 2010
I will be on the Maasdam leaving Auckland November 27.
I cannot fly to Sydney as my visa application got denied (took a whole year just for them to deny it)

These are good tips for a long flight. I flew to Tahiti back in 2014 and the flight wasn't so bad because it was red eye and slept for most of it but to New Zealand this ads another 5 plus hours. It will all be worth it though because at the end of the day I will be on a 22 day cruise to some once in a lifetime places.
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#28
Northern New Jersey
256 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Ancient mariner Joe, I understand that cameras and picture taking is not allowed on the Sydney bridge climb. I don't know about Go Pro cameras.

DD
#29
Adelaide Australia
91 Posts
Joined Jul 2016
Originally posted by ancientmarinerjoe
HI All:
Any help in self guided tours @ each stop on this cruise?
After researching all this, I realize that were novices on guided(?) tours @ each stop. I don't want to get burned and is the ship,etc.
The tours offered by HAL are just to darned expensive for three of us. OUCH!
Were looking to hook up with tours that other HAL shipboard guests will be on.
We hear that watomo(?) is a place to visit.
WE especially want to see the original MAURI village and GREETING are one highlight we don't want to miss.
ancientmarinerjoe
Hi,
we cruised NZ back in March 2016 and used this company for a few tours including hobbiton https://www.shoretripsandtours.com/S...uranga-Rotorua

They were great and Hobbiton was fantastic.

We also did the Weta Cave workshop tour in Wellington which was short (about 45 minutes) but interesting. The shop was interesting and there were some good photo opportunities with the trolls. We took a cab from the ship (about $NZ30 from memory) and a bus back to the city.http://wetaworkshop.com/visit-us/workshop-tours/

(yes we are Lord of the Rings tragics)

We also used this company for a couple of tours and would recommend them http://www.zealandiertours.com/
#31
South of sydney australia
351 Posts
Joined May 2009
If you have a look at the Noordam Sep 28 Roll call there is lots of info on tours as people on the roll call are organising them now. You can see itineraries and costs etc.
#32
Gilroy, California
137 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
Does anyone know if Holland America does theme nights like some lines do? White night, hippie night, pirate night? We're sailing on the 15-day Sydney to Auckland trip in October, would like to be prepared with an eye patch or a hippie vest... Thanks!
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#33
Warwick, R.I. , USA
38,268 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Originally posted by Minna22
Does anyone know if Holland America does theme nights like some lines do?
They don't. Now, if you are sailing over Halloween, there may (I emphasize "may") be a costume party, but I wouldn't bet on it happening. I've sailed twice over Halloween, but there has never been anything made of it.
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#34
deltona florida
45 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Originally posted by DoggyDaddy
Ancient mariner Joe, I understand that cameras and picture taking is not allowed on the Sydney bridge climb. I don't know about Go Pro cameras.

DD
OH NO!. That's 1/2 half the reason I want to do it. What GREAT MEMORIES I would have doing that.
Ancient Mariner Joe