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Suggestions for Noordam from Sydney to Auckland

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I have had Australia/NZ on my bucket list for a long, long time. And I am very close to booking this cruise on the Noordam in 2020, mainly because I want the itinerary that includes Hobart and Picton.  The HAL people tell me she will go into dry dock Sept 2019, and I am hoping that refurbishment will make a good difference. 


So my question is...anybody here that has sailed that itinerary on the Noordam have a compelling reason that I should or (should not) book this trip this week on the HAL Why Not Now sale? Is that the best deal?  Anybody ever done the restricted fare? That is a bit worrisome to me, but open to ideas on that.

My TA actually said HAL wasn't offering any promos. :classic_huh: so I am interested in your ideas to get the best pricing as well.  Is there a difference in booking with a AUS TA? 


I know we can be happy on HAL, we have sailed with them before and been pleased. Wondering if it is worth the splurge for the signature suite vs regular veranda cabin, any thoughts on that? 

Thanks in advance and happy cruising!

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I recently did the 15 night cruise to Papua New Guinea and Far North Queensland on the Noordam and found the ship in great condition - carpets immaculate etc. Some stateroom TVs could be better but that was about the only complaint I heard (I was travelling with a family group). I also heard on board that the Noordam isn’t going into dry dock until 2020 but can’t confirm that. 


Although I haven’t done the itinerary you’re looking at, I did New Zealand on the Maasdam last year and enjoyed the ports visited.  NZ ports have information centres where you can easily book tours once on shore, rather than using HAL’s tours.


I had a Signature Suite and thought it was well worth the money.


As an American, I don’t know if you can book with an Australian TA as unless Australians have a US address or a long-standing relationship with a US TA, we cannot book with a US TA.


In the past, cruise fares would often drop but I have found that my last 3 cruises on HAL the cruise fares didn’t change much, often going up instead. It was only the lower category staterooms on the FNQ and PNG cruise dropped about a week out from the cruise - the balconies and suites mainly stayed the same fare as when they were first released.


I would have no hesitation though in doing that cruise on the Noordam but unfortunately can’t advise on how to get the best fare.

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