Review of ms Noordam deck 10 (Observation-Cabins-Kids-Teens-Crows Nest)
"Explorations Central & Cafe" groups the redesigned Crow’s Nest (bar lounge) and Explorations Cafe (patisserie/coffee bar). The changes were made during the ship's drydock refurbishment in 2015.
Explorations Central & Cafe (fka Crow’s Nest) is an interior bar lounge whose programming features multimedia series of interactive videos and guides related to the visited destinations part of the current cruise itinerary. The Explorations Central provides digital media (videos, ebooks, maps) which passengers can access via Wi-Fi during the current voyage, but also online (before and after the voyage). Explorations Central also has paperback books and paper maps for all the visited destinations and ports of call.
Crow’s Nest (capacity 270 seats) is a fore-located observation lounge with panoramic windows, its own bar and a large dance floor. The lounge is also used for pre-scheduled events by the Holland America Line's enrichment program, which includes daily dance classes, trivia games, card playing, karaoke, HAL Cats (8-piece party band) performances, live grand piano performances (in the afternoons and evenings). Crow’s Nest becomes a disco (dance club) at night, with live DJ music and dance contests.
Explorations Cafe (patisserie/specialty coffee bar, capacity 100 seats) also doubles as the ship’s Library (resident librarian services, guest lecturers, discussions, board games) and as Online Centre (Internet computers room/partnership with “The New York Times”).
Sliding Dome Cover is a retractable glass roof (over the midship pool area on Lido Deck/deck 9) with mounted solar panels on top.
The Loft Lounge (teens-only club area for 13-17 yo, open 10 am-12 pm, breaks between 12-2 pm and 6-8 pm) has a Video Games Arcade, PlayStations, Internet computers, big TV screens, Tennis Tables. The teen lounge (capacity 32 seats) hosts activities like teen discos, karaoke, interactive/console gaming, watching movies, sports contests, themed parties. A supervised youth program is also provided complimentary.
Club HAL Lounge (kids club and play area, bookings are required) has two separate rooms - for children 3-7 yo and for 8-12 yo. Complimentary youth programming with supervised activities is provided. Club HAL is open between 9 am-11 pm with some pauses, depending on the ship's current location (at port or at sea).
During the 2015 refurbishment, Observation Deck's forward sundeck (sunbathing area with tables, padded loungers and deckchairs) was replaced by cruise cabins (from VB10001 to VB10026) which are in categories VB-Deluxe Verandah, and K-Interior (Large and Standard).