Ok so this was my first cruise in recent history. I was looking forward to visiting Alaska but my experience on the Oosterdam really left a lot to be desired. First of all the food. I ate in the buffett mostly but the two times I ate in the restaraunt, the food was basically all the same as the buffett. By day three I was bored with the menu. Each day it was salmon, chicken pork and very rare beef. The salad bar one day had two types of lettuce. On day one there was sliced cucumbers. On day two there were tomatoes. On day three there was celery. The sauce changed daily but the basic items were always the same. Eating in the restaraunt wasn't a whole lot better as both nites the steak came totally rare when asking for it medium. Got to the point that I ordered it well done in hopes it might not be too bloody for me. I just found that the dining was a big downfall.
Even though I know HAL has tried very hard to change the image from their older more sedate More
clientele I felt this cruise represented a way older crowd than I anticipated. The late shows were sparsely attended. I realize it was the first cruise of the season and that presented some issues.
First the day to Tracy Arm we didn't go very far and never saw the glacier that was supposed to 'like Glacier Bay'. Ports of call in Sitka, Juneau and Ketchikan were all good however Ketchikan was only from 8 am till 12:30 and last port in Victoria we didn't arrive till 8 pm or so. The emphasis on shopping and visiting jewlery stores was a real turn off. Instead of handing us a port map and showing where the attractions are their 'shopping ambassador' met you and gave you a map of the jewlery stores. That I felt was a total turnoff.
I did enjoy the staff but I think I'd like to experience a new ship with more dining choices. I know some people just love cruises but I met several on this cruise that were less than impressed. I know it wasn't the norm but this was a dissapointment for me. Less
Its very easy to do a short walking tour here as well. Since it was raining so hard we didn't do too much but there is a very interesting raptor center here as well. In later summer when the salmon are running it would be an interesting side trip that you don't need to pay for.
take the shuttle to the Raptor Ctr for $5 r/t. Don't buy the $10 all day as you won't use it. The Raptor ctr was $12 and worth it. The stop before the cruise I got off to see the church and we were within a block of the cruise from this point.