I have been reading a few of the reviews for this cruise and felt I needed to add my review. This is the longest cruise we have ever done and I was wondering what I would think about a longer cruise and I loved it. We are in our early 60's, very active and have been on over 22 cruises, our 5th with HAL and second time on the Oosterdam.
Embarkation was a breeze. We were traveling with friends who were in a suite and we were able to bypass lines because they had priority embarkation.
We always book interior rooms and our room on this cruise was really nice, the biggest interior room on the ship, with an L shaped couch and a table and chair. The I category rooms are always a good option on HAL. We had one problem with our shower and it was fixed immediately when we reported it and they even called to make sure we were happy and gave us a plate of desserts with a note telling us how sorry they were for the trouble.
Our room stewards were wonderful, Adi and Hamin. They took such good care of us the whole cruise. I like fresh fruit in the room and it was there every day for me. Adi always asked how we were doing and if we needed anything and he was always quick to honor any request.
The entire staff we encountered on this cruise were excellent. I love the way HAL takes care of their passengers. Our dining room waiters were FANTASTIC. We had fixed early dining and Andri always made sure we were happy with our meals. He took the time to know our likes and dislikes and, even though I believe he was overextended sometimes (seems like he had a lot of tables to serve), he still was always smiling.
The only thing that I found lacking on this cruise was the entertainment and activities. I thought the shows were average, at best, and think HAL could take a look at the Royal Caribbean production shows that I think are far superior. The entertainment that they brought in was mostly boring to me. The different lounge entertainment was mediocre, although we did love the piano bar. We like karaoke, but they only offered it in limited amounts. DJ Bruce was lots of fun and the highlight of all the evening entertainment offerings. If you are looking for a cruise where people party in the disco, this wasn't the cruise. We went in the disco a few times and were the only ones there, except one night where two ladies were dancing.
The captain was entertaining and informative. The travel guide gave very good information about the ports and good cruising commentary when we went through Milford Sound. It was crowded in the Crow's nest during that time because the weather was cold and rainy and people probably didn't want to brave the cold. The cruise director was great.
All in all, this was a fantastic cruise. I really have nothing to complain about. People who are complaining about this cruise in their reviews must have been on a different cruise than we were!