As this was our first Holland America cruise, we were very excited to board the Oosterdam in Sydney.
Our first disappointment was the atrium area. Normally an area of meeting friends, coffee, drinks and generally a buzz, the Oosterdam's atrium was dull with a bar near the purser's desk which was closed most of the time.
With only 7 ports visited on our cruise, three of these were on a Sunday. Two of these were at the Samoa Islands with very limited activities/shopping and the other was at Honolulu. Disembarkation procedures varied from reasonable to long lines waiting in corridors outside staterooms.
The shows on the ship were mediocre. The onboard ship dance crew only did two shows on the whole trip with others ranging from terrible (Cash (comedian) and a pair of dancers) to good (comedian from NY, magician) and others in between. To get to the theatre you had to walk through the (cigarette) smoke filled casino.
The movie theatre was small and most days some guests weren't able to view the movie as there wasn't enough room. The Windows 8 training sessions were fantastic.
The cabin stewards do a great job, but we seldom saw ours. The wait stewards in both the buffet and Vista lounges were few and far between. There was a long wait to order and receive drinks.
The buffet queue was very long at times, and especially on the formal nights and BBQs. Guests were waiting for lunch time roasts at times when they had run out and had to go to get another. (no forethought) Food was generally good in the buffet and dining room. Anytime dining worked well for us.
Our large oceanview suite was roomy, but had a smaller window than others we have had.
Other guests we spoke to felt that the Oosterdam standard had slipped considerably on this trip.
We wouldn't book another cruise on Oosterdam and would have to think very hard about booking another on Holland America.