W just returned from a family reunion cruise on the HAL Oosterdam sailing June 23rd. There were 23 of us, ranging in age from 80 to 7. HAL did, much to their credit, seat us in four adjacent tables for 6 in the raised center section of the dining room.
It seems clear to me that the dining room is badly understaffed. We have more than a dozen cruises on the line and never seen such long waits as we had the first night, We had early seating at 5:15 but that night one table did not get their main course until after 7. (We were told someone dropped a tray). The little touches we remember such as cleaning the bread crumbs from the table are gone.
The food seemed fine to me and the rest of our group and the staff did the best they could. We had fixed tables for early seating but it seems no one else did. Every night we had to push past hundreds of people on open seating waiting to be assigned tables. all we had to do was get in and sit down,
In my view the entertainment was fair, poor and none The singers and dancers (2nights). were pretty good The magician (1 Night and an afternoon show) was good. The ventriloquist (1 night) was good and funny. On two nights there was NO show. Unacceptle to me.
The game shows were REALLY BAD. The level of humor from the CD and his staff was 5th grade school boys bathroom.
The weather was great in all our ports were great, We got off and looked around on our own and we did not take any of the ship's excursions.
The ship had to take a roughly 6 hour detour to take a sick/injured passenger ashore after we left the last Alaska port so we did not get to Victoria until 9:30 PM, too late for any excursions.