So, if you have been on Disney then you can't compare.
The Oosterdam is old. Really old. Things work. This was pretty much a retirement people cruise. Only 1 family with two small kids. No teens and no other kids. Lots of old people - like 75 and up. I think I was like the only 36 year old there. Oh yeah - really weird there was a dog - Chihuahua - on the boat. So you can bring a pet - I was told it was for medical reasons - really ?
Shows are okay. Better than Carnival and Royal. But you just can't beat Disney. The only good one was the opera singer, but I guess people don't all enjoy that. I have to say they were creative since we were there for 28 days. The lounge performers are good. The standard bands. What was different was a classical violinist. Different from the traditional piano players and jazz bands you see on all the other cruises.
Activities wise - the sea days are so boring - so we always booked a spa that day. Oh and you know the price always changes, but if you marked a good massage person you can get them to give you the same price for the who cruise. That is what we did. 2 hours for $89.
Compare to Disney there is just way more to do and no down time. You just have some much to do on board that you don't even feel like it is a sea day. There was mass every day - like you want to go to church when you are on vacation every day - really? Oh the shops only open on sea days so if you come back early from the tour there was nothing to really do.
There computer classes are great. Since they are free and usually a microsoft set of classes is like $400. The best part was that I found all my pictures and the techspet taught me on my own labtop. At least we got our money's worth for that.
Look for the happy hour specials. We got 2 margaritas for $6 and that included the 15% service charge. But get those early. We found that when you get them early they give you more and in the big glasses, but people who came latter got them in smaller glasses.
Cooking classes are definitely interesting and something different to do on the boat. Especially, since I'm a foodie. I love the tastings. The best part is that you get to ask the chefs questions - like hard ones at the end. We had creme brulee and I asked how to you add fruit flavors and able to compensate for the extra moisture in the creme. I learned a great trick that day.
Truth be said there really is not much to do. The movie theater was nice and the lounge chairs are cool and you get popcorn. the only problem is that there is only like 20 seats. Get there early.
we don't gamble and you know what every time we walked by there was like no one there - even on sea nights.
Most people did not go to the pool, but quite a bit of people in the hot tub. the good thing is that they got 5. So plenty of room, not like on carnival.
Dinning Room - this is the worst thing I have to say about the cruise. So Day 2, by the time I got to the end of my Caesar Salad there was a dead fly at the bottom of the plate. Day 4 in the Lido buffet at lunch a big fly landed on the chicken - They took that and threw it out. Day 5 the risotto was raw, but the grilled salmon was good. I kept having something wrong with my dinner from missing clams with the pasts, to no chocolate cake on the black forest cake - just cream and cherries, dinner taking 1/2 hour to come, sand in the muscles, gamey turkey - which if they just soak the bird in buttermilk - and the same with the lamb - took one bite and sent it back. So after 2 weeks of something wrong, the head waiter started coming to my table to check on my dinner and things got better.
The best part of the cruise is the staff's service. So, compared to Disney - HAL staff is nicer. They remember your name and the staff always gets you drinks even if it is just coffee or tea. When my mom and I went to the Lido just to sit out and watch the wind servers would come and offer us tea or coffee, not alcohol. That is nice. They aren't trying to sell you something, but really serve you. This is what HAL is rated - really service and after cruising with so many other cruise lines the staff is the best. I also got sick on the cruise and the staff was great in taking care of all my needs and food expectations. So, find one or two staff and just keep going to them each time and they will remember you. You will get exceptional service rather than constantly changing and asking anyone.
So you do get what you pay for. We paid $5000 for 28 days for 2. As compared with Disney, I used my Disney timeshare so it was cheap, but our friends paid $5000 for 5 days for 4. Disney you get the seafood in the buffet none on the Oosterdam. The dessert buffet is way better than the Oosterdam. More choices like crepes and really art that you can eat, not look.
Over all it was okay. Oh if you get sea sick be prepared the Tasman sea is really bad. I had it bad. you can only eat so many green apples, but at least the patch and pill works to keep food down. Our friend didn't do as well and I had to give him a patch.