The agenda...14 days in Venuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji, followed by immersion for 14 days in New Zealand was great. The ports were wonderful, the activities available were plentiful and the agenda experience was outstanding.
I wish I could say the same about our onboard time. Oosterdam operated like it didn't care if you were there or not. HAL, the once excellent cruiseline, has reduced itself to the lowest common denominator in the cruise industry. While their brochure promise Five-Star Luxury and treatment, they deliver 1-star performance. The company has decided that cost cutting comes before customer satisfaction. I really don't want to say anymore because I'll get in trouble with HAL defenders, but HAL needs to fire some folks and FIRE-UP their operations. They lack staff enthusiasm and it shows in the product they deliver, be it be the food or the service or the entertainment, Their "safety" drill...the one where you show up at your lifeboat station...is a joke. No one is paying attention and the staff we must rely (singers, dancers?) on appear to be incompetent and uninterested in the exercise. I can only imagine the panic in a real emergency!
Our cabin was nice...about double the normal stateroom size. Finding storage space was not a problem. And it was comfy. The Neptune Lounge was nice, but hardly enough to justify the very expensive price of the suite. Some folks just love these suites, but I find it difficult to see the cost-value benefits. The staff doesn't seem to care if you're there or not.
OK, no more on this. I'm already in big trouble with HAL fans. Go for the low price, but don't expect much except for what you can do for yourself.