Sailed away to the South Pacific for Christmas and New Year on the Oosterdam. It was my third cruise, previously sailed on Pride of America and the Westerdam to Alaska.
Wasn't expecting too much from the itinerary, especially the number of sea days but found the overall experience to be way better than expected as I really love to snorkel. We also booked our first inside cabin.
The service was excellent, cannot fault the cabin stewards or the dining room staff. The food was great quality, lots of variety. We ate again in the pinnacle grill and canelletto. I love the piña coladas. The ship looked in good shape, well maintained, lots of cleaning and most areas looked well maintained. Some threadbare carpets here and there. There were a lot of "selling" events - art auctions and lido deck jewelry stuff but not as intense as the craziness that was Alaska.
There were just over 2000 people on board but you could always find plenty of private areas to relax. The pools and spas were overrun with children, but that didn't worry me until the 6th day with no change of pool water, day 7 - I saw the mid pool emptied and felt I could bring myself to go in. (Perhaps they were also cleaned earlier but I didn't notice). The last day prior to disembarking I couldn't bring myself to use the aft pool as it was looking murkier and murkier (mid pool was closed due to swell).
The entertainment was reasonably good - stuff I didn't do - cookery demos, craft classes, cards, bingo, dance classes, art auctions. I did attend a lot of live shows which I thought were really good- comedians/magicians/musical and dance numbers etc. There was a screening room with recent movies. There was a decent New Years party with free champagne on board.
Ports were pretty good - 3 islands where you could just laze on a beach and go for a snorkel. I've done a lot of diving and snorkeling off cairns so I wasn't expecting much but I was really impressed. Lautoka was a disappointment, we should have organized a tour.