A cruise to New Zealand was something my wife and I had wanted to do for a very long time, and having recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary, what better time to do it. We chose HAL for their 'signature of excellence' logo, but should have perhaps taken a little more notice of the reviews. However, with our friends, we had a great cruise, where our expectations were met, and in some cases, exceeded. Waiters, food and general ambiance aboard this grand old ship, were excellent. We loved the rich and lavish way in which the ship is fitted out and the way we were treated. However, 5 star cabin? No way, more like 3 star. Musty smelling, grey sheets welcomed us to our stateroom, along with a bath that had a 4" inch crack along the top and a generally tired and in need of refurbishment overall appearance throughout. The sheets were changed, but still grey and not what one would expect from a 'signature of excellence'. Whilst this did not spoil our cruise, it is something to take into account when advertising their product as 'excellent' means everything spot on. Time for Oosterdam to have some TLC - tender loving care methinks!
The ports of call for very good and gave us a flavor of this lovely country. If you are fit and able, most ports of call allow you to make your own arrangements to sight see. Transfer, by both tender and shuttle bus, were very good.