We had an excellent week on the Oosterdam. Our reservations were made through an internet travel agency somewhere around 60 days out - right about the time the good "last minute" bargains began to emerge. What began as a low priced "no view" category H cabin turned into a Category D "wonderful oceanview" cabin by the time we boarded.
We went into Seattle the night before to avoid travel issues, spent a restful night at an airport area hotel, and went back to the airport around 10:30 AM on our sailing date to begin the transfer/embarkation process.
Embarkation was very stress-free; we were on board by a little before Noon; had a nice lunch on the Lido deck and were just about to get up from lunch when they gave an announcement that the cabins were ready for occupancy - great timing. Food was very good to excellent compared to other cruise lines and other destinations we've used in the past. The seafood offerings were tastefully prepared and service in all dining locales was quite good. Sure there was a miscue here and there but most could be blamed on cross-cultural communication blips. Wildlife viewing/whale watching trips were quite worth our while and our money. The semi-sub excursion in Sitka should only be taken by those who like to view kelp, kelp, more kelp - and the animals that live on kelp. The Ketchikan lumberjack show was a lot of fun. On-board entertainment was excellent with the young cast of singers and dancers - a notch above previous cruises we've taken. A couple who did magic were quite good. But, alas, a gentleman who did "physical comedy" was not very good at all. Our cabin steward was as green as they get (he got on the ship for the first time after we boarded) but he did an outstanding job all week long.
Our biggest problem all week came at the Seattle airport AFTER we were handed off by the cruise line and the transfer folks. The wait to check in with the airline was VERY long - one agent to cover a line which consisted of dozens of people and continued to grow larger. If I knew then what I know now I would have gladly paid the extra $20 per person for express baggage service, skipping the check-in line and gone straight to security with my boarding pass already in hand. In the end, the week was what we needed it to be - a VERY restful vacation with things to do when we wanted to be active and lots of time to rest and read when we wanted to relax.