OK, I have never written a review for anything, but felt so strongly to write about our cruise on the Oosterdam. We just got home last night from a 7 day Mexican Riviera Cruise. I have always heard such great things about Holland America and have never sailed this line. I expected wonderful service, but not on this ship!
We booked a suite, since the price was so good. The room was great. We really enjoyed the large bathroom with a jacuzzi tub and the large veranda, but that is about all. Once aboard, we met our room steward and also a room with leftover food from the last passengers. Not a great way to start. Our room was never cleaned before 2:00pm every day of the cruise. The day the cruise started was also our son's 16th birthday. We wanted to celebrate at dinner with a cake. Well, we told the maitre de and the waiter and we never got a cake. The food was slow in coming and the waiters didn't seem to care about you at all. The second night was a formal night, so we all got dressed for dinner. We were in open seating because no other seating was available at the time we booked the cruise. We arrived at the dining room to a long line and after an hour wait to be seated, we almost left. As we went through the dining room, we noticed several open tables. The people we were seated with had cruised Holland America before, even on the same ship and were outraged at how we were all being treated at the dining room. If they are going to have open seating, they need to figure out a way to accommodate everyone somehow. No drinks or appetizers were offered to anyone while we waited. Again, we told the waiter about our son's birthday and after reminding him twice, we did receive a birthday cake. Not much fun! From then on until the last night, we ate on the Lido deck. The food was just as good and the lines were much shorter.
I also decided to try my luck at the casino. I didn't really understand the way that you have to use your room card to put money on it and how to transfer it, etc. I just pulled out my card from the machine and thought the money was just automatically put on your card, but it is not. The next person that used the machine I was on, received my money to play with. I asked the Casino manager and he said that there was nothing they could do even though they track everything through your card. I went and spoke to the front desk and they tried to help, but the casino is a separate part of the ship. On the last night of the cruise, I was passing through the casino and they flagged me down to give me my money back. They said they had called me, but I never received any message. The way they treated me was not right even though I received my money back. I could keep going on and on about different things that happened on the ship, but I would be writing for a long time. Many of the people on the ship were first time cruisers and I am sorry that their experience was not better. Holland America needs to check into all these problems and do something about it.