Subscribe today
Get Cruise Critic in your inbox
Your Ultimate Cruise Guide

Oosterdam Cruise Review by aix2379: Fair...but not amazing


aix2379
1 Review
Member Since 2010
0 Posts

Member Rating

Cabin 4.0
Dining 3.0
Embarkation 5.0
Enrichment Activities 3.0
Entertainment 1.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Fitness & Recreation 2.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Rates 3.0
Service 4.0
Shore Excursions 3.0
Value for Money 2.0

Compare Prices on Oosterdam Mexican Riviera Cruises

Fair...but not amazing

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego

We went on this cruise as a part of a group that my mom put together and being native to San Diego it was easy for us to fit into our schedule. We took a shuttle to the terminal instead of parking and it was well worth it. The shuttle takes you directly to the terminal doors and a porter was waiting to take our luggage; we didn't see our luggage again until we got to the room. Getting on the ship took all of 20 minutes. We got to the lido deck for lunch and that was a bit of a nightmare since there were so many people rushing to the food as though it was about to disappear. Around 1:00 the announcement came that we could go to our cabins and we arrived about 5 minutes before our luggage which made it easy for me to snap a few pics of a clean & tidy cabin. We sailed away around 5:30 and it was beautiful to see downtown San Diego lit up in the dusk...something I don't get to see very often. It reminded me of why I live in this great city!

We stayed in cabin #5058 which was More on the veranda deck towards the front of the ship very close to the elevators. When we first walked in we thought it was really small, but once we unpacked and found how much of our stuff fit into the cabinets we were pleased. The closets had plenty of hanging space and could convert into shelving if needed. There was a safe in one of the closets too. The veranda had a good view but I would have chosen to be about 5 cabins further back because we were right next to a portion of the ship that jutted out and blocked our view. We spent a lot of our time in the Crow's Nest Lounge & library which was directly above our cabin so it was quite convenient to go between the two with our laptop and books. The only drawback to this cabin was that the shower drained very slow and our feet were in about 4 inches of water at all times.

Overall, the ship was nice and service was what we expected; it didn't seem to matter what time of day it was, but I always saw someone polishing a stair bannister. We thought the food was mediocre no matter where we ate and we got really tired of eating after about the third day. Even in the dining room, we felt that the food was comparable to any regular buffet so we felt a bit let down. Much of the food came out of giant cans and even the juices were often times watered down (FYI...tea, juice, coffee & milk are the only free drinks on the ship; you have to pay for soda). Afternoon tea and cakes was served everyday in the dining room, but once again it was mediocre; however it was nice to take a few minutes out of the day and have a bit of sophistication ... even if it was in our flip-flops. One night there was a party on the lido deck with chocolate fountains and fruit for dipping and that was very nice.

The nightly entertainment was sub-par overall and unfortunately you couldn't get away from it. In the evening there was a musical group playing in every corner of the ship and it was never good. The shows were also excessively cheesy. There was one musician, a classical and acoustic guitarist named Taylor Brown, who was excellent and played often throughout the day; we made sure to catch one of his performances daily.

We knew going in to this that we would be in a small demographic of "young" people and in general there wasn't a whole lot for us to do. There were ping-pong tables but they always seemed to be put away or missing the paddles. There was shuffle board, but there were only a few pucks so only one game could occur at a time. The gym was nice but you had to pay extra if you wanted to do any of the classes like yoga, pilates or spin...I was disappointed to have to pay extra for something that I expected to have been part of my booking costs. The explorations cafe was "activity central" with daily sudokus/crosswords and several puzzles for people to be occupied by. We learned on our last day that there was a closet full of board games that you could check out. We spent quite a bit of our time in here since our weather was quite chilly & windy...we enjoyed this portion of the ship. This is also where there were numerous computers and a fairly large library.

There were two pools and 5 hot tubs but they were all covered up by 9pm everynight. With so much to do during the day we always seemed to have time to hit the hot tubs by about 10pm so it was disappointing to not be able to benefit from the tubs.

Overall, we were somewhat let down by the cruise, but we still were able to relax. I don't think we'll be cruising on Holland America again until we're in their demographic which will be in about 30-40 years. This ship and or cruise line really caters to senior citizens and though we weren't looking for a party cruise, we wanted a tad bit more energy. Less


Read more Oosterdam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic's Oosterdam Review >>

Cabin review: Oosterdam Deluxe Verandah Oceanview Upper Promenade 5058

We stayed in cabin #5058 which was on the veranda deck towards the front of the ship very close to the elevators. When we first walked in we thought it was really small, but once we unpacked and found how much of our stuff fit into the cabinets we were pleased. The closets had plenty of hanging space and could convert into shelving if needed. There was a safe in one of the closets too. The veranda had a good view but I would have chosen to be about 5 cabins further back because we were right next to a portion of the ship that jutted out and blocked our view. We spent a lot of our time in the Crow's Nest Lounge & library which was directly above our cabin so it was quite convenient to go between the two with our laptop and books. The only drawback to this cabin was that the shower drained very slow and our feet were in about 4 inches of water at all times.

Port and Shore Excursions


Cabo was phenomenal! We "tendered" in Cabo, which means you take the emergency rafts from the cruise ship and that was a neat experience. Once you arrive on the boardwalk there are dozens of guys waiting to take you on any excursion imaginable. The boardwalk is quite long and really nice to walk along with lots of little shops and restaurants. If at any point you find that you've walked too far and don't want to walk back the way you came there are water-taxi guys every few feet who can take you anywhere for pretty cheap (most of the taxis have glass bottoms to see the fish). At the end of the boardwalk there is access to a public beach with beautiful sand and clear blue water. We spend a few hours here and enjoyed it immensely. There were quite a few vendors but they didn't seem to bother us too much unless we were walking around. The only other drawback to the public beach was that it smelled quite a bit like the exhaust from all of the boats and jet-ski's that pull up right to the beach. Once again, you could take a water-taxi right from the sand and get anywhere else. We then ate lunch at "The Office" which is as close to the water as you can get; in fact all of the tables and chairs are in the sand!

We loved Cabo and are planning to return there one day but stay in one of the resorts. The six hours we had in Cabo on the cruise just weren't enough!


Mazatlan was dirty, congested and just plain miserable. When we docked in Mazatlan there was an immediate stench in the air that reached all the way up to our veranda. We looked out at the city and contemplated not going ashore but we did anyways. You are shuttled from the ship to the cruise ship terminal on a tram of sorts and then there is a bit of very touristy shopping to walk through until you come to the gate that lets you out of the city. At that point you are harassed endlessly by taxi drivers. Neither my husband or I appreciated being grabbed and told to get in taxis, so we opted to walk 30 minutes to the Pacifico beer factory (which wasn't far) for a tour. Unfortunately, we didn't know that shorts & flip-flops were not allowed in the factory so we were not allowed to take the tour (that's our fault for not doing the necessary research). From here we couldn't bear to walk through the dodgy streets anymore and hailed a taxi. We asked the driver to take us to a nice part of town with things to see and good shopping. He took us to the center of town where there is a big church and not much else. The church was not impressive and the shopping was a giant indoor market that we only found because I literally fell into an open doorway when a homeless man stopped to urinate on the street in front of me. The indoor market was very interesting but as you got closer to the center (where the food was) the smell or raw meat and fish got to be a little overwhelming. Neither my husband or I felt very safe in Mazatlan and with so little to see/do we only spent three hours ashore and returned to the ship for a few hours in the spa. We found Mazatlan to be just like Tijuana except closer to the water. We heard from others that the beaches were nice but very depressing with vendors carrying their children to evoke pity purchases.

Read 289 Mazatlan Reviews

After Mazatlan we were ready to throw the towel in on Mexico, but we had booked an excursion to do a bus tour of Puerto Vallarta and then a tour of a Tequila factory about 30 minutes outside of the city (the tour was through Holland America). We were relatively pleased with PV and found the city to be tourist friendly. The cruise ship terminal is right across the street from a giant Wal-Mart and there was American-ization EVERYWHERE; I was shocked to see Subways, Pizza Huts & KFCs everywhere. There isn't a whole lot to see, but the city was clean and walking along the boardwalk was very pleasant. We then took the bus out into the jungle a bit and arrived at the tequila factory where we had a nice Mexican Fiesta and entertainment. I enjoyed this quite a bit except that they had a mini zoo in the back and I was saddened by the living conditions of the animals. The tour of the tequila factory was short but very informative. My only regret was that I had consumed one too many margaritas with lunch and the tour was also a tequila tasting which offered far more than a tasting. I think we had shot-sized "tastes" of about 7 different tequilas. Needless to say I had a good nights sleep!

Thank You For Signing Up!

Please Note: To ensure delivery of your free e-letters, please add news@cruisecritic.com to your address book.
We're committed to protecting your privacy and will not rent or sell your e-mail address. By proceeding, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.