Springbreak 101 with Teens: Oosterdam Cruise Review by UTRugrats3
Overall Member Rating
Springbreak 101 with Teens
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego
Stateroom and Staff: clean, spacious room with enough room for all of us and our "stuff". Loved the veranda, and being able to have private space to get away to. Room stewards were outstanding. We followed the suggestion of a cruise ship friend/employee, and brought along a bag of chocolate candy. We placed a handful of candies on our pillows in the morning, along with a note of thanks for the room stewards. They were thrilled with their suprises. It was an inexpensive way to show appreciation for keeping the ice bucket filled, and extra towels in the bathroom. We had a chance to meet the Captain a couple of times, and enjoyed his sense of humor. I didn't expect him to be so young. More His reply " Not all ship Captains look like Father Christmas!". JT our Cruise Director was a true professional. We wondered if he ever had "down" time?
Food: great eats in the Neptune lounge and at the Pinnacle grill. The cappucino/latte machine in the lounge made my day. We had early dining each day, which gave us the evening free to be with friends or see the show. Lido grill was always crowded, and lines were everywhere at mealtime.
Kid activities: We were at the beginning of the spring break time, with only 100 kids under 18 on board. The activities for the teenagers over 13 were good. I didn't worry about where they were in the evening, and they didn't seem to get bored. They had a prom one evening, counted the number of stairs in the staircases leading to the Loft, etc.
Entertainment: The biggest surprise was the Indonesian crew review. It gave all of us an opportunity to take in some of their culture and customs. We loved it.
Negatives: The spa is expensive, even with discounted pricing towards the end of the week. I didn't appreciate the follow up phone calls, urging me to sign up for more treatments. Our waiter called us the evening before the customer satisfaction survey was to be turned in, and asked us to grade his service as a "9". Awkward.
Disembarcation took forever. Non-compliant passengers who had not settled their accounts or tried to avoid Immigration slowed things down. The lines to get off the ship seems to go on forever. Not a great way to end our vacation. Less
Cabin review: VA7052 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
7052 - is on the port side of the ship. Quiet. The fold out sofa bed has seen better days. The mattress was saggy.Read All Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom (VA) Reviews >>
Port and Shore Excursions
No docking here. Must take a tender (life boat) to reach the dock. Beware- the lifeboats are cramped, smelly and not for those who have claustrophobia. We had a great time here snorkeling and kayaking. We'd do it again.
Tio Sports in Cabo San Lucas provided the gear and boats. Cheaper to use them directly than through the cruise ship. Clean operation, English speaking guides. Clean restrooms at their beach/office location.
Port Security is also very evident here, with the same military presence at the docks. We were instructed to keep away from the cruise ships when we were out in our kayaks.
This is a working port, complete with cars, shipping crates, fuel oil dock and the like. Mazatlan is gritty, and a worn at the edges. It seemed that everyone was out to get our tourist dollars. There was a lot of emphasis on jewelry shopping, which none of us were interested in. We did find an inexpensive Internet cafe, recommended by a ship employee. It is to the left of the shop you pass through as you exit the cruise terminal. The cafe is not fancy, but is inexpensive. We brought our own laptop.
The water in Mazatlan around the beaches looked murky. We didn't go in.
This is also a working port, but is pristine compared to our first stop. Cruise ship port security is very tight here. Cruise ship ID had to be shown to get back into the secure area, in addition to a hand search of your purse or bags. There were uniformed, armed Mexican military officials who watched us very closely.
The traffic in the city gets very congested in the afternoon. This is important to keep in mind if you are trying to get back to the ship in time.
Ship time was Pacific time. Puero Vallarta was on Central time. This can be confusing for passengers.
There is a super Wal-Mart directly across the street from the docks.
It is worthwhile getting up early to watch the docking process, especially as the long-shore men secure the lines.