We have been on the Oosterdam several times (3 times in 2011) and always have a good time...that said, one must keep in mind that you are on vacation and have a good time without sweating the small stuff as "ship" happens at sea just as it does at home or in your favorite hotel or resort!!!
This voyage had Captain Arjen van der Loo in command, he is well liked by both his passengers and crew plus having a wonderful sense of humor sets a great tone for his sailings every time we have sailed with him.
Our Hotel Manager, James Deering is without a doubt the best in HAL's fleet...having known him for many years, we can honestly say that you always can count on him to be out and about the ship, mingling with both his staff and the passengers, answering questions and solving problems for everyone that he meets along the way...this extraordinary officer needs to be cloned for every ship!!!
Our Cruise Director, Michael Langely made the voyage "fun" with his very personable style and wit during all of the onboard activities with the assistance of D J Brett who was also pretty funny!!!
We noted that a lot of repairs had been done in the recent drydock...all the new carpeting and upholstry as well as such things as the new ceiling in the piano bar helped to spruce the ship up a bit...hopefully the cabins will be updated on the next refurb as they are starting to show a bit of wear and tear on this nine year old vessel.
We had great service from the happy crew of the big "O"...the room stewards, dining captains, waiters, busboys and buffet staff could not have been more friendly and helpful...sure there were a few bumps along the way with some slow dining room service, but overall it was pretty dam good.
San Diego embarkation was a breeze as usual...we arrived at about one o'clock and were on the ship in fifteen minutes...with self disembarkation at the end of our journey, we were off the ship an into a taxi five minutes after leaving our cabin at 8:30 AM...for another relaxing cruise experience on the Oosterdam.
With many thanks to Captain van der Loo and Hotel Manager Jim Deering for a job well done, we'll see you again "down under" in Australia next year!!!
HAL SAN DIEGO