6 Auckland Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews

We picked this cruise because of the itinery and dates matched our local school holidays, In hind site it was a mistake, and we probably should have gone on another ship that was closer to our demographic. Most of the passengers on this ... Read More
We picked this cruise because of the itinery and dates matched our local school holidays, In hind site it was a mistake, and we probably should have gone on another ship that was closer to our demographic. Most of the passengers on this cruise were elderly, we are in our early 40's with two kids. Its hard to articulate my feelings on this cruise, the ship was nice, the food was nice, if a little bland, the ports were lovely, and the staff did their jobs well. The ship just had no atmosphere, there were small groups that were having fun and enjoying themselves, but mostly people were sitting around looking bored. Entertainment, really was geared towards to older passengers so there wasn't a lot for us to do, though we did enjoy the BB Kings lounge a few times, but there weren't a lot of people at the shows, so there was little interaction between the band and audience, I also never saw anyone in the nightclub. By 11pm most might, you would be lucky to get a drink as most of the bars were closed and the place was a ghost town. We had a large internal stateroom and it was comfortable and clean, the beds were very comfortable. Kids club was pretty disappointing, granted there weren't a lot of kids on board, but the staff treated the kids like a bit of an inconvenience, and really didnt put in a bit effort with the entertainment. We also had some bad weather that prevented us from going to Dunedin and Milford sound, but we got an extra day in Melbourne which we really enjoyed. I think we'll be going back to Royal Caribbean, its more suited to us, the atmosphere is a lot better, which to me, is more important than some of the other aspects that HAL boast. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Holland America by all accounts have dropped the service level and as we normally use Princess, this was our first encounter with Holland America The cruise companies continual pressure to sell, sell, sell, became very annoying, it ... Read More
Holland America by all accounts have dropped the service level and as we normally use Princess, this was our first encounter with Holland America The cruise companies continual pressure to sell, sell, sell, became very annoying, it happened at the bar, at the shops, at the unprofessional art auctions, and on the tours. The company is obviously hurting and the general view at our eight table dining was not to cruise with Holland America again for many and various reasons. Naturally many will think the cruise line a fine example and had some policies of Holland America been more subtle and less in your face then maybe our view might have been different. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This review is for the cruise from Auckland NZ to Sydney, embarking on November 7, 2014. First, the embarkation process was an organizational nightmare. Long lines (embarkation took over two hours) and long times standing in what can only ... Read More
This review is for the cruise from Auckland NZ to Sydney, embarking on November 7, 2014. First, the embarkation process was an organizational nightmare. Long lines (embarkation took over two hours) and long times standing in what can only be described as a dillapidated pier. Walking surface was uneven, which was a challenge for any passengers with mobility issues. We had booked a Neptune suite, which is supposed to include priority boarding, but that was not accommodated. Furthermore, my mother has problems walking and uses a walker, but there were no arrangements made for guests with these problems. Stateroom: As mentioned, we had booked a Neptune Suite. These suites are smaller than similar ones on other vessels. The size of the room was comparable to a standard veranda suite on Princess and Celebrity (both of which we have sailed recently). Our stateroom steward was nice enough, but it was the day AFTER sailing when we finally met him. On previous HAL voyages, our steward would introduce himself on the same day of embarkation. He was also difficult to locate if we needed anything. Neptune Lounge: The best part of the being in a suite. The ladies in the lounge were WONDERFUL and always willing to help out with any questions we had. They also tracked down our steward for us when we couldn't find him. I also love the fresh coffee in here. Wonderful espresso maker. Food: VIsta Dining Room - mediocre at best. Quality was upscale cafeteria and definitely not fine dining. Dishes lacked flavor, were often improperly cooked and the variety was limited. Seafood was often rubbery. Shrimp for shrimp cocktail (the simplest thing on the menu) tasted like it had been thawed and refrozen several times. Service was a comedy of errors with lost orders, delivering the wrong thing to the table, and never being able to find a server when you needed anything. Wine steward was never around and his knowledge of the wine list was severely lacking. Lido Buffet - Borderline inedible. Salads looked old. Fruit it was either too green to eat or too old. No in between. Pinnacle Grill - The first few days the service was a disaster. No cream for coffee, no servers around, and bringing the wrong items to the table. This improved after the first few days, but a few of the staff did always seem to be out of it. The coffee quality declined significantly after the first week on the ship. It was as if they ran out of the good stuff and started substituting Folgers. We also went to the Le Cirque dinner which was quite nice. Not 5 star, but still very good and the best dining experience on the ship. On Board Entertainment - Only went to a few of the shows and they were good. The band (HALCats) was good and fun to listen to. The guitar soloist in the Crows Nest was good too. Culinary at Sea: The cooking classes are a joke. Many of the recipe cards handed out had obvious errors and missing ingredients - the proceedure would tell you to use an ingredient that was not listed. HAL needs to double check these and standardize them. The mixology classes were good and fun. Casino: Good staff and some fun events. The casino hostess is very nice and helpful. All dealers were fun to lose money to. Final note: we had booked this cruise to visit Milford Sound and Hobart, both of which were excluded from the itinerary at the last minute. The reason given was rough seas. It is worth noting that on the cruise immediately prior to this one, they excluded these same destinations. Other ships on other lines were able to go and on the day we would have been going to Hobart, the ferry between Melboune and Tazmania was sailing w/o any problems. If you want to see the Fjords or go to Tazmania, I would recommend a different way to do so. Perhaps HAL should consider removing these two destinations from future published itineraries if it is common that they have to be excluded at the last minute. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Long slow moving lines on embarkation was just the start of a very disappointing cruise experience. On boarding the ship we weren't directed to our cabin or even welcomed aboard . We chose to dine on open seating dining which was ... Read More
Long slow moving lines on embarkation was just the start of a very disappointing cruise experience. On boarding the ship we weren't directed to our cabin or even welcomed aboard . We chose to dine on open seating dining which was not a good choice as every meal we had in the Vista dining room was cold,we never saw a maitre'd at our table and we had to wait on all occasions for a table to be free. we tried to book a couple of times but were only able to get very earl or very late dining. We felt like second class cruisers as no one wanted to take responsibility for our "dining experience". We made our feelings known at the front desk and they were very sympathetic and passed on the info to the dining room but still no improvement! The entertainment was very poor with the production shows being "Big" but the singers were very poor and the other entertainment was very much like a street busker or bad comedienne routines. The formal nights still saw shorts and T shirts in the public areas and not even the cruise director was wearing format attire . The cruise entertainment staff were no where to be seen on formal night and certainly no meet and greet for the shows or formal evenings. We have tried all the cruise lines over the years and have found Holland America in the past to be a cut above the other premium lines of 4 to 5 star rating but they certainly don't deserve the 5 star rating they are claiming! The cabin stewards and the waiting staff were the usual fantastic asset for HAL but unfortunately the rest of the experience was only 3 star. On disembarkation our cards were scanned and not even a "Travel safe" or thanks for sailing with us ! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We booked the cruise with our agent at home and everything was very well organized and handled professionally. We embarked the ship in Auckland and we were told not to go to the pier before 11am, because we had to checked out the hotel ... Read More
We booked the cruise with our agent at home and everything was very well organized and handled professionally. We embarked the ship in Auckland and we were told not to go to the pier before 11am, because we had to checked out the hotel at 10am which was quite closed to the pier, we went there before the said time anyway but found out that it was really not necessary to go early because we had to wait in line for almost an hour and once the gate opened, it was very smooth. We were in a balcony stateroom and our stewards Mat and his assistant were very friendly and helpful, especially Mat, he seemed to always "run into" us every day and checked whether everything was ok, and the housekeeping responded to any requests very quickly. Our Indonesian dinning room waiters were excellent throughout. It was a pleasant surprise that the food in Lido were as good as the dinning room. We tried all the specialty restaurants and concluded that the quality of food were not worth paying extra. We were disappointed by the poor entertainment on board and the reasons have been explained by some of the fellow members on the same ship and I don't need to go into details. I would like to point out that despite Oosterdam has a big group of singers and dancers, they only put on 2 1/2 show during the 14 day voyage. For the rest of nights, shows were organized poorly. There were no enrichment lectures, the short presentation on New Zealand by the travel guide Susan came after the ship left New Zealand! Some passengers think it was the result of cost cutting, I think it was due to poor management. I was shocked by the attitude of the further cruise consultant Joanne when I approached her wanting to book my next cruise. She seemed to have absolutely no interest to assist me for the booking. I can't help it but to think she didn't care to serve me because I am an Asian. I called to request for another staff to help me but I was told she was the only one. I don't know how she dealt with other passengers but I am sure she doesn't do any good for the company if she acts that way to anyone. It wasn't all bad though, all the Asian staff on board were very helpful. I'll cruise with HAL again in future but try to avoid Oosterdam if possible if no improvement are made. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Oosterdam is out-dated with tacty decor. LOts of rust on balconies, pools need redone. Many problem was the food. Terrible. We have never been on a ship that served the same thing for all meals in both the Lido Cafe and the dining room. ... Read More
Oosterdam is out-dated with tacty decor. LOts of rust on balconies, pools need redone. Many problem was the food. Terrible. We have never been on a ship that served the same thing for all meals in both the Lido Cafe and the dining room. Dining room food faired better, but still noyt to par with other cruise ships we have been on. In the Cafe for all meals, the hot food was cold. We asked why and was told that the chef perferred it that way. It was cafeteria style with very little choices. Meat, chicken and fish very dry and tough, no vegetable choices. One choice per night Most were under cooked. Most meals were french fries only. We did have a cold baked potato for a BBQ and a couple of nights mash potatoes. Salads were spicy and oriental style. They dont know how to cook Italian, it was terrible and no parasan cheese. The lobster had no drawn butter and only chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream choice. We thought our Travel Club picked the food but asked several officers and staff if this is what they feed the older regular passengers and they said yes. The staff and officers were heard complaining too. Docked in Melbourne overnight the ship shook violently every two minutes which made it impossible to sleep. Will not be on another Holland American ship unless they improve them. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.5 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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