3 Barcelona to Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews

The cruise started on the right foot because about 2 weeks prior to travel we received an e-mail giving us the opportunity of upgrading from our inside cabin to a veranda. It took about 1 second to make the decision. The veranda cabin wass ... Read More
The cruise started on the right foot because about 2 weeks prior to travel we received an e-mail giving us the opportunity of upgrading from our inside cabin to a veranda. It took about 1 second to make the decision. The veranda cabin wass terrific. We arrived in Barcelona a 2 days prior to boarding the ship to provide time for sampling Barcelona. We did this with another couple and did not use HAL for any of the bookings. We had opted for a 3 day Barcelona card which would provide us with transportation from the airport to the vicinity of our hotel and then 2 days of sightseeing. A waste of time and money. We only used it for the trip from the airport. We should have taken a taxi, more convenient and less expensive in the long run. We had to take a bus from terminal 1 to terminal 2 for the Renfe. When we arrived at the train stop for our hotel, we were faced with schlepping 3 suitcases up 3 flights of stairs. My wife's back was bothering her so I did all the schlepping. She waited on landing to keep an eye on the suitcases while I dragged them up the stairs to the street level. Not recommended. We then tried to find the hotel which was close by. Ha. Try to find someone who knows where the hotel was located worked after several attempts. The hotel was a good choice. near Las Ramblas. We weren't on the same flights with our friends. They arrived about an hour earlier. Our friends were not so lucky in getting from the train station to the hotel. On the way up the stairs to the street level, a 'friendly person helped with one suitcase by grabbing it and turning one of them around. When she arrrived at street level she had all her suitcases but was missing one wallet. After that event Barcelona was great. We were there for Patron Saint Day and saw some great costumes. We boarded the ship without incidence after that. The ship spent the first night in Barcelona so we had another day there. The first port was Monaco. Very nice. There was a yacht show taking place and the large yachts in port were magnificent. The next port was Livorno and we had hired a car and driver. We used Tuscany by Taxi and our driver was Ricardo. Well worth the price. Ricardo knew his way around Tuscany and got us in fornt of the line whenever possible. Of course, Firenze was beautiful. Next stop was Civitavecchia and we took the train into Rome. Ah, Rome. so packed with sights to see. Next stop was Messina. The clock tower in the Duomo is not to be missed. We then had a sea day and the next port was Nafplion. We took a tour from the ship to Epidurals and Palamidi Castle. Well worth it. Our next port was Katakolon and we opted to walk around town on our own. The next ports were Corfu, Dubrovnik and our final destination, Venice. In Venice we took a tour through Viatour and it was excellent. One bad note on this trip. I had became ill and wetn to the medical clinic. My care was excellent but the clinic was woefully organized. The nurses and doctor all had problems locating the supplies they needed. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
I and my husband (we 30 and over) took this cruise based on itinerary. It's our fifth cruise so we knew what to expect, we knew how it should be. We booked cruise shuttle from airport to the ship (only one thing which we booked ... Read More
I and my husband (we 30 and over) took this cruise based on itinerary. It's our fifth cruise so we knew what to expect, we knew how it should be. We booked cruise shuttle from airport to the ship (only one thing which we booked through the cruise, because everything overprice). People in airport was slow and confused, did not know what to do with extra luggage event it was not full bus, but we got to the ship fine, embarkation was very quick and we were in a ship in10 min. We got there maybe 12:30, waited for room maybe 20 min. Room was nice (a little old fashion, but its older ship so we expected that),enough space for luggage, nice size balcony. Then looked around, ship was clean, small compare to previous cruise ships, atrium tiny. A lot of hand sanitizers all over the ship, we liked that, because we have been on the ship with norvovirus (no fun), but sad is that not a lot of people using them. Luggage came quick to the room. We packed 2 bottles of wine and wine opener of course. This way you don't need to pay any opening charges. We had open seating for dinner, I think that's the way to go, because some days cruise leaves from ports after nine, this way you choose when to eat. Most of the stuff was Indonesian (mostly guys) and not all with the best manners. Barcelona. We stayed overnight there. We walked first night to La Rambla street, it's about 30 min walk. A lot of young people there, a lot of scary people (you afraid that they will steal something and something like that), trying to sell some cans or who know what. But city itself very nice. Next morning we went back to La Rambla, this time took port bus (3 Euros round trip or 2 one way).Then we took the Hop on hop of 2 deck bus (21 Euros per person one day), we took blue route, then I wanted to take red route but it was long line waiting to get on them and route take about 2 hours, so we didn't have enough time to do that (time change mixed our plans, we slept too long that morning). We just walked around, we used McDonald's restrooms for free, and then walked back to the ship (didn't want to wait in line for port bus). Before that I gave my Hop on hop of bus tickets away to one couple, they gave me 10 euros, so it worked well. When we walked we saw already people attending drill with the wests, we didn't go. How silly to do that, when people still ashore. I am Europe union member so I got letter that I need to bring my passport to front desk. We did, but front desk not helpful we heard so many different stories from them why they need my passport. Next day they where collecting U.S. and Canada citizen. My husband didn't give them, so they did a copy and said they will call in a room in case they would need to check original, never did. (It's good idea to have certified copy, in case somebody would lose it.). Monaco, Monte Carlo That morning we got the note, that we need to attend drill, but note came at 10am, drill was scheduled for 9 am, so we missed it again . They had tender boats from the ship to shore. We got there early so they announced that we can get on tender boats early, when we got to them, they announced that now will go only people who booked excursions, cruise director Jason Venner was blocking the stairs checking excursion stickers. He was rude, he said that now we need to wait almost an hour, but the boats were almost empty, so we sneaked in them anyway. EXPECT TO BE TREATED DIFERENT IF YOU DON'T BOOK SHIPS EXCURSIONS. WHEN YOU GETTING OUT FROM THE SHIP THERE IS NOBADY TO GUIDE YOU WHERE TO GO. In Monaco it's easy to walk (my easy means - people who fit), it's beautiful there. We walked first up to prince palace, then down toward casino (IF YOU WANT TO GO THERE, DRESS NICE AND KEEP YOUR PASSPORT, the reason for that, they don't let gamble for Monaco people. They have beach there (not the best one), but if you planning to go there bring water shoes (rubber shoes); all beaches which we saw on a trip had a lot of rocks. Restrooms in Monaco was free, some places had plate so you can put some money if you want. It's just nice to walk there, peeked in Casino, and didn't go in. On a ship it's really not a lot what to do. We didn't go to all shows; it was enough 2 first ones. The dancers not good, not graceful, singers just ok. I liked there costumes liked how stage moves, rotates. The last show with the car was o k, but it was more like a play, not a lot of dancing. During the day most of the people ashore, then they go eat dinner, would be nice to use pool or hot tub after that (GOOD LUCK,THEY CLOSED AT 7PM ,HOT TUB AT 9PM, sometimes even earlier with no notice. Back pool supposes to be adult, but nobody controlled that. It seemed that a lot of things cruise employees did for there convenient, it's always would be closed areas in buffet for stuff members, saw few couples of working people, I don't need to see their romances. We saw once how they where closing curtains in buffet on people heads. A lot of times I would bump in the worker, guess who needed to move ME, they didn't. Rush to eat before nine, otherwise you not find a lot, buffet after 9 will have just pizza and dessert, you can get room service (that's kind a nice thing) but menu limited, after 10 only few things you can get from them. Internet cafe nice, together with the library, close to bar. We got 100 min for 55 $ plus 3.95 onetime connection fee. The internet really slow and in a lot of port we saw internet cafes, so if you don't need it for work better to take your own computer and go ashore, faster and cheaper. Front desk always looked mean if you would have any questions. When our TV broke (power problems) we called them every 10 min, they didn't liked that, after over than hour they fixed the problem. Next stop Livorno Remember, you can't walk in port, only taxi or shuttle can be used. We didn't know that, we walked back, but then they told us to wait for shuttle (200 meters was left) we didn't pay, but usually it's 5 Euros for the day, it takes to Piazza grande.. We decided to take train to Florence, taxis from port to train 20 Euros, so try to find who would share it. I asked whoever I saw, we found one couple. Got round trip tickets (27 Euros round trip for both). Train times were on July 8:11, 9:11, 10:11 don't forget to validate them in a yellow machine in train station, they don't have them in the train. But one couple forgot to do that; conductor said them to write date on a ticket. We got out at Firenze S.M.N. Before that stop was Firenze stop. Don't get mix up. It's everything so close in Florence, easy to walk. We didn't go to any galleries or museums, so had enough time to stop at Pizza on the way back to Livorno. Train times 2:27, 3:27, 4:27, 5:27 we validated our ticket, got out at pizza stop, then used the same ticket back to Livorno. From the train station you can get on bus, but it's only 15- 20 min walk, you can't see tower from there, ask people. We went straight from the station, and then saw when to turn left. From Pizza train times where 3:45, 4:34, 5:34, 5:45 From Livorno train station took no 1 bus (that would work if you get cruise shuttle from piazza grande,but we didn't know that, so from the stop closest to ship we walked, a lot. So or share taxi, o pay for shuttle and from there no 1 bus (cost euro or something like that) Civitavecchia From ship shuttle took us to port gate (for free, its only 5 min walk maybe 10) then we walked to train station, just few blocks straight ahead. (10 min). Got round trip tickets. Times where 8:41 , 8:59, 9:17, 9:41, 9:59. They gave without asking B.I.R.G (18 Euros for both of us), its work for buses and metro in Rome too. It's a lot of stops in Rome S Peters close to Vatican. But you can get out on the last one, then take bus, depend where you want to go. We got out at Ostensia stop, took bus to Coliseum (bus 60 if I am fight, I just asked people all the time). We waited in line for tickets 45 to 60 min. 12 Euros per person, for Europe union members 7.50 so get your passport if you want to get discount. We went to complain about that in front desk, after talking with supervizor,they said they will put difference on our card, guess what, they didn't so last day we needed to talk about that (and it's not about 4.5 Euros it's principle) but they looked at us like we would be crazy. This entire passport situation made a lot of problem for a lot of people. They just needed to inform about that in their website, don't you think? Then we took the bus to Fontana trevi (we asked people again, which no to take). You can't see it from the bus stop, so ask somebody let you know where to get out. It seems confusing but it's really not. Then we took bus 62, it took us to Vatican. That we saw from bus stop. Then 40 or 64 bus back to train station, we went to Roma centrale, this way more likely you'll get seat. Trains comfortable and clean, restrooms not really. Times back were2:09, 2:39, 3:09, 3:39, 4:09, 4:39, 5:09, 5:14, 5:39, 6:05. Messina, Sicily we got in port at 2pm. We wanted to take train to Toarmina, train station is walk able distance from the ship, but we got there close to 3 o clock, next train was at 4:05, we didn't want to wait, so stayed there. Train times from Taormina to Messina 3:55pm, 5:22, 6:41, 7:13, 8:36 (it's about hour ride) It's really nothing what to do in messina, first everything close till 5 or who knows. It's really dirty in a streets, even poop (I hope it's just dogs), my husband decided to fish there, so we bought fishing rod and all other stuff (25 Euros we spent) and he fished for hour and a half, then I started to see strange people around, one guy was using some drugs from the bag, other kid (maybe 10) was smoking, a lot of people smoke in Europe. So we decided go back to the ship with the fishing rod, no problem. Sea day finally we can relax and not rush anywhere. It was second formal night, first was on second Barcelona day. They had crab legs that day for appetizer. Finally they had karaoke, we went there, the list of songs was a mess, not all song artists in there, one girl was singing when we got there, the cd was scratched, cruise director was laughing, next to him some employee women was laughing with him, they were really "lovie-duvie" and then he's "ok, try again, first tell about yourself, but he's not intelligent, he even didn't lift his butt to feel this poor girl better, all karaoke was like a joke. So we left. Tats it, no more karaoke nights (so don't spent time practicing). Navplion, Greece They had tender boats there. We stayed there, its cute city. We walked by fortress and found road to beach, it was small, rocky beach, so we sat in there, had some drinks, just relaxed. Katokolon We decided to take train to Olympia, the train station close to ship,5-8 min walk, it looks like restroom building, very small. Tracks start there. First train was 8:36am, its only 2 wagon train which goes to Olympia and back (I think it's only one train). Cost 6 Euros for both of us round trip. From train it's close to Olympia site place. Tickets 6 Euros each, 9 if you want to see site seen and museum. Then we took 12:05 train back, walked in Katokolon and back to ship. Corfu We didn't plan anything there, just got out and walked, a lot. They had ships shuttle (16$ round trip, 9$ one way to old town.) We walked there in 30 min, then went to fortress (4 Euros each) its nice view from there. Restroom I used in McDonald, but you need code on receipt to open the door, or just wait for somebody walk in or out. Then we found tiny beach in a cafe territory, paid 1.4 Euros entrance fee, they had changing rooms, 1.5 Euros for sun beds, towers you can take from the ship. They return passports that day. Dubrovnik Ship had shuttle 16$ round trip,9$ one way to pile gate (old town). Don't do that, there is a public bus right there, take mokosica-pile bus,we paid 20 kunas it's about 3 Euros for both of us. Old town very pretty, then we walked to the beach, it was one closer, but we walked more and found more quiet, nice beach, with rocks of course. It didn't cost, just rented sun beds 20 kunos each (3 euro) they took Euros. Then back to the bus and back to ship. That night ship had dessert extravaganza, it was nice, I missed strawberries dipped in chocolate, and they had a lot of cakes, crapes, some hand size desserts, but nothing too crazy. Next day Venice We loved Venice. We stayed there one extra night after cruise, so we bought 23H bus and water bus tickets, 23euros each. We used them a lot. They go from Piazzale Roma. About 25 min. from the ship. One way would be 6, 50 Euros per person. 12h ticket for land and water bus 16 Euros per person. Gondola rides 80euros, but you can find somebody to share the ride, 6 people fit, then the price not so bad. If you just want to go one time to Piazza San Marco then just use right there alilaguna water taxi, 6,5 one way. On Venice day you can set your credit card, you can adjust tips which they adding automatically, Next morning we paid in cash what we owned to the ship, ate last breakfast and rolled with the luggage to the bus stop, took no. 5 bus to Russot hotel, then went back to the city. We had a lot of fun, from ship we expected more, but we saw nice places, had nice room with balcony (where we spent most of the time when in ship), had decent food. So we will have only nice memories about this trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
This is the second time the my wife and I have taken a cruise on the Oosterdam. The first cruise being 2 years ago on the Mexican Rivera. Second time around was not a charm. There are almost as many bad things to write about the cruise as ... Read More
This is the second time the my wife and I have taken a cruise on the Oosterdam. The first cruise being 2 years ago on the Mexican Rivera. Second time around was not a charm. There are almost as many bad things to write about the cruise as there are good things. So I will start with the good things and for those who don't want to find out about the bad I'll warn you in advance before I start writing. First thing- it not often that you can go on a 12 day cruise and see Spain, Italy, France, Monaco, Greece, and Croatia. Such a whirlwind ! My favorites were Venice and Rome. My wife has her favorites of Venice, Rome, and Dubrovnik (in Croatia). We decided to do something different while we were in Corfu, Greece and rented a car for the first time overseas. Talk about freedom to meet the locals. Our room attendants (Sri and Henri) were top notch. Same can be said for our table attendants (Made and Efendi).  Being on a 12 day cruise is awesome because the first couple of days your unwinding and you still have 10 days of cruising to go. On a shorter cruise- you barely start to unwind and half the cruise is over with. Now for the BAD.....We went to the Pinnacle Grill for my wife's birthday. Service was extremely slow. It took 1 1/2 hours just to get to the main course. There were 3 unauthorized charges that were put on our account and it took 5 trips to the front desk to finally get them removed. The Oosterdam is not being maintained as well as she should be. Frayed carpets everywhere. Our toilet broke for 1 day. The Cappuccino machine broken for several days of the cruise. This is not what you expect from a ship that just came out of drydock. As much as we loved seeing so many different locations; it was an itinerary not designed for most of the clientele that sail on Holland America (I.E senior citizens). By the end of the cruise there were several people sporting crutches and arm slings.  It is to much to expect people in their 60s and 70s to be able to go on a 9 hour tour one day then turn around and go on a 11 hour tour the next day. There was only 1 sea day out of the 12. Read Less
Sail Date April 2009
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
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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