2 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean from Barcelona

Part of our deal was a two night stay in Barcelona which was a great start,embarkation was good and quite rapid.Balcony cabin was as expected with kingsize bed,large TV with plenty of films etc.The bathroom including tub was OK,goid hair ... Read More
Part of our deal was a two night stay in Barcelona which was a great start,embarkation was good and quite rapid.Balcony cabin was as expected with kingsize bed,large TV with plenty of films etc.The bathroom including tub was OK,goid hair products and dressing gowns.Good storage for all our clothes. Dining in the Lido restaurant was good and the only drawback for us was you are unable to serve yourself at either breakfast or lunch but soft drinks and tea,cofee were readily available all day. Evening meals on Freedom Dining option were nice with good choices mainly on North American tastes.All staff all over the ship were professional,well trained and happy in their work. Entertainment was OK,something for everyone we especially enjoyed the two pianists in Billboard on Board at happy hour every evening.Because drinks are well overpriced this is the only way we would have a drink as the second drink is priced at one dollar as wine etc is extortionate.Of course at these times the bar was crowded and at other times empty.No surprise there. All extras were so expensive from drinks,spa treatments and the shore excursions completely overpriced that we avoided at all times.They even added service charge of 15% and sometimes vat in port and even corkage of 18 dollars on a bottle bought on shore even if put into storage until dissemarked. As European we used the public transport from Barcelona onwards as the trains are well run,on time,clean,frequent and very cheap.We understand that North Americans would not like to trust this way of sight seeing and I suppose just pay up sometimes hundreds of dollars which benefits the cruise company. A lot of the guests were from America and are more casual even when dining on gala evenings and often came to dinner in jeans,t shirts and trainers.So that might appeal to a lot of guests as dressing for dinner seams to be going out of fashion. We enjoyed the ports of call which was the main reason to book this cruise and the weather was also lovely but because prices for extras are too dear probably will not cruise with HAL again. We would also like to praise the pool areas with comfortable loungers ,clean waters and hot tubs which were very welcome after a day walking through the interesting ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Last minute choice. Rather overpriced but it did tick the boxes and I enjoyed it greatly, would consider using HAL again if a cheaper alternative did not include the ports I wanted to see. Always managed to find a sun lounger, even on ... Read More
Last minute choice. Rather overpriced but it did tick the boxes and I enjoyed it greatly, would consider using HAL again if a cheaper alternative did not include the ports I wanted to see. Always managed to find a sun lounger, even on sea days, though sometimes had to hunt for one. Staff mostly excellent and did not pester to buy drinks. Fruit juice available at mealtimes. Never had a long wait for a table at mealtimes with open dining. No noisy kids running round. ( Sorry, had my share of that). If I wanted to be picky: Wine vastly overpriced, even by restaurant standards. Don't like the standard service charge thing and had it removed, tipping those who provided better than average service directly. What's with charging for shuttle bus in ports where it was too far to walk into town ? HAL need to do a deal with port operators, the ships bring much trade to towns. Gibraltar. I've visited many times and they are getting very greedy and rather off hand with tourists, taxi drivers telling porkies to get trade etc. Heard some snide remarks in Spanish, (which I speak too). Hope I don't hear them complaining about Brexit or they will get an earful. Food repetitive ( but good quality) in Lido and all started to fall off towards the end as things ran out. Entertainment poor, even Thomson do much better. A bit of real music in the Lido area would help, got sick of the same canned tape. Excursions hugely overpriced, even walking tours. Around 2-3 time the cost of locally organised ones. On board staff seem reluctant to provide any information that may result in guests doing their own thing. Internet, as always on ships, a complete waste of time and money, too slow, too expensive to use. Is it technical or just greed ? How come the little train in Mallorca can manage high speed free internet and the cruise lines can't, even in port ? This is 2016, not 1990. Don't be put off by the moans, it was a good cruise and an elegant ship with the right number of guests. It's no party boat but that was just fine. If you can get a good deal, go for it ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
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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