Oosterdam Review

4.0 / 5.0
1,092 reviews
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Editor Rating
Very Good
Brittany Chrusciel

First thing's first: Plenty of features onboard Holland America's Oosterdam might elicit an "ooh" along with an "aah," but the name of the ship is pronounced OH-sterdam. The pronunciation is just about the only thing that remains Dutch about the ship, as the line has done away with Royal Dutch High Tea and, rather than a Dutch cafe, the ship sports a modern coffee bar. Despite a soft spot for tradition, Holland America is updating its ships to keep up with modern times, and Oosterdam is no exception. With craft cocktails in the Gallery Bar, fresh seafood at Rudi's Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant and the irresistible charisma of B.B. King's Blues Club, Holland America's new touches have breathed fresh life into this ship in exciting ways.

One additional new change that Holland America-loyal cruisers are likely to welcome is the return of Oosterdam's library. This is part of a Vista-class to reintroduce a separate library and have the Crow's Nest return to its previous use, as a bar and lounge, rather than a lecture and shore excursion area.

A high point on this ship is service, which is prompt and consistent. Whether the matter is room repair requests, dietary restrictions in the dining room or mingling with the talent onboard, interactions were positive and genuine. We saw the same smiling faces across different venues depending on the time of day, and we were always remembered and addressed like acquaintances. Little things like having a last-minute spa appointment accommodated or seeing the cruise director ashore, still greeting and interacting with passengers, gave the cruise the carefree vacation feeling that people crave when they board a ship. Unfortunately, one exception was in B.B. King's each night after the final set. The assistant cruise director doing the DJ-ing, refused to take requests and played music that quickly scared everyone off the dance floor.

What Holland America chooses to invest in, it succeeds at producing well. A night watching an episode of the documentary series "Planet Earth," accompanied by the Lincoln Center Stage musicians in the main theater is a treat and makes use of the cruise line's partnership with BBC Earth. Other partnership-based activities or attractions you might notice around the ship include Oprah's Book Club discussions, cooking classes with America's Test Kitchen and cocktails designed by renowned mixologist Dale DeGroff. These collaborations touch upon dining, entertainment and enrichment -- and, many times, they offer a combination.

The best part about the changes to Oosterdam, and the Holland America fleet overall, is that the concepts being introduced -- including the Music Walk -- work really well for cruisers who are already fans of the line, as well as first-time passengers. The upgrades are thoughtful and, rather than serve as a temporary jolt of energy to attract attention, the partnerships and enhancements feel more like a natural progression for a notoriously traditional line that's keeping up with the times.


The addition of the line's signature Music Walk has reinvigorated nightlife onboard


Lacks attractions for active cruisers

Bottom Line

Good service and excellent evening entertainment combine to please


Passengers: 1964
Crew: 812
Passenger to Crew: 2.42:1
Launched: 2003
Shore Excursions: 744

Fellow Passengers

In addition to the retiree-age passenger base that Holland America is known for, Caribbean itineraries attract a much larger mix of young couples and families than on other routes. On our sailing to the Bahamas and Dominican Republic, a wedding party noticeably infused the ship with youth and vitality. European itineraries on Oosterdam skew older, except during school holidays in the summer months, when it's more common for families to be seen with children in tow. Regardless of the route, Oosterdam primarily attracts a North American audience.

Holland America Oosterdam Dress Code

Daytime: The dress code is casual during the day, especially on warm-weather sailings.

Evening: At least one "Gala Night" occurs per cruise, on which passengers are required to dress in more formal collared shirts and slacks or dresses/skirts in any main dining or fine dining venue. The buffet is offered as a dining alternative for those who don't wish to dress up. On other nights, the dress code is a step up from casual, with shorts and jeans giving way to slacks, skirts and sundresses.

Not permitted: T-shirts, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in restaurants or public areas during evening hours -- though we've definitely seen allowances on the shorts and T-shirts rule.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Holland America Line.

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More about Holland America Oosterdam

Where does Holland America Oosterdam sail from?

Holland America Oosterdam departs from Buenos Aires, Piraeus, Piraeus, Laviron, Barcelona, Rome, Civitavecchia, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, and Lisbon

How much does it cost to go on Holland America Oosterdam?

Cruises on Holland America Oosterdam start from $759 per person.

Is Holland America Oosterdam a good ship to cruise on?

Holland America Oosterdam won 35 awards over the years.
Holland America Oosterdam Cruiser Reviews

First Time on Holland America - Expecting More

Some Oosterdam electrical outlets in the room did not work.Read More
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few6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

Enjoyable Transatlantic Cruise

Why Oosterdam? This is our second time on Oosterdam and we really like the ship. Granted it is not the newest in the fleet, but 2,000 passengers is the right size in our opinion.Read More
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Tim and Kim

few6-10 Cruises

Age 66s

Oosterdam... both good and bad.

Holland America Oosterdam 31 night cruise: March 5 to April 5, 2024. This cruise was advertised as including a day of "Scenic Cruising Cape Horn". We made our final payment on Feb. 2.Read More
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oneFirst Time Cruiser

Age 68s

Oosterdam is outdated and tired looking

My husband and I sailed on the Oosterdam Sept 14th, 2023 - October 8th, 2023. This was a 24 day trip starting in Barcelona and ending in Athens, Greece.Read More
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ncc and jcc

many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

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