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39 Holland America Pacific Coastal Cruise Reviews

We took this cruise with another couple, long-time friends and traveling companions, booking two balcony cabins with adjoining doors and balconies, and we had a very good time. We were nervous about the weather sailing south down the ... Read More
We took this cruise with another couple, long-time friends and traveling companions, booking two balcony cabins with adjoining doors and balconies, and we had a very good time. We were nervous about the weather sailing south down the coast, but needn't have been, because the weather was gorgeous and the seas were very smooth. Boarding was wonderfully efficient - we arrived at the port a bit earlier than advised to, and were on board and eating a lovely lunch in a little less than an hour. Our cabins, and the entire ship, were clean and well maintained, and we all appreciated the slightly subdued decor (nothing glitzy or over the top) built around gorgeous caste aluminum elevator doors and beautiful floral displays on every deck. Contrary to some reviews, we all found the food to be excellent in every included dining area - the Vista main dining room (where we had open seating) was attractive, comfortable, and offered lovely views and the Lido Market buffet was spacious and nicely decorated, had great views, and offered an amazing selection of different varieties of food in specialty areas - Asian and South Asian treats, salads, pastas, a carving station, sandwiches, burgers, ice cream and desserts - you name it, they offered it. The musical entertainment, in several venues (BB King's, MainStage, Lincoln Centre Stage), was also varied and geared to many different tastes - classical music, show tunes, rhythm and blues, dance standards and a stand up comic who offered great humour combined with marvelous fiddling (at one of her shows she was accompanied by her lovely and very talented 11 year old daughter). Our favourite spot for chatting and watching the sights was the Explorations Lounge on the Observation Deck, and we had a great time playing cards in the Lido Market buffet area after the 9pm show, as they continued to serve tasty food (their French fries and home made potato chips were perfect card-playing snacks). In typical cruise line fashion, HAL does overcharge for all alcohol (the dining room's wine bottle charges were utterly ridiculous), but the four of us aren't serious drinkers, so we made do with a fairly reasonable 6 bottle wine package to accompany our dinners and were happy enough because we drank lots of craft beer in every port. Our traveling companions both enjoyed the Casino, and my husband and I really enjoyed the beautiful outdoor pool and hot tubs (the ship has an indoor pool and hot tubs as well, with a retractable roof). None of us experienced the hard sell mentioned in a previous review (but we didn't attend the History of Diamonds presentation), and we appreciated that the on-board photographer was quite respectful if you just said "No, thank you." The icing on the cake, though - and Holland America should be proud - is their truly exceptional service, offered by every crew member we met. Friends of ours have always recommended Holland America and we hesitated sailing with them because we've had less then happy experiences with mid-priced cruise lines, but this cruise made us understand their preference. We would not hesitate to sail with Holland America on the Oosterdam again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We travelled as a party of 9 and had really looked forward to seeing Alaska with Holland America. Boy were we disappointed. Every show, talk, movie on the cruise was an attempt to sell something. Although we are used to cruises and ... Read More
We travelled as a party of 9 and had really looked forward to seeing Alaska with Holland America. Boy were we disappointed. Every show, talk, movie on the cruise was an attempt to sell something. Although we are used to cruises and expect this to happen, their selling attempt was too blatant and started to ruin our experience. A season on the history of diamonds led to a pushy sales effort to sell items from the stores on the ship. We had the unfortunate opportunity to see a doctor on board, and he was incompetent, unethical, and tried to upsell medication like a cheap used car salesman. The food was tolerable, but got repetitive after a few days. By the 5th day we were dying to get off the cruise. The excursions were actually quite pleasant and we were happy to meet some locals. However, we also realize how much more expensive the excursions sold on the ship were compared to just getting off the ship and go with a local company. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
THE GOOD: Very efficient at embarking and disembarking passengers smoothly. Smiley, welcoming and attentive staff. Very clean and comfortable stateroom. Good entertainment (we watched the dancers). Several choices of bars and lounges, ... Read More
THE GOOD: Very efficient at embarking and disembarking passengers smoothly. Smiley, welcoming and attentive staff. Very clean and comfortable stateroom. Good entertainment (we watched the dancers). Several choices of bars and lounges, all with excellent service. Pretty good food. NOT SO GOOD: I couldn't help compare this ship with the one I sailed on 20 years ago. It was nothing like as luxurious. The opulent art and sculptures are gone. The decor, once tasteful, is pedestrian. The colour schemes horrible. The cuisine, once out of this world, is ho-hum. No ice sculptures. No Baked Alaska. No movie house. No jazz pianists in the lounges. No afternoon Dutch tea. No midnight chocolate extravaganza. I think I know what happened. Cruise passengers were once refined, cultured and discriminating. Now they are not. People from all walks of life come to party, gamble, drink and overeat. Because of the changing demographics and lowering of standards, Holland America has eliminated the niceties. What an awful shame! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had used Holland America about 14 years and decided to give it a try once again as a lot of our friends were going on this cruise and it was just a 1 day cruise Embarkation:- we had arrived at about 3 the embarkation process was very ... Read More
We had used Holland America about 14 years and decided to give it a try once again as a lot of our friends were going on this cruise and it was just a 1 day cruise Embarkation:- we had arrived at about 3 the embarkation process was very smooth and we were on this ship in less than 15 minutes. We did find it odd that held on to our passport and Green card and gave us a receipt for just the passport. (when we went back and pointed it out they said sorry and added US permanent card on the receipt) They told us that they do this for the getting the customs and immigration clearance and that we will get them back on this ship. Dining Lido - they were running out of food and did not refill any of it. I took some pasta and it was dry. Cabin - the cabins were a bit small but they were neat and clean. Fries on the swimming deck. One of the best fries that we had. Main room dining - We were in the 8 o clock sitting. They were running out of food clearly. they had prepared Indian and offered it to us. they were in small tiny cups and the dal was only half filled. When people asked for refill they said sorry that they had run out of it. The salmon dish that I had ordered for my entrée was not brought when others on the table were ready to order the desserts. When I enquired about the Salmon he said they were backed up for this and that it would take a while to bring it out and asked me if I still wanted it. When I said yes they brought it 15 minutes later and it was overcooked. One of the couples in our party were celebrating their anniversary but they left as the service was slow and the showtime had begun. After they left the servers came and said they had a cake for them. When they found out that they had left they took their cabin number and said they would deliver it, but it never got delivered to the room. Show - The show was decent IMO, but the others in the group liked it. so will leave it at that Public restroom. They were clean and I personally like the rolled up hand wash towels. Early morning phone call - We still hadn't heard anything regarding our passport / green card. However at 6:35 on the morning our phone rang and they informed us that we needed to be in the Hudson room at 6:40 for immigration process and they wanted all of the family members there. When we went there they made us all sit in the room and they started taking a roll call of the people present and asking if all of the members in the party were present. There was no communications as to what was happening and the process involved. When I raised and asked my hand if they would announce what we should expect the lady rudely explained that they would do it. After about 30 minutes of roll calling, the supervisor arrived and said the immigration officers would come and clear the passports and would pick a small size of people to see them face to face and to sit tight. After about another half an hour of wait a few people were called and one of the couples they wanted to see could not be located. even during the roll call they were missing. after 10 minutes later they came and said that the ship was cleared and one person was announcing the room number to come and pick up the passports. we got ours back in about 15 minutes but I am sure they would have take another 15 20 minutes. The whole process IMO was ridiculous and disorganized. Silver lining - the breakfast they brought to the room was good and on time which we were not expecting. They earned some brownie points Bottom Line - they lost us as customer for sure. Never again are we going to cruise with Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Our voyage on the MS Volendam was short, but sweet! This ship is still in very good shape. It is scheduled for another retrofit next month. We flew to Vancouver to join the ship on it's transition from Alaska to the Caribbean. ... Read More
Our voyage on the MS Volendam was short, but sweet! This ship is still in very good shape. It is scheduled for another retrofit next month. We flew to Vancouver to join the ship on it's transition from Alaska to the Caribbean. Many people on this voyage were settling in for the extended Panama Canal cruise. We had limited time as we had another trip planed, so we decided to take the 6 night cruise from Vancouver to San Diego. We stayed at the Best Western Plus Uptown Hotel in Vancouver. It's only 4 miles (12 minutes to the cruise terminal) and is about half the price of the downtown properties. We found it clean, friendly and in a very nice neighborhood filled with restaurants. Embarkation was very fast and our rooms were ready when we boarded around 11:00 a.m. Our cabin was a Guaranteed Ocean view Cabin. We were very satisfied with our location on Dolphin deck near the Aft part of the ship. The cabins are a bit dated, especially the TVs and the safe; other than that, a great clean cabin with plenty of storage space. We enjoyed the limited entertainment onboard, especially the comedian and the magician. Both were excellent. The BB King All Star band was also great. We have heard many of these bands play on other HAL ships and HAL does a great job recruiting these bands. We also enjoyed early evening entertainment in the Ocean Bar. The food onboard was fine. We enjoyed all of the food and service in the Main Dining Room. Our servers, Rudy and Eko, were outstanding. The Lido Buffet is fine for what it is, along with the Dive In area. We did not partake of the Pinnacle Grill or Canaletto this voyage as we are going on another HAL ship in thirty days and will book then. Victoria is always a great walking port. We did not get off the ship in Astoria, Oregon. San Francisco is always a wonderful city to visit and we were fortunate to spend from 7 am until 11 pm in the city. Debarkation in San Diego was effortless and we were at the airport in minutes. As always, the crew on HAL REALLY make the difference. These people bust their buns each and every day to make sure all guests are having the best experience while onboard. A shout out to Henry and Jerry in the Ocean Bar, as well as Sol and Teddy, our cabin stewards. We look forward to our upcoming trip on MS Koningsdam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this short cruise to introduce a 'newb' to cruising. It was intended to give her a taste of cruising.......more than a one day overnight repositioning. By the time you add airfare to SF, and cost to get home as well ... Read More
I chose this short cruise to introduce a 'newb' to cruising. It was intended to give her a taste of cruising.......more than a one day overnight repositioning. By the time you add airfare to SF, and cost to get home as well as port fee's and taxes that matched the cabin charge.....it all add's up to a 'not cheap' cruise.......it's something to consider---cost to value. Arrived in SF to find an 'annual coast guard' inspection underway. The ship had been sailing out of Ft Laurderdale all winter so this wasn't a back to the USA deal......but it delayed getting on board, and then delays getting documents signed caused the departure at 5 pm to be closer to 6:30....... For those that have visited SF going under the Golden Gate bridge is a highlight........unfortunately the ebb tide and delays due to the inspection made a mess of the first night transit. The food in the MDR was less edible than anything I had experienced before. Very few choices for anyone with dietary needs. (GF) We were told more than once that there weren't choices because things cost too much in SF so they had not restocked the ship for the jaunt back to Vancouver. They were simply 'out' of things that they should have had. I believe this was accurate........and further degraded the experience. On the last day we had some good food! While that's nice to see they can produce good entree's.......it's all the more upsetting that they DID NOT, until the last meal. The Captain stated that they have 5 motors/engines on the ship but only need 4. A good thing since he also said the 5th one was not working during our trip. So you spend all day with the coast guard and go out to sea with less than a fully functional ship? I don't care that you only need 4........I'd bet you NEED that 5th one if anything happens to #'s 1-4. We faced Beaufort 10 conditions at sea.............hmmmm, plugging along as best we could with the knowledge that she was not fully rigged. Parts of the ship were extremely cold (Crows Nest, Lido, etc)..........like they had failed to turn off the air conditioning from a more tropical zone (Panama Canal). Thruster and docking procedures took forever---which everyone knows is not a pleasant experience for anyone. I have never listened to so much noise and vibrations as well as the inching of the ship into port or docking or leaving port. So, yet more time was 'lost' with these processes. After docking an hour (or more) late in Victoria--after arriving on time, they 'forgot' to tell folks the ship was cleared for people to get off. During the Captain's talk he made a comment about other captains when a question was asked about an Alaska route. Basically stating that he would not endanger a ship as if other captains had done so when traveling last summer. Very unprofessional given the route in question (Grenville Channel) is a route available to smaller cruise ships and it is a known route to Alaska. This was just plain unprofessional.........if he'll never sail that route, fine, but it's on my list of things to do and sorry I missed the opportunity last year...... I suspect it is not a preplanned route and dependent on tides/condition on the water........for the Captains that have chosen it. Thank you to them........the guests had a rare experience these days! Staff were good overall. Room stewards were great, MDR first night was very slow and not sure if that was new crew or ??? Next two nights we ended up at a different table and service was great. Too bad the food cannot match the service on board! While I have sailed HAL over 5 times, I think this may be the end of our relationship. It's not worth it to have problems with food and the ship. This is not a one off as the last HAL experience 3 years ago had similar issues on the Zaandam. So two strikes are now seen.......dare we try for three or cut our losses and move on. There are other cruise experiences that have been better than HAL' s with Carnival..........it's easier to remember the good ol' days and move on then throw good money after bad........... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise just out of convince and having never tried Holland America in the past we saw the 1 night cruise as a great opportunity to compare it to past cruises on Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Overall they were a ... Read More
We choose this cruise just out of convince and having never tried Holland America in the past we saw the 1 night cruise as a great opportunity to compare it to past cruises on Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Overall they were a nice line to cruise on, however there were a few things that stood out from the other lines. Firstly I have nothing but good things to say about the live entertainment. The jazz club was fantastic and probably one of the coolest things I have experienced at sea to date. Additionally, there was a really good singer that performed a Whitney Houston tribute in the theater who's voice was amazing. For a 1 night cruise that blew me away. One thing that I did notice that I didn't enjoy as much was the quality of food in the main dinning room. It seemed to be behind the other lines (especially Norwegian). The quality of the wait staff was also not bad, but also not overly good. The embarkation in Vancouver was terrible as well. They had the classic here's a number and now wait in the big ball room until the number is called to board the ship. At that point we went to another line before going through customs. With that process I was glad to be a few hours early! We arrived at the port around 10am and didn't make it onto the ship until about 2pm. One bad thing with our cabin was that we were unable to get hot water during the entire duration of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Holland America Line - Nieuw Amsterdam Sept-Oct 2018 I thought to myself what a great way to arrive in San Diego from Vancouver for those who don't care to fly, and quite reasonable especially if your prime goal was just ... Read More
Holland America Line - Nieuw Amsterdam Sept-Oct 2018 I thought to myself what a great way to arrive in San Diego from Vancouver for those who don't care to fly, and quite reasonable especially if your prime goal was just transportation with no frills attached. I had high expectations for this 4 day repositioning cruise which continued on from San Diego to Ft. Lauderdale which for some I believe was a total of 23 days. My high expectations were due to this ship being newly refurbished in 2017 and we've sailed on HAL before many years ago and it was by far at the top of our list for favorites. I recall the food being exceptional ( before the days of specialty restaurants) and the entertainment stellar. So how did it fare this time around?... Embarkation: Vancouver BC Terminal This was SUPERB! HAL does it right. Your informed of the time you should arrive. Don't come earlier, you won't get any further ahead. Check in was a breeze due to the set time for arrival. We had no line ups whatsoever. After we checked in we were seated in a waiting area for about 10-15 min before we boarded. Once onboard we weren't bombarded with staff promoting dining, activities etc. While waiting for the "Cabin ready" announcement we went to the dining reservations desk to pre book our MDR reservations. Our cabin was ready in about 10 minutes after we boarded. I rate this Embarkation 9/10 Sail Away: That's it folks...we just sailed away. No live band, NO MUSIC WHATSOEVER! No countdown when going under the Lions Gate Bridge. NOTHING! On the Lido Deck they set up 2 tables with black spandex coverings which became a 'pop up bar' in addition to the existing bar. They also set up 2 cocktail tables! Two for 2500 + passengers? They stacked the lounge chairs and tucked them aside so no place to sit except for a handful of scattered chairs and the existing bar stools. I don't know why they had to stack them...It wasn't a rainy day, just overcast but still fairly warm. There was no build up of excitement, the Lido Deck was a bland, boring space. This was sooo disappointing. I hoped when we sailed away in Seattle perhaps it would improve...nope we just sailed away. For this sail away I'm rating it 1/10 Main Dining Room: For being a ship that just went through a refurbishment I expected the main dining room to have all the glitz and glamour that most shipboard dining rooms have. I was quite disappointed with the decor of the MDR. It was definitely stuck in the 70's ( no appearance of refurbishment here) with the orangey red laminate divider walls and serving stations. Our first night we were seated directly across from one of the many open, unsightly, very noisy server stations. We were seated so close to it that the waiters butts were almost touching our table when facing the serving station. Not a pretty site! Also the fluorescent office type lighting above was very dated and bright overhead so I learnt to ask to be seated in a dimly lit area of the dining room, which had a much nicer and calming appearance as you would be seated closer to the windows and it was also much quieter. What we thought was really strange was there was no music, none, nothing even piped thru a speaker system, odd to say the least. We had anytime dining and made reservations as soon as we got onboard for our preferred time. There was one evening we had no reservations and only waited a few minutes before being seated. The food was actually quite tasty and we did enjoy most meals. Always enjoyed my breakfast here especially the Lox...so fresh and superb quality. I rate the MDR 6/10 Specialty Restaurants: Tamarind- This is the only restaurant we dined in while onboard and for the $25.p/person charge was worth it. If you book onboard and dine on embarkation day they do offer a discount. The ambiance was relaxing and peaceful just what is needed after dining in the noisy MDR for 3 nights straight. I ordered the Wasabi Crusted Filet Mignon. This was a full size filet, not the tiny piece of meat you get in the MDR, it was cooked perfectly as requested and the flavor was delicious. My husband ordered the Lobster Tempura main entree, where they cut the lobster meat, tempura it and stuff it back into the lobster shell beautifully prepared. The lobster was fresh, tender and not rubbery. There was only one item I didn't care for on the shared appy plate, but that could be based on personal preference, otherwise everything else we enjoyed immensely which made our last evening on board our favorite. Service by the all female wait staff was attentive and courteous. We wanted to tip our waitress but no 'tip option' on the receipt so we had to tip with cash. I rate Tamarind 9.5/10 Dive-In- no fee This grill on the Lido deck served the most delicious burgers and fries. We ordered the Cannonball burger, very yummy. The wall-mount menu has milkshakes listed on it, however you have to go across the deck to actually order them from the bar. Definitely worth it. Rating 9/10 Pizza- no fee Good pizza here, wait time was a bit long over 1/2 hr but they were lined up before we ordered. While we were waiting we could smell cigarette smoke drifting our way so the smoking area is nearby by the bar. Rating 7/10 Tea is Served 3p.m.- Allocated in the MDR where your usually able to order all kinds of beverages. Don't expect to be able to order any other beverage. I love having an afternoon cup of tea, my husband does not ever drink tea so he asked if he could at least order a beer. "NO! This is TEA,TEA,TEA! NO BEER!" was the response. Ok we get that but we also understand that cruise lines will 'bend over backwards' to please you within reason and I don't think it was too much to ask for one beer as a beverage preference. Also a kinder response would of been appreciated. The Buffet: Nothing much to write about this was your average nice buffet, not as big of a selection that we enjoyed on Celebrity but you still get a fairly decent selection. The behind the counter servers plate your choice of items for you which I really appreciated instead of everyone touching everything with self serve buffets. We really liked the salad bar where there's an array of salad items you choose and the 'salad chef' tosses it altogether for you with your choice of dressing in these large salad bowls. The oriental dressing was my favorite. Rating: 8/10 Entertainment: On the Mainstage over the 4 nights there were 2 magic shows-Magic Rocks, a musical production-One World and a comedian-Frances Dilorinzo. We didn't go to the magic shows, the musical production was boring also the young performers timing was off on the dance moves. It was like they were dancing just to get it over with. I thought I was watching a high school performance, it was so bad we left. I was now skeptical about going to see the comedian but she was fantastic. The theatre itself is large and even though it appeared a bit dated it's still beautiful. There was plenty of room and a seat could be found easily on any level. The cup holders are hidden in the chairs arms, but some were a bit rusty and difficult to pull out to open. BB King's All Stars: Fantastic! The music, singers and instrumentalists were all top notch! Three performances per evening all different sets except we noticed on the 4th night they started over again with the same show and music we saw on the first night which isn't so bad unless you were staying onboard for the entire 23 day cruise. Billboard Onboard: The When & Where daily newsletter would just print Billboard Onboard 1970's. So what does that mean? There was no explanation of what type of entertainment this was. We weren't even sure if it was live entertainment. It was right in the casino where we never ventured except to purchase a used casino deck of cards at the lottery booth for only $1. We discovered it after exiting the Mainstage show one evening and this ended up being our favorite night time place to go for drinks and fabulous music. This is the venue to be at to enjoy 2 pianists dueling out tunes from the 60's, 70's and All Requests later in the evening. Now that should of been the newsletter write up. We absolutely loved it! Lincoln Center stage: This was a small group of young Performing Arts graduates playing stringed instruments with a pianist performing Beethoven to Buble. We never saw a full performance but stopped for a bit to hear them play one afternoon and they were a fantastic, extremely talented group of musicians. Overall Evening Entertainment rating 8/10 Drink Package: ( make sure you continually check your onboard account for accuracy) You would think that your drink package regulations, rules, and restrictions should be basic knowledge by onboard staff especially by those who work behind the customer service desk. To me it's fairly simple....we purchased a basic alcoholic beverage package online which included gratuities ($206. ea USD for 4 night cruise) which allowed us to have ANY drink on the menu valued at $9 or less. Anything over $9 we would have to pay the full price for, not the difference in price like you're able to do on Celebrity & NCL. There was no shortage of drinks (except wine-very few at $9/glass) that fell within this price range which was excellent. So did this end up being so straightforward? Oh no, why would it? After signing into the free onboard Navigator App ( which is excellent by the way) to view our shipboard expense account I noticed we've been charged the full price for every drink with an added gratuity! At first I thought they're just listing every drink we've ordered and it will be reconciled later. So off to the customer service desk to double check. " NO" says the young man at customer service. "You have to pay full price for all those drinks". " You see because you ordered a drink for $9 you have to mentally calculate what the gratuity will be, which now brings the drink total to $10.28 which exceeds your $9 package allotment, so really you should be ordering drinks at about $7.75." WHAT??? First of all there are no drinks on the menu for that price and second it's not my responsibility to mentally calculate the gratuity which by the way I already paid for. Then I mentioned that I specifically asked the bartender if one of the drinks I ordered was included, and she said it was. He asked me what her name is so she can be reprimanded for giving out the wrong advice! He then gave us a printout of the drink package policy and told us we obviously need to pay heed to the 'fine print'. His co-worker also peered at our account and said "yeah that's how it works". Frustrated and not wanting to waste anymore time there we questioned a few bartenders about the policy and told them our predicament. They told us exactly what we thought... that we're entitled to ANY drink on ANY menu that's $9 or less which is exactly what the policy states. No gratuity should be added as it's already been calculated into the package price. The next morning back to the service desk we go ( not how I want to be spending this short cruise). Thankfully the other person there spoke to the bar manager, reversed all our charges and apologized for the inconvenience, and thankfully we checked our shipboard account on a regular basis which I advise everyone to do. My advice to HAL is coach your staff so they at least understand and are on the same page for your basic policies especially on something so simple like the beverage packages. Overall: A beautiful boat, but nothing grandeur. Aside from the evening entertainment we found this to be a bit of a boring cruise. Few were under the age of 70 so there was no shortage of canes, walkers and scooters. Kindness and patience is a must. I personally don't want to fill my days with acupuncture appointments, reflexology, and how to reduce swollen ankles and then pay a bomb for their so called remedies. Overall we found the daytime activities quite boring...I love cards but don't play bridge, however we did enjoy Americas Test Kitchen in the afternoons. Earlier I mentioned that there was no music piped into the MDR at any time. Actually it was nowhere during the day anywhere...not in the observation lounge while enjoying a coffee, not in the buffet having a meal, not in the atrium area waiting in line at the customer service desk...nope I listened for it but no daytime music whatsoever except at 2pm for a Lincoln Stage performance which was live. Overall if you want a completely relaxing do nothing cruise this is for you, if you want excitement and a more youthful variety of things to do cruise on another line. Overall rating 7/10 Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Holland America Eurodam, Sept 29, 2018, 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise, Seattle to Vancouver, BC Embarkation was very quick, easy, smooth. Luggage arrived quickly enough. Disembarkation was the same, but then we just walked off the ship ... Read More
Holland America Eurodam, Sept 29, 2018, 18-day Circle Hawaii cruise, Seattle to Vancouver, BC Embarkation was very quick, easy, smooth. Luggage arrived quickly enough. Disembarkation was the same, but then we just walked off the ship with our luggage to a taxi. Activities/Entertainment: Lincoln Center Stage - fantastic program!! Might sail HAL again just for that one aspect! Liked the many and varied daily activity choices - i.e. lectures, Test Kitchen, tours Two very important aspects of cruising for us were an extreme disappointment with HAL: Extremely disappointed with nightly main stage entertainment - mediocre to poor quality in all categories HAL was notably bad in this area when we last sailed with them (1985). No improvement! We had abandoned HAL and become loyal NCL cruisers since 1985 because of that. Extremely disappointed with HAL excursions: completely over priced, few choices, limited variety We are convinced it is because of HAL's monopoly of this service - a huge rip-off of their passengers!! We only bought one excursion. We will only use prearranged excursions with locals if we sail HAL again. This is a complete reversal from our usual practice when cruising. NCL does very well in this area. Stateroom service was very good! Stateroom was adequate in size/appointments, large closet space with adjustable shelving, A deck 8 aft cabin was nice for the veranda, but was very noisy at two times EVERY day: gathering of all deck furniture at midnight, setting out of same at 6:00 AM (Banging, dragging furniture across deck floor.) Very annoying if you like to sleep at either of those two times of the day. Appreciated the high quality, removable wooden hangers. Very annoyed with the AC vent that aimed the draft directly at the head of the bed - great negative affect on our quality/quantity of sleep. Loved the verandah furniture! Mattress was too hard, pillows didn't work for me (one too large to be practical and too hard; only one was nice soft and regular, usable size) Fridge did not work well - always too warm, no matter the dial setting Bathroom was always wonderfully clean!! enjoyed the tub, nice personal products A 2-day toilet problem was quickly fixed when reported Loved the large TV on the wall! TV programing was very good. Good movies that could be stopped and restarted later Appreciated continuous current news networks The entire ship was very clean! very little wear/tear of any kind was in evidence anywhere Loved the cloth towels in all public bathrooms - high class! Loved the self-contained rooms in public restrooms rather than toilet stalls - again, high class! Service staff was always friendly!! On board shopping extremely limited - therefore, not very useful. Main dining room food was very good to excellent, except for desserts. Desserts seemed to be designed more to look good on a plate rather than for eating enjoyment. Bread was always too dried out / hard - probably from being dished up too early. Appreciated not being constantly bugged by photographers in the dinning room. Dinning room service varied from barely adequate/slow (esp for large tables) to very good (We were open seating.) Main dining room reservations were messed up several times, so we finally gave up. Waiting for a table actually wasn't that bad. Wine service was very good, knowledgeable. Dress code was very relaxed (thank goodness), including for Gala nights. Lido Market lunch food was very good and quite varied - very good service there! Breakfast was only fair for my personal taste until I discovered the yummy, custom made-while-you-wait omelets. Fruit was always too green, poor yogurt choices, bread was hard/dried out (except for croissants). Dive In Burger was good, fries were excellent Very nice wine tasting events, excellent Cellar Master dinner!! Pinnacle Grill was very good Covered pool was lovely! Loved the Crow's Nest: quiet, nice view, comfortable chairs, appreciated the library (though limited), nice jigsaw puzzles, fun computerized maps to manipulate Nice, quiet Gallery Bar with table shuffleboard and good supply of board-games, card-games Tender was only used at one port. It was handled nicely. Bottom line - If given a good itinerary and a very good price, there MIGHT be enough good aspects with HAL for us to sail with them again. However, there are some major negative areas that greatly affected the overall quality of our cruise trip. It will be a toss-up. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My girlfriend, who had been on a cruise before, wanted to treat me to a cruise for my birthday, so we decided that we wanted something relaxing. the ms Eurodam was exactly what we were looking for and more. There were plenty of ... Read More
My girlfriend, who had been on a cruise before, wanted to treat me to a cruise for my birthday, so we decided that we wanted something relaxing. the ms Eurodam was exactly what we were looking for and more. There were plenty of opportunities to relax, and just enough high energy environments to not overpower the overall feel of the ship. We went to few trivia events, had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, the Tamarind, and The Diner, and tried the buffet a few times. We sunbathed by the pool (it was 84 degrees in Vancouver B.C.!), danced at BB King's All stars, and watched dueling pianos. We honestly drank far too much a couple times, but a quick call for room service provided us with some food and juice to help prevent hangovers. Our cruise through the passage wound up changing to a cruise up and back down the passage, with a detour through a route the ship had not been on before, which provided a brief view of whales and stunning views of the Inner Passage. I would absolutely recommend this cruise to anyone looking to try out cruising for the first time, or anyone who is just looking for a quick cruise out of Seattle. The crew was amazing, our room attendants always remembered our names (even when we were boarding after Vancouver, our room attendant was going ashore and addressed us by name), the assistant cruise director (goes by the nickname Faz) took time out of his day to sit with us for approximately 40 minutes just to chat because we had a lot of different questions, and he never seemed irritated to be there. Honestly, if I could give more than 5 stars, I would. Being aboard the ms Eurodam made any stress I may have had in my life disappear entirely. I was able to fully enjoy relaxing during this trip. It's not a trip for most kids, however the ones that were on board were very well behaved, and coming from someone not fond of kids, they were not a bother at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My husband and I are seasoned travelers but have never seriously considered cruising. We wanted to dip a toe in the cruise water without a big commitment so when this deal came our way, it was hard to resist. We really enjoyed it and ... Read More
My husband and I are seasoned travelers but have never seriously considered cruising. We wanted to dip a toe in the cruise water without a big commitment so when this deal came our way, it was hard to resist. We really enjoyed it and Holland America Eurodam was a surprisingly delightful experience. Embarkation was very well organized and went smoothly, even with the huge crowd. I was surprised that our stateroom was ready for us and our bags were already on the bed. Just the begining of four days of outstandingly friendly service from every staff member we encountered. My husband singled out the service as the best part of the trip . The food was very good overall even in the Lido Market which was so many notches above the cafeteria food I expected. 24hr room service is a huge plus. We even had breakfast in our cabin on disembarkation morning on time and perfectly cooked. Disembarkation was a breeze since we elected expedited disembarkation. We rolled our bags out of the cabin and off the ship by 0730. We have already booked a repositioning cruise on the Eurodam for October! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Wanted a break so we took a repositioning cruise from SF to Vancouver, which we have done before on Princess. It's a nice trip; leave out the Golden Gate; one day at sea and come through Juan de Fuca, the San Juans and the Gulf ... Read More
Wanted a break so we took a repositioning cruise from SF to Vancouver, which we have done before on Princess. It's a nice trip; leave out the Golden Gate; one day at sea and come through Juan de Fuca, the San Juans and the Gulf Islands the final morning. Wanted comfort so we paid for a Superior Verandah Suite which was very disappointing. The layout of the room was such that one couldn't see out the window or verandah doors, or watch television comfortably, from anywhere but the bed. The sofa was located directly underneath the TV; there was a desk chair where one person could look out the window. The armchair faced the bed. The bathroom had double sinks which was a feature we wanted but the shower was very confusing and it was very difficult to get the temperature wanted. Bed was comfortable. The food was good but the Horizon Grill buffet was a nightmare. Very difficult to see what was available and very slow service getting what was chosen. Whole ship seemed dark. We enjoyed the Lincoln Center concert, BB King's Blues Bar and the covered pool and hot tubs. Disembarkation was chaotic; never clear what time we were getting off. Had to reschedule ground transportation twice. Embarkation in SF was fairly straightforward. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Saw this cruise on a tv show with Jane McDonald and thought it looked very good. Decided to do it so booked it and also had 3 nights in Vancouver to get over jetlag and make Vancouver part of the holiday ... Read More
Saw this cruise on a tv show with Jane McDonald and thought it looked very good. Decided to do it so booked it and also had 3 nights in Vancouver to get over jetlag and make Vancouver part of the holiday .We never did any of the excursions offered as we found them to be a little too expensive so did our own thing when in port and still saw a lot .Highlight was Glacier bay it was awesome and seeing a glacier calving was a special treat.The crew were very efficient and polite and the cabin attendant made us very welcome and each day we had a different towel animal .The best was the towel monkey which he put on a hanger and hung it just inside the doorway for us to get a surprise when we went to our cabin .Food was excellent and we only used the buffet for main meals and breakfast .we used the burger bar a few times and the pizza made to order .We had stateroom on deck 5 at the rear of the ship which we found preferable to a side cabin for views .we would go on this ship again anytime there was enough to see and do during our time onboard and the theatre entertainment was very good . Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose this cruise as part of our Uncommon Journeys trip and easy sailing out of San Diego. Like the small ship of 1400. Liked the entertainment brought onboard. Liked upgrade. However, meals were hit or miss! Thai lunch was great; ... Read More
Chose this cruise as part of our Uncommon Journeys trip and easy sailing out of San Diego. Like the small ship of 1400. Liked the entertainment brought onboard. Liked upgrade. However, meals were hit or miss! Thai lunch was great; lobster tails on Gala night were excellent; however, last meal on last night was inedible....lamb chops! Gluten free bread was horrible white bread they put in microwave when I asked for it toasted. Finally, on our disembarkation day we were all told we could stay in our room until they called out number/color. Staff asked to come into rooms at 7:00 and 8:00 am before we were called and it was kinda rude. Service is going downhill and so is food....getting too much like Carnival. Both we and another couple who have cruised many, many days and are 3-star mariners, do not think we will ever go HA again! Very sad! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Pre cruise. I flew to san diego on norwegian air and another sadly i did not know i had to pre book meals so all i9 had for 9 hrs was snacks! I stayed in a hostel to save money which was ok.i did maritime museum,san diego zoo and ... Read More
Pre cruise. I flew to san diego on norwegian air and another sadly i did not know i had to pre book meals so all i9 had for 9 hrs was snacks! I stayed in a hostel to save money which was ok.i did maritime museum,san diego zoo and midway. Embarkation. I left hostel 1000 and was surprised to go onboard by 1130 and cabin was ready and luch was in the dining room. Cabin. I originally had an out6side guarantee cabin then 1 day before cruise got a upgrade to balcony. A quuen bed was very comfortable. Shop. Very few models of NIEUW AMSTERDAM were left plus small ones but not much else Entertainment. Really good shows,a singer/comedian,singers ands dancers and a fiddle player/comedian were really good. Ports of call. Victoria(vancover island) did not book any excursions as very pricey onboard. I got theb shuttle bus into town and after finding bus trips were$50-$70 to get to the beuchart gardens i went there by local bus. Disembarkation. Pretty good did not have to wait long to get off ship. Post cruise. I stayed in a hostel in vancover much better than the 1st one and went a few places. All in all. Really good cruise as i always want to go on her. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We enjoyed the whole cruise experience on Noordam -HAL, cruise for 15 days over the Christmas New Year period. It was good value for money compared to other cruise line offerings for the same period. We have cruised with HAL many times and ... Read More
We enjoyed the whole cruise experience on Noordam -HAL, cruise for 15 days over the Christmas New Year period. It was good value for money compared to other cruise line offerings for the same period. We have cruised with HAL many times and are now nearing the achievement of 4 star Mariner status. The ports on this cruise were in some cases a repeat of the 2016-2017 Christmas-new Year cruise. We booked a guarantee balcony cabin and were very happy to be allocated a VA category cabin on deck 5 . The cabin showed damage on the wall presumably from luggage. There is a life boat underneath the balcony which did not obstruct the ocean view from the balcony apart from looking down to the promenade deck. There was noise associated with the lowering of the boat for tender ports.,usually about 7a.m. We ate mostly in the main dining room. The food was good to very good judged from the standard of what we paid.. The Lido is very busy most of the time with a variety of food from international to Asian. The ice cream counter is open all day and serves delicious ice cream and other desserts and cookies.. The standard of service and friendliness of the staff on HAL ships is without equal and this cruise was no exception. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We enjoyed everything on this cruise. The food was wonderful. We often ordered full room dinner service in our cabin and also breakfast where you can order omelets. The food was very enjoyable and served hot. The hospitality service ... Read More
We enjoyed everything on this cruise. The food was wonderful. We often ordered full room dinner service in our cabin and also breakfast where you can order omelets. The food was very enjoyable and served hot. The hospitality service would always check up to make sure your room service order was perfect. The outstanding Holland America difference is the staff. Our room stewards, spa attendants and bartenders made the difference. The ship is immaculate.. this is an older ship. We enjoyed the Eurodam for the service and care and attention from the staff. Due to the fact there were many Mariners on board who have sailed with Holland America for many cruises we did hear many complaints. The ship was sold out at full capacity which perhaps made wait times a bit longer in the dining room and at the Lido. Due to the many days at sea waiting was not a problem.. nowhere to rush off to. We liked the Tamarind and the Pinnacle. The food at the Canalito was a disappointment.. too salty and small portions. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We wanted a short break so sailed from Vancouver to San Diego. We arrived into the bus-train station and used the nearby Skytrain to get to Canada Place, which was very easy to use and inexpensive. We checked in at 1:00 and had no wait ... Read More
We wanted a short break so sailed from Vancouver to San Diego. We arrived into the bus-train station and used the nearby Skytrain to get to Canada Place, which was very easy to use and inexpensive. We checked in at 1:00 and had no wait to check in or go through customs although the NA was the only ship in port that day. We enjoyed the small port of Astoria, where we used the antique tram. In San Fransisco we took the HAL Hop On-Off excursion that included the boat trip around Alcatraz. The tour was fine, but took most of our in port time so we didn't get to explore. We really wish HAL would do overnights in the main ports. Tendered into Avalon next. Very small place with nice beach, restaurants and not much else (wish we'd just stayed another day in S.F.) Arrived into San Diego and walked right off at our allotted disembarkation time. The food was the best we ever had and that's high praise as we cruise once or twice a year. We'll be on the Veendam next year so hope to have another great experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My wife and I are both retired and have been taking yearly cruise for a number of years. We are 3 Star Mariners and this was number 8 with HAL. Last year, we did our second, end of season Alaska cruise with HAL, out of Vancouver on the ... Read More
My wife and I are both retired and have been taking yearly cruise for a number of years. We are 3 Star Mariners and this was number 8 with HAL. Last year, we did our second, end of season Alaska cruise with HAL, out of Vancouver on the Noordam, which was a great trip. We like Holland America because of the older, more seasoned travelers on board and a very high percentage are return cruisers. This years cruise on the Oosterdam was nothing like any of the other HAL ships we have been on. This also was the biggest ship we have been on at 1,975 passengers and ONLY a crew of 800. Our big complaint this time was the food! On the Lido deck, It was unimaginative for the most part, often poorly cooked and in no way up to the standard of past cruises. In short it was very pedestrian. It seemed that there fewer serving station and the number of choices was lacking. Also, there were fewer staff on the floor and we had to get our own coffee,water most of the time. Dirty dishes were everywhere and most of the staff was to busy trying to sell soft drinks and wine to do anything else. There were no trays, so we had to make trips for juice, salads & desserts. There were hardly any orchids on the tables as well. Most had missing flowers and empty stems. Last year every table had one. The main dinning room seemed to serve mostly the same food as the Lido and service was slower this time. If this is to be the new normal for the HAL ships, we will not be returning. In fairness, we did eat at the Pinnacles which was outstanding as always. And, also the Dive In, at the to the Lido pool, which has great hamburgers. Last year we did have the Signature Drink Package for the 7 days and enjoyed it very much. In looking it over for this trip, we discovered that many of the drink prices had been raised to $8.25, which is 25 cents over the price limit for the package.!! So, we only went to Happy Hour once. They no longer serve mixed nuts and if you want any appetizers, good luck! I hate to be so negative here, but the fact is, everything seemed to be cheapened down and there was way more 'up selling' going on then on past voyages. We were very much looking forward to becoming 4 Star Mariners, but, now I fear that won't happen. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I had previously traveled on Holland for a 19 day Panama Canal Cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. This cruise was good - we had a mini suite - two twin beds and a sofa which didn't pull out to a sofa bed just sorta converted to a ... Read More
I had previously traveled on Holland for a 19 day Panama Canal Cruise which I thoroughly enjoyed. This cruise was good - we had a mini suite - two twin beds and a sofa which didn't pull out to a sofa bed just sorta converted to a bed - however it was right below the tv on the wall so watching tv in bed was very uncomfortable. The food did not compare to the Panama Canal cruise - most of the people who had cruised with Holland previously agreed. The lobster night in the Buffet Restaurant was especially disappointing/ The staff is very friendly and the ship is taken care of very well. They aruise e always cleaning something. Holland caters to an older crowd so there wasn't aot of activities which I didn't like I like to be a little more active. All in all I would recommend Holland Cruise Line Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
I traveled with my husband and 3 year old daughter on this 4 day re-positioning cruise. We wanted to try a short cruise with my daughter to see how she liked it before booking something longer. Embarkation went well. When I booked over ... Read More
I traveled with my husband and 3 year old daughter on this 4 day re-positioning cruise. We wanted to try a short cruise with my daughter to see how she liked it before booking something longer. Embarkation went well. When I booked over the phone I asked the CSR what time we should be there and he said between noon and 2:30 as the cruise departed at 4pm. We arrived at 1:30pm and there was a giant line up to get on. If I had it to do again, I would have arrived earlier. The ship itself is well maintained. In the rooms and pool areas I would say it's due for a face-lift. We only ate in the Lido buffet, burger & taco bar and room service, no formal sit down dining. The food was great, it would recommend it to everyone. The servers were awesome. We purchased the Signature drink package and that saved us a lot of money. I would recommend that to anyone who wants to have some casual drinks throughout the day. My daughter loved the entire experience. She mostly wanted to hang out in the pool. We tried to take her to the kids club but she wasn't interested. The staff at the kids club was disorganized when we were there and I wasn't impressed. We would do this cruise again because it's close to home for us, cheap and easy to fly back from. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
While, as a couple, we may not be seasoned cruisers we are probably well past the bland point of on-board experiences. This was our fifth and shortest HAL cruise and we took it for three reasons. One, we wanted to take advantage of ... Read More
While, as a couple, we may not be seasoned cruisers we are probably well past the bland point of on-board experiences. This was our fifth and shortest HAL cruise and we took it for three reasons. One, we wanted to take advantage of the on-board future cruise offers, two, we wanted to add another HAL ship to our collection, and three, we needed to more get two more at sea days to get to the next level. All three expectations were met so the experience was an unmitigated success. If those happen to be your expectations I would heartily recommend boarding Amsterdam at your earliest opportunity. Now, if perchance you come aboard with loftier expectations I will share a few of our impressions. I have read of people upset because there was noise at sea. I would say get real. We were on a ship motoring up the coast of the Pacific North West. Heavy weather is to be expected and is beyond the control of HAL. Even my home has been know to creak and groan a bit when when the winter storms blow in from the ocean. If your complaints are from moving of chairs or music just remember who chose your room. Our stateroom was neat, well maintained and while we never met our room steward, the room was always made up in the morning and the beds turned down at night. We got both chocolate and towel animals and I never get those at home. The one detractor and the reason for only four stars was our experience in the main dining room. The wait staff were always cheerful and bent over backwards to make our dining experience pleasant. The menu just failed to make the grade. On the cruise previous to this one (Maasdam) we were treated to variety of menus that were prepared and presented in a manner that made us look forward to the next meal even after 39 days at sea. Thankfully we were always seated with wonderful table-mates that enhanced the dining experience. HAL does excel at attracting wonderful people. As usual on HAL, we barely had enough time to do the things we wanted to do during the cruise. It may be because I move slower at 75 than I did at 25 but with mornings in the gym, culinary demonstrations, art auctions, happy hour, movies, and meals we seemed to stay busy. The people at HAL that put together the HAL singers and dancers almost always do a magnificent job. This troupe was no exception. Our only shore excursion was a bus ride from the ship to the airport via Vancouver. It was a little over two hours of downtown traffic jams build around two quick dashes through the rain in the park to snap quick pictures of totem poles and Lionsgate bridge. We did not travel with children and given the choice we probably won't. There were several families on-board with children of various ages and we are so grateful to them for having raised well behaved children. If you are reading this, "Thank You." In summary, we will continue to cruise with HAL. With around 200 days left until our next one we are anxiously counting the days. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I booked this cruise in December as a gift to my husband who had, until now, never cruised. We wanted to try a short, 5-day, cruise to make sure he wouldn't become deathly ill from motion sickness and to just give him a taste for ... Read More
I booked this cruise in December as a gift to my husband who had, until now, never cruised. We wanted to try a short, 5-day, cruise to make sure he wouldn't become deathly ill from motion sickness and to just give him a taste for sailing. Background - I've sailed at least 17+ times on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian but mostly on RC. My husband and I are 40 years old, don't really party anymore but still enjoy good shows, music, friends, fun, and fantastic food. The ship - We both agreed, the ship was absolutely immaculate! I have never experienced a cruise ship that has been cared for so thoroughly! Everything aboard the Oosterdam has been cared for and maintained meticulously. She shows signs of being 14 years old, mainly in the decor, but physically the ship is outstanding. Our cabin - We upgraded from a SY (Signature Suite) to an SA (Neptune Suite - 7062) a week before sailing and are SO glad we did! The suite was a decent size, the bed was extremely comfortable, and the cabin stewards always made sure the room looked perfect. The suite gave us access to the Neptune Lounge which was directly across the hall. We popped over to the lounge a few times during the day to get coffee, juice, and sample the wonderful horsedouvres. The lounge concierge was always very eager to help and definitely made our trip even more special. The complementary guest laundry and dry cleaning also worked out well and came in very handy. We will most likely always book a suite with similar amenities from now on as they are well worth the expense! Dining - Ok, The Main dining room, Canaletto, and the Lido buffet were just par for cruising cuisine. None of them were terribly spectacular and the dessert at all three venues was pretty lackluster. The Pinnacle Grill, however, was absolutely fantastic! We had breakfast and dinner there a few times and thoroughly loved it! When we return, we will likely only eat in the Pinnacle and forego the other restaurants completely. Service - The service on board was outstanding! Everyone we came across had a huge smile on their face, greeted us, and truly made us feel at home. So here is where things get a little funky for me... Remember, my husband and I are both 40 years old. Apparently, HAL's target demographic is considerably older than us. We found this out first-hand before boarding. When we walked into the pier, the security staff asked if we were crew. When we responded "No, we are passengers..." their jaws dropped and they let us pass in amazement. Most of the other passengers, we later found out, were in their late 70's, 80's and early 90's. I'm totally fine with cruising around senior citizens, don't get me wrong. They were extremely nice, quiet, and were all very friendly. We were walking on the Promenade and came across an elderly lady napping, head back and mouth WIDE open, on a couch. I was afraid she had passed away right there and was tempted to place a mirror under her nose to see if she was still alive. Entertainment - The entertainment wasn't that great but, again, it was designed for the target HAL demographic. My husband and I were expecting a Broadway-worthy production yet, well, that wasn't the case. The Lincoln Center Stage performers were wonderful and the America's Test Kitchen demonstrations were extremely fun. There just wasn't much in the way of nightlife. Overall - Great ship, amazing service, wonderful food (at the Pinnacle)! It's a little like a floating nursing home but there is nothing wrong with that! Just be prepared. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We thought we might be taking a risk going on a Holland America cruise with our young children, but felt like we needed a holiday and this itinerary fit the bill. It was a 4 day cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. Our children, ages 6 ... Read More
We thought we might be taking a risk going on a Holland America cruise with our young children, but felt like we needed a holiday and this itinerary fit the bill. It was a 4 day cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. Our children, ages 6 and 2, enjoyed a full day visit to the San Diego Zoo, a tour of the USS Midway and a trip to Old Town on the transit trolley prior to the cruise. We stayed at a hotel (SpringHill Suites) where our room had a view of our cruise ship the day it arrived. We walked to the cruise terminal, which was hosting two ships that day, and deliberately arrived fairly late (3pm) to avoid the lengthy lineups we have experienced in San Diego in previous years. We walked right through security, picked up our room key cards and were in our cabin in moments. This was our first voyage on a Holland America ship, and the Oosterdam is in lovely condition. It's not flashy and doesn't have the latest technological gadgets, but the public areas look like new and have a cozy, understated feel. Staff were universally friendly and helpful. Our balcony cabin, deck 4 forward, does not appear to have been updated during the most recent refit of the ship in 2016. The room was still in decent shape, but the bathroom lighting was not very bright and the wall colour (taupe) seemed to absorb the light. I'm told many other staterooms have been upgraded with brighter bathrooms. Still, it was nice to have a small bathtub for our young children. Our cabin had a drop-down bunk bed and a (worn) pull-out couch. It was tight but we managed. The food was generally very good...but it would have been nice if it had been hot in the main dining room. The only dish I didn't enjoy at all was a top sirloin steak from the main dining room. It was cold and flavourless. Again, other than these issues the food was very good. The buffett has a surprisingly pleasant ambience and a very tasty variety of food. My wife ordered room service for the children and apparently the service was prompt and the food was quickly consumed. My wife and I visited the gym a couple of times. It is a decent size with a reasonable variety of equipment, and has a view from the front of the ship. The children's and teen's play/activity centre (Club HAL) is on Deck 10. The two staff working there told us that during the previous 15 days there had been no children under the age of 18. There is a policy that children must be a minimum of 3 years old to be able to be in Club HAL, so our 2.5 yr old was not allowed to stay with her 6 year old sister in Club Hal. This kept mom and dad busy, but we had fun. If the cruise had been longer this fun might have become more of a challenge. All in all, we had a very nice time and can highly recommend the Oosterdam. Footnote: it was nice to see the President of Holland America, Orlando Ashford, on board the ship during the cruise and interacting with passengers and crew. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second cruise on Holland. We had done one a month earlier and said we need to go on this line again! After my second cruise, I can say I am a loyal Holland customer already. There are so many things they do right and so many ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Holland. We had done one a month earlier and said we need to go on this line again! After my second cruise, I can say I am a loyal Holland customer already. There are so many things they do right and so many things that remind me of how cruising used to be. The Oosterdam is a perfect size ship. It's perfectly maintained and it seems like it is constantly being updated. Our room was on deck 4 midship in an ideal location. I love Holland for the bath amenities, bathrobes and they always make sure I have feather pillows. Dining is overall very good.I can't say I really had anything bad thing the entire cruise. I love the fact that they serve breakfast in the dining room every morning whether you are in port or at sea. Its the little things like offering fresh berries at breakfast that make all the difference. My only complaint about dining would be the buffet was always too crowded. The fitness center was very large for a cruise ship and all the equipment was brand new. The pools were both nice although we only went in the solarium hot tubs mainly since we were in Alaska in April. There was always entertainment in the evening between the theater and the other venues. Also ,the on demand movies and tv shows in your cabin is awesome! Sometimes you just wanna lay in bed and watch a movie! Bottom line is if you haven't been on Holland, you need to go. It is a wonderful cruise line and the staff is always amazing. Looking forward to my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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