1,116 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews

This was out first cruise, and after much study, decided on HA Oosterdam. We went with teo other couples, and had a GREAT time. Embarkation in San Diego was seamless. It did help that Neptune Suite affords you priority boarding. :-) The ... Read More
This was out first cruise, and after much study, decided on HA Oosterdam. We went with teo other couples, and had a GREAT time. Embarkation in San Diego was seamless. It did help that Neptune Suite affords you priority boarding. :-) The Neptune Lounge had a very nice welcome champagne and hos d'hoeuvres party as well. Side note: the Neptune Lounge is a quiet place to relax; also, there is a Concierge there for ANYTHING you need of staying in the Neptune or Pinnacle Suites. They TAKE CARE of you! Not a lot of entertainment choices, but that's fine. We saw a magician and a comedienne, and both were fine. Our only complaint was the that Lincoln Center Theater had performances at 7:30 pm or so - each night we were at dinner, so we missed. This is NOT a cruise for children. We saw few. There are a few BORED looking teenagers. This is a cruise for the 50 and up crowd - and that's fine with us. The ship is in good condition for the most part - but is showing its age here and there. Teak wood decking is a bit weathered here and there on the Lido deck around the pools and hot tubs. Overall though everything is spic 'n span. The ship is nice. The Crew is OUTSTANDING. Over our 7 days on board, almost without exception, each crew member would greet you as you passed with a smile and salutation. Our cabin Stewards greeted us by name whenever they saw us. The people are incredible on the Oosterdam. The buffet is rather pedestrian. We only ate there for breakfast. The Dining Room is very nice, and we opted for the "Up Charge" rooms a couple nights. The Pinnacle Grill was the best $35 pp I have ever spent! Our server Mile was super nice, and what a pro! I really enjoyed the Dive In! burgers for lunch by the Lido Deck pool. We LOVED this cruise so much that we have booked the same ship and stateroom for Alaska in August! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
I was impressed! I was a bit scared of the "older ship" but the Oosterdam did not disappoint! She was stylish, glamorous, and artfully appointed. Food was stunning in the Lido Market, the Vista Dining Room, as well as The ... Read More
I was impressed! I was a bit scared of the "older ship" but the Oosterdam did not disappoint! She was stylish, glamorous, and artfully appointed. Food was stunning in the Lido Market, the Vista Dining Room, as well as The Pinnacle (specialty restaurant). The cabins (we sailed in a Signature Suite 8073 with larger veranda!) was very comfortable. Bathrooms were new and well equipped. The service and smiling crew were the crowning achievements of HAL. There was not a grumpy team member to be had. Shore excursions were well organized and well planned for the "more mature" audience. Missing on board was karaoke (maybe a good thing!) and the big boardway show (comedian was excellent, magic show fun, and trio songsters were fun!). The boys at Billboard (piano duo) were stunning and had a very solid fan base! Definitely recommend the History Of HAL presentation and The Talk With The Captain. Jonathan, the Cruise DIrector / Entertainment Director, was very low key and effective. With the threat of on board disease, the crew were constantly wiping surfaces, handing out Purell before your arrival in dining room, spraying down shore excursion trolleys after each journey, and encouraging elbow bumps as opposed to hand shakes. I felt the cruise was a big success and I commend the HAL team for their work! I will be back! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We are seasoned Carnival cruisers looking for a change, we are both retired in our mid 60's We cruised Oosterdam out of San Diego to Mexican Riviera. We are now hooked on HAL! We drove to San Diego the day before departure and ... Read More
We are seasoned Carnival cruisers looking for a change, we are both retired in our mid 60's We cruised Oosterdam out of San Diego to Mexican Riviera. We are now hooked on HAL! We drove to San Diego the day before departure and utilized a park n'cruise at Comfort Inn with free shuttle to/from the port. We walked the boardwalk at the San Diego Harbor and had a nice meal at Mitch's on the waterfront. Cabin: we booked an obstructed ocean view room as we were testing the waters to see if we would like HAL. The room was very spacious, the couch was comfy, the bathroom had a tub and plenty of storage all the way around. An added plus was the automatic night light in the bathroom. Imagine our surprise when we were in Cabo San Lucas and the life boat outside our window was lowered to be used as a tender….what a view. We were very happy with this cabin and location, mid ship deck 4. Ship & Entertainment: what a beautiful ship, fresh flowers, even in the public restrooms! We never waited on an elevator or had to deal with overcrowding. No lines anywhere. Smoke free casino, another plus, entertainment was great, we especially loved BB King’s All Stars. Billboard Onboard and Lincoln Stage Live were also hits and full every night. The magician and comedian in the main lounge were very entertaining. The ship is in great shape and maintained beautifully. Food: Over the top quality and quantity so much so that we dined in the dining room once for gala night surf n turf and duck breast. Service was amazing and very professional and we were always greeted with a smile. The food on Lido was beyond our expectations. We did not dine in any specialty restaurants. General: Embarkation & Debarkation were a breeze. Wwe enjoyed Happy Hour each day with buying one drink and getting the 2nd one for $2. We did not get off the ship at any port stops which were PV, Mazatlan, Cab San Lucas. We saw whales and sea lions right from the ship. We walked the ship each day and the Explorations Cafe is a nice location for relaxing. The fitness center was busy every time we visited. The attention to details by the entire crew is exceptional. There were more than enough activities each day to stay very busy. We enjoyed everything about Oosterdam. Spa: We did not visit the spa other than a walk thru. We will be cruising again with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Cruise was a gift to us, but glad we went. Outstanding food and service, entertainment lagging except for the Boardwalk piano players and BB Kong’s. Needs more at sea activities. Nice casino. We did excursions from vendors at the ... Read More
Cruise was a gift to us, but glad we went. Outstanding food and service, entertainment lagging except for the Boardwalk piano players and BB Kong’s. Needs more at sea activities. Nice casino. We did excursions from vendors at the ports rather than through the ship. I would sail on the Oosterdam again, would take more books to read, and study up on excursions! We returned rested and content from our time onboard. Our bed was so comfortable and great pillows. We had room service for breakfast most mornings and nice to pick the time for it to be delivered and it was always good, especially the coffee! Room was kept very clean by staff. We had no noise issues nor rocking of the boat. The crows nest on deck 10 is very nice and relaxing, and deck 11 a quiet place for time in the sun with a book, no pool noise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Sitting in our Signature Stateroom as I write: 1. Signature Stateroom, really a mini-suite, is very nice, but those aft and mid-ship are under the Lido and Pool Deck and are noisy when activity above. 2. Theater seats get ... Read More
Sitting in our Signature Stateroom as I write: 1. Signature Stateroom, really a mini-suite, is very nice, but those aft and mid-ship are under the Lido and Pool Deck and are noisy when activity above. 2. Theater seats get uncomfortable after about an half-hour. 3. Bring your own Splenda; there will be none on-board - only Stevia. 4. Carpeting in lobby and passageways showing its age. 5. Crew as great as any ship at sea - Officers are Dutch - Remainder mostly Indonesian. 6. Shampoo, conditioner and body wash in dispensers in showers and tubs. 7. Wanted to try something new - a manicure - on board, but prices are unreasonable - $59 + tip. Clipped my own nails as usual. 8. This was a San Diego departure; so, there is no long-term parking. 9. This was an All-Star Irish Charter Cruise - Entertainment was imported from Ireland; so, we didn’t experience the ship’s entertainment. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
The Oosterdam is one of the older Holland America ships but is attractive, well maintained, and comfortable and has probably the best service, certainly the friendliest service, of any of the Holland America ships that we have sailed on. ... Read More
The Oosterdam is one of the older Holland America ships but is attractive, well maintained, and comfortable and has probably the best service, certainly the friendliest service, of any of the Holland America ships that we have sailed on. The officers, too, are unusually cordial and went out of their way to greet and chat with guests. What I liked best about this 17-day Panama Canal transit cruise, though, was the location of our veranda stateroom, high on deck 10 adjacent to the Crow's Nest Lounge and the Observation Deck. For viewing the Panama Canal, the cabin couldn't have been better situated--and I loved being able to just walk out the door in the early morning for an espresso in the Crow's Nest and a quick check of the shelves of the briskly traded paperbacks at the entrance. (Why, oh why, has Holland America done away with a real library?!!!!) The Oosterdam veranda cabins have less storage space than the newer ships, but it seemed adequate, and the balcony space, at least on the 10th deck, is more narrow; there was not enough room for lounge chairs there. The bathtub showers, despite grab bars, are a little hazardous for old folk but I got used to being careful. Entertainment isn't usually the strong suit for Holland America, but this cruise had not only two performances by the stellar Step One Dance Company, but two crowd-pleasing performances by the handsome male-diva group calling themselves The Dutch Tenors, who were the stars of the ship. They not only received standing ovations but found themselves applauded when they entered the dining room. Everyone loved them. The BB King Blues Band on board the Oosterdam never seemed to play music really intended for dancing, so that was a letdown; we usually love dancing to 60's and 70's music and the BB King groups have been in the past a big part of why we chose Holland America. An expert on the Panama Canal came on board on transit day and gave nearly day-long commentary. (And to make the occasion even more special, trays of delicious Panama Buns stuffed with lemon-flavored custard were served with free morning coffee in all the lounges.) There were also two excellent lecturers on sea days--one on Costa Rica (birds, amphibians especially) and one on Mexican history and culture--but I missed the America's Test Kitchen lectures and demonstrations that have in the past been a big part of why I liked Holland America. Have these been phased out? Or was the Oosterdam just not equipped for a demonstration kitchen? All Holland America ships have tried to cut costs in recent years, especially in the dining room, so the food was good but not spectacular. Soups were inevitably a disappointment and I tasted few desserts that were worth their calories. A gala and expensive Valentine's Night dinner in the Pinnacle Grill was more ambitious than delicious, though it was beautifully presented and served (and the red rose for each female guest was a lovely gesture). There's no Tamarind Restaurant on the Oosterdam, which is usually my favorite Holland America specialty restaurant, so the Canaletto is probably the best bet for a surcharge meal. The Lido was better for breakfast than the dining room--there was a truly skillful eggs Benedict maker--and I enjoyed the array of fresh fruit, yogurts, and variety of nuts and seeds and toppings. And for lunch, good Lido salads and Asian foods--and those amazing french fries at the Dive-In are worth taking a Holland America cruise for. Completely addictive. We loved the Mangrove Swamp tour in Costa Rica where we saw crocodiles and exotic birds galore with a truly wonderful guide. The other tours were only so-so and the destinations in some cases a long, long way from the port. Going to Leon, Nicaragua, for example, especially in 99 degree heat, was exhausting, despite an art museum with a surprisingly good collection. There is little else to see in Leon. As always, I recommend Holland America ships for their smallish size, interesting itineraries, the plentiful and relaxing sea days, and the laid-back atmosphere. We enjoyed this cruise on the Oosterdam but were aware that not everyone would. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
My wife and I just completed a 17-day cruise on February 22 on the Oosterdam from Fort Lauderdale (February 5) to San Diego. The food and service were great. The ship was clean and crisp. The staff was always friendly and helpful. The ... Read More
My wife and I just completed a 17-day cruise on February 22 on the Oosterdam from Fort Lauderdale (February 5) to San Diego. The food and service were great. The ship was clean and crisp. The staff was always friendly and helpful. The headliner shows each evening were top notch. The Lido Market was well organized, much better than other cruise ships. However, we probably will not book another cruise on Holland America. We are an active couple of 70 and 72. We had little opportunity to dance to music that was danceable. The band at BB Kings was fantastic, yet only 15-20% was age appropriate or danceable. The age demographics for the cruise passengers would have preferred music from the 30s through the 70s. There was dance music at 5 PM, yet dinner was at 5:30 PM, and there was only cocktail service for the first few days of the cruise during this time. Even that music could have been better selected for the age of the passengers. There was dance music after 10:30 PM – not a good time for the age of most passengers. Many fellow passengers shared our feelings about the music. The dueling pianos were good, but no place to dance. Plus, no sing-along director or leader. People recognized the songs from the 70s and 80s, but not enough to sing along. We usually cruise with Royal Caribbean. Not only do they provide age appropriate music, they also have it during good hours. Also, the activities staff was MUCH more visible and active on Royal. The staff made the passengers feel more like a community, not just individual passengers. Having Karaoke or activities in a bigger venue would help. On Royal we knew all five of the activities staff, on Holland just one person – the cruise/travel director. We felt that your daily Where and When bulletin provided little information about the activities and performers. For example, we had a performer one night and we had no idea what he was going to do. Was he a guitarist or singer? He was a pianist. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
This was our 12th cruise, 2d on HAL. What a disappointment! Ship is tired, scuffed, dirty and smelly. Needs a major renovation. Design is dated, but more important it's just old and not well maintained. The ambience of the ship ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise, 2d on HAL. What a disappointment! Ship is tired, scuffed, dirty and smelly. Needs a major renovation. Design is dated, but more important it's just old and not well maintained. The ambience of the ship transferred to many (but by no means all) of the staff, many of whom seemed just as tired as the ship and were simply going thru the motions. The food was mediocre--Pinnacle was much better, but main Dining Room and Lido were just OK. Many of the port selections were marginal choices; hard to believe there were not better stops, esp on the west coast of Mexico. We took more excursions from non-HAL operators than we did from HAL, because the offerings were better. The final insult from HAL was being nickle/dimed throughout the trip. We spent over $75 on water, even though we had a Signature Suite. Totally non-competitive. Hard to imagine I would ever go on another HAL cruise. 17 day cruise thru Canal was about 5 days too many. Avg age of passenger was extremely high, and we're not kids. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
I choose Holland America because we do not like the mega ships...I like to feel that we are at sea! I thought the food was the best I have had comparing with other cruise lines. The service was outstanding, friendly and fun. I would be ... Read More
I choose Holland America because we do not like the mega ships...I like to feel that we are at sea! I thought the food was the best I have had comparing with other cruise lines. The service was outstanding, friendly and fun. I would be hard pressed to look elsewhere. There was wonderful entertainment in the evening at the Gallery Bar. Two duel pianists played and sang 50's to 90's music. We went twice an evening...really fun!!! The Panama Canal was very interesting and enjoyed seeing the new ports in Mexico. Our dining room wait staff was exceptional and fun (made out first time cruisers with us feel very comfortable). We were lucky enough to draw great tablemates at our large table. Drawbacks. For our taste I thought the entertainment in the Mainstage was just ok. Also, our wifi was very spotty. All around I would give a big thumbs up!!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This is our 7th cruise.We had a signature suite. Other cruises have been 14 day transatlantic on Celeberity, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. This ranks last on our ratings. Pros: Crew all very friendly, pleasant, helpful and seem to be very ... Read More
This is our 7th cruise.We had a signature suite. Other cruises have been 14 day transatlantic on Celeberity, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. This ranks last on our ratings. Pros: Crew all very friendly, pleasant, helpful and seem to be very happy. Food was very good at first. Canned music was subtle and unobtrusive.Cons: Too many to list but here are the main ones. Ship is very tired and not well maintained.It needs to be retired. The total design of ship is archaic and not very comfortable. Reportably had been refurbished in 2018, but doesn't look like it. Main theater too small to accommodate most of passengers. Dinning room is unattractive and impossible to get seated on their "AnyTime" plan unless you want to eat after 8 or wait 30 minutes plus to be seated. Food was very good at beginning of cruise but has deteriated, however, we have always found something to our liking. Entertainment is very lacking, acts are very mediocre. Only one dance music venue playing only jazz and blues. No dance classes. Enrichment classes very few and far between. Not many on board activities. Several of the ports we stopped at were industrial ports far from the cities, obviously to save port fees. We will not return nor recommend to our friends unless they are looking for just relaxing, reading, and paying big bucks to go on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted a cruise where we didn’t have airfare to contend with. We can drive from Phoenix to San Diego, leave our car in a hotel that stores it for free, and take the free shuttle from the Best Western Yacht Harbor ($137 a night) to the ... Read More
We wanted a cruise where we didn’t have airfare to contend with. We can drive from Phoenix to San Diego, leave our car in a hotel that stores it for free, and take the free shuttle from the Best Western Yacht Harbor ($137 a night) to the cruise port. Perfect. This was only seven days but it only cost $1249 so we were very happy with that part of it. We love absolutely everything about this ship except the air-conditioning unit in our room. The food was really good, both in the dining room and the Lido deck, public spaces were lovely, staff were phenomenal, and the ports were typical but fine. But they couldn’t get our room warm. When we’d step from the hallway into our room we immediately needed to wrap up in a blanket. In fact they had so much trouble with the heating/air conditioning (they were there every day working on it) they gave us a $200 credit, which was nice but it didn’t solve the problem. I tend to get cold easier than my husband but he was bothered by it too. But if a cooler room doesn’t bother you, you’d be fine with the ship —honestly we loved everything else about it. Oh and 5 stars ⭐️ for their phenomenal organization getting on and off in San Diego. They made it so quick and simple. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We sailed on the Holland-America Oosterdam’s 18-day Panama Canal cruise (January 15-February 5, 2020) from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. My wife and I are in our 70’s, and we are four-star HAL Mariners. We had temperatures that were ... Read More
We sailed on the Holland-America Oosterdam’s 18-day Panama Canal cruise (January 15-February 5, 2020) from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. My wife and I are in our 70’s, and we are four-star HAL Mariners. We had temperatures that were mostly in the 70’s and 80’s and lots and lots of sunshine. (There was very little rain during these 18 days.) We packed sunscreen and some 30% Deet insect repellent (we did not experience much in the way of mosquitoes, but some of the tours advised using insect repellent). Dining: Before we sailed I noticed that there were some negative reviews about the Oosterdam posted on Cruise Critic. Our experience, however, was mostly positive and often extremely positive. For example, we’ve been on seven HAL cruises, and the food on this one was the best we’ve had. We ate dinner in the Main Dining Room each night except for one night at the Pinnacle Grill (very good), one at the Canaletto (extremely good – in fact, we enjoyed it more than the Pinnacle), and one night when we ordered dinner through Room Service off the Main Dining Room menu. (Since we did not eat at the Lido buffet, I can’t comment on that.) We did take advantage of the Main Dining Room’s Club Orange. It can get you into the Main Dining Room faster (priority seating), though not necessarily faster service once you’re seated. On our cruise it included an additional entrée each meal that was not included on the regular menu. One of our wine stewards (Joey) was especially good. I liked his recommendations. An added bonus was that he made some origami for us. (It was a side talent of his!) The Main Dining Room menus each night included a good mix of well-prepared popular dishes (steak, salmon) and some adventuresome gourmet food with an emphasis on dishes that reflected the ports we were visiting. The soups were outstanding. They were made with flavorful stocks, free of grease, well-seasoned with interesting combinations of ingredients. One negative was that during the first week of the cruise, getting seated in the Dining Room seemed hectic and somewhat disorganized. One night, in fact, they were totally confused as to which table we were being assigned to. As the cruise continued, things got better. I suspect that the staff were aware of the problem and taking steps to fix it. In addition, while always friendly, the serving staff seemed more pressured and harried than on previous cruises. I know that other reviews have found them to be understaffed, and I am inclined to agree. Talks: Edgar Jiménez, HAL’s Mexican Cultural Ambassador, was outstanding. His lectures covered a great deal of Mexican history, culture, geography, and geology and lots of information about the Mexican ports we visited (Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo, Huatulco, and Puerto Chiapas). He was enjoyable, entertaining, and a gifted teacher/lecturer. Much less successful, I think, were the talks given by the ship’s cruise director. His presentation on the Panama Canal was particularly disappointing. He admitted that he had never been to the Canal before and was using a PowerPoint and script that had been prepared for him in HAL’s corporate offices in Seattle. I was surprised that a Panama Canal cruise did not bring onboard speakers who were knowledgeable about the history and engineering of the Canal. Transiting the Canal was, of course, the highlight of the cruise. Some of us were up as early as 5:30 a.m., though it wasn’t until 6:30 a.m. that we could start witnessing anything. It takes most of the day to transit the Canal, and throughout the journey the TVs in the rooms and the loudspeakers on the decks broadcast commentary at key points in the transit. I re-read David McCullough’s The Path Between the Seas while I was on this cruise, and I am glad I did. It added a lot to my appreciation of what we were seeing. Entertainment: The Lincoln Center Stage quintet (string quartet plus pianist) was outstanding! They played to mostly packed houses. I liked that they discussed the music they were about to play and why it meant so much to them. We saw a few Mainstage performances. The comedian, Tim, was funny. I liked the dancers, too. The most unforgettable was the live music they provided to accompany a screening of the BBC Planet Earth II video. The nature photography was spellbinding, and the music was the perfect accompaniment to it. We didn’t spend too much time at the piano bar, but the two guys who performed there and their audience seemed to be enjoying themselves. The Internet and HAL’s Navigator App: Our package included Premium Internet Service, and it was mostly great. This was our first experience with loading HAL’s Navigator App on our phone and iPad. The app still needs some work, I believe, but it was helpful, especially since you could access shipboard events from it. I liked that it let me see the day’s dinner menus, though, curiously, it did not include the desserts. (You could see the desserts if you accessed the menu from the room’s TV, however.) In addition, it wasn’t always able to pull up my account, though, again, I could see it on our TV. I hope that future enhancements include being able to pull up such useful information as which location they are disembarking the ship from when we are in port. Since it is not always easy to hear announcements from the captain or cruise director (the Oosterdam’s sound system could use an update!), it would also be helpful to post these announcements to the app (or at least allow you to replay them from the app. The Casino: The big plus was that there was no smoking allowed in the casino, which passengers often traverse in order to get to the Mainstage on Deck 2. I do very little gambling, but on previous cruises I might play blackjack for one or two nights on an 18-day cruise. I didn’t play at all on this cruise because their blackjack table paid only 6 for 5 for a blackjack, instead of the usual 3 for 2 and let dealers hit soft 17’s. Worse yet, the lowest minimum bet was $6. When I asked the bit boss what they paid for a blackjack on a $6 bet, he answered $7. Of course, no serious gambler would ever play blackjack on a cruise ship and I expect the house to have an edge, but this seemed so downright greedy and excessive that I decided not to play. Smoking: Smoking was prohibited in the staterooms and balconies and public areas and was allowed only on one small section of the ship – outside by the Seaview Pool Bar on Deck 9. So this was a great cruise for non-smokers, and a lousy one for heavy smokers. A few other notes: We booked our pre-cruise hotel through HAL and came three nights before to enjoy San Diego. The hotel was the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, and, frankly, it was a disappointment. While the staff were friendly, our room was a bit dismal. It overlooked a parking lot in the Main Tower. Something was out of whack with there HVAC system, which meant that the public rooms were uncomfortably cold, and so, too, was our room. It was not a hotel I’d return to. We heard very few complaints from other passengers onboard except for complaints about the time it took to get seated in the Main Dining Room. I noticed that later in the cruise the Maître D’ staff and chefs were going from table-to-table to ask passengers what they thought. They seemed genuinely interested in listening, and I respect that a lot. We appreciated the fact that HAL cruises do not bombard you with lots of intrusive announcements over the ship’s PA system. Like all HAL cruises this was a great choice for an older crowd who want a relaxing experience and like to read, listen to music, play card games, have good conversations with fellow passengers, and eat well. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We love Holland, and this was our 3rd cruise in 1 year with them. Primarily because kids are lol grown and this line caters to adults more. The waitstaff in main Dining Room were wonderful. Most nights the dinner selection excited me. ... Read More
We love Holland, and this was our 3rd cruise in 1 year with them. Primarily because kids are lol grown and this line caters to adults more. The waitstaff in main Dining Room were wonderful. Most nights the dinner selection excited me. The one night it didn’t, the Lido cafe meet my needs. The cabin attendants were awesome as well. Previous Cruises on Eurodam and Koningsdam we booked balcony staterooms. This being a last minute booking (1 week before sailing) we book an inside stateroom, not planning to spend much time in there anyways. The stateroom was just as expansive as our previous room, omitting the balcony and natural sunlight. #6067. Perfectly situated midship. Our biggest complaints this trip??? The absolutely horrible service at the Seaview Bar on the Back Lido Deck. I can not count on my fingers how many times I had to flag the attendant down to get a cocktail, (they were not busy). Sometime waiting 15-20 minutes As you can imagine I’m not happy about the added 15% tip to each order for no service. I did let guest services know of the deplorable service. The entertainment on main stage was okay. Not as good a the previous two ships, but I understand the it’s slightly smaller. No America’s Test Kitchen either. But our primary goal is making lasting memories together. We may decide to check out another cruise line for the next trip. But I still enjoy Holland Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My husband and I decided that we would try Holland America as we had heard it was a great cruise line for middle-aged people and few children or teens and was a smaller ship. Our cruise was to the Mexican Riviera leaving out of San Diego ... Read More
My husband and I decided that we would try Holland America as we had heard it was a great cruise line for middle-aged people and few children or teens and was a smaller ship. Our cruise was to the Mexican Riviera leaving out of San Diego on January 4, 2020. We arrived at the cruise port around 12:30 and was on the ship by 1 pm. We were able to go to our room on the Upper Verandah deck. Our room had an extended balcony because of the handicap room next to us. I would definitely recommend this room. The bathroom had a tub/shower which was awesome. The only thing I didn't like was that the faucet on the sink was hard to control and I almost burnt myself washing hands, but that being said my engineer husband figured out the right setting and we didn't change it at all. The water pressure was great and the shower had a wand and that was nice. The desk area or what I call the makeup area was a nice size and they also provided a small makeup mirror. The bed was comfortable and the extended balcony was a lifesaver. We both developed sinus infections that reared its ugly head and we stayed pretty much in our room for the first three 4 days. It was bad enough that we ate our dinners in our room. We were able to order from the dining room for our dinner those nights and the service was great, the food was awesome and we felt very pampered by our room steward. The ship was quite lovely and almost plain compared to Princess but that was not important to us. We didn't attend any of the onboard entertainment or activities and missed the first two ports. The nights we ate in the dining room our wait staff Chrismart and Johnny were awesome. They truly made us feel special. The food was very good and was always served hot. The only thing I didn't like was that the chocolate cakes were lathered in berry juice and berries, but that is purely a personal taste as my husband adored it. By the time we hit Cabo San Lucas we were feeling much better and were able to go on the Luxury Sailing Cruise with the meal included. It was awesome to see Lands End up close and the seals sunning themselves on rocks. The highlight was the numerous whales that we saw especially the one who swam under our boat and then flipped his tail at us. The crew waited on us hand and foot and were extremely warm and welcoming. My husband did go snorkelling but I didn't think I should just because of the sinuses. He said it was great. We met several wonderful couples on our trip and so glad we booked this cruise. We put a deposit down for a future cruise and we have never done that before. Thank you to the entire staff of the Oosterdam who made us feel so welcome. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
This New Years cruise met every expectation of a fun filled and beautiful holiday. The ship itself is an antique lover's paradise. The statues, the paintings, the sculptures, the murals,were startlingly gorgeous and so rare to find ... Read More
This New Years cruise met every expectation of a fun filled and beautiful holiday. The ship itself is an antique lover's paradise. The statues, the paintings, the sculptures, the murals,were startlingly gorgeous and so rare to find on ships other than Holland America. The food was excellent.Menus in the dining room included those of celebrity chefs-David Burke and Rudi Sodamin. Rudi-Holland's Master chef usually has seafood offerings in the Pinnacle Grill but this cruise unfortunately not. However his creations of coconut shrimp and pot roast served in the Vista dining room were exceptional. The music especially the BB King band brought the whole ship to life in the evenings and the New Years celebration with all the ship's musicians was memorable. The passengers were a wonderful mix with many young families with children on holiday as well as multi generational families.Beautiful to see! The children's clubs must have met the children's needs as they did not seem to want to leave the clubs. Mexico was a happy holiday itinerary and San Diego -what a beautiful port to leave from. Always the service on Holland is wonderful and the bartenders and the housekeeping staff made this cruise such a pleasure to be with them. Now for the star of the show-The Captain!! Captain Rens van Eerten was so visible around the ship-even picking up glasses,talking to everyone,humourous and engaging,. His spirit and presence around the ship was 5 star!!Thank you for contributing to a memorable New Years Cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
If you're looking for an extra special way to spend NYE don't book this cruise. You pay a premium to fly & cruise at this time of year so you expect the ship would really go the extra mile. Holland America has a reputation ... Read More
If you're looking for an extra special way to spend NYE don't book this cruise. You pay a premium to fly & cruise at this time of year so you expect the ship would really go the extra mile. Holland America has a reputation for catering to an older crowd but this trip made me feel like I was on a Disney ship and all the problems that travelling with "little darlings" entails.( ie ice cream fights in the Lido buffet, throwing objects during the Main stage shows, and you can imagine what the diapers in the pool caused.) Don't worry about dressing up for Gala Nights. People came in wearing raggy cut-off, well worn logo T-shirts, flip flops, etc. New Year's Eve itself was just a regular cruise event - nothing special set up. A band was setting up by the pool but didn't start till 11:30 if you wanted to sit around and wait. Certainly not a dancing area. On New Year's day, there was no evening show and even OnBoard Billboard (one of the more popular events) did not have a show. I realize it was a good time for families to travel, but you could easily pick out the ones that trained their children on proper behaviour or manners and the ones that assign that responsibility to others - in this case, cruise ship workers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
With 15 previous Holland America Cruises I thought I knew what to expect when taking my wife, daughter, and three adult grand daughters on a New Year's Eve cruise to Mexico. Boy was I wrong. The entertainment was sparse. No dance ... Read More
With 15 previous Holland America Cruises I thought I knew what to expect when taking my wife, daughter, and three adult grand daughters on a New Year's Eve cruise to Mexico. Boy was I wrong. The entertainment was sparse. No dance venues, no enterainment in the Crows Nest at all. No disco for the young ones, The span of responsibility for wait staff in the dining room was so great the service lagged to a near unacceptable level. Getting the Sommelier to our table was a major feat. Room service breakfast was VERY good and PROMPT ! Other room service was unreliable, twice our orders never came. Food in the dining room was quite good however down sized from previous experience. On Gala Night, the filet accompianing my lobster tail measured 2 inches by 1 1/2 inches. I thought it was a joke. With nearly 400 days of cruising on Holland America, this was the first cruise where several staff appologized for the service level. It is truly a pity to witness such a decline in a once great cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was my 15th cruise and my first and last cruise with Holland America. I chose Holland America because they were the only ship with open Suites available at the time of my booking. I also heard that the food on a Holland America ... Read More
This was my 15th cruise and my first and last cruise with Holland America. I chose Holland America because they were the only ship with open Suites available at the time of my booking. I also heard that the food on a Holland America cruise is wonderful and I was looking forward to a relaxing cruise with a comfortable room and great food and some on board activities, this ship provided none of these. The so called Signature Suite (8042) is a balcony room that they shoved a unusable couch in, if you wanted to watch tv while my girlfriend slept you had to do this in bed, usually a Suite has a separate area available to sit for TV or for chatting. The way this room is set up a bed and at the foot of the bed is the couch with the tv above making the couch useless. We sat at a 6 person table and our conversation every night except one was how the food on this ship was so terrible and usually served cold and over cooked only a couple dishes were descent but never first class as with most cruises I have taken. It is sad when the best meal (and only hot meal) is from the Hamburger grill at the pool, also to mention food is not always available as the food stations keep closing at the most inconvenient hours. As for activities, pretty non-existent I think this is to a poor activities director if they had one. I will never cruise with Holland again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
As we live on the east coast, a cruise out of San Diego might not have been something we explored seriously. At a charity event, an Oosterdam cruise was on offer and we had the winning bid. We (my spouse and I, and eventually my sister) ... Read More
As we live on the east coast, a cruise out of San Diego might not have been something we explored seriously. At a charity event, an Oosterdam cruise was on offer and we had the winning bid. We (my spouse and I, and eventually my sister) decided on the December 28 sailing. We had not spent any appreciable time in San Diego before so it seemed an attractive idea. We met in Los Angeles first and spent a great night there. Enjoyable, but the drive to SD was not fun--should have taken the train. San Diego is a lovely city, and we had a great dinner with cousins. San Diego is quite beautiful and a walk downtown along Broadway was interesting. The train station is beautiful and is the meeting point of several transportation options. We spent a night on Coronado after the cruise that was equally wonderful. Boarding was completed easily enough--the usual hubbub but all went well, very quick and welcoming. It was nice to hear that the cabin was ready when we boarded at 1:30. We boarded in the forward part of the ship so it was a long walk to our aft-facing cabin.The ship itself was quite nice inside--lovely carpeting throughout, interesting (mostly) artworks, and cleaning was ongoing. Good to see at this germ-y time of year. The exteriors of the ship needed tending, however. Our deck was dirty (the deck below was worse), windows were grimy and difficult to see out of (not just salt water), and posts were rusty and flaking. The cabin, #5190, was spacious with a very large L-shaped deck, and plenty of closet space. A nice two-sink bathroom, with a separate shower and tub. The shower was very small and leaked, so we had to use many towels to keep the floor dry. The cabin had attractive lighting and the bed was extremely comfortable. My sister said that the sofa bed was perfectly fine and even cozy. The cabin was made up early every morning, which I appreciate as we're early risers. We explored all dining options, I think! The Lido Market (buffet) was not the most comprehensive and the food was a bit bland, but it did have some of the best breads I've ever had at sea, especially the rye bread. The usual fare, all of which were fine if not memorable. Dive In, the poolside burger and hot dog place, was very good and much less chaotic than I've seen on other ships. You place your order and get a buzzer to let you know when your order is ready. That kept people from milling about and bumping into one another. Nice looking taco and nacho bar, too. The MDR was really nice, with great service and friendly people all the way around. I loved the food and we spent many nights there. The Pinnacle Grill was exceptional for breakfast. It was open for suite guests only, and the service was remarkable. Canaletto, another restaurant with a surcharge, was fine, though nothing special. Drink packages were only available if everyone in the room purchased one. As one of our party doesn't drink except for a few glasses of wine during the week it was not worth it. I guess it says more about the other passengers that HAL suspects a lot of cheating would be going on. It happens, but it made things less easy for us. The bartenders were all nice, but they measured every drink (fine) but did not always clean the jiggers (not fine). Ordering a vodka drink and then tasting other liquors is disconcerting. An Irish coffee was lukewarm with a drop of whipped cream because on the last night of the cruise they ran out of cream(!). We did not partake of any of the shore excursions. There were some attractive options but after a big Christmas I am glad that we were more self-directed. The casino was surprisingly generous--not just to me, but to everyone around me. I saw many large payouts and received a few big payouts myself. I do not rely on casinos to give me a return on investments, but it was nice to win occasionally on slot machines that were fun to play. We did not attend any shows, though the Lincoln Center shows were well-attended, and the B. B. King club was always hopping. The dual piano show, by two extremely talented young men, was too close to the loud casino. Their repertoire was a lot of ballads and romantic songs, performed well, but the clash with the ding-ding-ding of the casino was unfortunate. Service was expert all the way around. The Retreat was staffed by Marvin and Conrad, who couldn't do enough for you. The cabin was expertly maintained by Toni. The Neptune Lounge had two kind and helpful concierges, Claire and Erszebet. The MDR had great service, too, though a bit lagging on the Gala Night, which is understandable. The Pinnacle Grill had the best service of all, with Betty, Dwi, and Aurora being standouts. Our first night in the Grill saw good food, but amateurish service, including a post-it note on my steak noting it was the Rare steak. He also asked us to order dessert with our dinner and seemed put out that I didn't want to do so. The Retreat was nice, but maybe not the best time of year for it--cool and quite windy. Also, a bit sparsely decorated but there is a shower and restroom nearby. Great service! We enjoyed a sunny day in Cabo San Lucas, though with so many ships in port there were so many people on the dock at once. Mazatlan was a charming city, with a nice walk into the historic center. Puerta Vallarta was odd--we were docked in the center of the city, with a Walmart and a Mall across the 6-lane highway. It poured rain that day and I thought it would be a relaxing day in the cabin. The constant honking and traffic sounds ruined that idea, however. Not HAL's fault about the weather, of course, but its proximity to the city was somewhat surprising. People may enjoy having shopping nearby but it's not easy to get to--you have to take a tram to the exit and then walk a long way to the stores. One thing to mention--it being a holiday week--was the number of children on board. Frankly, I have never seen so many strollers and the pools were constantly filled by kids jumping in and out. I didn't particularly mind it, though I only got into the pool once, but if big groups traveling together aren't your cup of tea, you should keep an eye on the dates you travel. I like HAL, and the service and food is of a high calibre, generally. I would book a HAL cruise again with no problem, but I think I'd look for a newer ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this ship in part because it promised blues and jazz every night. It had neither. The BBKing Allstars played only loud rock, the type you can hear in any middling night club in any city. The musicians were average. The ... Read More
We chose this ship in part because it promised blues and jazz every night. It had neither. The BBKing Allstars played only loud rock, the type you can hear in any middling night club in any city. The musicians were average. The percussionist was especially aggravating as he threw in a bass drum boom about every six beats. Total disappointment. The Music Walk dueling pianos salvaged the lounge music entertainment. They played a wide variety of songs from the last 40 years and were quite good. Their personalities added to the entertainment experience. The Lincoln Center classical musicians were excellent. Three violinists, a pianist and a cellist played simply beautiful and moving music. The main stage acts were average. The illusionist was the best act. Any cruise is good so I can’t give the cruise as a whole a bad rating. Just don’t go if you want to hear blues or jazz. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
To be quite honest, the overall concern was our budget. This cruise was relatively inexpensive. Check! Embarkation was a very smooth, if noisy and crowded, operation for us. The counter person was very friendly and helpful. The ... Read More
To be quite honest, the overall concern was our budget. This cruise was relatively inexpensive. Check! Embarkation was a very smooth, if noisy and crowded, operation for us. The counter person was very friendly and helpful. The ship was very clean the entire time we we aboard. Our steward kept our room remarkably clean and stocked. He came twice a day, unless the privacy tag was on the lock. Oh, and he left towels folded into the shape of animals on our bed. We enjoyed that. The dining experience was pretty good. The Lido buffet was a little crowded when we went, but not terribly so. We paid for the signature dining package, and ate at the Pinnacle Grill, and Canaletto Restaurant. They were delicious! We found the dining room to be quite nice, and we wish we would have eaten there more often. The entertainment aboard was quite good, as well. We did a game show, the magician, Postmodern Jukebox, a comedian, dueling pianos, and Lincoln Center Stage. The comedian was really funny! Lincoln Center Stage was kind of amazing. All of them were well worth checking out. Do as many as you can fit in. Our shore excursions were really fun! In Puerto Vallarta, we did the shopping, church, and tequila excursion. It was a very interesting experience. It's really cool to see some of the real Mexico. Our guide said he would show us Mexico, "with, and without makeup." He delivered. A word of advice. Be aware of the fact that the locals are there to make money. The vendors on Cuale Island can be priced very high. The tequila experience was was really fun as well. They do a presentation, and you take a little shot of several tequilas of varying quality and flavor. Yes, flavor. The coffee was our favorite. At the end, they press you, fairly gently, to buy tequila. We also did Mazatlan's Sea turtle and private beach excursion. Wow, this was one of our favorites. You drive through the countryside, and reach the resort via farmland. You are told all about the turtles, and then move to the beach. I'm not sure if this is standard, or just during our visit, but we only simulated releasing the sea turtles. We put them down, and they scurried towards the water before being picked up by the workers. They warned us during the presentation, but it was a little sad not seeing them reach the ocean. Speaking of the ocean, WOW! We went to the resort, ate lunch, and spent the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Some went the the pool, but we swam in the beautiful waves for hours. It was warm, and the waves weren't too high, and the water was clear. Truly a remarkable experience. There was a potentially off putting thing, though. When we went to pay for lunch, the waiter brought a check booklet without a receipt, and told us it would be 250 pesos. We offered our card, and he balked. When we said we had no cash, he took the card away and came back with a receipt. This time, for 120 pesos! I feel like he was trying to give himself quite a tip. Cabo San Lucas. We did the Swim with the Dolphin shore excursion. It was one of the most exciting, and memorable things we've ever done. Highly recommend it. One note, on our trip, for our anniversary, there was an offer to receive a diamond necklace for free from a shop in Cabo. We were obviously a little dubious. We went to the store, and presented the coupon. They actually gave us a necklace! It had a teeny tiny, "rough," diamond and I'm not sure how quality the metal of the necklace and chain are, but they really gave us one. It was certainly just a way to get the tourists away from the dock, of course, but we got a necklace! Look, everything you do, and everywhere you go, they are after your money. Not really in a bad way, but you are a tourist, and they are out to make a buck. They will press you to take a fishing trip, ask directly for tips, and generally try to get you to spend your money. Just say yes or no, be aware of the exchange rate, and move on. We were never harassed or pushed extremely hard. When we said no, they backed off. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
First and last cruise with Holland. Neptune suite. Winter getaway with friends for a week. Good first impression. Good food well presented in lower deck restaurants. Most staff attentive but spotty service (numerous instances pointed out ... Read More
First and last cruise with Holland. Neptune suite. Winter getaway with friends for a week. Good first impression. Good food well presented in lower deck restaurants. Most staff attentive but spotty service (numerous instances pointed out when asked for our feedback) indicative of either a need for better training or management. One gross instance of food served us on a very dirty plate. Other instance of an obviously bored waiter. Another of an order placed with waiter that never made it to the table. Room service slow (no ice or refrigerator beverage replenishment as should have been routine), but cabins were well cleaned every day. Most egregious management errors were a single instance of insult to one of us by a cruise services (male) when we tried to correct a dinner seating error not of our making. Second error was promenade deck experience with ships crew working parties doing their work (necessary work however) on one occasion during a morning period when deck was filled with walkers and joggers, specifically drenching us every lap by crew cleaning life boats, grinding steel for painting prep and painting. Necessary work for sure, but better scheduled during port calls or at an hour less populated by deck passengers. Some crew like Doni and others made our experience more enjoyable. Our last cruise with Holland. Going back to Windstar. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Loved our first 2 cruises on Oosterdam most recent was perhaps 4 years ago to Alaska our first to Alaska years ago this was the Alaska too. We were delayed a day due to repairs on ship we had to miss mazaltan disappointed we went on this ... Read More
Loved our first 2 cruises on Oosterdam most recent was perhaps 4 years ago to Alaska our first to Alaska years ago this was the Alaska too. We were delayed a day due to repairs on ship we had to miss mazaltan disappointed we went on this cruise to go there as weve already visited Cabo and Puerto Vallarta on pasr Princess,We loved how easy it was to fly Alaskan Airlines to San Diego from PDX and really easy to get the bus out front to cruise port was a breeze too.The bus is set up like a airport parking lot bus so you luggage is no worry thing loved it for a couple bucks think 2,50 well worth it.Skip the transfers its right out front only goes to cruise port every 15 minutes or so. on board things have changed we missed the clear staircase in the middle of shop it looked amazing and great in photos.I didn't care much for the buffet seemed to be repeats each day, Hand santitizers weren't always full or available with people montering them in buffet or dining rooms. Weve always had balcony rooms the only way to go.Wished we had doors to leave open a bit to hear the waves and ocean air.Entertainment is no where near as good as I remember on past cruises.The crew were not as happy as before all anxious for their contracts to be done so they could move on.Loved our cabin attendant Dewa a very cheerful hard worker.Hated the tender into Cabo we had seniors that weren't to stable on their feet and I was scared for them but I think theres gotta be a better way for them to get aboard . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My mom wanted to cruise with Holland because of an excellent experience she had on another Holland ship years ago. She too was very disappointed with the overall experience of this cruise. Dining room waiter was a highlight of the trip. ... Read More
My mom wanted to cruise with Holland because of an excellent experience she had on another Holland ship years ago. She too was very disappointed with the overall experience of this cruise. Dining room waiter was a highlight of the trip. The portions for dinner entrée were very small and took a fair length of time to receive our meaL There was never an option for requesting more even if we had wanted it. Food was so-so. Our waiter ordered extra desert our last two evenings and had delivered to our suite. That was an unexpected surprise. We never saw our room attendant with exception to day of arrival. Our suite was not clean upon arrival and we had to ask for several items:towels,robes, sharps box, and distilled water for my moms CPAP. I had requested the box and water before we embarked the ship. Having traveled on several cruise lines I didn't think it was crazy to expect a vacuumed-clean and equipped suite. There were no visible people wiping down the public places like door knobs, bathrooms, elevator buttons....No required use of hand sanitizer upon entering dining room and buffet area. Again a standard I have come to expect on my other cruise experiences. Shore excursions were misrepresented and were not as fun as the trip we took with a local in Puerto Vallarta. Would not pay to do their excursions again. Entertainment was so-so with exception of the illusionist: Leon Etienne who was great and all of us enjoyed his show. The positive: the ports were lovely and God blessed us with lovely temperatures to enjoy our time together off the ship. They offered wheelchair service for my mom once we arrived in port for disembarkation. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had a Neptune suite and really enjoyed the Neptune Lounge and the conierge Leah was outstanding. We had most breakfats there, with occasional breakfasts in the Pinnacle. This enabled us to avoid crowrds for breakfast. Lunch was a bit ... Read More
We had a Neptune suite and really enjoyed the Neptune Lounge and the conierge Leah was outstanding. We had most breakfats there, with occasional breakfasts in the Pinnacle. This enabled us to avoid crowrds for breakfast. Lunch was a bit crowded in the Lido, but the food was quite good. Embarkation was easy, and we self-disembarked, parking across the street at the Wyndham in San Diego. The Neptue suite was the largest we evrer had at sea, with enormous storage, a bose blue-tooth speaker for our iphone and a nice TV. The layout did not feel like a ship's cabin. The private deck was a bit windy. Service was excellent. The only bad meals we had were in the specialty restaurants. We had dreadul halibut in the Pinnacle, mine had 4 bones and I sent it back; it was also slathered in cream. They substitued a nice steak. There is no excuse for serving cold baked potatoes. The best part of the meal was the desert. The 'Italian' specialty restaurant is dreadful; a sectioned off area of the Lido. There was no sepoarate pasta course, and the dishes were very ordinary. and service was glacial. The food in the main dining rook was quite good. The Blues Club and the Lincoln Center groups were outstanding, and deserve a larger venue. The dance group in the main theater was good, blending dance and technology. All-in-all this cruise is great value for the money. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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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