Sail Date: January 2019
We tookk the cruise as we got a fabulous rate for our suite for three. We had drink pack for 2. paid taxes and grats for 2 and 1 nite dinner at specialty.we padi tax and grats and din for son. The cruise had a more diverse age group ... Read More
We tookk the cruise as we got a fabulous rate for our suite for three. We had drink pack for 2. paid taxes and grats for 2 and 1 nite dinner at specialty.we padi tax and grats and din for son. The cruise had a more diverse age group than usual. Te cruise line attracts seniors but this date had more folk younger. The activity choices were AWFUL. If you like Bingo and Mahjong you were in paradise. Limited ne class for exercise and a handful of day activiies which included shore excursion lectures etc. Very discouraging. The food choices were POOR but the prep averaged a "C". The sommeliers encouraged drink pack holders to get bottles of wine NOT included on package(I knew that) and purchasing 15 dollar glasses of wine. It would be O but it was unrelentless no matter whether MD anytime dinign etc.Discouraging! Not once. twice but three times our beverage bill was charged for a drink at Billboard lounge their addition nest to casino.It was corrected bu once should have been enough.we played trivia theer daily as ONE thing we could do when NOT in a port. Billboard dueling pian disappointing. Talented pianists but their voices less than average. The BB King lounge FAB> Many empty seats at ALl shows .Troupe there was Hopping and Popping and WOW. The quartet in the lincoln lounge was extraordinary.Kudos to each musician and their professional talents and presentations. Yuo were a gleaming beam on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Embarkation went well, we were aboard at 11:30. Dining and cabin was excellent. MDR food was terrific PG was ok nice venue not sure it's worth the surcharge Had a retreat cabana booked which was great but windy. ... Read More
Embarkation went well, we were aboard at 11:30. Dining and cabin was excellent. MDR food was terrific PG was ok nice venue not sure it's worth the surcharge Had a retreat cabana booked which was great but windy. Ship needs maintenance we got stuck in the elevator going to cabanas on embarkation day ...stuck for about 1o minutes and working on and off for balance of our cruise. This made it difficult for staff to provide all perks. Aft pool was closed majority of our 14 day cruise. As stated the weather was very windy so did not get to Halfmoon Cay, Grand Turk and Cap Cana...we instead went to Samana DR, and San Juan again. Would be nice if they changed locations of happy hour, same time and places every day. We have been to these ports before and mostly disappointed about missing HMC and Grand Turk Just nice to get away. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I loved the ship and the staff. Shore excursions was another thing. Terrible and scary drivers (not in the Dominican Republic.] Very rude staff at Magen's Beach. We felt rushed everywhere we went except for Dom. Rep. Next time I will ... Read More
I loved the ship and the staff. Shore excursions was another thing. Terrible and scary drivers (not in the Dominican Republic.] Very rude staff at Magen's Beach. We felt rushed everywhere we went except for Dom. Rep. Next time I will read reviews of other options rather than an overpriced excursion. The wait staff on the ship were the nicest and most polite people I have ever met.I felt like a queen in the dining room. It was disappointing that the outside pool stayed closed due to filtering problems. The cabin was nice, albeit quite narrow in places. I slept better than I do at home, possibly from the gentle swaying of the ship. The food was very nice and tasted good but it is an international cuisine. Many of us had to ask what food was called and what was in it! Omelet and crepe stations were great with no long lines.( We did not eat at:normal times.) I am so used to a predominance of Italian food where I live (Rochester, New York) that I had to adjust to none onboard. What? No garlic bread? I also do not eat red meat, lamb, veal and fish so sometimes my choices were limited. The Dutch desserts were wonderful, not too sweet. I absolutely loved this ship and would go back in a heartbeat. Classy, elegant decor and geared to the older crowd. Also, this was a 7 day cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Charter cruise for music fans. Delbert’s cruise is always a people pleaser. Arrived the day before cruise and stayed at Westin. Great beach location and great nearby restaurants. Ship was fine as well as the food. Friendly staff. This ... Read More
Charter cruise for music fans. Delbert’s cruise is always a people pleaser. Arrived the day before cruise and stayed at Westin. Great beach location and great nearby restaurants. Ship was fine as well as the food. Friendly staff. This cruise is like no other. Not your typical cruise. Non stop music from morning until the wee hours of the night. Our fourth time to do this cruise. Plan to return next year and will encourage friends to join us. We have done this cruise four times in the last six years. Although this is somewhat of an expensive cruise, it is worth it. The excursions to Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic were great. We especially enjoyed our time on the beach in the Dominican Republic - a 45 minute drive to Cocony Cove beach. The food and drinks were good and we did the all inclusive which was worth it. The Puerto Rico craft cocktail excursion through old town was the best. Our guide Rocio who is a native of Puerto Rico was great - along with our bartender Carlos at la factoria. Highly recommended excursion. Just be prepared to walk up hill. Lots of food and drink with this one and a good value for what you get. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Embarkation was smooth, with a ship this size I don't think long lines at check-in is as much of a problem. Ship condition was great, with the room feeling fairly standard (other than a full bathtub and a little more space in the ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth, with a ship this size I don't think long lines at check-in is as much of a problem. Ship condition was great, with the room feeling fairly standard (other than a full bathtub and a little more space in the bathroom than on Princess/Celebrity). Service was great throughout the ship. MDR food was excellent, with lunch and dinner buffet routinely rotating so as to feature new items. Main theater dancers and singers were top notch! Smaller stage performers were all solid, but not our taste in music. Western Caribbean itinerary was fairly standard: Half Moon Cay, Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman, Cozumel. HMC was very enjoyable. Falmouth was badly overcrowded with limited options, and our shore excursion (VIP Bamboo Beach Club) was a 3 hour bus ride round-trip for 3 hours on the beach... with big crowds, no umbrellas/shade, and friendly but slow food and bar service. Grand Cayman was also very crowded, but pleasant. Cozumel was fairly routine, biggest thing of note was the later arrival time (as scheduled) with a late departure allowing dinner in port. More kids than normal on a HAL cruise due to it being a holiday sailing. I can see how people would describe a non-holiday sailing as feeling "slow-paced" and our sail had less planned activities for younger pax than would be found on Princess. Atrium featured a tree and gingerbread display that were both quite ornate and pretty! New internet packages are expensive, social package is $14.99/day and only allows 200 mb on a handful of "allowed" social media sites (no email or general browsing!) Disembarkation was smooth and routine. I'll happily consider HAL for a future cruise, along with Princess and X, and I put $ down on a future cruise credit too. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Service st pinnacle grill has a lot to be desired very slow we canceled future dinner reservations and had free Neptune suite breakfasts and only went to two because of the same service problem What made this worse was HAL CEO onboard ... Read More
Service st pinnacle grill has a lot to be desired very slow we canceled future dinner reservations and had free Neptune suite breakfasts and only went to two because of the same service problem What made this worse was HAL CEO onboard and this happens. First Neptune suite and it was awesome and the concierge ladies Ari and Diane were outstanding and graciously worked things out. Lido was good as always as was the Dive in. When we left the Captain was awesome with his toots way too many that he even gave the pilot three little ones for his goodbye. Weather was awesome throughout the week. IMO Falmouth should be changed to Ocho Rios which would make it much better itinerary. The hydro pool was good but too many items breaking down for which they gave us $31 OBC still enjoyed it very relaxing Neptune suite had toilet issues and leaking pipe outside veranda area but they were fixed Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We have only sailed once before (with Princess) and were looking for a holiday cruise that wasn't overrun with kids on winter break. We love kids, but as teachers, we needed a little break ourselves! Although there were kids on ... Read More
We have only sailed once before (with Princess) and were looking for a holiday cruise that wasn't overrun with kids on winter break. We love kids, but as teachers, we needed a little break ourselves! Although there were kids on board, they weren't the focus of the cruise and seemed polite, in control, and even "cultured". We enjoyed seeing kids reading books and appropriately enjoying the entertainment. Most positive aspects of this cruise: *The food was outstanding! *The service was amazing - many attendants and servers were from Indonesia and we found them engaging, positive and hard working. We gave above and beyond our planned gratuities because we were so impressed with the people who can easily make or break a vacation. *The entertainment was clean and fun. We went to the Main Stage almost every night and enjoyed all of the shows. Billboard On Board was our favorite nightly club event and we were impressed with the performances at the small Lincoln Center Stage. A few things to improve on: *internet access... In this day and age, internet should be easily accessible, if not completely free. Without paying an entire day's fee, we couldn't even check into our flight home. Just being able to connect with our family on board was difficult as well. *The daily buffet closed at 9:30 pm with a few (old, dried out) leftovers available for the starving ones. As a diabetic, I needed access to snacks and meals on a regular basis. Room service menus were very limited and honestly, a little pathetic. It usually took an hour or more for food to arrive. It was such a contrast to the amazing dining room meals, that we were confused as to the purpose of this neglected area of service. We felt like we didn't get the memo... *Sales pushing - although they weren't as overt as Princess in pushing sales for jewelry, alcohol and future cruises, almost half of the activity offerings on the daily agenda were sales pitches. At least this time, we recognized them for what they were and could avoid them. Overall, we were pleased with our experience and would consider booking another cruise with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We were going on a family vacation with twelve people in 7 cabins including 4 teenagers and wantedall ages to have fun. The ship’s public spaces were tired looking and needed repairs. The breakfast, lunch and pool areas were ... Read More
We were going on a family vacation with twelve people in 7 cabins including 4 teenagers and wantedall ages to have fun. The ship’s public spaces were tired looking and needed repairs. The breakfast, lunch and pool areas were understaffed. Our cabin had ongoing problems with the shower that they could not seem to fix. We could not use our cabin for 3 days while they were trying to fix old plumbing and so we could not relax in our cabin during the day. The management shrugged their shoulders at our discomfort. When we wrote to the head of Holland America after the cruise, they said we had a minor inconvenience and offered us 4 bottles of wine and an upgrade on a future cruise. No one ever said “sorry”. We will never sail on Holland America again. To us, it was not minor. We spent a substantial amount of money taking our family away and expected a relaxing, good quality cruise, not what felt like being on a cargo ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
Our family (14 of us) headed out on a cruise to celebrate a major birthday over the Christmas holiday. We did well overall. Balcony staterooms (category SY, cabin 8054 and similar) are lovely, spacious and very attractive. Bathrooms are ... Read More
Our family (14 of us) headed out on a cruise to celebrate a major birthday over the Christmas holiday. We did well overall. Balcony staterooms (category SY, cabin 8054 and similar) are lovely, spacious and very attractive. Bathrooms are particularly comfortable for this class accommodation. The ports were unexceptional. Of the four scheduled ports, the stop for Holland America's cay was cancelled, attributed to windy conditions. Food was satisfactory although main dining room service was slow. The ship converts a portion of the breakfast buffet to a specialty restaurant in the evenings.. Having small fry along and wanting to hold a quicker event than dinner in the main dining room, we scheduled the big birthday celebration there. We reserved the space at the very start of the cruise (the earliest reservation allowed under the Holland America playbook). A big mistake! The dinner really dragged on: After two hours we had not reached coffee, tea or dessert. The children became itchy (adults too), our requests for better service got us nowhere, and so we left without beverages or the pre-ordered birthday cake. The restaurant staff agreed to send the birhday cake to one of our cabins. But that was clearly not part of the Holland America master plan for that dining room. The cake never came. A post-cruise extra: six months after paying for the cruise and three months after it ended, Holland America discovered a four-figure mistake in our favor the amount taken from our credit card, and insisted on payment. My bottom line: Holland America offers a nice product for its price, but don't expect anything to be customized. You get what the brochure offers and that is that! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Love it , peaceful, quiet , relaxed , loved . Amazing food , lovely crew members , excellent manners , impecable ship, classic , in excellent shape for it age . As a handicap person using an electric scooter , I never found any person on ... Read More
Love it , peaceful, quiet , relaxed , loved . Amazing food , lovely crew members , excellent manners , impecable ship, classic , in excellent shape for it age . As a handicap person using an electric scooter , I never found any person on the elevators , my cabin SY8081 was not accesible cabin and I found a lot of space for my scooter . I recommend it . Not many places to go at night , BB king, the piano guys and the main stage But for us is more than enough . I start to realize that mid size ships are the best . The cruise director Nathan dance amazing , he has such a lovely personality who light up the room and attract younger people . All the meals were fantastic no matter where it was The lido or the main dining room . Everything was amazing , the consistency , the flavour The quality of the food . It’s hard to describe everything . You need to try by yourself .. everything was perfect . They are detail oriented . Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
People and service were good to great.however the food and entertainment were weak at best. There were never this many kids aboard and many parents did not control them and allowed for them to run on the dance floor at BB Kings. Both my ... Read More
People and service were good to great.however the food and entertainment were weak at best. There were never this many kids aboard and many parents did not control them and allowed for them to run on the dance floor at BB Kings. Both my husband and I were ill from the food one night. Despite earning another Mariner star for loyalty this will probably be my last Dam cruise Because of weather we missed one port. It was my favorite port too as I had purchased a new scuba mask. I understand that for safety measures we could not tender but there were no real interesting options on board. Holland is owned by the Carnival enterprise and is taking on a lot of its character. Drinking is heavily pushed and the serene elegance of former days is gone. Gala night had men dressed in short sleeve shirts with women in all different types of garb. A dinner companion commented that this now reminded her of Holiday Inn. Some people just don't know how to act in polite situations too. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it was an extension of one organized by a group and we decided that we should spend another two weeks on the ship. We are experienced cruisers (more than 20) and we decided that we wanted to use the ship as a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was an extension of one organized by a group and we decided that we should spend another two weeks on the ship. We are experienced cruisers (more than 20) and we decided that we wanted to use the ship as a luxury hotel rather than a way of seeing tourist attractions in the Caribbean. The inside and the outside of the ship are beautiful. The traditional black hull and white superstructure and the strong and pointed bough are beautiful to look at. The ship was immaculate on the outside decks and beautifully designed on the inside. There was not a crewmember with whom we interacted who deserved less than excellent rating. We had a few meals in the main dining room because we had a Neptune suite that entitled us to use the Pinnacle Grill. Even if you have one or two meals at the Grill you will find the service and the cuisine excellent. The dining room, where we had seven dinners was okay, but not great. We found the Lido grill noisy and that the combination of dozens of different foods created a smell that was not pleasant for us. We love classical music and there was an opportunity to hear it on the ship and while the comedian was not to our taste, the magician was fantastic. When there were problems, the ship's crew did an excellent job in solving them. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Great trip – Senior Citizens will love this cruise! My DH (65ys old) and I (63yrs old) boarded Holland America’s Oosterdam on December 8th, 2018 for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. This is an older ship, ... Read More
Great trip – Senior Citizens will love this cruise! My DH (65ys old) and I (63yrs old) boarded Holland America’s Oosterdam on December 8th, 2018 for a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise from Fort Lauderdale. This is an older ship, that caters to an older clientele – the average age on the ship was 75+. DH and I felt like teenagers! We only saw two or three families with young children. This cruise is perfect for the older age group. Embarkation at Port Everglades was easy and very well organized. There were a lot of people in wheelchairs and scooters, and the agents made sure they were well taken care of while boarding. Upon arrival at the terminal around noon, we were quickly registered and given a “Group Number” Boarding was done by Group number and was done very fast. This was one of the best embarkation experiences we’ve ever had. We had one carry on full of water bottles and four bottles of wine. Two of the wife bottles were taken away, we were told only one bottle per person was allowed (they were returned the night before disembarkation). Once on board we were able to go to our room immediately, which was very nice. Our luggage was delivered by 2:00 pm. Food on board was good. They do not have buffets like other ships, this is more of a Cafeteria style service, where food is served to you by an attendant as you walk down the line. They will give you a small portion, but you are welcomed to ask for more if you desire. There was not a lot of selection, but what was available was usually good. Breakfast had ommlete station, waffle station, and even an egg benedict station. There is Grill by the covered pool where you can get Hamburgers, hotdogs, etc. made to order – they’ll give you a beeper, so you can pick up food when ready. For Dinner we only used the Main Dining Room and found the service to be excellent. The open seating option was great, we rarely waited more than five minutes for a table for two. We had a balcony cabin 6121, which was a nice size. The bathtub was a nice surprise, much better than the very tiny showers in most other cruise lines. Our cabin stewards were amazing, my DH and I would make bets on how long we would be out of the cabin before we returned to a fully made up bed – I miss that at home LOL. Entertainment was scarce, but very good. They only have three venues, the BBKing Night Club, two Pianos by the Casino, and the theater. They also have a stage that offers classical music most nights. Unfortunately, most of the time only one of the venues has performances, so if you don’t like what is going on you have no choice but to stay there or go to the next venue and wait for the next presentation. Because of the demographics of the group on board, this works well most of the time, but if you want variety, you will not get it. The best think about the Oosterdam is the service. Everyone on board was efficient and very pleasant. If you are a Senior citizen with limited mobility, this is your cruise ship! If you are looking for a cruise with lots of on-board activities, or you have children, try a different line. DH and I decided we are too young for this ship, but we are perfectly willing to come back in 10 or 15 years Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because it had: a bathtub, full circle teak promenade, shuffleboard, a roof over the Lido pool, good dining reviews, cruisers our own age (lack of children), and excellent music. The Lincoln Center musicians were ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had: a bathtub, full circle teak promenade, shuffleboard, a roof over the Lido pool, good dining reviews, cruisers our own age (lack of children), and excellent music. The Lincoln Center musicians were brilliant. The B.B. King Blues Club was OUTSTANDING!!! We usually went to two shows a night and had a ball. All our meals in the MDR were delicious, with one exception, the onion soup. That was insipid, tasteless, and had only 3 onion shards. The Lido buffet always spoiled us with so many alluring choices. Room service was prompt with a nice variety of options. And it's FREE! Our verandah balcony cabin was spacious and well appointed. I now love the Elemis products. Our favorite activity was the thermal suite with a large whirlpool and heated ceramic beds. These were very therapeutic for my husband, who was making a slow recovery from surgeries. It made him feel terrific and very close to normal. He danced every night at the Blues Club! All staff were accommodating, attentive, and always busy. We didn't go into the ports. We came to relax, and we did! We disembarked in Cozumel and headed inland. Easy disembarkation with immigration and customs officials who came on board to meet us. The embarkation was fast and smooth. Golly, it was a wonderful cruise!-. Now we want to try more HAL ships, doesn't matter where they're going! I should add that we booked the cruise directly with HAL. Their agent discussed cabins with us and selected a winner. We want the same cabin next time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We sailed on the Oosterdam in December 2018 for 7 days. This was the quietest trip we have ever been on. We aren't looking for a huge party, but a little activity around the pool would be good. It was about as exciting as being at a ... Read More
We sailed on the Oosterdam in December 2018 for 7 days. This was the quietest trip we have ever been on. We aren't looking for a huge party, but a little activity around the pool would be good. It was about as exciting as being at a funeral home. The food was only ok, the entertainment in the theater wasn't great. The best part of the trip was going to B.B. King's and watching the All Stars play. They were great! The ship itself is old and looks a little dated. The ceilings in almost all the hallways are low, which makes it look dark. The pool area is well organized and well layed out, there just isn't much going on around there. The specialty steak restaurant was fairly good. The food in the main dining room was very average. I would only recommend going on a Holland cruise if you are looking for absolute peace and quiet. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
This was my first cruise on HAL. I was looking for a relaxing, no stress cruise and I got it! The only reason this is a four and not five star rating is because the ship is an older one and shows some signs of wear. But beyond that, ... Read More
This was my first cruise on HAL. I was looking for a relaxing, no stress cruise and I got it! The only reason this is a four and not five star rating is because the ship is an older one and shows some signs of wear. But beyond that, everything was superior. We had a balcony room, and it was larger than what I’m accustomed to on a ship.The food was the best I’ve had on a cruise in a long time. The entertainment, especially the selections of music each night, was excellent! Best entertainment I’ve ever had on a cruise ship. The staff is consistently excellent. Very friendly and helpful, great attitudes. I am a young 64-year-old, and was initially concerned about how many elderly people were on the boat, but that too ended up being a lovely experience. It was a quieter, More peaceful cruise than I’ve been on before. One of the best parts for me was not having to watch people pile up and consume ridiculous amounts of food. These cruisers are polite, quiet, and good dinner table partners. Highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose Holland America for our first cruise experience. We are a newly retired couple who generally prefer land-based vacations. However we decided to try something different for our birthdays (just three days apart). The Oosterdam ... Read More
We chose Holland America for our first cruise experience. We are a newly retired couple who generally prefer land-based vacations. However we decided to try something different for our birthdays (just three days apart). The Oosterdam did not disappoint! Everything was awesome, from the amazing service to the great food, to the terrific verandah stateroom. We are already looking forward to booking our next cruise, with HAL. Getting on and off the ship was easy and quick. When we embarked in FLL we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at just after 11 am. The ship was beautiful, certainly not new but definitely clean and well-appointed. The Pinnacle Grill was our favourite restaurant with fantastic service and really great steak. We found the wine selection to be very good. The ship draws an older crowd but we much prefer that over a “party boat” or tons of kids in the pool area. Our cabin stewards Purr and Ono were simply fantastic, always helpful and really upbeat. An all-round awesome first cruise experience! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
It was a good deal on a week that worked well for us. We like HAL. The room was adequate, our room steward excellent, and the location was right smack in the middle of the ship which made it easy to get around. I went to trivia twice every ... Read More
It was a good deal on a week that worked well for us. We like HAL. The room was adequate, our room steward excellent, and the location was right smack in the middle of the ship which made it easy to get around. I went to trivia twice every day, swam in the pool every day and attended a couple of the American Test Kitchen presentations which were very good. My husband's foot was bothering him so we did not go off of the ship except for San Juan. He seemed to be ok that day so we ventured out to Starbucks to retrieve our emails and phone calls. We were unable to dance which was too bad since we love to dance. We would have liked to dance in BB King's. WE were unable to attend any of the Lincoln Center presentations as the times did not work out for us. The food was wonderful. The salad that is prepared for you according to your choice is the BEST!! I miss it already. The Pinnacle Restaurant was excellent as usual and the dining room food was really good. One night I ordered all of the desserts!!! The ice cream was good. The no sugar added desserts were also delicious. The salmon and steak were prepared properly, as was the lobster (not overcooked). The onion soup is so so, however. We found that to be the case on the Konigsdam as well. The other soups were very good. The omelets were excellent as were the Eggs Benedict which I ordered in the dining room one morning. We met some very nice people on board as we always asked to share in the dining room. The pool had enough chairs in the shade which is what we like. The pool was not too cold. The Dive is terrific. All in all, we had a really good time! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this cruise because it was very inexpensive and wanted to try out Holland America. We were a bit disappointed about 1-2 weeks prior to our cruise. We received an invite to upgrade to a suite for a very decent price. However, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it was very inexpensive and wanted to try out Holland America. We were a bit disappointed about 1-2 weeks prior to our cruise. We received an invite to upgrade to a suite for a very decent price. However, within a short time, our travel agent called in, all suites were gone. The ship itself is a bit rundown and could use some updates. It was not "state of the art" and the ambiance is a little conservative. Service was really good. I felt at times that staff were "correcting" me when I wasn't doing things exactly as they would prefer. For example, on my last day, I went to the coffee bar at 6 AM and the person there snapped at me, informing me that they wouldn't be open until 6:30. Food was great, especially the vegetarian menu. Although you have to ask for the vegetarian menu, the selections art outstanding! The entertainment was amazing, especially the Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard On Board! We went to at least 7-8 "recitals" and saw the Billboard On Board most nights before dinner. Our excursions were outstanding. We went to go see the rainforest in Puerto Rico and took tours of almost every other port except for Grand Turk. Our last day at Half Moon Cay (Holland America's private island it shares with Carnival) was outstanding. We had such a good time on a tour and then a barbecue that was free to guests. All in all, it's pretty decent for the amount we paid (approx $950 per person) for a balcony. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
2018_11 Holland America Oosterdam Caribbean cruise Our first cruise and we were excited in the weeks before but once we boarded, we were awed way beyond expectations by the ship and our cabin. Everything was fantastic ! I think our ... Read More
2018_11 Holland America Oosterdam Caribbean cruise Our first cruise and we were excited in the weeks before but once we boarded, we were awed way beyond expectations by the ship and our cabin. Everything was fantastic ! I think our Signature Suite 8055, which was way larger than we expected, was largely responsible. There was *nothing* wrong with this cabin - wonderful air conditioning around the clock, the most comfortable beds ever, 3 lockers, a shower and jet tub in the bathroom, and a generous balcony - it was fantastic and we loved every minute of it. I guess the one issue was - we were under the pool deck (I think) and there was a lot of sound from lounge chairs being setup in the morning - but it did not bother us - and I am someone who is sensitive to sound. The fitness center was fantastic - large with lots of machines and great views over the bow. I stuck to dumbbells and the Precor upright bikes which offered lots of resistance. The $20 "fill a bag" laundry service was fantastic - I thought they would just wash and fold - but they pressed - and well! Pinnacle Grill was great - beautiful decor and great food although my steak was a wee bit overcooked. Lovely service. Cannaletto - the other premium restaurant - seemed like it was just a money grab. It's merely a carved out section of the Lido Market - not a separate restaurant - and TBH I think they're serving the same food you'd get in the Market. Get a salad and a build-your-own-pasta from Lido Grill instead - there I just saved you $15. Speaking of Lido Market - we thought it was pretty good generally but there were some real misses such as the filet mignon which was quite a disappointment, and the soups which never were that good. The salad bar was great, the "build your own pasta" was great, the asian section was great. Here's the thing tho - HAL mentions "legendary service" on their website. When it comes to the eating and drinking areas, I'd call it "questionable service". We were served water/tea only about 30% of the time in the Lido Grill. The bartenders were noticeably not pleasant - not angry or anything - just sort of procedural. In the 'fancy' dining room, I watched waiters traverse back and forth by our table for 15 minutes before I raised my arms to get one to stop for a bread refill. (Apart from that, we did enjoy The Dining Room on 3 different nights including Thanksgiving dinner which was quite good). Our cabin stewards were delightful and never failed to greet us by name from the moment we boarded. If all of the mandatory daily tip went to them, I would be ok with that. We didn't attend much on-board entertainment - we were too tired by 9pm! The trivia games were fun, and the casino, tho small, was enjoyable. The lounges / bars / common areas were mostly gorgeous. The Lincoln Center venue was good, tho small, and there were only brief performances here and there. The Digital presentations were pretty good - good instructor. The "Onshore Shopping" presentation was merely a diamond sales pitch, I'm willing to bet by employees of the diamon sellers. The shops were meh. The pool areas always seemed to have chairs and pool space available. I thought they would be chock-full but they weren't. We bought the thermal suite 7-day pass for $219/couple (we paid $250 in advance but they reversed the charge to $219 altho as I think about it they may have double-charged us - need to check). Thermal pool is great but wish it was a degree or two hotter. Never crowded. We enjoyed the Thermal Suite altho we used it only 4 or 5 times so next time, maybe just pay the daily fee. Couple gripes I have with their Navigator smartphone app. Missing/Incorrect information is a pet peeve of mine, especially when it is so easy to get it right, to everyone's benefit. - it says there are no ATMs onboard. This is wrong. There is one adjacent to customer service. Which I learned after waiting in line at customer service. BTW customer service charges 3% for cash advance, the ATM is flat $6. - I had to go to Infirmary one day. Navigator says *nothing* about infirmary. Turns out, it is open only certain hours, and you have to go to the *front* of the ship to get there. Navigator offers all sorts of ways to buy dining and excursions, but zero about a possible necessity like the infirmary. Disembarkation was annoying (is it ever not?) - the printed instructions were not clear - and we did not appreciate seeing a HAL employee bark at everyone, roll his eyes and shake his head at guests (who were paying his salary), when they failed to follow the routine, quite likely due to the poor/incomplete printed instructions. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because friends had already booked. The ship recently went through a renovation but it was clear the renovation was only in certain common areas. Our stateroom was filthy, old and very tired. Overall the food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends had already booked. The ship recently went through a renovation but it was clear the renovation was only in certain common areas. Our stateroom was filthy, old and very tired. Overall the food was good except in the Lido area. I'm attaching some pictures of our stateroom so you can see how neglected it is. The overall entertainment was sparse, however, the cruise director was very friendly and asked for suggesions on how to make things better. Most of the staff was very helpful and attentive but the overall feeling we got from the cruise was there wasn't enough to do unless you wanted to go and sit and listen to people speak about different topics. We knew going into this cruise that HAL caters to a much older crowd but even older people enjoy some live music by the pool and clean updated accomodations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This is my 12th cruise, but the first time cruising with HAL. The cruise was a 7-Day “Western Caribbean” tour from/to Fort Lauderdale with stops at Half Moon Cay, Falmouth, George Town and Cozumel. I selected this cruise with MS ... Read More
This is my 12th cruise, but the first time cruising with HAL. The cruise was a 7-Day “Western Caribbean” tour from/to Fort Lauderdale with stops at Half Moon Cay, Falmouth, George Town and Cozumel. I selected this cruise with MS Oosterdam as I found a very good Suite offer for this cruise during the thanks-giving week. Ship: MS Oosterdam is a mid-size ship that has space for ~2500 Passengers & 800 Crew. The ship (Fincantieri - Vista Class) is a standard sandwich built with cabins in the lowest decks, public areas including restaurants, shops and casino right above, again cabins in the middle decks and finally the open public area including Lido restaurant, swimming pools / bars and spa in the upper open decks. Special: This ship has a nice lounge, called Crows Nest in the fully forward upper section above the navigation bridge. Cabin: I booked a “Guaranty Signature Suite” and received SY Suite 5001. This Suite is located at Deck 5, fully forward. It is a very nice and spacious suite with a window in the ships front and a little balcony. The suite 5001 is an accessible suite, means it is bigger than normal suites and the bathroom has only one sink (normally, suites has double sink) and there is next to the toilet a shower area for wheel chair passengers. The furniture in the room are “old style” but fully functional. Due to the fact, the suite is fully forward located, the wind deflecting around the bow can generate a huge under-pressure and in this case, the balcony door is whistling like hell. As the ship is already at a certain age, the door has some gaps that can’t be really closed even not when the balcony door is locked with the key. This permanent whistling is disturbing from good sleep. I had two nice cabin stewards, which serviced the cabin twice per day and tried their best to close the balcony the best as they can. Dining: For me the most disappointing item on this cruise: As I had a suite cabin, for dinner, I was privileged to open your time dinner seating in the main restaurant at deck 2. Anyway, every day, a register at the restaurant entrance was required. Twice, I had to wait at the entrance with a device like at a steakhouse in the US. Ones, I waited 30min until my device has flashed and a table was available for me. The service in the main was very slow. Often, up to 2 hours were required for a starter and a main course!!!!!!. Dessert would require additional time that make me then to skip this. Eating in the Lido Buffet Restaurant had like on other ships a lot of disadvantage. Often, there were ques to get the food and at the end, the meal is cold when you receive your table to eat. New for me: Chefs served the Buffet. Means, you have not collected the food you like by yourself, always you need to explain to somebody (mostly a Chef) behind the desk what you want and how much you want. Hence, it was not possible to task a bit and if you like it take more or less of this item. Entertainment: The ship offers different kind of entertainment during the night. There is a Jazz club, Piano entertainment and classic music which offers programs on different evenings (but not every day). Further is the theatre with productions and the casino. During the day, there is no entertainment at all. Neither at the pool nor in the adult serenade area is live music offered. I heart, that there were games trivia & quiz offered during the day, but I haven’t participated at these events. Ports of call: The ports had absolutely nothing special. Half moon cay is nothing than a beach with one Lunch self service restaurant and some bars. Falmouth, George Town and Cozumel are heavily overcrowded ports with up to 6 big cruise ships together in the port. Resume: Cruising with HAL is different to every other company, I was cruising with before. Cruising in the Caribbean area is boring, as all destinations are similar and there are always too many cruise ships who are at the same time in the same port. Anyway, the experience on the ship, beside the poor dinner, was nice and I enjoyed this out time. Wouldn’t mind to select again HAL, but not again for a Caribbean cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We sailed on the Oosterdam Nov. 17-24, western Caribbean. This was our first time with Holland America having travelled with a variety of other lines. Boarding the ship was well organized but we were really surprised to be able to access ... Read More
We sailed on the Oosterdam Nov. 17-24, western Caribbean. This was our first time with Holland America having travelled with a variety of other lines. Boarding the ship was well organized but we were really surprised to be able to access our cabin immediately. Every other cruise line we have travelled with, we learned that cabins would not be available for 2-3 hours after boarding. The oceanview cabin was relatively spacious and had lots of closet and storage space. The bathroom, with a tub/shower combination, was much more comfortable than some other tiny, barely-fit-in-the-shower experiences we have had. The beds were so comfortable that I’d bring one home and replace our current, expensive mattress. Some reviews I had read worried me that this ship would present as old and needing some face-lifts. What we found instead was classic, elegant and refined. Every public space was like a very high-end hotel. The bars were truly relaxing areas to have a drink and enjoy private conversation in quiet environments. I was led to believe that very senior citizens are the primary clientele of Holland America but this was not at all the case on this trip. There was a broad range of ages, including some families with children. Perhaps most surprising, the pool areas were never clogged with people. We could always find deck chairs together as opposed to finding dozens of empty chairs with towels left on them for hours at a time. We have cruised on one of the new mega ships and will never do that again. Food is a very personal thing to comment on. In this area, I found the main dining room at the same level as most other cruises we have experienced, i.e., lots of high notes with some missed steps. Fish is a challenge when the kitchen is preparing so many dishes at a time and on 2 occasions, the fish was over cooked. There were some examples of potatoes that were like small pucks. The steak and lobster dishes were very well done. Service was attentive, water glasses kept filled, drinks replenished and coffee/tea always offered. Desserts were average. We did anytime dining and never waited more than 3-5 minutes for the 5 of us to be seated. When eating in the Lido, we were able to find seating without too much wandering around, even at the busiest times. Our room attendants were the best we have experienced. They were always cheerful, always had time to chat and never made us feel that they were looking for tips. This was also true of all other personnel on the ship, never walking past guests in silence, smiling and helping out in any way they could. The level of service that we experienced was exceptional. Our thanks to all. On all other cruises, the hallways were always crowded in the morning as the attendants raced to do up the rooms. On this ship, we never saw laundry baskets in the halls or cleaning supplies and vacuums. Several of us love cooking and were pleased that America’s Test Kitchen offers demonstration classes during the cruise. A stand-out feature for the musicians in our group was the on-board professional quintet - piano and strings. They presented several concerts and their playing was at a very high standard. I would plead with Holland America to enclose this performance space, a portion of one wall is open to a hallway and some guests, in spite of signs asking for quiet, have not learned to use their indoor voices. Glass could cover the open area and largely solve this issue and be respectful of the artists. When the ship arrived back in Ft. Lauderdale, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the cabin as we were in no rush to disembark. We walked off with our bags at 10 a.m. and had no issues. We look forward to travelling with Holland America again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this cruise to celabrate my wifes birthday and to enjoy the relaxing ports of call. We are currently a 3star mariner status. We have not been on a Holland ship since 2012. This was the second time on the Oosterdam over ... Read More
We picked this cruise to celabrate my wifes birthday and to enjoy the relaxing ports of call. We are currently a 3star mariner status. We have not been on a Holland ship since 2012. This was the second time on the Oosterdam over the years. Very disappointed in the food quality in the dinning room. Average variety of selections on menu, just not much flavour in any of the meals. Dining room service... As you wish dining, in the evening was the worst we have had in 22 cruises...will not rebook with Holland America. Good service in all bar areas that we visited with friendly staff. Most evenings, coffee or tea never offered. Entertainment, wasn't worth going to the lounge, yet another disappointment. Didn't use the pools but other commented water was lovely and warm. Used and enjoyed the Dry Sauna but very small and only approx 4 to 5 can enjoy at one time. Read Less
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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