Sail Date: April 2019
17 of us took this cruise together to celebrate my brother's 50th. While I have traveled (and even lived) all over the world and I love to travel, I had never been on a cruise and was a little nervous. I LOVED it! It was so much fun! ... Read More
17 of us took this cruise together to celebrate my brother's 50th. While I have traveled (and even lived) all over the world and I love to travel, I had never been on a cruise and was a little nervous. I LOVED it! It was so much fun! I was in a balcony cabin (smallest one) and it was perfect for me and with one other person at times. I was the only one in my room, but thought it was very roomy and well appointed and had I had someone else there I think it would have been fine. The food was plentiful and fine. Not overly gourmet, but it was good and fresh and met my needs (the point of the cruise was not the food!). There was always something available - they made that very easy. Service everywhere was outstanding! I unfortunately didn't keep track of people's names - something you should do apparently for these reviews. But I didn't have a bad moment once! Embarking and disembarking were quick and easy! No lines ever (except upon return for customs but that is not related to the cruise line). Luggage was handled well and no issues. What I liked were the loads of lounges and places to hang out. As I said we had a large group but we were rarely all together. I like to go and read so there were fun places to do that or hang with a few people. The entertainment and various activities were fun and plentiful so never lacked for something to do even with 2 days totally at sea. Here are some specific things to keep in mind (including my only negatives): 1. It annoys me to no end that they charge for sodas! I did get a soda card for $25 ahead of time that was worth $50 and that helped. I also brought bottles of soda in my carry on (which is allowed) and put those in my fridge. Soda is cheaper than juice (which was available for free at breakfast) and I think they should have free self-serve soda fountains periodically throughout the ship. 2. The info they send (know before you go) is helpful except they don't well explain the app. Before you get on the ship DOWNLOAD the app and tell anyone in your party to do the same! It's then very easy to use the chat feature with your party within the app and avoid texting charges. We didn't understand all of this and 17 people had 17 different phone carriers and plans so some were afraid to text, turn on their phone, etc. With the app, you have the ability to check the schedule, chat with each other, even check that day's dinner menus while keeping your phone in airplane mode! But it's not clear how it works and took us a lot of playing around (and ultimately not everyone in our group used it). I have since gotten my phone bill and had zero extra charges. 3. My cabin's bathroom had some chips/marks in it that I mistook for dirt at first but then realized it was minimal damage. I am fine with that and the cabin was kept VERY clean and don't expect the cruise line to fix every chip - just be warned, there may be minimal damage but look closely as it's not dirt! 4. This ship holds I think about 2000 people but it didn't feel that large. My good friend and I were on opposite ends of the ship and we could get to each other's rooms with an easy 5 minute walk. But do plan to walk a lot and use stairs whenever possible on the ship. I thought it was very easy to get around, very well marked with signage, and people were super helpful on the few times I got confused. 5. I did do some shore excursions which I really enjoyed. Most were with Holland America but did do one outside of them and all were good with no problems. Overall I loved it and plan to cruise in the future (even took advantage of paying a deposit for a future cruise to get some cruise credit). Loved Holland America and recommend this ship, their crew, and their service! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Friends had planned their vacation and invited us along...We would go again in a heart beat. Our room was clean, we were catered to, there was plenty of food and so many choices. The staff made us feel catered to. Our cabin person PuTu ... Read More
Friends had planned their vacation and invited us along...We would go again in a heart beat. Our room was clean, we were catered to, there was plenty of food and so many choices. The staff made us feel catered to. Our cabin person PuTu was awesome!!! He brought us what ever we needed, answered our questions and kept us informed. PuTu was funny, sweet and so very accommodating. His customer services skills are golden! *We were invited on the cruise by our friends Norm and Teri, we invited my husbands brother and sister~in~law Richard and Paulette. We all had a blast! *Shore excursions we absolutely loved and had so much fun on the ConTiki. *The mini hummers were fun and educating our guide 'Johnny Depp' was fun and knowledgeable. *We went on an unplanned excursion in a young man who had a comfortable van asked us along and his prices were AWESOME! I wish I could remember his name, you wouldn't believe how much he knew. This person made us feel as if we'd been friends forever. *On our last stop we had pre-ordered a 'half shell?' with two lounge chairs. We couldn't find any available ones and the people we were instructed to look for, for guidance were no where to be seen. We just gave up and ended up not getting one because it felt like we were wasting our beach time looking for help. *(Just a thought, maybe those who pre-order get a ticket say "lounge shell #1" and tag the shells with numbers. when we get to the destination or somewhere along the way the tickets are given to the purchasers so they may just go to the preassigned shells. AND the 'half shells' are set up prior to our arrival...(I heard from some that they had to wait for someone to set things up when they got there, and they too had to follow behind a line of people and LOOK for available seats.) But the positive experiences far overweight the beach chair experience and we absolutely would love to go on another cruise. Thank you to all who made our first experience so very AWESOME! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
This was out first cruise so we were not sure what to expect. We had heard from our friends that Holland America was a very elegant and relaxing cruise line... and they were right! We loved having a relaxing atmosphere. The staff around ... Read More
This was out first cruise so we were not sure what to expect. We had heard from our friends that Holland America was a very elegant and relaxing cruise line... and they were right! We loved having a relaxing atmosphere. The staff around the ship was extremely friendly and polite. Our stateroom stewards would greet us by name, even when they saw us out and about on the ship! They always asked how our day was going and if there was anything they could help us with. Everything across the ship was sparkling clean, the food was amazing and a nice selection of entertainment. We preferred to go to the later evening shows, because the earlier shows filled up quite quickly. This ship definitely has a classic feel to it, and it appeared to cater towards an 'older' crowd, although all age groups were present. My husband utilized the spa services and raved about his experience. We recommend spending the little extra to get a balcony room- ours provided spectacular views and was a nice place to take a nap or enjoy a few quiet moments. We would definitely book another cruise with Holland America Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We have done 16 cruises on Princess and Holland. The Oosterdam cruise from March 16-30th was wonderful. Not for the ports(had been there many times) but for the happy and smiling crew, good food, excellent service and well maintained ... Read More
We have done 16 cruises on Princess and Holland. The Oosterdam cruise from March 16-30th was wonderful. Not for the ports(had been there many times) but for the happy and smiling crew, good food, excellent service and well maintained ship. We loved it all! We always sail in March to celebrate our Anniversary and get away to warm and sunny weather. We always book a Signature Suite. Our room stewards were outstanding.Their smiles and happy greetings always made our day. The day of our anniversary we woke to no HOT WATER! They called the plumber right away. Due to the nature of the problem no hot water until later that night. We cancelled our anniversary dinner in the Pinnacle Grill and decided to just grab a bite in the Lido and wait for a shower. Stuff happens. Just was a bad day. later that night, our server " Ronnie" up at the Sea View Bar by the pool surprised us by setting a table w/ cloth,flowers,candles etc. to dine under the stars. We were so surprised and thrilled. It was the best anniversary dinner ever. Many of our new cruise friends came and shared our celebration. This was incredible service turning a sad situation into an incredible evening. Turns out we are happy the plumbing broke!!!! The entire ship staff were incredible and made our entire 2 week experience a very happy one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Embarkation and disembarkation were amazingly quick and efficient. This ship was beautiful, classic and tasteful in every way. We really enjoyed the thermal spa and fitness center, Lincoln Center, B.B. King, back outside deck on Lido ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation were amazingly quick and efficient. This ship was beautiful, classic and tasteful in every way. We really enjoyed the thermal spa and fitness center, Lincoln Center, B.B. King, back outside deck on Lido Deck, and Promenade decks. The Main dining room was beautiful and service was great. The Cafe was also wonderful. We were able to get specialty coffees there.. Excursions were well priced and we loved the trip we took to Trunk Ba on St. John. Service everywhere was impeccable. Cabin Stewards were very attentive and helpful. Our Signature Suite (6105) was incredibly roomy and very comfortable. We loved the huge balcony, whirlpool tub and great selection of in-room movies. This is definitely a quieter ship which was great for us. We loved Holland America and will very likely choose this line when we cruise again Ports: We went snorkeling and on a tram in Turks and Caicos. Both were great. We loved the private island. It was gorgeous and the water was crystal clear. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our very first time on HAL and we loved it. It’s truly a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. We rented a Retreat Cabana for the week and we absolutely loved it. It was well worth the money. Our cabin Butler, Carlo, was great. He ... Read More
This was our very first time on HAL and we loved it. It’s truly a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. We rented a Retreat Cabana for the week and we absolutely loved it. It was well worth the money. Our cabin Butler, Carlo, was great. He was very attentive. We had some issues with high winds and had to skip our first port. So we had an extra day at sea which made the cabana even more worthwhile. We enjoyed dinner at Pinnacle Grill twice and Canaletto once. Our cabin was 7038 and in a great spot. One thing we did discover is they changed the explorations cafe. It’s not like the pictures. It’s much smaller and part of the crows nest bar now. So if you’re expecting a “coffee shop” it’s not. But the coffee was great. Definitely will sail on HAL again. We have already booked for next year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was my 6th cruise on Holland America. I am completely satisfied. I drove from Sarasota to Ft. Lauderdale and parked in the garage across from the terminal ($105.00) for the week. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, ... Read More
This was my 6th cruise on Holland America. I am completely satisfied. I drove from Sarasota to Ft. Lauderdale and parked in the garage across from the terminal ($105.00) for the week. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth, best in all my visits. I splurged and got a Neptune Suite. It was located in the aft of the ship, and had the most wonderful wrap-around balcony (Suite 5091) Huge. The suite was very comfortable and clean. My steward (Andy) was so kind and helpful. I tipped him at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the cruise and he was so grateful. (just a suggestion). I was with a group of retired gentlemen and we had the most wonderful time. Holland America made rooms available for us, in which to hold our meetings. Although on a ship with many people, it's hard to please everyone. Most of the meals in the dining room were good. Some hits and missed (prime rib - terrible, Surf & Turf wonderful). The dining room stewards were very attentive and helpful with suggestions as what to order. (tip them as well - please) Most mornings I had breakfast in my room, preferring to lounge in my bathroom and slippers. The breakfast was always served as ordered at the exact time. Occasionally I would go to the Lido, but too much hustle and bustle for me. Large selection of food items though. I did not attend any of the entertainment. The only thing I was disappointed in was Exec Tours. I took 3 tours, and way too much time was spent in souvenir and gifts shops and less on actual tours. In the future, I will book tours separately. Holland America seems to have gone out of their way to please customers. All the staff were very helpful with smiling faces and kindness. It has much improved from past years. This was one of the most enjoyable cruises that I have ever taken. Would like to go to Cuba next year, if only the prices for the Neptune Suite weren't so high on that particular cruise. 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
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
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
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.5 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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