5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had an absolutely amazing cruise on Holland America Oosterdam on September 9th – the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry We loved the service on the ship, the size of the ship and our fellow passengers. Everyone was so nice! The ... Read More
We had an absolutely amazing cruise on Holland America Oosterdam on September 9th – the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry We loved the service on the ship, the size of the ship and our fellow passengers. Everyone was so nice! The cruise director was front and center throughout the cruise and we felt there were many activities offered although this was a very port-heavy cruise and our priority was being in port and experiencing everything that Europe has to offer. I know many people on Cruise Critic choose to take their own shore excursions, but I do have to say that EXC Tours absolutely MADE our time in port AMAZING! EXC tours were absolutely wonderful. Our tour guides were experts in each port. All of them full of enthusiasm. We were taken to the best places to see highlights of each port and, for the tours that included meals – we loved each restaurant and the food and wine offered. We were extremely happy that we booked through EXC tours because we did not have to stress about making it back to the ship on time – we could relax, enjoy and focus learning as much as we could about each port offered. We also enjoyed the ports where we just walked around and explored and sat at a café and had cappuccino that turned into cocktails and a relaxing fun day. I do agree that the ship is a bit older, but thankfully, we were there to enjoy ourselves and let little things put a damper on a fabulous European tour. I’ve read many complaints that the ship is in horrible condition and was very worried before we went, but once the cruise was underway, I had an unforgettable time and it didn’t matter! I would ignore the naysayers and form your own opinion and just ENJOY yourselves. We were very happy that we booked a Veranda cabin – we loved going on the Veranda every morning and sail away. Definitely worth the extra money! We did not purchase a beverage package. We brought two bottles of wine on board, attended a shore excursion to a winery in Nice where we were able bring on another bottle of wine onboard without the corkage fee and attended the happy hours. At happy hour, we would order a bucket of corona for around $29 plus gratuity and the next bucket was $10 plus gratuity. We also had wine at lunch with many of our shore excursions. Our bar bill at the end of a 12-day cruise was only around $200. Definitely glad we did not purchase the $1200 signature beverage package. I will say that, because this was such a port heavy cruise, heavy drinking was not a priority but we still drank and enjoyed ourselves. Who wants to be hungover when you are touring Rome? We did enjoy many glasses of wine with lunch in Rome but did not start out the day hung over from the night before bc we were trying to get our money’s worth from our beverage package, if that makes sense. The crew was very hospitable and the captain ran a very efficient and safe ship. I also appreciated the use of hand sanitizer before each embarkation. We experienced no illnesses whatsoever on the ship. We loved being waiting on in the main dining room – a highlight for my husband. Just choosing each meal and taking our time over dessert with coffee. It was such an amazing experience! I LOVE the direction of Holland America – outstanding service, port emersions, amazing EXC tours, a place for foodies and music lovers! Already booked our next cruise! As my husband said, this wasn’t a vacation – this was a TRIP! Thank you, Holland America, for the best trip of our lives!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We took the Venice to Barcelona itinerary in Aug/Sep 2018 and we loved this ship! The size was perfect for us. It was easy to get from one end to the other and the ship was in great shape. The food in the main dining room was the best ... Read More
We took the Venice to Barcelona itinerary in Aug/Sep 2018 and we loved this ship! The size was perfect for us. It was easy to get from one end to the other and the ship was in great shape. The food in the main dining room was the best we’ve had on any Holland America ship. The filets were nice and thick and cooked to perfection and the variety each evening was wonderful. And as on all our HAL cruises, the service was impeccable! Even though this ship was smaller than our favorites, the Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam, we really enjoyed every aspect of it. We definitely recommend this ship if you’re looking for a midsize, well appointed ship. Our only disappointment was the changes made to the Crows Nest. It just isn’t as inviting as it used to be and the Explorers Cafe only had a few, very limited, options for danish. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Before the cruise, we had the 2 day package in Venice that came with being in a Signature Suite. On my own, I’m not sure I would have chosen the Bonvecchiati Hotel, but its location was perfect and the room was fine. Transfers were ... Read More
Before the cruise, we had the 2 day package in Venice that came with being in a Signature Suite. On my own, I’m not sure I would have chosen the Bonvecchiati Hotel, but its location was perfect and the room was fine. Transfers were handled by HAL and went off without a hitch. Embarkation was very fast with priority Mariner status. We liked the ship a lot. Our cabin was great but it had a lot of noise from people walking on the pool deck above, carts being pushed, chairs scraping, people dropping things, etc. It didn’t keep us awake at night but it was fairly constant. Our neighbors were smoking on their balcony despite the smoking ban. The cabin and the balcony were large, the bathroom was big with a bathtub and a separate shower and 2 sinks. I loved the nightlight in the bathroom. Our stewards were excellent and were able to quickly fix a blocked drain. You can stream movies on the TV but you can’t check your cabin account, order room service or order shore excursions (you have to use the app). AC worked well and there was good storage space. There was norovirus on the ship but not many people got it. The crew seemed to do a really good job of keeping it from spreading. This might be the best cruise ship buffet I’ve seen. The variety was good and the food was actually hot. Don’t miss the nights they do the giant antipasto spread and the international desserts – gorgeous displays with tons of choices. I was not impressed with Dive In. The food takes a long time, isn’t particularly hot, and is it's just average grill food. Also, the hot dogs are too salty. Service in the DR was excellent and the food was very good, although they are pretty skimpy with the vegetables. If the menu says your protein comes with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, expect one Brussels sprout and one bite of potato. Entertainment on this ship was excellent. The production shows were terrific and the singers had good voices. The dueling piano players were great. BB Kings All Stars were terrific and really talented, but the volume was so loud I couldn’t sit in the lounge. If they had turned it down, I would have gone every night, but it was painfully loud. We went to a few of the lectures, which we enjoyed, but didn’t take part in other daytime activities. Shore excursions were very expensive but well run. Twice our tender pilots didn’t seem to know where the pier was. Disembarkation was very fast (we got off early with our suitcases). Overall, we loved the ship, had a great (if somewhat noisy) cabin, and thought the crew were great. The food, entertainment and service were all excellent. Good job, HAL! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband and I had a fantastic cruise on Holland America, the Greek Odyssey 16 August - 27 August 2018. The embarkation, sailing and disembarkation was amazingly perfect.The crew and ship were amazing. We would like to thank the ... Read More
My husband and I had a fantastic cruise on Holland America, the Greek Odyssey 16 August - 27 August 2018. The embarkation, sailing and disembarkation was amazingly perfect.The crew and ship were amazing. We would like to thank the following crew for their exceptional customer service - Puput from Lido, Su Mantra, Gusti and Jonathan at level 2 fine dining for table 61 and our exceptional cabin crew of Andy and Astrid. They all go well above and beyond the call of duty and made our holiday very special. The entertainment was really great as well and filled our holiday with fun and enjoyment. We would definitely go again with Holland America. The selected ports were perfect and the opportunity to sail into them was breath taking. The shore excursions organised from the ship were by absolute precision and made our holiday that much easier and special. Everything went smoothly. Thanks so much Holland and America and your amazing dedicated crew. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband and I just turned 40, so we decided to celebrate by booking a Mediterranean Cruise! We had a great Alaskan cruise with Holland America a few years ago, so we decided to go with them again. And we're glad we did! We also ... Read More
My husband and I just turned 40, so we decided to celebrate by booking a Mediterranean Cruise! We had a great Alaskan cruise with Holland America a few years ago, so we decided to go with them again. And we're glad we did! We also really liked the itinerary: a 12 day cruise starting from Rome, traveling to a variety of Greek islands, and then arriving back in Venice. The Oosterdam was a lovely ship! Everything was very clean (public spaces and cabin). We stayed in an interior room, and we thought the room had plenty of space. With such a port heavy itinerary, it didn't seem to make a lot of sense to pay extra for a balcony as we weren't on the ship during the day. Plus, there were plenty of sun beds available, and the Lido and the Crow's Nest were great places to relax and watch the sea. The food was good! It was easy to find something to eat for breakfast in the Lido, and we also really enjoyed ordering room service. The servers in the main dining room were also personable and provided fantastic service - we enjoyed the variety of options for dinner, especially dessert. The baristas in the Crow's Nest also made a pretty good latte. As for entertainment, we spent every night in the BB King Blue's Club. We thought the band was good, and we both love to dance, so it was perfect for us. The place was packed most nights! We did three shore excursions with Holland America (tour to Pompeii, Bus Transfer to Oia, Santorini, and Kayaking trip in Argostoli). The Pompeii and Kayaking tours were reasonably priced and we really enjoyed the experiences! The cost for the bus transfer to Oia was ridiculous, but it was the only way to enjoy Oia for a couple of hours without the insane crowds. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Overall, it was a great cruise! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My wife and I chose to cruise with HAL based on the excellent itinerary offered from Barcelona to Venice and all the amazing ports in between. We have taken 28 cruises prior to this cruise on June 5, 2018 with HAL. Most of our cruising ... Read More
My wife and I chose to cruise with HAL based on the excellent itinerary offered from Barcelona to Venice and all the amazing ports in between. We have taken 28 cruises prior to this cruise on June 5, 2018 with HAL. Most of our cruising has been in the Caribbean. The boarding process on the HAL Oosterdam at the Port of Barcelona was amazing and the best we have ever experienced. There were many agents available to process the passengers and this portion of the cruise was a breeze. Once onboard the Oosterdam, it just got better. The Lido Market food service for breakfast, lunch and dinner was outstanding. There were several days that we did not return to the ship until late. Some of the days we ate in the Main Dining, which was excellent as well, but the Lido Market was a great alternate for dinner. There were so many choices at all servings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was delicious in all areas. The stateroom staff were awesome. The food staff were awesome. Our experience was nothing but amazing with the entire staff. Always greeted with a smile and "Hello!" The entertainment in the Main Stage theater was outstanding as well as the B.B. King and Billboard areas of the ship. Super! Super! Super! The Oosterdam just came out of dry dock in April. The ship both internal and external was beautiful! HAL has earned a new customer on future sailings. Bob & Christi Houston, TX Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was our first cruise, after friends had told us about their own experiences. We chose Holland America because of their reputation as a well-established line, and we really appreciated the relaxed and professional service. The food was ... Read More
This was our first cruise, after friends had told us about their own experiences. We chose Holland America because of their reputation as a well-established line, and we really appreciated the relaxed and professional service. The food was excellent and the entertainment met all our needs. The ports were great (though we didn't use any of the pre-planned excursions) and getting on and off the ship presented no problem at all for us in our advancing years! We booked an interior cabin, and had wondered about whether or not we would feel rather confined, but nothing was further from the truth - in fact, it was great to sleep through till breakfast time, without light filtering through any windows! Although there were nearly 2,000 guests on board, we didn't feel crowded at all, and there were plenty of open public areas to relax in and read. All in all, the best holiday we have experienced ... and we are now 'cruiseaholics'! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We've never been to Europe and thought this was a great way to see major cities and sites. We were not disappointed in any way! First off, Explorations Central rocks! There's actual ... Read More
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We've never been to Europe and thought this was a great way to see major cities and sites. We were not disappointed in any way! First off, Explorations Central rocks! There's actual people who know their business that you can talk to about exploring on your own as well as asking about the excursions. If you find yourself on board with Tom and Dorene, or one or the other, take advantage of their super-friendly and practical advice. Plus, the interactive huge maps are really helpful. Our cabin was kept meticulously clean; our stewards made a towel animal for us each night. We used the "bag-it-yourself" laundry service which impressed us with the speed of turnaround, the pressing, folding and hanging. This service was super for us because we traveled for 21 days total with only a carry-on apiece and a day bag. We didn't take suits for Gala Night and it didn't matter as we fit in just fine with collared shirts and lightweight trousers in the dining room. Don't miss the show where HAL partners with BBC Earth and all the on board musicians play a custom score. You're truly transported by the visuals and sound. Speaking of sound, Daniel did a tremendous job at all the shows we saw. We have to give a shout-out to the team at the Sea View bar and to all the great new friends we met there. A lot of people ask about smoking, and we found the Sea View bar area totally accommodating. Plus, having our cabin just one deck directly below was super convenient. We took the Olympus excursion from Katakolon and were so lucky to have the guide we did. She not only knew the area, but being an archaeologist and historian she shared legend and emotive history that brought the place to life. We took the excursion bus to Florence, which was also guided by a knowledgeable and friendly guide. When in Florence, look for the Pinocchio shop in the old town. As our bus guide told us, Pinocchio is made from Pino (pine) trees, and you see them all around. We took off for Rome on our own, by train. It was utterly fortuitous that we hailed a cab to get to the station for our return. Had we taken the underground instead, we would have missed the ship's departure. We took off to Nice from Monte Carlo too. Nice is so captivating that we realized quite late that we had 55 minutes to return to Monte Carlo to catch the last tender. Dorene had mentioned in a talk that if you find yourself in a pickle, just ask a local if they will use their phone and offer a couple of Euro coin. We did, and ended up having Bruno ride with us on the fast and worrisome cab ride back. His ability to translate the urgency of making the ship in time really helped! Whew! We were a couple of minutes late and were met by HAL staff, who pulled up all the tender equipment and took us, the last ones aboard, back to the ship. Of course the whole adventure made for a funny story to tell friends on board and to remember for years to come. We recommend HAL to everyone, and surely for this tremendous trip from Venice to Barcelona. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I planned this cruise 11 months out and chose it for its ports and time of year. We splurged and booked a Neptune suite. The ship was in great shape, the crew were friendly and eager to please, the food was for the most part ... Read More
My husband and I planned this cruise 11 months out and chose it for its ports and time of year. We splurged and booked a Neptune suite. The ship was in great shape, the crew were friendly and eager to please, the food was for the most part delicious and the ports were good. Embarkation was a breeze, in terminal and on ship in about 20 minutes. Our cabin was an aft wrap balcony and was wonderful. We did a combination of anytime dining, Lido market, Pinnacle grill and dive in. We found varied choices, most selections quite tasty, all food presented well and good service. We had the same table and steward in the main dining room and had a good experience each night. If we did not see anything on the main menu, they always had steak, salmon and pasta. The service was the usual slow pace but we enjoyed talking to our tablemates that varied each night. The lido had a good mix of food, a great salad bar, good dessert selection and ample seating. Dive in gave you a beeper and so you could wait on pool deck or pool bar until your food was ready. They had tasty burgers, hot dogs and fries. We ate one night in the Pinnacle Grill and the food and service were outstanding. The filet melted in your mouth. We did not participate in too many shipboard activities- we did play trivia one night, saw two shows in main stage, a few performances in other venues, listened to piano player in ocean bar before dinner a couple nights and used the explorations café for research. I played slots in Casino one night and it was fun and no smoke. We found all entertainment good and the venues superb. We did two shore excursions and they were both well organized, well led and informative. For the most part we did our own thing in the ports and had no issues with this. The cruise was port intensive with 12 days and 10 stops ie only one sea day. So every day was a new place and new things to see and do. This was fun but did get a bit tiring by day 11. We would certainly choose Holland America for a future cruise. It was a top notch voyage, we found the people on board to be in the 50-70 year old age bracket (our age), mostly American, Australian, British and Canadian. The service was outstanding and it was a pleasure to be on board. We did priority disembarkation in Rome and were off the ship by 740 am, it was easy and speedy. Our Rome Cabs driver was right outside and we were off to the airport. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I had never been to Europe, so we chose this cruise to get a good "sample" of countries. The 8 days at sea sailing across the Atlantic were relaxing and a great way to start our trip. The Oosterdam is a ... Read More
My husband and I had never been to Europe, so we chose this cruise to get a good "sample" of countries. The 8 days at sea sailing across the Atlantic were relaxing and a great way to start our trip. The Oosterdam is a beautiful, elegant ship. Our cabin was wonderful (see below). We loved all the ports except Huelva, Spain. If you dock there, you might want to take an excursion to Seville. We were there on a Sunday, and after taking a (free) shuttle to town, we couldn't do anything but walk, because everything was closed. The map provided did not include all streets, so it was hard to navigate. We walked for a couple of hours and returned to the ship. The food, in general, was wonderful. Such a nice variety, and something was always available. A few times, we suspected a change in chefs so that the same item was not as good on a different day. For example, we had extremely good cheesecake one day, but slices that tasted like "something was missing" on another day. Very minor, but noticeable. The entertainment was very good at first, but we got tired of repetition in the entertainment. The Motown singers were the best for us. We did not use the casino, which seemed empty most of the time. Fellow travelers seemed to like the cooking classes, although we did not attend. We used a tour company other than EXC Tours for most of our excursions because of price and reviews. One of our favorite excursions was the EXC "In the Footsteps of the Godfather" in Sicily. Wonderful trip into the hills to the towns where the European part of the movies were filmed. Our WORST excursion was also an EXC - a "romantic" gondola ride in Venice that ended up being anything but. For over $300, we had a 30 minute ride of which 10 minutes were holding in place for other gondolas. Our "ride for 2" ended up being a ride for 4 when they had a guitarist and singer jump in our boat. Our view ahead of us was the singer/musician. Terrible, disappointing, expensive experience! The crew on the ship was first class. Our room stewards were unbelievably friendly ad efficient. Almost all workers were quick with a greeting when you passed them anywhere on board. We are already going on another Holland cruise this year. We hope it will be as wonderful as the last. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first cruise with Holland America and our first Transatlantic cruise. The itinerary was like none we had seen and we were excited to be going to 16Ports! We were impressed with how quickly and smoothly the embarkation and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Holland America and our first Transatlantic cruise. The itinerary was like none we had seen and we were excited to be going to 16Ports! We were impressed with how quickly and smoothly the embarkation and disembarkation went. The Oosterdam was in dry dock prior to our departure from Fort Lauderdale. The two week refit in the Bahamas included: New bottom paint Bow thruster overhaul Asipod maintenance and paint New stage for the Main stage area Stairs removed from the Atrium area New guest services area New carpet in these areas Floors 4,5, and 1 were redone- prior drydock 6,7,8 New mattresses throughout New carpet in a lot of the landing areas, more to come All safety boats repainted Maintenance work on the chillers Emergency diesel work New countertops in Lido Lido aft teak deck replaced with composite material Deck 10 crows nest completely redone, now Exploration Central New logo on the ship funnels Maintenance on engines Est cost $12-13 million The overall ship condition was very good. There were some areas where the carpet still needs to be replaced. The new areas are very nice! Some areas in the Main Dining room Deck 2 could use some updating, but overall the area was very nice. The entertainment on board could be improved, the piano players were average at best, the comedian we went to see was not good and we left early. The BB King area had some good entertainment!! Overall the cruise director did not have much going on. This was fine for us, since there were so many excursions and port stops we were not around during the day and the evenings we did not stay up late. There were Microsoft computer classes, which were always full and very informative and some guest speakers with interesting topics, a movie and random other events. The spa and gym offered their usual "come in so I can up-sell you" seminars. Like learn how to look younger in 10 minutes, and it was "Restlyne fillers" for a high cost. The gym was nice, small but efficient. They never had music playing, which would have been nice. We dined everywhere except specialty restaurants. The breakfast at the Lido was also good and a wide variety, including made to order omelets and waffles! We usually ate lunch there too. The Dive Bar was great for burgers and fries! The dining room experience was one we looked forward to every evening! Our servers Nur and Ally were amazing and our food was excellent! We opted for anytime dining, which was great since we didn't know when we would want to dine, however we always requested our servers section and the staff was very accommodating. We enjoyed drinks at all the bars, and the happy hours from 4-5 in the Billboard Onboard and later the Lido pool. Late nights 10-11 Happy hour in the Gallery Bar for a great martini, buy one and next one for $2.00! The game area was next to this bar, so we would play a game of chess too! This is located next to the casino so it is a fun people watching area too! The ports we visited on this cruise were amazing! They were all great, and some we will definitely be going back to! Some ports were not close to the town areas and the ship charged a $14 pp fee for a shuttle. I think this should have been included. We only did 2 excursions with the ship, and others independently. The cruise excursions were long, and had too many guests and prices were not as good. We enjoyed the private and semi private tours we booked on our own. We met some really great people on the cruise, many who have been on several transatlantic cruises. It was interesting hearing about all their travels. We will be going on another cruise, and were very pleased with Holland America! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary (through the Panama Canal) and the fact we love HAL and prefer the smaller ships.We had done the Canal once before in 1996. We had the signature suite 8094, which was good size. Bathroom had ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary (through the Panama Canal) and the fact we love HAL and prefer the smaller ships.We had done the Canal once before in 1996. We had the signature suite 8094, which was good size. Bathroom had a whirlpool tub and shower plus another free standing shower and two sinks. Large balcony. We ate breakfast daily in the Lido, usually at the omelet station, made to order. Food was always excellent. We had lunch either in the Lido or the Dive Inn hotdog, hamburger cafe outside. A lot of time they had "tapas" in the Lido which sufficed for lunch. Also made to order salads. We really didn't notice any wear and tear on the ship because we were having too much fun. Maybe some paint missing in the elevators was about it. Many raved about the Pinnacle Restaurant, which was an added charge. I didn't think it was worth the extra and the menu doesn't change. The Vista, Main dining room, was great and of course, the menu changed daily. We got a meal in the Cannaletto given to us by my travel agent. It was an added charge restaurant and although it was nice, we won't do it again. We had the signature beverage package so no worry about added charges at the end. Our favorite part of the trip was the staff we met in the bars around the ship. They were above awesome. I would take this ship again whatever the itinerary just for the same people. We became very close to them. We loved the Lido Bar, BB King bar, the Pinnacle Bar and Billboard Bar.We loved the Trivia games and Bingo. We used the spa more than previously. I had some acupuncture sessions for knee pain that were amazing. My daughter and sis had several facials and manicures they were very happy with. I used the fitness center daily which was quite adequate. The Crow's Nest was great for watching the ocean go by and reading or internet. Unfortunately the internet availability was awful. i would never have spent the money if I knew it would just be wasted. Their reason for bad internet might be because we were in the middle of nowhere. Last year we cruised Princess, a sister ship, around South America and had much better reception so middle of nowhere is no excuse. I didn't take any of the ship's excursions but my kids did and were happy with all. Maybe we should have, especially in Corinto, Nicaragua, because there was nothing to do at the port. Probably my favorite cruise of all time!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because it was easy port to drive to and we wanted to celebrate my Mom’s 75th birthday on 02/26. The itinerary was round trip out of San Diego and the port stops were Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We stayed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was easy port to drive to and we wanted to celebrate my Mom’s 75th birthday on 02/26. The itinerary was round trip out of San Diego and the port stops were Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. We stayed in a Signature Suite. There were 3 adults in our room, one of whom used a rollator to get around off ship and used a cane to get around on ship. It was my first time sailing Holland America and some of the cruise critic postings made me wonder if this was the right line/ship for us. It turns out we had a great time. We bought the Thermal Suite spa passes and spent several hours relaxing there each day. We only made it to a couple of the shows, but we entertained ourselves with many hands of pinochle, thermal spa visits, reading on the balcony, and generally relaxing. In fact, we came home, and we all agreed that we wished it had been longer and we were ready for the next cruise. Pros: The smaller ship size meant that the buffet wasn’t too crazy and we always managed to sit in the same general area. The buffet was generally good and I was worried that the fact they had to serve many dishes v self serve would slow down the process, but it didn’t bother me on the ship. We liked the pool deck layout with so much space devoted to tables instead of loungers. It made it more useful for us. Cons: Main dining room food was pretty bland. I tried ordering some spicier dishes, but they always came out barely spiced. We would sail Holland America again if the price/itinerary was right for us. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We like the convenient departure from San Diego, the port call at Puerto Vallarta and Holland America hospitality. Cabo and Mazatlán were ok but nothing special. The food quality and variety was very good in the dining room and on the ... Read More
We like the convenient departure from San Diego, the port call at Puerto Vallarta and Holland America hospitality. Cabo and Mazatlán were ok but nothing special. The food quality and variety was very good in the dining room and on the Lido deck. One should have hamburger and fries at least once in the voyage. Formal dinners were enjoyed, especially the steak and lobster. The musical entertainment in the ships showroom, Lincoln Center, BB King venue was excellent and the comedian was very funny. There was a good selection of movies available but I did miss CNN, they had MSNBC and FOX.The embarkation and disembarkation was well organized and ran smoothly. We had a midship verandah room which was comfortable and clean. The Oosterdam is a very nice vessel and this was our 8th cruise with three on Holland America. The clientele are definitely on the mature side. I did read a book but did find the ships library to be on the meager side. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I have been on a bunch of Royal Caribbean cruises, in watching Scott singer's cruises I was wanting to get back to cruising again, but wanted to try Holland America, since the port is so close to me it's a great trip to go ... Read More
I have been on a bunch of Royal Caribbean cruises, in watching Scott singer's cruises I was wanting to get back to cruising again, but wanted to try Holland America, since the port is so close to me it's a great trip to go without flying! I was very pleased on how the overall cruise was, for me this one was for just relaxing and spending to some quality time with my daughter as well. this cruise was just my daughter and myself. I must say very happy the way Holland does there cruises, the service and food it what stood out to me. yeah this this line doesn't have the rock climbing wall, wave machine etc, but it is the old style of cruising of which I cherish. Without having to fly it was easier to upgrade the room to the Signature Suite! I love the layout of these suites, having a daughter go,makesthe bathroom double sink a bigger deal than I thought! plenty of room to spread out in the bathroom, plus having a separate shower was big deal too! Balcony - I always love being out on it. tough to cruise without a balcony, so I guess that's what happens when you get upgraded you can never go back to a regular room! overall I love Holland America, will be a customer for sure! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Four of us sailed from San Diego on January 3, 2018 on the upgraded Oosterdam. Having sailed on her years ago, I was, with one exception, pleasantly surprised. HAL has always had good service, and on this cruise the dining room staff was ... Read More
Four of us sailed from San Diego on January 3, 2018 on the upgraded Oosterdam. Having sailed on her years ago, I was, with one exception, pleasantly surprised. HAL has always had good service, and on this cruise the dining room staff was extremely understaffed. They soldiered on but it was the slowest service I have had in 28 cruises. One of the staff told me that part of the problem was that the Oosterdam was going in to dry dock and that some of the employees had ben assigned elsewhere in anticipation. Now for the good stuff: the parts of the ship they have remodeled are just beautiful, particularly the Atrium ( don't miss happy hour by the piano,) the dining room, and the buffet area. 10 years ago the ship looked like it was decorated by a clown with garish orange, purple and red primary colors. Also, we sprung for a signature suite and it was outstanding, particularly with the large tv and on demand movies. I used to bring my own coffee and French press on board but there is no longer that need; the new coffee is quite good. The food as a whole was better than the other 5 HAL cruises I have enjoyed. A highlight was Lincoln Center at sea, where a piano quintet played a couple of times per day; the five ladies were so very talented, and the concerts were quite well attended. Also, the new Billboard on Board was terrific for those of us who love piano bars. Unlike in the old days, everyone who wanted to could find a seat; one nit is that the casino is next-door and way too loud, annoying those of us enjoying the musicians. The BBC Earth focused game shows were fun, and the MainStage video of the Arctic poles, with accompanying live music was a highlight. The ships shows were mediocre otherwise. Every morning I would take coffee up to the Crows Nest, which is so comfortable and do the NY Times crossword puzzle. It was so civilized. In summary, if the Oosterdam gets back to standard HAL service, it is a wonderful ship, and HAL should be commended for fixing most of the problems, and enhancing the experience for those of us who drifted to Celebrity and Princess simply because the old ships were ugly. I look forward to trying the other Vista Class ships once they are upgraded like the Oosterdam and Westerdam have been. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
I am submitting the latest laundry package options for Oosterdam. I hope you find it helpful. These prices were current as of November 2017. Many times, laundry was returned clean in 12 hours, some times less. We had no issues with the ... Read More
I am submitting the latest laundry package options for Oosterdam. I hope you find it helpful. These prices were current as of November 2017. Many times, laundry was returned clean in 12 hours, some times less. We had no issues with the quality of the laundry service. I will say that my entire family enjoyed the cruise very much. The Panama Canal was amazing. The staff was great and attentive. The food was wonderful and tasty and convenient. On our return home, more than once we sat around the table, after dinner, wondering when someone would serve us dessert! Just kidding... We do miss having dessert every night. The pools were not suited for swimming laps but that's no problem since we disembarked and swam at multiple beaches. The rooms were quite comfortable. I did have some bug bites, which I believe were in my bed. However, my wife who slept in the same bed, did not have any bites. Go figure. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
The itinerary was changed because of the hurricanes and the ship only carried 1255 passengers according to the captain. This cruise was the first HAL Cruise we took 3 generations on. There were 6 and 8 yoear olds going to Club HAL and were ... Read More
The itinerary was changed because of the hurricanes and the ship only carried 1255 passengers according to the captain. This cruise was the first HAL Cruise we took 3 generations on. There were 6 and 8 yoear olds going to Club HAL and were very happy with their activities and gave the adults "me" time. The staff at the main dr were a delight with the kids every night doing origami creatures and brain teasers and magic tricks. The Lido staff discussed what it's like to live in Indonesia with the kids. The Windows Digital Workshops were the best. Have attended them on several different HAL ships and HAL is to be commended for their agreement with Microsoft to not charge for these excellent learning experiences. Lincoln Center Stage is my favorite music venue of the 3. The Crows Nest and Explorations Cafe are excellent areas for relaxation but the music at times was too intrusive. The Pinnacle Grill food is top notch and our adult children loved Sel De Mer seafood pop up on the one night it occurred. One of our best cruises! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I normally don't write reviews anymore, but having just read two reviews rating their Panama Canal cruises as average, I feel I need to give my opinion to help bring the average up to where it belongs. The ship is not ... Read More
I normally don't write reviews anymore, but having just read two reviews rating their Panama Canal cruises as average, I feel I need to give my opinion to help bring the average up to where it belongs. The ship is not "tired" as one reviewer said, in my opinion of course. The ship is in great shape. The food is "good but not excellent" one reviewer said. That can be said about almost every cruise and cruise line. This was my 37th cruise so I do have many with which to compare. There were many activities on board to keep one involved during the days and evenings. During the evening there was a quartet playing classical music, a couple at two pianos playing and singing popular music as well as the main shows, movies and the casino. The enrichment speaker and the Panama Canal movies were excellent. The cruise director, TJ, and his assistant Francisco were excellent, friendly and good humored. They were the only cruise director staff on this cruise so they had a lot to do. The trivia games were well attended and varied, being competitive and fun. The evening main shows were the best I have encountered on recent cruises. The ports were not very exciting to me but that is to be expected traveling from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. we did take a tour to San Jose, Costa Rica, and tour old town Cartagena, Columbia. It was the transit of the Panama Canal that was the feature of the cruise. We were well informed before entering the canal by the enrichment speakers and movies so we were prepared to see the highlights. There was a running narration as we progressed through the canal which also helped. Overall it was a wonderful cruise on a great ship. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Just got off Oct 7th (2017) Mexican Riviera cruise, and couldn't be more impressed with the updates to the Oosterdam. This is the fifth time we sailed on her, and she looks like a new build. We were in a Neptune suite, with a ... Read More
Just got off Oct 7th (2017) Mexican Riviera cruise, and couldn't be more impressed with the updates to the Oosterdam. This is the fifth time we sailed on her, and she looks like a new build. We were in a Neptune suite, with a gorgeous 55" LCD TV, tons of power outlets and USB jacks next to the bed, with updated furniture and bathroom with dual sinks and separate shower/bath combo. Embarkation went smoothly, as were let onto the ship at about 11:40. Lunch for Mariners was in the main dining room - also refurbished with nice chairs and tables. Dining: I started on a partly vegetarian kick, (eating meat only two days a week) and was pleased to see a separate vegetarian menu, as well as some very nice selections available every meal. We loved that HAL still allows us to have traditional dining, and we loved having our waiters and wine steward remember having our favorite drinks ready for us. My grand-niece (5) had to have a fruit plate every night, and our waiters made sure it was ready the moment we sat down. HAL has IMHO been cutting down the serving sizes on their meals, but as I have been getting older, it seems like I still can't finish everything. The surf and turf night is really popular, and my nephew ordered multiple lobster tails and filets. One of the best places to grab a lunch is the Dive In burger and hot dog spot near the pool. The fries are fantastic, as are the Nathan's hot dogs and the variations of burgers. Wish they were open later in the evening, FYI the burgers are available from room service 24/7. The Lido provides the usual cruise buffet choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a limited service for late night (10:30 - midnight). Very impressed at how nice and tidy the service stations were, makes the food more appetizing. Entertainment: The showroom was also updated with a huge LED backdrop video screen and multiple moving screens, all high resolution. The new dance numbers make very effective use of the panels - better than many Las Vegas shows IMO. The comedian and the magician/comedian were pretty good, although I remember seeing the comedian before (Andrew Kennedy). The casino was also upgraded, with lots of new slot machines and new felt on all the tables with some new games like Texas holdem bonus and a new 3 card poker variation called prime. Ports: We were surprised that the Las Caletas trip in Puerto Vallarta had only 3 tickets left, so my wife and I grabbed 2. The lunch buffet at LC was one of memorable meals of our trip. I bought an up-sold scuba dive on the catamaran on the way there. The dive was not offered by HAL, but my experience with the tour helped. I'm an advanced diver so with 2 other "C" card divers we went down with a dive master to see some submerged boat wrecks about 60' down. Mazatlan was fun, as we hired a van driver for a custom 3 hour tour for $20 a person. In Cabo, we made the mistake of trying to find the glass blowing factory near the tender point that was on the ship's shopping map. It hasn't been there for several years. We ended up taking cab to the real glass shop. Despite the error, we had a good time and bought some nice drinking glasses and napkin holders. Summary: Although we recently visited the same ports in March with a different line, we love the consistent service and quality of the HAL ships. And with the recent refurbishment of the Oosterdam, this short cruise ranked as one of our favorites (after 26 overall cruises). Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
In August 2017 my wife suffered a fully-detached retina. If you don't know, rehab from surgery requires no change in air pressure for at least 90 days. Well, that meant no flying and our Mediterranean Cruise in September 2017 had to ... Read More
In August 2017 my wife suffered a fully-detached retina. If you don't know, rehab from surgery requires no change in air pressure for at least 90 days. Well, that meant no flying and our Mediterranean Cruise in September 2017 had to be cancelled. Thankfully we had trip insurance so all non-refundable expenses were reimbursed. Six weeks later, we were in the doctor's office for another check-up. Since the eye was healing on schedule, we asked, "Can we take a vacation on a ship?" We live in Seattle so the doctor said, "Absolutely, yes"". A quick call to our AAA travel agent and, 9 days later, we left on a 7 day round-trip to Alaska on HA's Oosterdam. We selected this cruise because we'd previously been to Skagway and the Oosterdam's itinerary included Sitka (instead of Skagway) plus Hubbard Glacier (instead of Tracy Arm). We were so happy with our substitute cruise...while it wasn't Venice and the Adriatic, we had a wonderful time on the Oosterdam, with its emphasis on European Art and Holland America's partnerhsip with America's Test Kitchen. Sitka is a great city to visit...so much Russian and Native Northwest Indian history; we'd love to go back for a few days! If you every get to book a cruise that visits Hubbard Glacier, you'll be very impressed with the immensity of this glacier. Sailing up Tracy Arm provides spectacular scenary but Hubbard Glacier is so huge. Our ship's naturalist said our sunny, 45 degree day was the best weather of the entire 2017 cruising season to Alaska. What's not to love about that? We'd heard a few stories that HA caters to an older cruise clientele. From our first experience, this is probably true, at least compared to our other cruise experiences with Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. There were families with small kids and grandparents with grandchildren, just not as many as on other cruise lines. (Our cruise was in late September, well after the school year started, so that was probably a contributing factor.) We're nearly 70 and had a great time. We really loved the emphasis on classical art and music. Once again, the best part was meeting interesting travelers, which is true on every cruise anywhere. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We are regular cruisers with HAL. Our Cruise Consultant is excellent! She keeps notes, always remembers special details about us and our preferences. That makes a big difference - if you like to sleep in, stay up late, etc. These ... Read More
We are regular cruisers with HAL. Our Cruise Consultant is excellent! She keeps notes, always remembers special details about us and our preferences. That makes a big difference - if you like to sleep in, stay up late, etc. These little things are what make your trip. Our recent trip on Oosterdam was just amazing. The staff was outstanding, the food was excellent, the dining room at lunch allowed you to enjoy quick OR long lunches. The dining room was impeccable. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb Shank, and much more. The service was impeccable. Our servers were Ari & Aji. They are a great team. We love the easy, relaxing pace of this cruise. You can have action packed days at port and enjoy the much needed pampering at sea. Our room steward was amazing (Tegru). He kept our room immaculate, but we rarely saw him. This cruise has a great itinerary. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
The food was amazing! We were thrilled with the quality of the dining room food. They served LARGE scallops. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb ... Read More
The food was amazing! We were thrilled with the quality of the dining room food. They served LARGE scallops. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb Shank, and much more. The service was impeccable. Our servers were Ari & Aji. They are a great team. I was so sad on our last night. They spoiled us! The ship is older, but very clean. Our room attendant Tegru was outstanding. He kept our room perfect and left extras before we even asked. HAL has always been our favorite, but they have made some improvements that have considered the guests in every way. I loved the Lido - they have 4 stations for salad bar. Yes, they are manned and not self-serve, but I love this - it is CLEAN and they have about 50 items at each station and the server gives you exactly what you want! I had a lovely salad (different each day) and they were amazing. They also serve a hot meal, Asian, Carving Station, tapas plates and for those on the go - sandwiches. It was very organized and there was something for everyone. Ice cream was available pretty much all the time. Also, I loved the America's Test Kitchen - he was very entertaining and the little 30 minute segments were always fun. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Our very first cruise back in August 2003 was on Holland America's Amsterdam and we've been hooked on cruising ever since. Since then, we've taken 21 more cruises on a variety of different lines with Princess being the one ... Read More
Our very first cruise back in August 2003 was on Holland America's Amsterdam and we've been hooked on cruising ever since. Since then, we've taken 21 more cruises on a variety of different lines with Princess being the one we've taken most frequently. In 2009, we took two of our grandchildren on a cruise to Alaska and they are now 20 and 17 and still remember the experience as being terrific. On this cruise, we took their two younger siblings, ages almost 13 and 11 (he had his birthday on board). First, the overall experience was an 8 out of 10. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. This is our second trip on the Oosterdam and the ship has been updated so that it looks lovely. There was a very nice mix of ages..from large inter-generational families with children to middle age folks still working full time to the older retired people you often see on Holland America. Second, the food was exceptional..I'd give it a 9+ out of 10. There weren't quite as many selections as you get on Princess but what was served was of very high quality and delicious! I especially liked the fact that many offerings were already plated so that it increased the liklihood of you finishing what was served and reducing the wastefulness of taking too much and then not eating it all. We loved everything that we had from the dining room, from the afternoon tea, to the Lido Market (buffet) to the Dive In on the pool deck that served scrumptuous burgers, hot dogs and fries to the Crows Nest coffee bar with tiny sandwiches and desserts, etc. Third, the Entertainment. We don't cruise for the entertainment but we do enjoy shows, comedians and magic acts all of which we had on this cruise. I would rate the entertainment 6 out of 10...in other words, it was OK but nothing too special. Fourth, the stateroom. We had an ocean view cabin on the Main Deck which our room steward made up each night for the kids. The sofa made into a bed and above the sofa, a bunk type bed came out of the wall. It was ingenious really. We were cozy since there wasn't that much space but we all made it work. Fifth. We were pleasantly surprised by the activites for the kids. Ethan went to Club Hal just once and then spent a lot of time playing basketball on the top deck. Audrey stayed close to us for the first few days and then found friends at The Loft which is fo 13-17 year olds and then we hardly saw her after that! Sixth. Shore excursions. Since this is our 6th cruise to Alaska (we live in the Seattle area), we chose excursions this time aimed at giving the kids an overview understanding of this great state without breaking the bank. So in Juneau we explored an old gold mine and panned for gold and also rode the Mt. Roberts Tram where you can see Juneau from 1800 ft. in the air and visit some raptors. In Sitka (my favorite Alaska cruise port), we visited the largest Raptor sanctuary in the state and did a rainforest walk through part of the Tongass National Forest where we saw extraordinary Totem Poles. In Ketchikan where they say it rains 375 days a year (and it rained when we were there as well), we had fun riding in an amphibious vehicle that went from riding on land to going into the bay where we saw many eagles perched on all kind of places. We also watched the Lumberjack Show which was great fun and not to be missed. All in all, Alaska is a very special place which should be on everyone's bucket list. We were happy with Holland America but we've also been there with RCL and Princess so whatever ship you choose, it;s a wonderful experience. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
My husband contacted our cruise specialist, and they set the whole thing up. Dennis had previously researched the HAL website, and knew what he wanted before booking. We had an aft-Neptune suite. Em and disembarkation were as expected. ... Read More
My husband contacted our cruise specialist, and they set the whole thing up. Dennis had previously researched the HAL website, and knew what he wanted before booking. We had an aft-Neptune suite. Em and disembarkation were as expected. Everything and everyone were so wonderful! I have low vision, and was assisted by staff and my husband. All you had to do was ask for whatever, and would be granted. Our stateroom was Upper Verandah #6177, and had the best view in the house. Activities drew our interest, especially "America's Test Kitchen" and the Naturalists slideshow presentation of the glaciers. We only went to two excursions, Mendenhall Glacier with fish hatchery and salmon bake. The food was out of this world! Of course, we did go into Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria. Our tour of the Castle was so that we'd like to return again, just to see more details of the city. Ketchikan was the same way. Food aboard was totally top-notch. It gives one a chance to explore new cuisine. The ship itself was just the right size for us and our lifestyle. Not too large or small. To us, it was more personable. We had such a terrific time, and were quite impressed! 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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