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As this was our first time sailing with HAL, didn't know what to expect as previous reviews I had read varied considerably, From the time we arrived at the pier in Seattle until we were onboard, it was totally hassle-free, the lines moved freely and there were people to assist & direct all the way. When we did board we found we were able to go straight to our cabin, at 11.30am, which was a surprise considering the ship had only docked at 7.00am. Every staff member we met through the week were the friendliest, happiest and most efficient I have ever come across, nothing was any trouble! The food equalled any I have had although on our Alaska leg (we were doing back-to-back cruises) the variety in the Lido was a bit limited. (this changed on the next section of our cruise back to Australia). The meals in the Pinnacle Grill were outstanding and our wait staff great! We chose Open dining in the main dining room and always had fantastic service. The ship never appeared crowded even at peak times when people were going for dinner or shows. The shows we saw were first rate and the other activities were either very entertaining or informative. Loved the Crows Nest where we visited each day to have coffee from Explorations cafe, catch up with new friends, read or just look out at the ocean. Port days were well organised and it was easy leaving & returning to the ship, except one day when the line for disembarking was quite long. Our cabin was not large but certainly had enough space to hang & stow all our things for a 31 day cruise, even enough room under the bed to store our 4 big bags. The cabin was kept immaculate every day by our beautiful stewards, who also topped up fresh fruit & ice every day. We would sail again on Oosterdam & HAL in a heartbeat, it was a wonderful experience.

Inside Passage to Alaska

Oosterdam Cruise Review by Begavalley

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2012
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
As this was our first time sailing with HAL, didn't know what to expect as previous reviews I had read varied considerably, From the time we arrived at the pier in Seattle until we were onboard, it was totally hassle-free, the lines moved freely and there were people to assist & direct all the way. When we did board we found we were able to go straight to our cabin, at 11.30am, which was a surprise considering the ship had only docked at 7.00am.

Every staff member we met through the week were the friendliest, happiest and most efficient I have ever come across, nothing was any trouble! The food equalled any I have had although on our Alaska leg (we were doing back-to-back cruises) the variety in the Lido was a bit limited. (this changed on the next section of our cruise back to Australia). The meals in the Pinnacle Grill were outstanding and our wait staff great! We chose Open dining in the main dining room and always had fantastic service.

The ship never appeared crowded even at peak times when people were going for dinner or shows. The shows we saw were first rate and the other activities were either very entertaining or informative.

Loved the Crows Nest where we visited each day to have coffee from Explorations cafe, catch up with new friends, read or just look out at the ocean.

Port days were well organised and it was easy leaving & returning to the ship, except one day when the line for disembarking was quite long.

Our cabin was not large but certainly had enough space to hang & stow all our things for a 31 day cruise, even enough room under the bed to store our 4 big bags. The cabin was kept immaculate every day by our beautiful stewards, who also topped up fresh fruit & ice every day. We would sail again on Oosterdam & HAL in a heartbeat, it was a wonderful experience.
Begavalley’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
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Service

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VA 5128
5128 - aft location, quiet, close to lifts/stairs, good closet & underbed space, balcony looks down on last lifeboat (16)
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Mendenhall Glacier
    After brief drive through city, arrived at Mendenhall Glacier where we had around 1 hour to check out the glacier, which was amazing! Saw mother black bear & 2 cubs as a bonus. The Information centre there had very good displays and also gave good view of the glacier from higher up. Also went to the Salmon Hatchery and had the Alaskan Salmon bake which were interesting & yummy!
    View All 649 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
  • City Tour
    Interesting city tour, stopping at Saxman Totem Village for some history of the totem poles. Then drove out to end of road to an historic salmon cannery where we were shown how the process worked. Also had tasty salmon snacks with drinks provided before boarding small boat to cruise back down the lakes to the town of Ketchikan. Guide was extremely knowledgeable.
    View All 43 City Tour Reviews
  • Saxman Native Village
    Very interesting history of totem poles.
    View All 75 Saxman Native Village Reviews
  • Scenic Cruise
    Beautiful scenery
    View All 5 Scenic Cruise Reviews
  • City Tour
    Covered a lot of the city which is quite beautiful, however driver was quite the cynic and seemed to concentrate on private homes.
    View All 45 City Tour Reviews
  • High Tea at the Empress Hotel
    Beautiful gracious old building in perfect setting, a taste of days gone by. Introduced by host and then served strawberries & cream before she poured our first cup of tea. The array of foods went from savoury treats to scones, jam & cream , to sweet goodies. Very generous helpings and bottomless tea cups.
    View All 17 High Tea at the Empress Hotel Reviews