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Hello from Nebraska! As I sit here on New Years Eve, the most rememberable time of 2005 was our cruise to Mexico. This was a special cruise for us, for several reasons. It was our 20th wedding anniversary,we had our son who will be graduating from high school, and we went over the Thanksgiving holiday. Arriving in San Diego on a beautiful sunny day, Holland America Reps. were there to greet us and make sure we got on the bus with our luggage. All went smooth at the airport. Embarkation was a breeze, and partly it was because we had all our paperwork filled out online beforehand, and partly because we had a Deluxe Suite, which definitely is worth the amenities. I think it only took about 30mins. and we were on board and to our room. The Oosterdam is a beautiful ship, and we explored the ship while waiting to sail off into the sunset. They had food and drinks available while we waited for the sailoff party. Everything was clean, and the room even smelled clean. We had a bottle of Champagne and a surprise bouquet of a dozen red roses from our friends back home, honoring our anniversary. So of course we had to start celebrating! The cabin is very comfortable for 3 people, and we spent a lot of time on the balcony enjoying the views. The 3 ports we visited were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Our favorite was Cabos. We went horseback riding on the beach, which was a great view, but the poor mexican horses were on the skinny and overroad side. We own horses, so this was a big disappointment to us. The town, is clean and friendly, and easy to get around in. We didn't spend any time in Mazatlan, because we chose the tour of Stone Island...It is a very laid back Mexican village, with a beautiful beach. If you don't like vendors, then you'll be bothered by them on the beach. We spent the whole day there, just relaxing and took a small tour of the village in a horse and cart. Learned a little of the lifestyle of the fishing village, ate some of the local food. It was good. Puerto Vallarta is basically Miami! We saw Wal-Marts, KYC, and lots of American influences. We took the Dune Buggy tour up into the MTs. and it was a very dirty but truly fun trip. Also did some parasailing from the beach. My guys really enjoyed that. Did a little shopping on the boardwalk, but didn't find any real bargains. I'm sure if we spent more time looking we would of found other interesting things to do, but we were tired and went back to the ship early evening. Now for the best part of the cruise. We had arranged beforehand to Renew our Wedding vows. It is something every couple should do on a cruise ship. The ship had all the formalities covered, from the invitations,to the ceremony...which by the way was performed by the Captain himself..John Mercer..who is a very outgoing and pleasant man. To the reception, and even a violinist,with a piano player, in the background. There were 4 couples that nite, and the Captain did each one of the Renewal Vows separately. It was a very romantic ceremony, and very emotional for all of the couples. Our son was there with us and even he was impressed. So take my advice and go for it... Dinner in the Pinnacle grill was spectacular, part of the vows package also. Then the ship presented us with a photo album with photos and a copy of the vows we said, plus a signed certificate from the captain...Very well done Holland America. The food on the ship was always great and presented well. We enjoyed the shows, and attended as many as we could. The teen room must of been a good hangout, since we hardly saw our son the whole trip. He met several kids his age, and they all got along great. He's made some good friends. They always had something going on for them to do in the evenings especially, which my son attended and then talked about it the next day...that's a good sign. There were 400 kids on the cruise and we hardly ever saw any of them...so I think the kids program worked well. As usual, the cruise ended way to soon for me, and then it's back to reality..and doing my own cooking and dishes. The amenities that come with a Deluxe Suite is quite a treat for us, and I won't cruise any other way. The Neptune Lounge just for Suite guests was very handy for many things...including wonderful snacks all the time. The laundry service that comes with it..is very handy to have. The entire cruise was wonderful and a great time to spend with my family. The views of Mexico are breathtaking and even the weather wasn't to bad. Good cruise for all ages,,,by the way we are mid forties...and there were a lot of younger families on this cruise, which I'm sure was because of the thanksgiving holiday. So we were kind of the "older crowd"..so to speak. I could go on and on..but hopefully this will give you an idea of how what the ship Oosterdam has to offer, and a little insight on the Renewal Wedding Vows package...All of it was well worth our money. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful 2006 as you cruise off into the sunset.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by zimabeer

Trip Details
Hello from Nebraska! As I sit here on New Years Eve, the most rememberable time of 2005 was our cruise to Mexico. This was a special cruise for us, for several reasons. It was our 20th wedding anniversary,we had our son who will be graduating from high school, and we went over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Arriving in San Diego on a beautiful sunny day, Holland America Reps. were there to greet us and make sure we got on the bus with our luggage. All went smooth at the airport. Embarkation was a breeze, and partly it was because we had all our paperwork filled out online beforehand, and partly because we had a Deluxe Suite, which definitely is worth the amenities. I think it only took about 30mins. and we were on board and to our room.
The Oosterdam is a beautiful ship, and we explored the ship while waiting to sail off into the sunset. They had food and drinks available while we waited for the sailoff party. Everything was clean, and the room even smelled clean. We had a bottle of Champagne and a surprise bouquet of a dozen red roses from our friends back home, honoring our anniversary. So of course we had to start celebrating!
The cabin is very comfortable for 3 people, and we spent a lot of time on the balcony enjoying the views. The 3 ports we visited were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta. Our favorite was Cabos. We went horseback riding on the beach, which was a great view, but the poor mexican horses were on the skinny and overroad side. We own horses, so this was a big disappointment to us. The town, is clean and friendly, and easy to get around in. We didn't spend any time in Mazatlan, because we chose the tour of Stone Island...It is a very laid back Mexican village, with a beautiful beach. If you don't like vendors, then you'll be bothered by them on the beach. We spent the whole day there, just relaxing and took a small tour of the village in a horse and cart. Learned a little of the lifestyle of the fishing village, ate some of the local food. It was good. Puerto Vallarta is basically Miami! We saw Wal-Marts, KYC, and lots of American influences. We took the Dune Buggy tour up into the MTs. and it was a very dirty but truly fun trip. Also did some parasailing from the beach. My guys really enjoyed that. Did a little shopping on the boardwalk, but didn't find any real bargains. I'm sure if we spent more time looking we would of found other interesting things to do, but we were tired and went back to the ship early evening.
Now for the best part of the cruise. We had arranged beforehand to Renew our Wedding vows. It is something every couple should do on a cruise ship. The ship had all the formalities covered, from the invitations,to the ceremony...which by the way was performed by the Captain himself..John Mercer..who is a very outgoing and pleasant man. To the reception, and even a violinist,with a piano player, in the background. There were 4 couples that nite, and the Captain did each one of the Renewal Vows separately. It was a very romantic ceremony, and very emotional for all of the couples. Our son was there with us and even he was impressed. So take my advice and go for it...
Dinner in the Pinnacle grill was spectacular, part of the vows package also. Then the ship presented us with a photo album with photos and a copy of the vows we said, plus a signed certificate from the captain...Very well done Holland America.
The food on the ship was always great and presented well. We enjoyed the shows, and attended as many as we could.
The teen room must of been a good hangout, since we hardly saw our son the whole trip. He met several kids his age, and they all got along great. He's made some good friends. They always had something going on for them to do in the evenings especially, which my son attended and then talked about it the next day...that's a good sign. There were 400 kids on the cruise and we hardly ever saw any of them...so I think the kids program worked well.
As usual, the cruise ended way to soon for me, and then it's back to reality..and doing my own cooking and dishes.
The amenities that come with a Deluxe Suite is quite a treat for us, and I won't cruise any other way. The Neptune Lounge just for Suite guests was very handy for many things...including wonderful snacks all the time. The laundry service that comes with it..is very handy to have.
The entire cruise was wonderful and a great time to spend with my family. The views of Mexico are breathtaking and even the weather wasn't to bad. Good cruise for all ages,,,by the way we are mid forties...and there were a lot of younger families on this cruise, which I'm sure was because of the thanksgiving holiday. So we were kind of the "older crowd"..so to speak. I could go on and on..but hopefully this will give you an idea of how what the ship Oosterdam has to offer, and a little insight on the Renewal Wedding Vows package...All of it was well worth our money. Thanks for reading and have a wonderful 2006 as you cruise off into the sunset.
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