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Oosterdam  Mexican Riviera This was the 3rd time I sailed with Holland America so I though it would all be predictable but I came across a few surprises. I was traveling with three friends and we flew in the day before to ensure we would not miss our cruise because of storms cancellations or flight delays. I checked into the Hyatt and had a fantastic view of the Navy and cruise ships in the bay. It was only about a 20-minute walk to the cruise ship the next day but we took a taxi to the port and avoided hauling the luggage by foot. The check in process took 45 minutes from when we dropped off our luggage to the time we walked onto the ship. The lady that checked us in was consistently sarcastic and confrontational stating that we should have provided out mariner ID # when we made our reservation and next time I should put a string around my finger. My last name was completely wrong and she blamed it on my travel agent. Finally we boarded, the line kept moving pretty fast. Once on board we had lunch at in the Lido and went to our rooms. I had a Superior Veranda Suite #6100, it was roomy, big balcony, nice bedding, Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. I had the Mini Bar manager inventory the fridge and lock it so he would not need to knock on our door everyday chanting mini bar mini bar to see if we drank anything. Our stops were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, & Puerto Vallarta. We all were excited to register for the Canopy tour however it was sold out before everyone even came on board so my friends and I were pretty bummed out. They gave up trying and I checked the tour KIOSK every few hours and when someone cancelled their Canopy Tour and their ticket was for sale again I snatched it up. In Cabo San Lukas we did the Kayak and Snorkel adventure, we kayaked for about ½ mile and came right up to the sea lions&they were very cool and did not mind our curiosity, we then kayaked to lovers beach and rested. At lovers beach there are two sides, the calm side where you can snorkel and the Pacific side that you can look at but stay out of unless you want to be like a ant being washed out to sea & the waves on the Pacific Side were about 20 feet tall and very dangerous, my instincts told me to keep a healthy distance. Snorkeling in the calm side was very cold and uneventful as there were few fish. The Canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta was fantastic, we took a bus from the pier to a boat and then the boat took us to their office. Once at the office we took a truck to the canopy tour location. For about 14 separate (Zip Lines) we were flying sky high from tree to tree&Im afraid of heights but sometimes its good to face your fears&I loved it. At the end we rappelled back to the forest bottom, walked 20 minutes back to camp for the 1hour truck ride back to the pier leaving plenty of time to hit the city for shopping. Mazatlan was interesting, I grabbed a taxi and he took me to town &.there was a market place that was absolutely huge, bustling with the local residence shopping for this & that. There was pork for sale with the pigs head on top of the slabs of meat to let you know it was pork? (I was a vegetarian for a few days after that). Everything was for sale out of tents, on the sidewalk, and indoor warehouse shops. I walked around Mazatlan for about 6 hours breathing in the Diesel fumes and distinct odor of sewage before my headache said its time to go home. I know it may be strange to some people but I wanted to experience Mexico¬ just the shirt & sunglass shop at the end of the pier. The prices for CDs and DVDs were about 1 or 2 dollars. The prices for goods and services near the touristy hotels and the pier are about 2 or 3 times what people pay in the US however if you go where the locals go and can haggle& you can find good buys on everything from a fantastic 75 minute massage or that cool wood carving or porcelain dish you just have to have. Remember your taxi drivers at the pier usually speaks English and can take you to where ever you want just let them know exactly what you want, then haggle and agree over the price of the ride BEFORE you get in and off you go! Back at the ship I took a nap, shook off the headache, and grabbed a bite to eat. The employees on Holland Americas Oosterdam (Filipino and Indonesian) are friendly, helpful, professional, and hard working. The shows were so so and the Filipino Crew Show is always is a hit! The food is fantastic and I soon learned to avoid the long lines, crowding, and searching for a table on the LIDO deck, it was always more pleasant, & relaxing to have a site down meal (Breakfast & Lunch) in the dinning rooms - dressed casual. Dinner in the Vista Dining Room was outstanding, Charlie was our head waiter and he was great. Things are a changing for evening fine dinning&&..The surf and turf are now surf OR turf, & the sirloin strip steak, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and chicken options at the bottom of the menu have been removed, & the cost of beer and cocktails have really gone up in a very short time. The 10 free minutes of internet access coupon comes with a hidden $4.00 activation fee and you need to negotiate the coupon with the internet manager, if you can find the internet manager that is&&.I say just save yourself the headache and ****throw the coupon away!**** I attended the Cruise Critic meeting and the hotel manager was there to answer any questions, instead of being defensive or making excuses for any faults that the cruise critic members brought up he simply agreed and explained in granular detail why things were the way they were and also gave us info on what cruises will be like in the future. I was shocked and very pleased with his integrity, frankness, and positive attitude. In conclusion, Holland Americas Oosterdam is a fine ship with a fine crew however it is owned by Carnival and is struggling to find its own unique identify. I was informed by a few Holland America employees that they are pressed with budget cuts, its a constant struggle to squeeze bigger and bigger profits out of its passengers with out being seen as just another generic run of the mill cruise line that nickels and dimes its passengers at every turn. Will Holland America maintain its premium status or will Holland Americas fleet be the same as Carnivals ships with a different paint job on the outside? I do not know the answer to this however the one consistent value I see that sets Holland America apart from the other major cruise lines is the noticeable lack of children (God Bless Them!) running around, undisciplined, screaming, unsupervised, and there is also a more mature passenger manifest that replaces the spring break students (God bless them all!) that come with their unique party hearty ambitions. If you're looking for a great value, peace, tranquility, boredom, then Holland America may be just the thing to get you relaxed and ready to take on the world!

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by Celebrationcruise

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2006
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Oosterdam  Mexican Riviera
This was the 3rd time I sailed with Holland America so I though it would all be predictable but I came across a few surprises.
I was traveling with three friends and we flew in the day before to ensure we would not miss our cruise because of storms cancellations or flight delays. I checked into the Hyatt and had a fantastic view of the Navy and cruise ships in the bay. It was only about a 20-minute walk to the cruise ship the next day but we took a taxi to the port and avoided hauling the luggage by foot.
The check in process took 45 minutes from when we dropped off our luggage to the time we walked onto the ship. The lady that checked us in was consistently sarcastic and confrontational stating that we should have provided out mariner ID # when we made our reservation and next time I should put a string around my finger. My last name was completely wrong and she blamed it on my travel agent.
Finally we boarded, the line kept moving pretty fast. Once on board we had lunch at in the Lido and went to our rooms. I had a Superior Veranda Suite #6100, it was roomy, big balcony, nice bedding, Jacuzzi tub and separate shower. I had the Mini Bar manager inventory the fridge and lock it so he would not need to knock on our door everyday chanting mini bar mini bar to see if we drank anything.
Our stops were Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, & Puerto Vallarta. We all were excited to register for the Canopy tour however it was sold out before everyone even came on board so my friends and I were pretty bummed out. They gave up trying and I checked the tour KIOSK every few hours and when someone cancelled their Canopy Tour and their ticket was for sale again I snatched it up. In Cabo San Lukas we did the Kayak and Snorkel adventure, we kayaked for about ½ mile and came right up to the sea lions&they were very cool and did not mind our curiosity, we then kayaked to lovers beach and rested. At lovers beach there are two sides, the calm side where you can snorkel and the Pacific side that you can look at but stay out of unless you want to be like a ant being washed out to sea & the waves on the Pacific Side were about 20 feet tall and very dangerous, my instincts told me to keep a healthy distance. Snorkeling in the calm side was very cold and uneventful as there were few fish.
The Canopy tour in Puerto Vallarta was fantastic, we took a bus from the pier to a boat and then the boat took us to their office. Once at the office we took a truck to the canopy tour location. For about 14 separate (Zip Lines) we were flying sky high from tree to tree&Im afraid of heights but sometimes its good to face your fears&I loved it. At the end we rappelled back to the forest bottom, walked 20 minutes back to camp for the 1hour truck ride back to the pier leaving plenty of time to hit the city for shopping.
Mazatlan was interesting, I grabbed a taxi and he took me to town &.there was a market place that was absolutely huge, bustling with the local residence shopping for this & that. There was pork for sale with the pigs head on top of the slabs of meat to let you know it was pork? (I was a vegetarian for a few days after that). Everything was for sale out of tents, on the sidewalk, and indoor warehouse shops. I walked around Mazatlan for about 6 hours breathing in the Diesel fumes and distinct odor of sewage before my headache said its time to go home. I know it may be strange to some people but I wanted to experience Mexico¬ just the shirt & sunglass shop at the end of the pier. The prices for CDs and DVDs were about 1 or 2 dollars. The prices for goods and services near the touristy hotels and the pier are about 2 or 3 times what people pay in the US however if you go where the locals go and can haggle& you can find good buys on everything from a fantastic 75 minute massage or that cool wood carving or porcelain dish you just have to have. Remember your taxi drivers at the pier usually speaks English and can take you to where ever you want just let them know exactly what you want, then haggle and agree over the price of the ride BEFORE you get in and off you go! Back at the ship I took a nap, shook off the headache, and grabbed a bite to eat.
The employees on Holland Americas Oosterdam (Filipino and Indonesian) are friendly, helpful, professional, and hard working. The shows were so so and the Filipino Crew Show is always is a hit!
The food is fantastic and I soon learned to avoid the long lines, crowding, and searching for a table on the LIDO deck, it was always more pleasant, & relaxing to have a site down meal (Breakfast & Lunch) in the dinning rooms - dressed casual.
Dinner in the Vista Dining Room was outstanding, Charlie was our head waiter and he was great. Things are a changing for evening fine dinning&&..The surf and turf are now surf OR turf, & the sirloin strip steak, baked potato, shrimp cocktail, and chicken options at the bottom of the menu have been removed, & the cost of beer and cocktails have really gone up in a very short time. The 10 free minutes of internet access coupon comes with a hidden $4.00 activation fee and you need to negotiate the coupon with the internet manager, if you can find the internet manager that is&&.I say just save yourself the headache and ****throw the coupon away!****
I attended the Cruise Critic meeting and the hotel manager was there to answer any questions, instead of being defensive or making excuses for any faults that the cruise critic members brought up he simply agreed and explained in granular detail why things were the way they were and also gave us info on what cruises will be like in the future. I was shocked and very pleased with his integrity, frankness, and positive attitude. In conclusion, Holland Americas Oosterdam is a fine ship with a fine crew however it is owned by Carnival and is struggling to find its own unique identify. I was informed by a few Holland America employees that they are pressed with budget cuts, its a constant struggle to squeeze bigger and bigger profits out of its passengers with out being seen as just another generic run of the mill cruise line that nickels and dimes its passengers at every turn. Will Holland America maintain its premium status or will Holland Americas fleet be the same as Carnivals ships with a different paint job on the outside? I do not know the answer to this however the one consistent value I see that sets Holland America apart from the other major cruise lines is the noticeable lack of children (God Bless Them!) running around, undisciplined, screaming, unsupervised, and there is also a more mature passenger manifest that replaces the spring break students (God bless them all!) that come with their unique party hearty ambitions.
If you're looking for a great value, peace, tranquility, boredom, then Holland America may be just the thing to get you relaxed and ready to take on the world!
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