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This was my 6th cruise, my partner's 2nd. It's the first time I've sailed Holland America, my previous 5 cruises have all been on Royal Caribbean Voyager class ships. I am 37 years old. We sailed out of San Diego. A friend of mine drove us to the port, which is very near the airport, and very easy to locate. We embarked around 2:30pm on Saturday and were surprised at how smooth and easy it was. We didn't have to wait in line at all. We were onboard in a matter of minutes. We made our way to our stateroom, number 6016, which is near the bow of the ship. The stateroom was very nice, and about the same size as the cabins on the Royal Caribbean ships. The bed was far better though! It was bigger and extremely comfortable. I think they have pillowtop mattresses or something, because it was just amazingly comfortable. While the bathroom was a little bit dark and dingy, it was nice to have a small bathtub instead of just a shower stall. The verandah was very nice. It felt slightly bigger than on the Royal Caribbean ships, and had nice, wicker furniture. While the average age on board seemed somewhat older than on the other ships I've been on, this was actually perfect for the type of cruise we were looking for. We wanted a low-key relaxing vacation, which is what we got. There are plenty of activities onboard, and we did participate in some of them: line dancing, Karaoke, casino, sail-away parties. If you're looking for a relaxing cruise, Holland America is really quite perfect, I thought. The ship was very nice, but there were a couple of things I didn't like about it. To me, the main pool area was very poorly designed. I know they put the retractable cover on it because the ship also sails to Alaska, but it creates a very closed feeling in that area. It also makes the observation deck above it pretty unattractive. I much prefer the open, tiered-deck set-up of the RCCL Voyager class ships. That being said, the aft pool area, which was the Adults Only pool area, was quite nice. It was open, and had a much better feel to it. We spent all of our outdoor time there, hardly going to the other pool area at all. We also like the fact that you can go to the very tip of the bow on the RCCL ships. We couldn't get there on this ship. The food on this cruise was excellent, definitely a step up from the other cruises I've been on. The service was professional without being intrusive. The dining room was very elegant and nicely lit. We took a tour of the kitchen one day, which was interesting and fun...to see where the magic happens (yes, we're total foodies). We switched dining tables after the first night because we wanted a smaller table with some people we had met the first day, and the dining room staff was very accommodating and helpful in getting us the table setup we wanted. Kudos to Holland America there. What we saw of the entertainment was generally good. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as on the Royal Caribbean ships from what I'd read/heard, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cast for the production shows was equal to those that I've seen on RCCL ships. I thought they did an excellent job. We opted to skip the juggler/comedian show and a Beatles cover band show. Other people told us they were very good, but we just weren't that interested. We went to the Superstar (American Idol type) competition one night in lieu of the show, and stayed in Puerto Vallarta until 9:30pm the other night. Ports of call were generally good. We went whale watching in Cabo - made arrangements with someone on the pier for $35/person. It was great! They took us out (just the two of us) in a small motor boat. We were able to get very close to the whales, and also saw dolphins and manta rays. Very cool! We also ate at a great Mexican cantina here called Pancho's. Mazatlan was interesting, but very poor. We walked through the streets of Old Mazatlan and were struck by the amount of poverty. We took a ferry over to Isla de la Piedra where there was a nice, secluded beach. It was nice and relaxing. Puerto Vallarta was, by far, our favorite port. We had some friends there, who took us to a beautiful beach, showed us around town, took us to a fantastic restaurant called Le Bistro, followed by a gallery walk to many of the local art galleries. What an amazing day/evening! The service on this cruise was top-notch. The cabin steward was excellent. He remembered our names, and always greeted us in the hallway. He learned our schedule (we sleep late), and never interrupted us. Our room was spotless every time we came back to it. We used room service for breakfast on the verandah twice. This is one of my favorite things to do on a cruise! The food was delicious, and showed up right on time. Service in the dining room was terrific as well. Bar servers were good too, and were a little less pushy with drinks than on RCCL. Disembarkation was very easy and well organized. The fact that you can wait in your cabin until your group is called to disembark is fantastic! We were actually able to sleep in until 8:30am on the morning of disembarkation. This is a rarity on cruises. Holland America gets serious props for this policy. We had a fantastic time on this cruise, and were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked Holland America and the Oosterdam. I highly recommend this ship and cruise line.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by scooter0304

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2006
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
This was my 6th cruise, my partner's 2nd. It's the first time I've sailed Holland America, my previous 5 cruises have all been on Royal Caribbean Voyager class ships. I am 37 years old. We sailed out of San Diego. A friend of mine drove us to the port, which is very near the airport, and very easy to locate.
We embarked around 2:30pm on Saturday and were surprised at how smooth and easy it was. We didn't have to wait in line at all. We were onboard in a matter of minutes.
We made our way to our stateroom, number 6016, which is near the bow of the ship. The stateroom was very nice, and about the same size as the cabins on the Royal Caribbean ships. The bed was far better though! It was bigger and extremely comfortable. I think they have pillowtop mattresses or something, because it was just amazingly comfortable. While the bathroom was a little bit dark and dingy, it was nice to have a small bathtub instead of just a shower stall. The verandah was very nice. It felt slightly bigger than on the Royal Caribbean ships, and had nice, wicker furniture.
While the average age on board seemed somewhat older than on the other ships I've been on, this was actually perfect for the type of cruise we were looking for. We wanted a low-key relaxing vacation, which is what we got. There are plenty of activities onboard, and we did participate in some of them: line dancing, Karaoke, casino, sail-away parties. If you're looking for a relaxing cruise, Holland America is really quite perfect, I thought. The ship was very nice, but there were a couple of things I didn't like about it. To me, the main pool area was very poorly designed. I know they put the retractable cover on it because the ship also sails to Alaska, but it creates a very closed feeling in that area. It also makes the observation deck above it pretty unattractive. I much prefer the open, tiered-deck set-up of the RCCL Voyager class ships. That being said, the aft pool area, which was the Adults Only pool area, was quite nice. It was open, and had a much better feel to it. We spent all of our outdoor time there, hardly going to the other pool area at all. We also like the fact that you can go to the very tip of the bow on the RCCL ships. We couldn't get there on this ship.
The food on this cruise was excellent, definitely a step up from the other cruises I've been on. The service was professional without being intrusive. The dining room was very elegant and nicely lit. We took a tour of the kitchen one day, which was interesting and fun...to see where the magic happens (yes, we're total foodies). We switched dining tables after the first night because we wanted a smaller table with some people we had met the first day, and the dining room staff was very accommodating and helpful in getting us the table setup we wanted. Kudos to Holland America there.
What we saw of the entertainment was generally good. I wasn't expecting it to be as good as on the Royal Caribbean ships from what I'd read/heard, but I was pleasantly surprised. The cast for the production shows was equal to those that I've seen on RCCL ships. I thought they did an excellent job. We opted to skip the juggler/comedian show and a Beatles cover band show. Other people told us they were very good, but we just weren't that interested. We went to the Superstar (American Idol type) competition one night in lieu of the show, and stayed in Puerto Vallarta until 9:30pm the other night.
Ports of call were generally good. We went whale watching in Cabo - made arrangements with someone on the pier for $35/person. It was great! They took us out (just the two of us) in a small motor boat. We were able to get very close to the whales, and also saw dolphins and manta rays. Very cool! We also ate at a great Mexican cantina here called Pancho's. Mazatlan was interesting, but very poor. We walked through the streets of Old Mazatlan and were struck by the amount of poverty. We took a ferry over to Isla de la Piedra where there was a nice, secluded beach. It was nice and relaxing. Puerto Vallarta was, by far, our favorite port. We had some friends there, who took us to a beautiful beach, showed us around town, took us to a fantastic restaurant called Le Bistro, followed by a gallery walk to many of the local art galleries. What an amazing day/evening! The service on this cruise was top-notch. The cabin steward was excellent. He remembered our names, and always greeted us in the hallway. He learned our schedule (we sleep late), and never interrupted us. Our room was spotless every time we came back to it. We used room service for breakfast on the verandah twice. This is one of my favorite things to do on a cruise! The food was delicious, and showed up right on time. Service in the dining room was terrific as well. Bar servers were good too, and were a little less pushy with drinks than on RCCL.
Disembarkation was very easy and well organized. The fact that you can wait in your cabin until your group is called to disembark is fantastic! We were actually able to sleep in until 8:30am on the morning of disembarkation. This is a rarity on cruises. Holland America gets serious props for this policy.
We had a fantastic time on this cruise, and were pleasantly surprised at how much we liked Holland America and the Oosterdam. I highly recommend this ship and cruise line.
scooter0304’s Full Rating Summary
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