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Likes: Vista Class ships are large, but not too large to limit individual contact between passengers and crew on a recurrent basis. Cabin amenities and quality of cabin service are well above average. Food variety and preparation, as well as cleanliness and speed of delivery, rate from high average to superior. Hotel manager Deering is probably the best in the business, bar none. This ship never feels crowded in spite of some narrow access points (like the shopping areas or the Lido seating areas). Unlike some other HAL ships, the current front office staff is uniformly competent and smooth in its operation. No glitches occurred in either boarding or disembarkation. Dislikes: Truly awful music in most public areas, intrusive and unbearable to the ears. Everyone complained about it, only to hear the lame excuse that it was programmed and conveyed to the ship from corporate headquarters. As in other HAL ships, shows were a mixed bag, ranging from vulgar attempts at comedy to some truly professional presentations. No lectures on this particular route, very sad in view of much history and environmental context. Be prepared to have your credit card nicked as well for a wide range of extras, including virtually mandatory tips and service charges. Novelties: An experimental scheduling in the main dining room came off very well indeed. This involved offering a single timing at each of the two evening seatings instead of the usual staggered intervals. Guests choosing the sit-down dinner were offered either 5:30 p.m. with a half-hour entry door or a similar late seating arrangement in which plenty of time to arrive at the dining room obtained. The staff seemed to take it in stride, even though it meant dealing with more latecomers and serving the soup to a table where others were already on dessert. Off-the-cuff comments: HAL strives to maintain some old cruise decorum in dining by stressing the pleasures of fixed dining times and occasional dress-up nights. Its Pinnacle Grill at extra cost may or may not appeal to the majority, but here again on some ships and routes it augurs back to the old days of the Queen's Grill and thus has many takers. Most cruisers seem not even to notice it, and the Lido is invariably where the hoi polloi meet and eat at all hours. As an early riser (5 a.m.), I love spending an hour with coffee watching the sun rise from the Lido windows before all but other old geezers are up. If only it weren't for that darned canned music (if indeed it can be called music at all).

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by perfectstorm

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2006
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Likes: Vista Class ships are large, but not too large to limit individual contact between passengers and crew on a recurrent basis. Cabin amenities and quality of cabin service are well above average.
Food variety and preparation, as well as cleanliness and speed of delivery, rate from high average to superior. Hotel manager Deering is probably the best in the business, bar none. This ship never feels crowded in spite of some narrow access points (like the shopping areas or the Lido seating areas).
Unlike some other HAL ships, the current front office staff is uniformly competent and smooth in its operation. No glitches occurred in either boarding or disembarkation.
Dislikes: Truly awful music in most public areas, intrusive and unbearable to the ears. Everyone complained about it, only to hear the lame excuse that it was programmed and conveyed to the ship from corporate headquarters.
As in other HAL ships, shows were a mixed bag, ranging from vulgar attempts at comedy to some truly professional presentations. No lectures on this particular route, very sad in view of much history and environmental context.
Be prepared to have your credit card nicked as well for a wide range of extras, including virtually mandatory tips and service charges. Novelties: An experimental scheduling in the main dining room came off very well indeed. This involved offering a single timing at each of the two evening seatings instead of the usual staggered intervals.
Guests choosing the sit-down dinner were offered either 5:30 p.m. with a half-hour entry door or a similar late seating arrangement in which plenty of time to arrive at the dining room obtained. The staff seemed to take it in stride, even though it meant dealing with more latecomers and serving the soup to a table where others were already on dessert.
Off-the-cuff comments: HAL strives to maintain some old cruise decorum in dining by stressing the pleasures of fixed dining times and occasional dress-up nights. Its Pinnacle Grill at extra cost may or may not appeal to the majority, but here again on some ships and routes it augurs back to the old days of the Queen's Grill and thus has many takers. Most cruisers seem not even to notice it, and the Lido is invariably where the hoi polloi meet and eat at all hours. As an early riser (5 a.m.), I love spending an hour with coffee watching the sun rise from the Lido windows before all but other old geezers are up. If only it weren't for that darned canned music (if indeed it can be called music at all).
perfectstorm’s Full Rating Summary
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