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Before I say anything else, I must make the following two comments: This cruise was just about everything one could want in a cruise vacation. The Oosterdam deserves its number one rating. A very big thank you and word of congratulations to the many parents of the more than 400 children on board. They were so well behaved as to be almost un-noticed. They must have been brought up right. Now, the cruise. Embarkation is a breeze. One arrives at the dock, checks luggage and if driving a personal car parks across the street and walks to the welcoming area. (A note of warning, watch out for individuals in the parking lot attempting to scam you with a hard luck story) In our case, the entire procedure from dropping the luggage to sitting on the Lido having lunch was no more than 45 minutes. We have never had it so easy in more than 15 cruises prior. Note: Cabin access is limited prior to 1:30 or so. This allows attendants to get them ready for you. (See disembarkation below) Lunch is available on the Lido deck. The ship is beautiful. The artwork spread throughout all decks and public areas is varied and interesting. One could spend hours just looking at it. The color selection is appropriate for a vessel catering to a more up-scale, adult clientele. The Vista showroom is large, comfortable, and as far as we could tell provided good sight lines from almost all seats. There are plenty of public areas for get-togethers, or just sitting and people watching. The Vista dining area is lovely, well laid out and does not give the feel of being crowded. All-in-all, a very comfortable ship. The cabin: Not as large as one could have hoped for but still quite sufficient. These is plenty of storage space, (be sure to look under the foot of the bed and under the couch). Note also that there are fold down shelves in the closets. The bathroom is somewhat larger than most with a tub for those so inclined. The veranda is large enough for a couple of chairs and a small table, but is not totally private. There is only one electrical outlet at the dressing table, so bring a power strip if you have more than one appliance to plug in. The bed is just as comfortable as has been described in other reviews. The food: The menu is not as varied as we remember from previous H-A cruises. However, the quality was just as high. The Lido deck provides an alternate to the dining room. There is the same variety of choice as one finds in the dining room. As with all cruise lines, the drinks are expensive, but they are well prepared. There is a wine program where one can buy four or six bottles ahead of time and save a little money, (If you like wine). Be sure to try the cold soups, they are delicious. The shipboard activities are more in keeping with an older more mature clientele. There is plenty of music that sounds like music, two venues for dancing, (We particularly liked the Ocean Bar and the Crossover group), a pretty good piano bar, classical music area, and the ever present Karaoke. The last was somewhat disappointing in that the music selection tended to be directed to a much younger taste than ours. There were the usual games one finds on ship, nothing too distasteful. In our case the daily trivia contests became addictive, as they must have with many others considering the turnout and the competitiveness. Now for the most important part; the people. This is the happiest ship we have ever sailed on. All contact personnel, the officers, and even those one would see working on keeping the vessel shipshape and clean smiled, offered assistance, or just a nice "hello". It was wonderful. I want to mention particularly, our cabin steward, Linda; our table stewards Dudi and Yayan; the chief steward, Badar (r,r,r,); and the entire service crew in the Ocean Bar. You made out trip memorable. I have not mentioned the ports visited. This is not an oversight, they just were not of great interest to us. (We have been there several times). We did note, however, the steep increase in costs of shore excursions both on the ship and on shore. Also, the cities have become pretty much tourist traps. Watch out for low quality goods at high prices. There is a shopping advisor on the ship, however we were totally turned off by what seemed to be a blatant shill rather than an unbiased advisor. If you would like lunch on shore, try the sushi restaurant on the dock in Cabo, and the el Gruto in Puerto Vallarta. Prices are good and so is the food. It is said that experienced cruisers sail for the ship not the ports. This is particularly true of this ship on this itinerary. Go for the on-board experience. It is truly remarkable. Finally, a word about disembarkation. H-A has instituted a program that allows you to stay in your cabin until called to leave the ship. This is a great improvement over all passengers going into overcrowded public areas to wait. Thank you H-A. It is just as easy to get off the ship as it was to get on.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by desertmouse

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2006
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Before I say anything else, I must make the following two comments: This cruise was just about everything one could want in a cruise vacation. The Oosterdam deserves its number one rating. A very big thank you and word of congratulations to the many parents of the more than 400 children on board. They were so well behaved as to be almost un-noticed. They must have been brought up right.
Now, the cruise. Embarkation is a breeze. One arrives at the dock, checks luggage and if driving a personal car parks across the street and walks to the welcoming area. (A note of warning, watch out for individuals in the parking lot attempting to scam you with a hard luck story) In our case, the entire procedure from dropping the luggage to sitting on the Lido having lunch was no more than 45 minutes. We have never had it so easy in more than 15 cruises prior. Note: Cabin access is limited prior to 1:30 or so. This allows attendants to get them ready for you. (See disembarkation below) Lunch is available on the Lido deck.
The ship is beautiful. The artwork spread throughout all decks and public areas is varied and interesting. One could spend hours just looking at it. The color selection is appropriate for a vessel catering to a more up-scale, adult clientele. The Vista showroom is large, comfortable, and as far as we could tell provided good sight lines from almost all seats. There are plenty of public areas for get-togethers, or just sitting and people watching. The Vista dining area is lovely, well laid out and does not give the feel of being crowded. All-in-all, a very comfortable ship.
The cabin: Not as large as one could have hoped for but still quite sufficient. These is plenty of storage space, (be sure to look under the foot of the bed and under the couch). Note also that there are fold down shelves in the closets. The bathroom is somewhat larger than most with a tub for those so inclined. The veranda is large enough for a couple of chairs and a small table, but is not totally private. There is only one electrical outlet at the dressing table, so bring a power strip if you have more than one appliance to plug in. The bed is just as comfortable as has been described in other reviews.
The food: The menu is not as varied as we remember from previous H-A cruises. However, the quality was just as high. The Lido deck provides an alternate to the dining room. There is the same variety of choice as one finds in the dining room. As with all cruise lines, the drinks are expensive, but they are well prepared. There is a wine program where one can buy four or six bottles ahead of time and save a little money, (If you like wine). Be sure to try the cold soups, they are delicious.
The shipboard activities are more in keeping with an older more mature clientele. There is plenty of music that sounds like music, two venues for dancing, (We particularly liked the Ocean Bar and the Crossover group), a pretty good piano bar, classical music area, and the ever present Karaoke. The last was somewhat disappointing in that the music selection tended to be directed to a much younger taste than ours. There were the usual games one finds on ship, nothing too distasteful. In our case the daily trivia contests became addictive, as they must have with many others considering the turnout and the competitiveness.
Now for the most important part; the people. This is the happiest ship we have ever sailed on. All contact personnel, the officers, and even those one would see working on keeping the vessel shipshape and clean smiled, offered assistance, or just a nice "hello". It was wonderful. I want to mention particularly, our cabin steward, Linda; our table stewards Dudi and Yayan; the chief steward, Badar (r,r,r,); and the entire service crew in the Ocean Bar. You made out trip memorable.
I have not mentioned the ports visited. This is not an oversight, they just were not of great interest to us. (We have been there several times). We did note, however, the steep increase in costs of shore excursions both on the ship and on shore. Also, the cities have become pretty much tourist traps. Watch out for low quality goods at high prices. There is a shopping advisor on the ship, however we were totally turned off by what seemed to be a blatant shill rather than an unbiased advisor. If you would like lunch on shore, try the sushi restaurant on the dock in Cabo, and the el Gruto in Puerto Vallarta. Prices are good and so is the food.
It is said that experienced cruisers sail for the ship not the ports. This is particularly true of this ship on this itinerary. Go for the on-board experience. It is truly remarkable.
Finally, a word about disembarkation. H-A has instituted a program that allows you to stay in your cabin until called to leave the ship. This is a great improvement over all passengers going into overcrowded public areas to wait. Thank you H-A. It is just as easy to get off the ship as it was to get on.
desertmouse’s Full Rating Summary
Embarkation
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