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We recently returned from a 7 day Mexican Riviera Cruise on the Oosterdam. The overall experience for my wife and myself was excellent. We arrived in San Diego the night before the cruise. We stayed at the Residence Inn located about 4 blocks from the Cruise Terminal. It was chilly in San Diego but it did not prevent us from walking along the pier to the terminal and having dinner at Ruth's Chris located across the street from the terminal. We spent a quiet night resting at the Residence and were up around 6:30am. After coffee and a light breakfast I strolled down to the pier. Once I rounded the corner past the City County building I saw the Oosterdam docked and looking beautiful. Pictures say a lot but seeing her in person is what does it for me. I walked back to the hotel anxious to get on board. We spent a leisurely morning at the Residence and at 11:30am headed for the Cruise Terminal. The Residence provides a free shuttle to anywhere within a 3 mile radius of the hotel. Upon arrival our bags were taken by a porter and we were directed into the terminal. We displayed our Identification to security and went through the detectors and around a corner where a staff person reviewed our documents and pre boarding material. She gave us a passing grade and directed us to the Suite window (we had a Deluxe Suite SA category cabin 7070). The process took no more than 10 minutes. We then were directed to the boarding area. Our picture was taken and up we went to the Main deck and were greeted by several ship personnel. We were directed to the elevators and were told our cabins would be ready at 1:30pm and that we could eat at the Lido and visit anywhere on the ship. The Lido was not crowded at all although there were still a number of people headed home and waiting for later flights and then of course those of us who could not wait to be on board. The Lido was to become our breakfast headquarters everyday except for one trip to the dining room for breakfast. We loved the Lido and all the choices for breakfast and lunch. Everything was fresh. My only criticism is that the coffee refill stewards are not around that much. Most often we just got up and went to the coffee machines and got our own. Can you imagine having to serve ourselves and actually get up and move (sad isn't it?). The coffee by the way is excellent. Lunch in the Lido is also great. The choices range from sushi to hamburgers and hot dogs. In between there is a variety of items to satisfy any palate. At 1:10pm it was announced that our cabin was ready. I was excited for my wife to see the cabin as we had never had a suite before and I really don't think she realized how nice it was. I directed us right to the cabin (I had every area of the ship memorized) and her response was worth the trip alone. The Suite (Deluxe) was over 500 Sq Ft and just very elegant. The King size bed, mirror along the bed wall, flat screen TV, DVD, leather sofa, two captains chairs, bathroom with a shower and a combo shower /tub, with the tub being a whirlpool was very nice. Bath robes were hanging up for each of us plus house shoes. The veranda is the biggest I have had (16 previous cruises). There was then a knock on the door and we were greeted by our room steward. He introduced himself as August ("not September" he said). He did a fabulous job the entire week. His towel animals on our bed every night was a pleasant ending to each day and on the last day his monkey looked like it should be fed a banana. We went to the Neptune Lounge as our luggage had not yet arrived. We met the concierge and made some changes to our dinner table and checked on an excursion I had booked. They were extremely courteous and helpful. The Neptune is a very comfortable area with treats throughout the day and fresh coffee, tea and a variety of juices. It also has a fairly large wide screen TV. We sat and watched the playoff games for a while then went back to our cabin. The bags had arrived and we unpacked finding we had ample closet and drawer space. The sailing was very smooth throughout the trip with the exception of one evening when we had some rough seas. The Oosterdam handles it very well and it was nothing that really bothered us. Each evening we slept like babies. The food was wonderful and the personnel were as friendly as any cruise I have been on. I have heard people critical of the food but I found it to be some of the best we have ever had. The presentation was a wonderful experience. Our one evening at the Pinnacle Grill was fabulous. We each had the filet. The brag about the Sterling Silver Beef and I was anxious to put it to the test. Well you will recall my saying we ate at Ruth's Chris the night before the cruise. Well I consider their steaks to be the best around. Pinnacle is better. The beef could have been cut with a fork. The service was perfect and it is everything it is advertised to be. The ship was extremely clean. The work that goes into keeping it clean was obvious throughout our cruise with crew members sweeping, polishing, dusting etc. They were replacing carpet in almost every area and they were at work each day in a different area. I did notice that the newer carpet is being put down with a better pad and feels much more plush. They were completing stairways while we were there. Throughout the cruise we sampled all the lounge areas and found them warm and inviting. Drink prices are reasonable however the wine prices are ludicrous. One bottle of wine in the dining room was priced at $39 a bottle. The same bottle at Sams is $9.95. This is the one area they need to get real. the other is the price of the many pictures they take. $10.95 for a picture. I guess they haven't noticed the many people with digital cameras. We took all our own this trip and already have them downloaded and some framed. AI think this process is going to become obsolete unless they get prices more in line. It is a beautiful cruise along the coast. Most relaxing although the weather was not at its best for us. I think Cabo is ok (I did love Cabo Wabo), I did not like Mazatlan, and I totally enjoyed Puerta V. Keep in mind due to the weather our plans for the beach were scrapped. That I am sure gave us a limited view of both Cabo and Mazatlan. Overall the week was wonderful and as always went too quickly. The day arrived for us to head home and we opened the cabin curtains to see the ship docked and the Vandaam alongside soon to be headed to Hawaii. We talked about sneaking on board but decided it was time to head home. The debarkation was as good as it gets. No more than ten minutes to get off. We found our bags immediately and walked another 25 yards and boarded our bus to the airport. During the flight home reality set in. Great trip 5 stars for Holland and the Oosterdam.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by John MacCauley

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2007
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
We recently returned from a 7 day Mexican Riviera Cruise on the Oosterdam. The overall experience for my wife and myself was excellent. We arrived in San Diego the night before the cruise. We stayed at the Residence Inn located about 4 blocks from the Cruise Terminal. It was chilly in San Diego but it did not prevent us from walking along the pier to the terminal and having dinner at Ruth's Chris located across the street from the terminal. We spent a quiet night resting at the Residence and were up around 6:30am. After coffee and a light breakfast I strolled down to the pier. Once I rounded the corner past the City County building I saw the Oosterdam docked and looking beautiful. Pictures say a lot but seeing her in person is what does it for me. I walked back to the hotel anxious to get on board. We spent a leisurely morning at the Residence and at 11:30am headed for the Cruise Terminal. The Residence provides a free shuttle to anywhere within a 3 mile radius of the hotel. Upon arrival our bags were taken by a porter and we were directed into the terminal. We displayed our Identification to security and went through the detectors and around a corner where a staff person reviewed our documents and pre boarding material. She gave us a passing grade and directed us to the Suite window (we had a Deluxe Suite SA category cabin 7070). The process took no more than 10 minutes. We then were directed to the boarding area. Our picture was taken and up we went to the Main deck and were greeted by several ship personnel. We were directed to the elevators and were told our cabins would be ready at 1:30pm and that we could eat at the Lido and visit anywhere on the ship. The Lido was not crowded at all although there were still a number of people headed home and waiting for later flights and then of course those of us who could not wait to be on board. The Lido was to become our breakfast headquarters everyday except for one trip to the dining room for breakfast. We loved the Lido and all the choices for breakfast and lunch. Everything was fresh. My only criticism is that the coffee refill stewards are not around that much. Most often we just got up and went to the coffee machines and got our own. Can you imagine having to serve ourselves and actually get up and move (sad isn't it?). The coffee by the way is excellent. Lunch in the Lido is also great. The choices range from sushi to hamburgers and hot dogs. In between there is a variety of items to satisfy any palate. At 1:10pm it was announced that our cabin was ready. I was excited for my wife to see the cabin as we had never had a suite before and I really don't think she realized how nice it was. I directed us right to the cabin (I had every area of the ship memorized) and her response was worth the trip alone. The Suite (Deluxe) was over 500 Sq Ft and just very elegant. The King size bed, mirror along the bed wall, flat screen TV, DVD, leather sofa, two captains chairs, bathroom with a shower and a combo shower /tub, with the tub being a whirlpool was very nice. Bath robes were hanging up for each of us plus house shoes. The veranda is the biggest I have had (16 previous cruises). There was then a knock on the door and we were greeted by our room steward. He introduced himself as August ("not September" he said). He did a fabulous job the entire week. His towel animals on our bed every night was a pleasant ending to each day and on the last day his monkey looked like it should be fed a banana. We went to the Neptune Lounge as our luggage had not yet arrived. We met the concierge and made some changes to our dinner table and checked on an excursion I had booked. They were extremely courteous and helpful. The Neptune is a very comfortable area with treats throughout the day and fresh coffee, tea and a variety of juices. It also has a fairly large wide screen TV. We sat and watched the playoff games for a while then went back to our cabin. The bags had arrived and we unpacked finding we had ample closet and drawer space. The sailing was very smooth throughout the trip with the exception of one evening when we had some rough seas. The Oosterdam handles it very well and it was nothing that really bothered us. Each evening we slept like babies. The food was wonderful and the personnel were as friendly as any cruise I have been on. I have heard people critical of the food but I found it to be some of the best we have ever had. The presentation was a wonderful experience. Our one evening at the Pinnacle Grill was fabulous. We each had the filet. The brag about the Sterling Silver Beef and I was anxious to put it to the test. Well you will recall my saying we ate at Ruth's Chris the night before the cruise. Well I consider their steaks to be the best around. Pinnacle is better. The beef could have been cut with a fork. The service was perfect and it is everything it is advertised to be. The ship was extremely clean. The work that goes into keeping it clean was obvious throughout our cruise with crew members sweeping, polishing, dusting etc. They were replacing carpet in almost every area and they were at work each day in a different area. I did notice that the newer carpet is being put down with a better pad and feels much more plush. They were completing stairways while we were there. Throughout the cruise we sampled all the lounge areas and found them warm and inviting. Drink prices are reasonable however the wine prices are ludicrous. One bottle of wine in the dining room was priced at $39 a bottle. The same bottle at Sams is $9.95. This is the one area they need to get real. the other is the price of the many pictures they take. $10.95 for a picture. I guess they haven't noticed the many people with digital cameras. We took all our own this trip and already have them downloaded and some framed. AI think this process is going to become obsolete unless they get prices more in line. It is a beautiful cruise along the coast. Most relaxing although the weather was not at its best for us. I think Cabo is ok (I did love Cabo Wabo), I did not like Mazatlan, and I totally enjoyed Puerta V. Keep in mind due to the weather our plans for the beach were scrapped. That I am sure gave us a limited view of both Cabo and Mazatlan. Overall the week was wonderful and as always went too quickly. The day arrived for us to head home and we opened the cabin curtains to see the ship docked and the Vandaam alongside soon to be headed to Hawaii. We talked about sneaking on board but decided it was time to head home. The debarkation was as good as it gets. No more than ten minutes to get off. We found our bags immediately and walked another 25 yards and boarded our bus to the airport. During the flight home reality set in. Great trip 5 stars for Holland and the Oosterdam.
John MacCauley’s Full Rating Summary
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