Oosterdam Cruise Review by NIVED
- Sail Date: January 2007
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Since October, Holland America has been operating the Oosterdam with one Azipod engine, not the two engines the ship was designed for. We booked the cruise on 11/13/2006. After booking the cruise we learned of this problem in early Dec by reading the reviews on WWW.CRUISECRITIC.COM . The travel agent was notified by HAL for the first time on 12/12/2006 and they advised us that HAL would not return our funds if we cancelled the cruise. Other passengers we met on this cruise stated HAL's management decision unethical. WE AGREE! The only information that HAL is now providing is a revised 'time in port schedule'.
BITE THE BULLET HAL AND FIX OR REPLACE THE ENGINE. AS A RESULT OF HAL's MANAGEMENT DECISION WE WOULD NEVER AGAIN CONSIDER ANOTHER CRUISE ON ANY SHIP OWNED BY CARNIVAL (CARNIVAL, PRINCESS OR HOLLAND AMERICA) despite the fact we truly enjoy thE Caribbean Princess. We value ethical management. Somehow that characteristic PERVADES everything else you experience on board.
If you stay in SD overnight stay at the Holiday Inn. It's just too convenient.
We did not experience many of the problems that were cited in prior Cruise Critic passenger comments such as poor service, odor/sewerage problems and we did not detect any sign or discussion of passengers with norovirus. There were an abundance of dispensers to sanitize hands through out the ship.
CABIN SS 8087 was very comfortable with an abundant amount of storage and a large outside deck, probably 14 ft wide, wider than the Caribbean Princess suite deck and a very comfortable bathroom facility.
CABIN ATTENDANT was wonderful even though it was his last cruise!
FOOD SERVICE was wonderful. Some FOOD was good, some was marginal. We complained once about a waiter and he was immediately replaced and the service was very pleasant and wonderful.
Do not order a steak from the 'alternative menu'. It is just not a good alternative.
Lido buffet is not our approach to dining.
VISTA DINING ROOM DECK 3 ASSIGNED SEATING - If you select this approach, as soon as you can after boarding check the table. If it is near a wait station, either change the table or change to OPEN SEATING on VISTA DINING ROOM DECK 2. It does not make sense to listen to clanging dishes for an entire week. You can reserve a specific table in the Vista deck 2.
The vibration in Vista deck 2 seems to be bad about 30 feet forward of the stern of the ship. The very back tables overlooking the stern of the ship are very pleasant for either lunch or dinner. We preferred tables 128 & 137.
WINE TASTING - Whatever you do DO NOT pay $35 to sample premium wines on Thursday. Four out of the six higher priced wines sampled were absolutely terrible. Could not believe the wines they selected for wine tasting. Lower priced wines (Sunday) were good. The discord during the sampling was boring and repetitious. However, some excellent wines (eg Jordan Cabinet Savignon) are offered in the dining rooms.
Entertainment was good!
CABO SAN LUCAS - The very best shore experience was to have lunch at the ESPERANZA RESORT. The resort was very pleasant and it may be the best resort we have ever been too. Based on the comments of a prior Cruise Critic passenger we contacted La Ventanas Resort and asked to arrange lunch. This resort is about a 30 minute cab ride from the boat They were very pleasant but suggested the Esperanza about a 10 minute ride. They said the view was 10 times better and it truly was. Be sure to contact the resort (LA office) in advance and make a reservation. Security at this resort was tight and excellent.
Before booking be sure to check if the boat docks or tenders passengers. FORGET CRUISES THAT TENDER PASSENGERS TO THE DOCK. INCONVENIENT, A WASTE OF TIME AND SOMETIMES TOO ROUGH.
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