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We had a fabulous time on the O. It is an absolutely beautiful ship with spectacular decor! Executive Summary: Best cabins/beds, Excellent Service, Beautiful dEcor, Superb Dining & Menu selection. This was our first cruise on HAL, but our tenth cruise (Celebrity, Renaissance, RCCL, NCI, Viking). We went on this cruise for the cruise experience and were not interested in the ports as we have had been there before on land trips. We came in a day early and stayed at the Hampton Inn, which was very convenient and reasonably priced. We had dinner at Anthonys, but would not go there again as it was noisy and the food was very average. Embarkation was smooth. The cabin was our best yet, very large and I loved the bathtub. The bedding was better than most hotels. HAL really excels here. This was my first cruise where they had plenty of hangers in the closet and there was so much storage area that we did not use it all. The flat screen TV had movies and tour / port information available at all times which was much nicer than previous cruises. Our balcony was a large, with a table & two chairs for dining/playing cards as well as 2 with footrests for relaxing. Our steward was excellent, and returning to the cabin each evening to find a different towel animal was a delight. Dining: We dined primarily in the dining room because I have not liked the buffet areas on the ships we sailed on before. However, the buffet on the O is different in that it is beautifully decorated, extremely clean and the staff is friendly, helpful & on top of keeping all of the table clean even during the busiest times. The food there was very good, too; especially the pasta bar, salads & Asian, although the sushi was pretty basic compared with Celebrity. Now on to the dining room, which was superb. I had a different fish (mahi mahi, grouper, marlin, snapper) almost every night, and they were all prepared perfectly. DH had the meat dishes more often and he was very happy with them but they do cook their meat a little too much for our taste. The desserts were excellent, but the appetizers need improvement in terms of selection and preparation. Lunches and breakfasts were enjoyable. Our servers, Sodik & Suyra (spelling??) were top-notch, as well as the others in the dining room. All requests were addressed satisfactorily and pleasantly. We tried the Pinnacle Grill and the food & service here was also excellent. Tours: Although we were not interested in the ports, we did try one tour in Cabo, 2-hour whale watching, which we did not enjoy. The boat was uncomfortable and people we talked to saw more whales from their balconies that we did on the tour. We spent an hour chasing a spout far in the distance with the end result being a glimpse of a whale's tale. For us this was a wasted $140 as well as the precious time. Others did, however, appear to enjoy it and the tour guides tried very hard to be accommodating and provide a good time for everyone. We enjoyed the classical music in the Explorer's Lounge each evening before dinner and Jalynn & the Hal Cats after dinner for dancing. We did not attend the shows, but the showroom itself is nicely designed with what looked like good seats for everyone. We were disappointed in the piano music as that is usually our favorite entertainment, not in the pianists themselves, but they had some kind of electronic pianos, and we did not think they sounded like a piano should, but that again is a matter of taste. We participated daily in the trivial (never won), but had fun & met some interesting people. Disembarkation: Again HAL excels here. We had breakfast in the cabin and were allowed to stay in our cabin until our departure time was called rather than being herded into a room to sit uncomfortably. OK, we need to say something really negative - the olives in the martinis were too small & a little on the tart side & we would have liked hors devours to have been passed in all of the lounges before dinner. My overall impression of HAL is that it is an excellent comfortable cruise line, with exceptional service. I am looking forward to booking another cruise on one of the Vista ships as it is the perfect size for us - large enough to be interesting, but small enough so that you don't feel overwhelmed. We recommend this cruise very highly without any reservation.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by FunForUs

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2007
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
We had a fabulous time on the O. It is an absolutely beautiful ship with spectacular decor!
Executive Summary: Best cabins/beds, Excellent Service, Beautiful dEcor, Superb Dining & Menu selection.
This was our first cruise on HAL, but our tenth cruise (Celebrity, Renaissance, RCCL, NCI, Viking). We went on this cruise for the cruise experience and were not interested in the ports as we have had been there before on land trips. We came in a day early and stayed at the Hampton Inn, which was very convenient and reasonably priced. We had dinner at Anthonys, but would not go there again as it was noisy and the food was very average.
Embarkation was smooth. The cabin was our best yet, very large and I loved the bathtub. The bedding was better than most hotels. HAL really excels here. This was my first cruise where they had plenty of hangers in the closet and there was so much storage area that we did not use it all. The flat screen TV had movies and tour / port information available at all times which was much nicer than previous cruises. Our balcony was a large, with a table & two chairs for dining/playing cards as well as 2 with footrests for relaxing. Our steward was excellent, and returning to the cabin each evening to find a different towel animal was a delight.
Dining: We dined primarily in the dining room because I have not liked the buffet areas on the ships we sailed on before. However, the buffet on the O is different in that it is beautifully decorated, extremely clean and the staff is friendly, helpful & on top of keeping all of the table clean even during the busiest times. The food there was very good, too; especially the pasta bar, salads & Asian, although the sushi was pretty basic compared with Celebrity. Now on to the dining room, which was superb. I had a different fish (mahi mahi, grouper, marlin, snapper) almost every night, and they were all prepared perfectly. DH had the meat dishes more often and he was very happy with them but they do cook their meat a little too much for our taste. The desserts were excellent, but the appetizers need improvement in terms of selection and preparation. Lunches and breakfasts were enjoyable. Our servers, Sodik & Suyra (spelling??) were top-notch, as well as the others in the dining room. All requests were addressed satisfactorily and pleasantly. We tried the Pinnacle Grill and the food & service here was also excellent.
Tours: Although we were not interested in the ports, we did try one tour in Cabo, 2-hour whale watching, which we did not enjoy. The boat was uncomfortable and people we talked to saw more whales from their balconies that we did on the tour. We spent an hour chasing a spout far in the distance with the end result being a glimpse of a whale's tale. For us this was a wasted $140 as well as the precious time. Others did, however, appear to enjoy it and the tour guides tried very hard to be accommodating and provide a good time for everyone.
We enjoyed the classical music in the Explorer's Lounge each evening before dinner and Jalynn & the Hal Cats after dinner for dancing. We did not attend the shows, but the showroom itself is nicely designed with what looked like good seats for everyone. We were disappointed in the piano music as that is usually our favorite entertainment, not in the pianists themselves, but they had some kind of electronic pianos, and we did not think they sounded like a piano should, but that again is a matter of taste. We participated daily in the trivial (never won), but had fun & met some interesting people.
Disembarkation: Again HAL excels here. We had breakfast in the cabin and were allowed to stay in our cabin until our departure time was called rather than being herded into a room to sit uncomfortably.
OK, we need to say something really negative - the olives in the martinis were too small & a little on the tart side & we would have liked hors devours to have been passed in all of the lounges before dinner.
My overall impression of HAL is that it is an excellent comfortable cruise line, with exceptional service. I am looking forward to booking another cruise on one of the Vista ships as it is the perfect size for us - large enough to be interesting, but small enough so that you don't feel overwhelmed. We recommend this cruise very highly without any reservation.
FunForUs’s Full Rating Summary
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