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Our 3rd cruise with HAL - 1st time on the Oosterdam 3/3 to 3/10. We are a husband and wife, 69 & 66 and have taken over 15 cruises on lines such as Royal Caribbean;Windstar;Crystal;Princess etc. We drove from the San Fernando Valley to San Diego; dropped our luggage off at the Pier and parked across the street. Very easy with no stress. It took approx 20 minutes going through the lines to check in and receive our cabin key and info packet.We had "Pre-Registered" on line and that saved time. Our cabin, Veranda #7109 was quite spacious with 3 large closets, a bathroom with tub/shower. The Queen size bed was very comfortable and the linens were 1st Class. Flat screen TV with a DVD player; refrigerator and all amenities were very good. Cabin steward kept the room clean,ice bucket filled and well stocked through out the cruise. Our dining was in the Vista Dining Room, 2nd deck, in the far aft of the dining room. The "good" in this area is not much traffic walking around you -- the "bad" is we could really feel the vibration from the ships engines and that made some people very uncomfortable. With one of the Azipods still out of commission you may want to dine in the middle of the room. We only ate our dinners here and I have to say that the food was very well served, presented, and good. We were actually surprised how good the food and selection was. The waiters could not do enough for us. We ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Restaurant, Deck 9. It is buffet style with quite a large variety of items to choose from each day. For Breakfast there were stations for making pancakes, french toast, omelets, eggs "your" way, bacon, ham, sausage, etc........every kind of dry/hot cereals, sweet rolls, toast, bagels and lox - well you get the idea. There was always someone to carry your tray and find you a table. Once again the staff are terrific, friendly and wanting to make your cruise experience on the Oosterdam the best so you will continue to choose HAL. For lunch you could go to the Grill on the Pool Deck for hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey burgers, french fries. Also a taco bar on Pool Deck. There was always many desserts including a variety of ice creams and puddings every day. Also many "theme" meals. We ate one evening in The Pinnacle Grill - which has a service charge of $30 per person and is supposed to be their gourmet restaurant specializing in "the best steaks ever". We were impressed with the staff, the dinning room experience and the "starter" items. We were extremely disappointed in the steaks (Filet Mignon). They were tough and stringy and we had to send them back. The second ones were not much better. The hostess and waiters were very embarrassed and apologetic. NOTE: The Filets we had the last evening in the Vista Dining Room were better!! HAL has adopted a "arrive at your leisure" dining. Early seating between 5:30PM and 6PM - and - late seating between 8PM and 9PM. We do not think this works out very well. At early seating if one or two couples arrive at 5:30PM they either have to wait until the other people show up - or - if the 5:30PM guests are served first then it is disturbing when the others show up a 6PM. This should be rethought. The entertainment in the Vista Lounge was just OK. The entertainers worked very hard to please and the energy level was quite high at all times. The costumes were well done. The sound system seemed to be off most evenings and the loudness of the sound (pre recorded music) drowned out the voices of the singers. The show room is very beautiful but one has to arrive early for a performance and choose a seat where the view of the show is not obstructed by the many huge posts. The Interned Center is well spaced out with a lot of computers. The cost to use the internet, I think,a little high. There is a one time activation fee of $3.95. There are 3 "Time Packages". (1)250 minutes for $100 (2) 100 minutes for $55 -or-(3)Pay as you go rate of .75 a minute. In cabin Dial-Up is a pay as you go rate of .50 per minute. The last day they have a "Special Rate" of $12 or 30 minutes with a $3.95 activation fee. If you bring your laptop the costs are the same and there are designated places on the ship that it will work. We have been to all three ports many times and just relax most of the time. There were plenty of tours to take at each port and the charges were reasonable. In Cabo San Lucas we took the Discovery Whale Watching boat trip; in Mazatlan we just walked around; and in Puerto Vallarta we took the complimentary shuttle to the Diamond Inter'l store in town. Puerto Vallarta is our favorite town with lots to do, see, and good restaurants. Bottom line - this is a cruise line that really wants to make you happy and have you return to take other HAL cruises. We were very impressed with the Oosterdam, its crew, staff, accommodations,food, activities etc. NOTE: the ship is very clean and everywhere you turn there is another station for washing your hands - on and off the ship. Very well maintained.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by GOLFER3

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2007
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Our 3rd cruise with HAL - 1st time on the Oosterdam 3/3 to 3/10. We are a husband and wife, 69 & 66 and have taken over 15 cruises on lines such as Royal Caribbean;Windstar;Crystal;Princess etc.
We drove from the San Fernando Valley to San Diego; dropped our luggage off at the Pier and parked across the street. Very easy with no stress. It took approx 20 minutes going through the lines to check in and receive our cabin key and info packet.We had "Pre-Registered" on line and that saved time.
Our cabin, Veranda #7109 was quite spacious with 3 large closets, a bathroom with tub/shower. The Queen size bed was very comfortable and the linens were 1st Class. Flat screen TV with a DVD player; refrigerator and all amenities were very good. Cabin steward kept the room clean,ice bucket filled and well stocked through out the cruise.
Our dining was in the Vista Dining Room, 2nd deck, in the far aft of the dining room. The "good" in this area is not much traffic walking around you -- the "bad" is we could really feel the vibration from the ships engines and that made some people very uncomfortable. With one of the Azipods still out of commission you may want to dine in the middle of the room. We only ate our dinners here and I have to say that the food was very well served, presented, and good. We were actually surprised how good the food and selection was. The waiters could not do enough for us.
We ate breakfast and lunch at the Lido Restaurant, Deck 9. It is buffet style with quite a large variety of items to choose from each day. For Breakfast there were stations for making pancakes, french toast, omelets, eggs "your" way, bacon, ham, sausage, etc........every kind of dry/hot cereals, sweet rolls, toast, bagels and lox - well you get the idea. There was always someone to carry your tray and find you a table. Once again the staff are terrific, friendly and wanting to make your cruise experience on the Oosterdam the best so you will continue to choose HAL.
For lunch you could go to the Grill on the Pool Deck for hamburgers, hot dogs, turkey burgers, french fries. Also a taco bar on Pool Deck. There was always many desserts including a variety of ice creams and puddings every day. Also many "theme" meals.
We ate one evening in The Pinnacle Grill - which has a service charge of $30 per person and is supposed to be their gourmet restaurant specializing in "the best steaks ever". We were impressed with the staff, the dinning room experience and the "starter" items. We were extremely disappointed in the steaks (Filet Mignon). They were tough and stringy and we had to send them back. The second ones were not much better. The hostess and waiters were very embarrassed and apologetic. NOTE: The Filets we had the last evening in the Vista Dining Room were better!!
HAL has adopted a "arrive at your leisure" dining. Early seating between 5:30PM and 6PM - and - late seating between 8PM and 9PM. We do not think this works out very well. At early seating if one or two couples arrive at 5:30PM they either have to wait until the other people show up - or - if the 5:30PM guests are served first then it is disturbing when the others show up a 6PM. This should be rethought.
The entertainment in the Vista Lounge was just OK. The entertainers worked very hard to please and the energy level was quite high at all times. The costumes were well done. The sound system seemed to be off most evenings and the loudness of the sound (pre recorded music) drowned out the voices of the singers. The show room is very beautiful but one has to arrive early for a performance and choose a seat where the view of the show is not obstructed by the many huge posts.
The Interned Center is well spaced out with a lot of computers. The cost to use the internet, I think,a little high. There is a one time activation fee of $3.95. There are 3 "Time Packages". (1)250 minutes for $100 (2) 100 minutes for $55 -or-(3)Pay as you go rate of .75 a minute. In cabin Dial-Up is a pay as you go rate of .50 per minute. The last day they have a "Special Rate" of $12 or 30 minutes with a $3.95 activation fee. If you bring your laptop the costs are the same and there are designated places on the ship that it will work.
We have been to all three ports many times and just relax most of the time. There were plenty of tours to take at each port and the charges were reasonable. In Cabo San Lucas we took the Discovery Whale Watching boat trip; in Mazatlan we just walked around; and in Puerto Vallarta we took the complimentary shuttle to the Diamond Inter'l store in town. Puerto Vallarta is our favorite town with lots to do, see, and good restaurants.
Bottom line - this is a cruise line that really wants to make you happy and have you return to take other HAL cruises. We were very impressed with the Oosterdam, its crew, staff, accommodations,food, activities etc. NOTE: the ship is very clean and everywhere you turn there is another station for washing your hands - on and off the ship. Very well maintained.
GOLFER3’s Full Rating Summary
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