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3/17/07 Oosterdam Mexican Riviera Cruise We returned yesterday from a 'fun in the sun' 7 day relaxation vacation with our cruise buddies, Tom and Lisa, to celebrate their 30 year Renewal of Vows. As it turned out, we had the most agreeable weather, the Ship was fabulous, and my only complaint is that the cruise just flew by much too quickly. The Oosterdam is designed primarily in royal hues. It is a Vista ship with a pax compliment of appx. 2,000, but rarely seemed crowded. The Ship is well maintained and the color scheme is very rich and warm, a trademark of HAL ships. We were fortunate and were able to book an SC aft suite, cabin 4180. The views from that aft cabin are so spectacular!! We awoke every morning to the spectacular panorama view of the ocean. Of course the beds are clad in 350 count Egyptian cotton sheets, with pillow top mattresses and piled with 8 soft pillows, it is truly a decadent experience. We flew down to San Diego and after a 2 attempt landing due to heavy fog, we were glad to step onboard the Oosterdam promptly at 11:30. We met Tom and Lisa as we waited to board as well as Tija and Pat from LV also. With priority boarding we were some of the first to step onboard and found our way to the Neptune and then the Lido for lunch until the rooms were ready. Unlike some of the other ships, the corridors are actually closed and manned prior to 1:30 making that quick peek in the room undoable. But precisely at 1:30 we were able to wander back to our aft corner suite on the Upper Promenade floor. We found the views while laying in bed to be some of the best we have had. We really enjoyed the room and didn't notice any excess vibrations being in the aft. Fact be know, we prefer the aft as well as lower floors, I like to be closer to the water. (Probably has something to do with being very nearsighted!) The balcony was the largest we have had ever and we enjoyed the extended views around the side. I did miss the shade at times, and would sit on the side decking reading out of the sun. (Tip: Upper Promenade decks on both sides of the ship are actually wider than those above them, so if you are considering a veranda cabin, you actually get a bit larger balcony than those above for a cheaper price. (VD vs. VA).) The bed in our cabin was in great condition as was the cabin. The large couch is covered in a nice leather (or was it pleather?) which was holding up nicely. There is a huge flat screen TV and loads of pillows to relax on. I counted 8 full size pillows on our bed. The linens are really nice as are the duvets the suites have, I slept soooooo well! Our outside furniture was nice but the hot sun has really worn it more than those with covered balconies, and it needs replacing. We attended the Oosterdam's infamous 3 pm wave and got an idea of some of the special energy this cruise would hold. We all waved, hooted and hollered, and made sure we all signed the lovely banner. 33 of our compadres attended including HM James Deering and Beverage Manager Hans Becker, both of whom seemed to take it all in great fun. We attended a festive sail away party on Lisa and Tom's large aft balcony. What a spectacular sailaway you experience from San Diego!! The sailaway celebration truly set the tone of letting the good times role for the entire week. Our first morning at sea was relatively calm but foggy till just about 1pm as predicted by Captain Jonathan Mercer. At 11:00 AM we attended a CC get together in the Oak Room. A nice spread of cookies and teas were provided as well as mimosas and Bloody Marys. A big thank you to Hans Becker, who took such good care of us. We were pleasantly surprised to have Mr. Deering stop bye and discussed the state of cruising, our love for HAL, and its' future. We spoke of the keel laying of the Eurodam which was to occur and the additional services to be offered on the ship as well as the drastic redesign of the Explorations Cafe and the viability of locating it next to the Crows Nest. I found Mr. Deering's candor and honesty to be totally refreshing. It was evident as our cruise continued how well respected he is onboard and how happy the crew on the Oosterdam seems to be. Captain Mercer and HM Deering are to be congratulated on the wonder job they and the crew are doing. We relaxed in the afternoon, falling into the wonderful rhythm of a sea day. I sat out on our balcony and devoured a portion of a new novel, one of my favorite sea day activities. The second night was formal and most of the pax that I observed were dressed appropriately. There were a fair number of kids onboard, all of which appeared to be very well behaved. There was a little guy (16 Mo.?) sitting next to our table with Mom and Dad and a beaming Grandma and Grandpa who kept us all entertained during the week with his " funny old man" faces, what a good baby he was during dinner! Our dining steward was Reno, he is a gem and HAL is lucky to have waiters of that caliber. The dining room was run very well, kudos to Dining Room Manager Sanjay Nariani, a very handsome gentleman we've cruised with before. Kudos also to Exec. Chef Andreas Sommerfield and Stephan Schuetz, many of the dishes we'd had previously on other HAL cruises, but they really knew how to bring out the best in the menu. We awoke the next morning to find that although the revised schedule said we were to be in port at 12:00, we actually were coming into Cabo at 9 am!! It was a beautiful day and tendering began at 9:15 am, a record since the pod problems. A fabulous day was had by all in Cabo, and most of us returned with a little more color in our cheeks that night. I elected to snorkel with a ship excursion called "Chilleno Bay snorkel". It was very toasty in Cabo (90F) and the catamaran ride was beautiful, we even got to see whales, which wasn't part of the excursion. The snorkeling unfortunately is not like that in the Caribbean, the water is colder and the fish lack the outrageous colors. During the entire trip there were beverages served, alcohol being served after the snorkeling. The catamaran was very clean and the crew very accommodating. We came back to another lovely dinner and we retired soon after sitting on our balcony and enjoy the balmy breezes. The exercise I got snorkeling made me sleep wonderfully. The next morning we awoke as we docked in Mazatlan. The last time I'd been there I'd not been particularly impressed, this time I enjoyed it immensely!!! Our day started by hiring a driver of a Pulmonia (a car somewhat like the VW thing that is manufactured there in Mazatlan). This is truly the authentic way to see the city. The fresh air A/C system is wonderful and the views are great. The town really grew on me this time. We managed to be in Mazatlan on the first day of spring and happened upon a parade/fundraising drive for the Mexican Red Cross. The kids in the parade were dressed in their finest for the celebration and parade. We found the old town to be charming. After seeing all of the usual sites and getting to tour the well preserved old part of town we met our group for a wonderful lunch of margaritas and shrimp before returning to the ship to prepare for the ROV ceremony. The ROV ceremony (Renewal of Vows) itself was wonderful and the dinner following was spectacular! It was wonderful to share such a happy occasion with new friends! Lisa looked just stunning and Tom seemed a wee bit nervous, they made a darling couple!! Dinner ended late and we all headed to our cabins after a full night of an unforgettable celebration. Just when we thought the cruise, couldn't get any better, we arrive in Puerto Vallarta. As I'd had many a Christmas in PV as a child in the 60's, we elected to go into old town and walk the Malecon which has been beautifully extended across the river. Again, we happened upon a parade of cars carrying many children dressed in their finest, and throwing candies, to celebrate spring. They were just darling and happy, and reminded me of our wonderfully hokey parades at home that the kids just adore! After some shopping we met the group for a lunch on the beach, very literally. We were able to sit and dine right there on the sand at La Palapa. Boy where those margaritas tasty!! Even more lovely was the opportunity to meet fellow HAL cruisers Ine and Ton from the Netherlands. It's such fun to finally put names with faces of folks you've talked with for years! I also managed to wander down that area of beach, as it looked very familiar to me. Sure enough I found that a portion of the hotel I stayed in during the 60's was still there 40 years later. It was fabulous day including a walk down memory lane of the small town I loved 40 years ago with it's cobbled streets, friendly occupants and beautiful Cathedral. That night we saw another of the fabulous sunsets we'd had all week. Our next two days were sea days and the first day Lisa and I bought a day pass for the hydrospa ($40). I got my money's worth by using the spa in the morning and afternoon. By dinner I was as relaxed as a wet noodle!! Dinner was another formal one, with surf and turf being ordered by most at our table. Dinner was once again fabulous and was topped off by the Baked Alaska parade. Never have been too wild about the dessert, but it's a cruising tradition I've grown to appreciate! On the final day we attended the Mariners awards which were held at 11:15am. This was the first time we'd attended a day time reception. Interestingly, approximately 50% of the pax had not cruised HAL before. I have to tell you I never overheard a complaint all week, which was really exceptional. But then again, there is nothing I can think of to complain about on the Oosterdam!! We had an exceptional and very relaxing cruise, albeit much too quick. DH and I look forward to many more cruises on the 'O' as she is a fabulous ship with an equally wonderful staff!!

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by localady

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2007
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
3/17/07 Oosterdam Mexican Riviera Cruise
We returned yesterday from a 'fun in the sun' 7 day relaxation vacation with our cruise buddies, Tom and Lisa, to celebrate their 30 year Renewal of Vows. As it turned out, we had the most agreeable weather, the Ship was fabulous, and my only complaint is that the cruise just flew by much too quickly.
The Oosterdam is designed primarily in royal hues. It is a Vista ship with a pax compliment of appx. 2,000, but rarely seemed crowded. The Ship is well maintained and the color scheme is very rich and warm, a trademark of HAL ships. We were fortunate and were able to book an SC aft suite, cabin 4180. The views from that aft cabin are so spectacular!! We awoke every morning to the spectacular panorama view of the ocean. Of course the beds are clad in 350 count Egyptian cotton sheets, with pillow top mattresses and piled with 8 soft pillows, it is truly a decadent experience.
We flew down to San Diego and after a 2 attempt landing due to heavy fog, we were glad to step onboard the Oosterdam promptly at 11:30. We met Tom and Lisa as we waited to board as well as Tija and Pat from LV also. With priority boarding we were some of the first to step onboard and found our way to the Neptune and then the Lido for lunch until the rooms were ready.
Unlike some of the other ships, the corridors are actually closed and manned prior to 1:30 making that quick peek in the room undoable. But precisely at 1:30 we were able to wander back to our aft corner suite on the Upper Promenade floor. We found the views while laying in bed to be some of the best we have had. We really enjoyed the room and didn't notice any excess vibrations being in the aft. Fact be know, we prefer the aft as well as lower floors, I like to be closer to the water. (Probably has something to do with being very nearsighted!)
The balcony was the largest we have had ever and we enjoyed the extended views around the side. I did miss the shade at times, and would sit on the side decking reading out of the sun. (Tip: Upper Promenade decks on both sides of the ship are actually wider than those above them, so if you are considering a veranda cabin, you actually get a bit larger balcony than those above for a cheaper price. (VD vs. VA).)
The bed in our cabin was in great condition as was the cabin. The large couch is covered in a nice leather (or was it pleather?) which was holding up nicely. There is a huge flat screen TV and loads of pillows to relax on. I counted 8 full size pillows on our bed. The linens are really nice as are the duvets the suites have, I slept soooooo well! Our outside furniture was nice but the hot sun has really worn it more than those with covered balconies, and it needs replacing.
We attended the Oosterdam's infamous 3 pm wave and got an idea of some of the special energy this cruise would hold. We all waved, hooted and hollered, and made sure we all signed the lovely banner. 33 of our compadres attended including HM James Deering and Beverage Manager Hans Becker, both of whom seemed to take it all in great fun.
We attended a festive sail away party on Lisa and Tom's large aft balcony. What a spectacular sailaway you experience from San Diego!! The sailaway celebration truly set the tone of letting the good times role for the entire week.
Our first morning at sea was relatively calm but foggy till just about 1pm as predicted by Captain Jonathan Mercer. At 11:00 AM we attended a CC get together in the Oak Room. A nice spread of cookies and teas were provided as well as mimosas and Bloody Marys. A big thank you to Hans Becker, who took such good care of us.
We were pleasantly surprised to have Mr. Deering stop bye and discussed the state of cruising, our love for HAL, and its' future. We spoke of the keel laying of the Eurodam which was to occur and the additional services to be offered on the ship as well as the drastic redesign of the Explorations Cafe and the viability of locating it next to the Crows Nest. I found Mr. Deering's candor and honesty to be totally refreshing. It was evident as our cruise continued how well respected he is onboard and how happy the crew on the Oosterdam seems to be. Captain Mercer and HM Deering are to be congratulated on the wonder job they and the crew are doing.
We relaxed in the afternoon, falling into the wonderful rhythm of a sea day. I sat out on our balcony and devoured a portion of a new novel, one of my favorite sea day activities. The second night was formal and most of the pax that I observed were dressed appropriately. There were a fair number of kids onboard, all of which appeared to be very well behaved. There was a little guy (16 Mo.?) sitting next to our table with Mom and Dad and a beaming Grandma and Grandpa who kept us all entertained during the week with his " funny old man" faces, what a good baby he was during dinner! Our dining steward was Reno, he is a gem and HAL is lucky to have waiters of that caliber. The dining room was run very well, kudos to Dining Room Manager Sanjay Nariani, a very handsome gentleman we've cruised with before. Kudos also to Exec. Chef Andreas Sommerfield and Stephan Schuetz, many of the dishes we'd had previously on other HAL cruises, but they really knew how to bring out the best in the menu.
We awoke the next morning to find that although the revised schedule said we were to be in port at 12:00, we actually were coming into Cabo at 9 am!! It was a beautiful day and tendering began at 9:15 am, a record since the pod problems. A fabulous day was had by all in Cabo, and most of us returned with a little more color in our cheeks that night. I elected to snorkel with a ship excursion called "Chilleno Bay snorkel". It was very toasty in Cabo (90F) and the catamaran ride was beautiful, we even got to see whales, which wasn't part of the excursion. The snorkeling unfortunately is not like that in the Caribbean, the water is colder and the fish lack the outrageous colors. During the entire trip there were beverages served, alcohol being served after the snorkeling. The catamaran was very clean and the crew very accommodating. We came back to another lovely dinner and we retired soon after sitting on our balcony and enjoy the balmy breezes. The exercise I got snorkeling made me sleep wonderfully.
The next morning we awoke as we docked in Mazatlan. The last time I'd been there I'd not been particularly impressed, this time I enjoyed it immensely!!! Our day started by hiring a driver of a Pulmonia (a car somewhat like the VW thing that is manufactured there in Mazatlan). This is truly the authentic way to see the city. The fresh air A/C system is wonderful and the views are great. The town really grew on me this time. We managed to be in Mazatlan on the first day of spring and happened upon a parade/fundraising drive for the Mexican Red Cross. The kids in the parade were dressed in their finest for the celebration and parade. We found the old town to be charming. After seeing all of the usual sites and getting to tour the well preserved old part of town we met our group for a wonderful lunch of margaritas and shrimp before returning to the ship to prepare for the ROV ceremony.
The ROV ceremony (Renewal of Vows) itself was wonderful and the dinner following was spectacular! It was wonderful to share such a happy occasion with new friends! Lisa looked just stunning and Tom seemed a wee bit nervous, they made a darling couple!! Dinner ended late and we all headed to our cabins after a full night of an unforgettable celebration. Just when we thought the cruise, couldn't get any better, we arrive in Puerto Vallarta. As I'd had many a Christmas in PV as a child in the 60's, we elected to go into old town and walk the Malecon which has been beautifully extended across the river. Again, we happened upon a parade of cars carrying many children dressed in their finest, and throwing candies, to celebrate spring. They were just darling and happy, and reminded me of our wonderfully hokey parades at home that the kids just adore!
After some shopping we met the group for a lunch on the beach, very literally. We were able to sit and dine right there on the sand at La Palapa. Boy where those margaritas tasty!! Even more lovely was the opportunity to meet fellow HAL cruisers Ine and Ton from the Netherlands. It's such fun to finally put names with faces of folks you've talked with for years!
I also managed to wander down that area of beach, as it looked very familiar to me. Sure enough I found that a portion of the hotel I stayed in during the 60's was still there 40 years later. It was fabulous day including a walk down memory lane of the small town I loved 40 years ago with it's cobbled streets, friendly occupants and beautiful Cathedral. That night we saw another of the fabulous sunsets we'd had all week.
Our next two days were sea days and the first day Lisa and I bought a day pass for the hydrospa ($40). I got my money's worth by using the spa in the morning and afternoon. By dinner I was as relaxed as a wet noodle!! Dinner was another formal one, with surf and turf being ordered by most at our table. Dinner was once again fabulous and was topped off by the Baked Alaska parade. Never have been too wild about the dessert, but it's a cruising tradition I've grown to appreciate!
On the final day we attended the Mariners awards which were held at 11:15am. This was the first time we'd attended a day time reception. Interestingly, approximately 50% of the pax had not cruised HAL before.
I have to tell you I never overheard a complaint all week, which was really exceptional. But then again, there is nothing I can think of to complain about on the Oosterdam!! We had an exceptional and very relaxing cruise, albeit much too quick. DH and I look forward to many more cruises on the 'O' as she is a fabulous ship with an equally wonderful staff!!
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