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Since the Oosterdam was my first cruise, I can't compare it to other lines/ships. BUT let me say that I had the BEST time on that ship!!! I was rooming with a friend, and we were both part of a group cruise for handbell ringing (if that hadn't been a draw, I don't know if I'd have ever gotten around to cruising... SCARY THOUGHT!!). Flew into San Diego that morning, and got to the port in plenty of time (via pretty inexpensive taxi ride). Did the online pre-registration but there was still a long line. Still, it moved pretty fast. Separate line for suite guests. Had to hand over luggage, but most people kept one 'carry with' bag with essentials. We were in our room by 1:30 as I recall, and had a nice lunch on the Lido before that. Our whole week was very calm seas, which was nice. The week before it was rough going all the way. Go figure. The Oosterdam is really beautiful, art and sculpture everywhere, the Vista dining room is gorgeous, pretty colors and gorgeous ceiling. The atrium is pretty too, and they have live music everywhere you turn in the many lounges (string quartets, piano, bands in the Crow's Nest). FOOD: Dinners in the Vista were (I thought) fantastic and I'm vegetarian (lacto/ovo). There were excellent veg options every night save one, and the table steward offered to have a pasta dish made w/out the meat. IN fact, if he didn't see me eating much (not usually a problem) he would offer me more options. The chilled fruit soups were delicious, and the after dinner coffee with dessert was wonderful (even the decaf was yummy). Excellent service. I enjoyed having same table mates each night, and I didn't know any except my roomie. BEAUTIFUL china for dinners and roomservice (breakfast in bed twice). You could do 'open seating' downstairs if you preferred. NOTE: Vista for breakfast is a mistake if you're in any rush (slow to be served, plan on an hour or more for breakfast). I didn't go to the Pinnacle Grill, as I wasn't sure how many veg options there would be. Lido was great and FAST, ate all my breakfasts (aside from room service) and lunches there... great way to get a fast bite before an excursion. Room Service - a great way to have breakfast on disembarkation day, and it was very good. If I weren't so stuffed all the time I meant to get at least one 'midnight snack' -- the chocolate cake sounded wonderful. SHIP: The ship is pretty huge, and I think we made a mistake by spending the first several hours on the ship (after getting our room) trying to 'get our bearings'. We missed a nice Sail Away party and some other events because of that. The ship is too big to really get bearings fast. Much easier to just 'let that idea go and just review the deck layouts next to the midship elevators as you go. In retrospect I would have looked immediately at the Daily Schedule and see what events are happening. My sailing was absolutely full up (supposedly) on the ship, but there is still plenty of space and deck chairs to relax. Aft pool was for adults only, and quieter than the other pool area. Hottubs -- there were several but small and not as hot as I like. Didn't try the spa, but think I might this time? Noticed they had a mid-week 'spa special' where you got a little of everything (hydropool, scented saunas, warmed tile seats, facial, massage) for $99. My roomie did it, but wasn't prepared for the sales pitch on products , so she spent a bit more than that! ROOMS: The beds are SO COMFORTABLE!! The linens and bathrobes (you get in veranda stateroom and up) are so wonderful and soft. Bathroom in verandah staterooms were not too cramped, and shower/bathtub was roomy too I thought. Rooms are small, but I was expecting that. Wish I could afford to go 'suite' sometime. ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT: They had a Daily Schedule which you got in your room each night (and when first check in). I kept it with me, as there were multiple activities going on all the time. I missed some things the first day because I didn't know to check the schedule. Kitchen tour was fabulous (apparently) but because I didn't know to watch for it, I missed it! Didn't see the American Idol thing, but heard it was good. Bingo often cancelled due to lack of players. I thought the entertainment was pretty darn good. The singer/dancer revues were great, the juggler was super, the magician was really awesome, the only thing I didn't like was the latin ballad singer. One late night comedian who was hilarious, I was in tears (and not too bad language). EXCURSIONS: The Cabo San Lucas stop I see now I could have missed. The whale watching tour at 1-3pm was disappointing, but the after us saw lots (go figure). everytime they'd spot whales, they'd turn towards them, leaving everyone not in the small area in front of the ship without a view. Cabo itself is tiny and there's nothing much to see. Next time I'll give it a miss. I went on the zipline tour in PV, and it was really fun. The DVD they sell you at the end was $40 so I gave that a miss. It was exhilarating but not too scary. At Mazatlan I had no excursions, just slept in then spent the day bumming around town. Took several taxi's here and there, and walked the lovely boardwalk for a long time (nice sculptures). Actually walked up the steps to what I thought was an old lookout on the boardwalk, and ended up having a cliff diver dive off right where I was! TIPPING: HAL lets you know that they add $10 pp/per day to your shipboard account, to be divvied up among the staff. I felt this to be really wonderful, I didn't feel like I had to have money with me to tip all the time, and I did give a little extra in person the last day to my table steward and my room steward. But I felt this made it much less stressful, as I've heard some cruise lines you feel like you're tipping all the time. This was a stress-free solution, and you could adjust your total tipping amount up or down at the end. FINAL WORDS: In a nutshell, I went a whole week without one bad thing happening (that I can recall) . Everyone was smiling, helpful, polite (including all the passengers)... I think if I'd asked one of the staff to carry me to dinner they would have done it! Plenty to do, and plenty 'not to do'. I'd planned this to be my 'one cruise' to say I'd done it. But it was such a wonderful, completely relaxing, fun, unstressful week that I couldn't wait to book another cruise! I'll be on the Oosterdam again only 8 months later, and will probably be a regular cruiser after this.

Oosterdam - Mexican Riviera

Oosterdam Cruise Review by fanuilos

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2007
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Since the Oosterdam was my first cruise, I can't compare it to other lines/ships. BUT let me say that I had the BEST time on that ship!!! I was rooming with a friend, and we were both part of a group cruise for handbell ringing (if that hadn't been a draw, I don't know if I'd have ever gotten around to cruising... SCARY THOUGHT!!).
Flew into San Diego that morning, and got to the port in plenty of time (via pretty inexpensive taxi ride). Did the online pre-registration but there was still a long line. Still, it moved pretty fast. Separate line for suite guests.
Had to hand over luggage, but most people kept one 'carry with' bag with essentials. We were in our room by 1:30 as I recall, and had a nice lunch on the Lido before that. Our whole week was very calm seas, which was nice. The week before it was rough going all the way. Go figure.
The Oosterdam is really beautiful, art and sculpture everywhere, the Vista dining room is gorgeous, pretty colors and gorgeous ceiling. The atrium is pretty too, and they have live music everywhere you turn in the many lounges (string quartets, piano, bands in the Crow's Nest).
FOOD: Dinners in the Vista were (I thought) fantastic and I'm vegetarian (lacto/ovo). There were excellent veg options every night save one, and the table steward offered to have a pasta dish made w/out the meat. IN fact, if he didn't see me eating much (not usually a problem) he would offer me more options. The chilled fruit soups were delicious, and the after dinner coffee with dessert was wonderful (even the decaf was yummy). Excellent service. I enjoyed having same table mates each night, and I didn't know any except my roomie. BEAUTIFUL china for dinners and roomservice (breakfast in bed twice). You could do 'open seating' downstairs if you preferred.
NOTE: Vista for breakfast is a mistake if you're in any rush (slow to be served, plan on an hour or more for breakfast). I didn't go to the Pinnacle Grill, as I wasn't sure how many veg options there would be.
Lido was great and FAST, ate all my breakfasts (aside from room service) and lunches there... great way to get a fast bite before an excursion. Room Service - a great way to have breakfast on disembarkation day, and it was very good. If I weren't so stuffed all the time I meant to get at least one 'midnight snack' -- the chocolate cake sounded wonderful. SHIP: The ship is pretty huge, and I think we made a mistake by spending the first several hours on the ship (after getting our room) trying to 'get our bearings'. We missed a nice Sail Away party and some other events because of that. The ship is too big to really get bearings fast. Much easier to just 'let that idea go and just review the deck layouts next to the midship elevators as you go. In retrospect I would have looked immediately at the Daily Schedule and see what events are happening.
My sailing was absolutely full up (supposedly) on the ship, but there is still plenty of space and deck chairs to relax. Aft pool was for adults only, and quieter than the other pool area. Hottubs -- there were several but small and not as hot as I like. Didn't try the spa, but think I might this time? Noticed they had a mid-week 'spa special' where you got a little of everything (hydropool, scented saunas, warmed tile seats, facial, massage) for $99. My roomie did it, but wasn't prepared for the sales pitch on products , so she spent a bit more than that!
ROOMS: The beds are SO COMFORTABLE!! The linens and bathrobes (you get in veranda stateroom and up) are so wonderful and soft. Bathroom in verandah staterooms were not too cramped, and shower/bathtub was roomy too I thought. Rooms are small, but I was expecting that. Wish I could afford to go 'suite' sometime. ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT: They had a Daily Schedule which you got in your room each night (and when first check in). I kept it with me, as there were multiple activities going on all the time. I missed some things the first day because I didn't know to check the schedule. Kitchen tour was fabulous (apparently) but because I didn't know to watch for it, I missed it! Didn't see the American Idol thing, but heard it was good. Bingo often cancelled due to lack of players.
I thought the entertainment was pretty darn good. The singer/dancer revues were great, the juggler was super, the magician was really awesome, the only thing I didn't like was the latin ballad singer. One late night comedian who was hilarious, I was in tears (and not too bad language).
EXCURSIONS: The Cabo San Lucas stop I see now I could have missed. The whale watching tour at 1-3pm was disappointing, but the after us saw lots (go figure). everytime they'd spot whales, they'd turn towards them, leaving everyone not in the small area in front of the ship without a view. Cabo itself is tiny and there's nothing much to see. Next time I'll give it a miss.
I went on the zipline tour in PV, and it was really fun. The DVD they sell you at the end was $40 so I gave that a miss. It was exhilarating but not too scary.
At Mazatlan I had no excursions, just slept in then spent the day bumming around town. Took several taxi's here and there, and walked the lovely boardwalk for a long time (nice sculptures). Actually walked up the steps to what I thought was an old lookout on the boardwalk, and ended up having a cliff diver dive off right where I was!
TIPPING: HAL lets you know that they add $10 pp/per day to your shipboard account, to be divvied up among the staff. I felt this to be really wonderful, I didn't feel like I had to have money with me to tip all the time, and I did give a little extra in person the last day to my table steward and my room steward. But I felt this made it much less stressful, as I've heard some cruise lines you feel like you're tipping all the time. This was a stress-free solution, and you could adjust your total tipping amount up or down at the end.
FINAL WORDS: In a nutshell, I went a whole week without one bad thing happening (that I can recall) . Everyone was smiling, helpful, polite (including all the passengers)... I think if I'd asked one of the staff to carry me to dinner they would have done it! Plenty to do, and plenty 'not to do'. I'd planned this to be my 'one cruise' to say I'd done it. But it was such a wonderful, completely relaxing, fun, unstressful week that I couldn't wait to book another cruise! I'll be on the Oosterdam again only 8 months later, and will probably be a regular cruiser after this.
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