Oosterdam Cruise Review by pirokp
- Sail Date: November 2007
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarking in San Diego is a breeze. Do not buy the cruise line transfers. I would suggest a taxi. The port is about 5 minutes from the airport and the taxi will be cheaper and less of a hassle. Holland America has it together at this port. Getting on was a breeze. Although the rooms are not usually ready until 1:30, you can check your carry-on gear near the front pool area.
Ship was in good shape. Previous reviews commented on rug deterioration, but the crew is replacing the rug as time goes on. Food is respectable. One member of our party wanted more of a healthy selection, so she would choose her selections the night before and it would be prepared by a special chef using low-fat type of ingredients. It worked out fairly well. Our food service was fair to poor. During previous cruises, one would order an appetizer, salad, soup and then entree because each was grouped in it's own section on the menu. On this cruise, the first three were all in one section. This may have caused some confusion in the service and maybe in the kitchen also because not everyone ordered a appetizer, soup and/or salad. The wine steward was great. Professional and personable. For those you don't consume huge amounts of wine, think about purchasing a 10 or 20 glass wine card. It is worth it. Buffet was good. If you are a creature of habit for breakfast, then no problem enjoying the food.
Our room was on the Rotterdam desk. Clean and reasonable size. The hair dryer could had a bit more power though. The room steward was friendly and cleaned the room when expected. The kids room was a big mess. It was not the room steward fault, but the kids. We told the steward to just make sure the toilet was clean and they had toilet paper. After five days, the kids got tired, cleaned the room and we told the steward it was safe to return.
Although there were many kids on this Holiday week, it was not out of control. Our kids were really too old for the kid's program, but other kids we knew just loved it.
The Las Vegas entertainment was OK. Julie Bar the comedian, Elton John impersonator and the gymnastics person were very good. The cruise director was humorless and hardly entertaining.
There were a couple of house bands on the ship, but they generally played only an hour a day somewhere on the ship.
The amount of on-board activities seems to have dropped. There was bingo, trivia and thank goodness Thanksgiving day football on the big screen in a lounge.
The fitness room was adequate. There were also ample number of classes to take, but most had a fee.
The Greenhouse spa allowed access for a fee of $250 per couple for the entire week, which included unlimited use between 8AM and 10PM. This included warming chairs which was comprised of heated tiles. Very soothing and I fell asleep more than once. Also included was wet and dry saunas and a private mineral pool set at body temperature (could have been warmer). Holland America limits the amount of people that can purchase the package and thus the warmer chairs were available 11 of the 13 times we visited.
We did not attend any of the free or pay-for cooking demonstrations. Members of our group did attend the pay-for Martini Mixer class and enjoyed it.
Would we travel on this ship with this cruise line again. You bet. We saw no reason to shy away from Holland America or the Oosterdam.
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