1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Oosterdam
Three of us in 2 SS cabins. All three of us are Mariner Club members. All of us have at least 15 cruises under our belts. We are semi-retired and want value for money. We do not cruise in groups nor do we partake of many organized activities, preferring to fill our days as we see fit. We were advised by our travel agent two days prior to departure that the boarding would be pushed back to 3pm so the ship could be super cleaned following a norovirus outbreak. No other info was given nor could any more be gleaned. We arrived at the port about 2 pm to learn that boarding was at 4pm. The embarkation day was cold and wet and miserable in San Diego. Some effort to keep the passengers entertained was made but with the weather being so foul, few enjoyed the shuttles. San Diego is, to be sure, best enjoyed outdoors. After check in we were given a letter signed by the president of HAL that we could get a refund if we didn't want to take the trip or apply our payment to a future cruise. We had no idea what we were going to encounter so we decided to get on the ship and go. What a mistake - had we been told that our lives would be constrained to the point of nonsense and that decisions about our future would never be communicated to the passengers, we would have taken the money and rented a car and gone touring on our own! After a 4 hour wait, we finally got on the ship. Our cabin was great - big and spacious with lots of storage and a bathroom with two sinks and a jacuzzi tub and a separate shower (whose curtain got a bit personal from time to time!). We had none of the following: room service menu, tv remote, extra blankets, note pad, fruit, flowers, bible, nada. If it could be sanitized, it was. Things started showing up a few days after the cruise began but only in dribs and drabs. I know I sound like a whiny baby but common sense was in very short supply on this trip. I could cite endless contradictory examples but what's the point? The cabin itself was the only highlight of the trip. The crew was dead on its feet - going through the motions and struggling to get their regular, nevermind Code Red imposed, chores performed. None that I spoke to ever got off when we got to the various ports - they slept! Their fatigue was palatable and the strain made for few genuine smiles. The food was forgettable. I did not have a single meal I enjoyed. I could not believe this. The Pinnacle Grill was little better than the Lido. We opted for the open seating - twice we made reservations only to have to wait for folks who just walked up without them! Thereafter, we just walked up. We were seated with other couples three times. We prefer our own company, however. The entertainment was lame but that is all I expect on the big liners these days - Simon Cowell would have them booted from American Idol! Enthusiasm cannot overcome lack of talent in the long haul. Gone are the enrichment lecturers which we had always enjoyed. Shore excursion folks were, predictably, only interested in selling tours and none of the maps provided had anything but their shopping venues highlighted. As very experienced travellers, we always hire cars/drivers and this trip was no different. Got my only decent meal on shore. Did no shopping as we live close to Mexico and many of the goodies on offer are available in my town for less money! The trip was a grind and we were glad to be off the ship. Would I ever take another HAL trip? I don't know yet because I feel like the senior officers on the Oosterdam hid from the passengers and corporate HAL didn't get info to us in a timely fashion. I am sure they knew when they issued the late boarding notice that a refund would be offered. We will probably never know. I do know that I will never willing get on a ship which is under Code Red which is meant to keep us healthy but I believe it is driven by the lawyers, not the medical teams.

It was a dam shame......

Oosterdam Cruise Review by hybrn8

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2008
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Three of us in 2 SS cabins. All three of us are Mariner Club members. All of us have at least 15 cruises under our belts. We are semi-retired and want value for money. We do not cruise in groups nor do we partake of many organized activities, preferring to fill our days as we see fit.
We were advised by our travel agent two days prior to departure that the boarding would be pushed back to 3pm so the ship could be super cleaned following a norovirus outbreak. No other info was given nor could any more be gleaned.
We arrived at the port about 2 pm to learn that boarding was at 4pm. The embarkation day was cold and wet and miserable in San Diego. Some effort to keep the passengers entertained was made but with the weather being so foul, few enjoyed the shuttles. San Diego is, to be sure, best enjoyed outdoors.
After check in we were given a letter signed by the president of HAL that we could get a refund if we didn't want to take the trip or apply our payment to a future cruise. We had no idea what we were going to encounter so we decided to get on the ship and go. What a mistake - had we been told that our lives would be constrained to the point of nonsense and that decisions about our future would never be communicated to the passengers, we would have taken the money and rented a car and gone touring on our own!
After a 4 hour wait, we finally got on the ship. Our cabin was great - big and spacious with lots of storage and a bathroom with two sinks and a jacuzzi tub and a separate shower (whose curtain got a bit personal from time to time!). We had none of the following: room service menu, tv remote, extra blankets, note pad, fruit, flowers, bible, nada. If it could be sanitized, it was. Things started showing up a few days after the cruise began but only in dribs and drabs. I know I sound like a whiny baby but common sense was in very short supply on this trip. I could cite endless contradictory examples but what's the point?
The cabin itself was the only highlight of the trip. The crew was dead on its feet - going through the motions and struggling to get their regular, nevermind Code Red imposed, chores performed. None that I spoke to ever got off when we got to the various ports - they slept! Their fatigue was palatable and the strain made for few genuine smiles.
The food was forgettable. I did not have a single meal I enjoyed. I could not believe this. The Pinnacle Grill was little better than the Lido. We opted for the open seating - twice we made reservations only to have to wait for folks who just walked up without them! Thereafter, we just walked up. We were seated with other couples three times. We prefer our own company, however.
The entertainment was lame but that is all I expect on the big liners these days - Simon Cowell would have them booted from American Idol! Enthusiasm cannot overcome lack of talent in the long haul. Gone are the enrichment lecturers which we had always enjoyed.
Shore excursion folks were, predictably, only interested in selling tours and none of the maps provided had anything but their shopping venues highlighted. As very experienced travellers, we always hire cars/drivers and this trip was no different. Got my only decent meal on shore. Did no shopping as we live close to Mexico and many of the goodies on offer are available in my town for less money!
The trip was a grind and we were glad to be off the ship. Would I ever take another HAL trip? I don't know yet because I feel like the senior officers on the Oosterdam hid from the passengers and corporate HAL didn't get info to us in a timely fashion. I am sure they knew when they issued the late boarding notice that a refund would be offered. We will probably never know. I do know that I will never willing get on a ship which is under Code Red which is meant to keep us healthy but I believe it is driven by the lawyers, not the medical teams.
hybrn8’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Oosterdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email