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My sister and I booked a cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Oosterdam; Nov.10th through Nov. 17th. My sister lives in San Diego, so a friend drove us right to the baggage drop off area. We had no problem with the check-in process. We had done the preliminary on-line check-in, so we were in and out in a matter of minutes. We were given our room/charge card, with a dining time of 8:30 PM. (We were hoping to change that time to 8 PM, and did later in the day, no problem.) Evidently, there was an on-line glitch and embarking was taking much longer than normal. We were given a number (36) and we sat down to wait our turn. A sweet little man that reminded us of Santa asked what number we had, and in a minute was back with the number that was boarding (21) Nice! It took us about 30 minutes in line to embark on the ship, but met some fun people while we were going up the plank. One guy had a huge box filled with wine and champagne. We brought a few bottles ourselves. We walked up to the Lido deck and had a little lunch. Roasted chicken, fresh salad and fruit. And of course the ships signature bread pudding with custard sauce. (Which we had every day of the cruise) Then it was on to check out our cabin for the next 7 days. Our cabin was #8027, outside balcony. The linens and towels were very nice. There were 2 bathrobes hanging up for our use. Bath and shampoo gels in little bottles (I like this better than the dispenser) and a well-stocked refrigerator. After a bit of juggling, we fit most of our things in the closet, shelves and found the drawers under the end of the bed as well as under the sofa, and filled the nightstand as well. There is also the vanity stool. The top opens! We packed our souvenirs in there. We went out on deck and watched as the Oosterdam pulled away from the docks, then went to our cabins to relax and wait for the infamous lifeboat drill. When the drill sounded, off we went to the designated station. Both of us had our jackets fastened fancifully but incorrectly, but there were employees who were helping everyone. Hopefully, we would not have a need to recall the procedure. We went up to the Lido to enjoy the sail away, then to the Ocean Bar for a bit of a cocktail. Waiters brought little fruit sticks and cold cuts. One waiter proudly showed us his fish he carved from a melon. Our first dinner on board had to be at 8:30. We were able to change to 8pm after that. Our tablemates this evening were a young couple and full of interesting cruises they had already been on. A long walk after dinner and we were back in our cabin. There was our towel animal, a fish! Also a chocolate treat, room service tag and a Daily Program for the following day. This happens every night by the way. The next morning we were out for a run/walk on deck. Lots of folks about and everyone was smiling and friendly. We went up to the Lido and played Ping-Pong and had a nice breakfast. Then we took showers, walked about the ship and took in a cooking show performed by one of the Master Chef's. After his show, waiters brought trays of food out that the chef had been preparing. It was fun. Back up on Lido, my sister had signed up for the "golf tournament". You chip a plastic ball into a life ring in the pool. She won 5 "dam bucks" to be used for buying T-shirts and what not. We caught the very end of the High Tea in the Main Dining Salon, then put our suits on and relaxed by the pool. Tonight was our 1st formal night. Our table mates were a couple from the San Diego area and another couple from back east. They had taken many Holland America cruises and were way up the chain on the Medallion member's list. After dinner, we walked past a lounge that had Billy, who sang Frank Sinatra songs. We were only able to catch the last few songs, but he promised us he would be playing again on our cruise and to watch the program guide. Back in our cabin, our towel animal (a lobster) greeted us with chocolates and Program guide for the following day. The night was so beautiful; we propped the door open with the deck table and went to sleep. The next day we were docked in Cabo San Lucas. Not our favorite town. But the following day, Mazatlan was fun. We walked into town and rented our own driver to take us about. Raul took us to see the cliff divers, a leather factory, gave us a great tour and also provided us with complimentary water and of course, Corona beer! (The Cervecchia del Pacifico factory is here) The van was new, air conditioned and seated 8 of us just fine. The other 6 people were actually from our cruise ship. The tab came to $20 each, which included the tip. We didn't have exact cash and no one could come up with a combo, so one of the fellow cruisers offered to loan us the money till we got back on the ship. He was then known as "The Banker" for the rest of the cruise. This evening, we made a reservation for the Pinnacle Grill. Although the dinner was very nice and the restaurant was beautiful, I am not sure if I would book again in the future. The filets were dry as were the vegetables. The waiter kinda hovered too much. There was hardly anyone seated at 8 PM, except for a table of 12 gorgeous gay guys that were having a big time. Our towel animal this night: peacock! Our tour guide from Cabo, Raul, highly recommended a tour guide for our next destination, Puerto Vallarta. (There is certainly a little networking going on here) Our little group decided to all go together again, since we had so much fun together in Mazatlan. Pedro was waiting for us as soon as we got off the ship with a sign that said "Friends of Raul's" Cute! Pedro took us past the Bull Ring, resorts, and shops, all along the beautiful ocean front. Then took us to a restaurant just below the rainforest. It was in the treetops, with birds everywhere (parrots? Macaws?) It was a fabulous day. But not so fast! Pedro decided he would take us to a Tequila factory. We had a guided tour of the place, with tequila tasting and a guide that took a liking to my sister. He wanted a picture with her. We wondered later how many tequila tastings this guy does a day... After we were safely back to our ship and on board, we played some Ping-Pong, took a little nap and off again for dinner. Haven't we had about 20 dinners so far? However, tonight was wonderful. We were served the best lamb shanks I believe I have ever had. Melt in your mouth and savory. Scrumptious! Took in a show and our towel treasure for the night (a shaggy dog) was waiting for us to say good night. The following day we were at sea, played games and enjoyed the perfect weather. For my birthday gift, my sister booked us massages. The spa was so relaxing. We enjoyed the nice big showers, and since our cabins hair dryer was barely blowing, took advantage of the spas nice hairdryers! Later, we met our tablemates for a pre-dinner champagne invitation. We had the Baked Alaska show that night, followed by the chocolate extravaganza on the Lido deck, along with ice carvings and beautiful flowers. I think I took a thousand pictures. It was amazing. Floppy eared bunny for the towel gig tonight. Opened the balcony door and was fast asleep. The beds are addicting. Our final day met us with a beautiful calm morning. We took the kitchen tour, which was so much fun. Got to see the guy who made so many fruit carvings and the guy who made the little dough critters that were all over the dining areas. That afternoon we went to the Indonesian tea. (It was ok) Had our last dinner with our mates. Swapped addresses and emails hugged and tipped our waiter. Went to see "Frank Sinatra". He was great. Back to our cozy cabin for a last nights sleep. Next morning, we were supposed to wait till our number was called, but decided to see if we could creep off. As we walked to the gangway, we wondered where the heck anybody was? There was no one about! So we walked off the ship, down the gangway, right into the terminal where we saw our luggage awaiting us. Perfect end to a perfect cruise! A few notes: If you ever need serious medical attention at sea: We had a call over the speaker from our captain. A cruise passenger was critically ill and there was a Coast Guard helicopter enroute to pick the person up in a litter basket. The ship slowed down, but did not fully stop. The passenger was lifted off the ship and off they went. Now we know. The shows were just "lukewarm". The magicians were a husband and wife combo who were cute, but after awhile I found myself squirming. NOT that we have anything at all against gays, but the dance troupes were absolutely openly gay. The (gay) disc jockey and co-host of an American Idol type singing contest among cruise members made very off colored gay remarks and after awhile was not funny at all. Internet: Slow, slow, slow. Very expensive. Save your money. At every port I found an Internet cafe for a few bucks. On board shops: Wait till nearly the end of your cruise. Items go on sale and there are all sorts of T-shirts and things that they bring up on the Lido deck to sell. Library: There is a $30 check out fee for books. You get charged when the book is taken out, then get a credit back when it is returned. Look at your final charges to make sure the credits are there. Food: Don't leave the ship till you've tried a bread pudding!

Ole! Oosterdam!

Oosterdam Cruise Review by travel nymph

Trip Details
My sister and I booked a cruise to the Mexican Riviera on the Oosterdam; Nov.10th through Nov. 17th. My sister lives in San Diego, so a friend drove us right to the baggage drop off area. We had no problem with the check-in process. We had done the preliminary on-line check-in, so we were in and out in a matter of minutes. We were given our room/charge card, with a dining time of 8:30 PM. (We were hoping to change that time to 8 PM, and did later in the day, no problem.) Evidently, there was an on-line glitch and embarking was taking much longer than normal. We were given a number (36) and we sat down to wait our turn. A sweet little man that reminded us of Santa asked what number we had, and in a minute was back with the number that was boarding (21) Nice!
It took us about 30 minutes in line to embark on the ship, but met some fun people while we were going up the plank. One guy had a huge box filled with wine and champagne. We brought a few bottles ourselves.
We walked up to the Lido deck and had a little lunch. Roasted chicken, fresh salad and fruit. And of course the ships signature bread pudding with custard sauce. (Which we had every day of the cruise) Then it was on to check out our cabin for the next 7 days. Our cabin was #8027, outside balcony. The linens and towels were very nice. There were 2 bathrobes hanging up for our use. Bath and shampoo gels in little bottles (I like this better than the dispenser) and a well-stocked refrigerator. After a bit of juggling, we fit most of our things in the closet, shelves and found the drawers under the end of the bed as well as under the sofa, and filled the nightstand as well. There is also the vanity stool. The top opens! We packed our souvenirs in there. We went out on deck and watched as the Oosterdam pulled away from the docks, then went to our cabins to relax and wait for the infamous lifeboat drill. When the drill sounded, off we went to the designated station. Both of us had our jackets fastened fancifully but incorrectly, but there were employees who were helping everyone. Hopefully, we would not have a need to recall the procedure.
We went up to the Lido to enjoy the sail away, then to the Ocean Bar for a bit of a cocktail. Waiters brought little fruit sticks and cold cuts. One waiter proudly showed us his fish he carved from a melon. Our first dinner on board had to be at 8:30. We were able to change to 8pm after that. Our tablemates this evening were a young couple and full of interesting cruises they had already been on.
A long walk after dinner and we were back in our cabin. There was our towel animal, a fish! Also a chocolate treat, room service tag and a Daily Program for the following day. This happens every night by the way.
The next morning we were out for a run/walk on deck. Lots of folks about and everyone was smiling and friendly. We went up to the Lido and played Ping-Pong and had a nice breakfast. Then we took showers, walked about the ship and took in a cooking show performed by one of the Master Chef's. After his show, waiters brought trays of food out that the chef had been preparing. It was fun. Back up on Lido, my sister had signed up for the "golf tournament". You chip a plastic ball into a life ring in the pool. She won 5 "dam bucks" to be used for buying T-shirts and what not. We caught the very end of the High Tea in the Main Dining Salon, then put our suits on and relaxed by the pool. Tonight was our 1st formal night. Our table mates were a couple from the San Diego area and another couple from back east. They had taken many Holland America cruises and were way up the chain on the Medallion member's list. After dinner, we walked past a lounge that had Billy, who sang Frank Sinatra songs. We were only able to catch the last few songs, but he promised us he would be playing again on our cruise and to watch the program guide. Back in our cabin, our towel animal (a lobster) greeted us with chocolates and Program guide for the following day. The night was so beautiful; we propped the door open with the deck table and went to sleep.
The next day we were docked in Cabo San Lucas. Not our favorite town. But the following day, Mazatlan was fun. We walked into town and rented our own driver to take us about. Raul took us to see the cliff divers, a leather factory, gave us a great tour and also provided us with complimentary water and of course, Corona beer! (The Cervecchia del Pacifico factory is here) The van was new, air conditioned and seated 8 of us just fine. The other 6 people were actually from our cruise ship. The tab came to $20 each, which included the tip. We didn't have exact cash and no one could come up with a combo, so one of the fellow cruisers offered to loan us the money till we got back on the ship. He was then known as "The Banker" for the rest of the cruise. This evening, we made a reservation for the Pinnacle Grill. Although the dinner was very nice and the restaurant was beautiful, I am not sure if I would book again in the future. The filets were dry as were the vegetables. The waiter kinda hovered too much. There was hardly anyone seated at 8 PM, except for a table of 12 gorgeous gay guys that were having a big time. Our towel animal this night: peacock!
Our tour guide from Cabo, Raul, highly recommended a tour guide for our next destination, Puerto Vallarta. (There is certainly a little networking going on here) Our little group decided to all go together again, since we had so much fun together in Mazatlan. Pedro was waiting for us as soon as we got off the ship with a sign that said "Friends of Raul's" Cute! Pedro took us past the Bull Ring, resorts, and shops, all along the beautiful ocean front. Then took us to a restaurant just below the rainforest. It was in the treetops, with birds everywhere (parrots? Macaws?) It was a fabulous day. But not so fast! Pedro decided he would take us to a Tequila factory. We had a guided tour of the place, with tequila tasting and a guide that took a liking to my sister. He wanted a picture with her. We wondered later how many tequila tastings this guy does a day... After we were safely back to our ship and on board, we played some Ping-Pong, took a little nap and off again for dinner. Haven't we had about 20 dinners so far? However, tonight was wonderful. We were served the best lamb shanks I believe I have ever had. Melt in your mouth and savory. Scrumptious! Took in a show and our towel treasure for the night (a shaggy dog) was waiting for us to say good night.
The following day we were at sea, played games and enjoyed the perfect weather. For my birthday gift, my sister booked us massages. The spa was so relaxing. We enjoyed the nice big showers, and since our cabins hair dryer was barely blowing, took advantage of the spas nice hairdryers! Later, we met our tablemates for a pre-dinner champagne invitation. We had the Baked Alaska show that night, followed by the chocolate extravaganza on the Lido deck, along with ice carvings and beautiful flowers. I think I took a thousand pictures. It was amazing. Floppy eared bunny for the towel gig tonight. Opened the balcony door and was fast asleep. The beds are addicting.
Our final day met us with a beautiful calm morning. We took the kitchen tour, which was so much fun. Got to see the guy who made so many fruit carvings and the guy who made the little dough critters that were all over the dining areas. That afternoon we went to the Indonesian tea. (It was ok) Had our last dinner with our mates. Swapped addresses and emails hugged and tipped our waiter. Went to see "Frank Sinatra". He was great. Back to our cozy cabin for a last nights sleep.
Next morning, we were supposed to wait till our number was called, but decided to see if we could creep off. As we walked to the gangway, we wondered where the heck anybody was? There was no one about! So we walked off the ship, down the gangway, right into the terminal where we saw our luggage awaiting us. Perfect end to a perfect cruise!
A few notes:
If you ever need serious medical attention at sea: We had a call over the speaker from our captain. A cruise passenger was critically ill and there was a Coast Guard helicopter enroute to pick the person up in a litter basket. The ship slowed down, but did not fully stop. The passenger was lifted off the ship and off they went. Now we know.
The shows were just "lukewarm". The magicians were a husband and wife combo who were cute, but after awhile I found myself squirming. NOT that we have anything at all against gays, but the dance troupes were absolutely openly gay. The (gay) disc jockey and co-host of an American Idol type singing contest among cruise members made very off colored gay remarks and after awhile was not funny at all.
Internet: Slow, slow, slow. Very expensive. Save your money. At every port I found an Internet cafe for a few bucks.
On board shops: Wait till nearly the end of your cruise. Items go on sale and there are all sorts of T-shirts and things that they bring up on the Lido deck to sell.
Library: There is a $30 check out fee for books. You get charged when the book is taken out, then get a credit back when it is returned. Look at your final charges to make sure the credits are there.
Food: Don't leave the ship till you've tried a bread pudding!
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