Oosterdam Cruise Review by houpearwc
- Sail Date: February 2008
- Destination: Mexican Riviera
- Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Feb. 2nd, 2008 Our trip started with a flight into one of our favorite cities in the U.S., the great city of San Diego. We arrived the day of the sailing from our home in Texas (husband/wife...early fifties), take a few days before the trip if you've never been to S.D. and find out why we love it so much. A short taxi ride later ($12) to the pier and we were checked in in minutes. Having been on 5 previous cruises we knew we needed some bottled water and diet drinks for the week (especially Mexico), so we headed to Little Italy and a CVS store which was very reasonable. By 12pm we were eating at the "Lido" on deck 9. This was the quickest Embarkation Process we've ever been through. The usual life boat drill was as boring as any other, but seemed to go by quicker than most. We had open dining picked for this cruise, our first time. I must say I was really surprised, I liked it more than I thought I would. My wife and I met a couple and hit it off the first night. We never ate dinner with them again but did share trivia contests them on a couple of occasions. Try the open seating, I think most will be surprised. This was Super Bowl weekend so the first day out to sea the ship put on a big Super Bowl Party in the Vista Lounge. First port.....Cabo San Lucas.....Whale watching a must ($80), saw a lot of grey whales, worth the couple of hours boat ride, drinks and salsa provided, friendly crew. Second Port.....Mazatlan.....City tour was a good deal at ($25), could see downtown just by walking or taking a bus. Getting to the outside of the port is done by bus, no walking to the gates allowed. Just an old Mexican town, might stay aboard next time. Third Port.....Puerto Vallarta....Took the Yamaha "Rhino" tour, expensive for a tour ($89), but it was a lot of fun, got to get wet and dirty on the ranch type setting. I would take in the bullfighting at 5pm the next time, within walking distance of the ship. Ship Rating.... Entertainment (Vista Lounge)....Great (Delisco, Edge...etc) Entertainment (Lounges)....Definitely for the older crowd. Room (Balcony)....Smaller and laid out less friendly than RCI. Fitness Area....much smaller than RCI....more of a focus on the spa area by H.A., the wet sauna unaccessible by "regular guests" requires $40 day spa fee to get a steam. Texas Holdem....Real dealers not video machine like R.C.I., spent some time every night playing, making friends. Food....A step above RCI in quality but not in selection. Miss the Quest, rock wall and mini sandwiches....but H.A. Oosterdam has great ice cream....free. Cruise Mates....Definitely an older crowd, nice not so many kids aboard as is the usual case with RCI. Staff....Very helpful and friendly, mostly Indonesian or Philippine in origin,lots of fun to interact with if you take the time. Holland America....worth a try, especially for an older couple or group.
Disembarkation.....off the ship at 8:15am....at airport by 8:30am dropping off bags for a 1pm flight. Took the 992 bus ($5-day pass)to downtown (8:45am)....Sea Port Village....walked to Little Italy for lunch and canoles to take home. San Diego is real easy to get around even without a car the transportation system is great.
Overall....Very satisfied with service and quality. Ship in great shape. Lounges need more variety and pizzazz. Things more tucked away, hard to find if you don't know where you're going. Shops....tucked away not an open concept like RCI Explorer ships (Promenade)which were built before the Oosterdam. Would sail on again....in 15 years!
houpearwc’s Full Rating Summary
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