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I just finished a cruise with Holland from 6-14 to 6-21 of this year sailing to Alaska. I'm 23 years old, a college senior, that enjoys traveling with my family as much as possible. This was my fifth cruise but my first on Holland. Our travel agent told us that Holland was the best way to go for cruising Alaska because the smaller ships supposedly provided more attentive service. Well after this vacation, I will never waste money on another Holland Cruise Line. I've been reading some of the other positive reviews and I'm wondering if these people have been on some of the other lines because if Oosterdam is an accurate representation of HAL overall then they fall far short of what other cruise lines offer. The most notable disappointment was the food. If you're expecting great, flavorful, hot food then you're in for a rude awakening because that's something Holland DEFINITELY lacked. The food was incredibly bland, both in the vista dining room and the lido restaurant. It was NEVER hot and the steaks and fish were often dry. Even the surf&turf dinner was bad...they have a problem comprehending what "well-done" means and every time I ordered steak I had to send it back because it was pretty much bleeding. The lobster tail must be from baby lobsters because they are so tiny. The food is just bad. I was so glad to get off the boat so that I could eat and actually be satisfied. The reservation system is ridiculous...totally inefficient. Even if you make one, you still have to wait and we always sat by a busing station. It was awful. The staff overall was not very friendly. They acted like they were hoping you didn't ask them anything so that they wouldn't have to bother themselves with an answer. The dining room staff never offered a wine list, we always had to ask. If you asked for tea from the bread guy, instead of telling the waiter we wanted tea, he'd tell us to ask him ourselves. The other staff around the boat weren't helpful or patient...I always felt like I was imposing anytime I had a request or a question...little things like this are important to a person spending a pretty penny to have a relaxing vacation. Then at the end of the cruise they have the nerve to drive home the point of tipping the crew with a tv lecture on how much the crew depends on the tips. What gall! What ever happened to people EARNING tips? Not all was bad though, Alaska is INCREDIBLY beautiful! The shore excursions they offered were great and really good value for the money. The suite rooms were nice and comfortable and the balcony was a nice size. My sister is 15 and she really enjoyed the teen activities. Unfortunately, the activities offered for people between the ages of 17 and 60 were pretty much non-existent. The ones they did have were boring and definitely required dodging more than a few canes and handicap scooters. My point is, if you're not at retirement age or in your teens, bring some cards or some good books because the ship itself is boring and the activities are a joke. Although there were a few good things about this HAL experience like the smooth check-in, spacious rooms, great stateroom attendant (yay for Ishmail!), and wonderful excursions, the bad put a serious damper on all that. Since most of our time was spent onboard, I was so disappointed and realized that Royal Caribbean (the line I usually sail) is so much better than Holland in so many ways so I will never waste my time with Holland again and will probably recommend to others that they avoid this line as well.

HOLLAND (ms OOSTERDAM) SUCKS

Oosterdam Cruise Review by choosetocruise23

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2008
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
I just finished a cruise with Holland from 6-14 to 6-21 of this year sailing to Alaska. I'm 23 years old, a college senior, that enjoys traveling with my family as much as possible. This was my fifth cruise but my first on Holland. Our travel agent told us that Holland was the best way to go for cruising Alaska because the smaller ships supposedly provided more attentive service. Well after this vacation, I will never waste money on another Holland Cruise Line. I've been reading some of the other positive reviews and I'm wondering if these people have been on some of the other lines because if Oosterdam is an accurate representation of HAL overall then they fall far short of what other cruise lines offer. The most notable disappointment was the food. If you're expecting great, flavorful, hot food then you're in for a rude awakening because that's something Holland DEFINITELY lacked. The food was incredibly bland, both in the vista dining room and the lido restaurant. It was NEVER hot and the steaks and fish were often dry. Even the surf&turf dinner was bad...they have a problem comprehending what "well-done" means and every time I ordered steak I had to send it back because it was pretty much bleeding. The lobster tail must be from baby lobsters because they are so tiny. The food is just bad. I was so glad to get off the boat so that I could eat and actually be satisfied. The reservation system is ridiculous...totally inefficient. Even if you make one, you still have to wait and we always sat by a busing station. It was awful. The staff overall was not very friendly. They acted like they were hoping you didn't ask them anything so that they wouldn't have to bother themselves with an answer. The dining room staff never offered a wine list, we always had to ask. If you asked for tea from the bread guy, instead of telling the waiter we wanted tea, he'd tell us to ask him ourselves. The other staff around the boat weren't helpful or patient...I always felt like I was imposing anytime I had a request or a question...little things like this are important to a person spending a pretty penny to have a relaxing vacation. Then at the end of the cruise they have the nerve to drive home the point of tipping the crew with a tv lecture on how much the crew depends on the tips. What gall! What ever happened to people EARNING tips? Not all was bad though, Alaska is INCREDIBLY beautiful! The shore excursions they offered were great and really good value for the money. The suite rooms were nice and comfortable and the balcony was a nice size. My sister is 15 and she really enjoyed the teen activities. Unfortunately, the activities offered for people between the ages of 17 and 60 were pretty much non-existent. The ones they did have were boring and definitely required dodging more than a few canes and handicap scooters. My point is, if you're not at retirement age or in your teens, bring some cards or some good books because the ship itself is boring and the activities are a joke. Although there were a few good things about this HAL experience like the smooth check-in, spacious rooms, great stateroom attendant (yay for Ishmail!), and wonderful excursions, the bad put a serious damper on all that. Since most of our time was spent onboard, I was so disappointed and realized that Royal Caribbean (the line I usually sail) is so much better than Holland in so many ways so I will never waste my time with Holland again and will probably recommend to others that they avoid this line as well.
choosetocruise23’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
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Shore Excursions
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Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SY 8074
Superior suite has comfy beds, double sink. Shower drains kinda slow and the toilet flush button doesn't always work right away. Great balcony
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