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I traveled with Holland America to Alaska the last week of May, and it was one of the best weeks I ever had. I have been on two other cruise lines, Norwegian and Carnival, they were both great but Holland America was by far the best. The group I traveled with was from ages 12 to 50 (I was born in 1988) and everyone had a great time. Embarkation- We embarked in Seattle, Washington and boy was it easy. We pulled our truck up and there were people right there to help us with our luggage (very nice too by the way). It only took us about 25 minutes for a group of 6 to get on the ship. The Ship- The Oosterdam was absolutely beautiful from the moment you walk in. The ship's interior has a lot of red hues that give it a very grand and elegant yet fun and energetic look. Throughout the ship there are numerous places to sit and relax and enjoy the fabulous view. There is also a lot of fine artwork throughout the ship, anywhere from the seats waiting for the elevators to the dining room. Every place that I went was beautiful and very clean. As a matter of fact, the cleanliness of this ship really stood out to me; it was so clean that you could probably eat off the floor (not that I would though). Activities- When going on a cruise you must get involved in the activities, otherwise its going to be very boring. The activities on the Oosterdam were a lot of fun. There was golf chipping, team trivia, the game "Name That Tune" (really fun), boat building, bingo, and a whole lot more. Participating in the activities is also a great way to get to know other passengers and the crew. I had a blast playing team trivia, I learned a bunch of things that I will probably never need to know in life, but hey when someone asks me what brand of underwear Marty wore in Back to the Future, then I will have the answer for them! Also there is dancing every night in the night club that is so much fun. Service- Incredible! The crew was so amazing, everywhere I looked there were smiling faces and helpful hands. Anytime I asked a crew member for something they were always more than happy to help. I had the pleasure of meeting the infamous Hunky Dory; this guy remembered everyone's names. I met him for a total of 3 seconds and 4 nights later he is saying HI to me in the dining room and asking how my sister Amanda was. I also saw him on the Lido Deck addressing everyone down the buffet line by their names and asking how 'Aunt Betty' was or where your husband 'Mark' was; it was amazing how he remembered everyone like that. Also four people that deserve recognition are the members of the Event Staff, Eric, Lee, Jen, and the DJ Matt. Those people were so much fun to hang out with and talk to. If you go on this cruise then definably try line dancing because Matt is a fantastic teacher and does a great job with the music in the Northern Lights Night Club (Lee, Eric, and Jen are fun to dance with). Shore Excursions- The weather was perfect every day of the cruise which made the activities on land much more enjoyable. I did the River Float in Juneau and I had a great time and I fully recommend it. In Ketchikan we did the Lumberjack show which was a lot of fun. In Sitka and Victoria my group and I enjoyed just walking around and going to the various shops. I heard the garden in Victoria was beautiful and I wish I would have done that. Stateroom- Out of all the staterooms of the cruises I have been on, I think I like this one the most. I don't know if the room was bigger or if it was just the lay out, but either way there was enough room for all four of us staying in one room to live in comfortably. We had a deck which was so worth the extra money because me and my family really enjoyed sitting out there and watching the ship sail into the numerous ports, not to mention the sunrises were to die for. Dining- I thought overall the food was good. I had open seating dining which was nice because I didn't have to plan my whole evening around dinner, my group and I could just go as we pleased and not have to worry about being late. The food sometimes was a bit cold and the meat sometimes overcooked, but other than that everything was great. Entertainment- The singers and dancers did a very good job and were a joy to watch. The Marriage Game was also a lot of fun to watch, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so much. There was also a show where you had to choose which of the three crew members was telling the truth about the definition of a word, which the definitions they gave made it quite hard to determine who was telling the truth. But as strange as the game sounds it was a ton of fun (if you go on this cruise I suggest looking up the word callipygian). Disembarkation- It was quick and easy, simple as that. We put our luggage out with an assigned tag of a letter and color that made it easy to find our luggage on shore. So we got off at our assigned time and once we got off we asked where purple A was and they pointed to a group of suitcases and ours were right there ready to go. Very simple process. A week aboard the ms Oosterdam was definably worth every penny I paid for it. If all Holland America ships are like this then I don't think I will be sailing with any other cruise line any time soon. But one thing I suggest to anyone who goes on any cruise is to get involved with the activities on the ship; don't spend the sea days in your cabin watching re-runs of Law and Order (they have that show playing 24/7 on the Oosterdam if thats what you really want to do). So thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy review, I hope it helps, and I hope you chose to cruise with Holland America because they truly are a Signature of Excellence.

Oosterdam - Alaska May 2008

Oosterdam Cruise Review by OrangeCountyGirl

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2008
  • Destination: Alaska
I traveled with Holland America to Alaska the last week of May, and it was one of the best weeks I ever had. I have been on two other cruise lines, Norwegian and Carnival, they were both great but Holland America was by far the best. The group I traveled with was from ages 12 to 50 (I was born in 1988) and everyone had a great time.
Embarkation- We embarked in Seattle, Washington and boy was it easy. We pulled our truck up and there were people right there to help us with our luggage (very nice too by the way). It only took us about 25 minutes for a group of 6 to get on the ship.
The Ship- The Oosterdam was absolutely beautiful from the moment you walk in. The ship's interior has a lot of red hues that give it a very grand and elegant yet fun and energetic look. Throughout the ship there are numerous places to sit and relax and enjoy the fabulous view. There is also a lot of fine artwork throughout the ship, anywhere from the seats waiting for the elevators to the dining room. Every place that I went was beautiful and very clean. As a matter of fact, the cleanliness of this ship really stood out to me; it was so clean that you could probably eat off the floor (not that I would though). Activities- When going on a cruise you must get involved in the activities, otherwise its going to be very boring. The activities on the Oosterdam were a lot of fun. There was golf chipping, team trivia, the game "Name That Tune" (really fun), boat building, bingo, and a whole lot more. Participating in the activities is also a great way to get to know other passengers and the crew. I had a blast playing team trivia, I learned a bunch of things that I will probably never need to know in life, but hey when someone asks me what brand of underwear Marty wore in Back to the Future, then I will have the answer for them! Also there is dancing every night in the night club that is so much fun.
Service- Incredible! The crew was so amazing, everywhere I looked there were smiling faces and helpful hands. Anytime I asked a crew member for something they were always more than happy to help. I had the pleasure of meeting the infamous Hunky Dory; this guy remembered everyone's names. I met him for a total of 3 seconds and 4 nights later he is saying HI to me in the dining room and asking how my sister Amanda was. I also saw him on the Lido Deck addressing everyone down the buffet line by their names and asking how 'Aunt Betty' was or where your husband 'Mark' was; it was amazing how he remembered everyone like that. Also four people that deserve recognition are the members of the Event Staff, Eric, Lee, Jen, and the DJ Matt. Those people were so much fun to hang out with and talk to. If you go on this cruise then definably try line dancing because Matt is a fantastic teacher and does a great job with the music in the Northern Lights Night Club (Lee, Eric, and Jen are fun to dance with).
Shore Excursions- The weather was perfect every day of the cruise which made the activities on land much more enjoyable. I did the River Float in Juneau and I had a great time and I fully recommend it. In Ketchikan we did the Lumberjack show which was a lot of fun. In Sitka and Victoria my group and I enjoyed just walking around and going to the various shops. I heard the garden in Victoria was beautiful and I wish I would have done that. Stateroom- Out of all the staterooms of the cruises I have been on, I think I like this one the most. I don't know if the room was bigger or if it was just the lay out, but either way there was enough room for all four of us staying in one room to live in comfortably. We had a deck which was so worth the extra money because me and my family really enjoyed sitting out there and watching the ship sail into the numerous ports, not to mention the sunrises were to die for.
Dining- I thought overall the food was good. I had open seating dining which was nice because I didn't have to plan my whole evening around dinner, my group and I could just go as we pleased and not have to worry about being late. The food sometimes was a bit cold and the meat sometimes overcooked, but other than that everything was great.
Entertainment- The singers and dancers did a very good job and were a joy to watch. The Marriage Game was also a lot of fun to watch, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so much. There was also a show where you had to choose which of the three crew members was telling the truth about the definition of a word, which the definitions they gave made it quite hard to determine who was telling the truth. But as strange as the game sounds it was a ton of fun (if you go on this cruise I suggest looking up the word callipygian).
Disembarkation- It was quick and easy, simple as that. We put our luggage out with an assigned tag of a letter and color that made it easy to find our luggage on shore. So we got off at our assigned time and once we got off we asked where purple A was and they pointed to a group of suitcases and ours were right there ready to go. Very simple process.

A week aboard the ms Oosterdam was definably worth every penny I paid for it. If all Holland America ships are like this then I don't think I will be sailing with any other cruise line any time soon. But one thing I suggest to anyone who goes on any cruise is to get involved with the activities on the ship; don't spend the sea days in your cabin watching re-runs of Law and Order (they have that show playing 24/7 on the Oosterdam if thats what you really want to do). So thanks for taking the time to read this lengthy review, I hope it helps, and I hope you chose to cruise with Holland America because they truly are a Signature of Excellence.
OrangeCountyGirl’s Full Rating Summary
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