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Holland America is noted for classy cruising for the older set. I am a frequent cruiser, almost 70 and just returned from a wonderful week of cruising with my 40 year old daughter on the Oosterdam. The Vista Class has a broader appeal for the younger cruiser. We flew into Seattle early on embarkation day and taxied to Pier 30. Taxi fares are a reasonable $30 +/- for a trip of 30 minutes maximum. We were whisked through the boarding process, with pre-filled online forms in less than 15 minutes. We ate a leisurely lunch on the sunny aft pool deck and just as we finished we heard the announcement that cabins were ready for occupancy. Our luggage had already been delivered when we found our conveniently located outside cabin on Deck Four. We had booked the 'best available outside' for a very reasonable price but were a little disappointed not to receive an upgrade since we knew there were balcony staterooms available and it was my 15th HAL cruise. In fact we were offered but declined an upgrade for $200 each after we had unpacked and settled in. We were pleased with our cabin except for the tender outside our floor to ceiling windows. The tender came with a working crew the majority of the trip. An especially conscientious fellow was there every time we checked. The window is supposedly non-see-through but we kept our drapes closed most of the time just to be safe. Alaska Cruising is enjoyable from May to the end of September but I would recommend the earlier cruises of the season due to less fog and heavy weather. For first time visitors the chances of cancelled shore excursions multiply as the season goes on. It might be colder in May but at least you can see the glaciers. The Oosterdam is one of four Vista class ships on Holland America. It is medium sized ship with lots of options for all ages. The decor is not as gaudy as the Westerdam and it has the usual HAL crew, the most eager to please bunch of folks in the world of cruising. They really want to make your trip special. We enjoyed the entertainment and the option of two shows nightly. The shore excursions are expensive but worth it if you want to experience Alaska. Being on a budget trip, we opted for self guided tours in Juneau and Sitka. We highly recommend the Russian Archangel dancers show and the gift shop featuring local artists in Sitka. The lumberjack show in Ketchikan was great fun with one of the actors presenting me with a very large round of freshly chopped wood. The art shows and auctions on board were informative and did not push purchases. The casino and library were also favorite spots for us on the ship. High Tea was as special as always. Speaking of food; we ordered coffee and juice every morning in our cabin. It was delivered on time with a smile. Following a mile or two of deck walking we went to the Lido for a wonderful breakfast. Sometimes it was hard to find a clean table but a simple request for assistance from the dining room staff always found us a good spot. Lunch in the Lido or on the deck is great with a huge selection for all ages. Dinner was a pleasure every night because HAL has finally gotten the "Dine As You Wish" act together. We didn't even make reservations except for the Pinnacle Dinner. We were seated promptly and with interesting dining companions every night. The food was very good with portions down sized from landside restaurants. The Pinnacle continues to impeccably serve lovely meals and make special memories. Lunch in the Pinnacle is a bargain for those cruisers really watching their dollars. Disembarkation Day always arrives too soon but on this cruise it was painless. We received instructions on the television and in printed forms delivered to our cabin. We had breakfast in the Lido and returned to our cabin to wait for the call to leave. Our luggage was right where it was supposed to be, we cleared customs and headed for the cab stand. Our flight home was on time and we were back on the East coast before the end of the day. Another wonderful trip with Holland America, the best value in the cruising industry today.

Amazing Alaska

Oosterdam Cruise Review by MagTravel

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2008
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)
Holland America is noted for classy cruising for the older set. I am a frequent cruiser, almost 70 and just returned from a wonderful week of cruising with my 40 year old daughter on the Oosterdam. The Vista Class has a broader appeal for the younger cruiser. We flew into Seattle early on embarkation day and taxied to Pier 30. Taxi fares are a reasonable $30 +/- for a trip of 30 minutes maximum. We were whisked through the boarding process, with pre-filled online forms in less than 15 minutes. We ate a leisurely lunch on the sunny aft pool deck and just as we finished we heard the announcement that cabins were ready for occupancy. Our luggage had already been delivered when we found our conveniently located outside cabin on Deck Four. We had booked the 'best available outside' for a very reasonable price but were a little disappointed not to receive an upgrade since we knew there were balcony staterooms available and it was my 15th HAL cruise. In fact we were offered but declined an upgrade for $200 each after we had unpacked and settled in. We were pleased with our cabin except for the tender outside our floor to ceiling windows. The tender came with a working crew the majority of the trip. An especially conscientious fellow was there every time we checked. The window is supposedly non-see-through but we kept our drapes closed most of the time just to be safe. Alaska Cruising is enjoyable from May to the end of September but I would recommend the earlier cruises of the season due to less fog and heavy weather. For first time visitors the chances of cancelled shore excursions multiply as the season goes on. It might be colder in May but at least you can see the glaciers.
The Oosterdam is one of four Vista class ships on Holland America. It is medium sized ship with lots of options for all ages. The decor is not as gaudy as the Westerdam and it has the usual HAL crew, the most eager to please bunch of folks in the world of cruising. They really want to make your trip special. We enjoyed the entertainment and the option of two shows nightly. The shore excursions are expensive but worth it if you want to experience Alaska. Being on a budget trip, we opted for self guided tours in Juneau and Sitka. We highly recommend the Russian Archangel dancers show and the gift shop featuring local artists in Sitka. The lumberjack show in Ketchikan was great fun with one of the actors presenting me with a very large round of freshly chopped wood. The art shows and auctions on board were informative and did not push purchases. The casino and library were also favorite spots for us on the ship. High Tea was as special as always.
Speaking of food; we ordered coffee and juice every morning in our cabin. It was delivered on time with a smile. Following a mile or two of deck walking we went to the Lido for a wonderful breakfast. Sometimes it was hard to find a clean table but a simple request for assistance from the dining room staff always found us a good spot. Lunch in the Lido or on the deck is great with a huge selection for all ages. Dinner was a pleasure every night because HAL has finally gotten the "Dine As You Wish" act together. We didn't even make reservations except for the Pinnacle Dinner. We were seated promptly and with interesting dining companions every night. The food was very good with portions down sized from landside restaurants. The Pinnacle continues to impeccably serve lovely meals and make special memories. Lunch in the Pinnacle is a bargain for those cruisers really watching their dollars.
Disembarkation Day always arrives too soon but on this cruise it was painless. We received instructions on the television and in printed forms delivered to our cabin. We had breakfast in the Lido and returned to our cabin to wait for the call to leave. Our luggage was right where it was supposed to be, we cleared customs and headed for the cab stand. Our flight home was on time and we were back on the East coast before the end of the day. Another wonderful trip with Holland America, the best value in the cruising industry today.
MagTravel’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Service
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Cabin Review

Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)
Cabin HH
Plenty of storage for two women; convenient to everything on the ship; very smooth sailing during rough sea days
Upper Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins