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A group of seven family and close friends sailed the Mexican Riviera on the ms Oosterdam calling at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. For my partner and me, this was our second HAL cruise on the same itinerary. Most in the group were new to HAL and one person was a first-time cruiser. Simply put, this was one of the best vacations we have been blessed with. There is just something special about being a passenger on a Holland America Line cruise. From the moment you step on board you just know that you'll be completely taken care. It's the feeling that you're part of an extended family. The ambience is classic and the service is warm, genuine, friendly, attentive and professional. For us, overall service and food are paramount and HAL truly excels in these areas. Crew members in every corner of the ship make sure you feel welcome and return every smile, often calling you by name. They leave you with a feeling that their work is more than just a job. Our dining room waiter said it best on the last night of the cruise. After having thanked him for taking such good care of us he said simply with his hand over his heart "When you are happy, we are happy." Well said. Not to mention that, over the course of the week, he delivered the most delicious variety of foods from succulent prime rib and wild mushroom strudel with red curry to escargot and foie grois. Then it is little touches that make things exceptional. Cloth towels in public restrooms along with fresh orchids, the exquisite beds and linens, chocolates and a "good night" note from the captain and crew at turndown. Soft wool blankets provided on your veranda to watch a spectacular sunrise in the brisk morning air. The wonderful thermal Suite and 24 hour room service. Original oil paintings in the stairwell and the beautiful wood furniture on the public decks. And not a spot of rust. How can you not feel special? Attention to detail was everywhere such as our stateroom attendant who, after the first night, noticed we had seven empty cocktail glasses left on the table. Without ever saying a word, he made sure we always had seven glasses and champagne flutes for entertaining. For excursions we had a bit of a variety for our group. In Puerto Vallarta three of us were "Dolphin Trainers for a Day" while four others did "Town Country and Tequila." The dolphin trainer experience through Vallarta Adventures (booked through the ship) was outstanding and first-class in every way. It is expensive but was worth every penny. In addition to dolphins we were given play time with three sea lions and we never stopped laughing. We highly recommend this excursion. Afterward we went to Westin and paid a day-use fee to use the beautiful pools and private beach to watch the sunset over Banderas Bay. Does it get any better? In Mazatlan, five of us did Salsa y Salsa (booked through the ship) and had a fantastic time. Very well run, educational, fun, and great value-for-money. Two from our group did the Canopy Adventure and returned to the ship full of extreme-sports adrenaline and smiles. In Cabo San Lucas three of booked the America's Cup Challenge through the ship and the tour was conducted by Cabo Adventures (same company as Vallarta Adventures). Again, a first-class operation and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everyone was able to participate in grinding the sails and even steering the yacht. Lobster tacos and several "Waboritas" at Cabo Wabo were a fitting end to the day. Thank you HAL and crew of the ms Oosterdam for giving our group the vacation of a lifetime and making us feel so special. Please know that we are most grateful for the many ways you insure we have a great time and get the maximum value for our vacation dollar.

The Beautiful Holland America Line ms Oosterdam

Oosterdam Cruise Review by BoiseIdahoSpud

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2009
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
A group of seven family and close friends sailed the Mexican Riviera on the ms Oosterdam calling at Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas. For my partner and me, this was our second HAL cruise on the same itinerary. Most in the group were new to HAL and one person was a first-time cruiser.
Simply put, this was one of the best vacations we have been blessed with. There is just something special about being a passenger on a Holland America Line cruise. From the moment you step on board you just know that you'll be completely taken care. It's the feeling that you're part of an extended family. The ambience is classic and the service is warm, genuine, friendly, attentive and professional.
For us, overall service and food are paramount and HAL truly excels in these areas. Crew members in every corner of the ship make sure you feel welcome and return every smile, often calling you by name. They leave you with a feeling that their work is more than just a job. Our dining room waiter said it best on the last night of the cruise. After having thanked him for taking such good care of us he said simply with his hand over his heart "When you are happy, we are happy." Well said. Not to mention that, over the course of the week, he delivered the most delicious variety of foods from succulent prime rib and wild mushroom strudel with red curry to escargot and foie grois.
Then it is little touches that make things exceptional. Cloth towels in public restrooms along with fresh orchids, the exquisite beds and linens, chocolates and a "good night" note from the captain and crew at turndown. Soft wool blankets provided on your veranda to watch a spectacular sunrise in the brisk morning air. The wonderful thermal Suite and 24 hour room service. Original oil paintings in the stairwell and the beautiful wood furniture on the public decks. And not a spot of rust. How can you not feel special?
Attention to detail was everywhere such as our stateroom attendant who, after the first night, noticed we had seven empty cocktail glasses left on the table. Without ever saying a word, he made sure we always had seven glasses and champagne flutes for entertaining.
For excursions we had a bit of a variety for our group. In Puerto Vallarta three of us were "Dolphin Trainers for a Day" while four others did "Town Country and Tequila." The dolphin trainer experience through Vallarta Adventures (booked through the ship) was outstanding and first-class in every way. It is expensive but was worth every penny. In addition to dolphins we were given play time with three sea lions and we never stopped laughing. We highly recommend this excursion. Afterward we went to Westin and paid a day-use fee to use the beautiful pools and private beach to watch the sunset over Banderas Bay. Does it get any better?
In Mazatlan, five of us did Salsa y Salsa (booked through the ship) and had a fantastic time. Very well run, educational, fun, and great value-for-money. Two from our group did the Canopy Adventure and returned to the ship full of extreme-sports adrenaline and smiles.
In Cabo San Lucas three of booked the America's Cup Challenge through the ship and the tour was conducted by Cabo Adventures (same company as Vallarta Adventures). Again, a first-class operation and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Everyone was able to participate in grinding the sails and even steering the yacht. Lobster tacos and several "Waboritas" at Cabo Wabo were a fitting end to the day.
Thank you HAL and crew of the ms Oosterdam for giving our group the vacation of a lifetime and making us feel so special. Please know that we are most grateful for the many ways you insure we have a great time and get the maximum value for our vacation dollar.
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Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SA 7080
Cabin SA 7080 is a lovely cabin in the middle of the ship. It's an easy walk to the neptune lounge and to the dining room. Also - the balcony is more private than those SA's adjacent to the midship exterior elevators or the SB's near the rear elevators.
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins