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Just back from a wonderful yet very busy cruise aboard the lovely Oosterdam. We took the second upsell offer (half the price of the first one) and enjoyed our first Neptune suite and the perks associated with it. Our stewards Tri and Kadek were wonderful at keeping the cabin spotless and well stocked. This was the O's third cruise after dry dock. There was still some work being completed but it did not impact us at all. Our friends were in the new cabins on Deck 10 and were told they were the first to use the cabin. We enjoyed listening to the talented musicians. There was music for all tastes from the Lincoln Centre (more classical) to the pianist to the B B King Blues Club, to the piano duo at Billboard to the Oosterdam's own singers and dancers. I was a bit upset that I could not hear the cruise director's announcements on the tv,,as I had done on previous cruises. I did look under Services but perhaps I was not looking in the right place. It was the same with the Port Talks. When asked if her talks would be available on TV, the presenter said no. There are now kiosks near the front desk where you can check your statement. Although hubby and my accounts were linked, I could not check. It had to be the credit card holder. This was a port intensive cruise with only 2 sea days, the first being almost a week after boarding. The Cruise Critic group met after muster, which was at 4:45 and over by 5:05, for an informal gathering in the Crow's Nest. This was our chance to meet our fellow travellers and firm up the tour arrangements. I am just going to highlight some of the things we did or learned in each port. Hopefully, the info will be useful to others. Civitavecchia. We stayed again Hotel Traghetto which is close to the shuttle bus stop. The Todis grocery store close to the hotel has a limited wine selection but we did find a Trebianno d'Abruzzo, (Brecciola) which we enjoyed. We took our 2 allotted bottles but no one checked them. Livorno. We went to Lucca/Pisa with others from Cruise Critic. The cost was €40 per person. Our van was equipped with WIFI, so we all enjoyed checking our email. FYI...Although we did not use it,,there was a shuttle from the ship. I believe the cost was €5. Monaco. This was a tender port since the Historique Car Race was being held the day we were there. It was quite the bumpy ride to shore at Fontvieille and at one point, they actually stopped the tenders. We asked about getting to the palace and were told by the gal from the tourist office that there were lots of stairs, no bus or taxis. Well, we discovered a series of escalators and elevators (near McDonalds, the supermarket Carrefour, and an indoor shopping mall) and then a short walk took you to the bus stop where you caught the bus to the top. Cost was €2. We waited almost an hour in the rain for the tender back to the ship. St. Tropez We were there on a Sunday and it was very busy. We just walked along the boardwalk admiring the multi-million dollar yachts, enjoying the sunshine. Corsica. We were tendered in Ajaccio, something I was not expecting. It was market day with lots of olives, dried fruits, produce etc. We took the bus tour €10 for 1.5 hour ride. The ticket booth is very close to the tender spot, just opposite Place Foch. The train and the bus go to similar places. Be sure to check the hours for Napoleon's house. It did close for part of the day. The beaches looked great. Almeria. We had hoped to go to the Alhambra with a group from CC but were unable to secure tickets. Although some people did walk, we took the city bus (€1.05) up to the Alcazba, the old fortress overlooking the city. Beautiful views and ruins and a fair bit of climbing. We took the bus back down although our friends did walk. After lunch, I took the tourist train (€5) which started/stopped right by the ship. It went around the downtown area but the commentary was difficult to understand and was out of sync with the tour. There were no photo stops. Ceuta. We had thought of doing a ship's tour here but left it too late to book. The ship was docked fairly close to the main sights. I found a supermarket a five minute walk from the ship where I stocked up on water and pop. The tourist office, near the Plaza of Africa, was not open first thing in the morning ( it was on our way back to the ship). Free WIFI at McDonalds, which is near the Pillar of Hercules. Marseille Here we did a private tour with CC members. We met Delfina and after her papers were checked by the police, we were off to Aix en Provence. It was market day and we strolled through 4 markets. Again, beautiful flowers, produce and smells. Then it was off to Cassis. We went up to a panoramic look-out and had a fantastic view of the town. After a quick lunch, we took a little boat tour to see 3 of the picturesque calanques. Then it was onto Marseille where we visited Notre Dame de la Garde Church. We were able to park quite close and there is an elevator for those who cannot climb the stairs. A quick drive around the port area and then back to the ship. Sete. We did not dock where the map said we would. We had to cross a floating pontoon bridge/gangway to get to shore. It was quite windy but there were crew members available to assist. There were free shuttles which took you closer to the main area. We took the Tourist Train around the city. We inquired about going up to Mont Saint Clair and were told to take bus #5. Unfortunately, we never saw a bus (maybe they don't run on Sunday) and ended up walking up and down. The view was worth the hike. Barcelona. I had arranged a tour to Montserrat for 8 members from CC. After a short delay, sorting out missing names and picking up 2 other couples at their hotels, we were off to Montserrat. There were many groups there that day. The queue to see the Black Madonna was quite long. Two of our group did go up the funicular while others listened to the choir. Flight Home. We were off the ship very quickly and arrived at the airport before the wickets opened. Once they did, we were informed that our flight was delayed until 9pm, 12 hours later. We stayed on that main level for a while but when we tried to go through Security, we were were told our flight had been cancelled. We learned what Air Canada was going to do for us about 12 pm and we were driven to Sitges, a lovely seaside town about 30 minutes from the airport. Others on the plane were put up at other hotels. Those who had gone through security very early did not learn of the cancellation until 6 pm. No one heard any announcement about the cancellation. We chose this cruise because of the different itinerary. It certainly was a great way to explore some different ports in the Mediterranean.

Exploring the Mediterranean

Oosterdam Cruise Review by sotiris

19 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Just back from a wonderful yet very busy cruise aboard the lovely Oosterdam. We took the second upsell offer (half the price of the first one) and enjoyed our first Neptune suite and the perks associated with it. Our stewards Tri and Kadek were wonderful at keeping the cabin spotless and well stocked.

This was the O's third cruise after dry dock. There was still some work being completed but it did not impact us at all. Our friends were in the new cabins on Deck 10 and were told they were the first to use the cabin.

We enjoyed listening to the talented musicians. There was music for all tastes from the Lincoln Centre (more classical) to the pianist to the B B King Blues Club, to the piano duo at Billboard to the Oosterdam's own singers and dancers.

I was a bit upset that I could not hear the cruise director's announcements on the tv,,as I had done on previous cruises. I did look under Services but perhaps I was not looking in the right place. It was the same with the Port Talks. When asked if her talks would be available on TV, the presenter said no.

There are now kiosks near the front desk where you can check your statement. Although hubby and my accounts were linked, I could not check. It had to be the credit card holder.

This was a port intensive cruise with only 2 sea days, the first being almost a week after boarding. The Cruise Critic group met after muster, which was at 4:45 and over by 5:05, for an informal gathering in the Crow's Nest. This was our chance to meet our fellow travellers and firm up the tour arrangements.

I am just going to highlight some of the things we did or learned in each port. Hopefully, the info will be useful to others.

Civitavecchia. We stayed again Hotel Traghetto which is close to the shuttle bus stop. The Todis grocery store close to the hotel has a limited wine selection but we did find a

Trebianno d'Abruzzo, (Brecciola) which we enjoyed. We took our 2 allotted bottles but no one checked them.

Livorno. We went to Lucca/Pisa with others from Cruise Critic. The cost was €40 per person. Our van was equipped with WIFI, so we all enjoyed checking our email. FYI...Although we did not use it,,there was a shuttle from the ship. I believe the cost was €5.

Monaco. This was a tender port since the Historique Car Race was being held the day we were there. It was quite the bumpy ride to shore at Fontvieille and at one point, they actually stopped the tenders. We asked about getting to the palace and were told by the gal from the tourist office that there were lots of stairs, no bus or taxis. Well, we discovered a series of escalators and elevators (near McDonalds, the supermarket Carrefour, and an indoor shopping mall) and then a short walk took you to the bus stop where you caught the bus to the top. Cost was €2. We waited almost an hour in the rain for the tender back to the ship.

St. Tropez We were there on a Sunday and it was very busy. We just walked along the boardwalk admiring the multi-million dollar yachts, enjoying the sunshine.

Corsica. We were tendered in Ajaccio, something I was not expecting. It was market day with lots of olives, dried fruits, produce etc. We took the bus tour €10 for 1.5 hour ride. The ticket booth is very close to the tender spot, just opposite Place Foch. The train and the bus go to similar places. Be sure to check the hours for Napoleon's house. It did close for part of the day. The beaches looked great.

Almeria. We had hoped to go to the Alhambra with a group from CC but were unable to secure tickets. Although some people did walk, we took the city bus (€1.05) up to the Alcazba, the old fortress overlooking the city. Beautiful views and ruins and a fair bit of climbing. We took the bus back down although our friends did walk. After lunch, I took the tourist train (€5) which started/stopped right by the ship. It went around the downtown area but the commentary was difficult to understand and was out of sync with the tour. There were no photo stops.

Ceuta. We had thought of doing a ship's tour here but left it too late to book. The ship was docked fairly close to the main sights. I found a supermarket a five minute walk from the ship where I stocked up on water and pop. The tourist office, near the Plaza of Africa, was not open first thing in the morning ( it was on our way back to the ship). Free WIFI at McDonalds, which is near the Pillar of Hercules.

Marseille Here we did a private tour with CC members. We met Delfina and after her papers were checked by the police, we were off to Aix en Provence. It was market day and we strolled through 4 markets. Again, beautiful flowers, produce and smells. Then it was off to Cassis. We went up to a panoramic look-out and had a fantastic view of the town. After a quick lunch, we took a little boat tour to see 3 of the picturesque calanques. Then it was onto Marseille where we visited Notre Dame de la Garde Church. We were able to park quite close and there is an elevator for those who cannot climb the stairs. A quick drive around the port area and then back to the ship.

Sete. We did not dock where the map said we would. We had to cross a floating pontoon bridge/gangway to get to shore. It was quite windy but there were crew members available to assist. There were free shuttles which took you closer to the main area. We took the Tourist Train around the city. We inquired about going up to Mont Saint Clair and were told to take bus #5. Unfortunately, we never saw a bus (maybe they don't run on Sunday) and ended up walking up and down. The view was worth the hike.

Barcelona. I had arranged a tour to Montserrat for 8 members from CC. After a short delay, sorting out missing names and picking up 2 other couples at their hotels, we were off to Montserrat. There were many groups there that day. The queue to see the Black Madonna was quite long. Two of our group did go up the funicular while others listened to the choir.

Flight Home. We were off the ship very quickly and arrived at the airport before the wickets opened. Once they did, we were informed that our flight was delayed until 9pm, 12 hours later. We stayed on that main level for a while but when we tried to go through Security, we were were told our flight had been cancelled. We learned what Air Canada was going to do for us about 12 pm and we were driven to Sitges, a lovely seaside town about 30 minutes from the airport. Others on the plane were put up at other hotels. Those who had gone through security very early did not learn of the cancellation until 6 pm. No one heard any announcement about the cancellation.

We chose this cruise because of the different itinerary. It certainly was a great way to explore some different ports in the Mediterranean.
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Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SB 6097
Our cabin had just been redone during the recent dry dock. Very pleasant color scheme. There was lots of closet and drawer storage. The balcony was about 16 feet long with a table & 4 chairs and two other chairs with foot rests. Our stewards were very attentive. The cabin was just a short walk to the elevators or stairs.
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