Great Ports- Nightmare Service: Oosterdam Cruise Review by weektripper

Oosterdam 1
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Great Ports- Nightmare Service

Sail Date: May 2009
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
I am new to this site as a fellow passenger just told me about it on my last cruise.  However, I have taken other cruises and have greatly enjoyed those trips, especially the Alaska Inside Passage.  Unfortunately, my first posting on this site turns out to be negative.  My family and I enjoyed the ports of call but received horrible service from Holland America, specifically the MS Oosterdam front desk staff who were rude and unhelpful.  Our steward was wonderful and the dining experience in the Lido restaurant was positive.   Now for the negatives...

We were assigned to a cabin that we discovered to be flooded upon entry.  The front desk refused to reassign us but agreed to send someone to address the problem.  That "someone" never showed up.  We walked in shoes over luggage mats on the floor for three days so as not to step in the disgusting mess.  Multiple calls had no effect on remedying the problem.  The More floor finally dried on its own after a few days, but who knows what was left behind. 

Other matters: Errors were made with our dinner reservations, the food served was not as listed on the menu (in the Vista Dining Room, the self-service Lido was fine), other passengers were allowed to make dinner reservations for the week when the policy is daily only, ice was served with a communal scoop with no gloves leaving us to wonder about health code violations, no onboard laundry machines, and many mistakes were made with cabin charges not only on our bill but those of many others with whom we spoke.  Holland America management was slow to respond and patronizingly condescending in their generic letter.

In short, I highly recommend the area as Venice, the Greek Islands, Pompeii (shore excursion booked separately through Viator), and the Cinque Terre were wonderful.  The views from the cruise ship were great including passing Mt. Stromboli and watching it erupt at night.  My family and I will never travel with Holland America again and will be looking for a more customer-friendly cruise line.  Just wanted to warn others.  Now I know about this forum, I hope to be helped with my next cruise booking choice. Less

Published 07/16/09

Cabin review: HH Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)

Disgusting soaked floor never cleaned despite many requests.  Fair closet space. Small sitting area.  Fair bathroom size for a cruise ship.  No view though had booked "ocean view" (lifeboat in the way).

Read All Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views) (HH) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Much better then expected- take a city tour to see the amazing architecture. I am now a big Gaudi fan. Just be prepared for crowds during the summer especially along Las Ramblas. Beware of really greasy food and don't even brush your teeth with the water- bottled only. Also beware of pickpockets.

Read 1726 Barcelona Reviews

A typical nice Mediterranean city with a nice Old Town. We just strolled on our own and found much to enjoy. However, it is relatively small, and we returned to the ship early. The water is clear and accessible in places for swimming. Old Town is a distance from the port so prepare to buy a bus ride.

We did not find a whole lot to interest us in Naples itself but really enjoyed our excursion to Pompeii. We booked this through Viator with good results. They met us at the port right on time and provided a very knowledgeable guide. Pompeii is huge. The three hours flew by with so much to see and experience.

Read 1161 Naples Reviews

Okay, Rome is great. But the cruise ship port is Civitavecchia which is quite a distance from Rome. Be prepared to sit in lots of traffic and probably encounter some striking group blocking the way is you take an excursion bus to Rome. The train is a little bit of a walk but more reliable and there is a pass at the tourist info center at the port for the train and Rome transit for easier navigation. On its own, Civitavecchia is a huge waste of time. There is a unique church with murals by Hasegawa. There are beaches, but, of course, Italy beaches are all rocks- bring shoes that can go in the water.

Amazing geographically- worth taking the excursion to the traditional white-walled town of Oia. Be prepared for tenders and either a cable car (not too scary) or donkey ride up to the rim of the caldera where the towns are. Lots of stores with some beautiful jewelry.

One of my favorite places. I see something new every time I go. Get an all-day water bus pass and you can go anywhere from circling the island and visiting Murano (mostly glass factories) and Burano (absolutely adorable and very scenic) to cruising up the Grand Canal at night. Just wander the narrow streets and enjoy. It is so much better since their clean-up some years ago. Definitely a unique place to visit.

Read 1126 Venice Reviews

Compare Prices on Oosterdam Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Read more Oosterdam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Oosterdam Review >>

Compare Prices on Oosterdam Europe - Eastern Mediterranean Cruises

Member Since 2009
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Oosterdam deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Oosterdam 74% Loved It

1-day Pacific Coastal
See all Oosterdam Deals >>