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We chose this cruise to celebrate a special birthday and chose to splurge on the Neptune suite experience. We have been fortunate to have taken more than 50 cruises on various lines including crystal, Oceania, princess, and others besides Holland America. We are driven by a combination of itinerary and price with HAL meeting the criteria most often. The 14 days round trip Tampa with excellent and varied ports including Key West, San Juan, St Thomas, St Maarten, Dominica, Curaçao, Aruba, and Grand Cayman . The weather was fantastic and the seas were calm. Notables - service was super in the bars, the cabin and main dining room. We particularly enjoyed Sip and Savor in the Pinnacle bar each day at 5. The parings were interesting and Alvin was very informative about the wine. While experienced wine sippers p, we still enjoyed. Wine service in the diningroom had been a concern on previous cruises it was very good thanks to Clifford. The Ask the Captain presentation was fun and informative, not to be missed if you have the opportunity. KK the port lecturer was a good presenter as well as available on the dock at each port. Oh, oh' - it is unfortunate that the only smoking area is at the Seaview Bar aft which renders that bar unavailable to other passengers due to the heavy cigar smoking. As a former smoker, there does need to be a pleasant place to enjoy if one must but it just killed that bar which is a nice place for a late night drink. It's also not great for the employees that work in that area. The suite experience - was wonderful with access to the lounge and breakfast at the pinnacle grill. The other perks included free laundry, priority tender to shore (not back) , bottle of champagne, nice robes and slippers and of course a very spacious cabin. We enjoyed NFL playoff game on our 65" flat screen. It was quite the deal. That being said, it was not quite special enough for the price point. Our veranda cabins have been spacious enough and the amenities good enough. Value for money wasn't quite there. Based on our previous cruises we found the portions larger and the quality higher in main diningroom. Service was so good, we could have been in and out in 45 minutes if we hadn't dragged out feet to pace things out a bit. I like the Lido in that we, the passengers don't handle the utensils, just can't do the self-serve as you never know where the last handler has been. Got to love those fries at the Dive in - pagers work well as opposed to the princess line up and wait. The shops were not exciting -too much $10 stuff not enough duty free value. Jewelry could be much better displayed - didn't seem much personality in the sales department but then there wasn't much to sell. Maybe the Caribbean is so much a cruise of convenience for an older demographic, All in all a grand trip, made better by being surprised by good friends!

Expectations Exceeded

Oosterdam Cruise Review by Callie28

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Pinnacle Penthouse Verandah Suite
We chose this cruise to celebrate a special birthday and chose to splurge on the Neptune suite experience. We have been fortunate to have taken more than 50 cruises on various lines including crystal, Oceania, princess, and others besides Holland America. We are driven by a combination of itinerary and price with HAL meeting the criteria most often. The 14 days round trip Tampa with excellent and varied ports including Key West, San Juan, St Thomas, St Maarten, Dominica, Curaçao, Aruba, and Grand Cayman . The weather was fantastic and the seas were calm.

Notables - service was super in the bars, the cabin and main dining room. We particularly enjoyed Sip and Savor in the Pinnacle bar each day at 5. The parings were interesting and Alvin was very informative about the wine. While experienced wine sippers p, we still enjoyed. Wine service in the diningroom had been a concern on previous cruises it was very good thanks to Clifford. The Ask the Captain presentation was fun and informative, not to be missed if you have the opportunity. KK the port lecturer was a good presenter as well as available on the dock at each port.

Oh, oh' - it is unfortunate that the only smoking area is at the Seaview Bar aft which renders that bar unavailable to other passengers due to the heavy cigar smoking. As a former smoker, there does need to be a pleasant place to enjoy if one must but it just killed that bar which is a nice place for a late night drink. It's also not great for the employees that work in that area.

The suite experience - was wonderful with access to the lounge and breakfast at the pinnacle grill. The other perks included free laundry, priority tender to shore (not back) , bottle of champagne, nice robes and slippers and of course a very spacious cabin. We enjoyed NFL playoff game on our 65" flat screen. It was quite the deal. That being said, it was not quite special enough for the price point. Our veranda cabins have been spacious enough and the amenities good enough. Value for money wasn't quite there.

Based on our previous cruises we found the portions larger and the quality higher in main diningroom. Service was so good, we could have been in and out in 45 minutes if we hadn't dragged out feet to pace things out a bit. I like the Lido in that we, the passengers don't handle the utensils, just can't do the self-serve as you never know where the last handler has been. Got to love those fries at the Dive in - pagers work well as opposed to the princess line up and wait.

The shops were not exciting -too much $10 stuff not enough duty free value. Jewelry could be much better displayed - didn't seem much personality in the sales department but then there wasn't much to sell. Maybe the Caribbean is so much a cruise of convenience for an older demographic,

All in all a grand trip, made better by being surprised by good friends!
Callie28’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Dining
Public Rooms
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Cabin Review

Pinnacle Penthouse Verandah Suite
Cabin PS 7070
Awesome space, great location
Rotterdam Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews