Oo.. the DAM Noise - (Third time unlucky): Oosterdam Cruise Review by kendra123

Oosterdam 2
Member Since 2009
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Oo.. the DAM Noise - (Third time unlucky)

Sail Date: July 2009
Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean
Embarkation: Venice
Arrived at Venice airport on time (we had arranged our own flights and transfers)and walked out to a waiting taxi at the airport taxi rank.The taxi cost 40 euros to the ship which shared between four of us wasn't bad.Dropping off the luggage and checking in was a breeze as there were no queues at all, and we were on the ship within an hour of landing which was great.We found our cabins and were pleased with the size and layout,then decided to wander round the ship.My husband and I had sailed with HAL twice before so we were expecting things to be good especially as we had recommended it to our friends.We were all generally pleased with the ship and the friendly greetings from the staff,and after a quick bite to eat we returned to our cabins to find our luggage was waiting.Dinner in the restaurant was good although there is still a very limited choice for vegetarians and the waiting staff were friendly and amusing.We had decided to have late option dining as we usually are not back for More the early seating and this proved to be a good choice as we had lovely people on our table and there seemed to be a lot of complaints about the waiting times on anytime dining.Just as everything seemed to be going well we then had the problem with NOISE in our cabin and this ultimately spoilt our holiday.Our cabins were located on deck 8 directly underneath the aft deck pool/bar area, and the noise was constant.Everytime somebody moved their chair or sunbed the dragging noise reverberated around the cabin.This was bad enough during the day ,especially when you were trying to rest after a hectic day on shore but it was a lot worse when it continued into the early hours of the morning(sometimes until 2.30-3.00am.The noise then started up again at about 5.30 as the staff were moving sunbeds and tables.We did complain quite a few times to the front desk and while the staff were friendly there was little they could do as the ship was totally sold out.We did receive a letter stating they were offering us $300 dollars per cabin for our inconvenience but we have requested a better offer as we had virtually no sleep all trip,and even didn't manage to go ashore at Livorno (Florence) as we were so exhausted.As we were only able to book a guaranteed verandah cabin(and not a specific deck or cabin)we felt unfairly treated and this has made us think twice about travelling with HAL again. We did generally enjoy the ship although there was very little entertainment on any day or night, and there were a lot of unsupervised children breaking all the rules in the pool area making it generally unpleasant on most days.The service in general was pretty good as was the food, we especially liked the lido for choice and we always found a seat even when it was busy.The ports were generally good and easy to do your own thing in(especially as HAL prices for tours and transport are the highest we have ever seen).It was a shame about the cabin noise as otherwise we would have had a very good time, but having very little sleep for 12 nights is not good and definately had a big impact on our enjoyment. This is our primary reason behind the overall low score as we need another holiday to recover from the sleep deprivation!! Disembarkation very easy and we decided to get taxi to the airport which took about 25 mins. Organisation of the taxi queue by the port Police was excellent and prevented any arguments. Taxi cost was €27 (€30 with tip) for all four of us. HAL wanted $39 EACH for coach transfer. Less

Published 08/18/09

Cabin review: VF8116 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Cabins 8116 / 8120 extremely noisy due to Aft Lido deck directly above

Read All Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom (VF) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Arrived late afternoon having been sailing for over a day. Queues to disembark at 5.30pm were large so we waited 30 mins. Caught the port bus to Columbus monument (€3 return). Spent a couple of hours walking Las Ramblas and the Gothic quarter. Very busy so enjoyed a jug of Sangria before catching the bus back to the ship.

Read 1752 Barcelona Reviews

We caught the local bus into the town from the cruise terminal which cost a few euros(just walk past the line of taxis to the bus area)and we were dropped in the centre,we had a short walk to the old town area which was quite pleasant.As this was a sunday a lot of shops were closed but there were the usual tourist shops open in the old town area.We wandered around for a while before visiting the asian art musuem which is in a very pleasant setting overlooking the cricket pitch.Again we spent a few pleasant hours here before walking back to the ship,which only took about 25 minutes even in the warm weather.It would probably have been a better day if more things were open but it was still ok.

Read 509 Corfu Reviews

Caught a local taxi just outside the cruise terminal (it was initially a bit confusing as to where to go with no help from HAL staff) and it cost just 10 euros per taxi, into Dubrovnik.We were dropped off just outside the Pile gate,which meant we walked straight into the old city.My husband and i had been before so we recommended walking the city walls to our friends which was not expensive.This was lovely although it was extremely hot and there are quite a few steep steps,but the views are great. We then walked around the city itself before catching a taxi back to the ship(from outside the main gate).We had an enjoyable few hours which would have cost a lot more if we had done the same thing with HAL.One word of warning is that some of the shops inside the city walls charge tourists excessively,our friend needed a hat and ended up paying 22 euros for a flimsy straw hat,so be warned.

Having been to Naples twice before we decided to visit Capri on our own as the excursions with HAL were expensive. Rather hectic getting tickets for the Hydrofoil but managed to get on the 10am for €16 each (one way) Took about 30-35mins and during the trip across there was a local promoting a tour on Capri for €22 each which we decided to go with (and glad we did). Air condidtioned bus took us first to Ana Capri which we was very picturesque. A must is the 'ski-lift' to the top of Ana Capri which is well worth it for the views. Next bus took us to Capri town where we had around an hour to look around. Guide sorted out our return tickets on the Hydrofoil which got us back to Naples around 3.30pm. All in all a great day.

Read 1173 Naples Reviews

By far our best day! - we had been to Rome twice before and done the sites 'on foot'. This time we had pre-booked a tour with Miles and Miles after reviewing on Tripadvisor. The owner Roberto picked us up in his air-conditioned people carrier at 8am prompt and within the hour we were in Rome. He took us around all the major sites starting with a panoramic view of the city from one of the hills. His knowledge was superb and Roberto managed to by-pass all the queues for the Colosseum which we estimate would have been 1 hour+. After a great lunch we went onto the Vatican were we met Caren (Roberto's English wife). Yet again no queuing. Caren then gave us a 2 hour tour of the Vatican including the Sistine Chapel and finishing off with St Peter's basilica. Caren's knowledge and friendly nature made the tour a real pleasure. Roberto was waiting for us at 4.30pm and we were back on board by 5.30pm. We can not recommend this company enough.

Arrived by tender and had to wait about 30 mins to get on the Funicular to the top. Weather was fantastic and we decided to catch the local bus to Oia. Rather chaotic at the bus station as everybody seemed to have descended on it all at once. We decided to wait half an hour and went for a drink. We managed to get the next bus (standing room only) and it was about 15 mins journey (€1.40 single). Spent about an hour in Oia which had some great photo opportunities before returning to the square to get the return bus. On arrival back in Fira we spent a couple of hours shopping before going for a great evening meal at Dionysus restaurant. We enjoyed the spectacular sunset before returning to the ship. Tenders pretty well organised.

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