Oosterdam Cruise Review by Jofannie and Mark
- Sail Date: June 2017
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
First, the overall experience was an 8 out of 10. Embarkation and debarkation went smoothly. This is our second trip on the Oosterdam and the ship has been updated so that it looks lovely. There was a very nice mix of ages..from large inter-generational families with children to middle age folks still working full time to the older retired people you often see on Holland America.
Second, the food was exceptional..I'd give it a 9+ out of 10. There weren't quite as many selections as you get on Princess but what was served was of very high quality and delicious! I especially liked the fact that many offerings were already plated so that it increased the liklihood of you finishing what was served and reducing the wastefulness of taking too much and then not eating it all.
We loved everything that we had from the dining room, from the afternoon tea, to the Lido Market (buffet) to the Dive In on the pool deck that served scrumptuous burgers, hot dogs and fries to the Crows Nest coffee bar with tiny sandwiches and desserts, etc.
Third, the Entertainment. We don't cruise for the entertainment but we do enjoy shows, comedians and magic acts all of which we had on this cruise. I would rate the entertainment 6 out of 10...in other words, it was OK but nothing too special.
Fourth, the stateroom. We had an ocean view cabin on the Main Deck which our room steward made up each night for the kids. The sofa made into a bed and above the sofa, a bunk type bed came out of the wall. It was ingenious really. We were cozy since there wasn't that much space but we all made it work.
Fifth. We were pleasantly surprised by the activites for the kids. Ethan went to Club Hal just once and then spent a lot of time playing basketball on the top deck. Audrey stayed close to us for the first few days and then found friends at The Loft which is fo 13-17 year olds and then we hardly saw her after that!
Sixth. Shore excursions. Since this is our 6th cruise to Alaska (we live in the Seattle area), we chose excursions this time aimed at giving the kids an overview understanding of this great state without breaking the bank. So in Juneau we explored an old gold mine and panned for gold and also rode the Mt. Roberts Tram where you can see Juneau from 1800 ft. in the air and visit some raptors. In Sitka (my favorite Alaska cruise port), we visited the largest Raptor sanctuary in the state and did a rainforest walk through part of the Tongass National Forest where we saw extraordinary Totem Poles. In Ketchikan where they say it rains 375 days a year (and it rained when we were there as well), we had fun riding in an amphibious vehicle that went from riding on land to going into the bay where we saw many eagles perched on all kind of places. We also watched the Lumberjack Show which was great fun and not to be missed.
All in all, Alaska is a very special place which should be on everyone's bucket list. We were happy with Holland America but we've also been there with RCL and Princess so whatever ship you choose, it;s a wonderful experience.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Gold PanningThe exoerience of being in a gold mine was interesting for the kids. The guide was pretty long winded however, and his talk certainly could have been shortened especially since the mine was quite cold. The panning for gold, which we've done before, was great.View All 30 Gold Panning Reviews
Duck TourVery fun. It's really neat going from land into the water in the same vehicle. We saw quite a few eagles perched along the harbor rocks.View All 98 Duck Tour Reviews
Lumberjack ShowA great show...not to be missed. Especially fun with kids.View All 197 Lumberjack Show Reviews
SitkaWe all loved the raptor sancturay. Not only were the birds beautiful, but the location was gorgeous. The tour guides were excellent as well. The Rainforest Tour was very good with a great guide and the Totems were breathtaking.View All 8,611 Sitka Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Sitka Cruise Port Review