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I will start with the bad, and end on the positive. BAD: Food quality was not good. I would say it was adequate to slightly sub-par. This was my first Alaska cruise, and the last time I did another cruise was in 1994, so I may have had unrealistic expectations. But on that cruise, I was sincerely impressed by the quality of the food, and the diversity of options available. With that being said, I was disappointed with almost all of the meals. The penultimate night with surf and turf was truly a let down. The lobster tail was paltry at best, and was chewy (I don't know how else to say it). I know that I could have ordered 2 or even more lobster tails, but I was really surprised at the diminutive appearance and rubbery texture of the lobster meat. In fact, I even decided to go up to the Lido deck for lobster redo, and the 1/2 tails had more meat there! Filet Mignon was okay. The sad part is I have had better at Outback steakhouse, but again I could have had 1 or 2 extra steaks, so the quantity could have made up for the lacking quality. In the end, I settled on getting a Caesar salad for every meal, and then venturing into the unknown, which was usually disappointing territory, for the rest of the meal. The pizza "bar" was especially abysmal; it consisted of a decent dough with a light dusting of sauce and toppings. Even the salmon was sub-par, and we were in freakin' Alaska!! BUT my biggest complaint was the waiting in line whenever I left the room. Breakfast - stand in line to get the eggs, etc. Then stand around looking for and then eventually waiting for a table or seats to open up. Lunch - you guessed it, more lines. One time on the Lido deck, I timed it and it took 45 minutes to get through the line to get food, get water, and then find a table to sit down. Dining room has to have been better right? Nope. On each of two consecutive evening dinners, it took OVER 1 hour to get our main entree! We were told on one occasion that they were understaffed for dinner, so we should go somewhere else, and we gave up twice waiting in line for breakfast at the Dining room. ** I need to add that my father (who accompanied me on this trip) completely disagreed with me about the quality of the food. His review would have a much higher appraisal of the food, and he has gone on a number of cruises, whereas I have only been on 1 other cruise. GOOD: They take care of everything for you. The service was exceptional (and charged accordingly - about $180 for the week's room services). We saw whales from our room during both the day and at night. The shore excursions, which cost extra of course, were all well vetted. We enjoyed each of them, and felt we got our money's worth of value. Alaska is amazing in its scope and diversity, and we had great weather almost every day. Hubbard glacier was amazing, especially when the sun came out. Our fellow travelers were interesting and friendly, and we look forward to keeping in touch with a number of them. I will fondly remember this cruise for the sights and service, but will do my homework next time, and go with a ship / menu that is more in line with my culinary expectations.

Great scenery and service, but I was always standing in line

Oosterdam Cruise Review by bboz

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
I will start with the bad, and end on the positive.

BAD: Food quality was not good. I would say it was adequate to slightly sub-par.

This was my first Alaska cruise, and the last time I did another cruise was in 1994, so I may have had unrealistic expectations. But on that cruise, I was sincerely impressed by the quality of the food, and the diversity of options available.

With that being said, I was disappointed with almost all of the meals. The penultimate night with surf and turf was truly a let down. The lobster tail was paltry at best, and was chewy (I don't know how else to say it). I know that I could have ordered 2 or even more lobster tails, but I was really surprised at the diminutive appearance and rubbery texture of the lobster meat. In fact, I even decided to go up to the Lido deck for lobster redo, and the 1/2 tails had more meat there! Filet Mignon was okay. The sad part is I have had better at Outback steakhouse, but again I could have had 1 or 2 extra steaks, so the quantity could have made up for the lacking quality.

In the end, I settled on getting a Caesar salad for every meal, and then venturing into the unknown, which was usually disappointing territory, for the rest of the meal. The pizza "bar" was especially abysmal; it consisted of a decent dough with a light dusting of sauce and toppings. Even the salmon was sub-par, and we were in freakin' Alaska!!

BUT my biggest complaint was the waiting in line whenever I left the room. Breakfast - stand in line to get the eggs, etc. Then stand around looking for and then eventually waiting for a table or seats to open up. Lunch - you guessed it, more lines. One time on the Lido deck, I timed it and it took 45 minutes to get through the line to get food, get water, and then find a table to sit down. Dining room has to have been better right? Nope. On each of two consecutive evening dinners, it took OVER 1 hour to get our main entree! We were told on one occasion that they were understaffed for dinner, so we should go somewhere else, and we gave up twice waiting in line for breakfast at the Dining room.

** I need to add that my father (who accompanied me on this trip) completely disagreed with me about the quality of the food. His review would have a much higher appraisal of the food, and he has gone on a number of cruises, whereas I have only been on 1 other cruise.

GOOD: They take care of everything for you. The service was exceptional (and charged accordingly - about $180 for the week's room services). We saw whales from our room during both the day and at night. The shore excursions, which cost extra of course, were all well vetted. We enjoyed each of them, and felt we got our money's worth of value. Alaska is amazing in its scope and diversity, and we had great weather almost every day. Hubbard glacier was amazing, especially when the sun came out. Our fellow travelers were interesting and friendly, and we look forward to keeping in touch with a number of them.

I will fondly remember this cruise for the sights and service, but will do my homework next time, and go with a ship / menu that is more in line with my culinary expectations.
bboz’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VA 4139
All good. The service in the room was exceptional. They must have come in 3 times a day to clean or make the bed, etc. Truly remarkable. The room always smelled clean, and we always had clean linens and towels. Stateroom was small, but that is to be expected. The view from the stateroom was excellent and the deck was regularly cleaned. HOWEVER, we only ordered room service once, and it was not good. This seemed to be consistent with the food quality as a whole on the cruise, so nothing too remarkable there.
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