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We went took the 7 day Alaskan cruise out of Seattle. This was our 2nd time to Alaska on the Oosterdam. We had Signature Suite 8065 and our 2 friends had a Verandah just down the hall. This review will be just some random thoughts. First, if you are thinking about Alaska a balcony is a must. IMO. Worth the extra $$. General Pros: if you want a relaxing cruise this is it! No hairy chest or mixologist contests. No pushy photographers in your face all the time. No drinks being pushed hard. Plenty of nooks and crannies to sit and watch the scenery or read. If you want to party hard this is not the place. I had read how the ship shuts down at 11pm but there were plenty of things going on that started at 11pm for night owls like me. As much as Carnival? No. But plenty of options. Cabins: The upgrades to the suite are nice. Huge HD TV and an abundant choice of movies to watch or news or sports channels. Love the outlets for charging electronics. Music: BB King Club band was great! Tabitha & Timothy the lead vocalists can really belt the songs out! Main stage shows - not my thing. Although the live music backing an Alaskan documentary was awesome and the magician was funny. The dueling pianos were next to the casino were terrible. Since I like to gamble, in the casino, I was forced to listen to their pathetic renditions of various music. Spas: See thru showers in the ladies changing room in the spa. What male thought of that? Hydrotherapy pool and Ceramic warming chairs were very nice but at $299 for 2 for the week it's getting overpriced. Dining room food & service: we had anytime dining and never had to wait but boy was service super slow. I have been on a lot of cruises and this was the slowest ever! Food was OK. Sometimes very good - sometimes not. I think waiters have been given way too many tables and this has affected service. Room service has declined. Menu is limited and now charging $$ for certain items. We ordered coffee in the morning and it was on time and hot. Casino: The casino shrunk! Half of the casino has been taken over by the dueling pianos and a bar which stayed empty most of the time. I did hit $926 on a slot machine on the 3rd cruise day. Compared to Carnival - there is nothing going on in the casino. The host did buy me drinks on 2 different occasions which was nice. Excursions: Juneau: we went on a whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier excursion that was purchased online from Juneau Tours. Much cheaper than HAL and it was excellent. Saw whales and had plenty of time at the Glacier. Ketchikan - we booked a helicopter tour for $89 each once we got there, which flew us up to look at the mountain lakes and goats! It was great. Sitka and Victoria we just walked around since we had been before. Embarkation/Debarkation. Both fast. We used Port Valet to handle our bags straight thru to our home airport and that was nice. Free service! A shared yellow cab was a $40 flat fee from the port to Sea-TAC. Much better than a shuttle or bus. Cons: long, long, lines in the LIDO. We had to search and search for a place to sit and several times took food back to our cabin. SLOW service in dining room. The dreaded intestinal virus was running rampant on board so during the whole cruise there was NO self serve in the LIDO. All silverware and salt/pepper shakers were taken off the tables. You could not even get the normally self serve coffee and water! I do have to say that they were cleaning everything on board. Pools/hot tubs were emptied, scrubbed and refilled. Hand rails were constantly being wiped down. Elevator buttons and even the slots were scrubbed as soon as someone got up. BINGO - still have it several times. Gave away cruises and $$. I didn't win! Pictures for sale - way too expensive. $39 for the 8x10 sheet. I love HAL for Alaska. It's all about the scenery. They have a ranger commentate during the scenic cruising and they have a lot of Alaskan shows to watch on the main stage and on TV. If you interested in learning more about Microsoft/digital cameras they have plenty of classes to attend. America's test kitchen is also a place to learn more about cooking. I did not attend either...maybe next time.

Love HAL but Carnival is my favorite non Alaska Cruise

Oosterdam Cruise Review by gamblingrandma

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
We went took the 7 day Alaskan cruise out of Seattle. This was our 2nd time to Alaska on the Oosterdam. We had Signature Suite 8065 and our 2 friends had a Verandah just down the hall. This review will be just some random thoughts. First, if you are thinking about Alaska a balcony is a must. IMO. Worth the extra $$.

General Pros: if you want a relaxing cruise this is it! No hairy chest or mixologist contests. No pushy photographers in your face all the time. No drinks being pushed hard. Plenty of nooks and crannies to sit and watch the scenery or read. If you want to party hard this is not the place. I had read how the ship shuts down at 11pm but there were plenty of things going on that started at 11pm for night owls like me. As much as Carnival? No. But plenty of options.

Cabins: The upgrades to the suite are nice. Huge HD TV and an abundant choice of movies to watch or news or sports channels. Love the outlets for charging electronics.

Music: BB King Club band was great! Tabitha & Timothy the lead vocalists can really belt the songs out! Main stage shows - not my thing. Although the live music backing an Alaskan documentary was awesome and the magician was funny. The dueling pianos were next to the casino were terrible. Since I like to gamble, in the casino, I was forced to listen to their pathetic renditions of various music.

Spas: See thru showers in the ladies changing room in the spa. What male thought of that? Hydrotherapy pool and Ceramic warming chairs were very nice but at $299 for 2 for the week it's getting overpriced.

Dining room food & service: we had anytime dining and never had to wait but boy was service super slow. I have been on a lot of cruises and this was the slowest ever! Food was OK. Sometimes very good - sometimes not. I think waiters have been given way too many tables and this has affected service. Room service has declined. Menu is limited and now charging $$ for certain items. We ordered coffee in the morning and it was on time and hot.

Casino: The casino shrunk! Half of the casino has been taken over by the dueling pianos and a bar which stayed empty most of the time. I did hit $926 on a slot machine on the 3rd cruise day. Compared to Carnival - there is nothing going on in the casino. The host did buy me drinks on 2 different occasions which was nice.

Excursions: Juneau: we went on a whale watching and Mendenhall Glacier excursion that was purchased online from Juneau Tours. Much cheaper than HAL and it was excellent. Saw whales and had plenty of time at the Glacier. Ketchikan - we booked a helicopter tour for $89 each once we got there, which flew us up to look at the mountain lakes and goats! It was great. Sitka and Victoria we just walked around since we had been before.

Embarkation/Debarkation. Both fast. We used Port Valet to handle our bags straight thru to our home airport and that was nice. Free service! A shared yellow cab was a $40 flat fee from the port to Sea-TAC. Much better than a shuttle or bus.

Cons: long, long, lines in the LIDO. We had to search and search for a place to sit and several times took food back to our cabin. SLOW service in dining room.

The dreaded intestinal virus was running rampant on board so during the whole cruise there was NO self serve in the LIDO. All silverware and salt/pepper shakers were taken off the tables. You could not even get the normally self serve coffee and water! I do have to say that they were cleaning everything on board. Pools/hot tubs were emptied, scrubbed and refilled. Hand rails were constantly being wiped down. Elevator buttons and even the slots were scrubbed as soon as someone got up.

BINGO - still have it several times. Gave away cruises and $$. I didn't win!

Pictures for sale - way too expensive. $39 for the 8x10 sheet.

I love HAL for Alaska. It's all about the scenery. They have a ranger commentate during the scenic cruising and they have a lot of Alaskan shows to watch on the main stage and on TV. If you interested in learning more about Microsoft/digital cameras they have plenty of classes to attend. America's test kitchen is also a place to learn more about cooking. I did not attend either...maybe next time.
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SY 8065
Signature suite has plenty of room for 2. Storage would be tight for 3. Love the new big TV with lots of movies. More outlets to charge items now. Service was good. Ice bucket filled twice a day. No noise from the LIDO above. But did hear a banging from a cable connected to a lifeboat on a particularly windy day.
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