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This was the first time I was continually disoriented on the ship. The staff, cabin stewards and food servers were fabulous. The downside is the waiting in line for food and beverages. It wasn't until the 4th day that we had bread served in a basket at dinner along with butter, and we were able to get our own beverages in the buffet. Throughout the voyage the buffet was served cafeteria style which meant that there were long lines. They need to have more servers - even though there are 2 sides serving similar food items. The entertainment in the Main Showroom was mediocre - until the comedian and magician show. These were exceptional. The HAL singers and dancers need improvement - the shows weren't that good - only tolerable. Need to have more activities - at least list all of them on the program (some were not listed due to lack of space on the program - at least that's what one of the staff said when we happened upon their program). I signed up for a massage the first day at sea (Monday). My massage therapist took me into the room and asked a few questions (areas of concern, what I wanted for a massage (Swedish), etc.) and asked if I wanted hot stones to which I said I did not because I don't like them. She obviously didn't like my answer because she said her hot stones everyone likes and that she'll try it on me and then I could decide if I wanted them or not. After undressing and getting settled on the table, she came in and poked me on my back a couple of times - the last time I said - 'ouch' - she said she was removing a couple of blackheads. Didn't know that was part of the massage! Then, she scrubbed my back with some sort of brush and the started the massage and after a couple of minutes she put a couple of hot stones on me and asked if I liked it. I answered no so she put them away. She then said I signed up for a Swedish Massage and then started to massage me and said this is the pressure for Swedish (she barely put her hands on my back) and said she recommended a Deep Tissue Massage and then she massaged my back with what I would consider normal pressure. She asked which one I preferred and I said the Deep Tissue since I could at least feel her hands on my back. It was an additional $10 so I said ok. After the massage was over and I was dressed, she came in to sell me products - a lot of products. When I told her I had them from a previous HAL cruise she asked how often I take baths and tried to sell me on their bath treatment. I said no thanks. I understand they want to make more money but it really puts a downer on the experience. We also had a black and white photo session - the photo staff said we should do it. After pictures were taken and we went for our appointment with the photographer, we learned that one 8x10 photo costs $200 (their pricing is based on units). Her initial price for all pictures taken was $1,400. Outrageous. We declined. While cruising Hubbard Glacier the Captain did a superb job in getting us as close as possible. Amazing to see and hear the calving. The highlight of the cruise. It would also be beneficial to have important announcements in cabins - especially Disembarking. We waited in our room and had to continually open the door to hear what group was being called to disembark. Overall, I was disappointed with HAL - the food lines, dinner took at least 2 hours, food selection was okay, needing more activities.

Relaxing with needed improvements

Oosterdam Cruise Review by nancylu

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
This was the first time I was continually disoriented on the ship. The staff, cabin stewards and food servers were fabulous. The downside is the waiting in line for food and beverages. It wasn't until the 4th day that we had bread served in a basket at dinner along with butter, and we were able to get our own beverages in the buffet. Throughout the voyage the buffet was served cafeteria style which meant that there were long lines. They need to have more servers - even though there are 2 sides serving similar food items.

The entertainment in the Main Showroom was mediocre - until the comedian and magician show. These were exceptional. The HAL singers and dancers need improvement - the shows weren't that good - only tolerable.

Need to have more activities - at least list all of them on the program (some were not listed due to lack of space on the program - at least that's what one of the staff said when we happened upon their program).

I signed up for a massage the first day at sea (Monday). My massage therapist took me into the room and asked a few questions (areas of concern, what I wanted for a massage (Swedish), etc.) and asked if I wanted hot stones to which I said I did not because I don't like them. She obviously didn't like my answer because she said her hot stones everyone likes and that she'll try it on me and then I could decide if I wanted them or not. After undressing and getting settled on the table, she came in and poked me on my back a couple of times - the last time I said - 'ouch' - she said she was removing a couple of blackheads. Didn't know that was part of the massage! Then, she scrubbed my back with some sort of brush and the started the massage and after a couple of minutes she put a couple of hot stones on me and asked if I liked it. I answered no so she put them away. She then said I signed up for a Swedish Massage and then started to massage me and said this is the pressure for Swedish (she barely put her hands on my back) and said she recommended a Deep Tissue Massage and then she massaged my back with what I would consider normal pressure. She asked which one I preferred and I said the Deep Tissue since I could at least feel her hands on my back. It was an additional $10 so I said ok.

After the massage was over and I was dressed, she came in to sell me products - a lot of products. When I told her I had them from a previous HAL cruise she asked how often I take baths and tried to sell me on their bath treatment. I said no thanks.

I understand they want to make more money but it really puts a downer on the experience.

We also had a black and white photo session - the photo staff said we should do it. After pictures were taken and we went for our appointment with the photographer, we learned that one 8x10 photo costs $200 (their pricing is based on units). Her initial price for all pictures taken was $1,400. Outrageous. We declined.

While cruising Hubbard Glacier the Captain did a superb job in getting us as close as possible. Amazing to see and hear the calving. The highlight of the cruise.

It would also be beneficial to have important announcements in cabins - especially Disembarking. We waited in our room and had to continually open the door to hear what group was being called to disembark.

Overall, I was disappointed with HAL - the food lines, dinner took at least 2 hours, food selection was okay, needing more activities.
nancylu’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SS 6100
Beautiful cabin - lots of room in cabin and in bathroom (dual sinks and separate shower/bath). Comfortable bed although thermostat needs to be adjusted often (while in cabin the temp would go cold to warm to cold).
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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