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My spouse and I chose this cruise because of the promotion by Christian radio group WAYFm. For King and Country, Brandon Heath, Mark Lee of Third Day and Rebecca St. James were the featured artists, and they were superb. We arrived in Seattle a day ahead in part because we had never been and we wanted to allow for airline difficulties and bad weather. Neither were a factor, so we went to Pike Place Market the day before embarkation. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly, was impressed with the number of agents HAL had at the terminal. Don't know if we timed it right or they just have their act together, but spent very little time standing in line. We chose a large interior stateroom on the Rotterdam Deck (7) due to reviews here and elsewhere and because we are tall and need a king bed. The only down side here is no view. Wish we had splurged for a room with a balcony, but now we know. 7055 suited our needs, however. Service was another topic. Although our stewards, Kom and Subchi were very good, room service was spotty. We order a bottled water package and got two, the second of which sat on our stateroom floor taking up space for most of the trip. Repeated calls did not result in retrieval, although we were not charged for two pkgs. Distilled water and an extension cord for my cpap were delivered in a timely fashion, however, and we were not charged for either, though I expected to be for the water. Dining was fine, although the buffet was always a zoo. There's got to be a better way to feed the hordes than standing in slow lines, especially for specialties such as omelets and salads, and hunting for seats like a scavenger. Drink service in the buffet was also spotty, Started out good, deteriorated badly as the week went on, unless you wanted soda or liquor, which was extra $$ and served by special waiters whose only job was selling those. A norovirus outbreak didn't help. The "free" beverage waiters/bussers had to man the drink stations to combat the virus. Evening meals were all in the main dining room and were very good, as was the service. All of the entertainment sponsored by the radio group was exceptional. The ship activities, not so much. We don't drink or gamble, and most of the other ship activities were stuff you could do at home: read, board games, movies, etc. Ports and excursions were mostly good. Juneau Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest was just OK. Too many people on the boat trying to see and snap pictures of very far off humpback whales. Rectified that by booking the Jet-Cat Wildlife Quest & Beach Exploration out of Sitka. Smaller boat, fewer people and an excellent young crew of Alex, Kara and Iris made this one worth it. Idled by a large raft of sea otters for several minutes, snapping happily away. Beach stop was not too taxing and very informative and enjoyable. Tip: it's worth the extra money to book whale & wildlife excursions on smaller vessels. The Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour out of Ketchikan is also worth the money. Great crew, very lively and passionate presentations and demonstrations by the ex-crabbers will keep you leaning forward. But the highlight of this tour is a bald eagle feeding time that brings a dozen our national symbols right up to the boat for a air and water show that is not to be missed. You can almost reach out and touch them (though you really wouldn't want to) as they soar and swoop in droves to grab and sometimes snatch in midair, large pieces of baitfish tossed out by the crew. Leaving and reboarding the ship at the various ports was quick and easy, although more information ahead of time about which floors and hatches were to be used for disembarking would have been nice. My favorite port experiences were shopping at two "local" stores: Tongass Trading Company in Ketchikan and Russell's in Sitka. Make sure you visit the second floor of the "big" Tongass store (they have several) for the real Alaskan outfitter goods. Russell's is just a smaller version of that in Sitka, with less inventory, but both have the XtraTuf boots favored by many of the locals in this rainy climate. Speaking of which, we had great luck with the weather. Only rained a little bit in Sitka on the way back to the ship. The rest of the ports and excursions, we were dry and comfortable. Temps were moderate, except during our visit to the Hubbard Glacier. But the cold was worth experiencing this wondrous marvel of nature. If you plan well and are willing to wait in line for a while, you can secure a great spot up front when they open the hatches to the ships bow. They also serve Dutch pea soup to guests who make it to that perch. All in all, a mostly postiive experience. Will we do it again? Maybe...in a warm weather climate!

First Time Cruisers

Oosterdam Cruise Review by jumpkutz

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2017
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
My spouse and I chose this cruise because of the promotion by Christian radio group WAYFm. For King and Country, Brandon Heath, Mark Lee of Third Day and Rebecca St. James were the featured artists, and they were superb. We arrived in Seattle a day ahead in part because we had never been and we wanted to allow for airline difficulties and bad weather. Neither were a factor, so we went to Pike Place Market the day before embarkation. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly, was impressed with the number of agents HAL had at the terminal. Don't know if we timed it right or they just have their act together, but spent very little time standing in line. We chose a large interior stateroom on the Rotterdam Deck (7) due to reviews here and elsewhere and because we are tall and need a king bed. The only down side here is no view. Wish we had splurged for a room with a balcony, but now we know. 7055 suited our needs, however. Service was another topic. Although our stewards, Kom and Subchi were very good, room service was spotty. We order a bottled water package and got two, the second of which sat on our stateroom floor taking up space for most of the trip. Repeated calls did not result in retrieval, although we were not charged for two pkgs. Distilled water and an extension cord for my cpap were delivered in a timely fashion, however, and we were not charged for either, though I expected to be for the water. Dining was fine, although the buffet was always a zoo. There's got to be a better way to feed the hordes than standing in slow lines, especially for specialties such as omelets and salads, and hunting for seats like a scavenger. Drink service in the buffet was also spotty, Started out good, deteriorated badly as the week went on, unless you wanted soda or liquor, which was extra $$ and served by special waiters whose only job was selling those. A norovirus outbreak didn't help. The "free" beverage waiters/bussers had to man the drink stations to combat the virus. Evening meals were all in the main dining room and were very good, as was the service. All of the entertainment sponsored by the radio group was exceptional. The ship activities, not so much. We don't drink or gamble, and most of the other ship activities were stuff you could do at home: read, board games, movies, etc. Ports and excursions were mostly good. Juneau Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest was just OK. Too many people on the boat trying to see and snap pictures of very far off humpback whales. Rectified that by booking the Jet-Cat Wildlife Quest & Beach Exploration out of Sitka. Smaller boat, fewer people and an excellent young crew of Alex, Kara and Iris made this one worth it. Idled by a large raft of sea otters for several minutes, snapping happily away. Beach stop was not too taxing and very informative and enjoyable. Tip: it's worth the extra money to book whale & wildlife excursions on smaller vessels. The Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour out of Ketchikan is also worth the money. Great crew, very lively and passionate presentations and demonstrations by the ex-crabbers will keep you leaning forward. But the highlight of this tour is a bald eagle feeding time that brings a dozen our national symbols right up to the boat for a air and water show that is not to be missed. You can almost reach out and touch them (though you really wouldn't want to) as they soar and swoop in droves to grab and sometimes snatch in midair, large pieces of baitfish tossed out by the crew. Leaving and reboarding the ship at the various ports was quick and easy, although more information ahead of time about which floors and hatches were to be used for disembarking would have been nice. My favorite port experiences were shopping at two "local" stores: Tongass Trading Company in Ketchikan and Russell's in Sitka. Make sure you visit the second floor of the "big" Tongass store (they have several) for the real Alaskan outfitter goods. Russell's is just a smaller version of that in Sitka, with less inventory, but both have the XtraTuf boots favored by many of the locals in this rainy climate. Speaking of which, we had great luck with the weather. Only rained a little bit in Sitka on the way back to the ship. The rest of the ports and excursions, we were dry and comfortable. Temps were moderate, except during our visit to the Hubbard Glacier. But the cold was worth experiencing this wondrous marvel of nature. If you plan well and are willing to wait in line for a while, you can secure a great spot up front when they open the hatches to the ships bow. They also serve Dutch pea soup to guests who make it to that perch. All in all, a mostly postiive experience. Will we do it again? Maybe...in a warm weather climate!
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin I M 7055
Cabin was fine, location was very good, easy access to fore and aft amenities and viewing and dining rooms. Beds were good, no issues sleeping, TV selections were limited, but who's watching TV on a cruise? WiFi is expensive. Plumbing, drainage and hot and cold water all good and working, Above average for a cruise ship, I would say, keeping in mind this is my first.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins