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This was my fourth Oosterdam cruise and my third cruise in as many months (the others were on different ships on different lines). I went on this cruise not expecting much. My purpose was to get over the HAL's magic 200 day hurdle and get my fourth star (and free laundry!). Prior to this cruise, my 37th in total, I had accumulated 199 days. While not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised. HAL did a great job with just a little bit to complain about -- but no cruise is entirely perfect. I drove to San Diego and took the park and cruise package at the Bayside Holiday Inn. This is an outstanding deal if you drive to San Diego. Embarkation was a breeze, but the San Diego facility could use some upgrading. It was spiffier at the turn of this century. Since we would be eating HAL-fare for the next week, when we got our boarding cards, we left the pier for lunch at Anthony's, the seafood restaurant up the block and boarded the Oosterdam at 1:30PM. I have to say that she looks good. I like the changes. The Exploration whatever, aka the ship's library now shares space with the Crows Nest. While one is a bar/nightclub, the partnership works out surprisingly well. In the past the Crows Nest had some wasted space which is now put to good use. The aft pool deck has been expanded. There are lots of shaded tables near the Lido and the chaise space has not been compromised. The store area on deck three (forget what it's proper name is) is much easier to navigate. There is a small and very deluxe movie theatre in deck two, The Screening Room. No popcorn, but the room is very luxe. We had a basic veranda room. Having recently been in a similar class cabin on the Sapphire Princess, HAL wins hands down. The bathroom has a small tub, no get the shower water all over the floor, the room is bigger with a small couch, and the outside area is much larger and more private. The cabin need a little fixing, ie the shower needed adjusting as did the adjustable coffee table and the chair was stained. I mentioned all this to our steward, and everything was fixed and the chair replaced. I often wonder if other people who don't get this cooperation are just unpleasant to the staff. Incidentally, HAL's beds are the best. I have never thought that HAL had the best food at sea. Certainly they do not in the dining room. However, this is a blessing for me, since I would rather gain weight on the munchies in the Ocean Bar and in the cafeteria line at the Lido. Sorry purists the Lido is really a cafeteria! However. the service was a little disjointed on several nights. We got two plates of wonderful chocolate strawberries for our inconvenience. Now here is what is really good -- the new restaurant in the Lido, Canaletto. It is a new no charge restaurant with absolutely great Italian food. The menu is not huge and everything is made to order. The staff are all old standby HAL types. Perhaps because of Canaletto, HAL now serves the best Pizza afloat, not in this restaurant, but as a standby in the Lido. It is available at all hours, at least after the Lido closes at eight. All the old standbys are still alive and well -- the chocolate buffet, the HAL tiles, the munchies in the bars, the good nuts on formal nights, and HAL's best kept secret, for me at least, the Wine Card! I won't talk about the ports or the evening entertainment, except for my eating/drinking comments above. So to conclude HAL is still a fine line, at least as good as the competition in its class. Disembarkation was a bit, only a bit confusing, but who really wants to get off a fine cruise ship anyway

Enjoyed the Big O!

Oosterdam Cruise Review by dag144

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2010
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
This was my fourth Oosterdam cruise and my third cruise in as many months (the others were on different ships on different lines). I went on this cruise not expecting much. My purpose was to get over the HAL's magic 200 day hurdle and get my fourth star (and free laundry!). Prior to this cruise, my 37th in total, I had accumulated 199 days.
While not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised. HAL did a great job with just a little bit to complain about -- but no cruise is entirely perfect. I drove to San Diego and took the park and cruise package at the Bayside Holiday Inn. This is an outstanding deal if you drive to San Diego. Embarkation was a breeze, but the San Diego facility could use some upgrading. It was spiffier at the turn of this century. Since we would be eating HAL-fare for the next week, when we got our boarding cards, we left the pier for lunch at Anthony's, the seafood restaurant up the block and boarded the Oosterdam at 1:30PM.
I have to say that she looks good. I like the changes. The Exploration whatever, aka the ship's library now shares space with the Crows Nest. While one is a bar/nightclub, the partnership works out surprisingly well. In the past the Crows Nest had some wasted space which is now put to good use. The aft pool deck has been expanded. There are lots of shaded tables near the Lido and the chaise space has not been compromised.
The store area on deck three (forget what it's proper name is) is much easier to navigate. There is a small and very deluxe movie theatre in deck two, The Screening Room. No popcorn, but the room is very luxe.
We had a basic veranda room. Having recently been in a similar class cabin on the Sapphire Princess, HAL wins hands down. The bathroom has a small tub, no get the shower water all over the floor, the room is bigger with a small couch, and the outside area is much larger and more private.
The cabin need a little fixing, ie the shower needed adjusting as did the adjustable coffee table and the chair was stained. I mentioned all this to our steward, and everything was fixed and the chair replaced. I often wonder if other people who don't get this cooperation are just unpleasant to the staff. Incidentally, HAL's beds are the best.
I have never thought that HAL had the best food at sea. Certainly they do not in the dining room. However, this is a blessing for me, since I would rather gain weight on the munchies in the Ocean Bar and in the cafeteria line at the Lido. Sorry purists the Lido is really a cafeteria! However. the service was a little disjointed on several nights. We got two plates of wonderful chocolate strawberries for our inconvenience.
Now here is what is really good -- the new restaurant in the Lido, Canaletto. It is a new no charge restaurant with absolutely great Italian food. The menu is not huge and everything is made to order. The staff are all old standby HAL types. Perhaps because of Canaletto, HAL now serves the best Pizza afloat, not in this restaurant, but as a standby in the Lido. It is available at all hours, at least after the Lido closes at eight.
All the old standbys are still alive and well -- the chocolate buffet, the HAL tiles, the munchies in the bars, the good nuts on formal nights, and HAL's best kept secret, for me at least, the Wine Card!
I won't talk about the ports or the evening entertainment, except for my eating/drinking comments above.
So to conclude HAL is still a fine line, at least as good as the competition in its class. Disembarkation was a bit, only a bit confusing, but who really wants to get off a fine cruise ship anyway
dag144’s Full Rating Summary
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