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This was my 15th or 16th cruise and 2nd on HAL. Flying into Venice was amazing, It was like a picture coming to life. The ship picked up a group from the airport and loaded us on to a bus and took us to the ship. Embarkation was very easy! The rooms were ready when we arrived (approx. 11 am) and the room and bathroom were fantastic. A full bathroom inc. a bath! And this was for a regular cabin!! Immediately headed into Venice to explore and go shopping. The Water Bus (not the water taxi as that's a lot more money!) was easy to get to and dropped you off right in front of St Marks Square. about 15 Euros for a round trip. Lots of shops and tourists so venture out a bit throughout the alleys and explore! Back to the boat for the life drill and then back into the city via the People mover (3-4 Euros round trip.) - The people mover drops you off on the other side of the island and it's a long but fascinating walk to St Marks Square - make sure you look for hidden churches and beautiful sculptured windows and door knockers/doors. You'll see many famous bridges by taking the people mover but will do a lot more walking!! Summer is VERY hot and humid too, so be prepared!!! Croatia - took the shuttle (16 E) to town and did the fort tour (again, lots of walking up steps!) for an amazing view. Lots to see in Dubrovnik! Albania - walked along the "beach" which was mostly pebbles - and down a couple of streets - we heard the tours were fascinating esp the Blue Eye lagoon. Katakalon/Olympia Greece - amazing ruins - we opted for the 3D tour but I would not do that again as the pad you carry around does not match up with the direction you are facing so it's a bit annoying - very hot so dress accordingly and the area is bumpy so wheelchairs had a difficult time. However, its someplace everyone should visit at least once. Amazing!! Then on to a store where many items were made with olive oil. The Baklava is the best ever !!! very crowded as all the buses tend to stop there at the same time!! lots of stuff to buy!!! teft lhen on to another little shopping area nearby. We got left behind so make sure you ALWAYS understand what time the bus is leaving. After several of us on different tours got left behind, they started giving us phone numbers of who to contact in case that occurred again. (Ship was awesome, reimbursed us for the cab back to the port and for part of the excursion, even tho apparently it was our fault.) Then 3 days in Italy - Pompeii is a must but again, very hot! so interesting and awesome!! Sorrento was gorgeous. I heard the pizza in Napoli (Naples) was great but we were too hot after our excursion to go back into the city. Etruscan Necropolis was interesting and the drive through the Italian countryside was beautiful. Cinque Terra was lovely to see also. Monaco - friend did the 4 mile walking tour of the Formula 1 Race path and loved it. I did the Hop On Hop Off which showed much of the country and was perfect. France - did the Hyeres tour, that was a lot of walking and hot, but fascinating and lovely. Toulon has a little train shuttle to show you the city which is nice if you are too tired to do a tour Barcelona- amazing city. If you love Antoni Gaudi make sure you schedule reservations for Park Guell and la Sagrada Familia if you wish to go there. In the summer the tours are crazy and it will take hours to get in. We did the Hop On Hop Off and went to La Pedrera/Casa Mila and Montjuic which was very interesting. You can see much of the city on the HoHo so take advantage of it. We stayed an extra 2 days. The cab drivers went on strike while we were there but they have buses that go directly to the airport. Ship - it was a lovely ship and the food was delicious but compared to other ships, this one did not have a lot of activities to do during the day. 2 small pools worked for the amount of people but there were minimal exercise classes except for the morning stretch...no dance classes, painting classes, etc. A couple of demos from America's Test Kitchen cooking show but no samples for the audience. A few times I was bored which has never happened before!! Fun entertainment at night. I wish there were more things to do on board esp for sea days. Food - very good, try the fries at the Dive-In - YUMMY! (and don't forget their special sauce!) -- great desserts and the meals In the dining room were very good. Great omelets and the pasta bar was delicious!! great burgers and handmade salads!! and you can grab a sandwich for the next day if you want! Cabins- worked well for us, large for 2 people and the cabin stewards Heri and Hilman were awesome!!!

Oosterdam, awesome itinerary, not enough on-board activities

Oosterdam Cruise Review by 16paws

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
This was my 15th or 16th cruise and 2nd on HAL. Flying into Venice was amazing, It was like a picture coming to life. The ship picked up a group from the airport and loaded us on to a bus and took us to the ship. Embarkation was very easy! The rooms were ready when we arrived (approx. 11 am) and the room and bathroom were fantastic. A full bathroom inc. a bath! And this was for a regular cabin!! Immediately headed into Venice to explore and go shopping. The Water Bus (not the water taxi as that's a lot more money!) was easy to get to and dropped you off right in front of St Marks Square. about 15 Euros for a round trip. Lots of shops and tourists so venture out a bit throughout the alleys and explore! Back to the boat for the life drill and then back into the city via the People mover (3-4 Euros round trip.) - The people mover drops you off on the other side of the island and it's a long but fascinating walk to St Marks Square - make sure you look for hidden churches and beautiful sculptured windows and door knockers/doors. You'll see many famous bridges by taking the people mover but will do a lot more walking!! Summer is VERY hot and humid too, so be prepared!!!

Croatia - took the shuttle (16 E) to town and did the fort tour (again, lots of walking up steps!) for an amazing view. Lots to see in Dubrovnik!

Albania - walked along the "beach" which was mostly pebbles - and down a couple of streets - we heard the tours were fascinating esp the Blue Eye lagoon.

Katakalon/Olympia Greece - amazing ruins - we opted for the 3D tour but I would not do that again as the pad you carry around does not match up with the direction you are facing so it's a bit annoying - very hot so dress accordingly and the area is bumpy so wheelchairs had a difficult time. However, its someplace everyone should visit at least once. Amazing!! Then on to a store where many items were made with olive oil. The Baklava is the best ever !!! very crowded as all the buses tend to stop there at the same time!! lots of stuff to buy!!! teft lhen on to another little shopping area nearby. We got left behind so make sure you ALWAYS understand what time the bus is leaving. After several of us on different tours got left behind, they started giving us phone numbers of who to contact in case that occurred again. (Ship was awesome, reimbursed us for the cab back to the port and for part of the excursion, even tho apparently it was our fault.) Then 3 days in Italy - Pompeii is a must but again, very hot! so interesting and awesome!! Sorrento was gorgeous. I heard the pizza in Napoli (Naples) was great but we were too hot after our excursion to go back into the city.

Etruscan Necropolis was interesting and the drive through the Italian countryside was beautiful. Cinque Terra was lovely to see also.

Monaco - friend did the 4 mile walking tour of the Formula 1 Race path and loved it. I did the Hop On Hop Off which showed much of the country and was perfect.

France - did the Hyeres tour, that was a lot of walking and hot, but fascinating and lovely. Toulon has a little train shuttle to show you the city which is nice if you are too tired to do a tour

Barcelona- amazing city. If you love Antoni Gaudi make sure you schedule reservations for Park Guell and la Sagrada Familia if you wish to go there. In the summer the tours are crazy and it will take hours to get in. We did the Hop On Hop Off and went to La Pedrera/Casa Mila and Montjuic which was very interesting. You can see much of the city on the HoHo so take advantage of it. We stayed an extra 2 days. The cab drivers went on strike while we were there but they have buses that go directly to the airport.

Ship - it was a lovely ship and the food was delicious but compared to other ships, this one did not have a lot of activities to do during the day. 2 small pools worked for the amount of people but there were minimal exercise classes except for the morning stretch...no dance classes, painting classes, etc. A couple of demos from America's Test Kitchen cooking show but no samples for the audience. A few times I was bored which has never happened before!! Fun entertainment at night. I wish there were more things to do on board esp for sea days.

Food - very good, try the fries at the Dive-In - YUMMY! (and don't forget their special sauce!) -- great desserts and the meals In the dining room were very good. Great omelets and the pasta bar was delicious!! great burgers and handmade salads!! and you can grab a sandwich for the next day if you want!

Cabins- worked well for us, large for 2 people and the cabin stewards Heri and Hilman were awesome!!!
16paws’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E
Nice sized bathroom, larger than any I've experienced on a cruise ship! Was pretty quiet during the night too!! beds were very comfortable as were the pillows. Cabin stewards were awesome. Lots of closet room but not a lot of cabinets to put clothing in. A hair dryer comes with the room. Essential shampoos/bath soaps with aromatherapy were very nice!
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Dubrovnik
    Very hot but be prepared to walk a lot if you are going into the city. Walking to the top of the Dubrovnik Fort was an experience and affords an amazing view of the harbor. Lovely people and an amazing history!
    View All 1,194 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dubrovnik Cruise Port Review
  • Cinque Terre
    After an hour boat ride to Cinque Terra, we landed on one of the towns and started walking up hill! the walk was beautiful and of course, lots of steps!! Very colorful area and we had about 2 hours of free time to shop (the stores closed shortly after we arrived so do your shopping as early as possible!) and enjoy a nice lunch at one of the many restaurants. Make sure you try the Gelato!! probably the best we had on this trip! then went to catch a train to the next village where we caught the bus back to the ship. Bathrooms are limited so use one when you find one!! Was sad that many of the booths selling clothing, hats, etc closed for their afternoon breaks.
    View All 90 Cinque Terre Reviews
  • Olympia Archeological Tour
    WOW! A must if you are interested in ruins and history. Fascinating and wonderful history with the first Olympic stadium! We did the 3D tour but I would not encourage it as the 3D layovers did not sync with the direction you were facing. Better to buy a small book with the 3D images afterwards so you can remember what was there and how it was. Summertime is VERY hot and the area was uneven due to the nature of the land, so it was difficult for the elderly, wheelchairs and handicapped. The Olive Oil store was awesome and I bought some Greek Olive Oil as well as some Baklava which was the best I've ever tasted. The tour leader took us to a little town where her friend ran a very expensive jewelry store...she was unclear as to what time to meet and we wound up getting left behind - the ship reimbursed us for the taxi which was great, considering apparently it was our fault - so always have a little extra set aside for an emergency cab!! the excursion however was awesome!!
    View All 190 Olympia Archeological Tour Reviews
  • Monaco (Monte Carlo)
    Took the Hop On Hop Off bus around the country and its very easy to see a lot that way. Stop at the Visitors center next to the bus stop for a coupon book and save a few Euros both for the HoHo bus and some attractions. It's an expensive city so prepare! You can walk if you wish, but the bus is so much easier to see everything! if you like the racecars they have a great museum and a walking tour along the Grand Prix racecourse- it's about 4 miles and in the summer is VERY warm.
    View All 484 Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Monaco (Monte Carlo) Cruise Port Review
  • Pompeii Walking Tour
    HOT and lots of walking but you can't go to Napoli without checking out Mt Vesuvius and Pompeii! What a fascinating city and ruins to view and explore. The drive also took us to Sorrento which was beautiful!! Tried the Limoncello and Pistachio Crème liquor, both rather strong but I had to buy some to take home!
    View All 457 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews
  • Sarande
    Did not do a tour so we walked along the boardwalk and did some minimal shopping. Had to take a tender in. I heard the Blue Eye Lagoon tour was fascinating! Not much to see in the city as it's an up and coming tourist area. Very nice people.
    View All 38 Sarande Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Sarande Cruise Port Review
  • Venice
    Everyone who loves to travel MUST see Venice...even if you are exhausted from the flight, make it happen! Cross the bridges, wander the back streets, see St Marks Square and all the ins and outs of the city. Take the Water Bus, not the water taxi as that's a lot more money! or the People Mover, which drops you off at the other end of the city and you must walk but you see a lot!! it's a fascinating city!!
    View All 1,439 Venice Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Venice Cruise Port Review