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We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We've never been to Europe and thought this was a great way to see major cities and sites. We were not disappointed in any way! First off, Explorations Central rocks! There's actual people who know their business that you can talk to about exploring on your own as well as asking about the excursions. If you find yourself on board with Tom and Dorene, or one or the other, take advantage of their super-friendly and practical advice. Plus, the interactive huge maps are really helpful. Our cabin was kept meticulously clean; our stewards made a towel animal for us each night. We used the "bag-it-yourself" laundry service which impressed us with the speed of turnaround, the pressing, folding and hanging. This service was super for us because we traveled for 21 days total with only a carry-on apiece and a day bag. We didn't take suits for Gala Night and it didn't matter as we fit in just fine with collared shirts and lightweight trousers in the dining room. Don't miss the show where HAL partners with BBC Earth and all the on board musicians play a custom score. You're truly transported by the visuals and sound. Speaking of sound, Daniel did a tremendous job at all the shows we saw. We have to give a shout-out to the team at the Sea View bar and to all the great new friends we met there. A lot of people ask about smoking, and we found the Sea View bar area totally accommodating. Plus, having our cabin just one deck directly below was super convenient. We took the Olympus excursion from Katakolon and were so lucky to have the guide we did. She not only knew the area, but being an archaeologist and historian she shared legend and emotive history that brought the place to life. We took the excursion bus to Florence, which was also guided by a knowledgeable and friendly guide. When in Florence, look for the Pinocchio shop in the old town. As our bus guide told us, Pinocchio is made from Pino (pine) trees, and you see them all around. We took off for Rome on our own, by train. It was utterly fortuitous that we hailed a cab to get to the station for our return. Had we taken the underground instead, we would have missed the ship's departure. We took off to Nice from Monte Carlo too. Nice is so captivating that we realized quite late that we had 55 minutes to return to Monte Carlo to catch the last tender. Dorene had mentioned in a talk that if you find yourself in a pickle, just ask a local if they will use their phone and offer a couple of Euro coin. We did, and ended up having Bruno ride with us on the fast and worrisome cab ride back. His ability to translate the urgency of making the ship in time really helped! Whew! We were a couple of minutes late and were met by HAL staff, who pulled up all the tender equipment and took us, the last ones aboard, back to the ship. Of course the whole adventure made for a funny story to tell friends on board and to remember for years to come. We recommend HAL to everyone, and surely for this tremendous trip from Venice to Barcelona.

Lifelong Memories

Oosterdam Cruise Review by tigar88

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. We've never been to Europe and thought this was a great way to see major cities and sites. We were not disappointed in any way!

First off, Explorations Central rocks! There's actual people who know their business that you can talk to about exploring on your own as well as asking about the excursions. If you find yourself on board with Tom and Dorene, or one or the other, take advantage of their super-friendly and practical advice. Plus, the interactive huge maps are really helpful.

Our cabin was kept meticulously clean; our stewards made a towel animal for us each night. We used the "bag-it-yourself" laundry service which impressed us with the speed of turnaround, the pressing, folding and hanging. This service was super for us because we traveled for 21 days total with only a carry-on apiece and a day bag. We didn't take suits for Gala Night and it didn't matter as we fit in just fine with collared shirts and lightweight trousers in the dining room.

Don't miss the show where HAL partners with BBC Earth and all the on board musicians play a custom score. You're truly transported by the visuals and sound. Speaking of sound, Daniel did a tremendous job at all the shows we saw.

We have to give a shout-out to the team at the Sea View bar and to all the great new friends we met there. A lot of people ask about smoking, and we found the Sea View bar area totally accommodating. Plus, having our cabin just one deck directly below was super convenient.

We took the Olympus excursion from Katakolon and were so lucky to have the guide we did. She not only knew the area, but being an archaeologist and historian she shared legend and emotive history that brought the place to life. We took the excursion bus to Florence, which was also guided by a knowledgeable and friendly guide. When in Florence, look for the Pinocchio shop in the old town. As our bus guide told us, Pinocchio is made from Pino (pine) trees, and you see them all around.

We took off for Rome on our own, by train. It was utterly fortuitous that we hailed a cab to get to the station for our return. Had we taken the underground instead, we would have missed the ship's departure. We took off to Nice from Monte Carlo too. Nice is so captivating that we realized quite late that we had 55 minutes to return to Monte Carlo to catch the last tender. Dorene had mentioned in a talk that if you find yourself in a pickle, just ask a local if they will use their phone and offer a couple of Euro coin. We did, and ended up having Bruno ride with us on the fast and worrisome cab ride back. His ability to translate the urgency of making the ship in time really helped! Whew! We were a couple of minutes late and were met by HAL staff, who pulled up all the tender equipment and took us, the last ones aboard, back to the ship. Of course the whole adventure made for a funny story to tell friends on board and to remember for years to come.

We recommend HAL to everyone, and surely for this tremendous trip from Venice to Barcelona.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VF 8106
Super convenient, just around the corner from the elevator bank. Never heard a sound of elevator noise. One deck up and you're at the Lido buffet and Sea View bar. Everything in the room worked perfectly.
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