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Oosterdam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,095 Reviews

Not the cruise we were hoping or planning on

Oosterdam Cruise Review by Idahomom

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Oct 2018
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL.

Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from.

As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left.

The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides.

Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them.

Idahomom's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VE 6020

The cabin was okay. Nothing in particular that stood out. HAL really needs to update this ship. The mattress was pretty lumpy and by the end of our cruise (26 days) we were ready to sleep on a bed that didn't separate between the two mattresses. No amount of repositioning the bed/mattresses helped. But the toilet not operating for the first 7 days of the cruise was the major problem. And the compensation we received was only $250. We had staff in our cabin up to 3 times a day trying to fix it. And then they were mad because we couldn't move to a different cabin (my parents were in the cabin next to us). I would look long and hard before I would sail with HAL again and on the Oosterdam in particular.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Outstanding port and tour. I would go back to Albania tomorrow.

We toured the countryside and then came back to the Old Town. Unfortunately, our guide had something to do and cut our tour short in town.

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Olympia Archeological Tour

Outstanding tour. Lots of walking, so if you can't; don't take this tour.

View All 216 Olympia Archeological Tour Reviews
Pompeii Walking Tour

If you can't walk on uneven surfaces or up hills; don't take this tour. If you can, you will be transported into another time. Incredible history in both Sorrento and also Pompeii.

View All 504 Pompeii Walking Tour Reviews

Tour combined with Pompeii. See comments in other review. Sorrento is a delightful town and we wished we could have spent more time here.

View All 165 Sorrento Reviews
Uffizi Museum

Outstanding opportunity to tour the Uffizi Museum. You could spend hours in this museum as there are so many treasures. Stop taking pictures and just enjoy the view!

View All 24 Uffizi Museum Reviews
Montserrat Walking Tour

Hidden treasure and we would highly recommend this tour. The views are incredible.

View All 118 Montserrat Walking Tour Reviews

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