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 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.
Outstanding port and tour. I would go back to Albania tomorrow.
There isn't alot at this port.
Spent the day strolling through town.