First review on cruise critic prompted by reading so many negative reviews on this forum. We sailed on the Oosterdam in May and again in September 2019. Loved it so much will probably sail the same trip again in 2020.
I think the key to understanding what cruise line to choose is research. Party animal? Active kids? Love raucous crowds? Holland America is not for you.
We love quiet. We enjoy understated elegance. We dine, not 'do dinner'. We absorb classical music and nature presentations. Entertainment for us is bundling up on the verandah and sipping tea while searching the shoreline with binoculars, or counting and tracking whale blows. We loose ourselves for hours in the hydro spa followed by Zen time on the heated tile lounges simply watching the sea. If this sounds like you, the Oosterdam is heaven.
While the verandah cabins can't quite compete with the suites, they are more than adequate and quite cozy. We asked for egg crate toppers ahead of time while making our reservations and that helped a lot avoiding the typical center crack between mattresses. If sailing to alaska, make sure to get some of the wool lap blankets from the pool area for warmth while viewing from your balcony. The bathroom has a tub!
Great Alaska fudge company for sailing treat. We go every time.
A real town as opposed to a tourist shopping mecca.
Tourist shopping mecca. Avoid the jewellery shops!
Wonderful slice of Europe in Canada. We could live there.