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I was on the Oosterdam the week , May 16 - 23rd. Embarkation: We took the train from Portland that morning and arrived at the pier around 12:30, embarkation had been going on for a while, so we only had about a 10 minute wait at the escalators before security. Security only took about 15 minutes. Because we were staying in a suite our check in was so easy, we walked right up had our picture taken and we were on the ship in no time. I have to say I had some issues with our cruise. Our room was clean, I have no complaints there, but I was disappointed in the service we received from our stewards. I also realized about 1/2 way through the cruise how many rooms they had to clean. We were on the 6th deck in a deluxe suite. There are only 6 suites on this floor and we were 2 back from the forward elevators. I appears they start at the ends of the ship and move their way in. So, in light of that our room wasn't cleaned until 2:00 in the afternoon 3 times that week, and twice they came in for turn down at 10:00 pm after we had come back to our cabin. We also waited for our breakfast tray to be removed one day for over 6 hours, I had made 2 calls and the steward had even been in to clean and they just moved it to the desk to get it out of the way. I got to the point where I felt I was putting the stewards out if I asked for ice both in the morning and evening. I don't like feeling that way when you spend that kind of money on a vacation. This week was unfortunate for us as my husband pulled his back a few days before the cruise and he wasn't able to walk very far before he had to sit down, so we spent a fair amount of time in our room. Thank goodness for the suite and balcony, watching those glaciers was fabulous. And we did get a lot of rest. My husband is a chef so he wasn't as impressed with some of the food as I was. We did go to the Pinnacle and the food was absolutely fabulous as was the service. We went to the dining room only once and the service was so bad we never went back. My husband asked for a drink and never got it. Our server only came to our table 3 times total, once to ask about drinks, to take our order and deliver our order. He never once asked how we liked our meal or even came back to ask if we wanted anything else. We finally left frustrated. After that we would just order the nights dining room meal and eat it on our balcony. Some friends we made asked how long we had to wait for dinner, and we told them it was about 45 minutes to an hour and they said they waited that long in the dining room. The lido wasn't bad, the duck we had one night was fabulous. Room service was exceptional, breakfast was delivered usually within 15 minutes of our desired time. Except for 1 morning the food was warm (not hot). I ordered eggs Benedict twice and it was fabulous. The Neptune lounge was wonderful. My husband and I loved the coffee and appetizers. Nette the concierge was amazing and was so helpful and would follow up on anything we asked for. I took the mixology class, it was so much fun, we had Nick as our bartender and he is so funny. He was very free with the drinks and made it a blast. I would do that again in a heartbeat. The people that took the class also were very fun and friendly. Debarkation was a little chaotic, we had the first time slot, but because we had a couple of people failed to show in the morning when their names had been called (3 times). We were about a half hour late in starting the disembarkation process and everyone who had priority and the first time slot, plus whoever else decided they wanted to get off early showed up. It was quite interesting to see people who thought they had priority over others and would jump in the line where ever, but I have to say it went pretty fast for a line that stretched almost to the back of the ship. We got off the ship and our luggage was sitting there and we were in a cab in less than 10 minutes on our way to the train station. My overall impression was pretty good, I am not sure if the lack of service we got was our ship, our stewards or HAL in general. I would like to know if others had the same issues on the Oosterdam this year. I would sail with HAL again, but my second time I would be more vocal about my issues. I can't thank all of you on Cruise Critic, I spent so much time on the boards before I left that I really didn't have any surprises. You guys are all great.

Oosterdam, Alaska sailing May 16

Oosterdam Cruise Review by RoseMarie

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2010
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
I was on the Oosterdam the week , May 16 - 23rd. Embarkation: We took the train from Portland that morning and arrived at the pier around 12:30, embarkation had been going on for a while, so we only had about a 10 minute wait at the escalators before security. Security only took about 15 minutes. Because we were staying in a suite our check in was so easy, we walked right up had our picture taken and we were on the ship in no time.
I have to say I had some issues with our cruise. Our room was clean, I have no complaints there, but I was disappointed in the service we received from our stewards. I also realized about 1/2 way through the cruise how many rooms they had to clean. We were on the 6th deck in a deluxe suite. There are only 6 suites on this floor and we were 2 back from the forward elevators. I appears they start at the ends of the ship and move their way in. So, in light of that our room wasn't cleaned until 2:00 in the afternoon 3 times that week, and twice they came in for turn down at 10:00 pm after we had come back to our cabin. We also waited for our breakfast tray to be removed one day for over 6 hours, I had made 2 calls and the steward had even been in to clean and they just moved it to the desk to get it out of the way. I got to the point where I felt I was putting the stewards out if I asked for ice both in the morning and evening. I don't like feeling that way when you spend that kind of money on a vacation.
This week was unfortunate for us as my husband pulled his back a few days before the cruise and he wasn't able to walk very far before he had to sit down, so we spent a fair amount of time in our room. Thank goodness for the suite and balcony, watching those glaciers was fabulous. And we did get a lot of rest.
My husband is a chef so he wasn't as impressed with some of the food as I was. We did go to the Pinnacle and the food was absolutely fabulous as was the service. We went to the dining room only once and the service was so bad we never went back. My husband asked for a drink and never got it. Our server only came to our table 3 times total, once to ask about drinks, to take our order and deliver our order. He never once asked how we liked our meal or even came back to ask if we wanted anything else. We finally left frustrated. After that we would just order the nights dining room meal and eat it on our balcony. Some friends we made asked how long we had to wait for dinner, and we told them it was about 45 minutes to an hour and they said they waited that long in the dining room. The lido wasn't bad, the duck we had one night was fabulous. Room service was exceptional, breakfast was delivered usually within 15 minutes of our desired time. Except for 1 morning the food was warm (not hot). I ordered eggs Benedict twice and it was fabulous.
The Neptune lounge was wonderful. My husband and I loved the coffee and appetizers. Nette the concierge was amazing and was so helpful and would follow up on anything we asked for.
I took the mixology class, it was so much fun, we had Nick as our bartender and he is so funny. He was very free with the drinks and made it a blast. I would do that again in a heartbeat. The people that took the class also were very fun and friendly.
Debarkation was a little chaotic, we had the first time slot, but because we had a couple of people failed to show in the morning when their names had been called (3 times). We were about a half hour late in starting the disembarkation process and everyone who had priority and the first time slot, plus whoever else decided they wanted to get off early showed up. It was quite interesting to see people who thought they had priority over others and would jump in the line where ever, but I have to say it went pretty fast for a line that stretched almost to the back of the ship. We got off the ship and our luggage was sitting there and we were in a cab in less than 10 minutes on our way to the train station.
My overall impression was pretty good, I am not sure if the lack of service we got was our ship, our stewards or HAL in general. I would like to know if others had the same issues on the Oosterdam this year. I would sail with HAL again, but my second time I would be more vocal about my issues.
I can't thank all of you on Cruise Critic, I spent so much time on the boards before I left that I really didn't have any surprises. You guys are all great.
RoseMarie’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SB 6086
Absolutely loved the cabin, great balcony, great view. No noise at all, clean. Extra dressing room was fabulous. Bathroom large and comfortable. Love the jacuzzi tub and additional shower. Would happily get this room again.
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