Oosterdam Cruise Review by PakeTraveller
- Sail Date: July 2010
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
We flew into Seattle, WA on Saturday and stayed one night at the Fairmont Olympic in downtown Seattle. On Sunday we meet the Holland America representative at 9 a.m. Sunday morning in the lobby. The porter brought down our luggage to the Holland America area and it was transported directly to the ship. No muss no fuss. We took a charter bus at noon and arrived at about 12:30 p.m. We entered the cruise ship terminal and lined up for the MV Oosterdam. There were a lot of people at the terminal as two ships were loading that Sunday, the above mentioned Oosterdam and the Sapphire Princess. We wound our way through the lines and eventually walked aboard. We entered the ship on the 3rd deck and were directed to the Lido deck on the 10th deck for a lunch buffet. During lunch it was announced that we could go to our cabins at 1:30 p.m.
We went to our starboard cabin finding it set up with a king bed (as ordered) and the sofa converted into a bed for our child. Flowers were placed on the coffee table as well as a iced bottle of Champagne. A bowl of fruit was delivered the next day.
We were on the Navigation Deck (9th deck) just below the Lido deck and the pool area. We had a large balcony with 2 chaise lounges, 2 chairs and a table. The luggage arrived by 4:00 p.m. embarkation.
We cruised into the Pacific at about 8:00 p.m. passing Port Angeles, WA. For the first night we had dinner in the Vista Dining room, although the ship had a fourth of July BBQ near the Lido deck pool. On the first night's dinner we shared a table with 3 others and got to meet some interesting fellow passengers. The table was set with white linen table cloth, fine china and silverware. The waiter and busboy were great, attentive but not to oppressive in the service. Although we were tired from getting to the ship we did not go to sleep right away as the sun did not go down until after 10:00 p.m. When we returned to our stateroom we found that the beds had been turned down and chocolates had been placed on the pillows.
Monday was a full cruise day as we headed for Glacier Bay. Our child went to Club HAL that morning and every day thereafter and had a great time. We toured the ship and my wife learned about the cooking demonstrations/lessons in the Queen's Theater but found out that the class was full. It had been booked by fellow passengers to capacity before sailing! (A lesson learned for our next cruise)
Tuesday we arrived at Glacier Bay. The ship slowed went by the glaciers and the captain turned to allow starboard and port side passengers to view.
On Wednesday we made out first Port of Call to Juneau, AK. We booked shore excursions through the ship and had a great time visiting the Mendenhall Glacier.
On Thursday we stopped at Sitka. Earlier the movie theater had shown The Proposal which was allegedly set in Sitka. The shots of what they called Sitka was not Sitka. I latter learned that Rockport, MA was used as a stand in.
On Friday we stopped in Ketchikan, the Salmon Capital of United States. We toured the Totem Bight State Park and had a fascinating lecture about the totem poles.
On Saturday we arrived in Victoria, B.C. knowing that the trip was soon to end. The ship left at 11:30 p.m. and we arrived back in Seattle at about 6:00 a.m.
Two nights of the cruise were designated as "formal" nights. On one night we made reservations at the Pinnacle Grill and had a wonderful dinner. In the Pinnacle Grill you pay a surcharge of $20 per adult for a meal equal to Ruth's Chris or Morton's.
Every morning we went to the Gym and used the treadmills. After all we had to get some exercise with all that great food available. The Gym was very full most mornings. I guess other passengers were thinking along the same lines.
Of note, we signed up for luggage direct, which for a fee of $19 per passenger Holland America would confirm our flight home and print the boarding pass. They also gave us luggage tags for all our baggage. Once in Seattle we were allowed to disembark early but no later than 8:30 a.m. We joined 18 others on the chartered bus to SeaTac airport. What was real cool was that we were taken to a special area in the air cargo area of the airport which had it own TSA center. It took less than five minutes to clear TSA security versus the 25 minutes it took for others. A airport shuttle took us to the main terminal before 10:00 a.m. and we made our flight with time to spare. You must sign up for the luggage direct program by Thursday. I am very happy we did sign up and found it very convenient to be directed to a special security check in area.
As we are no longer newbie's cruisers, we are really looking forward to our next cruise.
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