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Oosterdam Review

4.0 / 5.0
1,071 reviews


Review for South America Cruise on Oosterdam
10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Feb 2023
Cabin: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom


We cruised from Valparaiso, Chile to Buenos Aires, Argentina on Feb 24-Mar 10 2023 on the Oosterdam (I renamed it the Disasterdam!). On the cruise there was an interesting talk to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Holland America Line on HAL’s history. One segment was about the line transporting immigrants from Europe to the US in the late 1800’s-early 1900’s. They decided to improve “steerage” class and provide 3 meals/day and clean the cabins—the improvement was to ensure that the immigrants arrived healthy so that HAL wasn’t tasked with returning them to Europe at HAL’s expense if they were sick. We were told they didn’t want to treat the passengers like cattle (I quote!). Then why were we treated like cattle on embarkation at Valparaiso? There was no one in the terminal with a HAL sign/insignia to tell passengers what to do/where to go. There was a Viking cruise line table and sign. It was like a herd of cattle, no line/queue, a total disaster—this lack of communication continued throughout the cruise and happened before the cruise also (except for the captain, Kevin Beirnaert who took over the ship the same day we boarded. He was very upfront and communicative and miraculously got us to all our ports of call! ) We all had times for embarkation and we were 20 minutes early—that being said, we waited for 3+ hours (with my husband escorting 3 different wheelchair bound passengers to the poorly/non-marked entrance for them because we had grabbed seats near that entrance when they finally brought out seating). To add insult to injury, there was never an apology made or an attempt to compensate (a free drink maybe?) for THE WORST EMBARKATION EVER. One officer on the ship even told us it the best they had had in South America—“Welcome to South America” he said—totally unacceptable since they already knew that they had problem). Also, after our late arrival on board, I asked if the Mariner lunch was still happening and was told they don’t do those anymore even though we had been told by HAL in US that we’d have plenty of time to eat that lunch with a boarding time of 12:20, since embarkation should only take 20 minutes!


Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Port Reviews

Buenos Aires

The currency situation in Argentina is awful, with several different exchange rates. Argentinian pesos were not available on the ship, presumably because of this. And public transportation requires a sube card (you must get at select train stations, etc. and then go to another place to put money on it and they only accept Argentinean pesos in cash, nothing else)--so we didn't do anything but go back to ship (we had been in BA before and had a better experience 11 years ago). The Argentineans did not seem that friendly--glad to leave

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