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This was my first cruise on HAL. I have mixed feelings about my trip. Majority of them are positive, but there are some negatives also. EMBARKATION: When I arrived at the port, I was amazed by the number of people waiting to board. However, the line moved very quickly. A word of advice, complete your paperwork on line. The line for the people that did this was very short!! The check in person was very nice and wished me a great trip. In all, I checked in and was on the boat within a hour. Due to the time I arrived on the boat, the rooms were not ready. Every one was greeted on board and directed to the Lido deck. The food was great, esp the bread (more on that later !!). We also found out that the ship was going back to the original travel plan (Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel) and we were going to be one of the first ships to return to the Caymans. When the announcement for the rooms arrived, I went to my floor and was greeted by an escort who directed me to my room. This was a nice touch and very helpful. CABIN: I had an oceanview room with a blocked view. However, I found the cabin to be beyond what I expected. The bathroom had a full size tub, and plenty of space for all my items. The closet was a fair amount of room. The safe was one that you set your own code for usage. The bed was great!! HAL has upgraded all the bedding and it was so great that I spent extra time in bed (esp afternoon naps). The desk had limited space with the TV taking the bulk of the space. A small sofa, table and nightstand completed the room. Also, two robes for usage was in the room (I traveled alone). My cabin steward came shortly and gave greetings. He asked when was my dining time, did I have any special needs and informed me that he would bring my luggage to the room. I'm sorry that I can't recalled my steward's name, but he really took care of me. I saw him from time to time and he always spoke and asked how I was doing. I made sure on the last day to give him something extra. PUBLIC ROOMS: I read some complaints about the Vista ships, but I have none. The ship was very clean. I could find plenty of places to read a book, enjoy the ocean, or a nice nook to have a drink and watch my fellow travelers. The layout was easy after the first day, but there were a few times I had to ask for help and there was always a helpful person around. SHORE EXCURSIONS: I had pre-book several items prior to sailing. I was looking forward to having a cabana on Half Moon Cay. However, all of the cabanas were not active and the due to booking date was the factor on deciding who received one. I received my purchase of $219 back and also was given a clamshell and a ticket for free drinks. I was very pleased with HAL's effort. I also booked a snorkeling trip in Cozumel and really enjoyed it. DINING: This was really my only bad part of my trip. But it wasn't from the employees, but my fellow cruise travelers. The first night in the dining room, I sat at the table alone because no one bothered to show up. The dining staff was quite kind and checked on me quite often to see if I was ok. I did not return to the dining room the next two nights (I had dinner in the Pinnical Grill and in my room). When I did return, there was one other person that was at the table. I could tell that he was not too happy to dine with with me and dinner was a force politeness (I guess due to fact that I was a black female). After that, I had my remaining meals in the Lido. The Lido offered the same items in the dining room in a causal setting. You had table service in the Lido and one night I didn't enjoy an entree and requested something else, it was quickly replaced. I really enjoyed the breads on this trip!! I had several slices with lunch and dinner. I went to the Pinnical Grill. It's worth the $20 price. It was an excellent meal. I ordered room service, esp for breakfast. They always brought it on time. I would order a cheese plate each afternoon to enjoy in my room. ENTERTAINMENT: I didn't attend any of the shows, so I can't say if they were good. I did enjoy the Bingo (I never won anything, but it was fun). I enjoyed the movies they offered, esp since there were some that I never had the time to go and see. OVERALL CRUISE: I really liked the Oosterdam, enjoyed the ports, the employees, and the food. However, a lot of my fellow travelers were very cold in manner and with few exceptions, I spent most of my time alone. Would I cruise on the Oosterdam again? Yes, but not alone!!

Oosterdam - Western Caribbean

Oosterdam Cruise Review by airlink diva

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2004
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Large Outside Stateroom (fully obstructed views)
This was my first cruise on HAL. I have mixed feelings about my trip. Majority of them are positive, but there are some negatives also.
EMBARKATION: When I arrived at the port, I was amazed by the number of people waiting to board. However, the line moved very quickly. A word of advice, complete your paperwork on line. The line for the people that did this was very short!! The check in person was very nice and wished me a great trip. In all, I checked in and was on the boat within a hour. Due to the time I arrived on the boat, the rooms were not ready. Every one was greeted on board and directed to the Lido deck. The food was great, esp the bread (more on that later !!). We also found out that the ship was going back to the original travel plan (Half Moon Cay, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman and Cozumel) and we were going to be one of the first ships to return to the Caymans. When the announcement for the rooms arrived, I went to my floor and was greeted by an escort who directed me to my room. This was a nice touch and very helpful.
CABIN: I had an oceanview room with a blocked view. However, I found the cabin to be beyond what I expected. The bathroom had a full size tub, and plenty of space for all my items. The closet was a fair amount of room. The safe was one that you set your own code for usage. The bed was great!! HAL has upgraded all the bedding and it was so great that I spent extra time in bed (esp afternoon naps). The desk had limited space with the TV taking the bulk of the space. A small sofa, table and nightstand completed the room. Also, two robes for usage was in the room (I traveled alone). My cabin steward came shortly and gave greetings. He asked when was my dining time, did I have any special needs and informed me that he would bring my luggage to the room. I'm sorry that I can't recalled my steward's name, but he really took care of me. I saw him from time to time and he always spoke and asked how I was doing. I made sure on the last day to give him something extra.
PUBLIC ROOMS: I read some complaints about the Vista ships, but I have none. The ship was very clean. I could find plenty of places to read a book, enjoy the ocean, or a nice nook to have a drink and watch my fellow travelers. The layout was easy after the first day, but there were a few times I had to ask for help and there was always a helpful person around.
SHORE EXCURSIONS: I had pre-book several items prior to sailing. I was looking forward to having a cabana on Half Moon Cay. However, all of the cabanas were not active and the due to booking date was the factor on deciding who received one. I received my purchase of $219 back and also was given a clamshell and a ticket for free drinks. I was very pleased with HAL's effort. I also booked a snorkeling trip in Cozumel and really enjoyed it.
DINING: This was really my only bad part of my trip. But it wasn't from the employees, but my fellow cruise travelers. The first night in the dining room, I sat at the table alone because no one bothered to show up. The dining staff was quite kind and checked on me quite often to see if I was ok. I did not return to the dining room the next two nights (I had dinner in the Pinnical Grill and in my room). When I did return, there was one other person that was at the table. I could tell that he was not too happy to dine with with me and dinner was a force politeness (I guess due to fact that I was a black female). After that, I had my remaining meals in the Lido. The Lido offered the same items in the dining room in a causal setting. You had table service in the Lido and one night I didn't enjoy an entree and requested something else, it was quickly replaced. I really enjoyed the breads on this trip!! I had several slices with lunch and dinner. I went to the Pinnical Grill. It's worth the $20 price. It was an excellent meal. I ordered room service, esp for breakfast. They always brought it on time. I would order a cheese plate each afternoon to enjoy in my room.
ENTERTAINMENT: I didn't attend any of the shows, so I can't say if they were good. I did enjoy the Bingo (I never won anything, but it was fun). I enjoyed the movies they offered, esp since there were some that I never had the time to go and see.
OVERALL CRUISE: I really liked the Oosterdam, enjoyed the ports, the employees, and the food. However, a lot of my fellow travelers were very cold in manner and with few exceptions, I spent most of my time alone. Would I cruise on the Oosterdam again? Yes, but not alone!!
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