Oosterdam, First Cruise with HAL: Oosterdam Cruise Review by paulfpb

Oosterdam 5
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Oosterdam, First Cruise with HAL

Sail Date: March 2011
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego
This was our first cruise on the Holland America Line, the MS Oosterdam. We have cruised the last few years on several Princess Ships, we were expecting a similar cruise to Princess and were not expecting any large differences.

We booked through a Internet travel agency and the price we paid was very good value.

As always we spend 1 or 2 days in the embarkation port and is always a separate a arrangement. San Diego is a great city, with the airport and terminal close to downtown and major hotels.

Embarkation was smooth, we arrived at the terminal at 2pm. The check-in staff were very pleasant and after our bags were screened we went to our stateroom, it was very roomy with a good sized balcony and quite private from adjoining balconies, this was different to Princess. The bathroom had 2 wash basins, a spa bath with shower and a separate shower recess.

The chairs were a bit tardy but not anything to be a worry about, after exploring the room we went More out to explore the ship. The thing we noticed about the Oosterdam was the bold colours in its lounges and public areas we both knew that we were on a different cruise line.

We were on the back pool area and quickly found out children were not allowed to use this pool, which is a good idea. There were quite a few children and young adults on this cruise and they were very well behaved and at times hardly noticed.

As with all cruises people are wary on the first night and day, though we met 3 other passengers and enjoyed a refreshing drink while we sailed out of San Diego Harbour.

Our dining option was anytime and we dined on the first night at the Italian restaurant Canaletto it does not charge a supplement it was very quiet with only 10 diners there at 8pm. The rest of the cruise except 1 night we dined in the Vista Dining room by ourselves or with cruise friends we had just met.

We had pre booked the Le Cirque evening, this is based at the Pinnacle Grill. If you are expecting a true Le Cirque experience go to New York or Las Vegas, we both felt the food was not that different from the other dining areas.

The soda card is very good value, $25 for a $50 credit and are served in cans not post mix we struggled to use up 50% of the card. There are no laundromats on this ship and we took advantage of the unlimited laundry and unlimited pressing for around $80.

During shipboard activities at times there were drinks at 2 for 1, a very good marketing excersise and many passengers took advantage of it.

As we had done the Mexican Riviera before and not done any tours, we did the same thing again. Its a shame we were the last ship to visit Mazatlan is no longer on the Oosterdam itinerary this season.

We both enjoyed the Oosterdam, made many on-board friendships. I would sail on HAL again but would have to do a longer cruise to make a true comparasion to Princess. With what both cruise lines offer and the price for a cruise we would choose either line.

If you want real 5 star treatment you may be disappointed, we only travel by ourselves and always hope to find shipboard friendships in all our cruises this has always happened. Less

Published 03/13/11

Cabin review: SY6060 Signature Superior Verandah Suite

Balcony very private and a large area. Stateroom a very good size with easy access to exit areas. Limited noise from other casbins. Pleased to see no ones name were on each stateroom. Chairs need replacement as badly stained and legs held together with duct tape. Lampshade very loose, bath slow to drain,

Read All Signature Superior Verandah Suite (SY) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We left the marina and walked a few streets back to the Mexican Cabo San Lucas. We felt very safe the locals were friendly lots to see and do. Most bars and restaurants had Wi-Fi. Back at the marina we had lunch gazing at the million dollar plus boating. Would consider staying at Cabo for a vacation

A great lunch, we feel very sorry for the people of Mazatlan. Re security, we did not witness anything or feel threatened at any time. However the cruise lines have concern for their passengers and would only do so for real concern

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

So many things to see and do, a great port for the first visit

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