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Oosterdam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,095 Reviews

Won't cruise again on HAL

Oosterdam Cruise Review by darlwill

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2011
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

Second time to Alaska, first cruise on HALEmbarkation was quick. The safety drill went very quickly as they did not have us put on or bring our life jackets to deck.First, the BADI was given cabin 1026. I didn't have high expectations because i had sailed prev line in the cheapest interior cabin - prefer to use my money other ways. Had also had a balcony on last trip to Alaska and never used it so didn't want to pay for that again. In this cabin, the floor was blackened, as if there had been a fire and burned ash had been scoured into the floor. Was told they knew about the floor and can't get it clean, that it will be replaced when ship is in dry dock next. Said they didn't know what it was. I decided to overlook it and have a nice cruise. The cabin was huge with the 2 beds together, large closets, a half-circle couch (with 2 cigarette burn holes) and a nice counter space. Small flat screen TV and DVD player. The next morning i noticed flakes of black on my white hand towels and a fine powder of black on the toilet seat. Again i complained and was told there was no other cabin and the ship was full. By now after sleeping all night in the cabin i had pulled out an inhaler i had brought along even tho i normally never need it. A few hours later before dinner i returned to find more flakes that i now realized were ash and a fine powder again on the toilet seat. This time i wouldn't be put off as i was needing the inhaler every 2 hrs because of the air in the cabin. Went again to front desk and talked to about the 4th different person altho they said they knew my problem. Took her to the cabin and showed her that the ash was coming out of the intake vent in the bathroom, which was also blackened. They suddenly had cabin 1116 available and assisted my move into it. Same size and style, fresh air.The entire ship is quite worn looking, including mismatched paint patching walls, fraying upholstery, torn carpets, dirty windows. Unattractive colors that don't match.At late seating dinner, i was given the larger table seating i had asked for, with wonderful folks - one American couple and their mother, and one Australian couple. Every night we were all at the table and it was a great time. Dinner service was slow and i guess i would describe it as grumpy overall except the wine steward and the assistant dining manager. But my iced tea was waiting every night, and my cappuccino was at my elbow with dessert. The food was very good in the dining room all three meals but i thought poor in the Lido buffet. Taco nacho bar outside was very good and made nice snacks to take into happy hour. Best place on the ship is the Crow's Nest bar on the top level. View is wonderful at all times. Happy hour is 4-5 pm with buy a drink and get the second for $1. The cost of the drinks is reasonable - $4.95 and up, and the drink of the day is $6.95 and included in happy hour prices. Peanuts were always served and often little plates of snacks. We took our own nachos in.It was very crowded and seats fill up fast because the library/internet/coffee counter almost blend right into the bar. The little theater was fun - get there early for a seat and popcorn. The last night the movie was shown in the large show theater. The free DVD rentals are a nice amenity also but are not very new titles.The live shows in the large theater were very amateurish except for the magician.The adult pool and 2 hot tubs on the top deck were almost empty all the time and the hot tubs were very warm. It was not warm enough to swim on top but the pool inside was not crowded most of the time. There were very few children on this cruise. Just a few infants and toddlers. In Juneau took a morning 4-hr hike that is a great experience but is strenuous where there are log steps not meant for short legs. Nice guide with good explanations of history and flora. In afternoon took the tram up the mountain which is always a fun trip and a great gift shop at top. There is a movie to watch on history, and a rescued eagle viewed at certain times of day.In Sitka took a 3 hr hike that was long but not many log steps and more flat areas - much variety in area hiked - great guide and "sweeper" - also went to see Russian native dancers and did go up on stage where one of the women put her cape on me to move with the dancers. St Michael's Cathedral should not be missed and the raptor center was great. In Ketchikan took a trip to the totem pole park but was disappointed in that we were just kind of dumped there for a little while and then taken back. Creek Street was lots of fun to explore on foot. The shopping in Ketchikan is a huge variety, not just jewelry, and very good prices. In Glacier Bay the glaciers had not lost their coating of snow yet so were not actually calving, but shedding snow which was still impressive. The beautiful blue color would finally show thru when a waterfall of snow cascaded off the surface. There was almost no ice floating. Because i travel solo, i pay more than most to cruise but realize that isn't probably going to change soon and try not to base my expectations on that. I also like assigned dinner seating which is going away on many lines and will limit my options. However, i expect every cruise to be quality and none to be shabby. If HAL can't deliver quality on Oosterdam, i wouldn't trust any of their cruises.


darlwill's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin K 1116

I was given cabin 1026. In this cabin, the floor was blackened, as if there had been a fire and burned ash had been scoured into the floor. Was told they knew about the floor and can't get it clean, that it will be replaced when ship is in dry dock next. Said they didn't know what it was. I decided to overlook it and have a nice cruise. The cabin was huge with the 2 beds together, large closets, a half-circle couch (with 2 cigarette burn holes) and a nice counter space. Small flat screen TV and DVD player.

The next morning i noticed flakes of black on my white hand towels and a fine powder of black on the toilet seat. Again i complained and was told there was no other cabin and the ship was full. A few hours later before dinner i returned to find more flakes that i now realized were ash and a fine powder again on the toilet seat. This time i wouldn't be put off as i was needing the inhaler every 2 hrs because of the air in the cabin. Went again to front desk and talked to about the 4th different person altho they said they knew my problem. Took her to the cabin and showed her that the ash was coming out of the intake vent in the bathroom, which was also blackened. They assisted my move to cabin 1116 which had somehow come available.

Cabin 1116 was exactly like 1026 but with fresh air and a clean floor. The DVD player was broken and after they took it out 3 times i demanded a different one and they appeared with a brand new one.


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darlwill
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