5 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Entertainment Cruises to Alaska

This was the best cruise ever! The staff was friendly and very helpful as well as cheerful. The food was delicious and plentiful.Every evening it was arranged with care and lovely.Our dining staff was wonderful, especially our wine girl ... Read More
This was the best cruise ever! The staff was friendly and very helpful as well as cheerful. The food was delicious and plentiful.Every evening it was arranged with care and lovely.Our dining staff was wonderful, especially our wine girl (Miraki(Sp?)-from Japan but living in Manilla). Our room was beautiful and the gentlemen that serviced it were quick and efficient. The ship was clean and everything was top notch. The entertainment was great! I can't rave about it enough. The spa package was awesome. Seaweed wrap a must. The girls in the spa were lovely and informative. Mary our morning dining room person was so nice and helpful. She helped us start our day with JOY! The BBKing review was great. We enjoyed the special music provided by WayFM every night. The wine tastings we attended were very informative. Everyone was fabulous! A TRIP FOR THE MEMORIES!!! I am recommending Holland-America to everyone I tell about our trip and I will book again.*** Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My partner and I, 55 and 58 gay men, decided pretty last minute to do this Alaska Explorer 7 night charter. We were able to get a good deal booking with the charter as we are alumni with many past cruises with them, and there were many ... Read More
My partner and I, 55 and 58 gay men, decided pretty last minute to do this Alaska Explorer 7 night charter. We were able to get a good deal booking with the charter as we are alumni with many past cruises with them, and there were many cabins to fill.....our luck. Also, we had never cruised with Holland American Line before and have wanted to for years, so a win-win all around! We flew in to Seattle arriving around 1pm for a 3pm at the lasted boarding time. We had thought we would simply grab an Uber or Lift to the pier, but after getting our bags, time was running out, and we discovered HAL had a service to transfer us by bus to the terminal....so we used that (both ways as it turned out).... Check in was easy as we were getting they later in the day and most had already boarded. Our veranda cabin on the 8th floor starboard was decent. Definitely could use an upgrade as there were repaired holes and such in the bathroom. The deck really needed to be washed, as it was all a mess and dirty. The beds were quite comfortable, slept well all 7 nights. The TV served up some good movies OD, a few TV channels, access to the bridge cams.....nice. I liked how the closets had shelves that could be swung up to make more room for hanging clothes....every cruise line should have this great idea. Cabin steward was efficient and did not see much of him. As for dining, we ate most meals in the main dining room and had mostly above average luck with our meals. We are mostly Celebrity Cruisers so that is what we are comparing to....I think Celebrity does food better, my partner thinks HAL is just a bit better. The Lido Market is not a bad place for snacks and small meal. Overall, the service onboard is wonderful. The staff seems to enjoy what they are doing and we enjoyed having one waiter all week who treated us great. I would say the general overall service seems a bit warmer on HAL that Celebrity. Also, the Oosterdam has a warmer feel to it than most of the Celebrity ships. The design is obviously night and day, with Celebrity more modern and HAL a bit traditional. I like the change and the size of the ship. As a charter ship, the on board entertainment was quite good. A few let downs, but over all some great comedy, music and dancing were well done. The ships own dancers did an awesome job the night I saw them, using the huge screens on stage to interact with....something new to me and fun to watch! Something else HAL does is the Lincoln Center Stage, with a string quintet and pianist play a huge variety throughout the cruise. I wish I was able to see more of them, but what I did hear was top-notch..... OK, the internet! I thought I would take advantage of buying a weekly package before boarding as I would save about $50 for the 'Premier' package and be able to stream shows if I would like. Well, the internet on the Oosterdam is a joke. I was never able to stream....downloading pictures from Facebook took many seconds, and often,,,,very often, the whole thing stopped and needed to be restarted.....not fun....the front desk passed on my concerns.....but while I was there at the front desk,(and every time I was there, btw) other passengers were also complaining and some were rather irate. I just put down my iPad and did not let it bother me. But just don't expect much in terms internet on the Oosterdam. We had been to Alaska a few times before, so did not do many excursions, but LOVE seeing Hubbard Glacier....always my favorite part of an Alaska cruise! We would certainly consider HAL again....we like the 1900 pax load. Not too small, not too big. The food was good and service great. While this review was a little boring, the ship was not! I would suggest this to those who like music, relaxed atmosphere and a ship not geared up with bells and whistles of all the newer ships like RCL and Norwegian and Carnival. I almost forgot my favorite place on the ship, the Crows Nest on the top deck.....great place to sit and stare out watching the world go by with the panoramic windows....and a bar and coffeeshop..... Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My spouse and I chose this cruise because of the promotion by Christian radio group WAYFm. For King and Country, Brandon Heath, Mark Lee of Third Day and Rebecca St. James were the featured artists, and they were superb. We arrived in ... Read More
My spouse and I chose this cruise because of the promotion by Christian radio group WAYFm. For King and Country, Brandon Heath, Mark Lee of Third Day and Rebecca St. James were the featured artists, and they were superb. We arrived in Seattle a day ahead in part because we had never been and we wanted to allow for airline difficulties and bad weather. Neither were a factor, so we went to Pike Place Market the day before embarkation. Embarkation went quickly and smoothly, was impressed with the number of agents HAL had at the terminal. Don't know if we timed it right or they just have their act together, but spent very little time standing in line. We chose a large interior stateroom on the Rotterdam Deck (7) due to reviews here and elsewhere and because we are tall and need a king bed. The only down side here is no view. Wish we had splurged for a room with a balcony, but now we know. 7055 suited our needs, however. Service was another topic. Although our stewards, Kom and Subchi were very good, room service was spotty. We order a bottled water package and got two, the second of which sat on our stateroom floor taking up space for most of the trip. Repeated calls did not result in retrieval, although we were not charged for two pkgs. Distilled water and an extension cord for my cpap were delivered in a timely fashion, however, and we were not charged for either, though I expected to be for the water. Dining was fine, although the buffet was always a zoo. There's got to be a better way to feed the hordes than standing in slow lines, especially for specialties such as omelets and salads, and hunting for seats like a scavenger. Drink service in the buffet was also spotty, Started out good, deteriorated badly as the week went on, unless you wanted soda or liquor, which was extra $$ and served by special waiters whose only job was selling those. A norovirus outbreak didn't help. The "free" beverage waiters/bussers had to man the drink stations to combat the virus. Evening meals were all in the main dining room and were very good, as was the service. All of the entertainment sponsored by the radio group was exceptional. The ship activities, not so much. We don't drink or gamble, and most of the other ship activities were stuff you could do at home: read, board games, movies, etc. Ports and excursions were mostly good. Juneau Whale Watching & Wildlife Quest was just OK. Too many people on the boat trying to see and snap pictures of very far off humpback whales. Rectified that by booking the Jet-Cat Wildlife Quest & Beach Exploration out of Sitka. Smaller boat, fewer people and an excellent young crew of Alex, Kara and Iris made this one worth it. Idled by a large raft of sea otters for several minutes, snapping happily away. Beach stop was not too taxing and very informative and enjoyable. Tip: it's worth the extra money to book whale & wildlife excursions on smaller vessels. The Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour out of Ketchikan is also worth the money. Great crew, very lively and passionate presentations and demonstrations by the ex-crabbers will keep you leaning forward. But the highlight of this tour is a bald eagle feeding time that brings a dozen our national symbols right up to the boat for a air and water show that is not to be missed. You can almost reach out and touch them (though you really wouldn't want to) as they soar and swoop in droves to grab and sometimes snatch in midair, large pieces of baitfish tossed out by the crew. Leaving and reboarding the ship at the various ports was quick and easy, although more information ahead of time about which floors and hatches were to be used for disembarking would have been nice. My favorite port experiences were shopping at two "local" stores: Tongass Trading Company in Ketchikan and Russell's in Sitka. Make sure you visit the second floor of the "big" Tongass store (they have several) for the real Alaskan outfitter goods. Russell's is just a smaller version of that in Sitka, with less inventory, but both have the XtraTuf boots favored by many of the locals in this rainy climate. Speaking of which, we had great luck with the weather. Only rained a little bit in Sitka on the way back to the ship. The rest of the ports and excursions, we were dry and comfortable. Temps were moderate, except during our visit to the Hubbard Glacier. But the cold was worth experiencing this wondrous marvel of nature. If you plan well and are willing to wait in line for a while, you can secure a great spot up front when they open the hatches to the ships bow. They also serve Dutch pea soup to guests who make it to that perch. All in all, a mostly postiive experience. Will we do it again? Maybe...in a warm weather climate! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Average cruise, smaller rooms than most cruises, good service, okay food, great entertainment, big outdoor pool (deep), smaller indoor pool (shallow), kind staff. Our TV circuit kept popping, so we did not have TV for the first 2 days, our ... Read More
Average cruise, smaller rooms than most cruises, good service, okay food, great entertainment, big outdoor pool (deep), smaller indoor pool (shallow), kind staff. Our TV circuit kept popping, so we did not have TV for the first 2 days, our sink would not turn off (plumber had to come and fix it), shower/tub would not drain. I traveled with my husband, my daughter (14), and my mother-in-law. Food to your room takes a bit of time...faster just to get food from the buffet and bring it down to your room. Overall, average cruise, not a lot for kids to do, and not a lot of time spent in the ports. Other cruise ships had arrived before us and we left before they did. Nice, but not luxurious or fancy. My daughter loved the outdoor pool and the basketball court. Not many activities for kids her age. Wish we had more time in the ports. I would choose a different cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
There are several things to like about the Oosterdam - the decor is fantastic, I really enjoyed the co-branding with America's Test Kitchen. Their on-board enterainment system (free) had a better collection of movies that I have on ... Read More
There are several things to like about the Oosterdam - the decor is fantastic, I really enjoyed the co-branding with America's Test Kitchen. Their on-board enterainment system (free) had a better collection of movies that I have on with Netflix & Amazon. The staff was friendly room was nice. However, there is a major issue - the ship shuts down at 11:30PM sharp. I've gone to Alaska with Princess, NCL, Celebrity and now Holland America. I've never seen a ship where all the bars, all the clubs (1 club turned off music at 12:30 but services closed at 11:30) ALL the food - even the "late Night Buffet" closed at 11:30 sharp. The ship claimed room service was open after mid-night, however room service choose to disagree. This I felt was in line with the very limited hours on facilities. Dining is a good example - breakfast opened somewhere between 6-7:30 (it changed daily?!) and generally was open for 2 hours before going into limited operation usually at 9am. I expect this from the main dining facilities but not the buffet. Lastly, I wanted to mention the cuisine. The line cooking staff was primarily Indonesian. I was hoping for some quality local dishes, sadly I didn't find a single Indonesian item on the menu. The staff was good at cooking French or Continental Cuisine. However, once they got out of their wheelhouse (example Indian, Asian or Caribbean) I honestly believe their chefs are blindly following recipies they've never tasted. This narrorowness of focus is best illustrated when I had to explain to the chefs why I might want rice with the "Chicken Korma" they were serving. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.5 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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