5 Holland America Oosterdam Entertainment Cruise Reviews

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
Holland America’s greatest flaw is not providing enough accurate information. This is not a new problem. We have observed this on all our HAL cruises. Celebrity does a much better job. There are so many ways that the information services ... Read More
Holland America’s greatest flaw is not providing enough accurate information. This is not a new problem. We have observed this on all our HAL cruises. Celebrity does a much better job. There are so many ways that the information services could be improved. For example: •Put the port talks on the TV like you used to. We can’t always attend in person. •If you list port information on the TV, give real information and not just photos. And show all the ports, not just a few. •If an excursion is only for back-to-back cruisers, say so in the description. Don’t make me go to the desk and stand in line to find that out. •The maps in the brochure and the interactive maps didn’t always agree! Good grief. •There should be a way to hear the announcements in the room. It is very hard to hear them otherwise. We have to run to the door and open it when we think we hear an announcement, and we often miss it. Other cruise lines have a switch with an option to hear in the room or not. •There are others.... can’t list them all. The food on the ship was OK, but I only had one meal that I thought was excellent. On the positive side, the bed in our cabin was the most comfortable bed I have ever slept in! The cabin attendants and waiters were superb. And I love the soap and shampoo with their nice fragrance and tingle. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We choose this cruise for the itinerary of several Greek islands and the Med, and also the 24 day duration, and Venice as the start/finish point. We liked the port-intensive trip. Holland America service feels quite welcoming and helpful. ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary of several Greek islands and the Med, and also the 24 day duration, and Venice as the start/finish point. We liked the port-intensive trip. Holland America service feels quite welcoming and helpful. The food was good, but menus were a bit too complicated in the dining room for my taste. If you were a picky or ‘simple’ eater it would be hard to find something plain especially for this many nights. Meal size was unpredictable, so it was not safe to order a half portion every night and waiters were not helpful in this regard. Vegetables were a bit scarce. The entertainment varied from mediocre to awful for the most part, saved only by local folkloric dancers, BBKings Blues Club, and some of the classical music. No great vocalists, no group activities, and poorly timed talks/enrichment activities. Lots of cards /board games / jigsaws for the elderly and sedentary, but not what I would consider ‘entertainment’ worthy. It felt like the entertainment budget had been scalped. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our 5th Holland Cruise in 3 years. Can see lots of changes- no bread pudding, no speciality teas, no Indonesian crew show. The things that used to make Holland special. The Oosterdam was nice as it has been drydocked and ... Read More
This was our 5th Holland Cruise in 3 years. Can see lots of changes- no bread pudding, no speciality teas, no Indonesian crew show. The things that used to make Holland special. The Oosterdam was nice as it has been drydocked and received upgrades. Was looking forward to Billboard Live- was not a fan- perhaps because the entertainers were not that good. Adaigo was replaced by a quintet- seems to have lost some in the transition. Seems HAL is trying to go more mainstream, but at a cost. Service was top notch as usual. 3rd year in a row sailing HAL for New Year's Eve and saw cutbacks there as well. No beads, no noisemakers. Guatemala was an industrial port- very poor town on the excursion we took. Little French Key in Roatan is not to be missed! Not a bad cruise, not just the best. Will be trying other lines now! =( Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We sailed out of Tampa, Florida on December 9th headed for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Embarkation was really smooth at this port and with Holland America. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on Deck 8, the Navigation Deck. ... Read More
We sailed out of Tampa, Florida on December 9th headed for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Embarkation was really smooth at this port and with Holland America. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on Deck 8, the Navigation Deck. Love the balcony as we enjoyed many views during the day and a beautiful full moon at night. The cabin was in a great location. It was located in the aft corner, and had very little to no outside noise nor a lot of traffic outside of the cabin. This cabin was plenty big enough for two people. I would not want to have more than two in the cabin, however. The cabin was very clean and always kept super tidy by our wonderful room attendants, Budi and Eko. They also provided superior service and accommodated any request we made. New wall-mounted televisions with several movie selections has been added. This was a wonderful modification, so points to Holland America. The ship itself was decorated beautifully for the Christmas holidays. The great thing about taking a cruise the week before Christmas is that the ship is already decorated and you don't get stuck paying the higher rates cruise lines charge for the cruising the week of Christmas. You get to enjoy all of this the week before for less money. We did notice some wear and tear with the ship being older. They had some water leaks in various parts of the ceilings and some of the carpets looked a little tired. The food in the Lido Market was really good. I especially enjoyed the salad bar which seemed to be open all day. These salad bars are great additions. All meals were served by the staff. The burgers at the Dive In outside of the Lido were excellent as were their fries. Highly recommend this. We ate in the vista Dining room on the two formal nights and the food was very good. We did north end, however, that the Lido Market seemed to have the same food that was on the menu in the vista dining room. Would have liked to seen different menus for both. The entertainment was excellent. B.B King Blues was excellent as always, and we enjoyed this a couple of nights. The HAL singers and dancers were the best I've seen on sandy HAL cruise to date. Loved the new show with all of its beautiful colors. Highly recommend this. The magician was not good, so this was a disappointment, but the comedian was very funny and enjoyable. The dueling pianos and singers were wonderful and everyone seemed to enjoy them every night. We also listened to the chamber music (string quartet and piano) one night, and it was top-notch. We honestly could care less about the art exhibits and shows/sales on Hollands ships. Would love to see more for a younger crowd as far as entertainment and offerings. Holland attracts older travelers, meaning many in wheelchairs and walkers. We tried not to let this bother us, but we were almost ran over a few times with wheelchairs. We bought two ship excursions which are always way overpriced but we enjoyed the snorkeling at Mahogany Bay, Honduras and at Costa Maya Mexico. We also loved Key West and the beautiful Costa Maya port. Unfortunately, we also stopped at st Tomas de Castillo, Guatemala. This was an ugly port and most excursions were several hours away. Wished this itinerary would have stopped in Belize rather than this nasty port. We did buy an outside excursion to the ruins and enjoyed it, but it was a very long trip from the port. De-embarkation on the last day went exceptionally smooth and professional. Would recommend this cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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