16 Holland America Oosterdam Entertainment Cruise Reviews

I will never travel Holland again. Been on many cruises nothing for young adults going on. I`m 57, took my 35 year old son on his first cruise. They double charged all our guest credit cards. My son said first and last for him. He call ... Read More
I will never travel Holland again. Been on many cruises nothing for young adults going on. I`m 57, took my 35 year old son on his first cruise. They double charged all our guest credit cards. My son said first and last for him. He call it the Gray Pride cruise.Bad food, Customer service could not even figure my or my sons bill right.Finally found someone that could so we cashed out two days early. Also ordered a bottle of crown for our room 2 weeks early. didn`t come for 24 hours later give or take 2 or 3 hours. They kept saying its on it`s way.Cabin was good for stateroom. Men who cleaned room great. Worthy of a good tip. Nothing much going on at night.No pool party activity. That was the first for me,even through I`m not a big partyier. If your not over 65 don`t take this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Never take a back to back cruise again. The evening entertainment was almost identical on both of the voyage legs. Watching a video in the main theatre while an orchestra played is not our idea of "entertainment" on a cruise ... Read More
Never take a back to back cruise again. The evening entertainment was almost identical on both of the voyage legs. Watching a video in the main theatre while an orchestra played is not our idea of "entertainment" on a cruise ship, Could have stayed home and watched it on some TV or You Tube channel. The comedienne, while being good, repeated her act on second week. Other cruise lines can do a 14 - 15 day trans Atlantic cruise and never repeat the entertainment. The service in the deck 2 dining room was terrible. 2 hours to get an evening meal??? and not much better at breakfast. Laying carpet in the common areas during the day was a total inconvenience to the passengers. This could easily have been done during the night, or could the workers not work the night shift? The embarkation process really sucks. Being held in a large room until your number is called is not a welcoming experience after you have had a long day of travel. Most of the above concerns were also voiced by other passengers. WE have been on many cruises but this has been our worst experience. This was our first cruise with Holland America and will probably be our last with that cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
The itinerary around Central America was intriguing and features the Panama Canal. Ship food is good, but not excellent. Desserts seem to be made from a soy-based origin. Lots of mousses that taste rather chemical in nature and seem ... Read More
The itinerary around Central America was intriguing and features the Panama Canal. Ship food is good, but not excellent. Desserts seem to be made from a soy-based origin. Lots of mousses that taste rather chemical in nature and seem to stand up by themselves. Big concern was the excursion in Cartagena, Colombia. Very very hot, no water offered on the bus, but most serious, tour culminates in a boat ride around the bay. Problem is the boat is a 40-ft speedboat and they stuffed 46 people on it. Only shade a makeshift canvas/cloth tarp. Again, no water and nothing much to see. Complained to Tour Excursions about possible safety violations, but they were not interested. Entertainment at night is mediocre and sometimes juvenile. One funny comedian. Carnival has better entertainment. Very little entertainment at the pool. Good historical speaker. Fitness center is good. Not too much onboard shopping. Overall ship planned activities very limited. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
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
We choose this cruise because we were on the same ship back in October thru the Med. I am getting tired of Holland. The entertainment is lacking and they seem to be nickel and diming for everything after having charged a pretty hefty price ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we were on the same ship back in October thru the Med. I am getting tired of Holland. The entertainment is lacking and they seem to be nickel and diming for everything after having charged a pretty hefty price in the first place. We choose this ship for the BB King Blues Lounge. That was the best entertainment on the ship. However, even that was just OK. The main stage entertainment was good on the last show of the cruise. All the other shows were "iffy" at best. The service was very friendly and nice. The dining was OK but the food tastes got old quick for us. Some of the port stops were disappointing at best. The last two stops, we docked at around 8:00Am and were leaving by 1:00PM. We barely had time to get out for our tours. And we were not necessarily dock close to the port itself so we di not really have any time to walk around the town/port. I told my wife that we might want to consider cruising with another line. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
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
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
Delbert McClinton's 23rd Sandy Beaches Cruise was considered by most, the best vacation of their lives. The talent on board the ship was amazing. Delbert McClintons band, The Mavericks, Marcia Ball, Wayne Toups, The McCrary Sisters ... Read More
Delbert McClinton's 23rd Sandy Beaches Cruise was considered by most, the best vacation of their lives. The talent on board the ship was amazing. Delbert McClintons band, The Mavericks, Marcia Ball, Wayne Toups, The McCrary Sisters were just a few to name. The Seaview Pool was transformed into an outdoor theatre where many artists performed. This cruise was for music fans who got to meet up close, their favorite performers who mingled with the guests onboard as a big family. Unfortunately, the weather from the start was not cooperating with the outdoor activities. The waters heading to Grand Cayman from Tampa were rough and slight rain hampered some of the outdoor shows. The stop in Jamaica was cancelled because of rough waters. All in all, a little liquid sunshine, the event was a giant success and everyone can't wait for the next Sandy Beaches cruise January 6, 2018. Thank You Delbert & Friends for making this happen. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Living in St Petersburg, Tampa is our home port, just 45 minutes from home to terminal 3 where the Oosterdam was docked. I have cruised from Tampa before, as my first ever cruise was 28 years ago on the Veracruz, a 10,000 ton ship that ... Read More
Living in St Petersburg, Tampa is our home port, just 45 minutes from home to terminal 3 where the Oosterdam was docked. I have cruised from Tampa before, as my first ever cruise was 28 years ago on the Veracruz, a 10,000 ton ship that did a 2 night cruise to nowhere. We had a wonderful time on it despite a tiny inside room with no frills what so ever. I think it was $119 each. Having graduated up to Holland America in 2003, on the previous Noordam, never really envisioned a ship the size of the Oosterdam (82,000 tons) sailing from Tampa. When questioned at the Captain's chat, Captain Robert Jan Kan responded that the Oosterdam has about 2 meters (6 feet) clearance under the Skyway Bridge which spans Tampa Bay near the entrance from the Gulf of Mexico. That is if it passes directly under the middle, which we did, about 6:30 pm after leaving the dock in Tampa quite promptly at 4:00. Prior to Oosterdam, HAL has never had a ship here bigger than the S class; Veendam and Ryndam were the biggest HAL ships here. This was the first 14 day cruise of the season and only the second Oosterdam cruise from Tampa. Captain Albert was also aboard as the traveling and training officer. Probably with the head navigation's decision as he has been in and out of Tampa about 300 times over the years by his own figures. It was great to read his blogs of exactly what the bridge was doing while we were enjoying. We booked a verandah knowing how nice they are for warm weather cruises. Just 2 days before leaving, we got the upsell email to change to a Signature Suite, deck 8 mid ship. Knowing that the suites had been completely redone on the O'dam, we added the additional charge to our credit card, and must say we were pleased with it. The SY suite was like a new ship with what is probably the Koningsdam colors and features. The verandah has 2 padded chairs that recline with padded ottomans and a table. It took until the second week for us to have room service coffee and juice delivered to it early enough to enjoy sunrise which was about 6:30 am. Then we would go down the mid ship glass elevator to the promenade deck (3) and do a few laps around before returning to our room and cleaning up for breakfast in the MDR. The bathroom has 2 sinks and a shower plus tub/shower and great lighted mirrors so a couple can both use the bathroom at the same time if necessary! The bathroom has a night light when the lights are turned off which we loved, too. The bed side lights also glow very faintly at night. We ate most of our breakfasts in the MDR and all of our dinners except one Pinnacle and one Canaletto night. Lunch was at the Lido Market, which also looks like new with new tile floors and trim and new chairs and tables. The meals were very good to excellent with very few exceptions. The service was prompt and gracious. The staff remains as one of the best reasons to cruise with Holland America! Lido table service, although sometimes challenged at peak times, is much appreciated. Ice tea, water, coffee were brought to us along with refills as needed. In addition to the upgrades to the physical ship, the entertainment has also been boosted impressively. The singers and dancers from the Koningsdam had just started new shows on the O'dam and with new LED panels and technology in the theater they were excellent. Look for "A Thousand Steps", "Musicolgy", and "Off The Charts" as the productions. Also the BBC production the Frozen Planet was beautiful. The Lincoln Center consisted of 2 violinists, a viola, a cello, and piano where they play a variety of classical music. Much better than just the duo previously in the Exploration Lounge, which is still there only smaller. Billboard on Board replaces the piano bar. Two pianos in a more open setting. Nice variety of oldies and new. I would miss the regular piano bar on a longer cruise. BB King in the Queens Lounge is the high energy venue. The Ocean Bar now has just a pianist for the quieter bar. The new Gallery Bar off the casino replaces the disco bar and it is stunning with nice paintings and a big screen TV for sports and comfy chairs. Trivia games abound around the ship with different. Sometimes they even awarded something better than a dam pin. Did I spell that right??? Jordan, who was the assistant cruise director, was our favorite trivia host. He had a most enjoyable personality and looked like he should be a personal trainer. The CD was Simon James, with a nice UK speech, was also enjoyable. He has worked on the mega ships of NCL and RCCL and seemed honestly happy to be CD on HAL. Can you imagine being in charge of anything on a ship with 6000 guests....just getting to the right place at the right time is a challenge. Our room stewards were fine. How they smile and ask if we need something when working long hours cleaning, is so appreciated. Only thing we asked for was more ice several times; the little ice buckets are small and the weather was warm on the verandah. Of course at home my servants do the same for me....in my dreams. We brought 2 bottles of wine with us and were given another, so we enjoyed them in the comfort of our suite on sailaways. Ports: Key West. Docked next to Mallory Square. Wonderful. Walked Duval and back the side streets. San Juan: Docked next to Old San Juan. Walked and rode free tram. Also took city bus to Conando Beach. Full day as we left at 10:30pm. St Thomas: Docked at Havensight Pier rather than Crown Bay. Took open air taxi to Red Hook and ferry to St John's VI. Nice day St John's, Antigua: First time here. Took mini van with another couple around island to English Harbor and Nelson's Dockyard. Huge super yachts there for a regatta. Not a favorite island for us. Castries, St Lucia: Ships tour on a mini bus to the south end of the island by Pitons and drive in volcano. This island, with its rainforests and winding road along the cliff, was our favorite. The tour was excellent, we were on it the whole day for 6 hours, and felt we saw and did a lot. The O'dam cruised down to the Pitons after departure and did 360 turns for everybody to see. Perfect sail away! Curacao: Queen Emma Bridge a delight. We docked just outside the entrance as Zuiderdam got the closest spot. Did a tour to the countryside. Good day Aruba: Took city bus to the lighthouse, well almost to it. Got in the water before going back. It was a short day, but nice. Grand Caymen: Took a van to the east end of the island and back for $10 US each. A UK lady who stays there often said she only pays $5. Much better than staying in port with 4 other ships there. Tender port. Overall: A great cruise on the OOsterdam! Highly recommend the 14 day over the western Caribbean 7 day. The updated ship and entertainment were much appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It was for my wife's 75th birthday. We started looking at cruises and worked backwards. We ended up with 15 days in Prague, Vienna, Venice, Florence and Rome before our cruise. On the cruise we visited Las Palmas in Mallorca, ... Read More
It was for my wife's 75th birthday. We started looking at cruises and worked backwards. We ended up with 15 days in Prague, Vienna, Venice, Florence and Rome before our cruise. On the cruise we visited Las Palmas in Mallorca, Cartagena and Malaga in Spain and Madeira. We are big fans of Holland America which is why this cruise was the right fit. It did not disappoint us. We did not tour Cartagena because we had been there before but it is an historic port. The other stops were new to us so we took ship sponsored city/history/culture tours. I got to sip a little "Madeira my dear". I had read about that drink while reading many British naval novels. Onboard there were a variety of activities all day and night both in port and at sea. Our favorites included the string quartet every night before dinner, B.B. King's nightclub, the dueling piano bar after dinner, the showroom shows and the Park West Art auctions. Our inside cabin was spacious and comfortable. Dining on Holland America ships is always a highlight. We opted for the choose your time option on a daily basis. We chose to sit with four or six new dinner companions every night at 6:30 (1830). On a scale of one to ten, this was an eleven (that is not a typo error). We ate once or twice at Canaletto their extra fee Italian restaurant and once in the Pinnacle Grill. Breakfast at the Lido buffet. Lunch at the Lido or at the pool grill. We plan on more HAL cruises in the future. I have been on four dating back to the 1950s and 1960s. Read Less
Sail Date November 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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