5 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Alaska

This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of ... Read More
This is our 4th HAL cruise. We've been in Alaska few years ago and we loved the scenery. We booked the balcony so we could enjoy the beautiful view, but it was a BIG mistake because we never enjoyed it because of a strong smell of smoke. We reported it few times at the costumer service but they never did anything. They keep telling us they will investigate ( whoever smokes at the balcony), NEVER solved the problem and it just gets worse everyday. The buffet was always crowded and I often heard people complaining about lack of space. Food was ok .The other complimentary restaurants had about the same food as buffet just fewer choices and service was not good there either.The dinners were just ok. We spent an hour and a half waiting on courses to be served. The positives side of this trip were the staff, they were great and friendly.. except the staff at the costumer service whose not very helpful. Front desk folks not helpful or friendly...took us many trips to report a problem and NEVER solved. Lack of activities as well. Most activities were just an opportunity for Holland to sell you something. This time I was in some ways disappointed. I remember our previous cruises with HAL was always great.. Not this time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I have been on two other cruise lines so a friend of ours invited us on a vacation to Alaska on the line HAL Oosterdam. The staff was very friendly but when we needed some guidance we couldn't understand what they were ... Read More
My wife and I have been on two other cruise lines so a friend of ours invited us on a vacation to Alaska on the line HAL Oosterdam. The staff was very friendly but when we needed some guidance we couldn't understand what they were saying and they didn't even know the answer to our question so make sure your staff who works on the ship knows everything about it like where's the nearest bathroom . While going down the hall to my room it smelt like sewage that was just not normal and it wasn't just my hall... we made a shore excursion n Ketchikan as soon as we were down we had 2 go back 2 the ship we had no time to explore Ketchiken cause we only hade 4 hours to stay. Now the food in the restaurants were EXCELLENT but n the lido deck buffet u couldn't serve yourself , same food every day , when they served you they gave you little portions . Now my main concern on my list is the ENTERTAINMENT !!! To talking to some of the other passengers there was nothing 2 do. Sure they had the comedian which who was hilarious and the magician which who could of had did something more than what she did if Lance Burton is her idol. Every day u should have some kind of ENTERTAINMENT it doesn't have to be something big but just something. Hope this helps cause I will not be recommending this cruise ship 2 anyone Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Good: AMAZING FOOD Pinnacle Grill The Band Art Gallery Personnel Had the Norovirus hit on the Ship and their Containment Procedures and protective processes was Great. THE BAD: > No Proactive Wait Staff > ... Read More
The Good: AMAZING FOOD Pinnacle Grill The Band Art Gallery Personnel Had the Norovirus hit on the Ship and their Containment Procedures and protective processes was Great. THE BAD: > No Proactive Wait Staff > No wait staff to keep your beverages full. I had to get up 2/3rds of my time to get refills or get served which meant I had to get in line and wait at the Bar. > No wait staff to clear dirty dishes as you visit with your family. Traveling with my niece and nephew meant teenagers who eat a ton, so we always had empty dishes piled up on our tables. Only when we asked (when we found someone) did they finally clear. > Main dining room took 3 different people to receive milk for Dinner. Had to contact supervisor to get milk. Also, my niece asked to get an extra salad and the guy stated "Not right now I'm too busy". So apparently he was the only guy working our table? I think not. > It took until the morning of the 3rd day to Meet my Cabin Steward; he was in his closet working. > Unable to reach anyone for help in our Cabin late night; around 11:00. When we finally got a live person (after 30 mins calling around different numbers and then being on hold) asked for and extension cord and they brought a powerstrip. The did this twice. In the end, No extension cord was ever received. Reminder to bring an extension cord and Powerstrip on next Cruise. > The Burger Grill Closes after Lunch, so if you're looking for a late night burger on the deck or for dinner that is not going to happen. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This our my 3rd cruise. We've gone with 2 other cruise lines in the past and loved every minute. Sadly I can't say the same about the Oosterdam. Let me start by saying our stateroom was wonderful and the crew was wonderful. ... Read More
This our my 3rd cruise. We've gone with 2 other cruise lines in the past and loved every minute. Sadly I can't say the same about the Oosterdam. Let me start by saying our stateroom was wonderful and the crew was wonderful. The lay out of the ship was not the best. The ship was lacking in entertainment. Nowhere you could really sit outside without being in the weather. Food was definitely a step down from our from our previous experiences. Quite frankly we were bored. My husband and I are in our late 50s early 60s, perhaps if we were older we would have enjoyed the ship more but sadly this experience has put us off HAL and wouldn't consider cruising with them in the future. I cringe to think that a friend is on the ship right now doing the Panama Canal for 21 days. I hope she and her husband survive the boredom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
As seasoned Holland America cruisers, we definitely expected better. Having gone to Alaska about 8 years prior, and taken the Oosterdam just 7 months ago (January 2011), we were sadly disappointed by the lack of maintenance in the ship, ... Read More
As seasoned Holland America cruisers, we definitely expected better. Having gone to Alaska about 8 years prior, and taken the Oosterdam just 7 months ago (January 2011), we were sadly disappointed by the lack of maintenance in the ship, and the lack of courtesy offered by the crew. We have been on 10 cruises before this one, 2 on Carnival, 1 on Norwegian, and the rest with Holland. We have grown to love Holland for the courtesy offered by the crew members, the general relaxed and slow-pace of most of the other cruisers, and the satisfaction we generally get from cruising on this line. Unfortunately, this was not a good example of the quality we have come to know and expect. Emabarkation was a breeze, as usual, there was hardly any waiting at all to get on the ship once you'd arrived at the pier. Day 1 was at sea, which was fine, we walked around the ship, visited the shops, ate, checked out the movie (which we'd already seen), etc, etc, etc. A typical day at sea. Day 2 was at Glacier Bay. I don't remember exactly what the bay looked like last time we came to Alaska, but I'm fairly certain it looked nothing like what we saw this time - dirt covered snow. I'm from Calgary, Canada, and well, it just wasn't exciting. It was almost like trying to build a snowman, and ending up with all that grass. (Example here: http://www.geekfill.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/e-vs-r-6.jpg) BUT we did see quite a few whales and some maybe seals/sealions. We were disappointed that the captain/cruise director didn't announce sightings of wildlife over the P.A. like the cruise director from our last trip to Alaska did.Day 3 was at Juneau. We didn't join any excursions as we'd already seen Mendenhall Glacier, and pretty much all the excursions went to Mendenhall Glacier. We did do some tourist shopping through the town, however, visiting the jewellery boutiques and the T-shirt factory. It was a fairly good day. Warm, fairly sunny. Day 4 was in Sitka. It was drizzly, but not too bad. We went around on our own again, as the excursions were either a repeat of our last trip or not suited to our interests. Sitka was a quaint little town, quite interesting, and we managed to walk by St. Micheal's Cathedral, as well as tour a Russian Museum, which we'd seen in the excursions. We also found a shop that sold Russian dolls (the kind that comes apart and has lots of 'babies,' which was fairly interesting. We also had to tender to port, but that wasn't a big deal, the system was fairly efficient and worked fairly well.Day 5 was in Ketchikan, which the crew members had nick-named Catch-it-if-you-can. We had to be back on ship by 12:30 in the afternoon. I would have liked to have a tad more time here, as we felt somewhat rushed, but we visited most of the places we wanted to. Day 6 was in Victoria. We were allowed off ship around 6 and had to be back on board around midnight. We decided to follow the Walk Victoria signs around to the Fisherman's Wharf, etc, as we'd already been here many times and had visited the Buchart Gardens, etc. on our own. The walk was good, and we noticed that many other people had decided to explore Victoria on their own as well. Day 7 was disembarkation. This went as it usually does. Nothing special. Except we found it odd that the Cruise Director didn't call out the colors for disembarkation. Usually, the times are listed and the colors are called, but this time it seems it was expected that you would get off at the appropriate time yourself, and there was only an announcement for the first people disembarking, and the last call. Not a big deal, but worth noting. All of the ports were ok. And if this review ended here, our cruise would have been pretty good. However...The snowballing of all the incidences which occurred left us wondering if Holland America as a line has truly deteriorated, or if it's only this ship and most of the crew members on it.1) We returned to our cabin one day to find someone working in the bathroom with both the bathroom door and the cabin door closed. If not for him flushing the toilet, we probably wouldn't have realized he was inside until we had to use the bathroom. We felt that this was unacceptable. 2) The cappuccino machine was broken - all through the trip. Not a huge issue, but when questioning our dining room stewards (Usman and Beng Beng - who were both fantastic) we found out that it was because Holland had decided to install new machines, but fail to provide the ship with adapters for the power source. This seemed a little ridiculous. 3) A toothbrush was misplaced. When we asked our cabin stewards to see if they could find it maybe accidentally grabbed with the towels or something, we were scoffed and told "We don't steal toothbrushes." We were not accusing them, and felt that being snickered at was both inappropriate and rude. Inquiries made to front desk were redirected with a "I'll ask them to look for it." Which was fine, BUT a second question "What if they don't find it?" was answered with "We have toothbrushes for sale in the shops." We found this answer to be unsatisfactory. 4) A 15" stuffed animal (with a gel pack inside) was taken. One of the members of our party is a young adult who is diagnosed with Autism. In order to sleep comfortably, she needs both her Lavender spray and her stuffed animal. At home, we could warm up the gel pack on cool nights, or for whatever reason, and basically, she has it every night (but leaves it in the cabin during the day). She distinctly recalls it being on the bed in the afternoon (day 3) after the beds were made, and gone when she looked for it at bedtime. Other members of our party remember seeing it the previous night, but not in the afternoon after the beds were made. Either way, when we realized it was lost, it was late, and so we tried to make due with more Lavender spray and reassuring words. We inquired with the cabin stewards the next morning. They replied that they would look for it. Then we thoroughly searched the entire cabin, but did not find it. We asked them the next day and the next if they had found it. All replies were negative. Finally, on Day 5 we went to the front desk and notified them of the missing item. They said that they would look for it, contacted the supervisor of our cabin stewards, and said they would let us know whether or not they found it. We received no calls, no messages, nothing. The next day, Day 6, we went to front desk again. No news. They suggested we complete a 'lost item' form. Needless to say, we didn't find it. All involved seemed apathetic and seemed to simply brush aside our frustrations with trained smiles and apologies. 5)The ship, in general, seems to be in disrepair. The seal on our bathroom door was falling off, the glass paneling at the ice cream station was cracked.... Before going on this cruise, we'd read reviews from previous travelers, and it seemed that this ship had gone downhill since April. Having just cruised in January, we doubted it, but were sadly mistaken. This ship has deteriorated, and if this was the first time we'd sailed with Holland, it would probably be the last. And 6) a minor, but still noteworthy point. The songs and dances (shows) that were presented each night were exactly the same as when we'd been on the ship in January. This was disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
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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