5 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Caribbean - All

Friends had planned their vacation and invited us along...We would go again in a heart beat. Our room was clean, we were catered to, there was plenty of food and so many choices. The staff made us feel catered to. Our cabin person PuTu ... Read More
Friends had planned their vacation and invited us along...We would go again in a heart beat. Our room was clean, we were catered to, there was plenty of food and so many choices. The staff made us feel catered to. Our cabin person PuTu was awesome!!! He brought us what ever we needed, answered our questions and kept us informed. PuTu was funny, sweet and so very accommodating. His customer services skills are golden! *We were invited on the cruise by our friends Norm and Teri, we invited my husbands brother and sister~in~law Richard and Paulette. We all had a blast! *Shore excursions we absolutely loved and had so much fun on the ConTiki. *The mini hummers were fun and educating our guide 'Johnny Depp' was fun and knowledgeable. *We went on an unplanned excursion in a young man who had a comfortable van asked us along and his prices were AWESOME! I wish I could remember his name, you wouldn't believe how much he knew. This person made us feel as if we'd been friends forever. *On our last stop we had pre-ordered a 'half shell?' with two lounge chairs. We couldn't find any available ones and the people we were instructed to look for, for guidance were no where to be seen. We just gave up and ended up not getting one because it felt like we were wasting our beach time looking for help. *(Just a thought, maybe those who pre-order get a ticket say "lounge shell #1" and tag the shells with numbers. when we get to the destination or somewhere along the way the tickets are given to the purchasers so they may just go to the preassigned shells. AND the 'half shells' are set up prior to our arrival...(I heard from some that they had to wait for someone to set things up when they got there, and they too had to follow behind a line of people and LOOK for available seats.) But the positive experiences far overweight the beach chair experience and we absolutely would love to go on another cruise. Thank you to all who made our first experience so very AWESOME! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
We love Tim Timmons & Mercy Me so we went on the Mercy Me at sea cruise it was awesome except for the Holland America cruise line. The service in the main dining room was horrible they were not friendly at all. The menu was bad except ... Read More
We love Tim Timmons & Mercy Me so we went on the Mercy Me at sea cruise it was awesome except for the Holland America cruise line. The service in the main dining room was horrible they were not friendly at all. The menu was bad except for 3 nights out of 7 nights. The buffets are bad because you cannot take what you want you have to wait inline and be served. There is nothing to do on the ship thank goodness we had special events all week. The ports we did not get to go to the ports we were expecting to go because they claim that it was too rough waters. It was not rough except for 1 night but we were at sea that day. The fitness center is very small and the staff is not qualified. I would never go on Holland America if they did not have the Christian Cruises. I like the ships and how they look but they need more activities. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I booked this cruise last minute for my daughter's spring break from college. I have been on over 25 cruises including Holland, Norwegian, Celebrity, Royal, Disney and Carnival. Each experience is different and this happened to be one ... Read More
I booked this cruise last minute for my daughter's spring break from college. I have been on over 25 cruises including Holland, Norwegian, Celebrity, Royal, Disney and Carnival. Each experience is different and this happened to be one of the best cruises I have ever taken. I was a little hesitant when booking because the passengers on Holland America are typically older as I am in my mid forties and my daughter is a 20 year old college student. My daughter has been on many cruises, but we have always gone as a full or extended family so this cruise was going to be much different experience being just the two of us. Now don't get me wrong, I love my daughter but at home we don't always see eye to eye. My husband just hoped that after his wife and daughter had spent a week together in less than 200 sq ft, that we would both come home alive. The fact is, we came back and he was surprised to hear that we had the best time of our lives. Ship - The boarding process was one of the quickest and efficient I have experienced. The port of Tampa is nice because it is small and uncongested. The ship is mid-sized, well designed and easy to navigate. The rooms are spacious and well laid out with a bathtub in oceanview and above. The ship offers many dining options and the buffet is spacious and bright. The open spaces and decks are clean and this ship is traditional in décor. Cabin - The balcony cabin was a decent size with a small sofa, table and vanity. The closet had three doors with two sections of hanging racks and one shelf unit with safe. The bathroom was spacious with a bathtub, toilet and ample storage space including a medicine cabinet. The cabin steward was excellent always tidying our room as soon as we left. Dining - We had anytime dining which I do not prefer. The late booking did not give us the option of traditional seating so we had to make reservations. This posed somewhat of a problem because unless you wanted to eat with others our choices for dining were 5 p.m. or 9 p.m. We don't mind being seating with others and had some wonderful dinner guests but a few times we didn't have much in common with our tablemates. We did eat at the Italian restaurant one evening and the steak restaurant another evening and in both venues we got 7 p.m. seating for 2 with no problem. Both of the specialty restaurants were excellent with the steak place being superb. All the meals in the main dining were also outstanding in taste, temperature and quality. Entertainment and Activities - The entertainment venues were outstanding. We loved music row with the Blues Club being by far our favorite! The piano players were talented, entertaining and played different sets each evening. The Lincoln center venue was also entertaining with upscale stringed musicians playing nightly. The main shows were also some of the best I have seen on cruise lines. The productions shows were visually appealing and had amazing costumes and lighting details. The guest performers were also entertaining and we enjoyed the variety. Service - Since this is a mid-size ship you get more individualized service and attention which is the uniqueness of a cruise vacation. We were on a first name basis with many of the wonderful staff on board. I can not say enough about the hard work and tireless effort of the crew. Ports and Shore excursions Cozumel, Mexico - We got off the ship and booked a private tour with a taxi company. I have been to this port numerous times and since my daughter hadn't been since she was little I thought it would be interesting for her to see the island. We spent three hours exploring highlights, shopping and stopping for beach time. We stopped at this port on a Sunday and we were the only ship in port so the town was a little desolate but I found this much more enjoyable than the last time I was there with seven other ships and 20,000 people. Roatan, Honduras- I have also been to this port and booked an independent tour through Expedia. I booked a private vehicle for the day and researched the places I wanted to visit. We went to Daniel Johnson's Monkey and Sloth hangout which was an experience of a lifetime and then we went to Jungle Top Zipline and swung through the trees on a fabulous adventure. We also had an extensive tour of the island and made time for the beautiful waters and beach. We ended up enjoying all these adventures for a third of the price by booking in advance through Expedia. Santo Tomas, Guatemala - We booked a ship tour to the Village of Ak- Tenamit. This is a boat ride to a boarding school in the middle of the jungle. This tour was the highlight of our trip. I have read varying options of this port. You have to understand, I researched this port before I went and was well aware that it is a container port in a third world country and to experience this part of the world you need to book a tour. In my research, I came across information that the students at this school were very poor and in need of any type of school supplies. I went to the dollar store before I left and filled my suitcase with varying supplies and brought them along when I went on the excursion. There are no words to describe the gratitude and pure joy the students expressed when we walked into the small one room classroom where they were learning. They wanted my daughter to talk to them in Spanish and translate. My daughter and I will never forget the wonderful experience we had in this remote part of the country and we are appreciative of Holland America to offer this experience. Costa Maya - We stayed at the dock and shopped and had a few drinks at this port. It is a good stop for relaxing and enjoying the lovely weather. Overall - We had a wonderful cruise and had experiences we will never forget. We met wonderful people, young and old and will not hesitate to take another Holland America Adventure! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My daughter, surprisingly chose to do her senior spring break trip with me - her mom. She said she wanted to go where she hasn't been before. I proposed 4 different cruises and she chose the Oosterdam. We had a lovely itinerary to ... Read More
My daughter, surprisingly chose to do her senior spring break trip with me - her mom. She said she wanted to go where she hasn't been before. I proposed 4 different cruises and she chose the Oosterdam. We had a lovely itinerary to Cozumel, Honduras, Guatemala, & Costa Maya. I had booked an inside room, but my husband upgraded us to a balcony and then we rented a cabana on the top deck, which was overkill. I would take the Cabana anytime. They spoil you rotten! We also booked the spa pass for the week, so we were very pampered. And I purchased the drink package which really made everything wonderful for me. The boarding in Tampa was a breeze and so was disembarkation. The food was excellent and plentiful. I really enjoyed reading my news sheet in the mornings while breakfast was being set up on the Lido. Apparently, another 20 or so early risers like myself did too! We loved Guatemala. Holland America did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Being an avid traveler and having travelled the world, this trip by far was the most absolute worst cruise I have ever taken. For starters I would have expected that Holland America would send one of their nicer, not to mention newer, ... Read More
Being an avid traveler and having travelled the world, this trip by far was the most absolute worst cruise I have ever taken. For starters I would have expected that Holland America would send one of their nicer, not to mention newer, ships for a ten day holiday cruise and have something special for all of the passengers on Christmas Day. The arrival of Santa was a nice touch but a bit bland. All of the crew members appeared to be going through the motions and at times were snobbish and unfriendly. I have heard more "no" on this cruise from the staff than I have ever experienced on past cruises. There appeared to be an "I don't care" mentality with the staff and this was evident with all crew members starting with the captain, whom we never saw, to the cabin steward. The service, or lack of one, was definitely not worth the $12 per day per person. The cabin steward did the bare minimum and conveniently didn't speak English when requests were made. In fact we barely saw him, any request we had was put into writing only to be ignored. Oh, did I mention that not ONCE was our bed sheets changed during the ten day voyage! Wow, that's service. Moving on to the fiasco known as first seating dining, I have never witnessed such disorder. Our server acted as though this was his first day working on a cruise ship, he was very un organized and full of excuses. We waited fifteen minutes just to get our menus and even longer for water. On our first night he said that we can dine in open seating which I found to be odd and rude, as if he was put out by us being there. What a thing to say the very first night. The second night was even worse, we were the very last to be waited on even though we had arrived much earlier than the other passengers. We had to ask for ice tea three different times and dirty dishes were left on our table, he was too busy catering to the other passengers and completely ignored us. We left in disgust and complained. We were assigned a new table in open seating and had much better service but still not to the level of service we have experienced on other cruise lines. I found the food on this cruise to be subpar both in quality and taste. Everything tasted bland and very small portions. I hated the fact that we couldn't help ourselves to what we wanted. Like little kids we were handed the plate of food and if we asked for extra then there was the eye roll from the server. I also hated the fact that there was a time limit on the buffet. On other cruises there is always some sort of buffet open 24/7. Not on this one, you are at the mercy of their time and you are very limited in selection. As far as ordering room service you are put on hold for upwards of twenty minutes or longer, this seemed to be the norm for any department you were trying to reach. A passenger told me that her daughter was on hold to order a DVD for 48 minutes and fell asleep in the process. The specialty restaurants were a joke in the excessive amount they charged extra per person, have we not payed enough for this cruise already?!!! I wasn't about to pay any more to have another plate of bland crap placed before me. We never used the excursions, found them to be too pricey and we could always get the same things offered at half the price at each port. We did have a negative experience when trying to come back to the ship on one of the tenders (the little boats that you see hoisted up along the sides of the cruise ship) were there was a mechanical problem and it could not be steered properly. After thirty five minutes of being hammered by waves and bumping into the side of the ship's dock they managed to finally pull the tender by ropes enabling us to board the ship. There was no word of apology or any sort of on board credit for the hair raising trauma those of us experienced while on board the tender, and these are the rescue boats?? The whole ship is small and weathered with many broken things. Another passenger told me that their toilet didn't work for a couple of days, nasty. Once again no compensation just excuses. There is a total of two pools,one for adults and one for kids but it would have been nice to have been informed that babies who are not potty trained are not allowed in the pool at the time we made arrangements. The shows were more of a high school musical from the 1800's, in other words oldies but goodies both in music choices and performers. I guess this is to cater to the seniors over 80 that accounted for 85% of the passengers. This is definitely not a cruise for fun loving young couples and families with kids. Will definitely never utilize this line again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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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