8 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Mediterranean

We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL. Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from. As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left. The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides. Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our group booked this cruise because of the great Ports of Call. This was our second cruise departing from Venice, so we arrived ready to explore Murano, Burano & Tarcello and the Doges Palace which were must sees for this trip. Our ... Read More
Our group booked this cruise because of the great Ports of Call. This was our second cruise departing from Venice, so we arrived ready to explore Murano, Burano & Tarcello and the Doges Palace which were must sees for this trip. Our hotel ordered a water taxis to take us to the pier and embarkation was fast and easy. On our first night aboard we had a magnificent dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, a highlight of the cruise. We have sailed with Holland in the past and were disappointed with the lack of activities, especially on the sea day. Lincoln Center Stage was a daily treat before dinner. This was the first cruise that we booked shore excursions on our own, thank you Cruise Critic for giving us the great tips. We used Via Tour, Shore Fox and Luca Zoppo for Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii. We did our research and found shore excursions that included sites we were interested in. Disembarkation ran smoothly with a transfer to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We took the Venice to Barcelona itinerary in Aug/Sep 2018 and we loved this ship! The size was perfect for us. It was easy to get from one end to the other and the ship was in great shape. The food in the main dining room was the best ... Read More
We took the Venice to Barcelona itinerary in Aug/Sep 2018 and we loved this ship! The size was perfect for us. It was easy to get from one end to the other and the ship was in great shape. The food in the main dining room was the best we’ve had on any Holland America ship. The filets were nice and thick and cooked to perfection and the variety each evening was wonderful. And as on all our HAL cruises, the service was impeccable! Even though this ship was smaller than our favorites, the Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam, we really enjoyed every aspect of it. We definitely recommend this ship if you’re looking for a midsize, well appointed ship. Our only disappointment was the changes made to the Crows Nest. It just isn’t as inviting as it used to be and the Explorers Cafe only had a few, very limited, options for danish. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had traveled on Holland America before and whilst disappointed decided to try the Oosterdam as it had been recently re furbished. Check in was good but then nobody to direct or show you to your cabin. The cabin was good and ... Read More
We had traveled on Holland America before and whilst disappointed decided to try the Oosterdam as it had been recently re furbished. Check in was good but then nobody to direct or show you to your cabin. The cabin was good and furnishings excellent. Before dinner we looked for a nice comfortable bar to have a drink but found there were none. The Crows Nest bar, normally a feature was terrible and looked just a kids play area. A couple of other bars badly furnished with hard timber floors. Restaurant menu very limited and food very average. Specialty restaurants very expensive. USD49.50 pp too much for us. Shows in the main theater were excellent but the Cruise Director almost non existent. Itinerary to the Greek Islands excellent but ship's Shore Excursions way too expensive. Did one and it was so badly handled and expensive we cancelled all others. Ship lacks personality. Hardly saw and ships officers. Cruise Director a disaster. Never again on Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because it offered good value for money compared with Celebrity our favourite cruise line. They were the same priceleavu g the same port on the same date but HA seemed to offer more pre cruise ie. 2 nights ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it offered good value for money compared with Celebrity our favourite cruise line. They were the same priceleavu g the same port on the same date but HA seemed to offer more pre cruise ie. 2 nights accomodation in Rome and transfers. In saying that after flying for 32 hours from Australia our HA transfer failed to meet us at Rome airport. On reflection we would choose Celebrity over HA. I must say our suite was divine accomodating our teenage daughter, my husband and I and it was very comfortable and large and our room attendants were both fastidious and fantastic but that’s where it stops. The food was very average and the wine we selected mostly was sold out! We like to drink champagne and this was either sold out or you could only purchase at the Restaurant when dining for dinner if it was in stock. Leo our sommelier was always very helpful and patient in making recommendations but HA should be accountable for ensuring stock is available. Activities were almost non existent or of no interest and the entertainment ( in house) was very average. Thankfully our ports of destination were beautiful and I could cruise the medditereanean over and over but not with HA. We have cruised with Celebrity, Carnival and RC and would choose these cruise lines before HA. We cruised RC 2 years ago from Barcelona to Cittavechia and that cruise was approx $7500 cheaper than our recent HA cruise at the same period and quite honestly with the exception of our beautiful cabin on HA I can’t justify the difference. All I can say is explore options and reviews before booking your cruise with HA if you really want to ruise with them. I think the icing on the cake for me was we were in the middle of Europe and HA chose not to telecast the World Cup which was very disappointing for many guests!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
12-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Although the ship was supposedly upgraded, we noticed immediately that almost all of the interior elevators had torn, peeling, scratched, damaged wallpaper. Service in Main DR and by cabin stewards ... Read More
12-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Although the ship was supposedly upgraded, we noticed immediately that almost all of the interior elevators had torn, peeling, scratched, damaged wallpaper. Service in Main DR and by cabin stewards excellent as always. Lido deck stewards a little slow, and the Taco bar was frequently out of items. We had reserved a second seating, table for 8, but were seated at a table for 8 with only one other couple, of a significantly different age group. Not conducive to making conversation. Pinnacle was excellent; hot stone massage was great. Cruise director and assistant were fun and engaging. Dealers in the casino, on the other hand, were flat and mechanical, as were the pianists in the piano bar- flat and mechanical. BB King group was phenomenal. BBC Live show was also fantastic. Pianist Chris Hamilton wonderful. Embarkation and Disembark were quick and efficient ( we left the ship at 7 AM, and had our luggage checked in at the airport in Barcelona by 7:45). Pre-cruise package in Venice was nice, except that the hotel had no air conditioning the first night, and the windows were not to be opened because of insects in Venice. As usual, HAL excursions were overpriced, and they don't filter out guests by activity tolerance- we went on a walking tour in Dubrovnik (Old City Walls) and they allowed guests with walkers and 2 crutches- this significantly slowed us down and limited what we could see (this was a listed as a strenuous activity). We used Tours by locals in Naples and Florence, and a private guide in Rome. Similar costs, but only 2 people, no bus (Mercedes minivan transport). Very nice cruise, great ports (although Sarande could have been skipped). This was our1 2the cruise, #8 with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise for two reasons: Ports of call and price. The deal we got on this cruise for the 5 of us (Me and the wife, 3 kids (age 20,18,15) for 2 staterooms (Signature suite + large inside stateroom across from each other) was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons: Ports of call and price. The deal we got on this cruise for the 5 of us (Me and the wife, 3 kids (age 20,18,15) for 2 staterooms (Signature suite + large inside stateroom across from each other) was spectacular - so it was hard to say no. Both the cabins were very nice - good size ,the bathrooms in particular large compared to most cruise ships we've been on. Embarkation went smoothly - we had spent the night in Rome, and took the train to Civitavecchia, and a cab to the ship from there (we got lucky and got a van that fit all of us in one go - cost was 25 Euro) . We stood in line for maybe 10 minutes to get checked in, and another 10 minutes to complete the process (Taking pictures,scanning passports, etc) - we got on the ship around 1pm, and our staterooms were ready. Food in general was a disappointment - the service outside of dinner was hit and miss - 4 in the family has a gluten allergy, and while at dinner they took great care of us (pre-ordered the night before) it was complete hit and miss other times. Often the gluten free pancakes or waffles ordered came out cold, and the gluten free pizza was often soggy. We've been on other cruise lines were the food allergy is registered with our stateroom, so when we check in for breakfast or lunch, the server is made aware - makes the whole process a lot smoother. The service at meals outside of dinner was completely hit or miss, we had a tour in the morning one port, went down to the restaurant about an hour before our meeting time, and almost didn't have time to finish eating before heading to the meeting point because service was so slow. Sometimes at breakfast they filled your water and coffee constantly, other times it took ages to get a refill. Similarly at the buffet, sometimes they cleared tables fast, other times you were stuck with dirty dishes on the table from the people before you for quite some time. Entertainment in general was a complete disappointment ,easily the worst we've experienced on any cruise ship. There was a couple of ok shows - but for the most part we decided to just skip them. In general we found the port information lacking, and in some cases the supplied maps inaccurate. The ports of calls on this itinerary was why we picked this cruise, though due to the political climate in Turkey, two of our ports got changed out - which I am glad they did, even though we missed a port that my daughter was looking forward to. Disembarkation was complete chaos. They called far too many people at once, clogging the midship area, and the shuttle in Venice to get out of the port was overloaded. I'd sail on this ship and Holland America again, but it would have to be another great deal like this one. I certainly would not seek them out again. Though if I do sail them again, I think I'll stick to the Signature Suite category - that was certainly worth it for the added space. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our 8th HAL cruise and second time on the Oosterdam. Perfect size ship (82K tons, 2200 passengers) and has recently been renovated (built in 2003). Never felt like we were on a crowded cruise ship. We had sailed on the Oosterdam ... Read More
This was our 8th HAL cruise and second time on the Oosterdam. Perfect size ship (82K tons, 2200 passengers) and has recently been renovated (built in 2003). Never felt like we were on a crowded cruise ship. We had sailed on the Oosterdam in 2005 in Alaska, and the improvements to the common areas/cabins were excellent. HAL ships are meticulously maintained and the crew was fantastic. We had a Signature suite which was perfect for a 12 day cruise and well worth the extra cost. The food on this cruise was outstanding. High quality, excellent presentations, and portion sizes that were just right. The itinerary for this cruise Rome/Naples/Crete/Santorini/Rhodes(we lost Kusadasi, Turkey)/Athens/Olympia/Corfu/Dubrovnik/Montenegro/Venice was spectacular. The mediterranean is very calm this time of year, and although it was hot, even first time cruisers would be comfortable as the ship was very stabile and sailed mostly after 6PM, except for one sea day. HAL tours are always high quality and the variety was perfect. Can't say enough about this ship and cruise line. If you want to party like rock stars, HAL is not for you. If you want a high quality cruise, with very interesting fellow passengers, this is the one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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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