15 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Repositioning Cruises to Transatlantic

We've sailed a number of times with Holland; the Oosterdam and were pleased. The Barcelona embarkation was easy and we went straight to our cabin. The ship is older but it was well maintained. Captain and Cruise Director Kelly ... Read More
We've sailed a number of times with Holland; the Oosterdam and were pleased. The Barcelona embarkation was easy and we went straight to our cabin. The ship is older but it was well maintained. Captain and Cruise Director Kelly were very good with plenty of information to share. MDR food and service were excellent with gourmet selections and presentations. Lido could have been better, i.e., first full day at sea and tables were not cleared for more guests. We enjoyed the BB King Blues band. Excellent performers. Lincoln Center Stage had an amazing Quintet. They played a variety of music from classics, popular, and movie themes. Our favorite venue was the Gallery Bar. The staff were warm and friendly and the gaming room was a really nice HAL addition. They had board games, darts, chess boards, etc. Very comfortable room to spend the evening in. America's Test Kitchen was another highlight with an entertaining chef who had great recipes and cooking tips. Most of our excursions were booked through HAL and I'm glad I did. Yes, a little more $$, but always well organized and on time. You meet in the theatre and are escorted off the ship and directly to your tour bus. So convenient. Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was slow, but only for fewer custom's agents and five other ships in port. This was the first time I used the spa services. Very good experience with just a small up-sell speech. Ladies, pack a sweater: Air conditioning left public venues very cold Great service. Great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My partner and myself had wanted to do the North Atlantic to Northern Europe but when this deal came along, we couldn't resist. Unfortunately my partner lost his passport on day of sailing and missed the departure. Big Hint here: ... Read More
My partner and myself had wanted to do the North Atlantic to Northern Europe but when this deal came along, we couldn't resist. Unfortunately my partner lost his passport on day of sailing and missed the departure. Big Hint here: First thing to do is to call Holland America and advise them. They will then try to help you get to next port and will do everything necessary to help you avoid large extra charges. My friend didn't do this and wound up with big expenses that a call to the cruise line would have been the much better way to go. My review is based on my being in a corner Neptune suite with a wrap around balcony and dining almost completely in the Pinnacle Grill. While this suite balcony might be great on a Carribbean cruise, on the Atlantic Ocean, totally unnecessary. Plus the side balcony cuts into the cabin size and isn't as big as mid ship suites. Plus, being in the back, I had less visits to the Neptune Lounge and I missed that very much. Of course I had 2 brilliant room stewards. Raymond and Yoman. I like getting up early and having my room done first. No problem for these guys. Thank you very much guys. Having the Lounge is a huge plus. You get the services of 2 fabulous concierges. Mine were Hazel and Anika. Thank you ladies for your great help with my friends' woes and for all you do for the passengers in the lounge. A wonderful place to rest and meet your fellow cruisers. Get a cappuccino or a bite to eat. Work on their computer and watch some TV. Since I was waiting for my friend to make it back from the Miami Passport agency, I didn't arrive on board until about 345PM. Needless to say he didn't make it back on time. So my embarkation.was veery speedy. My cabin was ready and the amount of closet space was very generous. The bathroom was very big with twin sinks. They now have nightlights but I think they're too bright. I bring my own but impossible to turn theirs off. You don't need to be blinded if you need to use the rest room during the middle of the night. The Oosterdam was just in dry dock and had all of her dry goods replaced. That meant I got to be first to use the new beds and linens. Delicious bed. I really wish they could figure out a way of making the twins feel more like a single bed and not 2 beds slid together. I also like having all the goodies that they bring to your suite. Dining: As I mentioned before, I had almost all of my meals in the Pinnacle Grill. Being in the top suites has one perk that I really love and that's a full breakfast in the "Grill". Thanks to Arlen, Ida, Anna and Lesley and all the others that made my days so enjoyable. Dinners were probably the best in my many times on other ships in their Grill rooms. Bravo. So good, I did lunch there a few times. As I'm a 4 star Mariner, I get 50% discount on all meals in the Pinnacle. That includes the pop up "Rudy's Sal De Mer". BTW, I did hear good remarks from the people that ate in main dining room. The Grill chef made my and from my observations of others, great temperature meats and fish and general great dining. Since I was rather bummed out about my missing friend, I didn't get to see many of the shows but did give the casino some action. I broke even, pretty good actually. I also met on board some previous cruiser friends and joined them quite a bit. They too ate mostly in the Pinnacle and our times were very close, so we joined each other a few times. Thanks to Candice Karin and Randy and Steve. The ports were excellent for this crossing. Funchal was our first port and my friend was supposed to meet us there. Alas, they wouldn't let his flight land due to heavy winds, and we didn't meet up until we got to Lisbon. Yikes! He has a crazier story than I do. The other ports were quite good and Joseph and I did a "Taste of Malaga" tour through the group, "We Love Malaga", with tour group owner, Victor. I totally recommend him to anyone. For the other ports we took in the shuttles and walked around on our own. Service on board the ship was almost perfect. I did have a bit of a problem with trying to set up space for our Mah Jong players and it took too many visits to straighten this out but in the end they did find a compromise for our group. Not that I was too happy about it, but not worth getting too upset. Holland America is one of my favorite cruise lines and this was my 24th crossing altogether, so I have experience and know what to expect. We had a very big storm on our journey but the Oosterdam held up beautifully. I heartily recommend this ship and this line. I love sea days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My husband and I had never been to Europe, so we chose this cruise to get a good "sample" of countries. The 8 days at sea sailing across the Atlantic were relaxing and a great way to start our trip. The Oosterdam is a ... Read More
My husband and I had never been to Europe, so we chose this cruise to get a good "sample" of countries. The 8 days at sea sailing across the Atlantic were relaxing and a great way to start our trip. The Oosterdam is a beautiful, elegant ship. Our cabin was wonderful (see below). We loved all the ports except Huelva, Spain. If you dock there, you might want to take an excursion to Seville. We were there on a Sunday, and after taking a (free) shuttle to town, we couldn't do anything but walk, because everything was closed. The map provided did not include all streets, so it was hard to navigate. We walked for a couple of hours and returned to the ship. The food, in general, was wonderful. Such a nice variety, and something was always available. A few times, we suspected a change in chefs so that the same item was not as good on a different day. For example, we had extremely good cheesecake one day, but slices that tasted like "something was missing" on another day. Very minor, but noticeable. The entertainment was very good at first, but we got tired of repetition in the entertainment. The Motown singers were the best for us. We did not use the casino, which seemed empty most of the time. Fellow travelers seemed to like the cooking classes, although we did not attend. We used a tour company other than EXC Tours for most of our excursions because of price and reviews. One of our favorite excursions was the EXC "In the Footsteps of the Godfather" in Sicily. Wonderful trip into the hills to the towns where the European part of the movies were filmed. Our WORST excursion was also an EXC - a "romantic" gondola ride in Venice that ended up being anything but. For over $300, we had a 30 minute ride of which 10 minutes were holding in place for other gondolas. Our "ride for 2" ended up being a ride for 4 when they had a guitarist and singer jump in our boat. Our view ahead of us was the singer/musician. Terrible, disappointing, expensive experience! The crew on the ship was first class. Our room stewards were unbelievably friendly ad efficient. Almost all workers were quick with a greeting when you passed them anywhere on board. We are already going on another Holland cruise this year. We hope it will be as wonderful as the last. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We wanted a cruise coming back to the USA with Tampa as the final port for us as we live in central Florida. Little did we expect the whole ship to be under restrictions because many passengers had a virus - this really puts a burden on ... Read More
We wanted a cruise coming back to the USA with Tampa as the final port for us as we live in central Florida. Little did we expect the whole ship to be under restrictions because many passengers had a virus - this really puts a burden on the staff especially at meal time. Everywhere you went people were coughing and not always into a tissue! IMHO the filters should be replaced before every cruise for all cabins and public gathering areas. The cruise itself was as smooth as glass - didn't feel like we were on a ship. As far as the ship is concerned, the carpeting, on floors where cabins are located, is very rumpled which could lead to a safety issue for the many "older" folks who take HAL cruises (me included!). We had an obstructed view cabin looking out over a couple of tenders and I wondered, with all the rust and frayed cables whether they'd be in shape should there be a need to use them. Sorry HAL, but this ship is tired even though the crew was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Food was excellent. Service as usual on HAL wonderful. Entertainment great. Absolutely no negative comments! Enjoyed the guest lectures. Loved the BB king music and dancing Billboard piano's and music selections excellent ... Read More
Food was excellent. Service as usual on HAL wonderful. Entertainment great. Absolutely no negative comments! Enjoyed the guest lectures. Loved the BB king music and dancing Billboard piano's and music selections excellent The best hamburgers I've eaten in along time served on deck "dive-in" The greenhouse spa and thermal suite is a must on any transatlantic even though we had warm weather and smooth sailing all the way. I did not eat at the specialty restaurants because the food in the dining room and the lido was wonderful Cannot say enough about the friendliness of the staff and their dedication to making the guest feel like number 1. The shows in the evening were great with lots of variety. Loved the dancers and singers and the production. Cruise critic is definitely a great site to use . I met people to share excursions with and share a ride from the airport to the cruisers hotel Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We were visiting family in Italy and decided that it was a good value and more fun to take a repositioning cruise back to the states. We looked at the repositioning cruises in Oct/Nov time frame and this one met our schedules. We ... Read More
We were visiting family in Italy and decided that it was a good value and more fun to take a repositioning cruise back to the states. We looked at the repositioning cruises in Oct/Nov time frame and this one met our schedules. We have taken many cruises -- Regent, Princess, Celebrity and HAL. Probably more on HAL because we like the smaller ships. Even though we thought we were experienced cruises there were others on the ship with much more experience and we learned a few important tips. Tip number one -- watch for the rotating happy hours on the ship. The 2 for 1 pricing on pre-dinner cocktails helps stretch the budget. Tip number two -- if a couple is cruising have one order a cocktail that both enjoy because you actually get two identical drinks for the price of one. Have the other person order wine -- you get two glasses. Save the wine and carry them to the MDR for dinner. What an idea. We didn't catch on to this savvy savings until day 3 of the 15 day cruise. Tip number three -- take lysol wipes with you when you travel and clean, clean, clean your room. There was a large contingent of Swedes onboard -- many take this cruise every year. "Skal" to our Swedish friends. They are fun to travel with. We also enjoyed traveling with more Europeans and Brits. It made for interesting conversations. This was a norovirus cruise and we give HAL credit for early detection and swift action. HAL flew a rep from the CDC and from corporate to the last port before the crossing to oversee the ship decontamination. We were IMPRESSED. The cleaning was 24/7. Noticible changes in the lido -- all the food was sealed from the passengers. I wish it were always this way. I read complaints regarding slow service on the buffets when you could not serve yourself, but really, wouldn't you rather wait a half-second longer than eat food that people have pawed over? Think about how many people have used that set of tongs that you now touch, or have sat in the food that you now eat? I didn't think about it much until this cruise. Other things the crew of the Osterdam did was remove salt and pepper shakers and any thing that might be handled by other passengers from the table in the MDR. All the spices were brought to the table in packets by the wait staff. All the crew cleaned the boat, deck chairs were sprayed with disinfectants every day, tables AND chairs on the pool deck were cleaned and disinfected as soon as the diners departed. All the work paid off because by the middle of the crossing there were no more new inections. All the other lines should study what HAL did on this cruise. The food was very good. We enjoyed the lunch selections in the lido, especially the asian and curry dishes. Salads were also great. The food in the MDR was very good. The selections on the menu always had choices that were very good. I like a cup of hot tea wih my dessert and after the first night I did not have to ask -- it was there. Bless you. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night and enjoyed the steaks and wonderful service. The enrichment activities were good. We liked the daily briefings from the ship's bridge crew which took place each sea day in a lounge. Also, new to HAL and much appreciated by the passengers was a Port Expert who was not there to sell excursions, or tell us where to shop for diamonds, but gave us a non-comercial overview of each port of call. I hope HAL makes this a permanent feature on all ships. HAL has stepped up their entertainment. We were inpressed with the diversity and quality of the performances. The stage shows had excellent performers. OK, I'll get to something that impressed me the most -- the TV. I know, you would think that I should have better things to do, but this was a crossing with multiple sea days. The up-graded on-demand programs and movies that HAL offers are wonderful. I became addicted to watching Downton Abby - as I never saw it before. There are movies and shows for all ages with plenty of childrens shows for family viewing. The service in the lounges was very slow. HAL could make more money if they would step it up here. We had to wait for the lounge staff to come around and then wait longer for the drinks to arrive. God forbid you ask for some peanuts -- you're in for another 30 min. wait. I believe that they were short-handed and should add more staff in these areas. We did not take any shore excursions, chosing to explore on our own and we had a great time doing just that. It made for some relaxing exploration and we loved discovering what was around the next corner. All in all it was a great cruise and we will definitely travel with HAL again as we are signed up for the November South America trip. 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
I just returned from a 15 Transatlantic cruise on The Oosterdam.. There was nothing about the ship that I didn't like. The food, staff, entertainment and overall appearance of the ship was outstanding. It was my first time on a ... Read More
I just returned from a 15 Transatlantic cruise on The Oosterdam.. There was nothing about the ship that I didn't like. The food, staff, entertainment and overall appearance of the ship was outstanding. It was my first time on a HAL ship. I suspect it won't be the last. The staff were very genuine whenever they greeted me. Microsoft had a person to teach all of the Microsoft programs. She was excellent and the classes were always over full. The food in the Lido dining area was exceptional. We ate there frequently even in the evenings. The food was fresh. Many times the cooks were cooking things like pork chops while they were serving so the chops didn't sit on the steam table very long. Ice cream was available almost all day long. It was good stuff. Two nights a sirloin roast was served. Both times it was excellent. Great cruise. I was very impressed. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I booked this one at last minute, price was too good to pass up. Originally booked Oceanview HH, got a deal on upgrade to VA 2 days before departure. The first part of the cruise we visited ports in spain and funchal, portugal. Each ... Read More
I booked this one at last minute, price was too good to pass up. Originally booked Oceanview HH, got a deal on upgrade to VA 2 days before departure. The first part of the cruise we visited ports in spain and funchal, portugal. Each one on the shore excursions were winners. The caves tour in Mallorca were fantastic...ended with a classic music quartet playing in dim lights on a boat in a large underground lake. Next tour we went from Cartagena to Elche, spain, beautiful walking tour of classic old town. Third tour at Malagda was to a private owned auto and clothing museum, truly unbelievable collections of antique autos and ladies clothing. Fourth tour at Funchal, rode the cable car to the top and took a LONG "sled" ride down. Great fun. Rest of trip was cross Atlantic. Captain said near the end that in his 23 years, this wwas the smoothest crossing he had ever experienced. Holland had upgraded their entertainment. Main stage shows were all great, and between BB KIngs, the new Dual Pianos lounge singing all the classics, and the new Lincoln center all were great. This was my 23rd cruise, several different lines, heavily Holland, but we seemed like novices on this cruise. I've never had the pleasure of talking with so many 4 and 5 star mariners and round-the-world cruisers. Great fun. Unfortunately, the ship had a small noro virus incidence, so we had to deal with all the special precautions and limitations that come with that. In convenient, but it worked well, they kept the infections small and I'd rather be inconvenienced that sick. As a result, we ate almost exclusively in the main dining room, which made for lots of good traveler interactions. Service was sometimes a little slow, but we all knew the crew was diminished everywhere so they could scrub and keep everything extra clean. Overall I believe Holland did a great job. We are booked again for 28 days leaving Hong Kong in January. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Many of us were surprised to find that this was a big band cruise with the "Harry James Orchestra" playing nightly. Those who like big bands were in their glory with the 12 instrumental musicians, a bandleader and a female ... Read More
Many of us were surprised to find that this was a big band cruise with the "Harry James Orchestra" playing nightly. Those who like big bands were in their glory with the 12 instrumental musicians, a bandleader and a female vocalist. HAL really nailed music on this one, with a great group creating Nashville sounds in the BB King club, "The Band" in the Ocean bar, the Adagio Duo, and the piano bar. The biggest plus on this sailing was that everyone seemed to be a "happy camper". I didn't find anyone who was a complainer in 13 days. This is rare indeed. I'm sure that the better than average weather and calm seas helped. The ship was going to drydock and unfortunately the work started a few days before the sailing ended. The nice sun deck outside of the Crow's Nest was torn up days early, and on the final day, the gym area was "off limits" in the late afternoon. Outside of those things, the sailing offered what HAL does best, and the repositioning cruise remains one of the true bargains of sailing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this transatlantic repositioning cruise for its value. We don't mind being at sea for 8 days before landing at a port. This cruise stopped in Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Cartegna, Spain and finally terminated in ... Read More
We chose this transatlantic repositioning cruise for its value. We don't mind being at sea for 8 days before landing at a port. This cruise stopped in Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Cartegna, Spain and finally terminated in Civitevecchia, Italy. Embarkation and disembarkation was quick and efficient. Our Signature Suite was lovely. Our stewards and the dining room staff service was excellent. The food was delicious and always served hot. We appreciate HAL's commitment to service. We had a great destination port guide on board and Tom was knowledgeable and interesting. The other speaker who spoke about the history of our ports, was very dry and boring. That aspect of the program needs to be updated and the speakers vetted more often. This man had been around too long. We enjoyed the Harry James orchestra and the comedian from England was extremely funny. The BB King lounge is always a highlight. The piano bar would be better if it didn't dissolve into karaoke. We have encountered this on another of their cruises. The piano players are very good but the singing is just so/so then people start grabbing the mic and it devolves from there. The Adagio is nice as well, players are technically very good but lack some emotion in their playing. It seems that they are going through the motions, so to speak. Our only downside was that this ship was going in for a 2 week refit and workmen started dismantling things on deck 10 while we were on the ship so this outdoor area was not usable and while they were cutting and sawing metal off the deck it was very, very noisy in both the Crows Nest bar, library and Spa area. We would like to see the ship after the refit and would sale with HAL again. our stateroom was 8053 mid ship under the buffet area. Not as noisy at night as being under the pool area, but in the future I would pick a deck that is sandwiched between 2 stateroom decks. This cruise needed a refit to update the furnishings, carpets and drapes and put in better TVs. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose the cruise since it was the first, non-luxury cruise to leave for Europe. We had plans that were fixed on us arriving before a scheduled event. My husband had arrived in the U.S. on the Holland America Rijndam in 1956, from ... Read More
We chose the cruise since it was the first, non-luxury cruise to leave for Europe. We had plans that were fixed on us arriving before a scheduled event. My husband had arrived in the U.S. on the Holland America Rijndam in 1956, from Europe when he and his mother left Austria to meet up with his dad who had gone ahead to get a job, place to live, etc. So, it was a nostalgic trip and the cruise company was informed of this before we left, so at one of the Captain's Club receptions, my husband was called up to be recognized for his 60th year anniversary of crossing the Atlantic on a Holland America ship! We were very pleased with the Oosterdam, a good size for us, and love that it did not have too many "bells and whistles" (no climbing walls, wave pools, or too much organized activities) while it did have good music- Jazz, blues, swing, big dance band & this really appealed to us. The lecutres about the ports left a lot to be desired, since it was purely tuned to those going on scheduled tours. We always want to explore on our own, so we had to do our own research when we got off the ship at each port. They can do a better job of that. The excursion desk was less than helpful and less frirendly about it than they should have been! I give the ship itself, the captain, crew and Holland America an excellent rating, since they were the most personable crew, the ship was a perfect size and we had the best table mates ever. Everyone we met was interesting, seemed informed and very open. the food could be a bit more exotic, such as Riistafel with some spices. The variety could have been more so. It was good food, but we expected a bit better variety.Too much like all the other cruise lines in the dining room. The buffet had some more far eastern dishes each day and that was good for lunch. The cafe in the library area should be larger to serve the specialty coffees. One or two servers were there and the space should be enlarged to handle more than one customer at a time. We are planning on a 2nd Holland America cruise in 2017, we really like the "class" of passengers who seem to choose HA. At the embarkation we had to sit down and wait for our group. I had never experienced that before with RCCL, Celebrity or Princess, but it worked well and luggage was delivered very quickly to our cabin. All in all a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We are a married couple, who has sailed on many Transatlantic cruises previously, but this was our first cruise with HAL. Pre-cruise: We stayed the night before at Holiday Inn Express Fort Lauderdale Airport South. A good hotel with ... Read More
We are a married couple, who has sailed on many Transatlantic cruises previously, but this was our first cruise with HAL. Pre-cruise: We stayed the night before at Holiday Inn Express Fort Lauderdale Airport South. A good hotel with free shuttle service from/to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. And for a fee, shuttle service to the cruise port. Embarkation: Went smoothly. The Ship: We found MS Oosterdam to be a nice ship. Although she was going to be refurbished in Europe after this cruise, in our opinion Oosterdam was in an excellent condition. Stateroom info: We were pleased with our aft veranda stateroom. Crew: We found most of the Indonesian and Filipino staff to be great and friendly – our stateroom attendant, most waiters in the bars, the wait staff in the Upper Vista Dining Room, the sommeliers, and the staff in the Lido Buffet Restaurant. Dining: With the exception of the first formal dinner in the MDR, where the waiters were in a hurry, we were very pleased with the service we received throughout the cruise with “As You Wish Dinning”. This in contrast to our three cruises with Celebrity’s "Select Dining", were the waiters in the MDR always was very busy, due to under-staffing. It was also nice to see that there were napkins neatly set up on the tables in the MDR, unlike what we experienced on Celebrity Reflection last November. Food in the MDR was generally good. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido Buffet Restaurant. The food selection in the Lido was okay. The range of juice for free at breakfast was very good. We will mention that the two toasters should be replaced, they doesn't work very well. The bread must many times pass through twice. What really impressed us was the good service from the staff in the Lido Restaurant. The staff was good at clearing tables, and there were knives and forks together with napkins on the tables. For most meals, the staff offered to bring us coffee, tea and water. We have never before experienced so good service in a buffet restaurant on any cruise ship. For instance, far better than the service we previously have experienced in Celebrity's Oceanview, and in Royal Caribbean’s Windjammer. We ate one dinner in Pinnacle Grill. The food and service were excellent! Room Service: The selection for breakfast was very good. We were pleased with the Signature Beverage Package. It worked out very well for us. Entertainment: The entertainment on the ship was mostly okay. However, we are quite tired to watch production shows, were most of the music/songs presented, are not original, but only "look a like" music/songs. The reason for this is probably copyright issues/costs for HAL. Destination ports: The three destinations ports was good, especially Madeira. But only three ports of call on a 13 nights cruise, are just too few – even on a Transatlantic cruise. What we did not like on this cruise: The jacuzzi on the port side on the Sea View Pool, did not work throughout the whole cruise. And the jacuzzi never get any sign saying: “Out of order”. We were very disappointed that there were no pool attendants or pool guards who looked after that the pool rules were enforced. Several times during our cruise, there were children who occupied the Lido pool for several hours with diving, jumping and acrobatic exercises, without any of the staff putting a stop to it!!! We do not even know who the pool attendants were! The Passenger Safety Drill was the most disorganized Safety Drill we have experienced on our 38 cruises. Five minutes before the Drill was to start, it was surprisingly announced over the ship's loudspeakers that the Drill nevertheless would not take place until 20 minutes later. When this was announced, the majority of the passengers were already in place at their assigned Muster Stations. In addition, the organization by at least our Muster Station, was also poorly executed by the responsible crew. The Sea View Sun Deck has no protection when it’s windy. Unfortunately, the nice wind protective deck space outside the Crow’s Nest on deck 10 will now be gone, because it will be built new staterooms there during the refurbishment. Disembarkation: We found it confusing that our departure time from the ship suddenly was announced half an hour earlier than was informed the last day on board, and also in relation to what was informed on the TV screen in our stateroom on the departure morning . Overall, a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We chose this cruise because the perks that went along with it were very good. We also took a transatlantic last year and enjoyed it, so we were game for another one. We specifically wanted to end up in Rome as we had never been there ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the perks that went along with it were very good. We also took a transatlantic last year and enjoyed it, so we were game for another one. We specifically wanted to end up in Rome as we had never been there before. Although the ship was gearing up for drydock refurbishing and there were workers already on the ship, it did not impact our vacation in any way, except for one day hearing a lot of banging while we were in the thermal room trying to relax. Service and friendliness of the staff was excellent. The BB King Blues Band was excellent, as usual. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants but enjoyed the food on the Lido and in the dining room. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. We always arrive early and are one of the first few off the ship because we carry our luggage. The main shows with the singers and dancers were okay. The voices were very good, but some presentations were better than others. Our cabin was a verandah and roomy enough, however, wear and tear could be noted, especially in the bathroom (cracked sink, water temperature hard to manipulate). However, we knew the ship was ready for drydock so it didn't bother us. The Indonesian Show was excellent and a lot of fun. We were glad they scheduled it for the afternoon rather than late at night. The ports were excellent. Although we had been to Malaga and Cartagena before, we were able to see them with new eyes as we did different things than we did on our previous trip. Madeira was interesting and would have explored more if the weather was better. Definitely a place we would like to go back to. I would take this itinerary again and would love to cruise again on the OOsterdam with its promised upgrades. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION 5.0 Embarkation was an overnight stop in Barcelona. I arrived late (as expected) and was handled quite efficiently. Debarkation was a Monday in Fort Lauderdale and was reasonably efficient; the usual weekend ... Read More
EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION 5.0 Embarkation was an overnight stop in Barcelona. I arrived late (as expected) and was handled quite efficiently. Debarkation was a Monday in Fort Lauderdale and was reasonably efficient; the usual weekend chaos at FLL was absent. CABIN 5.0 Standard size and comfortable, although with an unusual L-shaped configuration. The bathroom has the standard size and layout, with a single medicine cabinet rather than double shelving. The mid-ships elevators have an odd, three-bank configuration, where a number of outside balcony cabins were replaced with scenic elevators. An expensive arrangement which doesn't work all that well. DINING 5.0 Main Dining Room Huge portions of bland American comfort food. Numerous choices, although no separate salad or pasta courses. Little excitement, few surprizes. If this is what you want, they do it well. Service was "average"- not bad, but didn't live up to the marketing hype. But formal nights were a farce, even though HAL is so uptight they even put it on the boarding pass (HAL may say that plaid sports jackets with orange polka-dot bowties are formalwear, but that doesn't make it so). Perhaps half actually wore something which was properly formal. Buffet Mostly cafeteria service, rather than true buffet. Pasta and desserts available to 1:00 AM, although I was usually the only passenger after midnight; the "midnight" buffet was already finished. A little more attention to detail is required- for example there was no holder for the bread tongs, they ended up being placed on top of the bread. Ample hand sanitizer stations were available, but there was no enforcement. Pinnacle Grill- Lavish presentation, but the food was not really much better than the MDR. Not worth the extra money. FITNESS AND RECREATION 2.0 Fitness Room. No one I talked to reported any difficulty with overcrowding. The equipment seems to be good quality and in good condition. For some reason, the scale is calibrated in kilograms. Do not expect many physical-fitness oriented activities. Although HAL has a reputation for "wheelchairs and walkers", I did not see many, and the ones I met had a positive, "can-do" attitude. But I saw a large number of very fat (BMI's of 50, maybe even 60) passengers. I'm a 60-year-old guy with a heart condition, but I felt like oneof the most active and energetic people on board. ENTERTAINMENT 2.0 Shows The comments I heard indicated shows ranged from good to mediocre. Cooking Displays I did not attend any cooking displays, nor did I hear any comments from those who did. Some were extra cost. Event Evenings There were two major evening events, a 50's night and a Black-and-White ball. Both were crowded for about an hour, then everyone left. Exciting only in comparison to other activity on board. Cinema Seating is comfortable but limited; signs are already posted about not bringing extra seats. ENRICHMENT 1.0 For a ship with 2000 passengers on a Transatlantic crossing, there was not much choice, although it seemed to be adequate for demand. The topics seemed generally interesting, although I admit I did not attend the napkin folding lecture. LGBT activities were scheduled almost every evening; also some sort of religious service every morning. I did not attend either, so I cannot provide any details. PUBLIC ROOMS 1.0 Apparently there is a problem with old people trying to dance and falling down, so the ship puts sticky goo on all the dance floors. This makes it very dangerous to dance until it wears off, about two or three days. But there isn't much demand, most people go to bed by 11 PM. Ocean Bar The house band is given music by HAL, and that's all they are allowed to play. Dreary, dismal stuff, at least a generation out of date. The group on this sailing was from Mexico and spoke limited English, so I am not sure how much flexibility they had regarding tempos and requests. They did play til 11:30 PM, but very few couples danced, the room was often empty. Queens Room A multipurpose room, used mostly for cooking demonstrations, rarely for dancing. The dance floor is a decent size, but normally occupied by extra seating. There were a few evening activities, once even until midnight. Crow's Nest A large, attractive lounge, used mostly as a piano (or guitar) bar; often reserved for private parties. Disco The DJ tried very hard to find out what music passengers wanted. But the busiest I ever saw the disco was 9 people- most nights, none at all. The disco bar is a smoking area for the casino. Library/Internet A decently sized library. Food available for purchase. Internet seemed to function at normal speed for a ship. Casino Operates on a semi-cashless system. The machines will take cash, but only credit your winnings back to your cabin account. Quite a few 1-cent and 2-cent machines. SERVICE 4.0 Not bad, but doesn't live up to the marketing hype. The Cruise Director did the usual shameless begging for inflated survey ratings; worse, partly-completed surveys disappeared from some cabins, including mine. SHORE EXCURSIONS Not evaluated. But there was no effort to decontaminate passengers or bags returning. Steam cleaning of carpets was not done until night. One woman actually boasted about bringing local food on board. The ship must be assumed to have been contaminated with any local microbes at every port stop. VALUE FOR MONEY 5.0 or 1.0, depending on your interests If you want "Florida Retirement Home" ambiance with huge amounts of food, then this ship is an excellent choice. But if "life begins at 10 PM", stay far away - you will be travelling with some of the most boring people I have ever met. Those with racial prejudices will be happy- passengers are white, servers are brown, blacks are not to be seen. The Oosterdam did not strike me as a happy ship. The corporate MBA's in Seattle need to stop worrying about the survey system which is obviously flawed, and spend more time on board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2009
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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