6 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Romantic 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
Hollard America Oosterdam Jan 19-26, 2019 Great Cruise! -Had a beautiful cruise on the Oosterdam and lots of sunny, warm days! Embarkation was the best ever! We arrived shortly after 1:00 with no lines or waiting to board the ... Read More
Hollard America Oosterdam Jan 19-26, 2019 Great Cruise! -Had a beautiful cruise on the Oosterdam and lots of sunny, warm days! Embarkation was the best ever! We arrived shortly after 1:00 with no lines or waiting to board the ship. We went right to our balcony stateroom on deck 4 and were soon greeted by our wonderful cabin steward Yumus who took great care of our room and kept our ice bucket filled. I was thrilled that we had a bathtub, though it showed signs of age. -We joined our 4 friends on the Lido deck for cocktails, then the Muster drill, followed by dancing at our Sail Away party. We had “anytime dining” which worked well with little or not waiting at the main dining room. -Shortly after boarding, we learned that the Christian band Mercy Me was on board to give several prepaid concerts. We heard toward the end of the cruise that staff considered this group of passengers as a whole to be among the most courteous and kind. -We did not see more than 10 children, all of whom were well behaved. Most of the passengers seemed to be our age (early 60’s) and older. -We loved that there was a Happy Hour daily in the Billboard Lounge at 4:00 with buy one drink, get the second for $2. They brought appetizers and had Trivia hosted by our Cruise Director Becca. We had wonderful Whiskey Sours, Chocolate Martinis, Mudslides, and Bourbon and Diet Cokes. All refreshing! -At 6:00 daily in the Gallery lounge, they featured three $4 drinks which varied from day to day. They had Lemon Drop Martinis, Manhattans, Blue Margaritas, Appletinis, Classic Martinis, and Brandy Alexanders. They brought olives, bread stick crackers, potato chips and nuts. There were comfortable couches, wing back chairs and warm lighting where we felt like we were in our own family rooms with delightful servers to attend always with a smile. -The Lido buffet dining area was lovely with perfect lighting including lamps, nice upholstered chairs, and cloth napkins. Loved the made to order pasta bar and made to order salad bar. Pizza was also available. Food was served by the servers on request as you went through the line. There was a dessert and scooped ice cream area with toppings available. I was disappointed that they were out of waffle cones the three times I went there. At breakfast, there was a made to order crepes and waffle area. I loved the blueberry crepes. By the pool, there was a taco and hamburger bar. -Many mornings, we ordered room service including omelets, fruit, coffee, cereal, and rolls. Service was prompt and courteous. We were given a form to fill out nightly if we wished room service and place on our door knobs. -I was glad that I’d read the reviews and the Holland America policy ahead of time and knew we could carry on a carton of soft drinks, bottled water, and 1 bottle of wine per person. -The dining room was nice. I found the food okay, though a couple in our group loved it especially the onion soup, noodles and beef, and Weiner schnitzel. We liked that a cheese plate was available each evening for dessert. Dessert varied each evening. I especially loved the chocolate lava cake and key lime pie. -The public restrooms were all warmly lit, and I LOVED the rolled-up wash cloth to use to dry hands. So luxurious! -We heard the comedian Tim Kaminsky several times. He was clean and very good. One night there was to be a dancing show early evening but it was cancelled due to accident a performer had, so Tim was asked last minute to do another performance. He did a fine job. -We were to stop in the Bahamas our first day on Sunday, but had to cancel due to not being able to dock safely. We attended Mass at 5:00 pm. We were pleased a Mass was available but would have preferred a morning time. It was well attended with no extra seats available. -One morning, my husband and I attended a cooking demonstration at America’s Test Kitchen, but were disappointed to discover there were no samples available. Blueberry pancakes and artichoke and salmon omelets were featured, so it seems basic enough to provide small samples. I’ve attended shows on other ships and always had delicious samples. -We were to stop in Turks and Caicos, but due to weather stopped in Samana, Dominican Republic. We did not book excursions through the ship. We met a man who offered to take us on a motorcycle pulling a four person cart on a tour to a waterfall and a beach for $25 each. It was a bumpy ride seeing many small houses, some with dirt floors, and all with bars on the windows. We arrived at the path to the waterfall with locals telling us of the “5 minute walk” to the waterfall. It was really 20 minutes with many rocks and hills. Most of us were in flip flops crossing rock streams. Locals were along the path selling jewelry, paintings, and drinks along the way. One fellow climbed a tree yelling, “Monkey Man” and quickly descended the tree as we walked past with his hat out looking for tips. When we got to the falls, 3 young men were jumping off the falls as a guy counted to three, then passed the hat for more tips. We hiked back to where our motorcycle had dropped us off and rode to a small beach. We stayed about an hour anxious to return to the ship. It was an interesting adventure. -Our second stop, which was not scheduled due to weather was in San Juan, Puerto Rico. We went to a restaurant, did some shopping, and the guys walked around the fort. We found some wonderful Michael Kors purses at a good price. -Our final stop was in the Dominican Republic. We went to a large pool and had a wonderful day of swimming, water sliding, and hanging out at the pool. -My husband liked the casino and found the Craps Table attendants friendly. -We went to the BB King lounge a couple of times and the band was terrific! The sets were somewhat short. Overall, we found limited opportunities to dance. -Loved that liquor purchased in the onboard store was delivered to our room the morning of our last day at sea. -We would have liked an aerobics class and exercises in the pool. We’ve cruised Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian and were a bit disappointed that the Oosterdam didn’t feature gleaming brass staircases and a tiered balcony atrium with entertainment. I missed the entertainment crew led dancing opportunities, the hairy man contest, and Newly Wed Game. -Overall, the cruise was great! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our very first time on HAL and we loved it. It’s truly a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. We rented a Retreat Cabana for the week and we absolutely loved it. It was well worth the money. Our cabin Butler, Carlo, was great. He ... Read More
This was our very first time on HAL and we loved it. It’s truly a laid back and relaxing atmosphere. We rented a Retreat Cabana for the week and we absolutely loved it. It was well worth the money. Our cabin Butler, Carlo, was great. He was very attentive. We had some issues with high winds and had to skip our first port. So we had an extra day at sea which made the cabana even more worthwhile. We enjoyed dinner at Pinnacle Grill twice and Canaletto once. Our cabin was 7038 and in a great spot. One thing we did discover is they changed the explorations cafe. It’s not like the pictures. It’s much smaller and part of the crows nest bar now. So if you’re expecting a “coffee shop” it’s not. But the coffee was great. Definitely will sail on HAL again. We have already booked for next year. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose Holland America for our first cruise experience. We are a newly retired couple who generally prefer land-based vacations. However we decided to try something different for our birthdays (just three days apart). The Oosterdam ... Read More
We chose Holland America for our first cruise experience. We are a newly retired couple who generally prefer land-based vacations. However we decided to try something different for our birthdays (just three days apart). The Oosterdam did not disappoint! Everything was awesome, from the amazing service to the great food, to the terrific verandah stateroom. We are already looking forward to booking our next cruise, with HAL. Getting on and off the ship was easy and quick. When we embarked in FLL we were on the ship within an hour of arriving at just after 11 am. The ship was beautiful, certainly not new but definitely clean and well-appointed. The Pinnacle Grill was our favourite restaurant with fantastic service and really great steak. We found the wine selection to be very good. The ship draws an older crowd but we much prefer that over a “party boat” or tons of kids in the pool area. Our cabin stewards Purr and Ono were simply fantastic, always helpful and really upbeat. An all-round awesome first cruise experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Our 9th cruise, 2nd on HAL. Our first cruise was on HAL 18 years ago and we've always compared our cruises to that first one. We've been looking forward to cruising on HAL again. We've cruised on Princess, Royal, Carnival ... Read More
Our 9th cruise, 2nd on HAL. Our first cruise was on HAL 18 years ago and we've always compared our cruises to that first one. We've been looking forward to cruising on HAL again. We've cruised on Princess, Royal, Carnival and Norwegian. My spouse and I are 50. This would have and should have been a 5 star cruise...if not for the malfunctioning/ nonfunctioning stateroom toilet. Flew into Tampa the night before embarkation and stayed at the Hampton Inn & Suites Ybor City/Downtown Tampa. 5 stars for the Hampton Inn and would highly recommend. Clean, super friendly and helpful staff, a decent hot breakfast and a free shuttle to the cruise port. Great location right at the end of 7th Ave where all the bars and restaurants are. A quirky area where we felt completely safe. Check out The Florida Cane Distillery for free samples of various flavored vodkas. Tasty! We bought some to bring home. Had dinner at the Columbia Restaurant which was very good, highly recommend. If we cruise out of Tampa again, we'll stay here again. Took the free hotel shuttle to the port at around 1100. Took approximately an hour to get onboard after going thru security and checking in. Stateroom was ready, clean and had a decent balcony with foot stools for each chair and a small table. Toilet worked at this time. Had second seating dining which we did four nights. Good service and good food. As mentioned in previous reviews and boards, the wine selection for a glass under $9 is minimal. Did the Pinnacle Grill the first night at around 8:00 and the place was near empty. Good service and good food. I had the halibut and my wife had a filet. The filet was cooked perfectly but under seasoned. Great crab cakes. Brunch everyday at the Lido. Decent food, great salad bar and usually not a problem finding a table. 2nd formal night was with another couple we befriended. They made us a reservation for anytime dining in the Main Dinning Room. All of us had the lobster tail and filet which was very good. Was the birthday for one of them and the wait staff brought out a piece of birthday cake and enthusiastically sang a song. Very fun. Did the Lido buffet the last night for dinner, decent. Spent a lot of time relaxing and reading by the Sea View pool at the aft of the ship. Always easy to find a place to sit or lay out. Bar service staff was lacking. Seemed like if you were more than ten feet away from the pool, they rarely came around. There were dozens of passengers that were ignored as they would repeatedly approach passengers near the pool that would decline drinks. Was almost like there was an invisible fence they could not cross. Did trivia several times which was fun. Checked out the BB King's Blues Club several times which was good as well as the Billboard Onboard which was also good. BEST bartender on the ship was Elwood at the Billboard bar. Great chocolate martini's, friendly and fun to talk too. He gets our vote for best employee. Unfortunately for any of you hoping to meet him on the Oosterdam, his contract is up at the end of the month. You'll have to look for him on the Westerdam in a few months. Casino was decent, won $300 at the Black Jack tables. Didn't do any excursions on this cruise. At Key West we walked around and took in the sights with some bar hopping and lunch. At Roatan we just walked along the beach and checked out the shops in the cruise port . At Santo de Tomas de Castilla we checked out the tourist center, watched a local band and made a few purchases before returning to the ship for a couples massage in the Spa. Unfortunately the stop at Costa Maya was cancelled at the last minute due to damage at one of the docks and the Mexican authorities reassigning our dock to another ship. Disembarkation was a breeze. Waited in our stateroom until called. Took about ten minutes to get off the ship from our stateroom and another ten to fifteen to retrieve our luggage and make it thru Immigration and Customs. Now for the bad. Five of the seven days our stateroom toilet did not work properly or not at all. It started Sat night into Sun morning, again Mon morning, Tues morning, Tues evening into Wed morning, Wed afternoon and finally DID NOT WORK AT ALL from 900 Thurs morning until we left the ship at 900 Fri morning. There was an issue with the vacuum system at the aft of the ship...which we weren't told until Wed afternoon. We weren't the only stateroom having problems. Repeated calls and visits to the front desk and the issue would only be fixed temporarily. Sometimes the toilet would flush partially, sometimes an hour or two later, and sometimes overflow. Luckily there's a floor drain right next to it. Extremely frustrating and a major inconvenience when you have to walk up or down several flights of stairs to find a functioning public toilet. Annoyed that it took so long and a meeting with the Front Desk manager to be told the truth about the vacuum system problem. At first we were accused of clogging the toilet and one front desk employee stated that "hundreds of guests" were flushing toilets at the same time in the morning causing the problem. We knew that was BS as we've been on eight previous cruises. We were provided a letter and a $300 shipboard credit for the "plumbing challenges" and "as a gesture of goodwill". That covered approximately 10% of what we paid for the cruise....nice gesture but not enough to counteract how this issue tainted our cruise experience. Will we cruise HAL again? Probably. We will have some reservation due to the toilet issue though. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was our longest cruise and we upgraded to a Neptune Suite A big mistake, service was bad, food was bad, the employees attitudes were bad Was like we were a burden to them more to come later, but we wanted folks to know of ... Read More
This was our longest cruise and we upgraded to a Neptune Suite A big mistake, service was bad, food was bad, the employees attitudes were bad Was like we were a burden to them more to come later, but we wanted folks to know of this and we were not alone, a lot and we mean a lot of folks were very unhappy the dinner in the dining room were things you did not want to eat and food on the upper deck was dried out fried chicken, and if you wanted to try a hamburger, you better have a good 30 minutes before you saw you food. and most of the time, the food once you got to your table, NO TRAYS SUPPLIED so you had to always go back, if you wanted more than two dishes, and if you wanted to have a glass of wine or a drink, good luck getting anybodies attention Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
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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