80 Holland America Oosterdam Romantic Cruise Reviews

This 7 day HAL cruise from San Diego seemed a great way to get some sunshine and warmer weather. We enjoyed all three ports. As we had visited and taken tours on a past cruise, this trip we opted for taxis and trips to the beach which ... Read More
This 7 day HAL cruise from San Diego seemed a great way to get some sunshine and warmer weather. We enjoyed all three ports. As we had visited and taken tours on a past cruise, this trip we opted for taxis and trips to the beach which worked out well and cost a lot less. The service on the ship was excellent but that’s what we have come to expect from HAL. We enjoyed the food in the Lido and main dining room and had great service with one exception where the waiter mixed up and forgot some orders. Oh well, 6/7 is pretty good. We had open dining this cruise and chose to sit at larger tables where we met a variety of interesting people. The entertainment was great and we really enjoyed the cooking shows in America’s Test Kitchen. The Oosterdam is an older ship and could do with some refurbishment but our ocean view cabin was in pretty good shape, tub and tv looked new and our cabin steward was very efficient. We were very happy with our trip and paid a deposit on a future cruise as we are definitely sailing with HAL again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Embarkation was perhaps a clue of what was to come after we were checked in as we joined several hundred fellow cruisers to wait and wait and wait while a problem was resolved so we could actually board. We chose this for our annual ... Read More
Embarkation was perhaps a clue of what was to come after we were checked in as we joined several hundred fellow cruisers to wait and wait and wait while a problem was resolved so we could actually board. We chose this for our annual December cruise to enjoy the voyage to and from the Hawaiian Island destinations. It was a much smaller ship that we have been traveling in the past few years but had some very nice entertaining and learning opportunities that compensated somewhat the frustrations of getting used to poor dining room organization, and indoor temperatures that were so very cold it required most passengers to wear coats throughout the days and evening onboard --- even the men were wearing jackets! From the first evening the dining room experience was chaos and remained so for 3 days. We had requested a table for two, and that seemed to be a real problem for some reason. We were shifted from one section to another, unlike all past cruises where we had the same waiter, same table, and our wine bottles were waiting for us when we arrived. Not so on the Oosterdam. The dining room manager was a very unpleasant man to work with. We nicknamed him Mr. Smiley face since he never was seen without a scowl. On the 3rd day we finally had a regular table and waiter. However, we felt very sorry for the wait staff as they were terribly overworked and understaffed for the number of people being served at the same seating. The top 3 things on the ship included: 1) An amazing string quartet that played 3-4 times most days. They packed the room for all performances and each member was outstanding! 2) The Microsoft Workshop was hosted by Frank Barcelona who presented 3-5 sessions daily about using Outlook and Cortana. He was outstanding, patient, and provided good solid support for computer and phone users to sync their instruments to the Outlook utilities. 3) The America's Test Kitchen presentations were great! The presentation room was well designed with overhead monitors for everyone to see the chef as she demonstrated wonderful recipes in a very entertaining way. The port stops were enjoyable, especially Lahaina and Kauai. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We were recommended by a friend who lived in Canada. It was our golden wedding so we wanted an unforgettable trip. It was amazing, we had glorious weather and saw glaciers,bears,whales etc. BUT Ship was cold, only place we were ... Read More
We were recommended by a friend who lived in Canada. It was our golden wedding so we wanted an unforgettable trip. It was amazing, we had glorious weather and saw glaciers,bears,whales etc. BUT Ship was cold, only place we were warm was our cabin where we could turn heating up. Theatre, CrowsNest ,all public areas, you needed your coat. First 2 nights awake all night due to constant banging, reception said it was the waves, never had that on any previous cruise even if weather bad. After an unfortunate encounter with “man in grey suit” at first breakfast, where i was told breakfast was closed, despite me holding my plate with eggs on it,waiting for toast, we ate breakfast every day in our cabin. Buffet and dining room, queue for everything, food bland, always cold and unless you liked salmon or Japanese cuisine you were in trouble. Lived on fried chicken and pizza. Gala night a joke, no one wore smart clothes, one fellow diner even kept his cap on. Staff very random, always smiled but did not always deliver. We apparently had 2 cabin stewards, never met them, cabin clean but nothing exceptional. Excursions expensive but very good. Cruising to the glacier stunning but surprised to have to pay $9 each for mug in which to drink our Free hot chocolate. We wanted a photo but pushed to buy a package at end of cruise, needless to say we did not bother. Entertainment poor , singers were flat. B.B. king club good , no activities during the day. Never saw Cruise director around the Ship, obviously very busy in the office. Embarkation and disembarkation excellent, best we have ever had. Daily gratuities expensive considering service etc, we adjusted it to Nil, but reception staff made it very difficult and were quite condescending, attempting to explain to me how gratuities worked. After 16 plus cruises I think I know and this is the first time I have ever refused to pay it. The destination, weather and sites made the distance travelled worthwhile ( we flew from London) but Holland America Oosterdam - forget it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We are regular cruisers with HAL. Our Cruise Consultant is excellent! She keeps notes, always remembers special details about us and our preferences. That makes a big difference - if you like to sleep in, stay up late, etc. These ... Read More
We are regular cruisers with HAL. Our Cruise Consultant is excellent! She keeps notes, always remembers special details about us and our preferences. That makes a big difference - if you like to sleep in, stay up late, etc. These little things are what make your trip. Our recent trip on Oosterdam was just amazing. The staff was outstanding, the food was excellent, the dining room at lunch allowed you to enjoy quick OR long lunches. The dining room was impeccable. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb Shank, and much more. The service was impeccable. Our servers were Ari & Aji. They are a great team. We love the easy, relaxing pace of this cruise. You can have action packed days at port and enjoy the much needed pampering at sea. Our room steward was amazing (Tegru). He kept our room immaculate, but we rarely saw him. This cruise has a great itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
The food was amazing! We were thrilled with the quality of the dining room food. They served LARGE scallops. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb ... Read More
The food was amazing! We were thrilled with the quality of the dining room food. They served LARGE scallops. Each night was excellent: Snapper, Halibut, Steak, LARGE Shrimp, Lobster, more Steak, Rack of Lamb, 8 hour slow roasted Lamb Shank, and much more. The service was impeccable. Our servers were Ari & Aji. They are a great team. I was so sad on our last night. They spoiled us! The ship is older, but very clean. Our room attendant Tegru was outstanding. He kept our room perfect and left extras before we even asked. HAL has always been our favorite, but they have made some improvements that have considered the guests in every way. I loved the Lido - they have 4 stations for salad bar. Yes, they are manned and not self-serve, but I love this - it is CLEAN and they have about 50 items at each station and the server gives you exactly what you want! I had a lovely salad (different each day) and they were amazing. They also serve a hot meal, Asian, Carving Station, tapas plates and for those on the go - sandwiches. It was very organized and there was something for everyone. Ice cream was available pretty much all the time. Also, I loved the America's Test Kitchen - he was very entertaining and the little 30 minute segments were always fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
There are several things to like about the Oosterdam - the decor is fantastic, I really enjoyed the co-branding with America's Test Kitchen. Their on-board enterainment system (free) had a better collection of movies that I have on ... Read More
There are several things to like about the Oosterdam - the decor is fantastic, I really enjoyed the co-branding with America's Test Kitchen. Their on-board enterainment system (free) had a better collection of movies that I have on with Netflix & Amazon. The staff was friendly room was nice. However, there is a major issue - the ship shuts down at 11:30PM sharp. I've gone to Alaska with Princess, NCL, Celebrity and now Holland America. I've never seen a ship where all the bars, all the clubs (1 club turned off music at 12:30 but services closed at 11:30) ALL the food - even the "late Night Buffet" closed at 11:30 sharp. The ship claimed room service was open after mid-night, however room service choose to disagree. This I felt was in line with the very limited hours on facilities. Dining is a good example - breakfast opened somewhere between 6-7:30 (it changed daily?!) and generally was open for 2 hours before going into limited operation usually at 9am. I expect this from the main dining facilities but not the buffet. Lastly, I wanted to mention the cuisine. The line cooking staff was primarily Indonesian. I was hoping for some quality local dishes, sadly I didn't find a single Indonesian item on the menu. The staff was good at cooking French or Continental Cuisine. However, once they got out of their wheelhouse (example Indian, Asian or Caribbean) I honestly believe their chefs are blindly following recipies they've never tasted. This narrorowness of focus is best illustrated when I had to explain to the chefs why I might want rice with the "Chicken Korma" they were serving. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband contacted our cruise specialist, and they set the whole thing up. Dennis had previously researched the HAL website, and knew what he wanted before booking. We had an aft-Neptune suite. Em and disembarkation were as expected. ... Read More
My husband contacted our cruise specialist, and they set the whole thing up. Dennis had previously researched the HAL website, and knew what he wanted before booking. We had an aft-Neptune suite. Em and disembarkation were as expected. Everything and everyone were so wonderful! I have low vision, and was assisted by staff and my husband. All you had to do was ask for whatever, and would be granted. Our stateroom was Upper Verandah #6177, and had the best view in the house. Activities drew our interest, especially "America's Test Kitchen" and the Naturalists slideshow presentation of the glaciers. We only went to two excursions, Mendenhall Glacier with fish hatchery and salmon bake. The food was out of this world! Of course, we did go into Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan and Victoria. Our tour of the Castle was so that we'd like to return again, just to see more details of the city. Ketchikan was the same way. Food aboard was totally top-notch. It gives one a chance to explore new cuisine. The ship itself was just the right size for us and our lifestyle. Not too large or small. To us, it was more personable. We had such a terrific time, and were quite impressed! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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
We love sailing with HAL, they treat us so well, for seven days, we are treated so well, they just can';t be beat. It's sophistication, class and relaxation. If you want partying an pizazz, and pool parties, this isn't it. I ... Read More
We love sailing with HAL, they treat us so well, for seven days, we are treated so well, they just can';t be beat. It's sophistication, class and relaxation. If you want partying an pizazz, and pool parties, this isn't it. I f you wand to feel like royalty without feeling like you don't fit in, such as on Cunard or such, then this is it. Yet in the evening most everyone still dresses up, (respecting) and the entertainment is so good, then it winds down late er on so people can sleep. The food is decent, in the main dining room, is done very well. Keep in mind the buffett on lido deck is open at specified hours, if your'e not aware of this you would be frustrated, recently they've stepped up the variety there. Enjoy! They pride themselves on "a signature of excellence", the crew is what makes the cruise, they are what brings us back again and again. Shore excursions, they do a very nice job of intimacy and you feel like they did this just for you. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We sailed out of Tampa, Florida on December 9th headed for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Embarkation was really smooth at this port and with Holland America. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on Deck 8, the Navigation Deck. ... Read More
We sailed out of Tampa, Florida on December 9th headed for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean. Embarkation was really smooth at this port and with Holland America. We had a beautiful balcony cabin on Deck 8, the Navigation Deck. Love the balcony as we enjoyed many views during the day and a beautiful full moon at night. The cabin was in a great location. It was located in the aft corner, and had very little to no outside noise nor a lot of traffic outside of the cabin. This cabin was plenty big enough for two people. I would not want to have more than two in the cabin, however. The cabin was very clean and always kept super tidy by our wonderful room attendants, Budi and Eko. They also provided superior service and accommodated any request we made. New wall-mounted televisions with several movie selections has been added. This was a wonderful modification, so points to Holland America. The ship itself was decorated beautifully for the Christmas holidays. The great thing about taking a cruise the week before Christmas is that the ship is already decorated and you don't get stuck paying the higher rates cruise lines charge for the cruising the week of Christmas. You get to enjoy all of this the week before for less money. We did notice some wear and tear with the ship being older. They had some water leaks in various parts of the ceilings and some of the carpets looked a little tired. The food in the Lido Market was really good. I especially enjoyed the salad bar which seemed to be open all day. These salad bars are great additions. All meals were served by the staff. The burgers at the Dive In outside of the Lido were excellent as were their fries. Highly recommend this. We ate in the vista Dining room on the two formal nights and the food was very good. We did north end, however, that the Lido Market seemed to have the same food that was on the menu in the vista dining room. Would have liked to seen different menus for both. The entertainment was excellent. B.B King Blues was excellent as always, and we enjoyed this a couple of nights. The HAL singers and dancers were the best I've seen on sandy HAL cruise to date. Loved the new show with all of its beautiful colors. Highly recommend this. The magician was not good, so this was a disappointment, but the comedian was very funny and enjoyable. The dueling pianos and singers were wonderful and everyone seemed to enjoy them every night. We also listened to the chamber music (string quartet and piano) one night, and it was top-notch. We honestly could care less about the art exhibits and shows/sales on Hollands ships. Would love to see more for a younger crowd as far as entertainment and offerings. Holland attracts older travelers, meaning many in wheelchairs and walkers. We tried not to let this bother us, but we were almost ran over a few times with wheelchairs. We bought two ship excursions which are always way overpriced but we enjoyed the snorkeling at Mahogany Bay, Honduras and at Costa Maya Mexico. We also loved Key West and the beautiful Costa Maya port. Unfortunately, we also stopped at st Tomas de Castillo, Guatemala. This was an ugly port and most excursions were several hours away. Wished this itinerary would have stopped in Belize rather than this nasty port. We did buy an outside excursion to the ruins and enjoyed it, but it was a very long trip from the port. De-embarkation on the last day went exceptionally smooth and professional. Would recommend this cruise overall. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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
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
We are 37 and 38 years old and have been on 22 cruises so far. We cruise with Celebrity, Azamara, Oceania and Royal Caribbean. This was our 3rd cruise with HAL and will be our last one. We are easy and always treat people with respect. ... Read More
We are 37 and 38 years old and have been on 22 cruises so far. We cruise with Celebrity, Azamara, Oceania and Royal Caribbean. This was our 3rd cruise with HAL and will be our last one. We are easy and always treat people with respect. Embarkation: I don't know if it's HALs 'fault' but this is the 3rd embarkation with the HAL were it took almost 1,5-2 hours to check in. Reason: Too few check in counters staffed. Cabin: The suite was refurbished earlier this year but several things were broken, missing and dirty (blood stains on the chair, loose curtains, broken lights. The stateroom was not clean. the stateroom attendant told us that they have to clean 24 staterooms with just 2 people. We saw 1 time during our 13 days cruise a vacuüm cleaner. Dining: Main Dining Room: The food was mediocre, the taste was bland and the presentation was too simple. In some cases it was a joke, even at the gala evenings my fish looked like a schnitzel. The vegetables were the same each night. I should be ashamed as waiter and chef to serve this to customers. It was worse than the food in the restaurant at my work. The waiters did a great job to make the best of it. Canneletto: The food was good and tasteful. There was no background music so the ambiance was minimal. The waiters were very nice, no complaints whatsoever. Entertainment: The production shows were OK, nothing special. We've seen better, but this is not important for us. It was a MED cruise and a lot of people enjoyed the sun at the aft pooldeck. The perfect place for some live music, but no, the ship was quit. No live music at the outer decks, no band, nothing. Too bad for the atmosphere and too boring to drink a nice glass of wine during sail away. A missed oppertunity. Service: Hit and miss. The friendliest people on the ship were the stateroom attendants, cleaners and the waiters. We were one of the youngest people on the ship and apparently we were totally not interesting for the head waiter. He ignored us completely. Miscommunication / Rude staf There were several situations onboard were passengers were treated like they were crew members on a cargo ship. Example: We were supposed to leave the ship on Deck A midship (port of Toulon). The securtiy crew sent us back to Deck 2 Forward. So we walked to the theater with other people. We asked a lady from the shore excursion staff where we can leave the ship. She told us to leave the room because it was for shore excursions only. We asked her several times where we can leave the ship because security on Deck A was sending more and more people to Deck 2. She refused to listen and started to shout that we have to leave and go back to Deck A. I asked her politely to contact Deck A about this but she ignored me completely. We were all amazed, is this really a 5 star cruiseline? Excursions: Sometimes we book ship excursions when we don't want to run the risk of missing the ship. The tour prices HAL charges are ridiculous. Other cruiselines charge half of the price for exactly the same tour. Ship: The ships exterior is at this moment in good condition. The maintenance however is poor. The ship is not kept clean. Carpets are dirty, tables are not clean and especially on the pooldecks it's a mess. Waiters don't clean up empty glasses and food plates, sunbeds are covered with used towels for hours. It's the third HAL cruise we experienced such a mess on a ship. The chairs on the pooldecks got dirty because of the soot coming out the funnels. The chairs never got cleaned so people complained about dirty clothes. My new trousers got black spots so I told the officer (he walked on the deck) to clean the chairs more often. He said to me to cover the chair with a pooltowel. In other words, he didn't care and ignored my dirty trousers. This is a cruise ship, not a cargo ship. Ports: All ports were great, no complaints. HAL does not deliver. The overall experience is poor. Definitely not in the same league as Celebrity Cruises. And definitely not a 5 star cruiseline. We paid a premium price for a poor product. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Last minute choice. Rather overpriced but it did tick the boxes and I enjoyed it greatly, would consider using HAL again if a cheaper alternative did not include the ports I wanted to see. Always managed to find a sun lounger, even on ... Read More
Last minute choice. Rather overpriced but it did tick the boxes and I enjoyed it greatly, would consider using HAL again if a cheaper alternative did not include the ports I wanted to see. Always managed to find a sun lounger, even on sea days, though sometimes had to hunt for one. Staff mostly excellent and did not pester to buy drinks. Fruit juice available at mealtimes. Never had a long wait for a table at mealtimes with open dining. No noisy kids running round. ( Sorry, had my share of that). If I wanted to be picky: Wine vastly overpriced, even by restaurant standards. Don't like the standard service charge thing and had it removed, tipping those who provided better than average service directly. What's with charging for shuttle bus in ports where it was too far to walk into town ? HAL need to do a deal with port operators, the ships bring much trade to towns. Gibraltar. I've visited many times and they are getting very greedy and rather off hand with tourists, taxi drivers telling porkies to get trade etc. Heard some snide remarks in Spanish, (which I speak too). Hope I don't hear them complaining about Brexit or they will get an earful. Food repetitive ( but good quality) in Lido and all started to fall off towards the end as things ran out. Entertainment poor, even Thomson do much better. A bit of real music in the Lido area would help, got sick of the same canned tape. Excursions hugely overpriced, even walking tours. Around 2-3 time the cost of locally organised ones. On board staff seem reluctant to provide any information that may result in guests doing their own thing. Internet, as always on ships, a complete waste of time and money, too slow, too expensive to use. Is it technical or just greed ? How come the little train in Mallorca can manage high speed free internet and the cruise lines can't, even in port ? This is 2016, not 1990. Don't be put off by the moans, it was a good cruise and an elegant ship with the right number of guests. It's no party boat but that was just fine. If you can get a good deal, go for it ! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I have cruised many times, but never with Holland America. We chose them as we liked the Riviera itinerary and it certainly did not disappoint, nor did the Oosterdam. The ship has just been re-done and is stunning. Very ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised many times, but never with Holland America. We chose them as we liked the Riviera itinerary and it certainly did not disappoint, nor did the Oosterdam. The ship has just been re-done and is stunning. Very tastefully decorated. We had a verandah room which I don't think had been re-done yet (?), however it was very nice also. It has a nice size verandah with two reclining chairs and a table. The bathroom definitely hadn't been re-done, but was acceptable. We enjoyed the choices for evening entertainment, however felt that the "Main Stage" could use some improvement. I would say 50% of the shows in the Main Stage were good and the others just "so so" compared to Celebrity for example. The dining was excellent! We never felt the need to dine in the specialty dining venues. Food was great, presentation also very nice. Quantities were on the smaller side, but easily rectified obviously since you can have as much as you want and my husband would just ask prior to ordering so that it came on one plate vs. two different meals. We thought it may have been an older crowd based on things we had read about HA. We are mid 50's and I would say most were in their 50's or early 60's. This particular ship is suitable for couples from their 40's on as there really aren't children's activities, although they do have a children's club I believe. I think we saw 4 children during out 12 days. Service was exceptional in all areas, as you would expect. This was our first HA cruise, but definitely not our last. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Our third cruise, but the first with Holland America Line. Boarding as the usual stressful super heated mayhem. I wish cruise lines could learn something from Middle Eastern air carriers such as Emirates in that respect. The ship was clean ... Read More
Our third cruise, but the first with Holland America Line. Boarding as the usual stressful super heated mayhem. I wish cruise lines could learn something from Middle Eastern air carriers such as Emirates in that respect. The ship was clean and well managed. That it was a Dutch boat showed by the fact that they had LGBT single parties. We (traditional married couple) booked a suite and our 'butlers' were great. Overall staff appeared to be happy and well taken care of. That's not the impression we had on a MSC ship. Ok, the good: - Entertainment (TV) system was airline style and great. - Super nice staff - Well maintained ship - Airline style PAs by the captain - Beautiful stateroom The not so good: - Complexity of beverage packages and their price. - A ton of flyers promoting extra cost stuff in your cabin every day. - The thermal suite package (not worth it) - The food was big corporation canteen style at best. We gave up on it and had great meals in every port. Still, overall happy and would book the same cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We had wanted to take a Mediterranean cruise for our 30th wedding anniversary. Since we own 4 weeks with Marriott, we were able to use our vacation club points to choose this cruise. We booked this in the summer of 2015 and were able to ... Read More
We had wanted to take a Mediterranean cruise for our 30th wedding anniversary. Since we own 4 weeks with Marriott, we were able to use our vacation club points to choose this cruise. We booked this in the summer of 2015 and were able to get a Neptune Suite for the cruise. Our plan was to arrive early in Rome, stay several days there first, and then board the cruise. We stayed at the Boscolo Exedra in Rome and booked a car service to take us to the port, which is a good distance from the center of Rome. We arrived at the port around 230p and were promptly met by stewards to assist with tagging our luggage. We had expedited check-in and basically walked right to our room. Our luggage was brought about 1.5 hours later. After the required muster drill, we went back to unpacking and setting up for the cruise. Our Suite: We were in suite 7089 on the Rotterdam deck. Our suite gave us access to the Neptune Lounge on the same level. This was a nice perk if you wanted to grab a quick cup of coffee or tea and a snack without having to go to one of the dining rooms. The suite itself was quite spacious with plenty of room to store luggage, clothes, and personal items. There was a large screen TV with access to limited live TV, plenty of movies, music, and more. Our bath had a separate shower as well as a shower with tub. There were 2 sinks and a small vanity area to put on makeup. Dryer, magnifying mirror, iron and board were all provided. Toiletries were from Elemis, the same as the on-board spa. The electrical ports were abundant and worked for US or foreign adapters. It was also nice that each side of the bed had 2 USB connections that could be used for charging as well. We also had free laundry and dry cleaning for the cruise as a bonus for being in a Neptune Suite; this was appreciated and helped limit the amount of laundry to do once we returned. The ship was refurbished in April 2016 and is in great shape. It is a nice size - about 2000 people and 800 crew - and does not feel too big. There are 2 pools - both on the Lido deck. The one for kids is in the front and where the Dive In cafe is. The adult pool is in the back of the Lido deck and there are plenty of lounge chairs and seating chairs for use. Spa & Fitness: The spa is medium size, but they offer quite a bit of services - from massages and waxing to hair and nails to fillers. The fitness center is adequate with most folks using the treadmills or free weights. They publish a list of classes that can be taken during the cruise and sign up is easy. Dining: There are several restaurants on the ship for dining. We mainly ate at the Lido Market for the majority of meals when not on an excursion. Canaletto and the Pinnacle Grill were two of the special restaurants that have an added charge; we ate at both and thought the food and service was good. There were several mornings where we had breakfast by room service; this was a nice treat as well. Tours: We booked all our excursions prior to the cruise. All of them were very good with knowledgeable tour guides and drivers. The tours that included meals were in very nice restaurants and added to the ambiance of the visit. We were given ample time for bathroom breaks, time to eat, time to visit, and time to shop. My only complaint was that I did not think the original info was clear about final port tours; they made it seem that only those staying on the ship could book the published tours and that was not the case. (And the reason we made separate arrangements for Barcelona.) Entertainment: There is a small casino on the ship and they try to make it fun for the passengers with tournaments. Many bars are on the ship and each offers its own ambiance. With the exception of the dueling piano singers by the casino, all the entertainers were very good. The movie theater is a good size and we watched one film there during a day at sea. You can purchase internet access packages while at sea; the information is provided in the suite when you arrive. Disembarking was fairly simple. We had made prior arrangements to leave early in the morning because of a mid-morning flight so we had an expedited exit from the ship. The final bill was left for us outside our door before we left; there are kiosks on the ship on the 1st desk where you can check you bill during the trip. This is smart so that any problems with billing can be taken care of in advance and not on the day before leaving. Overall, we loved this cruise and plan to take another one in the future with HAL. The staff were all so friendly and pleasant that we really felt at home on the ship. We look forward to cruising on the Oosterdam again. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which included the Riviera, several stops in Provence, and a stop for the Alhambra (although Granada was quite a distance from Almeria, it was worth the trip). We are 2 active Americans in our 30s, ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, which included the Riviera, several stops in Provence, and a stop for the Alhambra (although Granada was quite a distance from Almeria, it was worth the trip). We are 2 active Americans in our 30s, no kids. We went in late May and had PERFECT weather: only a few sprinkles here and there, temperatures never above 75 F! We stayed one night in Rome fairly close to Termini station, and found the train to Civitavecchia to be very nice, although you have to walk quite far to get to the platform. Once we arrived in Civitavecchia station it was a bit confusing how to get to the ship; there's supposed to be a bus but we didn't find it. It was a bit too far to walk with luggage, but we made it. Embarkation was a breeze, and disembarkation was very nice - we really liked being able to stay in our state room until our group was called. We waited about 30min after it was called and walked right off, got our luggage, and were on to the next adventure. The ship itself is very elegant. Almost all of the staff are Indonesian, unlike other ships we've been on that had more diversity. They were all very friendly and spoke good English. The clientele of the ship was significantly older than we're used to (we've only sailed Princess and Seabourn before). We were (jokingly) asked several times if we'd wandered onto the wrong ship. I counted a grand total of 6 children onboard the entire time, and only a few other middle-aged couples like us; at least 90% of the pax were in their late 60s to 80s. Mainly Americans, but quite a few Australians too. Because of the small size of the ship (or the age of the pax?) there weren't a lot of activities onboard, but we were in port most of the time anyway. We did miss the people watching we've previously enjoyed in the Princess atrium. The overall atmosphere was very quiet and peaceful. Service was generally very friendly and helpful, except for the people in the Lido buffet who either didn't speak good English or were cranky. While I felt everything was sanitary, some details of cleanliness were less than stellar. For example, the phones and makeup mirror in our cabin had clearly not been wiped in some time, and there was crud around the edge of the bathtub that floated atop my bath every night (I easily scrubbed some of it off with a washcloth the first night, but it reappeared from somewhere to leave a brown ring around the tub every night). We were pleased with 'anytime' dining; we had a grand time dining with a big table of CC'ers we'd met through this forum! Dinner selection was good, breakfast ok, and Lido not so great (but we never like the ship buffets much). We didn't have much lunch onboard since this was a port-intensive cruise, but we did enjoy the afternoon tea service a few times. They had a crepe station one afternoon which was a nice treat. We aren't big drinkers so we just ordered a few drinks a la carte; prices are reasonable. The coffee was TERRIBLE, including the espresso, so we stuck to tea. We also brought our bottles of wine onboard (1 each), but there was no corkscrew in the cabin to open it! We had some onboard credit which we used at Pinnacle Grill one night, but we didn't think it was really worth it. I ordered the crab legs, which were also available in the MDR later in the cruise, and was served an obscene quantity (perhaps 5lbs?), half of which was overcooked. We only did one ship excursion, to the Alhambra (Granada) from the port of Almeria. The rest of our excursions we arranged with private tour guides and fellow pax from the "roll call" forum. These all turned out to be really good experiences, and we enjoyed meeting the other passengers from the forum. Livorno: we've seen the sights in Florence, so we decided to DIY to Lucca, Italy. This required 2 buses and 2 trains; while not particularly difficult, it seemed like more effort than the little town was worth. The Puccini museum was a rip-off. Monte Carlo: the seas were very choppy and we later learned we were lucky to get to shore, as they stopped the tenders completely by noon. The marvelous Michel of Revelation Tours picked us up at the dock and took us to several beautiful Provencal villages including St Tourettes sur Loup, St Paul de Vence, Eze, and Nice. Though the Grand Prix Historique was going on, we had no trouble getting in/out of MC. Michel gave us fascinating details about the history and geography of the region as we drove. In Nice I really enjoyed the Chagall museum (he's my favorite painter), while the others in the group enjoyed a tour of the city. The boardwalk in Nice is also very beautiful. Near Eze we stopped at the Fragonard factory; we probably should've skipped this, as it wasn't that interesting even to the ladies. We had planned to go back out and see the casino in the evening, but the tenders were not running and we were too tired anyway. St Tropez: Again the wonderful Michel met us at the port and took us to the villages of Grimaud, Port Grimaud (none of us liked this "Disney-esque" resort), Ramateulle, and Gassin. He also took us to a wine tasting at a winery where they make the local (excellent) rose. Again we'd planned to go out and people watch in the evening but were too tired after dinner to venture back out. Ajaccio: We didn't have a tour arranged from this port, as there weren't many good options. We walked around the markets and the boardwalk, and then along the beach for awhile. We were back on the ship in time for a late lunch, along with most of the passengers. It was pretty but not particularly interesting. Almeria: This was the only ship excursion we took. It was quite a distance (2 hour drive), but the Alhambra is worth it! However, the excursion only spent an hour at the site and then 2.5 hours on lunch - I would've much rather flipped that proportion. Ceuta: We were really at a loss as to activities here, since we weren't interested in going to Morocco. An Australian couple we'd met earlier in the cruise attempted to DIY the border crossing and were deterred by "guides" insisting on hundreds of Euros to take them across. Others we talked to later said the ship excursion was worth it, though. We just walked around the small town, had some really great coffee, and walked along the beach for quite awhile. (The beach was fairly nice, and it was sandy unlike the rocky beaches of Europe). At least we can say we've set foot on the continent of Africa now! Marseille: We had a little difficulty finding our guide (Delphine, arranged for us by Nancy McGee), since the port won't allow private tour vehicles to park very close to the ships. Delphine took us to Aix-en-Provence, which was very beautiful and clearly more wealthy than other villages we had seen so far. There were very large markets going on while we were there. Since it was a perfectly clear day, she then drove us up to the highest European cliff at Cap Canaille for a spectacular view over the Med! We were amazed to see rock climbers on the sheer face. After that we took a short boat ride from Cassis to the Calanques, which are very unusual white rock formations that fall right into the sea. People were out sunbathing on the rocks, which looked very uncomfortable to us. Back in Marseille, Delphine drove us up the hill to Notre Dame, which was very beautiful inside and enjoys beautiful views over the city. Sete: At first we were confused on how to find our private guide, but then we realized we had to take the short bus ride to the port gates, where our guide was waiting. We were back with Michel, who showed us the Versailles-like gardens and Roman ruins of Nimes. The Colisseum-like arena (later turned bullring) was very well preserved. Then he took us to Uzes, which was one of our favorite villages. However, the highlight of the trip was the visit to the old Roman aqueduct, Pont du Gard! Barcelona: We were docked overnight here, and opted to take the ship's shuttle, which was worth it - it dropped us at the maritime museum. On disembarkation day we took a taxi directly to our hotel, where we stayed a few more nights. We enjoyed all the usual sights in Barcelona via metro or on foot, and especially appreciated the much cheaper prices on food and shopping! The beach at Barceloneta is pretty and well attended (including by topless and fully nude sunbathers). We booked timed entry tickets for La Padrera, Park Guell, and the Sagrada Familia, which helped with the crowds. A highlight here was the Camp Nou Experience, which was well done even for someone like me who doesn't really care for soccer (football). Though we enjoyed our cruise, we would probably not sail with HAL again due to the vast age difference, unless the itinerary was something we couldn't find elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Nothing really negative to say about this cruise.We got on and off without any problems,the cabin was was great and the service thruout the ship was the best. We toured each and every port and had a great time in each.The only thing we ... Read More
Nothing really negative to say about this cruise.We got on and off without any problems,the cabin was was great and the service thruout the ship was the best. We toured each and every port and had a great time in each.The only thing we found not to our liking was the Food.This was our 31st cruise and I would say the selection and quality of the food was poor. We ate more food in ports then ever before,the meat and pork on the ship were overcooked.One night they had brisket that was like shoe leather. By the way the BB King band was the Best!!!! New policy -No Smoking in the Casino-Saved me a lot of money cause my wife wouldn't gamble .Be advised that as the fleet goes in for updates(which were good) there will be a no smoking policy enforced in those casinos. Last fall we were on the Niew Amsterdam and the food was to die for,maybe they should hire their cooks Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Always enjoy the service and accomodations on Holland America. First group to set sail after it had been in dry dock with 2 weeks of upgrades. A beautiful ship with a great transformation. The Northern Lights bar exit and the new lounge ... Read More
Always enjoy the service and accomodations on Holland America. First group to set sail after it had been in dry dock with 2 weeks of upgrades. A beautiful ship with a great transformation. The Northern Lights bar exit and the new lounge addition was awesome. Great staff in the newest bar. As always, the Pinnacle Grill and the Italian restaurant were outstanding. A very busy itinerary with only one sea day, but a lot to see and the proper amount of time in port to see the cities.Embarkation in Rome and disembarkation in Venice went flawlessly - much better that getting on and off the ships in Ft Lauderdale! Customs was a breeze. Dining in the Main Dining room was 5-star. Food portions were a little less than what I have previously experienced, but no one was ever shorted or ever refused a second helping. Dining staff and housekeeping staff were second to none. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First was not going to write a review since ship is doing a transatlantic and then dry dock but after looking over some of the last reviews I thought they were unfair and totally misleading. This was our 9 cruise on five different lines ... Read More
First was not going to write a review since ship is doing a transatlantic and then dry dock but after looking over some of the last reviews I thought they were unfair and totally misleading. This was our 9 cruise on five different lines and cruises are a treat and we look forward to them. We are not professional cruisers who looked for minor bad things. Ship had some worn carpet spots nothing major no worse than on our last two trips with carnival and princess. Embrakation was quick arrived at 11:00 on the ship and dropped carry on by 11:30. Did not have a lot of wheel chairs or motorized chairs or at least they were not a problem. Had a large European population so we met many people from Germany, England and the Netherlands. Service was the best of our 9 cruises Hon and Fabian were great stewards (cabin 8019), Carson asst cruise director was great in trivia and bingo. Our servers Nicole in Pinnacle and in the Italian resturants could not be better. never had to wait for table in lido help kept them clean. (There were more than 1 toaster places). Had 2nd seating table 69 great service every nigh with great new table mates. We did trivia very night with a team made up of Londoners, Americans. Tied 3 times and won once, did bingo, and spent 4 nights in BB Kings blues club. ( great band but yes it was loud but there was 6 members in a small room. It was filled every night but last one. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My husband & I have cruised at least 12 times prior to this on other cruise lines but decided for our 25th anniversary we would book with Holland America based upon their reputation as a 5 star experience. Boy did we ever make a ... Read More
My husband & I have cruised at least 12 times prior to this on other cruise lines but decided for our 25th anniversary we would book with Holland America based upon their reputation as a 5 star experience. Boy did we ever make a mistake. Not only did we spend more money for an interior cabin with Holland than we ever have for a balcony on competing lines, but we personally experienced the worst service, food, and hospitality we ever have onboard a cruise. Our overall opinion of the ship is she is well past her prime and overdue for upgrades in dry dock. The ship smells particularly on lower decks, the public restrooms smell of urine and we observed cracked and fogged windows. Service in the restaurants is lacking greatly and the food was minimal at best. Even service in the specialty steakhouse was bad although the food was better despite being served cold. The two best things other than our stateroom attendant, Asis, and he was fantastic, was the itinerary and the entertainment onboard. They have a club called BB King Blues Club with live music and it was wonderful. We contacted Holland about our "extremely disappointing anniversary celebration" with hopes they would offer some form of compensation and they responded by offering a 3 bottle wine package to try them again to show us their level of service. Shame on them for that service the first time but shame on me if I ever spend another penny with Holland America. In conclusion I would say HAL is not for us but we booked based upon positive reviews from other travelers. I will say we heard repeatedly this was not the typical HAL experience but we are just not willing to risk our money with them to have another awful experience. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We returned last night from what will now be referred to as 'the trip from Hell on the Oosterclunk'. I will start out by saying we have taken 28 cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Azamara, and in the past 12 ... Read More
We returned last night from what will now be referred to as 'the trip from Hell on the Oosterclunk'. I will start out by saying we have taken 28 cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Azamara, and in the past 12 months, two other Holland America ships. Imagine our disappointment to find that the Oosterdam is in such disrepair that they would offer us an oceanview room on 1st floor right which was filled with 'engine noises' that were evident morning, noon and night...to the point in was in tears and not able to sleep. The ship was apparently full...we were told the only way was if someone left the ship would they be able to offer us another room...we gave up....but after 6 days someone did vacate a room up on 5 and we were able to relocate there. For that we were grateful...however there were other major concerns we found. Lack of sanitization stations throughout the ship...not once did a staff member offer or remind anyone to sanitize their hands and we were amazed by this considering it is now the new normal on all other ships we have been on. The nightly line up at anytime dining was inexcusable...expect to wait 20 - 30 minutes and on formal night we waited over an hour...we gave up some nights and headed to the Lido Buffet rather than beg for a table for two...and that had issues of its own....large groups of staff, and spa staff gather and congest the tables so that guests had difficulties finding places to sit. Food choices were very poor...and I would rate food average at best. Steak tough, few fish options even fewer vegetable offerings ...desserts were often inedible. Staff were not up to par with our other Holland America cruises...and I believe the front office staff are not equipped to handle the many complaints coming their way from disgruntled guests...and there were many we chatted with during our 11 days. The Oosterdam is old, tired and clearly in need of an overhaul. When paying for a cruise holiday, one should not have to beg for sleep, an acceptable dining experience or wonder about the cleanliness of the ship due to lack of sanitization by fellow guests...this is unacceptable. We did receive two letters of apology and a small onboard credit on the last day, however by this time our vacation was ruined and we will no longer be considering Holland America for any future cruises. Please note we have never had to formally complain about anything on any other cruiseline and I do regret having to write such a review but since I use cruise critic to assist in my planning i hope to offer some insight and consideration for others in making their choice. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our third Holland America cruise, our first to the Caribbean. Although the Caribbean isn’t my favorite itinerary, Holland America is DEFINITELY my favorite cruise line! We flew in a day early and stayed at the ... Read More
This was our third Holland America cruise, our first to the Caribbean. Although the Caribbean isn’t my favorite itinerary, Holland America is DEFINITELY my favorite cruise line! We flew in a day early and stayed at the "Cruise and Fly" Ramada. It was adequate but you could probably find a better value elsewhere. It did include a shuttle to the cruise dock though so that was good. Embarkation in Ft Lauderdale was crowded but organized. We were sailing on Oosterdam and we got on the ship at about 12 noon. The Oosterdam was my first and I’ve got a soft spot for her. She’s a great ship. Our stateroom (6092) was ready and our luggage was already there! We dropped off our carry-ons and headed straight for the Dive-In bistro at the forward pool. The food was great as always. In addition, the taco bar they set out next to the Dive-In is exceptional. I ate many a taco out there. After that, we went back to our cabin to unpack and settle in. We always get a Signature Suite because we like the double sinks and two showers. The balconies are great too, with four chairs and two tables, one tall and one little short one. We were traveling with another couple and instead of getting adjoining cabins, we just opened the partition between the two balconies. It worked out great and we didn’t lose the cabin space that would have otherwise been taken up with the pass-through door. Although extra perks do come with the Neptune Suites and we have been in them, we have never felt the need to upgrade to one because for just the two of us, Signature Suites have plenty of room, amenities and storage space. As always, the bed and linens were superb. The TV’s are a little on the small side and somewhat outdated but I’m sure they will be upgraded soon. The only trouble with the cabin that we did have was a strong exhaust smell one night out at sea. The crew was VERY attentive about it and it was resolved to our satisfaction. Whatever they did to fix it worked because it never came back. 6092 is a great location. Very quite and pretty convenient to mid and aft elevators. Of course, our cabin stewards were fantastic as always. The gym and spa area on the Oosterdam is very nice. I did the morning stretch class a lot and hit one of the numerous treadmills quite often. I only had to wait for a machine one time. All of the equipment was well maintained and working. There were plenty of lounge chairs available on both pool decks on most days but shade is a little tough to come by if you don’t know where to look. There was always plenty of bar staff roaming around and it was very easy to get a drink when you needed one. Our cruise fare included the Signature drink package which allowed you 15 drinks a day. That sounds like a lot and it is but you gotta remember that includes premium coffee, sodas, smothies and hot chocolate etc. I drank A LOT and still never went over the 15 but I’m sure I came close on most days. My DW on the other hand never came close to maxing out. One bone of contention though, the drinks have to be priced at $8,00 or less each and most of them are but one night we ate in the Pinnacle Grill and wouldn’t you know it, the cheapest glass of wine was $8.50! Come on now, you’re telling me that you can get a glass of wine anywhere on the ship for less than $8 bucks but in the Pinnacle the cheapest is $8.50 and therefore not eligible to go on the drink package? It is a blatant and disingenuous attempt to squeeze a few extra dollars out of someone who is ALREADY paying a premium just to eat in there. I was a little ticked at that and refused to order anything other than water. To tell you the truth, the Pinnacle was good but I don’t think I got $29.00 worth of better than the rest of the ship. The food in the Vista dining room was very good on most nights and I have to say, the soups were consistently EXCEPTIONAL. On the second gala night we were served surf and turf and the lobster was great. The steak was pretty good too. We choose anytime seating and very rarely had to wait for a table. The service in the Vista Dining Room was consistently good and efficient. One thing though, and maybe it was the itinerary, but it seems that more and more people have no qualms about showing up for dinner in shorts, sandals and tee shirts. Even in the Pinnacle Grill there were people in polo shirts and jeans. Come on people, if you don’t want to get dressed for dinner, eat in the Lido or order room service. Sheesh! The service in the Lido was very good. I personally witnessed a lady ask for a soft boiled egg and the server went in the back, brought out a boiler, scrambled around to find a place to plug it in and then proceed to give the lady what she wanted. Another server went and retrieved all the food for an elderly gentleman who had mobility problems. He even got chocolate milk! Where did they get that from? They did all this with a smile and good humor. Even the pizza was pretty good and I know that it has had some issues in the past but not this time. Well done Holland America! I went to all the main stage shows and they were very good. The Oosterdam dancers and singers were first class. The lead female has an awesome voice and the numbers were very entertaining, even a little risqué at times I might add. BB King’s Blues Band was entertaining. The lead singer was the same as we had seen last year on Eurodam but the lead female was different. This band had one less horn player than the previous one as well. I’d have to say that the band we saw on Eurodam beat this one. The piano bar entertainer (Barry from Boston) was a disappointment. Even though we had seen him on Eurodam last year I didn’t remember him being this unentertaining. Too much talking and not enough crowd participation. The piano bar was virtually deserted all cruise and this is unheard of on most ships. I gave him several tries but just couldn’t stomach it and always left quickly. On the other hand, Adagio, the piano-violin duo, was beautiful. I made it a point to catch them every day before dinner. It was wonderful. The Band (Otherwise known as the HalCats) was pretty good too. They were a five piece and every time we would walk by it seemed like they were playing a song we wanted to dance to so we would drop everything and hop on the floor for a whirl. It was a great time! I myself didn’t do many shore trips except Half Moon Cay which was nice and St. Kitts for a taxi tour we booked on the pier. $90 for just the four of us in a large air conditioned van for 3 hours. The guide was a native and very knowledgeable. It was nice tour and she got a $10 tip. My travelling companions went on several shore trips, always booking on the pier and they all said that St. Lucia was their favorite. One of the ship activities was making luggage pom-poms. This was fun and they came in handy for the trip home. Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was pretty smooth. A lot of people but the line moved quickly. Plenty of taxis waiting to go to the airport. It was less than $20 for all four of us and lots of luggage. We had a van and it was an easy trip to the airport. Even though the Caribbean isn't my favorite itinerary, Holland America made sure I had a wonderful time. While we were onboard we booked our Panama Canal cruise! Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
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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