6 Holland America Oosterdam Romantic Cruise Reviews

Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I ... Read More
Sailed HAL for 10 of 12 cruises. Last cruise 34 years ago. First vacation in 8 years and first vacation with wife in 28 years (never had honeymoon and always had kids)?? Basically, the shore system didn’t match the onboard system. I bought 4 indulgences and packages and none were ready for us. We never received the excursion tickets or most of the Add-ons without multiple trips to Guest services. They never notified us of Port Valet services or shopping specials that were supposed to be delivered to room. HAL completely missed our anniversary. They were quick with ‘I’m so sorry’ but slow on resolutions. Missed several onboard events while waiting in line at Guest Services. They don’t answer the phone so don’t bother. MDR was nice but if you share a table, they may make you wait 30 minutes until the table is full. Lincoln Center Stage was the best. I wish they would let me throat punch the drunks and obnoxious passengers that walked by and disrupted the performance. Weather was rough 1 day (18’ swells) and passengers felt the need to vomit on the common area carpets instead of staying in their cabins. Everything is an add on. Better meals in MDR ($25+ extra), candid photos ($20 each or 5 for $60). Portraits at Gala, $40 each or $160 for 5). Bingo was about $40 plus the $2.50 dauber. Staff was always pushing drinks, pictures, spa treatments, etc. Had 2 of 8 days without problems and trying to get what we paid for. Well possibly travel on HAL again if they fix their problems. I’m a 3 star Mariner and have a long way until 4 stars. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
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
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
The inhospitable environment created by the leadership of the Oosterdam ruined our Holland America cruise experience! We were sold a drink package that was difficult to use. DO NOT buy the Signature Drink Package. This ship only ... Read More
The inhospitable environment created by the leadership of the Oosterdam ruined our Holland America cruise experience! We were sold a drink package that was difficult to use. DO NOT buy the Signature Drink Package. This ship only accommodates people that rise early and are in bed by 11pm. Although every night the bars we were socializing in still had patrons, the staff were instructed to close. (First night the last bar on the ship closed at 12:15am; there were still 10-15 people in the lounge). My husband and I met interesting people from all over the world and had every evening cut short because the managers instructed their staff to close. I do not go to bed at midnight. Nowhere in the WORLD do bars close at that time. I lodged numerous complaints, finally meeting with the food and beverage manager to no satisfaction. We were left unattended in the lounges every night and felt vulnerable to other (sketchy) guests who were also left unattended. A reasonable concession would have been to keep a common area open and staffed. Perhaps even a coffee shop for those who choose not to retire early. Breakfast was shut down early some days and when we arrived at 10 am the food was not replenished. They started pulling down breakfast before the posted close of 10:30 am. Our state room was run down and inadequately furnished. It was located on Floor 1 above the anchor which woke us early each morning (metal on metal for about 2 hours) while we docked. We could also hear the music from crew parties somewhere below us late at night. The serving staff were friendly and hospitable. In contrast, the front office and leadership we encountered were accusatory (how it is our fault that our room key quits working almost EVERY day? NO! It is not next to my cell phone or any magnets!) They were rude, unaccommodating, and condescending. My husband and I will NEVER cruise Holland America again. This is NOT a 5* cruise. It is not enough to say you have 5* amenities, you actually have to provide them. I have never felt so disrespected on a vacation, we felt like we were cattle being herded. In contrast, the serving staff (bartenders, hostess, & wait staff) were really excellent! Special mention should go to Mabel, TJ, Davis, Achmad, and Joel they absolutely made every attempt to create a wonderful experience for our vacation. The bartender at the sports bar in the evenings was difficult and did not accommodate us on numerous occasions (likely because I challenged him on shutting down so early on the first night). Our issue was more with the officers, they were very defensive, inhospitable, and disrespectful. I walked onto the deck with a drink the first day and I was abruptly told to go inside (other patrons had drinks but my group was targeted; I’m sure my age had nothing to do with it!). My husband set our food tray in the hallway after we finished breakfast one day (like you would do in any hotel). An officer knocked on our door the next morning to explain that this was unacceptable. My husband apologized for not knowing the policy to which she abruptly lectured him reiterating over and over that this was not acceptable. A kind, simple directive would have been suffice and made us feel like value guests instead of criminals being interrogated. It was a food tray, relax! The front desk staff were adequate at answering questions but if we were to complain the dialogue shifted to disinterested and dismissive. They were not interested in fielding complaints and concerns. We gave them every opportunity to rectify these issues while we were on the ship; instead they chose to disregard our concerns. I think it’s interesting that I received the request for feedback via email before I even returned home. It has been 1 week since I submitted the feedback survey yet, I have heard nothing. Holland America do you really care about feedback? Listen to your guests when we are on the actual ship! Our wonderful experiences on Royal Caribbean and Disney proved that Holland America is only capable of catering to one demographic. If you are under the age of 65, you will not be accommodated; instead treated with discrimination and suspicion. For the record I am 38, and my husband is 42, we have a lot of cruising ahead of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I had read several reviews about cruising Holland America as well as the ship Oosterdam, I do not know what ship they were sailing on, but it could not have been the same. On a positive note, the crew were very friendly, always smiling, ... Read More
I had read several reviews about cruising Holland America as well as the ship Oosterdam, I do not know what ship they were sailing on, but it could not have been the same. On a positive note, the crew were very friendly, always smiling, and so helpful. Sometimes the language barrier was a little frustrating, but I would not trade that in as the crew was wonderful. That being said, lets start with the ship. It seems to be older, basically clean as long as you stay out of the casino, but there was not much to do unless you want to pay a couple thousand dollars just to get on the ship and spend several hundred more on shopping and activities. Everything seemed to cost. Internet usage was expensive, deoderant(my husband forgot his) was almost $8, every turn someone was trying to sell low quality wine at a price that would suggest robbery. I was excited about the movies, but there is only room for maybe 30 people-keeping in mind the ship holds around 2,000! And help you if you are caught saving a seat for your spouse, I thought one of the families who was saving a seat for her inlaws was going to have to walk the plank! Seating is cutthroat so go early if it is a decent movie that you really want to see. I went to an activity called "make a candy box", Ok there was no candy, and it involved a prefolded HAL box that took all of 15 minutes. * Ok now the room. I had the VA, which is delux verandah. I don't know what was delux about it. I always heard HAL rooms were bigger than other cruiselines-this room was no bigger than any other cruise I have been on, and our toilent did not work the first 4 days. We were constantly calling for someone to unclog it-keep in mind my rule is always flush twice, once before the paper and once after to prevent clogging. It was never less than 2 hours to get the toilet unclogged. Half the time it wouldn't even flush-you never knew when the toilet would work. Beds weren't bad, and the one thing I can say was great was the run of free movies in the room, especially since the screening room was always full. * The ship performances were low rate, say if you visited the old part of Branson Missouri, they were better performers. Even if you wanted to see the shows, there was no room. The only explanation I have for the tiny spaces, is they must have been trying to fit as many staterooms as possible, and no room for other spaces. The fitness center just plane sucked (sorry). It was one tiny room with a few treadmills and weights-people hovered trying to get a treadmill. My husband and I took to running the flights of stairs since working out was not working out in the fitness center. * The ports were great. Alaska is wonderful-but I would not take HAL to visit again. Careful with the excursions. We did the zipline and it was great-all we expected. The second excursion was not very active, and I did not realize that. It was the Wilderness Crab feast. The food was great, but it is more suited for a 70 year old than a 30 year old. We did meet a couple who found their own excursions in Juneau and Sitka. They went to a glacier on foot and kayaked-we were jelous. Their excursion turned out great and they made it to port in plenty of time. Yes, the boat will leave you if you do not make it in time, but don't let that scare you from a wonderful excursion, just do your homework. * Now I saved the best for last-the food. It was for the most part terrible. The positives- the fresh fruit is great, breakfast was just fine. It is hard to mess up 2 fried eggs and french toast, but that is where the good news ends. There were a couple exceptions. I had escargot and it was actually very tender and flavorful. That same night I had a salad with mushrooms and gorgonzolla cheese that was great. The rest of the food is typical buffet food. Tough beef-stay away from the prime rib, it is a sad waste of a cow's life, unless you like boot leather. Vegetables were super salty and full of butter, pizza was comparable to cardboard, I was given a salad that had bloated raisens and soggy apples-it was terrible. The desserts were awful, no flavor at all. We stopped eating in the dining room because it was the same food that was served on deck, and it took forever to get the food. We heard everyone say that the restaurants you pay extra for were great-but I already paid almost $3000, I should have great food. The better food on the boat is the in room dining. You are very limited on your choices, but the quality seemed a little better, and you didn't have lines of people. Oh, and you have a place to sit in your room. The buffet restaurant, you spend most your time fighting for a place to sit and eat before your food gets cold. * I am sorry this review is so negative, but both my husband and I were very disappointed. We are not first time cruisers, but may be last time cruisers. We were not the only passengers with this opinion, we spoke with several others who were disappointed. Yes there were people who were thoroughly enjoying themselves, but I suspect those are the same people happy with the golden coral special. If you like chicken stuffed with prunes, bloated raisens in your salad, the excitement of not knowing if you commode will work, and fighting to the death for a theater seat, this is the cruise for you, otherwise, I would look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
After reading the review just posted about the Holland Oosterdam, I must also express my disappoint with our recent cruise on September 4th. I also am in the hospitality/restaurant business and I believe that customer service is the most ... Read More
After reading the review just posted about the Holland Oosterdam, I must also express my disappoint with our recent cruise on September 4th. I also am in the hospitality/restaurant business and I believe that customer service is the most important element to anyone's vacation. We have been on over 20 cruises, with only a very few bad experiences. But this one was bad from the beginning. At the airport, the Holland bus was there to pick up our group of 12. My mother-in-law is in a scooter, so a bus with ADA lift was needed. The lift did not work and after an hour we were finally on our way. At port check in, my wife's parents were told that a military ID was not valid, after checking with our agent prior to leaving. That took more time and delays to get that approved. Once on board, all buffets were served by the crew, more delays. We were told that this was their policy for the first 48 hours. Come to find out from some crew members, the sickness that we had on board that was mentioned by the prior review, actually started the week before. And since they were not sure if it was gone, they served all buffets for 48 hours. Then they let people serve themselves by Tuesday, but on Tuesday night many people were sick and at the medical clinic. 7 of our 12 became sick. Now for food and service. Since I am in this business, I too watch this very closely. Both food and service were very poor. We had two large tables, some would get their salads, others that appetizers, then others would get salads a few minutes later, etc. There was no organization to meal service, very frustrating. Example of food quality. I order Surf and Turf, a filet mignon and lobster tail. Sounds good right. The lobster was not cooked completely, had an interesting smell, and my filet mignon, well it was about a 1/2 inch thick, tough and looked like a piece of flank steak. I told the waiter that is is not filet mignon and he said yes it was. I did neat not eat my meal. The head waiter then came over, I explained myself again, and he returned from the kitchen with the exact same poor quality dish. I said no thank you, and they literally tried to force the plate in front of me. There are many other stories of poor food, poor presentation, and poor service. Due to the sickness, they did not put anything on the tables. No butter, no bread, no salt/pepper, nothing. You had to ask then wait. One last comment on food. My wife wanted a vegetarian meal the first night, nothing on the menu. The waiter said that you have to order that 24 hours before you meal time. What????? I have never heard of this on a cruise ship, ever. How do you know 24 hours before your dinner what dish that you might be in the mood for???? In the spa, they had no drinking water before, during or after a treatment. They blamed this on the sickness and said they could not provide drinking water. After any spa treatment, the first thing you want is water. The answer was NO. Even if they could not provide a glass of water from a pitcher, the least they could do is provide a small bottle water after you paid $250 for a treatment. That is not too much to ask, is it?? We have sailed on Holland America in the past, many years ago. We were very happy then, not happy with our most recent trip. Where has the quailty gone? Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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