10 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Mediterranean

We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL. Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from. As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left. The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides. Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had an absolutely amazing cruise on Holland America Oosterdam on September 9th – the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry We loved the service on the ship, the size of the ship and our fellow passengers. Everyone was so nice! The ... Read More
We had an absolutely amazing cruise on Holland America Oosterdam on September 9th – the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry We loved the service on the ship, the size of the ship and our fellow passengers. Everyone was so nice! The cruise director was front and center throughout the cruise and we felt there were many activities offered although this was a very port-heavy cruise and our priority was being in port and experiencing everything that Europe has to offer. I know many people on Cruise Critic choose to take their own shore excursions, but I do have to say that EXC Tours absolutely MADE our time in port AMAZING! EXC tours were absolutely wonderful. Our tour guides were experts in each port. All of them full of enthusiasm. We were taken to the best places to see highlights of each port and, for the tours that included meals – we loved each restaurant and the food and wine offered. We were extremely happy that we booked through EXC tours because we did not have to stress about making it back to the ship on time – we could relax, enjoy and focus learning as much as we could about each port offered. We also enjoyed the ports where we just walked around and explored and sat at a café and had cappuccino that turned into cocktails and a relaxing fun day. I do agree that the ship is a bit older, but thankfully, we were there to enjoy ourselves and let little things put a damper on a fabulous European tour. I’ve read many complaints that the ship is in horrible condition and was very worried before we went, but once the cruise was underway, I had an unforgettable time and it didn’t matter! I would ignore the naysayers and form your own opinion and just ENJOY yourselves. We were very happy that we booked a Veranda cabin – we loved going on the Veranda every morning and sail away. Definitely worth the extra money! We did not purchase a beverage package. We brought two bottles of wine on board, attended a shore excursion to a winery in Nice where we were able bring on another bottle of wine onboard without the corkage fee and attended the happy hours. At happy hour, we would order a bucket of corona for around $29 plus gratuity and the next bucket was $10 plus gratuity. We also had wine at lunch with many of our shore excursions. Our bar bill at the end of a 12-day cruise was only around $200. Definitely glad we did not purchase the $1200 signature beverage package. I will say that, because this was such a port heavy cruise, heavy drinking was not a priority but we still drank and enjoyed ourselves. Who wants to be hungover when you are touring Rome? We did enjoy many glasses of wine with lunch in Rome but did not start out the day hung over from the night before bc we were trying to get our money’s worth from our beverage package, if that makes sense. The crew was very hospitable and the captain ran a very efficient and safe ship. I also appreciated the use of hand sanitizer before each embarkation. We experienced no illnesses whatsoever on the ship. We loved being waiting on in the main dining room – a highlight for my husband. Just choosing each meal and taking our time over dessert with coffee. It was such an amazing experience! I LOVE the direction of Holland America – outstanding service, port emersions, amazing EXC tours, a place for foodies and music lovers! Already booked our next cruise! As my husband said, this wasn’t a vacation – this was a TRIP! Thank you, Holland America, for the best trip of our lives!!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We chose the Rome to Venice Twelve day itinerary for the ports of call in Greece. Boarding and departure were handled very well with lots of directions and assistance. Food was very good but the main dining room was dark, chilly and quite ... Read More
We chose the Rome to Venice Twelve day itinerary for the ports of call in Greece. Boarding and departure were handled very well with lots of directions and assistance. Food was very good but the main dining room was dark, chilly and quite noisy. We preferred the buffet on the Lido deck with lovely views from the window tables or the after deck open air tables. The servers here were very helpful and down to earth friendly. Our Upper Veranda Deck cabin was not as clean as we would have liked and we got house keeping in to redo. Major dissatisfaction with ship sponsored Exc Tours. Not enough information available shipboard and very limited access to staff. Much more information on each port and tour could be provided on the room’s TV. If you take these tours, do your research in depth ahead of time. Which leads to the second major problem, shipboard WiFi. No where in their sales information do they disclose the ridiculous slow speeds that can be expected AND they sell this to you by the amount of time connected, not by the amount of data downloaded. I measured download speeds throughout the ship and it averaged about 1.6 mps. That’s worse than your crowded coffee shop. Unless you also have enough money to shovel over the side, don’t bother with ship’s WiFi. Get a roaming package for your cell and do your surfing when linked to shore towers. Shipboard main stage entertainment was pretty sketchy. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My husband and I just turned 40, so we decided to celebrate by booking a Mediterranean Cruise! We had a great Alaskan cruise with Holland America a few years ago, so we decided to go with them again. And we're glad we did! We also ... Read More
My husband and I just turned 40, so we decided to celebrate by booking a Mediterranean Cruise! We had a great Alaskan cruise with Holland America a few years ago, so we decided to go with them again. And we're glad we did! We also really liked the itinerary: a 12 day cruise starting from Rome, traveling to a variety of Greek islands, and then arriving back in Venice. The Oosterdam was a lovely ship! Everything was very clean (public spaces and cabin). We stayed in an interior room, and we thought the room had plenty of space. With such a port heavy itinerary, it didn't seem to make a lot of sense to pay extra for a balcony as we weren't on the ship during the day. Plus, there were plenty of sun beds available, and the Lido and the Crow's Nest were great places to relax and watch the sea. The food was good! It was easy to find something to eat for breakfast in the Lido, and we also really enjoyed ordering room service. The servers in the main dining room were also personable and provided fantastic service - we enjoyed the variety of options for dinner, especially dessert. The baristas in the Crow's Nest also made a pretty good latte. As for entertainment, we spent every night in the BB King Blue's Club. We thought the band was good, and we both love to dance, so it was perfect for us. The place was packed most nights! We did three shore excursions with Holland America (tour to Pompeii, Bus Transfer to Oia, Santorini, and Kayaking trip in Argostoli). The Pompeii and Kayaking tours were reasonably priced and we really enjoyed the experiences! The cost for the bus transfer to Oia was ridiculous, but it was the only way to enjoy Oia for a couple of hours without the insane crowds. Embarkation and disembarkation were a breeze. Overall, it was a great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise for two reasons: price and port intinerary. We were not disappointed! We went on a 12 night Mediterranean cruise with only 1 sea day. This was a cruise to be active and see many European cities. Here are some thoughts ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons: price and port intinerary. We were not disappointed! We went on a 12 night Mediterranean cruise with only 1 sea day. This was a cruise to be active and see many European cities. Here are some thoughts on the cruise: -Food was amazing (all of it) I’ve only cruised on Disney before and Holland food is better. -Stateroom was very nice with a great balcony and new TV with great on demand options. -All shore excursions through Holland were very well organized and enjoyable. -Main stage shows were terrible. I tried to watch 3 shows during our cruise and had to walk out each time. -We loved Lincoln Center stage piano quintet, the B.B. Kings blues lounge and the piano duo. High quality musicians on this ship. - The service was phenomenal. - The ship is old and a bit out dated. It kind of looks like a cheap Vegas casino. However, the superb food quality, great ports, fabulous service and very nice stateroom made up for the old ship. -spa was very luxurious. We purchased the spa pass and enjoyed using the giant hot tub and stone loungers. -age of passengers was mostly 65+ We only saw 1 other couple on the ship in their 20s. Overall we loved this cruise! The Oosterdam is great ship if you care about getting off the ship and exploring the ports. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My wife and I chose to cruise with HAL based on the excellent itinerary offered from Barcelona to Venice and all the amazing ports in between. We have taken 28 cruises prior to this cruise on June 5, 2018 with HAL. Most of our cruising ... Read More
My wife and I chose to cruise with HAL based on the excellent itinerary offered from Barcelona to Venice and all the amazing ports in between. We have taken 28 cruises prior to this cruise on June 5, 2018 with HAL. Most of our cruising has been in the Caribbean. The boarding process on the HAL Oosterdam at the Port of Barcelona was amazing and the best we have ever experienced. There were many agents available to process the passengers and this portion of the cruise was a breeze. Once onboard the Oosterdam, it just got better. The Lido Market food service for breakfast, lunch and dinner was outstanding. There were several days that we did not return to the ship until late. Some of the days we ate in the Main Dining, which was excellent as well, but the Lido Market was a great alternate for dinner. There were so many choices at all servings for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food was delicious in all areas. The stateroom staff were awesome. The food staff were awesome. Our experience was nothing but amazing with the entire staff. Always greeted with a smile and "Hello!" The entertainment in the Main Stage theater was outstanding as well as the B.B. King and Billboard areas of the ship. Super! Super! Super! The Oosterdam just came out of dry dock in April. The ship both internal and external was beautiful! HAL has earned a new customer on future sailings. Bob & Christi Houston, TX Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
12-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Although the ship was supposedly upgraded, we noticed immediately that almost all of the interior elevators had torn, peeling, scratched, damaged wallpaper. Service in Main DR and by cabin stewards ... Read More
12-day cruise from Venice to Barcelona. Although the ship was supposedly upgraded, we noticed immediately that almost all of the interior elevators had torn, peeling, scratched, damaged wallpaper. Service in Main DR and by cabin stewards excellent as always. Lido deck stewards a little slow, and the Taco bar was frequently out of items. We had reserved a second seating, table for 8, but were seated at a table for 8 with only one other couple, of a significantly different age group. Not conducive to making conversation. Pinnacle was excellent; hot stone massage was great. Cruise director and assistant were fun and engaging. Dealers in the casino, on the other hand, were flat and mechanical, as were the pianists in the piano bar- flat and mechanical. BB King group was phenomenal. BBC Live show was also fantastic. Pianist Chris Hamilton wonderful. Embarkation and Disembark were quick and efficient ( we left the ship at 7 AM, and had our luggage checked in at the airport in Barcelona by 7:45). Pre-cruise package in Venice was nice, except that the hotel had no air conditioning the first night, and the windows were not to be opened because of insects in Venice. As usual, HAL excursions were overpriced, and they don't filter out guests by activity tolerance- we went on a walking tour in Dubrovnik (Old City Walls) and they allowed guests with walkers and 2 crutches- this significantly slowed us down and limited what we could see (this was a listed as a strenuous activity). We used Tours by locals in Naples and Florence, and a private guide in Rome. Similar costs, but only 2 people, no bus (Mercedes minivan transport). Very nice cruise, great ports (although Sarande could have been skipped). This was our1 2the cruise, #8 with HAL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
My husband and I planned this cruise 11 months out and chose it for its ports and time of year. We splurged and booked a Neptune suite. The ship was in great shape, the crew were friendly and eager to please, the food was for the most part ... Read More
My husband and I planned this cruise 11 months out and chose it for its ports and time of year. We splurged and booked a Neptune suite. The ship was in great shape, the crew were friendly and eager to please, the food was for the most part delicious and the ports were good. Embarkation was a breeze, in terminal and on ship in about 20 minutes. Our cabin was an aft wrap balcony and was wonderful. We did a combination of anytime dining, Lido market, Pinnacle grill and dive in. We found varied choices, most selections quite tasty, all food presented well and good service. We had the same table and steward in the main dining room and had a good experience each night. If we did not see anything on the main menu, they always had steak, salmon and pasta. The service was the usual slow pace but we enjoyed talking to our tablemates that varied each night. The lido had a good mix of food, a great salad bar, good dessert selection and ample seating. Dive in gave you a beeper and so you could wait on pool deck or pool bar until your food was ready. They had tasty burgers, hot dogs and fries. We ate one night in the Pinnacle Grill and the food and service were outstanding. The filet melted in your mouth. We did not participate in too many shipboard activities- we did play trivia one night, saw two shows in main stage, a few performances in other venues, listened to piano player in ocean bar before dinner a couple nights and used the explorations café for research. I played slots in Casino one night and it was fun and no smoke. We found all entertainment good and the venues superb. We did two shore excursions and they were both well organized, well led and informative. For the most part we did our own thing in the ports and had no issues with this. The cruise was port intensive with 12 days and 10 stops ie only one sea day. So every day was a new place and new things to see and do. This was fun but did get a bit tiring by day 11. We would certainly choose Holland America for a future cruise. It was a top notch voyage, we found the people on board to be in the 50-70 year old age bracket (our age), mostly American, Australian, British and Canadian. The service was outstanding and it was a pleasure to be on board. We did priority disembarkation in Rome and were off the ship by 740 am, it was easy and speedy. Our Rome Cabs driver was right outside and we were off to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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
This was our 8th HAL cruise and second time on the Oosterdam. Perfect size ship (82K tons, 2200 passengers) and has recently been renovated (built in 2003). Never felt like we were on a crowded cruise ship. We had sailed on the Oosterdam ... Read More
This was our 8th HAL cruise and second time on the Oosterdam. Perfect size ship (82K tons, 2200 passengers) and has recently been renovated (built in 2003). Never felt like we were on a crowded cruise ship. We had sailed on the Oosterdam in 2005 in Alaska, and the improvements to the common areas/cabins were excellent. HAL ships are meticulously maintained and the crew was fantastic. We had a Signature suite which was perfect for a 12 day cruise and well worth the extra cost. The food on this cruise was outstanding. High quality, excellent presentations, and portion sizes that were just right. The itinerary for this cruise Rome/Naples/Crete/Santorini/Rhodes(we lost Kusadasi, Turkey)/Athens/Olympia/Corfu/Dubrovnik/Montenegro/Venice was spectacular. The mediterranean is very calm this time of year, and although it was hot, even first time cruisers would be comfortable as the ship was very stabile and sailed mostly after 6PM, except for one sea day. HAL tours are always high quality and the variety was perfect. Can't say enough about this ship and cruise line. If you want to party like rock stars, HAL is not for you. If you want a high quality cruise, with very interesting fellow passengers, this is the one. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.5 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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