4 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

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

Find an Oosterdam Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click