5 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Europe - Western Mediterranean

Part of our deal was a two night stay in Barcelona which was a great start,embarkation was good and quite rapid.Balcony cabin was as expected with kingsize bed,large TV with plenty of films etc.The bathroom including tub was OK,goid hair ... Read More
Part of our deal was a two night stay in Barcelona which was a great start,embarkation was good and quite rapid.Balcony cabin was as expected with kingsize bed,large TV with plenty of films etc.The bathroom including tub was OK,goid hair products and dressing gowns.Good storage for all our clothes. Dining in the Lido restaurant was good and the only drawback for us was you are unable to serve yourself at either breakfast or lunch but soft drinks and tea,cofee were readily available all day. Evening meals on Freedom Dining option were nice with good choices mainly on North American tastes.All staff all over the ship were professional,well trained and happy in their work. Entertainment was OK,something for everyone we especially enjoyed the two pianists in Billboard on Board at happy hour every evening.Because drinks are well overpriced this is the only way we would have a drink as the second drink is priced at one dollar as wine etc is extortionate.Of course at these times the bar was crowded and at other times empty.No surprise there. All extras were so expensive from drinks,spa treatments and the shore excursions completely overpriced that we avoided at all times.They even added service charge of 15% and sometimes vat in port and even corkage of 18 dollars on a bottle bought on shore even if put into storage until dissemarked. As European we used the public transport from Barcelona onwards as the trains are well run,on time,clean,frequent and very cheap.We understand that North Americans would not like to trust this way of sight seeing and I suppose just pay up sometimes hundreds of dollars which benefits the cruise company. A lot of the guests were from America and are more casual even when dining on gala evenings and often came to dinner in jeans,t shirts and trainers.So that might appeal to a lot of guests as dressing for dinner seams to be going out of fashion. We enjoyed the ports of call which was the main reason to book this cruise and the weather was also lovely but because prices for extras are too dear probably will not cruise with HAL again. We would also like to praise the pool areas with comfortable loungers ,clean waters and hot tubs which were very welcome after a day walking through the interesting ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise because we like Holland America and we liked the itinerary. We are more interested in exploring ports than ship-board activities and Holland America suits us for this purpose. We do not, for the most part, do ship ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like Holland America and we liked the itinerary. We are more interested in exploring ports than ship-board activities and Holland America suits us for this purpose. We do not, for the most part, do ship excursions, preferring to participate in smaller group tours. This worked well for us on this voyage. Service was up to HA standards, We had cheerful and helpful cabin stewards and dining room staff. We choose fixed seating for dining as it gives an opportunity to get to know the staff and your dining companions. The ship had to cancel one stop due to expected bad weather. High winds would have made tendering a problem in St. Tropez. The good news was that the ship was able to organize an alternative stop in Genoa that day. We were impressed with the ease of the adjustment by the company. All in all a nice selection of ports and a most enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Food was ever better than previous HAL cruises and we have done many (almost 5 star). Service was excellent and as delightful as ever. I understand that sometimes the 'open dining tables had slower than usual service, but during the ... Read More
Food was ever better than previous HAL cruises and we have done many (almost 5 star). Service was excellent and as delightful as ever. I understand that sometimes the 'open dining tables had slower than usual service, but during the set dining the service was excellent. The Oosterdam has been partly reno'ed (I understand the suites, although we did not stay in one), the Lido was super and so were the many lounges and bars: all new furniture and fixtures. The cabins all now have wall-mounted flat screen tv's and the range of free movies, news, music, etc. was very good. Lido hours extended which was nice when returning from shore for a late lunch. A new addition which was a GREAT hit, was the new salad bar and they serve you in very large salad bowls with an amazing array of choices. What many cruisers don't know, but we do, if there is something that you fancy that is not being served, you can order it and they will make it specially for you. We found the entertainment good to very good and very varied. We have never liked and including this cruise, the shows with the singers and dancers. They are far too loud and we dislike the high-pitched female singers in particular. I did ask for the pre-show music to be turned down and they finally did that. Yes, the crowd is older on HAL but with or without hearing aids, the music doe NOT have to be deafening. My only only negative comment would be the choice of music. When reading unstairs in the Crow's Nest and where the reading room is now located adjacent to the Explorers Cafe, the music is annoying. Sometimes the young 'teckkies' see to think that cruisers enjoy rap music, but I can assure you most do not. 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
We chose this cruise because of the remarkable itinerary. Even though Kusadasi had to be canceled by HAL due to political unrest in Turkey, the substitution of visits to Rhodes (fine) and Albania (disappointing) was no hardship. Port ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the remarkable itinerary. Even though Kusadasi had to be canceled by HAL due to political unrest in Turkey, the substitution of visits to Rhodes (fine) and Albania (disappointing) was no hardship. Port excursions provided memories not to be forgotten and a host of photogenic opportunities. The cabin stewards were fantastic and, in general, the crew were very helpful and pleasant. After a half-dozen cruises on HAL, we felt that the cuisine and entertainment were only mediocre on the Oosterdam. The veranda cabin experience, however, proved to be a nightmare during the last two weeks. The ship's hotel director and security were grossly ineffective in curbing the noise and partying in the adjacent cabin from about 11:00pm to 4:00am despite our complaints. The 5-star itinerary, 3-star cuisine and entertainment, and zero-star cabin experience warrant no more than an overall three stars. We have decided to return to cruises with Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date August 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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