Sail Date: May 2019
We choose this cruise just out of convince and having never tried Holland America in the past we saw the 1 night cruise as a great opportunity to compare it to past cruises on Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Overall they were a ... Read More
We choose this cruise just out of convince and having never tried Holland America in the past we saw the 1 night cruise as a great opportunity to compare it to past cruises on Norwegian, Princess, and Royal Caribbean. Overall they were a nice line to cruise on, however there were a few things that stood out from the other lines. Firstly I have nothing but good things to say about the live entertainment. The jazz club was fantastic and probably one of the coolest things I have experienced at sea to date. Additionally, there was a really good singer that performed a Whitney Houston tribute in the theater who's voice was amazing. For a 1 night cruise that blew me away. One thing that I did notice that I didn't enjoy as much was the quality of food in the main dinning room. It seemed to be behind the other lines (especially Norwegian). The quality of the wait staff was also not bad, but also not overly good. The embarkation in Vancouver was terrible as well. They had the classic here's a number and now wait in the big ball room until the number is called to board the ship. At that point we went to another line before going through customs. With that process I was glad to be a few hours early! We arrived at the port around 10am and didn't make it onto the ship until about 2pm. One bad thing with our cabin was that we were unable to get hot water during the entire duration of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because it started in Ft. Lauderdale and ended 21 days later in Seattle plus we got a very large stateroom #8140 w a wrap-around deck on the stern. The first day for embarkation we felt the cruise line was not ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it started in Ft. Lauderdale and ended 21 days later in Seattle plus we got a very large stateroom #8140 w a wrap-around deck on the stern. The first day for embarkation we felt the cruise line was not organized and although our luggage was labeled "priority" it was the very last on - not that it mattered but what did is we kept wondering if it would show up at all. But note that the disembarkation was very well organized and fast. Holland America has figured out how to make money - we paid $150 for water, $300 for internet (it is just $150 if you stick to social media only) and they must have saved a lot by purchasing low quality food. The Gala Dinner with filet mignon and crab béarnaise was the worst with crab nearly too spoiled to serve a piece of meat that was not filet mignon but some grass-fed animal's "surprise." Some meals were good but spaced well apart and the Lido food began to taste the same no matter what you took. The crew was very well-trained and friendly. Our Neptune suite was ok but I do not believe this ship was updated in 2017 or 2018 as it was worn pretty well including our suite. The ports of call were good and although many were shipping ports, I understand it is hard to find dock space for a ship sized like Oosterdam. The people we encountered onshore were very friendly. We will use another cruise line for our next cruise maybe we just expected better like we got on the Ruby Princess last year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise because we live in the Seattle area and love not having to deal with air travel at the conclusion, also because my husband can only walk with a walker. We were familiar with all the ports (only one tender port), and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we live in the Seattle area and love not having to deal with air travel at the conclusion, also because my husband can only walk with a walker. We were familiar with all the ports (only one tender port), and we like longer cruises. We booked the Signature Suite. We needed extra room for the walker and no accessible rooms were available. The first glitch we encountered was that there were only 3 people available to get the wheelchair passengers to their rooms so we waited an extra hour to board. Upon eventually arriving at our suite, we were distressed to find that they have scaled down their bathroom doors below standard size, so it isn't possible to get a standard sized walker through the door. He had to grasp the counter and walk the length of the room holding on to reach the toilet. There was a full sized bathtub--useless to us--and the shower was so small with only one grab bar that he could barely use it. It was just about impossible to shower without flooding the bathroom. After having paid a couple of thousand dollars extra for a suite, this was a disappointment. The balcony door is very heavy and the thresh-hold very high. The good: the showroom, The Main Stage, is great for the disabled; one could put another row of seats between the row of seats on the lower floor and access is great. They have UHD huge televisions in the staterooms and a fair assortment of late movies to choose from. However, we couldn't get enough volume to be able to understand the dialog in the movies, while on all other channels you could have blasted it high enough to hear for a half block in either direction. The Main Stage did blast all their shows that loud. We had to go through immigration twice and had a serious issue with getting wheelchair assistance to get on and off the ship. We were misinformed both times by Guest Services. Phone contact, and even personal contact with Guest Services was poor due to lack of fluent English on the part of staff and difficulty hearing them on the phone. We had a dinner in Canaletto's which wasn't any better than in the main dining room. We had lunch in the Pinnacle which was very good, except that they served instant coffee with our dessert. The "worker bees", as always on HAL are wonderful. Food was acceptable, if not great. Over all, I think many cruise lines are subtlety (sometimes not so subtlety) trying to discourage disabled passengers, while trying to appear welcoming for good public relations. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We've sailed a number of times with Holland; the Oosterdam and were pleased. The Barcelona embarkation was easy and we went straight to our cabin. The ship is older but it was well maintained. Captain and Cruise Director Kelly ... Read More
We've sailed a number of times with Holland; the Oosterdam and were pleased. The Barcelona embarkation was easy and we went straight to our cabin. The ship is older but it was well maintained. Captain and Cruise Director Kelly were very good with plenty of information to share. MDR food and service were excellent with gourmet selections and presentations. Lido could have been better, i.e., first full day at sea and tables were not cleared for more guests. We enjoyed the BB King Blues band. Excellent performers. Lincoln Center Stage had an amazing Quintet. They played a variety of music from classics, popular, and movie themes. Our favorite venue was the Gallery Bar. The staff were warm and friendly and the gaming room was a really nice HAL addition. They had board games, darts, chess boards, etc. Very comfortable room to spend the evening in. America's Test Kitchen was another highlight with an entertaining chef who had great recipes and cooking tips. Most of our excursions were booked through HAL and I'm glad I did. Yes, a little more $$, but always well organized and on time. You meet in the theatre and are escorted off the ship and directly to your tour bus. So convenient. Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was slow, but only for fewer custom's agents and five other ships in port. This was the first time I used the spa services. Very good experience with just a small up-sell speech. Ladies, pack a sweater: Air conditioning left public venues very cold Great service. Great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My partner and myself had wanted to do the North Atlantic to Northern Europe but when this deal came along, we couldn't resist. Unfortunately my partner lost his passport on day of sailing and missed the departure. Big Hint here: ... Read More
My partner and myself had wanted to do the North Atlantic to Northern Europe but when this deal came along, we couldn't resist. Unfortunately my partner lost his passport on day of sailing and missed the departure. Big Hint here: First thing to do is to call Holland America and advise them. They will then try to help you get to next port and will do everything necessary to help you avoid large extra charges. My friend didn't do this and wound up with big expenses that a call to the cruise line would have been the much better way to go. My review is based on my being in a corner Neptune suite with a wrap around balcony and dining almost completely in the Pinnacle Grill. While this suite balcony might be great on a Carribbean cruise, on the Atlantic Ocean, totally unnecessary. Plus the side balcony cuts into the cabin size and isn't as big as mid ship suites. Plus, being in the back, I had less visits to the Neptune Lounge and I missed that very much. Of course I had 2 brilliant room stewards. Raymond and Yoman. I like getting up early and having my room done first. No problem for these guys. Thank you very much guys. Having the Lounge is a huge plus. You get the services of 2 fabulous concierges. Mine were Hazel and Anika. Thank you ladies for your great help with my friends' woes and for all you do for the passengers in the lounge. A wonderful place to rest and meet your fellow cruisers. Get a cappuccino or a bite to eat. Work on their computer and watch some TV. Since I was waiting for my friend to make it back from the Miami Passport agency, I didn't arrive on board until about 345PM. Needless to say he didn't make it back on time. So my embarkation.was veery speedy. My cabin was ready and the amount of closet space was very generous. The bathroom was very big with twin sinks. They now have nightlights but I think they're too bright. I bring my own but impossible to turn theirs off. You don't need to be blinded if you need to use the rest room during the middle of the night. The Oosterdam was just in dry dock and had all of her dry goods replaced. That meant I got to be first to use the new beds and linens. Delicious bed. I really wish they could figure out a way of making the twins feel more like a single bed and not 2 beds slid together. I also like having all the goodies that they bring to your suite. Dining: As I mentioned before, I had almost all of my meals in the Pinnacle Grill. Being in the top suites has one perk that I really love and that's a full breakfast in the "Grill". Thanks to Arlen, Ida, Anna and Lesley and all the others that made my days so enjoyable. Dinners were probably the best in my many times on other ships in their Grill rooms. Bravo. So good, I did lunch there a few times. As I'm a 4 star Mariner, I get 50% discount on all meals in the Pinnacle. That includes the pop up "Rudy's Sal De Mer". BTW, I did hear good remarks from the people that ate in main dining room. The Grill chef made my and from my observations of others, great temperature meats and fish and general great dining. Since I was rather bummed out about my missing friend, I didn't get to see many of the shows but did give the casino some action. I broke even, pretty good actually. I also met on board some previous cruiser friends and joined them quite a bit. They too ate mostly in the Pinnacle and our times were very close, so we joined each other a few times. Thanks to Candice Karin and Randy and Steve. The ports were excellent for this crossing. Funchal was our first port and my friend was supposed to meet us there. Alas, they wouldn't let his flight land due to heavy winds, and we didn't meet up until we got to Lisbon. Yikes! He has a crazier story than I do. The other ports were quite good and Joseph and I did a "Taste of Malaga" tour through the group, "We Love Malaga", with tour group owner, Victor. I totally recommend him to anyone. For the other ports we took in the shuttles and walked around on our own. Service on board the ship was almost perfect. I did have a bit of a problem with trying to set up space for our Mah Jong players and it took too many visits to straighten this out but in the end they did find a compromise for our group. Not that I was too happy about it, but not worth getting too upset. Holland America is one of my favorite cruise lines and this was my 24th crossing altogether, so I have experience and know what to expect. We had a very big storm on our journey but the Oosterdam held up beautifully. I heartily recommend this ship and this line. I love sea days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
My husband and I had never been to Europe, so we chose this cruise to get a good "sample" of countries. The 8 days at sea sailing across the Atlantic were relaxing and a great way to start our trip. The Oosterdam is a ... Read More
My husband and I had never been to Europe, so we chose this cruise to get a good "sample" of countries. The 8 days at sea sailing across the Atlantic were relaxing and a great way to start our trip. The Oosterdam is a beautiful, elegant ship. Our cabin was wonderful (see below). We loved all the ports except Huelva, Spain. If you dock there, you might want to take an excursion to Seville. We were there on a Sunday, and after taking a (free) shuttle to town, we couldn't do anything but walk, because everything was closed. The map provided did not include all streets, so it was hard to navigate. We walked for a couple of hours and returned to the ship. The food, in general, was wonderful. Such a nice variety, and something was always available. A few times, we suspected a change in chefs so that the same item was not as good on a different day. For example, we had extremely good cheesecake one day, but slices that tasted like "something was missing" on another day. Very minor, but noticeable. The entertainment was very good at first, but we got tired of repetition in the entertainment. The Motown singers were the best for us. We did not use the casino, which seemed empty most of the time. Fellow travelers seemed to like the cooking classes, although we did not attend. We used a tour company other than EXC Tours for most of our excursions because of price and reviews. One of our favorite excursions was the EXC "In the Footsteps of the Godfather" in Sicily. Wonderful trip into the hills to the towns where the European part of the movies were filmed. Our WORST excursion was also an EXC - a "romantic" gondola ride in Venice that ended up being anything but. For over $300, we had a 30 minute ride of which 10 minutes were holding in place for other gondolas. Our "ride for 2" ended up being a ride for 4 when they had a guitarist and singer jump in our boat. Our view ahead of us was the singer/musician. Terrible, disappointing, expensive experience! The crew on the ship was first class. Our room stewards were unbelievably friendly ad efficient. Almost all workers were quick with a greeting when you passed them anywhere on board. We are already going on another Holland cruise this year. We hope it will be as wonderful as the last. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first cruise with Holland America and our first Transatlantic cruise. The itinerary was like none we had seen and we were excited to be going to 16Ports! We were impressed with how quickly and smoothly the embarkation and ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Holland America and our first Transatlantic cruise. The itinerary was like none we had seen and we were excited to be going to 16Ports! We were impressed with how quickly and smoothly the embarkation and disembarkation went. The Oosterdam was in dry dock prior to our departure from Fort Lauderdale. The two week refit in the Bahamas included: New bottom paint Bow thruster overhaul Asipod maintenance and paint New stage for the Main stage area Stairs removed from the Atrium area New guest services area New carpet in these areas Floors 4,5, and 1 were redone- prior drydock 6,7,8 New mattresses throughout New carpet in a lot of the landing areas, more to come All safety boats repainted Maintenance work on the chillers Emergency diesel work New countertops in Lido Lido aft teak deck replaced with composite material Deck 10 crows nest completely redone, now Exploration Central New logo on the ship funnels Maintenance on engines Est cost $12-13 million The overall ship condition was very good. There were some areas where the carpet still needs to be replaced. The new areas are very nice! Some areas in the Main Dining room Deck 2 could use some updating, but overall the area was very nice. The entertainment on board could be improved, the piano players were average at best, the comedian we went to see was not good and we left early. The BB King area had some good entertainment!! Overall the cruise director did not have much going on. This was fine for us, since there were so many excursions and port stops we were not around during the day and the evenings we did not stay up late. There were Microsoft computer classes, which were always full and very informative and some guest speakers with interesting topics, a movie and random other events. The spa and gym offered their usual "come in so I can up-sell you" seminars. Like learn how to look younger in 10 minutes, and it was "Restlyne fillers" for a high cost. The gym was nice, small but efficient. They never had music playing, which would have been nice. We dined everywhere except specialty restaurants. The breakfast at the Lido was also good and a wide variety, including made to order omelets and waffles! We usually ate lunch there too. The Dive Bar was great for burgers and fries! The dining room experience was one we looked forward to every evening! Our servers Nur and Ally were amazing and our food was excellent! We opted for anytime dining, which was great since we didn't know when we would want to dine, however we always requested our servers section and the staff was very accommodating. We enjoyed drinks at all the bars, and the happy hours from 4-5 in the Billboard Onboard and later the Lido pool. Late nights 10-11 Happy hour in the Gallery Bar for a great martini, buy one and next one for $2.00! The game area was next to this bar, so we would play a game of chess too! This is located next to the casino so it is a fun people watching area too! The ports we visited on this cruise were amazing! They were all great, and some we will definitely be going back to! Some ports were not close to the town areas and the ship charged a $14 pp fee for a shuttle. I think this should have been included. We only did 2 excursions with the ship, and others independently. The cruise excursions were long, and had too many guests and prices were not as good. We enjoyed the private and semi private tours we booked on our own. We met some really great people on the cruise, many who have been on several transatlantic cruises. It was interesting hearing about all their travels. We will be going on another cruise, and were very pleased with Holland America! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
I normally don't write reviews anymore, but having just read two reviews rating their Panama Canal cruises as average, I feel I need to give my opinion to help bring the average up to where it belongs. The ship is not ... Read More
I normally don't write reviews anymore, but having just read two reviews rating their Panama Canal cruises as average, I feel I need to give my opinion to help bring the average up to where it belongs. The ship is not "tired" as one reviewer said, in my opinion of course. The ship is in great shape. The food is "good but not excellent" one reviewer said. That can be said about almost every cruise and cruise line. This was my 37th cruise so I do have many with which to compare. There were many activities on board to keep one involved during the days and evenings. During the evening there was a quartet playing classical music, a couple at two pianos playing and singing popular music as well as the main shows, movies and the casino. The enrichment speaker and the Panama Canal movies were excellent. The cruise director, TJ, and his assistant Francisco were excellent, friendly and good humored. They were the only cruise director staff on this cruise so they had a lot to do. The trivia games were well attended and varied, being competitive and fun. The evening main shows were the best I have encountered on recent cruises. The ports were not very exciting to me but that is to be expected traveling from San Diego to Fort Lauderdale. we did take a tour to San Jose, Costa Rica, and tour old town Cartagena, Columbia. It was the transit of the Panama Canal that was the feature of the cruise. We were well informed before entering the canal by the enrichment speakers and movies so we were prepared to see the highlights. There was a running narration as we progressed through the canal which also helped. Overall it was a wonderful cruise on a great ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I are both retired and have been taking yearly cruise for a number of years. We are 3 Star Mariners and this was number 8 with HAL. Last year, we did our second, end of season Alaska cruise with HAL, out of Vancouver on the ... Read More
My wife and I are both retired and have been taking yearly cruise for a number of years. We are 3 Star Mariners and this was number 8 with HAL. Last year, we did our second, end of season Alaska cruise with HAL, out of Vancouver on the Noordam, which was a great trip. We like Holland America because of the older, more seasoned travelers on board and a very high percentage are return cruisers. This years cruise on the Oosterdam was nothing like any of the other HAL ships we have been on. This also was the biggest ship we have been on at 1,975 passengers and ONLY a crew of 800. Our big complaint this time was the food! On the Lido deck, It was unimaginative for the most part, often poorly cooked and in no way up to the standard of past cruises. In short it was very pedestrian. It seemed that there fewer serving station and the number of choices was lacking. Also, there were fewer staff on the floor and we had to get our own coffee,water most of the time. Dirty dishes were everywhere and most of the staff was to busy trying to sell soft drinks and wine to do anything else. There were no trays, so we had to make trips for juice, salads & desserts. There were hardly any orchids on the tables as well. Most had missing flowers and empty stems. Last year every table had one. The main dinning room seemed to serve mostly the same food as the Lido and service was slower this time. If this is to be the new normal for the HAL ships, we will not be returning. In fairness, we did eat at the Pinnacles which was outstanding as always. And, also the Dive In, at the to the Lido pool, which has great hamburgers. Last year we did have the Signature Drink Package for the 7 days and enjoyed it very much. In looking it over for this trip, we discovered that many of the drink prices had been raised to $8.25, which is 25 cents over the price limit for the package.!! So, we only went to Happy Hour once. They no longer serve mixed nuts and if you want any appetizers, good luck! I hate to be so negative here, but the fact is, everything seemed to be cheapened down and there was way more 'up selling' going on then on past voyages. We were very much looking forward to becoming 4 Star Mariners, but, now I fear that won't happen. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I booked this cruise in December as a gift to my husband who had, until now, never cruised. We wanted to try a short, 5-day, cruise to make sure he wouldn't become deathly ill from motion sickness and to just give him a taste for ... Read More
I booked this cruise in December as a gift to my husband who had, until now, never cruised. We wanted to try a short, 5-day, cruise to make sure he wouldn't become deathly ill from motion sickness and to just give him a taste for sailing. Background - I've sailed at least 17+ times on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Princess, and Norwegian but mostly on RC. My husband and I are 40 years old, don't really party anymore but still enjoy good shows, music, friends, fun, and fantastic food. The ship - We both agreed, the ship was absolutely immaculate! I have never experienced a cruise ship that has been cared for so thoroughly! Everything aboard the Oosterdam has been cared for and maintained meticulously. She shows signs of being 14 years old, mainly in the decor, but physically the ship is outstanding. Our cabin - We upgraded from a SY (Signature Suite) to an SA (Neptune Suite - 7062) a week before sailing and are SO glad we did! The suite was a decent size, the bed was extremely comfortable, and the cabin stewards always made sure the room looked perfect. The suite gave us access to the Neptune Lounge which was directly across the hall. We popped over to the lounge a few times during the day to get coffee, juice, and sample the wonderful horsedouvres. The lounge concierge was always very eager to help and definitely made our trip even more special. The complementary guest laundry and dry cleaning also worked out well and came in very handy. We will most likely always book a suite with similar amenities from now on as they are well worth the expense! Dining - Ok, The Main dining room, Canaletto, and the Lido buffet were just par for cruising cuisine. None of them were terribly spectacular and the dessert at all three venues was pretty lackluster. The Pinnacle Grill, however, was absolutely fantastic! We had breakfast and dinner there a few times and thoroughly loved it! When we return, we will likely only eat in the Pinnacle and forego the other restaurants completely. Service - The service on board was outstanding! Everyone we came across had a huge smile on their face, greeted us, and truly made us feel at home. So here is where things get a little funky for me... Remember, my husband and I are both 40 years old. Apparently, HAL's target demographic is considerably older than us. We found this out first-hand before boarding. When we walked into the pier, the security staff asked if we were crew. When we responded "No, we are passengers..." their jaws dropped and they let us pass in amazement. Most of the other passengers, we later found out, were in their late 70's, 80's and early 90's. I'm totally fine with cruising around senior citizens, don't get me wrong. They were extremely nice, quiet, and were all very friendly. We were walking on the Promenade and came across an elderly lady napping, head back and mouth WIDE open, on a couch. I was afraid she had passed away right there and was tempted to place a mirror under her nose to see if she was still alive. Entertainment - The entertainment wasn't that great but, again, it was designed for the target HAL demographic. My husband and I were expecting a Broadway-worthy production yet, well, that wasn't the case. The Lincoln Center Stage performers were wonderful and the America's Test Kitchen demonstrations were extremely fun. There just wasn't much in the way of nightlife. Overall - Great ship, amazing service, wonderful food (at the Pinnacle)! It's a little like a floating nursing home but there is nothing wrong with that! Just be prepared. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We thought we might be taking a risk going on a Holland America cruise with our young children, but felt like we needed a holiday and this itinerary fit the bill. It was a 4 day cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. Our children, ages 6 ... Read More
We thought we might be taking a risk going on a Holland America cruise with our young children, but felt like we needed a holiday and this itinerary fit the bill. It was a 4 day cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. Our children, ages 6 and 2, enjoyed a full day visit to the San Diego Zoo, a tour of the USS Midway and a trip to Old Town on the transit trolley prior to the cruise. We stayed at a hotel (SpringHill Suites) where our room had a view of our cruise ship the day it arrived. We walked to the cruise terminal, which was hosting two ships that day, and deliberately arrived fairly late (3pm) to avoid the lengthy lineups we have experienced in San Diego in previous years. We walked right through security, picked up our room key cards and were in our cabin in moments. This was our first voyage on a Holland America ship, and the Oosterdam is in lovely condition. It's not flashy and doesn't have the latest technological gadgets, but the public areas look like new and have a cozy, understated feel. Staff were universally friendly and helpful. Our balcony cabin, deck 4 forward, does not appear to have been updated during the most recent refit of the ship in 2016. The room was still in decent shape, but the bathroom lighting was not very bright and the wall colour (taupe) seemed to absorb the light. I'm told many other staterooms have been upgraded with brighter bathrooms. Still, it was nice to have a small bathtub for our young children. Our cabin had a drop-down bunk bed and a (worn) pull-out couch. It was tight but we managed. The food was generally very good...but it would have been nice if it had been hot in the main dining room. The only dish I didn't enjoy at all was a top sirloin steak from the main dining room. It was cold and flavourless. Again, other than these issues the food was very good. The buffett has a surprisingly pleasant ambience and a very tasty variety of food. My wife ordered room service for the children and apparently the service was prompt and the food was quickly consumed. My wife and I visited the gym a couple of times. It is a decent size with a reasonable variety of equipment, and has a view from the front of the ship. The children's and teen's play/activity centre (Club HAL) is on Deck 10. The two staff working there told us that during the previous 15 days there had been no children under the age of 18. There is a policy that children must be a minimum of 3 years old to be able to be in Club HAL, so our 2.5 yr old was not allowed to stay with her 6 year old sister in Club Hal. This kept mom and dad busy, but we had fun. If the cruise had been longer this fun might have become more of a challenge. All in all, we had a very nice time and can highly recommend the Oosterdam. Footnote: it was nice to see the President of Holland America, Orlando Ashford, on board the ship during the cruise and interacting with passengers and crew. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We chose this cruise because we love to end up at home, no travel day at the end. We had been on ship in January and you can view my rave review on this site. We loved the whole experience. It was an eye opener, all the changes in a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we love to end up at home, no travel day at the end. We had been on ship in January and you can view my rave review on this site. We loved the whole experience. It was an eye opener, all the changes in a couple of months and not is a happy way. The positives: The staff, the service, the cabin attendants, the food, and the entertainment all wonderful. Professional, attentive, and appropriate to audience. After that you may think, what more is there on a cruise that's important - well fed and entertained by genuinely engaged people. The issues: The se Asian/Dutch colonial culture has suddenly gone. The differentiation from other midstream carnival lines has gone away. Good food, good entertainment - princess or celebrity, or royal Caribbean. Holland has always had a little Dutch colonial kind of niche but it has gone. Since January! No more, are there curries or Indonesian entrees on the dinner menu, yes some times available at lunch on lido but ... no Indonesian or Phillip into crew shows., no modified chongsams on lady servers. No Indonesian lunch. Apart from the cultural shift - the activities - well, new "when and where" except it has a daily insert which really/sort of tell you what's going on- but it's not dated so if it gets mixed with the other paper you receive daily, who knows what's going on. The majority of activities were cash driven. Never seen so many sidewalk junk sales, spa seminars, jewelry eminars, slot tournaments, wine tastings and art auctions . But minimal enrichment, BBC earth was great, but no engineer or about the Panama Canal before transit?! No bridge, no crafts, no photo contest, not much of anything. There seemed to be midmanagement problems starting with cruise director, no culinary arts person, no mariner hostess. Cruise director - very personable but ... if holland still has gala nights, maybe the cruise director should have a tux to respect the passengers who like to dress up?, maybe he should announce when the ship is cleared instead of telling us to sit tight , maybe his staff should not be loud and rude in the show lounge during performances. In San Diego, the senior management including the CEO got on - one would expect a kick up in the ambience on board - not so much. Not one of them ever communicated with the guests - as a group they were loud, obnoxious and drunk in public. Next time go to Vegas where no one knows you! However that would align the significant cultural change, Botoom line, we are 4 star mariners and are wondering why choose holland as all lines have good food, good entertainment, and good service. It's the differentiators that make it unique. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
We wanted a cruise coming back to the USA with Tampa as the final port for us as we live in central Florida. Little did we expect the whole ship to be under restrictions because many passengers had a virus - this really puts a burden on ... Read More
We wanted a cruise coming back to the USA with Tampa as the final port for us as we live in central Florida. Little did we expect the whole ship to be under restrictions because many passengers had a virus - this really puts a burden on the staff especially at meal time. Everywhere you went people were coughing and not always into a tissue! IMHO the filters should be replaced before every cruise for all cabins and public gathering areas. The cruise itself was as smooth as glass - didn't feel like we were on a ship. As far as the ship is concerned, the carpeting, on floors where cabins are located, is very rumpled which could lead to a safety issue for the many "older" folks who take HAL cruises (me included!). We had an obstructed view cabin looking out over a couple of tenders and I wondered, with all the rust and frayed cables whether they'd be in shape should there be a need to use them. Sorry HAL, but this ship is tired even though the crew was excellent. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Food was excellent. Service as usual on HAL wonderful. Entertainment great. Absolutely no negative comments! Enjoyed the guest lectures. Loved the BB king music and dancing Billboard piano's and music selections excellent ... Read More
Food was excellent. Service as usual on HAL wonderful. Entertainment great. Absolutely no negative comments! Enjoyed the guest lectures. Loved the BB king music and dancing Billboard piano's and music selections excellent The best hamburgers I've eaten in along time served on deck "dive-in" The greenhouse spa and thermal suite is a must on any transatlantic even though we had warm weather and smooth sailing all the way. I did not eat at the specialty restaurants because the food in the dining room and the lido was wonderful Cannot say enough about the friendliness of the staff and their dedication to making the guest feel like number 1. The shows in the evening were great with lots of variety. Loved the dancers and singers and the production. Cruise critic is definitely a great site to use . I met people to share excursions with and share a ride from the airport to the cruisers hotel Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We were visiting family in Italy and decided that it was a good value and more fun to take a repositioning cruise back to the states. We looked at the repositioning cruises in Oct/Nov time frame and this one met our schedules. We ... Read More
We were visiting family in Italy and decided that it was a good value and more fun to take a repositioning cruise back to the states. We looked at the repositioning cruises in Oct/Nov time frame and this one met our schedules. We have taken many cruises -- Regent, Princess, Celebrity and HAL. Probably more on HAL because we like the smaller ships. Even though we thought we were experienced cruises there were others on the ship with much more experience and we learned a few important tips. Tip number one -- watch for the rotating happy hours on the ship. The 2 for 1 pricing on pre-dinner cocktails helps stretch the budget. Tip number two -- if a couple is cruising have one order a cocktail that both enjoy because you actually get two identical drinks for the price of one. Have the other person order wine -- you get two glasses. Save the wine and carry them to the MDR for dinner. What an idea. We didn't catch on to this savvy savings until day 3 of the 15 day cruise. Tip number three -- take lysol wipes with you when you travel and clean, clean, clean your room. There was a large contingent of Swedes onboard -- many take this cruise every year. "Skal" to our Swedish friends. They are fun to travel with. We also enjoyed traveling with more Europeans and Brits. It made for interesting conversations. This was a norovirus cruise and we give HAL credit for early detection and swift action. HAL flew a rep from the CDC and from corporate to the last port before the crossing to oversee the ship decontamination. We were IMPRESSED. The cleaning was 24/7. Noticible changes in the lido -- all the food was sealed from the passengers. I wish it were always this way. I read complaints regarding slow service on the buffets when you could not serve yourself, but really, wouldn't you rather wait a half-second longer than eat food that people have pawed over? Think about how many people have used that set of tongs that you now touch, or have sat in the food that you now eat? I didn't think about it much until this cruise. Other things the crew of the Osterdam did was remove salt and pepper shakers and any thing that might be handled by other passengers from the table in the MDR. All the spices were brought to the table in packets by the wait staff. All the crew cleaned the boat, deck chairs were sprayed with disinfectants every day, tables AND chairs on the pool deck were cleaned and disinfected as soon as the diners departed. All the work paid off because by the middle of the crossing there were no more new inections. All the other lines should study what HAL did on this cruise. The food was very good. We enjoyed the lunch selections in the lido, especially the asian and curry dishes. Salads were also great. The food in the MDR was very good. The selections on the menu always had choices that were very good. I like a cup of hot tea wih my dessert and after the first night I did not have to ask -- it was there. Bless you. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night and enjoyed the steaks and wonderful service. The enrichment activities were good. We liked the daily briefings from the ship's bridge crew which took place each sea day in a lounge. Also, new to HAL and much appreciated by the passengers was a Port Expert who was not there to sell excursions, or tell us where to shop for diamonds, but gave us a non-comercial overview of each port of call. I hope HAL makes this a permanent feature on all ships. HAL has stepped up their entertainment. We were inpressed with the diversity and quality of the performances. The stage shows had excellent performers. OK, I'll get to something that impressed me the most -- the TV. I know, you would think that I should have better things to do, but this was a crossing with multiple sea days. The up-graded on-demand programs and movies that HAL offers are wonderful. I became addicted to watching Downton Abby - as I never saw it before. There are movies and shows for all ages with plenty of childrens shows for family viewing. The service in the lounges was very slow. HAL could make more money if they would step it up here. We had to wait for the lounge staff to come around and then wait longer for the drinks to arrive. God forbid you ask for some peanuts -- you're in for another 30 min. wait. I believe that they were short-handed and should add more staff in these areas. We did not take any shore excursions, chosing to explore on our own and we had a great time doing just that. It made for some relaxing exploration and we loved discovering what was around the next corner. All in all it was a great cruise and we will definitely travel with HAL again as we are signed up for the November South America trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
I just returned from a 15 Transatlantic cruise on The Oosterdam.. There was nothing about the ship that I didn't like. The food, staff, entertainment and overall appearance of the ship was outstanding. It was my first time on a ... Read More
I just returned from a 15 Transatlantic cruise on The Oosterdam.. There was nothing about the ship that I didn't like. The food, staff, entertainment and overall appearance of the ship was outstanding. It was my first time on a HAL ship. I suspect it won't be the last. The staff were very genuine whenever they greeted me. Microsoft had a person to teach all of the Microsoft programs. She was excellent and the classes were always over full. The food in the Lido dining area was exceptional. We ate there frequently even in the evenings. The food was fresh. Many times the cooks were cooking things like pork chops while they were serving so the chops didn't sit on the steam table very long. Ice cream was available almost all day long. It was good stuff. Two nights a sirloin roast was served. Both times it was excellent. Great cruise. I was very impressed. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
I booked this one at last minute, price was too good to pass up. Originally booked Oceanview HH, got a deal on upgrade to VA 2 days before departure. The first part of the cruise we visited ports in spain and funchal, portugal. Each ... Read More
I booked this one at last minute, price was too good to pass up. Originally booked Oceanview HH, got a deal on upgrade to VA 2 days before departure. The first part of the cruise we visited ports in spain and funchal, portugal. Each one on the shore excursions were winners. The caves tour in Mallorca were fantastic...ended with a classic music quartet playing in dim lights on a boat in a large underground lake. Next tour we went from Cartagena to Elche, spain, beautiful walking tour of classic old town. Third tour at Malagda was to a private owned auto and clothing museum, truly unbelievable collections of antique autos and ladies clothing. Fourth tour at Funchal, rode the cable car to the top and took a LONG "sled" ride down. Great fun. Rest of trip was cross Atlantic. Captain said near the end that in his 23 years, this wwas the smoothest crossing he had ever experienced. Holland had upgraded their entertainment. Main stage shows were all great, and between BB KIngs, the new Dual Pianos lounge singing all the classics, and the new Lincoln center all were great. This was my 23rd cruise, several different lines, heavily Holland, but we seemed like novices on this cruise. I've never had the pleasure of talking with so many 4 and 5 star mariners and round-the-world cruisers. Great fun. Unfortunately, the ship had a small noro virus incidence, so we had to deal with all the special precautions and limitations that come with that. In convenient, but it worked well, they kept the infections small and I'd rather be inconvenienced that sick. As a result, we ate almost exclusively in the main dining room, which made for lots of good traveler interactions. Service was sometimes a little slow, but we all knew the crew was diminished everywhere so they could scrub and keep everything extra clean. Overall I believe Holland did a great job. We are booked again for 28 days leaving Hong Kong in January. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We often take a year-end cruise in the Mediterranean and enjoy visiting various ports along the way. This cruise focussed on the western Mediterranean and then crossed the Atlantic, ending up in Tampa. In all, we spent 39 days on the ... Read More
We often take a year-end cruise in the Mediterranean and enjoy visiting various ports along the way. This cruise focussed on the western Mediterranean and then crossed the Atlantic, ending up in Tampa. In all, we spent 39 days on the Oosterdam (two 12-day collector cruises and a 15-day transAtlantic cruise). Although we were supposed to join the ship in Civitavecchia, our Alitalia flight from Toronto was delayed four hours and this meant our arrival time was set for 5:00 pm - the ship was sailing at 6! Luckily we had booked our flight with Holland America and, once we phoned to alert them, they arranged for us to fly on from Rome to near Florence where we were put up in a hotel overnight and driven to the ship in Livorno the next day. Full marks to Tom in HAL's Seattle Office on this one for arranging everything - on arrival we found a bottle of sparkling wine in our cabin and $50 credit each for our meals. Having sailed with Holland America several times since 2007, we have noticed that while service levels from the Indonesian cabin stewards and waiters remain excellent, the rest of the experience is slowly being devalued. The first thing we noticed was that under normal circumstances, it's very difficult to get a seat in the Lido for breakfast or indeed lunch. This is thanks to the extra passenger capacity added since the ship was built. Another sign of decline is that the latest re-fit has almost done away with the Library which is now part of the Explorer Cafe and Crow's Nest. There is no librarian, you simply take the books that you want away with you (they must stay on the ship). If you like the quiet atmosphere of the library and a place to use your laptop on other ships, you'll hate this arrangement as both the noise of the cafe, art and Crow's Nest activities invade this small corner making it difficult to focus. Food is still generally good but decline is creeping in - for example, the only milk available for your cereal is UHT milk (with its distinctive taste) and it comes only in Tetra Paks meaning that you have to insert the straw and squeeze the carton repeatedly (think milking the cow) in order to pour your milk. Full fat plain yogurt is not available. In terms of sanitation, for the last leg of our trip, we noted that many passengers had no idea how to keep their hands off the food and plates. They would touch food or dishes / cutlery etc and return it. One gentleman was seen picking just the fruit he liked off individual fruit plates and putting them on his own. There should have been better supervision to deal with people like this. The last few days were spent in 'Code Red' thanks to an inevitable Norovirus outbreak. As always, an excellent room service menu is available with prompt and cheerful service and we found it to be a good alternative to the Lido crowds at breakfast. We had fixed seating for dinner in the main dining room and our waiters were excellent although they seem to have to work harder than ever before. One thing in large supply is wine stewards but we don't usually bother with wine since wine prices are high and the quality low. Our cabin stewards were excellent and worked around our schedule. Entertainment: there was a fair amount of entertainment but we generally like early nights. I took part in the quizzes but entertainment staff often repeat the same old questions making it a memory rather than a knowledge competition. Some staff tend to drone on about themselves or the many money-making activities on the ship. We didn't use the gym - the spa is very expensive. I find that keeping off the elevators and walking a mile on sea days helps keep the pounds off. We became 4-Star mariners by the Transatlantic portion and though we were entitled to 4-Star privileges, we had to pester front office staff several times to expedite this and missed out on our free wine-tasting. Not a big deal but if they're offering this, passengers shouldn't have to chase it down. It was nice having free laundry privileges. Speaking of Front Office Staff, we found a great variation in their levels of willingness to help. Often we would report a problem and find that we would have to explain everything all over again the next day since the original person failed to make notes. One was outright rude and accused us of being freeloaders when we asked about a wine package that HAL had given us. Lastly, we paid HAL for a transfer from the ship to Tampa Airport. The process was a total shambles with porters holding people to ransom inside the terminal and total chaos getting onto the bus organized by HAL. A sign indicating where to catch the bus would have helped. Once we had scrambled onto the bus, we had to get off to check that our luggage had been loaded. Adding to the fun, the air conditioner apparently couldn't operate if the bus wasn't moving so we sat and sweltered through the loading and checking process. Hint: take a taxi - they're cheaper, cooler and you won't worry about your luggage. In summary, we find that we're outgrowing Holland America - the quality of the experience is going down. They seem to be moving towards being a budget cruise line and attempting to extract money from passengers once they're aboard. We'll be looking elsewhere for our next cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Many of us were surprised to find that this was a big band cruise with the "Harry James Orchestra" playing nightly. Those who like big bands were in their glory with the 12 instrumental musicians, a bandleader and a female ... Read More
Many of us were surprised to find that this was a big band cruise with the "Harry James Orchestra" playing nightly. Those who like big bands were in their glory with the 12 instrumental musicians, a bandleader and a female vocalist. HAL really nailed music on this one, with a great group creating Nashville sounds in the BB King club, "The Band" in the Ocean bar, the Adagio Duo, and the piano bar. The biggest plus on this sailing was that everyone seemed to be a "happy camper". I didn't find anyone who was a complainer in 13 days. This is rare indeed. I'm sure that the better than average weather and calm seas helped. The ship was going to drydock and unfortunately the work started a few days before the sailing ended. The nice sun deck outside of the Crow's Nest was torn up days early, and on the final day, the gym area was "off limits" in the late afternoon. Outside of those things, the sailing offered what HAL does best, and the repositioning cruise remains one of the true bargains of sailing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this transatlantic repositioning cruise for its value. We don't mind being at sea for 8 days before landing at a port. This cruise stopped in Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Cartegna, Spain and finally terminated in ... Read More
We chose this transatlantic repositioning cruise for its value. We don't mind being at sea for 8 days before landing at a port. This cruise stopped in Funchal, Portugal; Malaga, Spain; and Cartegna, Spain and finally terminated in Civitevecchia, Italy. Embarkation and disembarkation was quick and efficient. Our Signature Suite was lovely. Our stewards and the dining room staff service was excellent. The food was delicious and always served hot. We appreciate HAL's commitment to service. We had a great destination port guide on board and Tom was knowledgeable and interesting. The other speaker who spoke about the history of our ports, was very dry and boring. That aspect of the program needs to be updated and the speakers vetted more often. This man had been around too long. We enjoyed the Harry James orchestra and the comedian from England was extremely funny. The BB King lounge is always a highlight. The piano bar would be better if it didn't dissolve into karaoke. We have encountered this on another of their cruises. The piano players are very good but the singing is just so/so then people start grabbing the mic and it devolves from there. The Adagio is nice as well, players are technically very good but lack some emotion in their playing. It seems that they are going through the motions, so to speak. Our only downside was that this ship was going in for a 2 week refit and workmen started dismantling things on deck 10 while we were on the ship so this outdoor area was not usable and while they were cutting and sawing metal off the deck it was very, very noisy in both the Crows Nest bar, library and Spa area. We would like to see the ship after the refit and would sale with HAL again. our stateroom was 8053 mid ship under the buffet area. Not as noisy at night as being under the pool area, but in the future I would pick a deck that is sandwiched between 2 stateroom decks. This cruise needed a refit to update the furnishings, carpets and drapes and put in better TVs. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose the cruise since it was the first, non-luxury cruise to leave for Europe. We had plans that were fixed on us arriving before a scheduled event. My husband had arrived in the U.S. on the Holland America Rijndam in 1956, from ... Read More
We chose the cruise since it was the first, non-luxury cruise to leave for Europe. We had plans that were fixed on us arriving before a scheduled event. My husband had arrived in the U.S. on the Holland America Rijndam in 1956, from Europe when he and his mother left Austria to meet up with his dad who had gone ahead to get a job, place to live, etc. So, it was a nostalgic trip and the cruise company was informed of this before we left, so at one of the Captain's Club receptions, my husband was called up to be recognized for his 60th year anniversary of crossing the Atlantic on a Holland America ship! We were very pleased with the Oosterdam, a good size for us, and love that it did not have too many "bells and whistles" (no climbing walls, wave pools, or too much organized activities) while it did have good music- Jazz, blues, swing, big dance band & this really appealed to us. The lecutres about the ports left a lot to be desired, since it was purely tuned to those going on scheduled tours. We always want to explore on our own, so we had to do our own research when we got off the ship at each port. They can do a better job of that. The excursion desk was less than helpful and less frirendly about it than they should have been! I give the ship itself, the captain, crew and Holland America an excellent rating, since they were the most personable crew, the ship was a perfect size and we had the best table mates ever. Everyone we met was interesting, seemed informed and very open. the food could be a bit more exotic, such as Riistafel with some spices. The variety could have been more so. It was good food, but we expected a bit better variety.Too much like all the other cruise lines in the dining room. The buffet had some more far eastern dishes each day and that was good for lunch. The cafe in the library area should be larger to serve the specialty coffees. One or two servers were there and the space should be enlarged to handle more than one customer at a time. We are planning on a 2nd Holland America cruise in 2017, we really like the "class" of passengers who seem to choose HA. At the embarkation we had to sit down and wait for our group. I had never experienced that before with RCCL, Celebrity or Princess, but it worked well and luggage was delivered very quickly to our cabin. All in all a wonderful experience. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We are a married couple, who has sailed on many Transatlantic cruises previously, but this was our first cruise with HAL. Pre-cruise: We stayed the night before at Holiday Inn Express Fort Lauderdale Airport South. A good hotel with ... Read More
We are a married couple, who has sailed on many Transatlantic cruises previously, but this was our first cruise with HAL. Pre-cruise: We stayed the night before at Holiday Inn Express Fort Lauderdale Airport South. A good hotel with free shuttle service from/to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. And for a fee, shuttle service to the cruise port. Embarkation: Went smoothly. The Ship: We found MS Oosterdam to be a nice ship. Although she was going to be refurbished in Europe after this cruise, in our opinion Oosterdam was in an excellent condition. Stateroom info: We were pleased with our aft veranda stateroom. Crew: We found most of the Indonesian and Filipino staff to be great and friendly – our stateroom attendant, most waiters in the bars, the wait staff in the Upper Vista Dining Room, the sommeliers, and the staff in the Lido Buffet Restaurant. Dining: With the exception of the first formal dinner in the MDR, where the waiters were in a hurry, we were very pleased with the service we received throughout the cruise with “As You Wish Dinning”. This in contrast to our three cruises with Celebrity’s "Select Dining", were the waiters in the MDR always was very busy, due to under-staffing. It was also nice to see that there were napkins neatly set up on the tables in the MDR, unlike what we experienced on Celebrity Reflection last November. Food in the MDR was generally good. We ate most breakfasts and lunches in the Lido Buffet Restaurant. The food selection in the Lido was okay. The range of juice for free at breakfast was very good. We will mention that the two toasters should be replaced, they doesn't work very well. The bread must many times pass through twice. What really impressed us was the good service from the staff in the Lido Restaurant. The staff was good at clearing tables, and there were knives and forks together with napkins on the tables. For most meals, the staff offered to bring us coffee, tea and water. We have never before experienced so good service in a buffet restaurant on any cruise ship. For instance, far better than the service we previously have experienced in Celebrity's Oceanview, and in Royal Caribbean’s Windjammer. We ate one dinner in Pinnacle Grill. The food and service were excellent! Room Service: The selection for breakfast was very good. We were pleased with the Signature Beverage Package. It worked out very well for us. Entertainment: The entertainment on the ship was mostly okay. However, we are quite tired to watch production shows, were most of the music/songs presented, are not original, but only "look a like" music/songs. The reason for this is probably copyright issues/costs for HAL. Destination ports: The three destinations ports was good, especially Madeira. But only three ports of call on a 13 nights cruise, are just too few – even on a Transatlantic cruise. What we did not like on this cruise: The jacuzzi on the port side on the Sea View Pool, did not work throughout the whole cruise. And the jacuzzi never get any sign saying: “Out of order”. We were very disappointed that there were no pool attendants or pool guards who looked after that the pool rules were enforced. Several times during our cruise, there were children who occupied the Lido pool for several hours with diving, jumping and acrobatic exercises, without any of the staff putting a stop to it!!! We do not even know who the pool attendants were! The Passenger Safety Drill was the most disorganized Safety Drill we have experienced on our 38 cruises. Five minutes before the Drill was to start, it was surprisingly announced over the ship's loudspeakers that the Drill nevertheless would not take place until 20 minutes later. When this was announced, the majority of the passengers were already in place at their assigned Muster Stations. In addition, the organization by at least our Muster Station, was also poorly executed by the responsible crew. The Sea View Sun Deck has no protection when it’s windy. Unfortunately, the nice wind protective deck space outside the Crow’s Nest on deck 10 will now be gone, because it will be built new staterooms there during the refurbishment. Disembarkation: We found it confusing that our departure time from the ship suddenly was announced half an hour earlier than was informed the last day on board, and also in relation to what was informed on the TV screen in our stateroom on the departure morning . Overall, a great cruise! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise because the perks that went along with it were very good. We also took a transatlantic last year and enjoyed it, so we were game for another one. We specifically wanted to end up in Rome as we had never been there ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the perks that went along with it were very good. We also took a transatlantic last year and enjoyed it, so we were game for another one. We specifically wanted to end up in Rome as we had never been there before. Although the ship was gearing up for drydock refurbishing and there were workers already on the ship, it did not impact our vacation in any way, except for one day hearing a lot of banging while we were in the thermal room trying to relax. Service and friendliness of the staff was excellent. The BB King Blues Band was excellent, as usual. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants but enjoyed the food on the Lido and in the dining room. Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. We always arrive early and are one of the first few off the ship because we carry our luggage. The main shows with the singers and dancers were okay. The voices were very good, but some presentations were better than others. Our cabin was a verandah and roomy enough, however, wear and tear could be noted, especially in the bathroom (cracked sink, water temperature hard to manipulate). However, we knew the ship was ready for drydock so it didn't bother us. The Indonesian Show was excellent and a lot of fun. We were glad they scheduled it for the afternoon rather than late at night. The ports were excellent. Although we had been to Malaga and Cartagena before, we were able to see them with new eyes as we did different things than we did on our previous trip. Madeira was interesting and would have explored more if the weather was better. Definitely a place we would like to go back to. I would take this itinerary again and would love to cruise again on the OOsterdam with its promised upgrades. Read Less
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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