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Sail Date: April 2012
We were fairly impressed by the Oosterdam, in that it is a beautiful ship with nice decor. I expected it to be tacky from the other reviews but did not find it so. Everything looked very modern and functional. I especially like the ... Read More
We were fairly impressed by the Oosterdam, in that it is a beautiful ship with nice decor. I expected it to be tacky from the other reviews but did not find it so. Everything looked very modern and functional. I especially like the glass elevators on the outside of the ship that traveled between decks at midships. The pools are large and one could actually swim laps in them. The hot tubs were clean and generally warm but not really hot. The central pool deck covers when the weather is poor making it quite comfortable to sit at even when the weather doesn't cooperate. There were lots of nice nooks and crannies to sit and read in a sheltered area. The Lido deck has the different buffets: Entrees, Dessert, Drinks, Asian and Italian. This changes at the different meal times. We ate supper in the Vista Dining lounge and found the food to be excellent, and the service was doting. I felt it would have been nice to have a little more seafood such as lobster or crab but, nonetheless it was very tasty. The shows at night were entertaining, but not amazing. At least they try to entertain you so you have to give them some credit. I was not impressed by the activities because they seemed to be all about upselling you products rather than just giving you information or an activity to do. I was not please to find that they charged extra to use the steam rooms, hot pool and sauna- they wanted $100 for four days. This was included in the Carnival cruise. The port we stopped at was quite limited with very few activities unless you wanted to pay to do the usual whale watching, kayaking etc. Other than that we enjoyed ourselves. This would be a good cruise for just relaxing as long as you don't get bored to easily. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2010
This was our introduction to cruising, and we booked through a local Pacific NW travel agency. The deal seemed pretty good: about $1000 for two of us, including airfare from Seattle to San Diego, transfers from the airport to the pier, an ... Read More
This was our introduction to cruising, and we booked through a local Pacific NW travel agency. The deal seemed pretty good: about $1000 for two of us, including airfare from Seattle to San Diego, transfers from the airport to the pier, an upgraded stateroom with a veranda, and a chartered bus back from Vancouver to Seattle at the end of the trip. Check-in at the pier was completely painless. We arrived at the airport at about 2:30 and were onboard the Oosterdam by 3:30. Most of that time was waiting for our luggage at baggage claim at the airport. Our cabin was much more spacious than we had expected. It was immaculate (thanks, Sam and Jadi!), and very quiet. We never heard noises from the adjoining cabins. The good: the Oosterdam itself. It shows some wear in places (carpets a bit worn, some scuff marks from suitcases), but everything was very clean. The good: The mostly Indonesian crew were uniformly friendly, courteous, and very helpful. They seemed genuinely interested in helping. There's a cover over part of the aft pool deck, and twice I saw crew members up there cleaning it. The good: the food. Buffets can be hit-or-miss, but the Lido restaurant was uniformly top notch. The salad items were fresh, the entrees were tasty, and I'm STILL wondering how they can do scrambled eggs for 1,900 guests with such uniform high quality. We ate in the main dining room twice and were impressed both times. And we ate once in the Pinnacle Grill, and were REALLY impressed with the quality of the food and the service. The not-so-good: the weather sucked for a day and a half: force nine winds and 15-18 foot swells. I know the stabilizers were working overtime, but walking about was an adventure at times. The not-so-good: the bar prices. Drink prices were more expensive than in almost any cocktail lounge I've ever been in. Soft drinks were $2.00 each. The not-so-good: lines. There were lines for almost everything. Especially in the Lido restaurant at lunch. We struggled to find a table a couple of times. The ugly: our arrival in Vancouver. This was NOT Holland-America's fault. The Oosterdam arrived on a Saturday morning, shortly after the Zuiderdam, and just before a ship from NCL. So there were about 6,000 people trying to disembark all at about the same time. And there were ANOTHER 6,000 people simultaneously trying to get onboard. Combine that with the fact that this was the first cruise weekend in Vancouver, and the result was, to put it mildly, chaotic. We were 90 minutes late disembarking, it took 20-30 minutes to clear customs, and it took more than an hour for our chartered buses to arrive and pick us up. When our bus finally cleared the loading area, we could see that the line to get to embarkation went through the building, across the loading zone, up the sidewalk, and around the block. I didn't envy them, but at least it was sunny and warm. Because we were so late in getting on our bus, and because a few of the other passengers had flights to catch in Seattle, we drove straight through. So our last breakfast onboard had to last until dinner. The wife and I stopped at a Burger King not long after getting back in our car - quite a change from the luxury we'd grown accustomed to onboard. Will we cruise again? Definitely. But we'll think twice about disembarking in Vanouver on the first weekend of cruising season. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2007
This was our first cruise out of San Diego, and our 5th cruise with Holland America. Firstly, it was an absolute pleasure to sail from San Diego. The pier is a quick 1.5 miles from the airport, and Hertz shuttled us over at no cost. San ... Read More
This was our first cruise out of San Diego, and our 5th cruise with Holland America. Firstly, it was an absolute pleasure to sail from San Diego. The pier is a quick 1.5 miles from the airport, and Hertz shuttled us over at no cost. San Diego is a great place to explore, and next time I will schedule more time, but for this trip it was in the night before the cruise. I will start this review by telling you that I am not particularly fond of Holland America because the crowd is generally too old for me. I am 41, and my mother is 64. We tend to cruise together since dad passed so we compromise on selection of cruises. Holland America is ALWAYS a compromise for me because of the elderly crowd which it attracts. That being said, I was very happy with the speed of check-in which started at about 11:30AM. The ship had 940 passengers out of a possible 1980 so there was another reason to be happy. Upon boarding, we were not met with the normal white-gloved escorts, but told that we can leave our carry-ons in the lounge and proceed to the Lido for a buffet lunch as cabins would not be available until 1:30PM. So there was everyone, with luggage, sitting around the Lido waiting like caged animals. After all, your carry-on usually has the important stuff like jewelry, medicine, or laptops so who wants to leave it unattended? Upon entering our cabin (1049 on the Main Deck), we were VERY happily surprised. If you look at the deck plans for the Oosterdam, Westerdam, and Zuiderdam (all sister ships), you will see that the insides along the corridor between the Purser's Desk and the forward elevators appear to be double the size of the outsides across the hall. Why? BECAUSE THEY ARE! These are the cabins normally available to families, but they are regular J category so available to anyone! I highly recommend them. The steward told us they were 255 sq ft each. We immediately called an booked a spot at the Pinnacle Grille for the 3rd night of the cruise. Good thing we did because the service in the Vista Dining Room was HORRIBLE! DINING ROOM: As the ship was only half full, they decided to only use one level of the dining room and hold open seating for dinner from 6:00PM to 9:00PM. This was a HUGE mistake for a cruise line that advertises 5-star service. When you walked into the dining room, a Head Waiter with a laptop asked for your room number and then assigned you a table after he asked your preference- IE window, 2/4/6/8 seat table, etc. The problem was that they were seating people around the dining room in a haphazard manner. Therefore, when we were seated the first night, our waiter was serving dessert to the next table, mains to another, salads to a third while taking our order. It was completely confusing and out of sync to the waiters- and it showed in their service. It did not improve the entire cruise for lunch or dinner. After the first dinner, we spoke to the Head Waiter who apologized profusely, and promised us his best waiter the next night. The next afternoon, he sent a personal note an chocolate covered strawberries to the cabin. Nice touch, but service did not improve. Food was good but not extraordinary. Generally not hot in temperature and not seasoned all that well. Their fish dishes, however, were outstanding. On the last night, we ate in the Pinnacle Grille. We had done this on the Ryndam last May in Alaska and had a WONDERFUL time. The cover charge in May was $20pp and completely worth every penny. On the Oosterdam, the Pinnacle Grille was twice the size. Service was just as exceptional, but the Ribeye was chewy. When the check came, the cover charge was raised to $30pp. Given the meal quality, I was not as happy this time. In fact the Executive Chef was table hopping and I told him of my chewy steak, and he agreed that Holland America has not been receiving good Ribeyes from their supplier. So why serve them? He did nothing about the service charge for an uneaten steak, nor did they offer to replace it with something else. This experience was reflected on the survey at the end of the trip. Lido Dining on the first day was good, but we do not normally do buffets so I have no consistent experience. Entertainment was routine stuff- 2 reviews and one comedian. Disembarkation was horrible in Victoria, Canada. It was raining and the terminal is about the size of a 3 room house so the line extended about 300 feet out of the building in the rain. Bad planning, and the ship should have held people on until the line thinned, but they kept them coming off. Holland America bus transfer tot he airport was convenient, but we sat for 30 minutes waiting for the bus to fill up, but this happens at every port. Overall, we paid $172pp for a 3 night repositioning cruise, and I feel that I got good value, but was disappointed in the service level. While Holland America may not be MY first choice because of the older crowd, I do give them very high marks for service. Unfortunately, I did not see it on this cruise. As a point of interest, this ship was scheduled into a 2 week drydock at the end of our cruise to fix one of the Azipod engines and spruce up for the Alaska season. Would I take Holland America again? Sure. They sell service which I have definitely received in the past. The ship was very nice itself. 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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