Sail Date: December 2010
We have cruised Royal Carribean twice in the past on the same cruise 7 nights Mexican Rivera, same ports, Cabo, Puerta Vallarta, and Mazatlan-albeit in a different order this time. The children really liked RCL because of the rock ... Read More
We have cruised Royal Carribean twice in the past on the same cruise 7 nights Mexican Rivera, same ports, Cabo, Puerta Vallarta, and Mazatlan-albeit in a different order this time. The children really liked RCL because of the rock climbing, roller-blading and ice skating. They also liked the ocean club at RCL. Why did we switch this year? We went on Vision in 2008 and Mariner in 2009. We were going to book Mariner in 2010 but they their prices went up (stop discounting) and so we saved over 2000 dollars by booking Holland America. My wife and I also wanted a slower pace and wanted to try the reputation of HA for better food. They didn't disappoint. The MS Oosterdam was big enough for my crew of six children. We got two cabins one inside and one ocean view. Both were quad. What we liked about the MS Oosterdam and Holland America... 1) Superior food in all venues. RCL was good, HA better. 2) Fresh water swimming pools. Children did not like RCL pools because they had salt water in them. 3) Ping Pong tables superior on Oosterdam. Four tables compared to RCL having only 2 or 3. RCL tables on Vision and Mariner were very beat up. Oosterdam's tables were very good. We played alot of ping pong. However the competition on RCL was MUCH MUCH MUCH better in all age groups. Oosterdam lacked any competition. 4) Desserts were better on HA than RCL. 5) Theatre for movies was much better on HA than on RCL. Big problem: HA seating is limited in theatre (bigger than RCL) so you have to get there 30 min early or more to guarantee a seat. 6) Movie selection was much better on HA than RCL. All in theatre movies. 7) Superior library. 8) Much better BOARD GAME selection and great chess sets. 9) Calmer atmosphere and more sophisticated crowd on Oosterdam and HA. 10) Cooking demonstrations were interesting. 11) String quartet was very enjoyable throughout cruise. We like classical and tire of the RCL's steel drums...very repetitive and low-brow. 12) Much better cabins on Oosterday with beds being much more comfortable than RCL. Also flat screen TV's and dvd players in room. Both lacking in RCL. The children liked RCL's club a little bit better than HA's, but there were some up-sides to HA's HAL program. Adults can stick around if they want. Not too many children. We liked our cruise. Here is a summary of port experiences: 1) Mazatlan - Did Stone Island horseback riding, saved 50% by booking on internet rather than cruise line. Same exact tour operators. Avoid stone island, their horse back riding is painful and not fun. Instead do GINGER's horsebacking riding...about the same money much more comfortable and enjoyable, sign up via internet. We did it in 2009 it was better. Walked/ran mazatlan with two older children in the afternoon, about 2 miles roundtrip to church in old Mazatlan and back to port. Exciting. Don't linger could be dangerous. 2) Puerta Vallarta - best place for shopping for Mexican stuff at Wal-Mart good prices and selection. Then took local bus about 90 cents to town and back. Nothing to rave about here. 3) Cabo San Lucas - We snorkel annually at the public beach (hidden) for the locals which is very short walking distance from the terminal. Great view of fish. Very fun. Can see ships from beach and are actually at the same area as lessons for scuba diving so the fish are really good. And its free. Afternoon we walked around Cabo. Safe. All in all we liked Holland America. Children missed rock-climbing but other than that we really enjoyed the Oosterdam and will definitely cruise again if the price is right. My children are 13,12,10,7,5,3. Three boys and three girls. They enjoy cruising because of the food, activities and most of all time with parents on vacation. We don't do much apart from the children so can't comment on some aspects of the ship. We don't gamble, drink, or dance. It was alot of non-stop eating, ping-pong, chess, walk/running, snorkeling, swimming, movies etc. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
Observations and opinions. The Oosterdam is a perfect size. 3 laps around the promenade deck equaled one mile. Walking on this teak deck was a joy. The ship is in generally good condition, very clean with lovely lounges, bars, ... Read More
Observations and opinions. The Oosterdam is a perfect size. 3 laps around the promenade deck equaled one mile. Walking on this teak deck was a joy. The ship is in generally good condition, very clean with lovely lounges, bars, coffee shop, theater,and main dining room. The Lido pool deck area seemed in need of some updating and the red carpet on the spiral staircase in the Atrium needs to be replaced immediately, but overall the ship is lovely. My husband and I loved our verandah cabin. It was small, a little worn, but very efficiently laid out with good storage and a fantastically comfortable bed and of course the fabulous verandah. I had booked a VH guarantee with HAL, so was quite pleased with the location we were assigned, Deck 7, #7032. I thought the food was mostly very good, though opinions really varied about this among the passengers we met. Some thought it was very average to awful! We enjoyed the shows in the Vista Lounge. The lead singers of the production shows ( there were 3 of these shows,) a young married couple were amazingly good and the dancers were excellent. The sound system at times was too loud for me and I heard others also complain about this. My husband and I like to dance, ballroom and West Coast swing, and were able to do so every evening we wanted to in the Neptune Lounge. There were other couples who knew how to dance so we were not alone on the dance floor. The service workers work so hard and were usually gracious and friendly. At times there did not seem to be adequate staffing in the MDR and service was slow. I recommend making reservations for the As You Wish Dining if you don't want to wait for a table. There were rough seas from the time we left Cabo San Lucas on Thursday evening until we docked in San Diego Saturday morning. The ship was rocking and rolling. I did not like this constant motion. Luckily neither my husband nor I got seasick but we heard of others who did. Despite rough seas, a little worn carpeting etc., we had a wonderful time and appreciate how very fortunate we were to be able to spend a week on the MS Oosterdam!!! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2010
I'll try to keep it simple by listing all the significant positives and negatives of HAL. Hits: - excellent service from the room stewards. They are amazing. - Barnaby, the comedian Kevin Jordan and the magician Joseph ... Read More
I'll try to keep it simple by listing all the significant positives and negatives of HAL. Hits: - excellent service from the room stewards. They are amazing. - Barnaby, the comedian Kevin Jordan and the magician Joseph Tran were all great to watch, with a special mention to Barnaby for being very, very entertaining - great selection of food in the lido and the main dining room - very good enrichment programs in the form of culinary demonstrations, computer skills classes, and lifestyle classes - good selection of movies that can be delivered straight to your room for free Misses: - the dancers/swingers were painful to watch. The shows were much too repetitive, lacking storylines and they made up the bulk of the showtime entertainment unfortunately. - strange rotten egg smell in random parts of the ship at random times - the ship creaked relentlessly. Not very confidence inspiring. Also, it was a smaller ship so the swaying was quite uncomfortable for a while. - one of two hot tub pools in the adult pool area didn't function the entire cruise. The three hot tubs in the family pool area worked and were frequently occupied by kids splashing water at each other. Fun. - movies sometimes took too long to be delivered. - movie screening room was too small. It was often full 15 minutes before the movie started. - food was horrible. Bland and soft describes it all. The lobster was mush. All the steak were way too soft and bland. Ugh. Lido food wasn't bad. - food servers in the lido don't listen to you. You can ask for 1 strip of bacon and consistently get 4 on your plate instead. - ping pong tables were in disrepair by the end of the cruise. I blame the kids. They were also set up on the outside deck for half the cruise, making playing actually impossible due to wind. They smartened up and put two near the lido pool later. - some scheduled activities were cancelled unexpectedly without announcement either. No ice sculpting or adult pool games. Thanks for the headsup JT. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
GOODBYE MATZALAN HELLO MANZANILLO Our 7 day Oosterdam cruise started off on a very easy note. We drove from the Palm Springs area & arrived at the Aladdin parking lot at 10:30 am. We were ready to go to the port right away, but ... Read More
GOODBYE MATZALAN HELLO MANZANILLO Our 7 day Oosterdam cruise started off on a very easy note. We drove from the Palm Springs area & arrived at the Aladdin parking lot at 10:30 am. We were ready to go to the port right away, but they told us that the port wouldn't let them drop us off until 11am. Once another couple showed up 5 minutes later, they decided to take us (I guess 3 people on the bus weren't enough!) At the port, a porter with a wheelchair whisked us from the sidewalk to the port, an another took us to the check-in to the ship. We received an invitation to the Mariners' luncheon in the Vista Dining room. The service was slow, but the food was great, and it was relaxing to sit down instead of fighting through lines on the Lido Deck. By 11:30, an announcement came over the speakers that our cabins were ready, and we could hear a cheer from all over the ship! Our cabin was a Veranda suite near the aft elevators, and it was nice to have the fresh air. We had 2 twins & a pull out sofa for me to sleep on. When pulled out, it was hard to open the cooler, but it was great to have a place to keep milk & cookies for the evening. Love the bathtub! We received our Captain's Brunch invitation in the basket outside the door, and planned on a light breakfast with cabin service. Then came the announcement. Due to the violence in MATZALAN, our 2 sea days before PV were changed to one sea day, then stops in Cabo, PV, and then a new port, MANZANILLO! The brunch was moved to Thursday, the same day as our second Formal night. The clocks moved ahead twice during the cruise. As we arrived in Cabo, a pod of Dolphins & school of Whales were there to great us. I took off to find the Banner Wave, exploring the small casino, lounges, and theater along the way. I was very pleased to find plenty of quiet places to sit & read around the ship, but disappointed to find that the entertainment in those lounges was limited to after 5pm (many other cruises, it was scattered through the ships starting in mid-afternoon). The Neptunes were a great easy listening trio, with a variety of modern songs. In the Piano Bar, we played Name that Tune with Jim, who had a great personality. The Adagio Strings in the Explorers Bar were very soft & melodic. Most of the ship was comfortable, but the Main Deck, and lower level of the theater were Very chilly. The first night, people around me were wondering why they didn't bring a blanket. If you went even a few rows back, it warmed up considerably. The stage had elevators to raise & lower sections of the stage to different levels. FOOD: Great, but I was disappointed in the variety of cold soups available. I was pleased to discover that chocolate croissants were available daily on the Lido deck, and not just in the MDR. Rack of Lamb, Lobster, and lasagna were great, and fruit was plentiful. Royal Dutch High Tea was offered buffet style with lemon & strawberry tarts, chocolate dipped strawberries, fruit tarts, Eclairs, and other sweets. A selection of teas was offered at the tables. The rest of the week, a sit-down tea was served, with tea & sweets brought to the tables. On Friday, mini-cupcakes were substituted for the sweets. On Thursday, a desert buffet with ice sculptures, fruit kabobs with white or milk chocolate fountains, & various cakes & tarts from the teas were offered. The chefs were presented in a parade. The chefs dinner was presented Friday night in the MDR & reservations were requested. A ballet presented by the wait-staff was offered with a presentation of napkins & a mousse on bread, then a Swing dance was offered with the Salad. The Duck l'Orange was delicious, and you had your choice of a semi-baked Alaska (meringue over ice-cream with a bit of cake) or other deserts (I had the flourless cake with raspberry sauce -it was very similar to the chocolate melting cake on Carnival). There was also a rib barbecue on the Lido deck, which I did not participate in (that was the only night crème Brule was served in the MDR, and I didn't want to miss it!). As a disabled person, I was disappointed in the seating we were given in the MDR, being forced to the back of the room, when there were empty tables up front. They then took my walker away, & I had to search to find it. We chose Own Time Dining, but if you don't make a reservation, they will make one for you- we were given a very unacceptable 7pm time one night, which we cancelled & used the Lido deck instead. The Captain's brunch was elegant with a very limited menu and a very talkative Captain, who had a great personality and a fun sense of humor. ENTERTAINMENT: The daily activities were very limited- one Trivia contest a day, except on the day we our schedule was changed & they announced a morning Trivia before we got to a mid-day Cabo arrival). There were 2 day-time Name that Tune (70's - not Disco, and Broadway), with am evening Name that Tune in the Piano Bar, which was fun. Cruise Director TJ Watters handled the games with grace, humor & style, & showed many other talents throughout the cruise. DJ Matt handled Bingo & daytime Name that Tune, as well as a poorly attended Karaoke, but I couldn't really get a handle on his personality. The Karaoke selection book was on a hard to operate computer system, and you cannot bring your own discs. There was a great selection of movies on DVD for rent, but no descriptions of the movies. Films in the Screening room ranged from the Oscar nominated Inception to the Spy- movie send-up Night & Day. These movies were also shown on TV (very limited cable station entertainment- TCM, Cartoon, TNT, Fox & CNN News & 2 Sports channels). Evening shows featured a very talented cast of singers & dancers in three production shows (backed by the HALCATS) , Magician Johnny Tran, and Joel Mason, in a tribute to Elton John and lots of comedy dialogue between. The Finale on Fri night brought back all the performers in a great jam session, where everyone displayed other talents. All in All, it was a very smooth crossing, no accidents, & a new port added spice to the usual MR cruise.. [url]http://s809.photobucket.com/albums/zz18/ccruisequeen717/HAL%20DAILY%20EXPLORERS%20JAN%2011/[/url] Scans of Daily Explorer Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We were married in September and took the Jan.8-15 7-night Mexican Riviera Cruise for our honeymoon. It was my first cruise and my wife's third. We flew into San Diego around 11am and were warmly greeted by name by the staff. They ... Read More
We were married in September and took the Jan.8-15 7-night Mexican Riviera Cruise for our honeymoon. It was my first cruise and my wife's third. We flew into San Diego around 11am and were warmly greeted by name by the staff. They directed us outdoors to a nice full-sized tour bus. We boarded the bus, and since we were the first to board the bus we sat in the front seats and waited for the other passengers. After waiting about two minutes, the driver hopped in and off we went, the only ones on the entire bus! --So far so good, but I had heard nightmare stories about boarding, long lines, etc. Perhaps because we were early, there was no nightmare, and we were checked in and on board our ship all in less then fifteen minutes. We booked a Superior Veranda Suite and it was wonderful. Jetted tub, separate shower, twin sinks, tons of closet space and plenty of drawers, and the best part of it was the balcony itself. I cannot imagine going on any cruise (and never will) without having a deck. I have done a great deal of traveling and found this to be one of the most favorable and memorable vacations I've ever spent. I seriously cannot think of any single thing or occurrence regarding this ship that would make me want to choose a different cruise line. To be grossly picayune, the ice buckets are quite small and calling room service sometimes resulted in a long wait. Finally, after figuring out where they kept the ice machine, it became much quicker and easier for me to simply walk a few steps down the hall and get it myself instead of waiting for someone to bring it. The only other negative thing I can think of was their special night of Le Cirque, the restaurant offering at a special rate. The meal was certainly excellent, but I paid extra for the wine pairing and I was shocked when they brought a very heavy and sharp Bordeaux to accompany my Halibut. We ordered coffee with dessert, but it was not served until after the creme brulee. It may seem like a small thing, but for a world-class establishment such as Le Cirque, those were glowing errors. Conversely, dining at the Pinnacle Grill was equal to or even better than the Le Cirque experience. The hostess at the Pinnacle was top-notch. On our first time there, we were brought to the back of restaurant and seated next to a table of ten, with little children present. When the hostess showed us our table, she caught the look of utter disappointment in my wife's eye and before we even said a word, asked us if we wished to be seated elsewhere. That's true professionalism in action. The Lido was excellent for wonderful breakfasts and lunches and the midnite buffet contained food presentations that were stunning. We paid extra for spa treatments and massages, facials, and the use of the steam, sauna and hydro-pool, and it was worth every penny; highly recommendable. The Promenade Deck runs all the way around the ship, which is perfect for long walks or jogs, and I found that not all ships have that available. The bars? All very good, although the sports bar could've benefited from a few more TV's, but that's probably because it was during the NFL playoffs, and that attracts a fairly good crowd. Suffice to say, everything about this trip was nearly perfect, and by the time it ended, my wife and I were nearly heartbroken at having it come to an end. From start to finish HAL showed us a very good time and wonderful hospitality. I recommend them highly. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
very good time was had on this trip as we live close to san diego---this is a no-brainer--- embarkation the fastest ever for me- luggage drop off to lunch in dining room- like 20 minutes !!! great----cabin and ship in good clean ... Read More
very good time was had on this trip as we live close to san diego---this is a no-brainer--- embarkation the fastest ever for me- luggage drop off to lunch in dining room- like 20 minutes !!! great----cabin and ship in good clean condition--good whale watching--- saw 6 at different times--- ate in the Pinnicle grill---best waiter ever---"Rocky--" food great as expected--- dining room a little iffy at breakfast time---slow and lukewarm at best---all workers very friendly-always a smile and eye contact--- only glitch was final night dinner--a special presentation--- sorta a fixed menu--- it was o.k. BUT , the blaring, way- too- loud music and the silliest parade of waiters dancing around trying to throw our napkins in our laps--- needless to say on the table, in the butter, etc.--- well a little too much memory for the final nites gala remembrance---- otherwise a very enjoyable time was had!!!!!! PLEASE STOP THE SMOKING ON VERANDAS-------WE WILL CONSIDER THIS IN FUTURE PLANS Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We had an SC guarantee and got upgraded to an SA, which we have had before so no surprises there. We got to the pier at 12:15, parked and was on the ship and in the Lido by 12:45, very smooth boarding. The use of the Neptune Lounge is ... Read More
We had an SC guarantee and got upgraded to an SA, which we have had before so no surprises there. We got to the pier at 12:15, parked and was on the ship and in the Lido by 12:45, very smooth boarding. The use of the Neptune Lounge is always a treat; if you need any paperwork completed, print out of stateroom charges, change of money, etc. they are there for you. Also, the disembarkation was a breeze. I will start with the negatives first (not many). I have sailed on this ship 3 times previously. The ship is very worn; carpets, furniture, towels. My sheets (in a suite) had holes in them and I requested they be changed which they were right away. Ali was a very good room steward. The food up in the Lido was not up to Hollands standards at all, no changes daily, same food every day, with the exception of whatever roast they were serving; not much flavor with any of the food. They did not serve any Mexican food other than the taco bar out by the pool. That was the only negatives I experiences on this voyage. On the positive side, the crew still goes out of their way to accommodate you and tries to remember everyone's name. The food in the dining room was good with a large variety on the menu and our dining room attendants, Usman and his assistant were fabu. They tried to anticipate our every need prior to us asking after the first night. I was a little apprehensive going to Mexico, but did not notice anything different from 2009, other than a lot of Police carry machine guns around town. I will sail with Holland again; however, I think I will avoid the Oosterdam until they decide to refurbish her which she is need of. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Pre-Cruise: We flew to San Diego on Friday morning January 21st and the hotel picked us up at the airport at 8:30am. We stood at the Courtyard by Marriot San Diego Old Towne in San Diego. The hotel allowed me to check in early as I ... Read More
Pre-Cruise: We flew to San Diego on Friday morning January 21st and the hotel picked us up at the airport at 8:30am. We stood at the Courtyard by Marriot San Diego Old Towne in San Diego. The hotel allowed me to check in early as I called in advance. The Hotel was nice, the staff where excellent however the rooms were older looking and need some remodeling. We went to the San Diego ZOO and the Hotel's shuttle drops off guests at 9:30am and picks them up at the ZOO at 4:30pm. Nice perk because I didn't have to rent a car!! This was plenty of time because it allowed my husband and I enough time to walk through the entire zoo. The Baby Panda was our favorite. The shuttle then picked us up right at 4:30pm and brought us back to the hotel. There are so many restaurants within a 5 minute walking period. We decided to eat at Cafe Coyote's; it's a nice Mexican restaurant. They had happy hour when we arrived which was nice. The next morning we decided to have the breakfast buffet at the hotel and then they shuttled us to the Cruise Port by 10:45am. The cruise begins: We arrived at the San Diego Cruise Port and not many passengers where there, we were guided right into the building and walked right up to the luggage porter who was so pleasant; he took our bags and instructed us where to go. We then were able to check in, the lines where short and then we sat for a while (30 minutes) by this time it was about 11:30am. I was handed a special luncheon invitation for the main dining room at NOON which was a first for us. This is our 3rd Holland America cruise so I was already excited about cruising again, this just made my day because I was not really looking forward to eating lunch on the LIDO as most do on embarkation day. They called our grouping number; we took our standard photo and began to board the ship. Absolutely seamless, we then stopped at the front desk to order the "Unlimited Laundry" package. The best investment anyone can make for $49.00 for the entire week of laundry. We then stopped at the Maitre D's area right outside the dining room and confirmed our seating for two (1st seating) and made reservations to eat at the "Canaletto" restaurant (which is complimentary) that evening and then the "Pinnacle Grille" ($20.00 PP) on Monday evening. The Maitre D was our Dining room Maitre D, his name was Osman he is from Turkey a very pleasant person always went out of his way to say hello whenever he saw us. After we made our reservations we headed into the dining room to eat a nice lunch and some fresh rolls. I almost forgot how good and fresh they are YUM. After lunch we headed to our cabin which was 6035 Upper Verandah Balcony, it was a nice location as it was very close to stairs and elevators. We used the stairs quite a bit so we can walk off all those dinner rolls ? On deck 9 was the Lido; SPA; GYM and deck 10 the Cafe Promenade and library. After we dropped off some carryon luggage we walked around a bit and then attended the life vest drill at 4:15pm. Something new that we experienced was that we no longer had to wear the life vest to the drill which was a pleasant surprise. Our luggage soon arrived and we were able to unpack our clothes and then go to dinner at Canaletto for 5:30pm. The Canaletto restaurant is located on the LIDO deck they have a small section blocked off. The atmosphere was pretty nice however I was a bit disappointed with the food. I think I was expecting the quality of Italian food found at Sabatini's Italian restaurant on Princess Cruises. The food was a bit bland and lacked flavor. Hubby ordered Lasagna and he was not impressed, I ordered the Linguini Fruitti Di Mare which is a pasta dish with seafood. It lacked spices and tasted more like a jar white sauce. If I had to pay to eat here I would have been really disappointed so I'm glad it was complimentary. At least we can say we tried it. We decided not to see a show this evening as we were tired and called it a night. Sunday through Friday we made it a goal to hit the gym from 6am-7:30 we needed to make sure to get our exercise in as we knew we would be eating good food the entire week. The gym is a good size with about 8-10 treadmills some elliptical and bikes and a few stair master climbers and two Cybex machines. They also had several cable machines to lift weights as well as a section where you can use free weights. It suited our needs for the entire week and was clean. Our wait staff in the dining room was good; our waiters were Suby and Lilik two young men who worked very hard. Service was a little slow the first few nights but they seemed to have a lot of tables to wait on compared to others. So we were patient and gave them the benefit of the doubt. After the 2nd evening it picked up and the service was very good the rest of the week. As you exit the dining room if you would like one of those small mints or dried fruit, the young man name Jetro is glad to hand you some as long as you sing with him. He was funny and it didn't matter whether you could hold a tune or not. The first formal night was Sunday 1/23 and we noticed an 8x11 sign posted outside the dining room. It said for formal attire men MUST wear a jacket otherwise they will not be permitted to enter. I was a bit nervous because this was the one cruise I decided to ease up on our dress code. In the previous 7 cruises hubby always wears a Tux and I wear a gown. I have seen many couples wear nice business casual attire such as dress slacks and a dress shirt for men and a pants suit for woman so I decided let me dress down a bit on this cruise. . I have read on previous posts that some have decided to dress down a bit during formal night this is why I thought I would try it - Big Mistake. I approached our Maitre D Osmon during lunch on Sunday and informed him of my concern as I did not want to be turned away at the door. He said "don't worry about it I have extra jackets". As we entered the dining room that evening we were stopped and informed "sir you need a jacket to eat in the dining room tonight" and thank goodness Osmon was right there with a spare jacket for hubby to wear. As we sat down for dinner I noticed a handful of other men that did not have a jacket. I wondered where they stopped at the door, they were allowed in, where they embarrassed at the door? I can tell you I was and it taught me a lesson that I will always bring a jacket for hubby on future cruises no matter what. Back to the positives: Our cabin stewards were Mo and Jam Jam - these two guys are like Ninja's. We never saw them; they knew our routine perfectly while we were at breakfast they would make up our room and when we were at dinner they would make up the room again. EXCELLENT SERVICE from these two. Every day I left a bag of laundry with the slip and many times it would be returned the same evening or very next morning folded and shirts; pants on hangers neatly pressed. The paperwork states it may take up to 48 hrs to get your clothes back but the turnaround time here was at times 12 hours which was fantastic. It was worth every single penny for this service. Again thanks to reading blogs on cruise critics I would have not known how good this service was. Every morning hubby and I would eat breakfast in the dining room as we really don't care for the Lido buffet. I noticed a big difference in the breakfast menu where Holland has such a great variety this time around. The menu is the same every day but they added so many options to choose from such as the Dutch breakfast; Japanese breakfast; English breakfast etc. They were all very good and we were served timely and the food was never cold. Several days we ordered the fresh fruit parfait which has Greek yogurt in case anyone is wondering. We ate lunch in the LIDO twice during two port days (Cabo and Puerto Vallarta) because they closed the Dining Room. I was disappointed in this because the variety at lunch was not very good, an example is the outdoor grill the burgers they serve are overcooked and the fries where not tasty. If anyone from HAL is reading this please allow sit down lunches for port days in the dining room. On Sunday we received an announcement during lunch from our Captain stating that we WILL NOT port in Mazatlan due to the increased violence there. Holland America has decided to remove that port off their itinerary and replace it with Manzanillo. I was not upset about the change cause I'd rather be safe than sorry. I appreciated the fact that HAL is taking precautions for their passengers. On the port days we stood on the ship as this is my 4th time to the Mexican Riviera we have gone on the islands many times and decided to just relax which we had a wonderful restful week doing. We read several good books and found many great locations to read quietly. The Crows Nest is a great place to go, the Promenade Cafe is a bit small but nice to grab a cup of coffee. We did purchase a few coffees during the week but truthfully the coffee in the dining room is the same if not better. The coffee in the LIDO is not good as its instant and weak coffee which we don't like. We also found that during the day the Explorers Lounge is a great place to sit and read. On one of the days they had High Tea in the Explorers lounge at 3pm. Not many showed up but the tea, scones and cream/jelly where delicious. We attended another High tea earlier in the week and that was in the Main Dining room they served small sandwiches, lots of unique pastries and many varieties of tea. Another nice improvement I noticed on this 3rd time on HAL was that the entertainment has gotten much better. The HAL singers and dancers where all very good and they put on a great performance on the two nights we saw them. The illusionist "Joseph Tran" was very funny and cracked us up as he added a lot of comedy to his show. He also gave us a treat and had a matinee show later in the week. They had an Elton John impersonator his name is John Mason and he dressed up in different costume attire and sang very well. He was a riot as he kept many of us laughing during his show. He deserves two thumbs up as he was truly excellent - he received a standing ovation. Prior to cruising on this ship again I read up on the changes the Oosterdam had from my previous cruise almost 3 years ago to Alaska. They now have a beverage card you can purchase for $90.00 and its worth $100.00. This is truly worth it because we were able to use this during Happy Hour which is 4:30-5:30pm Sunday-Friday in the Ocean Bar. They also give you complimentary appetizers with your beverage. I not talking about just peanuts but good appetizers you don't even get in the dining room such as Chinese Egg rolls with sauce, sweet mushroom in a flaky puff; teriyaki beef on a skewer. The Happy Hour special is 2 for 1 so if you buy two Margarita's they only charge your card for one drink. We also noticed a room called the "Screening Room" this is a really nice movie theatre, it has about 20 leather chairs but they are really big and comfortable and they actually lean back quite a bit. There is plenty of room to put a beverage down as each chair has a little table attached to it and they also make fresh popcorn for every movie. They have little popcorn baggies you can grab and eat while watching the movie. They had a lot of movies that just came out on Video such as SALT; Wall Street Money Never Sleeps; Inception; Oceans and many others. We took the opportunity to see Oceans and Money never sleeps. We ate dinner at the Pinnacle Grille on Monday evening and our waiter was Rocky he was excellent. Hubby had the Rib Eye which he said melted in his mouth. I had a few bites and it was really good. I ordered the Lobster with butter. For our soups we both had the lobster bisque which was very good and loaded with real lobster chunks. The breadsticks; flatbread and rolls where all fresh and delicious. As you read this review you can tell we love bread...thus the reason for exercising every day ? . We were allowed to bring in our beverages we just purchased from the Happy Hour and bring them into the Pinnacle Grille which was nice. For desert we ordered the Crème Brule, the only downside is that you can't just have the vanilla it comes with coffee; vanilla and chocolate which I don't really care for. We walked away stuffed but indeed satisfied. Well worth the $20.00 per person. On Thursday we were invited to attend the Luncheon for past mariners in the Main dining room. They had a set menu that had several options you could choose from for your salad/soup and entrEe. The Captain thanked all of us for sailing HAL and reviewed how the Mariner Program works and what you receive for cruising so many number of days. They offered complimentary Red and White wine to go with our lunch. Nice touch HAL - at the end of lunch when we left the dining room we all received a little gift and it was another Tile (coaster) which I will add to my collection. That was a nice surprise as I previously read in one of the cruise critic posts that they had done away with the tiles. That is not the case because they are still giving them out on the Oosterdam. The dinners in the dining room where good some evenings and excellent others. We found that on Wednesday night the evening before the second formal night they had King Crab legs on the menu. Can you say "I'd like two orders please" We indeed ordered two servings as we knew the portion size would be small. It was very good and tasty. They were not salty and it had the right spices added to the broth with potatoes. Deserts were pretty good, I felt that HAL lacked here a bit here compared to previous cruises. The standard deserts like your ice cream parfaits are good but the watermelon pie with a dark chocolate crust was not good at all. The Crème Brule in the dining room was mushy and the sugar crust was watery. There was no comparison between the dining room Crème Brule and the Pinnacle Grille Crème Brule. With that said on the last evening when they had baked Alaska, that was delicious and well worth the wait. The only issue I had on this cruise was how HAL handles disembarkation for their passengers. This process really lacks structure and it is not fair to make 1500+ passengers wait to leave the ship until all Non-US Citizens go to the Vista Lounge and go thru Customs. They must have called the same 5 people over the intercom to please come to the Vista Lounge and check in. Because these passengers did not pay attention to specific instructions to be in the Lido at 7am they inconvenienced almost the entire ship of passengers. We were delayed 45 minutes from disembarking the ship. They really need to change their policy and procedures on this. We were so nervous we were going to miss our flight home because I had planned for early disembarkation at 8:30am but we didn't get off till 9:15am. Thankfully we were able to breeze through customs and grab a cab ride for $10.00 to the airport and arrived within 10 minutes so we were good. Overall this 7 day cruise was very good and we will continue to sail HAL in the future. We had a well rested week and where able to come home refreshed. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Overall, this was a relaxing cruise and we enjoyed ourselves. We had only cruised on Princess prior to this, but decided to give HA a try. However, we are not sure if HA is our "style" and overall prefer Princess. Hits ... Read More
Overall, this was a relaxing cruise and we enjoyed ourselves. We had only cruised on Princess prior to this, but decided to give HA a try. However, we are not sure if HA is our "style" and overall prefer Princess. Hits Once inside the terminal building, embarkation was quick and efficient. Disembarkation was orderly. Evening entertainment was good. We especially liked the HAL singers and dancers who showed a lot of professionalism, and the quality of the choreography was very good. Food in the dining room for the most part was excellent, and service very good. Food was cooked well, nice presentation, and good variety. Loved the library and internet facilities. Dining room and cabin staff were warm and friendly. We had no difficulty getting lounge chairs in the sun, perhaps since most of the ship's activities are held in the interior of the ship. Misses Embarkation baggage. On the dock, we were not advised that we were responsible for throwing our bags ourselves into the tubs going to the ship, resulting in a large crowd milling around unsure of what to do. On board, the elevator lobby areas were scenes of chaos as the room stewards tried to sort through piles of luggage to deliver them to cabins. Lido dining room. This was a huge source of frustration. The Lido reminded us of a shopping mall food court with all the stations clustered back to back in the middle. At breakfast you might join the throngs, walk around the entire area to check out each station to see what appeals to you. (Since they don't change the menu, you only need to do this for a couple of days) You decide on eggs, toast, fruit and coffee. You stand in line for fruit, then search out a table. Since you don't have a tray, leave the fruit on the table while you go for the next course. Stand in line for toast, then stand in the eggs line, take your food back to the table. Then stand in line for coffee and juice. Back you go to your table, only to discover that either your food is now cold, or they've cleared the table thinking you had abandoned your food. Yes, you can eat in the Vista dining room, but we tried that once and waited almost an hour for a simple lukewarm breakfast to be served in an almost empty dining room. Perhaps room service is the best option. Having been on Princess a couple of times, we have to say we strongly prefer the Princess delivery of buffet food which serves in a more accessible area, with serving staff providing coffee and juice. The buffet food on both is good, but not outstanding. No self laundry or ironing facilities. I'll think twice about booking on a ship without self laundry and the ability to do a quick press of the formal gear. Location of the closets in the cabin. The closets are in the hallway right inside the door, across from the bathroom. You can't enter the cabin, go in and out of the bathroom, or have more than one person in the closet area. Princess locates the closet at right angles to the hallway which makes it much more accessible. The ship has many small intimate lounges which can be nice. However, the downside is that the interior space felt cramped and crowded, and at times we felt like cattle being herded down the shoots. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
Let me begin by saying I am fairly easy to please and really don't like negativity. That being said, I have to say I started my cruise in the latter state!! Upon entering the room it had a slightly musty smell. I discovered the shower ... Read More
Let me begin by saying I am fairly easy to please and really don't like negativity. That being said, I have to say I started my cruise in the latter state!! Upon entering the room it had a slightly musty smell. I discovered the shower curtains were a little mildewy. I located our cabin steward and within MINUTES our curtain were changed. Wow! Great way to start the cruise. This was our second cruise with Holland America. If you are looking for a young crowd of fellow travelers, this one isn't for you. I would guess the average age is about 55+. That is one reason we love sailing with Holland. We don't have to dodge a million children or deal with young adults that drink too much! There are the same activities offered as on all cruises so you're not missing out on a thing. The Oosterdam is an older ship Holland has. It has been well maintained. The staff on board was great. Extremely friendly all the time. Loved it. The food was just what you would expect on a cruise ship. There was a good variety of things and it was tasty. I highly recommend eating at The Pinnacle Grill one evening. The $20 per person charge is well worth it. I had a 10 oz. fillet that melted in my mouth. Yummy! The Canneletto restaurant is good, too. There is no additional charge for that but I would suggest making reservations for all your extra dining times early, even before boarding, if possible. The same with shore excursions. We walked around Cabo San Lucas and took in the sites. We got off the beaten path and ate at Loco Miguel's for lunch. Great food and wonderful margaritas! In Puerto Vallarta we took the Whale Watching tour through Vallarta Adventures. It was fantastic. We saw many whales, dolphins, and manta rays. I wouldn't recommend the snorkeling part unless you know before entering the water that the water will be clear! The food and drink offered on the way back to shore was good and the dancing was fun. If you have time in Puerto Vallarta ask the cab driver to take you to the Marina restaurant row. There are several restaurants there that are tasty.....Mr. Jack's (Mexican food) and a seafood restaurant right next door to that. I can't remember the name, but there is a blue awning over it! Also, Andolade and El Dorado restaurants in downtown Puerto Vallarta are wonderful. Manzanillo found us walking the downtown area. It is a very poor town, but the people were friendly. I can't say enough nice things about Holland America. We love them, look forward to sailing with them again, and highly recommend them to all of our friends. I hope this helps you as you make your decision to cruise. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!! Bon Voyage!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2011
Embarkation couldn't have been easier. Less than 10 minutes from parking lot to room. Room was spacious enough with a large window. We had an issue with the bathroom that took too long to fix. Once management was involved they ... Read More
Embarkation couldn't have been easier. Less than 10 minutes from parking lot to room. Room was spacious enough with a large window. We had an issue with the bathroom that took too long to fix. Once management was involved they rectified and handled it appropriately. Being close to casinos and lounge was a concern but we did not hear noise at all from either. Worst noise were the kids that were on board. Presidents week so more than usual. Not an annoyance as we are grandparents and understand. I felt the mix of young and old was fine. Food was better than other cruises I have been on. I would like to see them spice it up a bit more. We missed making reservations the last night and had to buffet it. One of the best meals we had. Go figure! I read in a previous review that the crew seemed a bit detached. I tend to agree. Alcohol policy good and prices on board were better than others. In summary I would use Holland again depending on itinerary and price. Less days at sea the better. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
We sailed Jan 15-22,2011...our fourth with HAL, and 18th overall. We flew into San Diego the night before and stayed at the Bay Club Hotel & Marina. We chose it mainly because it had comp. air & cruise shuttles, however the ... Read More
We sailed Jan 15-22,2011...our fourth with HAL, and 18th overall. We flew into San Diego the night before and stayed at the Bay Club Hotel & Marina. We chose it mainly because it had comp. air & cruise shuttles, however the airport shuttle stops at 11pm so we missed it by 5 min. The breakfast buffet was included and very nice, and they did take us personally to the cruise terminal the next morning. We arrived at B St. pier at 10:40am and gave our luggage directly to the porters. The pier staff were very helpful and friendly, and it was suggested we check in right away as there was absolutely no line up. So we got our cruise cards and headed out to enjoy a little of San Diego before we boarded. An easy walk next to the ship is the Maritime Museum which we thoroughly enjoyed. We picked up some wine then boarded about 1:45pm, again no lineup at all. We went directly to our stateroom, superior veranda suite, beautiful mid-ship location and easy walk to elevators etc. Nice big veranda with a table,two chairs, and two wicker lounge chairs with a foot rest to share. Everything was in great shape and loads of storage for three people. The double sinks in the bathroom and separate shower/jetted tub were a nice treat and the Elemis bath products. The wine and beer we had ordered online was waiting for us, however there was no bottle opener and it took several days of asking everyone possible to get one. So if you want to enjoy your wine on your balcony, remember your bottle opener! Our wonderful cabin steward ended up loaning us his own personal one. You would think HAL would have a case load of dollar store cork screws for guests who order wine from them? Just a heads up for you there folks...the one and only hiccup we experienced. We found the ship had many small, intimate lounges which made it not feel so big. The staff was always smiling and friendly. The food was awesome in the main dining room which made us not so impressed by the Pinnacle Grill the one night we ate there. We enjoyed the Canaletto which seemed like one of the best kept secrets on board, you have to try it at least once! I liked the set up at the Lido restaurant with the different stations, line ups never got very long at all, pizza was good and the taco bar by the pool. The pool at the back of the ship is adult only and never got too full, fresh towels were always available but did notice a lot of used towels lying around on the chairs etc. We went to several shows in the main show lounge. The singers and dancers were just your generic song & dance shows,not too thrilling. The guitarist/Eagles impressionist was very good. We were happy with all the ports, Mazatlan and Cabo were our favorites. Puerto Vallarta seemed very busy with traffic/pollution etc. We were so happy that HAL has got their tender boat process down to an art, we didn't have to wait even 10 minutes to tender to shore in Cabo. Some ships we've been on have been over 2.5 hour wait to catch a tender boat, so hats off to the Oosterdam there! In Mazatlan we took a taxi to the Hotel Playa Mazatlan for the day, $20 per person to use their facilities and it goes towards your food & drink.Our daughter enjoyed the ceramics and we found it so clean and friendly! In Cabo we took a whale watching boat tour with Pez Gato out past the arches etc. which was really fun, and we saw three whales pretty close. Overall, we had a very relaxing, enjoyable cruise, wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone, nice variety of ages on board too. Loved our balcony breakfasts, one morning we were scenic cruising at Bahia Magdalena, when four dolphins skipped past us and whales were spouting along the shore...one of those unforgettable moments! Will definitely sail with Holland America again! Had a great time meeting everyone at our Cruise Critic meeting! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
This was on 2nd cruise, first on HAL. I'll review the cruise in sections below. Embarkation Got to the port about 11:00 on Saturday. Showed our boarding passes and IDs a few times, dropped our bags and sat down on benches ... Read More
This was on 2nd cruise, first on HAL. I'll review the cruise in sections below. Embarkation Got to the port about 11:00 on Saturday. Showed our boarding passes and IDs a few times, dropped our bags and sat down on benches to wait. Very quick process. About 11:30 they started calling the groups. We were Group 2. Went to the Lido to wait until rooms were ready. We were surprised that they announced rooms were ready at about 12:15. Public Rooms To me, the public rooms' decor seems dated and tacky. Cabin We had an aft deluxe verandah. Room was ok, but also old and dated. Bed was comfortable, until you roll over to the middle crack. Bathroom was small, but sufficient. Balcony was usually wet. Limited viewing options on the tv. Refrigerator in the room was nice for drinks. We would hear the chairs being moved a little, but not a big deal. Fitness and Recreation Tried to go to the gym a few times, but it was always busy at the times we went in the morning. Probably an off time you would be able to use the equipment. We bought the spa package for the week, which we used a lot. It was quiet and peaceful there. A few things that were annoying were how the pool would turn off in 15 minutes and you had to get out of the pool to turn it on. Also, walking from the pool to the heated chairs/steam room was awkward. And of course, there could be some chair hogs and there are only 6 chairs. But we were definitely glad to have a nice place to relax and unwind. Enrichment N/A Rates I work for an airline, so we got a good deal. $399 pp for the verandah. Dining Lido gets old after a bit. Breakfast best option for me was the omlette bar and the fresh fruit. People definitely fill their plates here with lots of mediocre food. I liked the salad bar for lunch. We ate in MDR only on the first night. Service was abysmal. Got room service a few nights. We would get a few options so that way you could try different things and find something that you liked. I didn't have a good piece of fish all week. We went to Pinnacle Grille for lunch, pretty good. Canalleto was a little disappointing. And my husband got sick from something he ate on Friday. Entertainment We didn't go to the shows, they do not interest us. Saw a bit of the crew show on TV, I'm sorry but that was painful to watch. We tried to go to the movie theatre a few times but it was always full. Get there early if you want to get a seat. Service In my experience, a lot of the staff seemed kind of indifferent and uninterested. I did not seem to get excellent, personalized service. I had to leave a note for the cabin steward to clean off some bird poop off the deck rail after it had been there for 3 days. Never did get wine glasses for the room, had to drink out of a regular glass. Shore Excursions We did not purchase shore excursions from HAL or had them reserved prior on our own. PV-Just wandered around a bit, went to an internet cafe nearby ($1/hour compared to 75 cents/minute on board was great) Mazatlan-Went to Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay for the day Cabo-Walked along the port, went on a whale watching tour. It was really cool to see the whales that close. Value for the Money We got a really good deal and went to relax, so a good value for us. Disembarkation Disembarkation was late because of a delay in Cabo and high winds coming back to San Diego. We had expedited disembarkation. Was not able to get off until about 10:30. Got the the taxi about 10:45, got the airport about 11:00, and managed to get on a 11:30 flight. They called many times for a certain non-American passenger. Overall I thought the Oosterdam was just OK. I don't think I will cruise on HAL again. I think we prefer the larger ships. The last few nights the seas were very rough. The outside decks were closed due to the high winds. I felt a little 'cabin fever' on the smaller ship. There was a variety of age groups on board. But the Oosterdam just seems old and tired to me. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
First let me say this for those of you that want a quick review: FABULOUS!!! Okay, now let me see if I can come up with some details for you all. We flew Southwest on the morning of the cruise. Something we never do but there ... Read More
First let me say this for those of you that want a quick review: FABULOUS!!! Okay, now let me see if I can come up with some details for you all. We flew Southwest on the morning of the cruise. Something we never do but there were 6 flights after ours that would have gotten us to the ship on time. We arrived at the Oakland, CA airport, boarded the plane and found there were a whooping 31 folks flying to San Diego. Heaven right at the beginning of the trip. We arrived at the airport in San Diego at 8:00 am. We are pleased to let you know that there are many places to eat breakfast outside of the security area. That had been a concern. We had a very leisurely breakfast and then grabbed a taxi to the Cruiseport. The taxi was $10 with tip. By 10am all our paperwork was completed and we waited in the terminal until 11:30am for embarkation. We received an invitation to the Mariner's Lunch at check in. While in the terminal, there were folks signing passengers up for wine packages and dinner at Le Cirque. We were able to go to our cabins as soon as we boarded the Oosterdam. We dropped off our carry on bags and went to the dining room for lunch. We had Cabin 7145, which is a stern cabin on the Rotterdam deck. It was nothing short of lovely. Yes, there is some soot and the carpet is stained from walking in and out of the verandah but it wasn't enough to bother us at all. We did not experience any thing being tossed off the top decks onto our verandah. It is wonderful to be sheltered from the wind. When we arrived in our cabin, we found a letter from the Hotel Manager. It stated they knew that we had a few problems during our last cruise and they hoped this cruise addressed those issues. Really? I can't even remember what I said on the questionnaire but know they are read!! After lunch, we tracked down the banner, got the doors unlocked and had the Banner Wave as planned! It was nice meeting our CC Roll Call folks. Our stewards were quick, efficient and very pleasant. Our cabin was made up almost the minute we left the room every morning. We saw our stewards throughout the day and they always had a kind word and a smile for us. We loved the new breakfast menu in the MDR. We don't eat in the Lido, so I can't help you out there. We thought the dinner menus were all over the place. That being said we found something we enjoyed every evening. We went to an "Evening at Le Cirque" on Wednesday 1/26 for DH's 65th birthday. Dinner was marvelous. We loved all the food especially the halibut which was the best we ever tasted. I think the problem with "Le Cirque" is HAL oversold the atmosphere, etc. Yes, there was charming dinnerware and orange orchids on the table but other than that it was the Pinnacle Grill. However, the meal is worth every penny, IOHO!! Everyone has different tastes. One other issue with Le Cirque is this. If you go to the Culinary Demonstration they use an entire LARGE lobster tail to show you how they make the Lobster Salad. They don't say they use an APPETIZER version for the actual dinner. Which was more than enough for us considering it is a starter. As far as the grapefruit goes, it is two tiny slices that are placed on the side of your plate. I don't see how that could be a problem for anyone. Don't eat them By now you all know our itinerary was changed. We have been to Manzanillo before and love the port. We were there on DH's birthday. It was a joy to have breakfast on the verandah and watch the whales in the bay. They were out there all day and it was stunning! We didn't take any shore excursions on this cruise. Cruising into Cabo San Lucas there were so many whales, dolphins and turtles you didn't know where to look first!! We did take a taxi to the water front in Puerto Vallarta. Walked along enjoying the beautiful sculptures and sand castles. We also did some tequila tasting. In Manzanillo there is now a pier where you walk directly into town. Last time we were here we docked amongst the containers and had to take a shuttle. We love the old time Mexican feel of this port. The Hotel Colonial is a wonderful place to have a drink or lunch. The interior is just beautiful. We enjoyed Happy Hour at the Ocean Bar almost every day. I loved the Cucumber Lime smash! We never had to ask for appetizers, they were presented every day. Our bartenders were Albert and Gabriel. They were outstanding and added to the enjoyment of our cruise. We had beautiful weather almost every day. Our stern verandah was great on the way back to San Diego since we were shielded from the wind. It actually got almost too warm to sit outside. We ate dinner at the Pinnacle Grill on the last night of the cruise with a couple we met on the ship. I had lobster everything It was good but not as good as the Le Cirque dinner. Our waiter actually recognized me from a Princess Cruise we took in 2004. Wonders will never cease! We don't go to any of the entertainment, so once again, I am no help there. Hopefully, I will have my photos up within the next week. I actually took tons of ship photos keeping all you CC'ers in mind!!! Disembarkation was the most organized we have ever seen. We got off the ship at 9:15 and we were at the airport at 9:45. Taxi was $12 with tip on the way back. More traffic and lights. Hope this answers some of your questions about the Oosterdam. We love the Vista ships. Cheers, Denise Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
I booked our cruise in November 2010 when Holland was advertising a low rate. I reviewed all the offers online and decided to call Holland directly to book. We paid less for the 7 day Mexico cruise than any other cruise we have ever taken ... Read More
I booked our cruise in November 2010 when Holland was advertising a low rate. I reviewed all the offers online and decided to call Holland directly to book. We paid less for the 7 day Mexico cruise than any other cruise we have ever taken and the reservation clerk was helpful and the experience pleasant. I paid for the least expensive room and one week prior to sailing received an offer to upgrade to a better room. We took the upgrade and felt the total amount paid extremely reasonable. Our arrival in San Diego was uneventful (we booked our own air) and the shuttle to the port side Sheraton was provided by a Sheraton Shuttle. There isn't much to do at this Sheraton but it was very convenient to the ship. The dining was limited and somewhat expensive but the quick shuttle to the ship was a plus. Directly across the street from the dock is a Holiday Inn which is within walking distance for any person who is able to do any easy walk. So if you need a hotel prior to sailing I would suggest either the Sheraton or the Holiday Inn for convenience. The boarding was somewhat slow. We waited about an hour to get on board and we managed to duck out of the photo taking which also slows up the boarding process. I wish the cruise lines would stop pushing those picture taking "moments". Anyway, as repeat guests on Holland America we went immediately to the Vista Dining Room for a Mariner's lunch. It was a nice touch and a good way to begin the cruise while we waited for our cabin to be made available. Our room was adequate although this ship is not as new as some we have cruised on -- our bathtub drain was clogged and never fixed (I called the first day for a fix) and the rug in this room needs a good cleaning. The furniture is worn and the sheets and towels have been laundered so many times that they are quite thin. It's time for Holland to refurb the Oosterdam. At the top of this post I mentioned how happy we were with the price of the cruise -- well the thin towels and worn linen is probably the result of offering one too many good "deals" to passengers. It is a trade off that's for sure. The food was good. We had no complaints and most of the passengers seemed to enjoy their dining experience as well. Kudos to Holland America for having very fresh salads and good veggies at dinner time. Lastly, our itinerary was changed by Holland due to continued gang violence in Mexico. We felt safe in the ports but it might be a concern for some. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
This cruise was Nov 24-Dec 4, 2010. This was our 6th cruise, 2nd with Holland America. M/D have done several world cruises, prefer smaller ships. We stayed with in-laws prior to cruise and got dropped off, Mom and Dad stayed at Hotel ... Read More
This cruise was Nov 24-Dec 4, 2010. This was our 6th cruise, 2nd with Holland America. M/D have done several world cruises, prefer smaller ships. We stayed with in-laws prior to cruise and got dropped off, Mom and Dad stayed at Hotel Circle Inn, where they could park for the week and get shuttled to/from cruise terminal. We arrived around 11:30am and were through security, check-in and on-board at noon. ATTENTION You CAN take lots of wine on-board with no penalty or charge. We saw individuals with boxes containing 6 bottles each. We brought 2 bottles and M/D brought 4. Met M/D at 1pm on the Lido deck. Vista DR was packed with returning pax which made the Lido less busy with plenty of seating. Staterooms were ready around 1:30pm. Lifeboat drill was held at 4:15pm. Our stateroom, SZ6052 was very nice. Because of the location, this cabin and veranda is larger than SY staterooms. King bed (w/2 larger drawers under one side and suitcase storage under the other), 5 outlets, 3 full closets, 3 sitting chairs, sofa-bed, desk and vanity, lcd tv, dvd, plenty of drawers (12), veranda large enough for 2 tables and 4 chairs. Plenty of lighting and lighting combinations. Bathroom had 2 sinks, 2 outlets, jacuzzi tub, full-size glass shower. Cabin stewards kept the room well maintained and for the most part seemed invisible. Fresh flowers daily, nightly chocolates and towel animals. M/D had a balcony on the same deck. They were very happy with their accommodations and stewards. Dining was wonderful. We ate in the MDR several nights and enjoyed our table-mates, food and service. We also did the anytime dining with the folks and that worked out just fine. Lido had good food all week. Did not mind the personal service for the first few days, then they allowed self-service. Captain's Brunch was very nice and included wine. Ordered room service for late night snacks (2am) and delivery was prompt and the food was good. Had RS for all five of us in our suite on the morning of departure. Asked for 7am delivery and at 7am the trays arrived. A superb breakfast with hot, fresh omelets, pancakes, waffles, fruits, coffee, juices, croissants, etc. What a way to get ready to disembark. Activities/Entertainment - Plenty enough to keep my parents entertained as well as ourselves and our 18 yr old. The magician and comedian were quite good. There was a string quartet playing every evening, guitar soloist till 9pm, disco til 2 or 3am, bingo, movie theater, trivia, Microsoft classes (get there early, very popular), cooking demonstrations, etc. No hairy chest stuff on this cruise. Quiet moments in the Crow's Nest, read a book, NY Times, specialty coffee. Internet is nearby. Fantastic view. Ports of Call - This was out 3rd MexRiv cruise but M/D hadn't been to Mexico in years. Read port reviews for each location. Overall the ship is well maintained. Every crew-member we interacted with was pleasant and helpful. We had no issues with our cabin, dinning, or charges. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2011
In the past, we have cruised on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but this was our first HAL adventure. Overall, the experience was good, but there were a few issues along the way. Many people had told us prior to our voyage that HAL ... Read More
In the past, we have cruised on Princess, Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but this was our first HAL adventure. Overall, the experience was good, but there were a few issues along the way. Many people had told us prior to our voyage that HAL would be quite a luxurious experience compared to the other three lines we have traveled. In fact, there was quite an emphasis from most that the service and the food would excel above the others. Perhaps it was that our expectations were too high due to what we had been told, however we were surprised to find that it wasn't quite the case. Don't get the wrong impression, the stewards and wait staff were very friendly, however it seemed that they were understaffed. Our visits to the Vista Dining Room were what surprised us the most. The first night at the dining room, our meals came out cold. The next morning, my wife commented that the food was closer to a Vegas Buffet than she expected; mind you, we rarely visit gourmet restaurants so we really are not food critics, but I have to admit that the food quality was below what I have had at some Denny's restaurants. After that, all of our breakfast and lunches were at the Lido Restaurant. We continued to have dinner in the Vista, with the exception of two nights at the Pinnacle Grill, which was fantastic by the way. On another evening, the food for our two children was served a good half hour before my wife and my meals came out. On the second to last evening, I had asked for my water to be refilled when our appetizers were served as it had sat empty for quite some time and despite being served dinner and dessert and multiple more requests I never did get it refilled, which was disappointing (my wife and I do not drink and our kids don't really like soda, so we drank water the entire trip). My wife ordered "Land and Sea" one night which was prawns and fillet mignon, however the steak, although cooked to the correct temperature, was a very tough cut and really seemed too chewy to be fillet. The wait staff were very friendly, but pretty scarce; it would take them quite a bit of time to reach the table to welcome us and then once the orders were in they were MIA until it was time to order dessert. The wine stewards were at our table in a flash, but as we don't drink and our kids don't like sodas we really did not utilize their services. Club HAL was awesome for our 7 year old daughter and our 4 year old son. As they were in the same age group for Club HAL, it worked out well as our son is shy and our daughter is very outgoing. With the two of them together in the same group, they had a blast. In fact, they wanted to go there constantly. Which was quite a blessing as with two young children it was a rare opportunity for my wife and I to spend some time together alone. Our stateroom was always clean and our steward was very helpful. The only problem that we found is that there were four of us in the room, but on three of the four days, we were only provided with 3 towels. In the end, it was not a big deal as my 4 year old could handle a hand towel without issue, however it would have been nice to be able to have a larger towel for him. The only other problem we had was our missing breakfast. We had filled out the card for a morning breakfast to be delivered to our room on the day of our first port. We had asked for a 7:00am to 7:30am delivery window. However by 8:00am, we called to find out why it had not been delivered. The voice on the other end stated that they didn't have an order for our room. They offered to have us give them the order over the phone, however it just seemed easier at that point to go the Lido buffet since all of us were dressed by then and ready to go to port. I do want to point out that we really did enjoy the cruise overall. All of the staff were very friendly. There was plenty of information regarding the ports and where to go. Being in our early forties we were one of the younger couples on board, which was a great change to the "party" atmosphere of a younger crowd on a Carnival ship. I hold CCL stock in my IRA, so receiving the $100.00 ship credit for being a shareholder on a 7 day cruise was a nice bonus and covered the extra cost of the Pinnacle Grill without issue. Having the opportunity to have DVDs delivered to the room was awesome with two kids. Although there were some disappointments, we attribute most of it to having expectations that were too high. Overall, we had a great time, the kids were happy and my wife and I still were able to have alone time on a family vacation. We will sail again with HAL, but now we will have more realistic expectations. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We arrived at the dock at approx. 12:00 to find a line around the entire pier. Come to find out the ship had arrived 2 hours late. The taxi driver took us to the front of the line. The cruise personnel directed to the back of the line so ... Read More
We arrived at the dock at approx. 12:00 to find a line around the entire pier. Come to find out the ship had arrived 2 hours late. The taxi driver took us to the front of the line. The cruise personnel directed to the back of the line so we drug our bags all the way to the rear of the line. 2 hours later as we slowly moved forward we saw other taxi's dropping people off at the front of the line and the people went right on to drop their luggage and on into the building for check in, NOT GOOD! We had pre-printed our luggage tags as requested to do so on the online check-in. We were instructed to staple the tags on our bags but never got a chance to do that before hand. As the line was moving we asked the personnel available if they had a stapler and they instructed us that they would have have one when we dropped our luggage off ahead. When we reach this point and asked the baggage attendant for a stapler he said and I quote "I ain't got no stapler, if I had one it would've never got back to me anyway".... So he then instructed us to fill out bag tags manually and attach them to our bags, we did so and left our bags with the attendant and continued to move ahead with the rest of the cattle. AT this point we were only about 1/2 way there, ugh. The lines continued on and we finally got on-board about 2:30 pm and the ship was set to sail at 5 pm. We made our way to our stateroom then decided to check out the Lido Buffet. What a mistake that was. There were excessive lines, and they were running out of food at every station. My fiancee waited in the Asian food line to only be asked if he would like white or brown rice as that was all they had available when he got to the front of the line. Also, having been on several cruises by 4 cruise lines we have never seen the buffet food being served by the staff in small individual portions. After a couple of days they loosened up and let us serve ourselves but that was really strange. After that fiasco we went back to our room to find that our luggage had not been delivered yet. We went down to the front desk to inquire and after finding yet another lengthy line and waiting our turn we were taken to a room to see if our luggage was in there as unidentified. We did find one of our bags with identification attached, they then changed the story and said they were holding it for security purposes. They stated that they had found a knife in our bag. When we told them there was no knife in it they released the bag to us but we didn't want to haul it up to our room without knowing where our other bag was and they couldn't seem to produce it. After trying to get them to call our room steward to see if our other bag was in our room they kept saying we needed to go up to our room to check for ourselves. We finally took our bag and went to our room and found our other bag there. During all of this the ship set sail and we missed the chance to see the ship leave port and all off the festivities. That is how the first 5 hours of this cruise went. We will just try to give you the pros and cons from here on in. PROS: Entertainment was somewhat enjoyable. The food in the Vista Dining Room at dinner was good and the choices were many. The Pinnacle Grill was AWESOME to say the least. Well worth the extra 20 bucks each. The room steward was punctual and entertaining and the room was very well kept. The towel animals were always interesting. CONS: Entertainment shows were not timed so the people at the late dinner could get there and get a seat before the shows started and the theatre is very small. The portions in the Vista Dining Room were the smallest we have ever seen on any cruise we have been on. The server didn't seem to ever ask you if you wanted anything to drink. The Lido Buffet variety was slim and the quality of the food was poor. It was very difficult to find a beverage person to bring you a soda, etc. The hours that the Lido was open was not conducive to most passengers needs. So make sure to check their schedules before you head down there because you might not be able to get anything to eat at all. We ordered room service twice and they got the order wrong both times. We ordered from the 24 hr room service once and they were out of one item and then wouldn't allow us to use our drink card for room service when they delivered the food. We asked the room steward to keep our ice bucket filled and that was very hit and miss. One night they had a so called "Chocolate Extravaganza" and it was anything but that. The chocolate in the chocolate fountain was like water and the deserts we really nothing special. Also, it took place on the Lido deck by the pool and there was NO lighting there. They brought out portable flood lights so you could hardly see what you were eating. Again there was a scheduling issue with this event. The evening show was still going on when the extravaganza started. Very poor event scheduling. In the room the TV is very small and has a horrible picture. Even in the Screening room the quality of the picture was not up to standard. Should at least HD. The Superbowl was shown in the Vista Lounge where all the evening shows take place and the quality of the picture for that major event was poor and not HD either. That ends our Pros and Cons section. As far as disembarkation went, it was pretty smooth but we didn't turn in our luggage after our earlier experience and carrying them out ourselves was no problem. After all the cruises we have been on we have never ran into a more confused, uninformed and inconsiderate group of passengers. The ship is staffed by mostly Indonesians so the cultural issues are very prominent lead to what we would perceive as inefficiency. Holland America's attraction is price but the money you save isn't necessarily worth it. When we cruise again we will select another cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2011
The Oosterdam is a pleasant enough ship, but not one to WOW. Our room was up to par. The food was average...certainly nothing to get excited about. The ship itself is quite nice, but not out of the ordinary. The staff were friendly and ... Read More
The Oosterdam is a pleasant enough ship, but not one to WOW. Our room was up to par. The food was average...certainly nothing to get excited about. The ship itself is quite nice, but not out of the ordinary. The staff were friendly and helpful. We did not like the fact that with a party of ten we had to eat at either 5:15 or 8:30. They could not accommodate us at any other time. Anytime dining would be better if it was actually anytime dining. The ports of call, Peurto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas are all easy to navigate. On one of the shore excursions we were told, emphatically, that there would be a toilet on the bus. After getting up early and tendering in to Cabo and walking to the bus, we were told that there was no toilet on the bus. This meant that I could not take the tour. I was quite angry, as we had specifically gone down to the shore excursion office on the ship to double check that there would be a toilet on the bus. But in their favour they refunded my tour and my husband's tour (even though he did take the tour) and the woman who had given me the wrong information came to my cabin and apologized personally. The onboard singers were above par. The magician was average, but Joel Mason, the Elton John impersonator was fantastic. We have seen him on a previous cruise and were thrilled we got to see him again. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
This was the first cruise for the family and we chose this one due to being out of San Diego which was convenient for us. We were a little leery of HAL due to the comments of it being for the old and nearly dead, but we decided to give it ... Read More
This was the first cruise for the family and we chose this one due to being out of San Diego which was convenient for us. We were a little leery of HAL due to the comments of it being for the old and nearly dead, but we decided to give it a chance as the timing was during a week the schools were out so we thought more families would be on board. We were right. According to the "HALs club" staff, there were nearly 300 kids on board. They mentioned that this was a high number due to the break and that next week's cruise would also be high. However, the number would drop to about 30 for the first few weeks in March before increasing during spring break. So, one will get a very different opinion of this line depending on the week traveling. Our children were not excited about the "childcare" upon boarding, but buy the end of the cruise they were begging to go to the HALs club as they became enamored by the programs. The staff there did a wonderful job. The cabin was a Verandah suite and was a bit cramped for the four of us. There were two twins that made a "queen" when pushed together. The third bed was a pull out sofa and the fourth was a bed the folded down above the "queen." There was no room to move around when all the beds were open. However, the room stewards were fantastic. - two room sweeps a day - and kept the room looking nice. The kids always wanted to see what "towel animal" was sitting on the bed after dinner and looked forward to the nightly chocolates. We enjoyed the verandah with the exception of certain times when a neighbor's smoke drifted into it. The suite furniture and bathroom floor were starting to show some wear, but was not a negative. The shows were liked by all. The favorites were the magician and the "Elton John" impersonator. We did not attend most of the programs during the day so I cannot comment on them. The kids when not in the Club HAL spent the time swimming in the Lido pool. The Lido deck would get a little messy by the end of the day, although was cleaned quickly once the rush was gone. We had one day at the spa and had a couples massage. It was excellent! My wife commented that she had not had a massage that good in years. The food was overall good - with a different variety each day. I liked it better than my wife, but she is very particular about her food. There were a few glitches in service. The main dining room's service on the first night was not good. It was very slow, water glasses were not filled, the coffee did not come with the dessert, but well after I had finished it, etc. The coffee in the evening dining rooms was consistently not served hot and the vegetables I had at the Pinnacle Grill one night were lukewarm. My wife said the sushi one night was made with the smoked salmon from breakfast. But, other than what I have mentioned, overall it was good. The children loved the pasta, cheeseburgers and the chicken noodle soup. If you are a wine drinker, take advantage of bringing your wine on board. HAL allows as much brought on as you want. We also a bottle of rum from the line and used it to spike our virgin drinks. At three dollars extra a pop for the "leaded version", it did save money. You can also bring on all the soda and water you want. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We arrived early and spent two nights at the Westgate Hotel booked through Priceline for 75.00 a night. This hotel is old European elegance at it's finest, walking distance to the Gaslamp Quarter, the Embarcadero, shopping malls. ... Read More
We arrived early and spent two nights at the Westgate Hotel booked through Priceline for 75.00 a night. This hotel is old European elegance at it's finest, walking distance to the Gaslamp Quarter, the Embarcadero, shopping malls. small delis, fine restaurants, convenience stores, trolley stop and bus stop. The room was beautiful and spacious. Embarkation on Saturday morning was a breeze. We were at the Lido enjoying lunch just before noon. The surprise was that the cabins were ready at 12:30 with bags arriving about 3:00 making settling in quick and easy. Stateroom: We had a superior suite which had a fair amount of extra room with lots of storage space. The bathroom was the largest we've had on ship. The jacuzzi tub had a shower in addition to a separate stall shower. We even had dual sinks! The verandah had two lounge chairs plus a table with two more chairs. If we decided to invite friends in we could easily seat 12 if we used both inside and outside chairs. Our stewards, Fausi and David, were marvelous. Everything was always spotless. HAL advertises flowers in suites which consisted of one bud vase with one stem of alstroemeria. Dining: The food in the Lido was good but it was always crowded. The service in the main dining room was outstanding! Our waiter and assistant, Yaya and Anang, were attentive, caring and devoted to making our cruise experience stand out. The food left a great deal to be desired which took us completely by surprise. We always said HAL had the best food of any cruise line but they now have added lots of spicy ingredients to almost every dish...a bit overboard on the "exotic". The standout dish of the cruise was the lobster on formal night~it was fabulous. Entertainment: Joseph Tran put his heart into his show and was visible throughout the cruise. The production shows were the same as always. I feel a bit badly for the entertainers since they work incredibly hard but there is not much anyone can do to spice up those shows. As a side note, we had a dancer seriously injured during rehearsal. We had to go into Cabo so he could be air-lifted to San Diego for numerous surgeries. Our prayers are with him and we wish him a full recovery. Shore Excursions: We have been on this cruise several times and did not take any shore excursions. Usually we get off and walk around for a couple of hours and that's enough for us. Disembarkation: Fairly easy although we were in Group 1 and did not hear any numbers being called to the gangway was pretty crowded with people pushing and shoving. As always there were people who failed to check in with ICE, had to resolve payment issues and didn't have cards ready to disembark slowing everyone down. Overall Impressions: The Oosterdam is a little tired and needs refurbishing. I know they did upgrades a few years back and greatly improved some areas like the Library. There is a lot of creaking and moaning heard mainly at night when all else is silent. We do love HAL because but we'd like to see them go back the overall ambiance of three or four years ago. The Chef's Signature dinner the last night left us less than impressed - not HAL style at all! There seemed to be a shortage of crew members with stewards and waiters having to accommodate many more people than they normally would. Huge Hit! The techspert, Craig, instructed many computer classes on digital cameras and photo editing. He was a great teacher and I learned a many things I don't think ever even occurred to me. Loyalty Program: We are Celebrity Elite and have about the same amount of nights with both. Even if we were 4-star Mariners, the benefits don't come close to competing with the way Celebrity treats Captain Club Elite members. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We landed in San Diego about 12:30 on Saturday. We had booked the HAL transfer, but opted for a cab. We were planning to stop and get some wine and sodas for the cruise. Cab driver would not stop at store despite my requests. There was an ... Read More
We landed in San Diego about 12:30 on Saturday. We had booked the HAL transfer, but opted for a cab. We were planning to stop and get some wine and sodas for the cruise. Cab driver would not stop at store despite my requests. There was an airshow going on, so traffic was heavy. We arrived at the ship dock about 1:30. We were pleasantly surprised that the embarkation process was very fast. We went through screening and signed in without any wait. We were onboard and in our room by 2:00! Much better than our previous experiences on other cruises. We had an aft cabin with a nice sized balcony. Balcony had two loungers and two chairs. We really liked the aft balcony as we were well protected from the wind. Many times it was windy on the lido deck, but very comfortable on our balcony! We chose the "any time" dining option and went to dinner several nights. We were seated very quickly without reservations. I thought dinner was very good on all nights. Food was better than I remember from previous cruises on other lines. We joined Mike and Jane from CC in the banner wave. Door on the 5th floor was locked, so we had to sneak out onto the 4th floor bow. Despite some consternation from the crew, we managed to get the banner out! Saturday night, DW won some money at the casino on the blackjack table. Note-she gave it back and more on subsequent nights. Sunday we both hit the gym in the morning and then met with the CC group in the afternoon. Monday was another sea day, but it started with a slow cruise through Bahia Magdalena. This was a beautiful 1 hour excursion. There were dozens of whales that were spouting and breaching. A little excitement Monday afternoon, as a dancer was injured and the ship had to motor quickly to Cabo San Lucas to take the victim to medical help. (Reports are that the injured dancer was recovering nicely). For us on the ship, we got to stop and view Cabo for an hour or so. A prelude to our visit on Thursday. Tuesday we stopped in Puerto Vallarta. We did not book an excursion, but took a cab to the malecon. Visited some shops where we sampled and bought some tequila. We stopped at a couple restaurants, including the Cheeky Monkey that had been recommended on CC. Cheeky Monkey did not disappoint. It is across the street from the beach and provided an excellent view, along with cheap ($1) beers. After that we ventured down the beach and to another restaurant (I can't remember the name). Met several cruisers from other cruise lines that were also in port. Had some tasty shrimp tacos and Mexican beers. Before getting back on the ship, we found an internet cafe that offered one hour online access for $1. We also stopped at the Walmart directly across from the pier for some waters and sodas. Wednesday was Mazatlan. We were not impressed with Mazatlan. The open air taxi had no seat belts and the driver was very erratic. DW was very frightened on the ride to the Golden zone. Golden zone had lots of pushy vendors and a few restaurants. The beach was nice, but overall, we were not impressed. If in Mazatlan again, we will book some excursion, because the Golden zone was not very interesting. Thursday was Cabo. DW and I had been to Cabo once before (about 12 years ago), but had been told that it had changed a lot. It has. We ventured to several spots that we had visited in 1999, including Slim's Elbow Bar, the Giggling Marlin and of course, the Office. We were happy to see all of those places. The lunch at the Office was very good---shrimp tacos and ceviche. Cabo San Lucas is like two separate and distinct areas---there is the Americanized marina area and the town. The marina is a little overwhelming, but the town is still very friendly. This was our favorite port by far. Back on the ship, we had a sea day on Friday, and then back to San Diego. The last night at sea was quite rough and a thunderstorm kept us rocking and rolling, but the rest of the week was quite calm. For disembarking on Saturday morning, once again Holland America did a great job getting us through customs and on our way. The bus to the airport was a little slow (I would not book the transfer in San Diego---it is a short taxi ride and much cheaper than the $17 per person each way for the bus). Overall, I was very satisfied with the trip. Food was better than expected. Weather in Mexico was warm and mostly sunny. Holland America staff was very attentive and friendly. The Cruise Critic members that we met were great: Don and Linda, Rebeccah and Ishi, Mike and Jane and Greg and Bertie. Hope to see them all again on a future cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
We arrived in San Diego on Friday night before our cruise and checked into the Courtyard Marriott on Landing Road near the airport on the recommendation of my sister who lives in San Diego. The hotel provided a free shuttle from the ... Read More
We arrived in San Diego on Friday night before our cruise and checked into the Courtyard Marriott on Landing Road near the airport on the recommendation of my sister who lives in San Diego. The hotel provided a free shuttle from the airport and this Courtyard is new and very nice. The breakfast buffet the next morning was delicious and well worth the cost. My sister dropped us off at the terminal about 1:30 PM and we only waited 5-10 minutes in line to get checked in. Holland America allows you to take wine on board and we took 5 bottles, including champagne, and went straight to our room, which was ready. We had booked a superior veranda suite which was roomy and had a huge balcony with a table and 2 regular chairs and 2 more comfortable padded chairs. We liked our room and were pleased with the stewards, even though we rarely saw them. One morning we ordered breakfast room service and it was delivered early and hot. The Oosterdam is a nice ship, but is showing some wear and tear. We ate primarily in the main dining room and all meals were good. The menu selections were numerous, but the service was spotty. We ate at the Pinnacle Grill one night and it was a nice atmosphere, but the food was about the same caliber of the main dining room. We enjoyed the Elton John impersonator the best of the shows we attended. My wife went to several technology workshops and was very impressed with the instructor and what she learned about her computer and camera. Only one sea day was warm enough to be outside and we enjoyed the adult pool deck. However, it was crowded and only one small hot tub was working. Christina did an excellent job discussing the various ports and was available each day to answer individual questions. She was very helpful and researched the location of a spa that I asked her about. We really enjoyed all of the ports and I will review them individually in the port review section. Disembarkation was a breeze and the luggage handling went without a hitch and we took at taxi to the airport which was cheaper than the shuttles. In summary, the Oosterdam is a good ship and an excellent value for the money. It is not as nice as Celebrity Solstice, but then again, it is not as costly. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Cruised from San Diego to Mexico and back, last FebruaryOosterdam is an old ship. The AC is clogged with all the bacteria that had accumulated in last 10 years from the 50,000 passengers/year carried on that ship and the air is stale, and ... Read More
Cruised from San Diego to Mexico and back, last FebruaryOosterdam is an old ship. The AC is clogged with all the bacteria that had accumulated in last 10 years from the 50,000 passengers/year carried on that ship and the air is stale, and it stinks in the rooms. Early morning, it smells like paint, later, like sewer.We called and like talking to the toilet. And that is another one, the bath, when drained flowed onto the bathroom floor with clogged drainage, and they did nothing about it.The lighting in the room is not sufficient for reading, lucky we had a balcony.On the 5th "great dinner" I was served a Shrimp Cocktail that caused my body to rebel, and the food poison diarrhea that flowed at night onto every thing in this Cabin. Will you be in it in the future?And for the finish line, we all of us, 7 members of our family, got the flue. my wife- pneumonia. What a good cruise, with the Mexico nothing to offer, the ships food just like in any tourist area, for show and plating, not quality of cuisine.Well, not again with this ship or any one over 2 or 3 years old. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2011
Embarkment was a mix, one person telling to go here another telling to go there I have a mobility issue and I don't think they could make up their mind. We waited with rest of people. Rest of embarkment went ok. We usually travel ... Read More
Embarkment was a mix, one person telling to go here another telling to go there I have a mobility issue and I don't think they could make up their mind. We waited with rest of people. Rest of embarkment went ok. We usually travel Celebrity, they offer you a drink and escort you to your room ,missed this on Holland. Room and cabin staff were excellent. Balcony was fab, best ever. Food was very good. But As you Wish Dining wasn't what we expected. The waiters seem to be rushed, went 4 nights, took 1 1/2 hours plus each time. Time between courses was long. When questioned they just shrugged it off. Lido buffet with an elderly couple was better choice. Breakfast room service was the best, always on time and hot (had to wait for the eggs to cool down one morning). I'm going to miss it Biggest complaint was with the hydrotherapy pool, $199.00 to use it, on Celebrity Free. Main swimming pool with 4 working hot tubs was made into kids pool. Adult pool(small)was at back of ship with 1 working tub. Read Less
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

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