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12 Seattle to Australia & New Zealand Cruise Reviews

This cruise was sent to us via email it was such good value we could not say no, This cruise was fantastic plenty of time to relax and unwind. We loved it The staff in the winjamer, dining room and our cabin person were all the ... Read More
This cruise was sent to us via email it was such good value we could not say no, This cruise was fantastic plenty of time to relax and unwind. We loved it The staff in the winjamer, dining room and our cabin person were all the best we had such a great time and we were spoilt wrotten by everyone. The food was fantastic we ate mainly in thr resturant for tea and the windjammer for light lunch and breakfast, we did go to Johnny rockets and did a lunch tour of giovanni's which was very intresting. The shows we went to were good but i would have liked more shows instead of single artist but that is just our choice. The only thing i could say that is negative is that we were cruising over Halloween and the ship was not decorated like we thought it would have been, but apart fron that it was fantastic. If anyone has a chance to do this cruise jump at it. It was great. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We are avid cruisers averaging 2-3 cruises per year -- we especially like long repositioning cruises, and have cruised NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. This was our first Holland America cruise and in all categories HAL and the Maasdam ... Read More
We are avid cruisers averaging 2-3 cruises per year -- we especially like long repositioning cruises, and have cruised NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. This was our first Holland America cruise and in all categories HAL and the Maasdam outrank all other cruise lines and ships we've sailed so far. Our inside stateroom was configured in such a way that the two of us could be comfortable without stumbling over each other. The storage was the best we've every had -- we could put away 52 days of clothing, snorkeling equipment, and supplies without having clutter every where. The service provided by the staff was AMAZING. Not only were they highly competent, but they were all so, so friendly -- it was difficult saying good-bye at the end of the cruise. The food was excellent. Usually after a couple of weeks we get tired of "cruise food", but we enjoyed every meal on the Maasdam right up to that last breakfast on disembarkation day. The Maasdam also had nice "little touches" like a Blu Ray player in every room and an extensive DVD borrowing library. We also liked the many comfortable places to sit and read or enjoy a quiet conversation. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We selected this cruise based on the Ports of Call. This was a repositioning cruise starting in Seattle, Washington. The length of the cruise fit our schedule. The Internet worked very well for a cruise ship. There was a couple of ... Read More
We selected this cruise based on the Ports of Call. This was a repositioning cruise starting in Seattle, Washington. The length of the cruise fit our schedule. The Internet worked very well for a cruise ship. There was a couple of times when the downloading a data froze. I did receive a credit for the time that the service was unavailable. The Internet was available in most area of the ship. The foods in the dining rooms were very good and the service of all the staff was outstanding. There is a period of an half of an hour during the day when no meals are available. All restaurants are closed between 5:00 PM and 5:30 PM. The diner on the deck that serves hamburgers and hot dogs closes at 5:00 PM for the day. The other restaurant the Lido closes at 5:00 PM to change over for the dinner meal. The movies were good and was screen mostly in the evening occasionally a movie was shown earlier in the day when the theater was not being used for other events. The staff scheduled two or three events each hour during the day. There was always something to do during the day. The entertainment was very good by the staff and featured entertainers The self-service laundry was opened 24 hours a day the cost to wash $2.00 per load with the soap provided by the ship and a $1.00 to dry. There were five washer and dryers in each laundry room on different decks. The ship stopped at Vancouver, British Colombia, Honolulu, Hawaii, Kona, Hawaii, Apia, Samoa, Suva Fiji and Dravuni Island, Fiji. Mystery Island was skipped because of bad weather. The next stop was Noumea, New Caledonia then Sydney, Australia. I would take the same trip again.. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Pros: cabins, food and crews were great, loved being at sea. Experienced ships officers inspired confidence in ship handling. Plenty of things to do to keep busy. Entertainment was generally adequate. Enjoyed meeting fellow passengers. ... Read More
Pros: cabins, food and crews were great, loved being at sea. Experienced ships officers inspired confidence in ship handling. Plenty of things to do to keep busy. Entertainment was generally adequate. Enjoyed meeting fellow passengers. Mario was fabulous as compere of various activities. Relaxing way to travel. Professionally managed and efficient staff overall. Cabin was excellent, comfortable and sufficient room and storage. Very well serviced. Only one problem: We had to tape up three sides of the air conditioner vent due to cold, dry air dropping straight onto the bed and causing us breathing congestion the first night aboard. We could see traces of where thisnhad been done before by others. We did not appreciate the unhelpful Front Desk female staff who initially dismissed this problem and was stiffly reluctant to assist - when we asked to borrow gaffer tape, they made us sign a $40 deposit to ensure we returned it. The day after we returned tape, she rang to complain my husband had not responded to a phone message she left (he had given feedback to the desk staff direct) so clearly some inefficiency occurs at Front Desk. Cons: Totally inadequate seating in the cinema. Difficult getting a seat for theatre shows and computer lessons unless you turn up half an hour earlier. Not long enough time ashore (due to port fees?) and what possessed captain to bring ship through marvellous Sydney harbour heads when most passengers are still asleep! Frequent sales pitches for future cruises and tours are acceptable (though the tours are grossly overpriced) but we felt irritated that some of the seminars were disguised sales pitches for dubious and exorbitantly overpriced products and services. Before boarding I selected a spa offering, a one hour session for 'body composition' assessment and advice on nutrition and exercise to get me off to a good start on the ship - on arrival for my appointment at the gym I was asked what I wanted - when I said 'what the online advert offered' I was then told this session would be, in fact, three hours and a lot more expensive. After some confusion and poor management of the situation by the gym manager, I was given an hour as booked .... but the first 25 minutes turned out to be a sales pitch for their detox pills (see elsewhere on this site for negative reviews)! The body composition involved a bio electric impedance machine with no other physical or health status assessment other than brief questionnaire. (http://consensus.nih.gov/1994/1994bioelectricimpedancebodyta015html.htm). The rest of the hour involved a cursory run through gym equipment - at my request, as staff did not have a session structure as advertised online! Not good value and false advertising for this service. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Oosterdam is a lovely ship. She is not one of those that caters to the thousands but has enough people so you can meet like minded folk and enough people so you can avoid those with whom you share little interest ( a polite way of ... Read More
Oosterdam is a lovely ship. She is not one of those that caters to the thousands but has enough people so you can meet like minded folk and enough people so you can avoid those with whom you share little interest ( a polite way of saying.....). For a long voyage she is excellent - you get to know the staff and your way around the ship so she really feels like home. I like Holland America as they take hygiene very seriously. We were very lucky too. We had first sitting for dinner (our preferred choice) and had wonderful table mates (thanks Cindy and Gary and Karen and David) and probably the best wait staff on the ship - Marihot, Rein and Anna. One down point was that the activities we enjoyed were all at the same time making choices difficult - we especially like our trivia - and that was on odd hours (one session during dinner times). Having said that the trivia was the best and fairest I have ever come across and the other teams were fabulous with a really fun spirit which was exceptional. Miss you " If We Only Had a Brain'' and "Better Than 12". For those who do not like sea days this trip may not be for you - you can always fly to Oz - if you like extended flight times. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
this cruise was nothing like we booked 12 months ago.Embarkation in Seattle was fine nice and smooth and first impressions of the ship were fine the cabin was good . how wrong can first impressions be. it was down hill from there on. the ... Read More
this cruise was nothing like we booked 12 months ago.Embarkation in Seattle was fine nice and smooth and first impressions of the ship were fine the cabin was good . how wrong can first impressions be. it was down hill from there on. the ship left Seattle one day late due to bad weather which we can fully understand as safety comes always first. but then it started they changed the port of Hilo for laihaini cut of a day in Honolulu changed the dates on Dravuni island and Suva in Fiji cutting of the evening visit in Suva. we have never been on a ship with so many changes happening to the itenerary as on this one never mind if you had private tours booked you lost your money.We have never seen so many unhappy people as on this ship. the food standard was very dissapointing in the main restaurant the food was bland a cold we send it back on a few occations and walked out. the dining room waiters were great they tried their upmost. food in the Lido was average apart from the Oriental and italian sections they were great. we feel the standards have dropped on this vessel from a 5 to a 3 we do hope that it was just this vessel as we have sailed before with HAL and were very happy.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Ingrid and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our retirement by taking a trip to Australia. And instead of flying the 25 plus hours one way we decided to take a slow boat down. We also decided that we would like to take one of the ... Read More
Ingrid and I decided that we wanted to celebrate our retirement by taking a trip to Australia. And instead of flying the 25 plus hours one way we decided to take a slow boat down. We also decided that we would like to take one of the re-positioning ships from the Alaska cruises. This meant a late September departure. We really only had 2 ships to choose from and both were from the Holland America Line. We were happy with that because we thoroughly enjoyed our previous Holland America trip. The decision now was which ship. We decided on the Oosterdam over the Veendam because it was going to more exotic islands and because their balconies offered us plexiglass instead of a solid wall...this might have changed but I couldn't find out that it had. Our trip started a little rough as we had to spend an extra night in Seattle to wait out the remnants of a Pacific storm. Fortunately we did because once we entered into the Pacific Ocean the next night we got into some rough seas. We then head down the coast to Los Angeles. This port was a necessary evil because we had to pick up roughly 700 additional passengers there who now have been waiting for an additional day. We ended up hiking around the port (San Pedro) on a beautiful sunny day. It was alright but the initial port was suppose to be Long Beach and we had arranged to do some biking there. Not sure why the location was changed but it happened several months prior so it wasn't as if we didn't get lots of notification. After LA we spent 5 days sailing to Hawaii...Pacific Ocean is a deep (5000 + metres average) and a very lonely place (not a ship or a whale or a dolphin to see just some flying fish). We arrived in Hawaii to a new port of call Lahaina, Maui. The other port (Hilo) had to be cancelled because we were running a day late. We ended up tendering into Lahaina. This was a very pretty port. The only complaint we had here was that a group that was with a private tour company got to tender in before the rest of us. This made for a long wait until we got into port. We spent the balance of morning walking around until our tour (through Holland America) was ready to go. This was a wonderful tour across the island to a walk in the rain forest and up to a couple of small waterfalls. We got to go for a couple of refreshing swims. Definitely high on my approval list. The next day we arrived in Honolulu. Our visit there was cut in half (down from 2 days originally) because of the late start. Honolulu is a pretty city if you like big cities. We don't but because of the missed day we missed our private tour into the countryside. (still trying to get my money back) Ingrid and I hiked to Waikiki Beach and the to Diamond Head. Both were very pretty and must see but both were extremely busy. The swim at Waikiki was refreshing but it took us forever to find a spot for our towels. Also, too many homeless people in Honolulu which made us extra cautious when we walked. They didn't bother us but just made us very aware of our surroundings. We then sailed for Samoa. This took us 5 days including crossing the equator and the international dateline. Pacific Ocean is a deep (5000 + metres average) and a very lonely place (not a ship or a whale or a dolphin to see just some flying fish). Samoa was a wonderful country. We set up our own private tour only to be forgotten about and left on the pier by our tour operator (lesson learned here is to contact them a couple of days before to ensure your not forgotten). Fortunately there were lots of operators to choose from. We managed to get one to do the exact same route around the island as I had initially planned. We circled the island and saw several beautiful waterfalls, lovely villages and friendly people. We snorkeled on the south side of the island. The snorkeling was okay but you could see that it suffered from a storm that hit the area in 2010. After Samoa we sailed for the Fijian Island of Dravuni. When we arrived the winds were high and I give kudos to the ships crew for still tendering us in. This was a small island beautiful island. Once we found the spot the snorkeling was fantastic. (if you are facing shore from the tender dock go right as far as you can - till the end of the beach). The hike up the hill is worth the view as well and is an easy hike. Next up was Suva, Fiji. This was an okay stop. Suva is a very busy city. We went on a Holland America organized hike into a nearby national park. Very much worth it. Saw a number of waterfalls and interesting vegetation. Fijians are very friendly. Watch out for some of the aggressive vendors near the port. Next up was Vanuatu. Beautiful island, wonderful people. We organized a private tour with Evergreen Tours to take us on an Around the Island tour. What a wonderful tour company and a wonderful trip. Ingrid suggested to them that we do the trip backwards. This was because the 1st stop was going to be at a beach for snorkeling. They agreed and thought it was a great idea because the rest of the organized tours were going that way. Off we went. We visited Melee Falls, a neat little World War 2 museum, had a great lunch, did some wonderful snorkeling and saw a it of the city. We even got back in time to shop at the market set up at the port. Just one word of caution. When landing be prepared to walk through a gallant of taxi drivers willing to take you anywhere. We then went to New Caledonia where we visited 3 islands. The 1st up was Lifou. This island had the best snorkeling of all. You go for a short walk across a little peninsula to the snorkeling location. There is no beach only a staircase to go down to the water. The locals recently fixed up the staircase and charge $10.00 American per person for the day to snorkel. This was very recent and caught us by surprise. Having said this the location was excellent, the money worth it and everything about it was well organized. To my disappointment there was a passenger that refused to pay and just walked past the locals and went down the staircase and went snorkeling. After snorkeling we hiked up to a pretty little church (must see) over looking the bay. The locals had a market set up at the tender port with food and lots of items for sail. Onto Noumea, New Caledonia. Here I arranged another private tour with Gateaway Tours to take us to the Blue River National Park. Again, what a wonderful tour. Alfred, the tour guide and owner did an excellent job. Blue River Park is a must see. It is as modern as any of our national parks. Alfred also put on an excellent spread for lunch including a couple of bottles of red and white wine. New Caledonia is as modern as you can get. France has spent a lot of money on this territory. Our last stop was Isle des Pins. Great snorkeling, great hiking (go for the hill just a couple of kilometres from the tender port. The climb is worth the view. This climb is not for everyone. You need relatively good shoes and a strong heart. The couple of Holland America tours offered was worth the money. One toured the island and another went to a small lagoon to snorkel. 27 days in these few words does not do the trip justice. Great trip, great ship, great crew, and met many wonderful people Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
and looking forward to 100 more. We boarded THE OOSTERDAY on September 29, 2012 in Seattle with great ease, and no stress. Soon we entered our Deluxe Veranda Suite, and were immediately impressed. . .champaine, fresh flowers, nd a ... Read More
and looking forward to 100 more. We boarded THE OOSTERDAY on September 29, 2012 in Seattle with great ease, and no stress. Soon we entered our Deluxe Veranda Suite, and were immediately impressed. . .champaine, fresh flowers, nd a welcome from our two gracious cabin stewarts, Hus and Andrea! Closets and storage space were quite ample, beds were luxurious, piled with pillows, balcony was spacious! This cruise was a repeat of the one we made a year ago on THE ZAANDAM, and we enjoyed that one so much, we decided to repeat it this year. . .and we were not disappointed! The ship itself, the staff and crew, the exceptional food and entertainment were all superlative. . .of particular note was ADAGIO, a piano, violin duo who were absolutely magnificent. . .every evening they entertained in The Explorer Lounge, and their fans grew in number. They played one song after another, classic, light classic show tunes, songs of romance. . . we closed our eyes and were at peace! Everything about this ship was five star, the ports of call, the days at sea, the entrichment talks, the cruise director, The Pinacle Restaurant, The Vista Dining Room, The Neptune Lounge, with two beautiful and friendly concierges! the Lido, buffets around the pool. . . but above all the staff and the crew who catered to our every whim! We felt at home for 21 days of pure relaxation and delight, and indeed we were "at home!" and regretted to see our cruise end at Sydney. Since we were to meet friends in Sydney, we were about the last to disembark. . .our luggage was neatly waiting for us on a cart, we disembarked with the greatest of ease! We are hoping for the SAME CRUISE, SAME TIME NEXT YEAR WITH HOLLAND AMERICAN. . .perhaps a different DAM ship, but makes no difference. All are floating palaces! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
As we were doing a back-to-back cruise, having just completed The Inside Passage to Alaska, we did not have to go through any of the usual embarkation process. We were able to just go ashore for several hours in Seattle and return to the ... Read More
As we were doing a back-to-back cruise, having just completed The Inside Passage to Alaska, we did not have to go through any of the usual embarkation process. We were able to just go ashore for several hours in Seattle and return to the ship at our leisure, as long as we were back in time for the safety boat drill. It was great already knowing our cabin stewards, who looked after our cabin on the first leg of our adventure, and they continued their amazing job of keeping us clean & tidy, filling the ice bucket, leaving the most innovative towel animals every night. We could not have asked for more! In the main dining room, where we ate most nights, we were impressed with the ever-changing, delicious menu and the attentive stewards and wine steward. We went to the Pinnacle Grill on 6 occasions, which were all made memorable by both the wonderful food and great service. I don't think I have had a better meal anywhere than my Pinnacle Grill meals. Lunch was usually eaten on the Lido deck, either from the various BBQ's on deck or from the Lido buffet which was much more varied than it had been on the 7 day Alaska cruise. Having 17 sea days, meant there was plenty of time to go to cooking demos, lectures, movies (complete with popcorn) or just hang out up in the Crows Nest with a good coffee from Explorations Cafe meeting new friends. The only thing I wasn't keen on, was breakfast in the Lido, as it was always pretty crowded and walking around with a plate of breakfast looking for a table did not suit me first thing in the morning. However there was an alternative, which suited us much better - breakfast in the main dining room! The nighttime entertainment was mostly of a high quality, the favorite being Adagio, an incredible duo, playing violin & piano, who performed every night in lounge. By the time we got to Sydney they were playing to a full house each night. The level of service on Oosterdam, from Captain down, was the best we have ever received and we would sail with HAL again in a heartbeat. The final thing was the disembarkation which was so expertly organised, from the time our colour was called we were on shore in Sydney in less than 20 minutes with assistance given with our numerous bags. Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We embarked in Seattle at a terminal just across from the City of Seattle with easy access. Our cabin had a window and was of adequate size. On a cruise with a lot of sea days it did not pay to have a Veranda cabin. This was a ... Read More
We embarked in Seattle at a terminal just across from the City of Seattle with easy access. Our cabin had a window and was of adequate size. On a cruise with a lot of sea days it did not pay to have a Veranda cabin. This was a repositioning cruise to Auckland, New Zealand and was a first cruise to the South Pacific. We are veterans of 39 cruises and enjoy Holland American due to its exotic itineraries. This cruise went to Los Angeles (Really Long Beach), Honolulu, Oahu, Maui, Fiji, Vanuatu, American Samoa, Samoa, Ile De Pins & Noumea in New Caledonia and finally 4 ports in Northern New Zealand. We had calm seas and we got the expected results from Holland American with some surprise. The food was the very best we have ever had on Holland American, although by the end of the cruise they were running out of everything. The crew and staff were excellent and one of the best I have ever encountered. Very Professional. They needed the experience since the ship really needed to be drydocked after coming out of the Alaskan cruise market with no chance for repairs. We always seemed to have 2 of the 5 ships engines not working and even a non working side thruster. Also coffee machines in the lido and multiple pieces of equipment in the Gym needed repair. To the ships crew I have to say you never noticed any inconvenience. One problem that I had was the Mariner society. The rewards are clearly lacking and after 184 days at sea they dropped the ball. We were put in a lower category room then what we paid for and the one recognition event was a brunch at 11 am one sea day. This was ridiculous and surely timed to eliminate feeding us either breakfast or lunch so we skipped it. Also the tiles they give us I passed on again since it was just more weight to carry back home. This was a good cruise and I would recommend this itinerary to anyone who has the time to handle this length of cruise and who can handle the return jet lag. It took us 5 sleepless nights to adjust to being home! Read Less
Sail Date September 2008

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