4 Seward Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews

What a huge disappointment this cruise has been. We usually cruise with Norwegian and we made a mistake by trying Holland. I would rate this ship with a low level grade similar to a comfort inn. There are too many really good cruise ships ... Read More
What a huge disappointment this cruise has been. We usually cruise with Norwegian and we made a mistake by trying Holland. I would rate this ship with a low level grade similar to a comfort inn. There are too many really good cruise ships to waste your money on this one. We are currently cruising Alaska, but even the itinerary can't make up for the low grade offerings of this ship. Food: Horrible. The buffet had the same unappetizing selections every day. The bowls or trays of food are dried out on the edges and mostly empty, as if the food was prepared over a week ago. Their "cheese trays" have a few small pieces of cheese left over from WHAT?? I just picker a hair off of a piece of cheese. The eggs are runny and oozing some kind of liquid. The omelets are ok, but again, the vegetables to fill the omelets are limited and the containers are always empty. The main dining room is slightly better, but still only below average food. The staff were very nice, but could not get an order correct. They keep brining us dinners that we did not order, rather than what we asked for. Order a glass of wine and you probably won't get it at all. As another passenger noted, you were not allowed to order anything that was not on the menu, which had limited selections and always the same day after day. On good cruise ships, you can order off the menu and they are glad to accommodate you. There is not such thing as good beef, lobster or any other food you normally expect on a ship. If you are use to fast food joints or chili's type of menus, you'll be fine. Otherwise, run as fast as you can to another cruise line. The Pinnacle Grill was good, but of course you had to pay extra per person for the "privilege" of dining there. What is customary on good ships, is an added cost on this ship even though we paid over $3k for this cruise. Appalling. Our cabin was clean and the stewards were fine. The ship needs upgrading as it is old and smelly. The corridors smell of mold and must. There is a constant garbage smell on the promenade deck and at the pool side bar. The odor is so bad, you can't stand in these two areas. The staff doesn't seem to notice. Young people should not take this cruise. It is a senior ship and the itinerary is appropriate for that age group. The "shows" were tacky and comparable to a high school glee club. If you are looking for fun & entertainment, this is not the ship for you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We have been on several Holland American cruises and I must say this was the worst ever. The room stewards were great as was the captain but the cruise director and the chef left a lot to be desired. First I will take on the food. ... Read More
We have been on several Holland American cruises and I must say this was the worst ever. The room stewards were great as was the captain but the cruise director and the chef left a lot to be desired. First I will take on the food. We always enjoy going to the dining room each evening but found the food selection was awful. There are 9 of us in our party and none of use were impressed with the selection. On all the other ships, if you did not care for the entrees of the night, you could ALWAYS get a steak or chicken or a Caesar salad, but not on this ship. And who ever heard of having the surf and turf night (formal night) on a night we are in port and have not left yet? Never heard of such a thing. We were all so disappointed in the selection of foods we only went to the dining room twice. I must say, the Pinnacle Grill was wonderful the night we went and tried to go several other times but they were booked. No wonder, no one liked the food in the dining room or lido. The cruise director was non existent except for a message on the intercom and to introduce the acts at night. Horrible. I will have to think about going on Holland America again to Alaska and I always suggest HA for friends who are going to Alaska. Will not do that again. If this would have been our first cruise, I would never go again but since we have several to compare it to, I must say, it was a disappointment for the money we paid. All 9 of us were shocked at the lack of anything. The captain was the only saving factor, he was wonderful and let us know when things were happening or when wildlife was spotted. He also opened the bows to we could go there. Thanks captain. it was appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
First, allow me to say that my wife and I have been huge fans of HAL and the Oosterdam since our first cruise in 2006 with HAL! This cruise started with a three night land portion to Denali National Park! It was overall excellent ... Read More
First, allow me to say that my wife and I have been huge fans of HAL and the Oosterdam since our first cruise in 2006 with HAL! This cruise started with a three night land portion to Denali National Park! It was overall excellent beginning with our one night in Anchorage at the beautiful Hotel Captain Cook! The next day we were transported by bus to the McKinley Explorer Train (owned by HAL), had a beautiful escorted train trip to Denali with great service and hosts onboard. Even the food on the train was great for a tourist attraction. our luggage was picked up at the hotel by truck arriving at the Princess Denali Lodge and in our room before we were. Our keys and directions were all given to us aboard the train! I was surprised how well coordinated it was. the Lodge and grounds were very pretty and well maintained. both nights we chose to dine in the Hard Tack Lounge. Our server, Tyler from Ct. by way of Denver, was excellent and friendly. The food was good and priced as you would expect in a resort in Alaska. The tundra tour was very good, and we saw moose, caribou and eagles! We also did a tour of Jeff King's Alaskan Huffy Kennels and training facility. He has won the Iditarod five times! On the very nice motor coach trip to Seward, we had several photo stops with spectacular views of Mt McKinley, apparently a rare treat for only about 30% of the visitors to the region. The lunch stop a sandwich/salad buffet was very nice in a beautiful area of Wasilla. From the arrival in Seward to disembarkation in Vancouver the following Sunday, things went downhill! This was our fourth Oosterdam cruise since 2006! The Seward cruise port building is a steel warehouse building! Check in was like a rat's maze with several busses arriving in close proximity. There were probably 800 to 1,000 people trying to get checked in and to board after 5pm! It was a real "cluster", poorly managed and all boarding the Oosterdam.!!! From this point forward the sales pitches started from photography, wine, shore excursions, art work, etc.! Our baggage had all arrived in our cabin by an hour after boarding. The biggest changes were in the quality of food and service in the Lido buffet, the Main Dining Room and the Pinnacle Grill. Breakfasts in the Lido were as always crowded, but the rudeness of line servers and the quality and selection was the worst. Scrambled eggs looked like slop; bacon was almost raw and the lines were usually closed early and were running out of some items! never before seen on HAL. At our table #69 in the MDR, the service was okay, but the girl wine steward was not knowledgeable about all the wines and only interested in hurrying to sell more bottles. Dinners in the MDR were more often disappointing because of the selection, quality or quantity in some items. My escargot were overcooked and only offered once! On the final night, the usual and fun parade of servers with baked Alaska was deleted! There was no more "chocolate extravaganza" around the pool as usual before one evening. The Pinnacle Grill cover charge formerly $20is now $29/person. That nearly 30% increase would be okay, but they eliminated lobster tails from the entrée choices and put an additional $20/person upcharge for King Crab legs! I ordered a 10oz filet mignon, medium rare, and it arrived well done. Reorder came medium well but ate it anyway! The manager seemed to make reservations difficult, but there were always a few empty tables! The singers and dancers were live and good especially Angela, the light haired male singer and the piano player, Mario in the Halcats band. the magician was mediocre and not friendly to guests off the stage and around the ship with his four dogs, child and wife. the comedian, Julie Barr was funny and entertaining. Our cabin stewards did a good job except when our fruit was ripe and ready to eat, they removed it and left not so ripe. Finally, disembarkation was another "cluster" and absolutely horrible regardless of what you had put on your form regarding post cruise travel arrangements, etc. We were supposed to disembark between 8:15 and 8:30am, but it ended up being about 9:15am? If these issues are not fleet wide, they may be related to the new Captain Bos since such problems run downhill! In conclusion, if we don't hear anything positive from HAL and not token, this will be our last HAL cruise! One final comment regarding ports on this cruise concerns the port of Haines! It is very disappointing, and must be free of any port charges to HAL. Only one shuttle bus was running to town because the other had broken down a few days before! Skip Haines and do Skagway! In summation, enjoy Alaska and Denali; but don't sail the Oosterdam, and maybe choose another cruise line! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We will not recommend this trip to friends. It was not what we expected. The pictures in Holland America's brochure were spectacular - Glacier Bay was amazing. But in fact when our ship pulled in to the bay on one of the very few ... Read More
We will not recommend this trip to friends. It was not what we expected. The pictures in Holland America's brochure were spectacular - Glacier Bay was amazing. But in fact when our ship pulled in to the bay on one of the very few sunny days, the Glacier was small and not even stunning - not at all the picture in their catalog. In two of the ports, Juneau and Ketchikan we were greeted with more of the same jewelry stores that were already on board ship with salesmen pressuring us on the sidewalks to enter and buy. Not the wilderness we expected to see. Upon embarkation in Seward we were "herded" into a warehouse where all 2000 guests were signing in to board. We were in line for hours, even though we had booked a Neptune Suite and were suppose to have special embarkation status - there were no Holland American agents working the line as you entered it to help you navigate to your correct spot. In addition when we did go up the gangplank and boarded our ship, despite what we paid there was no one to help us find our deck, elevators, or stateroom. We were surprised to see that everyone's luggage was being xrayed as well before being allowed on our ship. We all had previously been through TSA, and Customs - why the x ray - to find if you carried on your favorite bottle of scotch or wine. We heard from other guests how their bottles were taken and would not be returned until the disembarked the ship at the end of the cruise - unless they paid and $18.00 corkage fee per bottle! To us that was their personal property......! We had been looking forward to the food as we had heard it was wonderful. Again, we were disappointed Out of 5 stars the best we could give it is 3 and that was even with the evening in Le Cirque thrown in. I would not recommend the Pinnacle Grill or the evening in Le Cirque - they were overpriced for what you got. Our Stateroom on the other hand was very nice, and very well taken care of by our Stewards who were constantly available to help. Service in any of the restaurants was excellent as well as the bars. We were surprised though to hear the wait staff push whole bottles of wine on guests when they tried to order just a glass. Also, we overheard several Holland America staff pitching future cruises to several of the elderly guests. Disembarkation was as unorganized as embarkation - We will not recommend this trip . Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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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