6 Holland America Oosterdam Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Alaska from Vancouver

This our my 3rd cruise. We've gone with 2 other cruise lines in the past and loved every minute. Sadly I can't say the same about the Oosterdam. Let me start by saying our stateroom was wonderful and the crew was wonderful. ... Read More
This our my 3rd cruise. We've gone with 2 other cruise lines in the past and loved every minute. Sadly I can't say the same about the Oosterdam. Let me start by saying our stateroom was wonderful and the crew was wonderful. The lay out of the ship was not the best. The ship was lacking in entertainment. Nowhere you could really sit outside without being in the weather. Food was definitely a step down from our from our previous experiences. Quite frankly we were bored. My husband and I are in our late 50s early 60s, perhaps if we were older we would have enjoyed the ship more but sadly this experience has put us off HAL and wouldn't consider cruising with them in the future. I cringe to think that a friend is on the ship right now doing the Panama Canal for 21 days. I hope she and her husband survive the boredom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We had a wonderful trip. Went to Vancouver and stayed in a super hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront. They parked the ship right in front of our hotel. Boarded the Holland-America's Oosterdam on Sunday the 19th and sailed at 4pm. Next ... Read More
We had a wonderful trip. Went to Vancouver and stayed in a super hotel, the Fairmont Waterfront. They parked the ship right in front of our hotel. Boarded the Holland-America's Oosterdam on Sunday the 19th and sailed at 4pm. Next day was a sea day and Formal Night. I wore my tuxedo and went to the B B King show - the band was good. Tuesday we went to Ketchikan, AK and had Dungeness Crab Feast and Wilderness boat trip. After they pulled up the crab trap, we picked up the big, live Dungeness crabs for photos. Saw many Eagles. They lured an Eagle to the boat with a fish and he swooped down to the water right in front of us. Then we went back to the Lodge and ate as much crab we could eat. Wednesday - Juneau, AK. Went to the World Famous Red Dog Saloon. In PM we went on a whale watching boat tour with Capt. Larry of Orca. Saw eleven whales diving over and over again. They were doing "Bubble net feeding" maneuvers. (See Google for interesting explanations and videos). Skagway, AK, and went on the trip on the railroad that the 49ers built over the mountains. Spectacular scenery. The track rose 3,800 feet in 14 miles. We could actually see the trail the gold prospectors had to use to get to the mines - still 600 miles away! The food and service was excellent on the cruise! It's a beautiful ship. Capt. Bos is a superb leader. We departed to Seward, AK., and took a TEN hour bus ride. I wish we hadn't gone the 4 day trip to Denali (Mt. McKinley). Alaska is just too big to go by bus. The weather was cloudy or rainy and no way I was going up in an airplane or even see Denali. Of course, the mountain scenery all over Alaska was spectacular. The next day we took another 8 hour bus ride into the Denali National Park (same size as Massachusetts!). Saw lots of animals, but they were very far away. The next day we had a day of rest, so we went to see the amazing Jeff King, the 4 time Champion of the Iditarod dog sled race at his Husky Homestead. Very interesting place and lecture, and the we loved holding the puppies. Then a very nice 8 hour dome car train trip back to Anchorage. Our ankles were the size of tree trunks from the 27 hour bus - train "legs hanging down" caused edema. The highlight of the trip, for me, was going to the Crows Nest restaurant on the 20th floor of the Capt. Cook Hotel, in Anchorage, AK and celebrating the 50th anniversary of my trip with my Dad to Anchorage in 1965. We ate in the same place 50 years ago and I vividly remember eating my very first Alaskan King Crab Legs. The Crows Nest manager, Kristen Park, made a big deal about our visit. She made us feel like royalty. She gave us a premier table overlooking the city and mountains. This was the 50th Anniversary of the hotel itself, too, since the old one was destroyed in the big 1964 Alaska earthquake, and the hotel was brand new when Dad and I went there. Kristen gave me two actual 1965 menus! (King Crab Legs - 1965 price $5.95 - 2015 price $58) . I had lots of fun and many wonderful memories with my Dad. It was an amazing, amazing trip of a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
My first time on cruise.Generally satisfied but taken by surprise that had to pay for plain water even from my room fridge. Alcohol OK but water? Also charges of 15% for service in bars or to servants-low ball. HAL charges enough for ... Read More
My first time on cruise.Generally satisfied but taken by surprise that had to pay for plain water even from my room fridge. Alcohol OK but water? Also charges of 15% for service in bars or to servants-low ball. HAL charges enough for trip. Dinners also could be better, chef was slipping at work. Attention to travelers problem from designated staff, poor. Long lines to service desk. And end of trip was the summary. We had to leave room at 9 am and waited until 12.30 to board bus to Anchorage, totally wasted time. Specially that after arrival to Anchorage was to late to go anywhere. My baggage was lost on the way to hotel and nobody know what happened, they have flyer blaming road construction for delays or lost baggage.I got my bag in Denali 30 h latter. Hal need big shake-up Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We did a 14 day cruise tour to Alaska and as usual Holland did not disappoint us. We stayed in a Neptune Suite and the service and accommodations were outstanding. Our room was beautiful, very clean, spacious - the Neptune Lounge was a ... Read More
We did a 14 day cruise tour to Alaska and as usual Holland did not disappoint us. We stayed in a Neptune Suite and the service and accommodations were outstanding. Our room was beautiful, very clean, spacious - the Neptune Lounge was a real treat and we enjoyed having access for morning coffee and light breakfast options as well as afternoon tea and canapés. We were spoiled! The shows on the ship were good, however this was Alaska so who needs shows? We did attend a couple of the music numbers, Dancing with the Stars finale, the comedian and the illusionist show. Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto were exceptional as always. The service in Pinnacle was outstanding - we were seated at the same table each evening and really enjoyed our dining room steward. Once on land all of our accommodations were well appointed - Alyeska was magnificent and a stand out along with the Westmark Fairbanks. The Chalet at Denali is rustic but clean and nice - what you would expect in a national park lodge - it's no frills but comfortable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We have sailed many times with Holland America,and enjoyed the cruises very much. This last trip to alaska was disappointing in that we saw a big downgrading in the vista shows,the movie rooms screen is very old and should be replaced with ... Read More
We have sailed many times with Holland America,and enjoyed the cruises very much. This last trip to alaska was disappointing in that we saw a big downgrading in the vista shows,the movie rooms screen is very old and should be replaced with a bigger and new movie screen,the casino needs a big renovation and the dining rooms menu isn't as good as before because of menu selection and presentation. The service was excellent as usual,and adan our waiter in the dining room was superb. We hope Holland America will address these areas, so we may cruise with them again. Our cabin overall was nice except it needs a new tv. The attendants again were excellent. Our cabin was 5028. The ship itself is very classy and the crew very professional. They have a great cultural theme in regard to art auctions, and a trio playing classical music. Side courses on cooking and windows 8 computer educational courses,along with karoke and night club entertainment. The swimming pools are nice,along with the spas. In conclusion the oosterdam has a great atmosphere and people,it just needs some updates. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
4th time cruising but first HAC cruise. 3 others were Carnival. I've always heard Carnival is the worst cruise line but I have never had any complaints. Currently on Day 5 of the Oosterdam, 7 Day Alaskan Cruise and I have a long list ... Read More
4th time cruising but first HAC cruise. 3 others were Carnival. I've always heard Carnival is the worst cruise line but I have never had any complaints. Currently on Day 5 of the Oosterdam, 7 Day Alaskan Cruise and I have a long list of complaints. Going to start with the positive: -Check-in in Vancouver was much easier than past experience, quick easy and friendly -Alaska is beautiful, once ported and on land our experience has been wonderful -The excursions so far are unbeatable. (Ziplining in Ketchikan, Taku Lodge Seaplane in Juneau) -Our room host is friendly, and stays out of the way mostly -Room is standard with balcony, nice size for a ship, clean... just as expected This has been such a wonderful experience seeing Alaska for the first time, I just wish we had chosen a different way to do it. We are a family group of 12, ranging 3 generations ages 18-78, so spending time with our family of course has been great. We have cruised before as a family and the ship/staff was very accommodating because we were a large, fun group. We almost feel unwelcome here and an inconvenience to most staff members. On the first night we went into dinner in our matching "family" shirts, and some of the young adult in nice shorts, one of three wearing shorts got sent away from the dining room to change, although dress code is "smart casual". Smart casual is not defined clearly I guess. Our servers at dinner are not friendly and are very slow. Slow is fine we understand the logistics are difficult, but an attempt at friendliness would be nice. Food is not good, no flavor. We did eat at one of the other restaurants, food was better, but dinner service took 3 hours and orders were mixed up. We laugh about it, but at a restaurant other than the main dining room we expect better service I guess. Staying on the topic of food, the Lido deck buffet for breakfast and lunch is horrendous. Food is disgusting, even the "regulars" like pizza and tacos are gross. Not sure what they are doing different from the Carnival ships I've been on, but it's bad. I will only eat dinner on the ship (because we have to) for the remaining time. They also don't have the late night food options like most cruises, everything but a select few room service items are pretty much shut down by 9:30-10:00pm. Late night room service also takes an hour minimum... so be prepared to wait. They also make you feel like you are inconveniencing them by ordering from the 24 hour room service menu. Speaking of shutting down, everything is empty by like 10:00pm. Mostly due to the age of the majority of the guests on the boat we assume. That's fine, maybe our fault for choosing this cruise line, but there is a definite stigma against young adults. We ended up in the casino every night so far, mostly because that is the only activity to do. We have heard the shows are bad, comedies are not funny, other activities are just trying to sell you stuff you don't want. The casino is fine, most staff is friendly, but we also feel like they don't want to be there, as the night gets later they just want to shut down and we are again, inconveniencing the staff. Casino is done by midnight or earlier each night. Last night they didn't even open the craps table due to "lack of staff". This is so much different than previous cruises where they wanted us to stay in the casino longer than we wanted to stay. We do appreciate the friendliness of the casino staff. Once the casino shuts down there are no options, bars/clubs that claim to be open til 2am on the information sheet are closed by 10:00-11:00pm. Lastly, currently in Skagway our excursion got cancelled due to an incident the previous day. Totally understandable, obviously not the cruise lines fault. We received a notice to call by 10:00am to receive our money back for the excursion. We called at 9:30am and she gave us a hard time even though we have a paper that says call by 10:00am. This issue was resolved quickly, but still, just be friendly!! There were some other little things that I would feel bad bringing up because after all we are on a cruise ship in Alaska and we are so appreciative of that. I just feel overall, we feel like an inconvenience to the staff and that they don't want to be here. There is a negativity on the ship that is very hard to ignore. We paid a lot of money for this trip and just expect good service. We were jealous when we met another couple on the Princess Cruise Line in Juneau raving about the service and staff. Next time, yes to Alaska, and a big no to the Oosterdam and HAC.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Oosterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.6
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.5 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 4.5 3.6
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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