1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
It was a good deal on a week that worked well for us. We like HAL. The room was adequate, our room steward excellent, and the location was right smack in the middle of the ship which made it easy to get around. I went to trivia twice every ... Read More
It was a good deal on a week that worked well for us. We like HAL. The room was adequate, our room steward excellent, and the location was right smack in the middle of the ship which made it easy to get around. I went to trivia twice every day, swam in the pool every day and attended a couple of the American Test Kitchen presentations which were very good. My husband's foot was bothering him so we did not go off of the ship except for San Juan. He seemed to be ok that day so we ventured out to Starbucks to retrieve our emails and phone calls. We were unable to dance which was too bad since we love to dance. We would have liked to dance in BB King's. WE were unable to attend any of the Lincoln Center presentations as the times did not work out for us. The food was wonderful. The salad that is prepared for you according to your choice is the BEST!! I miss it already. The Pinnacle Restaurant was excellent as usual and the dining room food was really good. One night I ordered all of the desserts!!! The ice cream was good. The no sugar added desserts were also delicious. The salmon and steak were prepared properly, as was the lobster (not overcooked). The onion soup is so so, however. We found that to be the case on the Konigsdam as well. The other soups were very good. The omelets were excellent as were the Eggs Benedict which I ordered in the dining room one morning. We met some very nice people on board as we always asked to share in the dining room. The pool had enough chairs in the shade which is what we like. The pool was not too cold. The Dive is terrific. All in all, we had a really good time! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this cruise because it was very inexpensive and wanted to try out Holland America. We were a bit disappointed about 1-2 weeks prior to our cruise. We received an invite to upgrade to a suite for a very decent price. However, ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it was very inexpensive and wanted to try out Holland America. We were a bit disappointed about 1-2 weeks prior to our cruise. We received an invite to upgrade to a suite for a very decent price. However, within a short time, our travel agent called in, all suites were gone. The ship itself is a bit rundown and could use some updates. It was not "state of the art" and the ambiance is a little conservative. Service was really good. I felt at times that staff were "correcting" me when I wasn't doing things exactly as they would prefer. For example, on my last day, I went to the coffee bar at 6 AM and the person there snapped at me, informing me that they wouldn't be open until 6:30. Food was great, especially the vegetarian menu. Although you have to ask for the vegetarian menu, the selections art outstanding! The entertainment was amazing, especially the Lincoln Center Stage and Billboard On Board! We went to at least 7-8 "recitals" and saw the Billboard On Board most nights before dinner. Our excursions were outstanding. We went to go see the rainforest in Puerto Rico and took tours of almost every other port except for Grand Turk. Our last day at Half Moon Cay (Holland America's private island it shares with Carnival) was outstanding. We had such a good time on a tour and then a barbecue that was free to guests. All in all, it's pretty decent for the amount we paid (approx $950 per person) for a balcony. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
2018_11 Holland America Oosterdam Caribbean cruise Our first cruise and we were excited in the weeks before but once we boarded, we were awed way beyond expectations by the ship and our cabin. Everything was fantastic ! I think our ... Read More
2018_11 Holland America Oosterdam Caribbean cruise Our first cruise and we were excited in the weeks before but once we boarded, we were awed way beyond expectations by the ship and our cabin. Everything was fantastic ! I think our Signature Suite 8055, which was way larger than we expected, was largely responsible. There was *nothing* wrong with this cabin - wonderful air conditioning around the clock, the most comfortable beds ever, 3 lockers, a shower and jet tub in the bathroom, and a generous balcony - it was fantastic and we loved every minute of it. I guess the one issue was - we were under the pool deck (I think) and there was a lot of sound from lounge chairs being setup in the morning - but it did not bother us - and I am someone who is sensitive to sound. The fitness center was fantastic - large with lots of machines and great views over the bow. I stuck to dumbbells and the Precor upright bikes which offered lots of resistance. The $20 "fill a bag" laundry service was fantastic - I thought they would just wash and fold - but they pressed - and well! Pinnacle Grill was great - beautiful decor and great food although my steak was a wee bit overcooked. Lovely service. Cannaletto - the other premium restaurant - seemed like it was just a money grab. It's merely a carved out section of the Lido Market - not a separate restaurant - and TBH I think they're serving the same food you'd get in the Market. Get a salad and a build-your-own-pasta from Lido Grill instead - there I just saved you $15. Speaking of Lido Market - we thought it was pretty good generally but there were some real misses such as the filet mignon which was quite a disappointment, and the soups which never were that good. The salad bar was great, the "build your own pasta" was great, the asian section was great. Here's the thing tho - HAL mentions "legendary service" on their website. When it comes to the eating and drinking areas, I'd call it "questionable service". We were served water/tea only about 30% of the time in the Lido Grill. The bartenders were noticeably not pleasant - not angry or anything - just sort of procedural. In the 'fancy' dining room, I watched waiters traverse back and forth by our table for 15 minutes before I raised my arms to get one to stop for a bread refill. (Apart from that, we did enjoy The Dining Room on 3 different nights including Thanksgiving dinner which was quite good). Our cabin stewards were delightful and never failed to greet us by name from the moment we boarded. If all of the mandatory daily tip went to them, I would be ok with that. We didn't attend much on-board entertainment - we were too tired by 9pm! The trivia games were fun, and the casino, tho small, was enjoyable. The lounges / bars / common areas were mostly gorgeous. The Lincoln Center venue was good, tho small, and there were only brief performances here and there. The Digital presentations were pretty good - good instructor. The "Onshore Shopping" presentation was merely a diamond sales pitch, I'm willing to bet by employees of the diamon sellers. The shops were meh. The pool areas always seemed to have chairs and pool space available. I thought they would be chock-full but they weren't. We bought the thermal suite 7-day pass for $219/couple (we paid $250 in advance but they reversed the charge to $219 altho as I think about it they may have double-charged us - need to check). Thermal pool is great but wish it was a degree or two hotter. Never crowded. We enjoyed the Thermal Suite altho we used it only 4 or 5 times so next time, maybe just pay the daily fee. Couple gripes I have with their Navigator smartphone app. Missing/Incorrect information is a pet peeve of mine, especially when it is so easy to get it right, to everyone's benefit. - it says there are no ATMs onboard. This is wrong. There is one adjacent to customer service. Which I learned after waiting in line at customer service. BTW customer service charges 3% for cash advance, the ATM is flat $6. - I had to go to Infirmary one day. Navigator says *nothing* about infirmary. Turns out, it is open only certain hours, and you have to go to the *front* of the ship to get there. Navigator offers all sorts of ways to buy dining and excursions, but zero about a possible necessity like the infirmary. Disembarkation was annoying (is it ever not?) - the printed instructions were not clear - and we did not appreciate seeing a HAL employee bark at everyone, roll his eyes and shake his head at guests (who were paying his salary), when they failed to follow the routine, quite likely due to the poor/incomplete printed instructions. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise because friends had already booked. The ship recently went through a renovation but it was clear the renovation was only in certain common areas. Our stateroom was filthy, old and very tired. Overall the food was ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends had already booked. The ship recently went through a renovation but it was clear the renovation was only in certain common areas. Our stateroom was filthy, old and very tired. Overall the food was good except in the Lido area. I'm attaching some pictures of our stateroom so you can see how neglected it is. The overall entertainment was sparse, however, the cruise director was very friendly and asked for suggesions on how to make things better. Most of the staff was very helpful and attentive but the overall feeling we got from the cruise was there wasn't enough to do unless you wanted to go and sit and listen to people speak about different topics. We knew going into this cruise that HAL caters to a much older crowd but even older people enjoy some live music by the pool and clean updated accomodations. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This is my 12th cruise, but the first time cruising with HAL. The cruise was a 7-Day “Western Caribbean” tour from/to Fort Lauderdale with stops at Half Moon Cay, Falmouth, George Town and Cozumel. I selected this cruise with MS ... Read More
This is my 12th cruise, but the first time cruising with HAL. The cruise was a 7-Day “Western Caribbean” tour from/to Fort Lauderdale with stops at Half Moon Cay, Falmouth, George Town and Cozumel. I selected this cruise with MS Oosterdam as I found a very good Suite offer for this cruise during the thanks-giving week. Ship: MS Oosterdam is a mid-size ship that has space for ~2500 Passengers & 800 Crew. The ship (Fincantieri - Vista Class) is a standard sandwich built with cabins in the lowest decks, public areas including restaurants, shops and casino right above, again cabins in the middle decks and finally the open public area including Lido restaurant, swimming pools / bars and spa in the upper open decks. Special: This ship has a nice lounge, called Crows Nest in the fully forward upper section above the navigation bridge. Cabin: I booked a “Guaranty Signature Suite” and received SY Suite 5001. This Suite is located at Deck 5, fully forward. It is a very nice and spacious suite with a window in the ships front and a little balcony. The suite 5001 is an accessible suite, means it is bigger than normal suites and the bathroom has only one sink (normally, suites has double sink) and there is next to the toilet a shower area for wheel chair passengers. The furniture in the room are “old style” but fully functional. Due to the fact, the suite is fully forward located, the wind deflecting around the bow can generate a huge under-pressure and in this case, the balcony door is whistling like hell. As the ship is already at a certain age, the door has some gaps that can’t be really closed even not when the balcony door is locked with the key. This permanent whistling is disturbing from good sleep. I had two nice cabin stewards, which serviced the cabin twice per day and tried their best to close the balcony the best as they can. Dining: For me the most disappointing item on this cruise: As I had a suite cabin, for dinner, I was privileged to open your time dinner seating in the main restaurant at deck 2. Anyway, every day, a register at the restaurant entrance was required. Twice, I had to wait at the entrance with a device like at a steakhouse in the US. Ones, I waited 30min until my device has flashed and a table was available for me. The service in the main was very slow. Often, up to 2 hours were required for a starter and a main course!!!!!!. Dessert would require additional time that make me then to skip this. Eating in the Lido Buffet Restaurant had like on other ships a lot of disadvantage. Often, there were ques to get the food and at the end, the meal is cold when you receive your table to eat. New for me: Chefs served the Buffet. Means, you have not collected the food you like by yourself, always you need to explain to somebody (mostly a Chef) behind the desk what you want and how much you want. Hence, it was not possible to task a bit and if you like it take more or less of this item. Entertainment: The ship offers different kind of entertainment during the night. There is a Jazz club, Piano entertainment and classic music which offers programs on different evenings (but not every day). Further is the theatre with productions and the casino. During the day, there is no entertainment at all. Neither at the pool nor in the adult serenade area is live music offered. I heart, that there were games trivia & quiz offered during the day, but I haven’t participated at these events. Ports of call: The ports had absolutely nothing special. Half moon cay is nothing than a beach with one Lunch self service restaurant and some bars. Falmouth, George Town and Cozumel are heavily overcrowded ports with up to 6 big cruise ships together in the port. Resume: Cruising with HAL is different to every other company, I was cruising with before. Cruising in the Caribbean area is boring, as all destinations are similar and there are always too many cruise ships who are at the same time in the same port. Anyway, the experience on the ship, beside the poor dinner, was nice and I enjoyed this out time. Wouldn’t mind to select again HAL, but not again for a Caribbean cruise. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We sailed on the Oosterdam Nov. 17-24, western Caribbean. This was our first time with Holland America having travelled with a variety of other lines. Boarding the ship was well organized but we were really surprised to be able to access ... Read More
We sailed on the Oosterdam Nov. 17-24, western Caribbean. This was our first time with Holland America having travelled with a variety of other lines. Boarding the ship was well organized but we were really surprised to be able to access our cabin immediately. Every other cruise line we have travelled with, we learned that cabins would not be available for 2-3 hours after boarding. The oceanview cabin was relatively spacious and had lots of closet and storage space. The bathroom, with a tub/shower combination, was much more comfortable than some other tiny, barely-fit-in-the-shower experiences we have had. The beds were so comfortable that I’d bring one home and replace our current, expensive mattress. Some reviews I had read worried me that this ship would present as old and needing some face-lifts. What we found instead was classic, elegant and refined. Every public space was like a very high-end hotel. The bars were truly relaxing areas to have a drink and enjoy private conversation in quiet environments. I was led to believe that very senior citizens are the primary clientele of Holland America but this was not at all the case on this trip. There was a broad range of ages, including some families with children. Perhaps most surprising, the pool areas were never clogged with people. We could always find deck chairs together as opposed to finding dozens of empty chairs with towels left on them for hours at a time. We have cruised on one of the new mega ships and will never do that again. Food is a very personal thing to comment on. In this area, I found the main dining room at the same level as most other cruises we have experienced, i.e., lots of high notes with some missed steps. Fish is a challenge when the kitchen is preparing so many dishes at a time and on 2 occasions, the fish was over cooked. There were some examples of potatoes that were like small pucks. The steak and lobster dishes were very well done. Service was attentive, water glasses kept filled, drinks replenished and coffee/tea always offered. Desserts were average. We did anytime dining and never waited more than 3-5 minutes for the 5 of us to be seated. When eating in the Lido, we were able to find seating without too much wandering around, even at the busiest times. Our room attendants were the best we have experienced. They were always cheerful, always had time to chat and never made us feel that they were looking for tips. This was also true of all other personnel on the ship, never walking past guests in silence, smiling and helping out in any way they could. The level of service that we experienced was exceptional. Our thanks to all. On all other cruises, the hallways were always crowded in the morning as the attendants raced to do up the rooms. On this ship, we never saw laundry baskets in the halls or cleaning supplies and vacuums. Several of us love cooking and were pleased that America’s Test Kitchen offers demonstration classes during the cruise. A stand-out feature for the musicians in our group was the on-board professional quintet - piano and strings. They presented several concerts and their playing was at a very high standard. I would plead with Holland America to enclose this performance space, a portion of one wall is open to a hallway and some guests, in spite of signs asking for quiet, have not learned to use their indoor voices. Glass could cover the open area and largely solve this issue and be respectful of the artists. When the ship arrived back in Ft. Lauderdale, we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast in the cabin as we were in no rush to disembark. We walked off with our bags at 10 a.m. and had no issues. We look forward to travelling with Holland America again. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We picked this cruise to celabrate my wifes birthday and to enjoy the relaxing ports of call. We are currently a 3star mariner status. We have not been on a Holland ship since 2012. This was the second time on the Oosterdam over ... Read More
We picked this cruise to celabrate my wifes birthday and to enjoy the relaxing ports of call. We are currently a 3star mariner status. We have not been on a Holland ship since 2012. This was the second time on the Oosterdam over the years. Very disappointed in the food quality in the dinning room. Average variety of selections on menu, just not much flavour in any of the meals. Dining room service... As you wish dining, in the evening was the worst we have had in 22 cruises...will not rebook with Holland America. Good service in all bar areas that we visited with friendly staff. Most evenings, coffee or tea never offered. Entertainment, wasn't worth going to the lounge, yet another disappointment. Didn't use the pools but other commented water was lovely and warm. Used and enjoyed the Dry Sauna but very small and only approx 4 to 5 can enjoy at one time. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This is my 4th Holland Cruise and 1st on the Oosterdam...it was great...staff was so nice and efficient from the minute we boarded to when we disembarked! Our stewards “Kadak and Sandi were great...always wishing us a good day with a ... Read More
This is my 4th Holland Cruise and 1st on the Oosterdam...it was great...staff was so nice and efficient from the minute we boarded to when we disembarked! Our stewards “Kadak and Sandi were great...always wishing us a good day with a smile and taking the time to chat....our cabins AC was not working when we boarded..realizing that the crew would be busy with setting sail we did not mention it until the next day...they were very prompt in fixing it for us. Had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill...our reservation got mixed up but the hostess and the manager took care of us...we had Tudor and Caitlin for our servers and they were very helpful with answering our questions...the whole meal was relaxing and excellent. Febbi and Fern who waited on us in the Lido were so friendly and attentive. They are an asset to your staff...always remembered our name...we made it a point to sit in the area of the Lido that they were working. Of course the food was good...and the bread pudding at lunch is my favorite!! We had a wonderful time..as always .. on our cruise Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
I have read reviews about the Oosterdam that she was old and worn out. I found just the opposite, we sailed on Nov. 10-17, 2018 and found the ship was Premo! the food was Premo! the crew was Premo! everything about the trip was great. We ... Read More
I have read reviews about the Oosterdam that she was old and worn out. I found just the opposite, we sailed on Nov. 10-17, 2018 and found the ship was Premo! the food was Premo! the crew was Premo! everything about the trip was great. We got upgraded to the Pinnacle Suite, that cabin was over-the-top, WOW! All in All it was a great trip. We were given a personal escort to board the ship, and again given a personal escort to disembark the ship. We had access to a Concierge and the Neptune Lounge. We enjoyed the Crows Nest, and the two piano players in the Billboard Onboard were super, Also there was no smoking in the casino which was a great Perk. I enjoy the casino but on most ships you have to cut through the smoke to play the slots. We used to cruise with RCL, but their ships have gotten way too BIG, Holland America has the right sized ships. I would sail the Oosterdam again in a heart beat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose hal again after a year off while traveling the ccl's princess line. Looking forward to traveling by ship we chose hal. Why? Because of our travels on noordam, oosterdam, and koningsdam. Princess has a nice product, this time ... Read More
We chose hal again after a year off while traveling the ccl's princess line. Looking forward to traveling by ship we chose hal. Why? Because of our travels on noordam, oosterdam, and koningsdam. Princess has a nice product, this time we were looking forward to hal's genteel and calm demeanor. It delivered. From embarkation to debarkation each staff member we encountered meet us with a smile and a warm greeting. From our cabin stewards (nadi and budi) to our dining room stewards (krishna and dian) we were met with the utmost professionalism. A big thank you for outstanding service! While food is quite subjective; we found the dining room dishes varied and well prepared. The lido offered nice selections and up-to-par with a good cafeteria. Coffee in the dining room seemed to be tastier. Probably me, but that is my take. :-) we had the established wang wang a couple of times and each mixologist knew the recipe. All and all well-done oosterdam crew! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Had a great time on this our fifth Holland cruise. Very slow paced which is what we wanted. They actually cancelled Cap Cana because the waves were just too high to tender in. We ended up going to Samana and we took a cab to Playa ... Read More
Had a great time on this our fifth Holland cruise. Very slow paced which is what we wanted. They actually cancelled Cap Cana because the waves were just too high to tender in. We ended up going to Samana and we took a cab to Playa Rincon beach which was beautiful. We figured we may never go there again so we took the nearly hour long each way drive. HAL refunded the Cap Cana charges and did not charge for Samana. Nice touch! We have had five cruises on HAL so just a few bullet points on this one: Lido choices seem to be lessening but the food was still awesome! Bathroom in Stateroom has a nice small night light in the ceiling. I thought this was a good idea Many electrical outlets in the room. Several USB's as well. BBC Earth with Lincoln Center on Mainstage was pretty cool. Pinnacle and Canaletto were both very good. I heard alot of complaints about the Crows Nest changes prior to going on this cruise. I found they eliminated the old outdated chairs and loungers where people were mostly sleeping. The problem is they got rid of one problem and created another. The EXC was empty most of the time so it was kind of a waste of space. BB King band was outstanding........as usual. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask away! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 3rd HAL cruise and I noticed a huge upgrade in the food offerings. The salad bar is a welcome addition to the Lido Deck. The coffee was improved too - I think that was due to the creamer (rather than milk) being offered. The ... Read More
This was my 3rd HAL cruise and I noticed a huge upgrade in the food offerings. The salad bar is a welcome addition to the Lido Deck. The coffee was improved too - I think that was due to the creamer (rather than milk) being offered. The staff is delightful and so hardworking. I didn’t participate in many activities but enjoyed some of the entertainment on board. I adored the day at Half Moon Cay. We rented a clam shell (and were able to shove a 3rd lounge chair inside!) and 3 float mats. (One mat would have been sufficient in retrospect) The beach is perfection. I spent at least 1/2 the day in the water. I could have stayed there forever! I enjoyed Turks & Caicos - we explored the island on our own and enjoyed ourselves. I wish we’d done the trolley in Key West. I think we would have seen a lot more if we had. We enjoyed Key West and definitely want to go back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Never take a back to back cruise again. The evening entertainment was almost identical on both of the voyage legs. Watching a video in the main theatre while an orchestra played is not our idea of "entertainment" on a cruise ... Read More
Never take a back to back cruise again. The evening entertainment was almost identical on both of the voyage legs. Watching a video in the main theatre while an orchestra played is not our idea of "entertainment" on a cruise ship, Could have stayed home and watched it on some TV or You Tube channel. The comedienne, while being good, repeated her act on second week. Other cruise lines can do a 14 - 15 day trans Atlantic cruise and never repeat the entertainment. The service in the deck 2 dining room was terrible. 2 hours to get an evening meal??? and not much better at breakfast. Laying carpet in the common areas during the day was a total inconvenience to the passengers. This could easily have been done during the night, or could the workers not work the night shift? The embarkation process really sucks. Being held in a large room until your number is called is not a welcoming experience after you have had a long day of travel. Most of the above concerns were also voiced by other passengers. WE have been on many cruises but this has been our worst experience. This was our first cruise with Holland America and will probably be our last with that cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We've sailed a number of times with Holland; the Oosterdam and were pleased. The Barcelona embarkation was easy and we went straight to our cabin. The ship is older but it was well maintained. Captain and Cruise Director Kelly ... Read More
We've sailed a number of times with Holland; the Oosterdam and were pleased. The Barcelona embarkation was easy and we went straight to our cabin. The ship is older but it was well maintained. Captain and Cruise Director Kelly were very good with plenty of information to share. MDR food and service were excellent with gourmet selections and presentations. Lido could have been better, i.e., first full day at sea and tables were not cleared for more guests. We enjoyed the BB King Blues band. Excellent performers. Lincoln Center Stage had an amazing Quintet. They played a variety of music from classics, popular, and movie themes. Our favorite venue was the Gallery Bar. The staff were warm and friendly and the gaming room was a really nice HAL addition. They had board games, darts, chess boards, etc. Very comfortable room to spend the evening in. America's Test Kitchen was another highlight with an entertaining chef who had great recipes and cooking tips. Most of our excursions were booked through HAL and I'm glad I did. Yes, a little more $$, but always well organized and on time. You meet in the theatre and are escorted off the ship and directly to your tour bus. So convenient. Disembarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was slow, but only for fewer custom's agents and five other ships in port. This was the first time I used the spa services. Very good experience with just a small up-sell speech. Ladies, pack a sweater: Air conditioning left public venues very cold Great service. Great cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to ... Read More
We selected this cruise to celebrate my husband's retirement. The combination of ports and transatlantic cruise was the perfect fit and the time of year was just what we were hoping for. We flew into Venice a couple of days prior to sailing and enjoyed checking out the city. The problems started once we arrived in our cabin and discovered the toilet did not operate. Nor did it work the next day, or the day after that, or the day after that.....7 days of our cruise. No operating toilet. We had a pool of disgusting sewage liquid on the floor of the bathroom on one day AFTER the plumbers left. After reporting the problems to Customer Service, we learned the problem was a continuation from the prior cruise. But we were the problem because we were not able to move to another cabin (my parents were next door and we were unable to leave them). For our "trouble", we were given $250. Seriously. The $250 "compensation" for 28% of our cruise being impacted was unacceptable. I would strongly encourage others to avoid HAL and the Oosterdam in particular. We have cruised both HAL and the Oosterdam in the past and had chosen this cruise over several others. We spent hours with customer service staff, plumbers and not doing what we wanted to do--but hey, we got pretty good finding the "public toilets" around the ship....as this was what customer service told us to do when we needed to do our "business". Yep, couldn't use our cabin's most basic facilities. Needless to say, this overshadowed our entire cruise and has changed our views of HAL. Additionally, there were challenges with the wine stewart. We were charged for wine we didn't drink. We were charged for a chard. ($62/bottle) when we drank a reisling ($32/bottle). Who knows who else he was stealing from. As much trouble as we had with the above, we enjoyed the entertainment, the special speakers and the America's Test Kitchen. Our cabin steward was a trooper in having to perform his usual duties and then also clean up from the mess the plumbers left. The ports and excursions we amazing. One challenge we did have with the excursions is that the descriptions regarding strenuousness and the passengers abilities often did not mesh. So those passengers who were more "agile" were held back by those could not keep up with the guides. Look beyond HAL to another cruise line before booking. Or be prepared for anything to go wrong. And then be prepared to be placated by the customer service staff "I'm so sorry Mrs. ***". These individuals are left to try to clean up problems across the ship without any information on what is causing the issues. We felt sorry for them. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Itinerary was great. 12 days was my longest cruise thus far but the best way to see a good number of the Greek islands and tick off Rome Athens and Venice as well. Shore excursions were generally expensive and I would recommend you pre ... Read More
Itinerary was great. 12 days was my longest cruise thus far but the best way to see a good number of the Greek islands and tick off Rome Athens and Venice as well. Shore excursions were generally expensive and I would recommend you pre book online directly as they generally weren’t value for money. Be prepared to be a little bit adventurous here otherwise you will get caught up with the organised crowds and waste time queuing rather than actually seeing things. We were a couple in our 50’s however soon realised this cruise was an over 60’s with the average age probably at 70. Very few younger than us and only saw 4 children. Great if you wanted a quiet relaxed ship with everything closed by midnight. A bit sedate for my liking. Very little variety in entertainment. Narrow choice of music and dancing. Couldn’t fault the service. Food was average to good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We enjoyed a very nice 12 day cruise on the Oosterdam. We took a water taxi direct from our Venice hotel to the ship, so easy. Embarkation was a snap. Our aft cabin was clean and spacious and our cabin stewards Edy and Oman were very ... Read More
We enjoyed a very nice 12 day cruise on the Oosterdam. We took a water taxi direct from our Venice hotel to the ship, so easy. Embarkation was a snap. Our aft cabin was clean and spacious and our cabin stewards Edy and Oman were very gracious and helpful. We would have liked a Tamarind on board for a 12 day voyage so we dined at Pinnnacle Grill five nights. Katalin was our server for three nights and she made a huge difference. The MDR food and service was actually pretty good. One night we dined in Canaletto and it was just ok. The Lido and room service breakfasts were very good. Entertainment was decent with B.B. Kings and a couple shows. HAL still lags behind the competition in this department. Overall service was outstanding. Everyone was always ready to help and always greeted us with a warm smile. You can really feel the genuine and sincere hospitality from top to bottom on this ship. We enjoyed all ports visited but unfortunately we missed Mykonos due to a rare hurricane in the Mediterranean. We had some rough seas for a couple days getting away from the storm. All in all, it was another enjoyable cruise with HAL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
We loved pretty much everything about the cruise, despite being caught in bad weather (like, hurricane level bad weather) that made us miss one port and bounced us around for a few days. The crew was amazing, the food was excellent, the ... Read More
We loved pretty much everything about the cruise, despite being caught in bad weather (like, hurricane level bad weather) that made us miss one port and bounced us around for a few days. The crew was amazing, the food was excellent, the ports were better than I could hae ever imagined, embarkation and disembarkation was a breeze, even the shopping surpassed our expectations. My only real complaint is the spa. I went for a polish change (very reasonable cost to do this), ended up getting an upgrade to polish that would last longer but I was assured would come off easily once I was home. Well,l it didn't. I'm now trying to grow it off because it is too damaging to get off in a salon. Also, the entire manicure experience was an up-sell session. My advice would be to skip the spa. Just a money grab. We also had a bit of trouble getting our dining table sorted but that was a bit of live and learn experience. In future I would do anytime dining if you want interesting conversation. I would definitely cruise with HAL again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We chose this cruise because of the extended time in Malta. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly as did the process for boarding tenders in ports that required them. The crew was fabulous- the ship not so much- ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the extended time in Malta. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly as did the process for boarding tenders in ports that required them. The crew was fabulous- the ship not so much- disappointing really- badly in need of updating- carpet worn in public areas, many lights out on the observation deck, bathtubs should be removed as ours was so scratched it appeared to be filthy although it was not dirt. Our cabin stewards worked non-stop doing their best, but you can only do so much with what you have. The staff in the dining area also were attentive and courteous- unfortunately the food looked amazing but was tasteless for the most part- very disappointing when you consider how much food matters when on a cruise. We did find the entertainment to be excellent- nice variety of comedy as well as classical musicians and Broadway worthy entertainers. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Our group booked this cruise because of the great Ports of Call. This was our second cruise departing from Venice, so we arrived ready to explore Murano, Burano & Tarcello and the Doges Palace which were must sees for this trip. Our ... Read More
Our group booked this cruise because of the great Ports of Call. This was our second cruise departing from Venice, so we arrived ready to explore Murano, Burano & Tarcello and the Doges Palace which were must sees for this trip. Our hotel ordered a water taxis to take us to the pier and embarkation was fast and easy. On our first night aboard we had a magnificent dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, a highlight of the cruise. We have sailed with Holland in the past and were disappointed with the lack of activities, especially on the sea day. Lincoln Center Stage was a daily treat before dinner. This was the first cruise that we booked shore excursions on our own, thank you Cruise Critic for giving us the great tips. We used Via Tour, Shore Fox and Luca Zoppo for Naples, Sorrento and Pompeii. We did our research and found shore excursions that included sites we were interested in. Disembarkation ran smoothly with a transfer to the airport. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have sailed with Holland America lots of times. Excellent Company, Staff Excellent, Service Excellent. In fact everything was excellent. We had to leave the ship a day early to attend our Grandson's Funeral. A beautiful vase of ... Read More
We have sailed with Holland America lots of times. Excellent Company, Staff Excellent, Service Excellent. In fact everything was excellent. We had to leave the ship a day early to attend our Grandson's Funeral. A beautiful vase of Flowers appeared in our Suite on the second day along with a beautiful letter. Our flight was not until 10pm and officially we had to leave the ship at 2pm. However, the wonderful staff especially Mila (Guest Services Manager helped us to stay on board until 6pm and then personally and with other staff escorted us from the ship, carried all our luggage and even called a taxi to the Airport. There are no words to express how well we were looked after the whole of the cruise and we shall we returning to the Oosterdam next year for an Alaska Cruise. We are looking forward to meeting Mila and all her staff again. Thank you so much we will never forget the care and kindness. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We had an absolutely amazing cruise on Holland America Oosterdam on September 9th – the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry We loved the service on the ship, the size of the ship and our fellow passengers. Everyone was so nice! The ... Read More
We had an absolutely amazing cruise on Holland America Oosterdam on September 9th – the 12-night Mediterranean Tapestry We loved the service on the ship, the size of the ship and our fellow passengers. Everyone was so nice! The cruise director was front and center throughout the cruise and we felt there were many activities offered although this was a very port-heavy cruise and our priority was being in port and experiencing everything that Europe has to offer. I know many people on Cruise Critic choose to take their own shore excursions, but I do have to say that EXC Tours absolutely MADE our time in port AMAZING! EXC tours were absolutely wonderful. Our tour guides were experts in each port. All of them full of enthusiasm. We were taken to the best places to see highlights of each port and, for the tours that included meals – we loved each restaurant and the food and wine offered. We were extremely happy that we booked through EXC tours because we did not have to stress about making it back to the ship on time – we could relax, enjoy and focus learning as much as we could about each port offered. We also enjoyed the ports where we just walked around and explored and sat at a café and had cappuccino that turned into cocktails and a relaxing fun day. I do agree that the ship is a bit older, but thankfully, we were there to enjoy ourselves and let little things put a damper on a fabulous European tour. I’ve read many complaints that the ship is in horrible condition and was very worried before we went, but once the cruise was underway, I had an unforgettable time and it didn’t matter! I would ignore the naysayers and form your own opinion and just ENJOY yourselves. We were very happy that we booked a Veranda cabin – we loved going on the Veranda every morning and sail away. Definitely worth the extra money! We did not purchase a beverage package. We brought two bottles of wine on board, attended a shore excursion to a winery in Nice where we were able bring on another bottle of wine onboard without the corkage fee and attended the happy hours. At happy hour, we would order a bucket of corona for around $29 plus gratuity and the next bucket was $10 plus gratuity. We also had wine at lunch with many of our shore excursions. Our bar bill at the end of a 12-day cruise was only around $200. Definitely glad we did not purchase the $1200 signature beverage package. I will say that, because this was such a port heavy cruise, heavy drinking was not a priority but we still drank and enjoyed ourselves. Who wants to be hungover when you are touring Rome? We did enjoy many glasses of wine with lunch in Rome but did not start out the day hung over from the night before bc we were trying to get our money’s worth from our beverage package, if that makes sense. The crew was very hospitable and the captain ran a very efficient and safe ship. I also appreciated the use of hand sanitizer before each embarkation. We experienced no illnesses whatsoever on the ship. We loved being waiting on in the main dining room – a highlight for my husband. Just choosing each meal and taking our time over dessert with coffee. It was such an amazing experience! I LOVE the direction of Holland America – outstanding service, port emersions, amazing EXC tours, a place for foodies and music lovers! Already booked our next cruise! As my husband said, this wasn’t a vacation – this was a TRIP! Thank you, Holland America, for the best trip of our lives!!!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We took the Venice to Barcelona itinerary in Aug/Sep 2018 and we loved this ship! The size was perfect for us. It was easy to get from one end to the other and the ship was in great shape. The food in the main dining room was the best ... Read More
We took the Venice to Barcelona itinerary in Aug/Sep 2018 and we loved this ship! The size was perfect for us. It was easy to get from one end to the other and the ship was in great shape. The food in the main dining room was the best we’ve had on any Holland America ship. The filets were nice and thick and cooked to perfection and the variety each evening was wonderful. And as on all our HAL cruises, the service was impeccable! Even though this ship was smaller than our favorites, the Koningsdam and Nieuw Amsterdam, we really enjoyed every aspect of it. We definitely recommend this ship if you’re looking for a midsize, well appointed ship. Our only disappointment was the changes made to the Crows Nest. It just isn’t as inviting as it used to be and the Explorers Cafe only had a few, very limited, options for danish. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My husband wanted to go on this cruise to go back to many of the spots we had visited while he was in the army. We have sailed on several different cruise lines, but have always preferred Holland America. This cruise offered 2 days in ... Read More
My husband wanted to go on this cruise to go back to many of the spots we had visited while he was in the army. We have sailed on several different cruise lines, but have always preferred Holland America. This cruise offered 2 days in Venice before embarkation. These were very successful. We accidently found out that some tours were offered besides the evening cocktail party at a Venetian Palace. That was also very enjoyable with Bellini’s and heavy appetizers. I told a couple we met who had never sailed on Holland America how they would be impressed as it was a classic cruise line. I was embarrassed as we boarded the ship. There were no wheelchairs, which I needed at embarkation. There was a 300 foot walk. All elevators in the ship had scars and small tears on the walls. There were several broken windows around the public areas. Some windows also were clouded and did not give a clear view. The dining room was half empty when we would eat at the early dinner hour; the food was fine, but seemed to be better in the Lido which offered the same as the ding room with many more additional items. One excursion was changed from moderate to strenuous, and we were graciously refunded our money for that We were given a complementary dinner in the Canaletto because of my husband’s complaints about no wheelchairs at embarkation and a huge lack of help and care for handicapped cruisers during the lifeboat drill. One crew member said they were there for only emergencies. We had an early flight home. One wheelchair was available for debarkation, so another couple let me take it. At the airport we were just left with the piles of baggage in the terminal and there seemed to be no directions on how to find your airline. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Before the cruise, we had the 2 day package in Venice that came with being in a Signature Suite. On my own, I’m not sure I would have chosen the Bonvecchiati Hotel, but its location was perfect and the room was fine. Transfers were ... Read More
Before the cruise, we had the 2 day package in Venice that came with being in a Signature Suite. On my own, I’m not sure I would have chosen the Bonvecchiati Hotel, but its location was perfect and the room was fine. Transfers were handled by HAL and went off without a hitch. Embarkation was very fast with priority Mariner status. We liked the ship a lot. Our cabin was great but it had a lot of noise from people walking on the pool deck above, carts being pushed, chairs scraping, people dropping things, etc. It didn’t keep us awake at night but it was fairly constant. Our neighbors were smoking on their balcony despite the smoking ban. The cabin and the balcony were large, the bathroom was big with a bathtub and a separate shower and 2 sinks. I loved the nightlight in the bathroom. Our stewards were excellent and were able to quickly fix a blocked drain. You can stream movies on the TV but you can’t check your cabin account, order room service or order shore excursions (you have to use the app). AC worked well and there was good storage space. There was norovirus on the ship but not many people got it. The crew seemed to do a really good job of keeping it from spreading. This might be the best cruise ship buffet I’ve seen. The variety was good and the food was actually hot. Don’t miss the nights they do the giant antipasto spread and the international desserts – gorgeous displays with tons of choices. I was not impressed with Dive In. The food takes a long time, isn’t particularly hot, and is it's just average grill food. Also, the hot dogs are too salty. Service in the DR was excellent and the food was very good, although they are pretty skimpy with the vegetables. If the menu says your protein comes with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, expect one Brussels sprout and one bite of potato. Entertainment on this ship was excellent. The production shows were terrific and the singers had good voices. The dueling piano players were great. BB Kings All Stars were terrific and really talented, but the volume was so loud I couldn’t sit in the lounge. If they had turned it down, I would have gone every night, but it was painfully loud. We went to a few of the lectures, which we enjoyed, but didn’t take part in other daytime activities. Shore excursions were very expensive but well run. Twice our tender pilots didn’t seem to know where the pier was. Disembarkation was very fast (we got off early with our suitcases). Overall, we loved the ship, had a great (if somewhat noisy) cabin, and thought the crew were great. The food, entertainment and service were all excellent. Good job, HAL! 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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