CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews


Holland America Line Oosterdam Western Caribbean March 21, 2004

My husband and I just returned from the Oosterdam and absolutely loved it! We read many reviews of this ship both pro and con and could not find a thing wrong - in fact it was outstanding. We've cruised with RCCL, Disney and Premier. The age group was fine with us. We are in our late 40s with no children. Holland America is not just for the older crowd any longer. We found a wide range of ages on board even some children. We booked directly through HAL last minute and got a fantastic rate. There were so many nooks and crannies throughout the ship - so much variety. The daytime activitiy schedule was amazing from digital camera classes to yoga for couples. Since we like to cruise casually we only had breakfast twice in the Vista Dining Room. The room is lovely with a good menu for breakfast and excellent service. All other meals we used the Lido deck which had a wide variety. The new food stations are a wonderful idea. We never had to wait in line for anything.

The 24/7 pizza/pasta, ice cream and dessert station was hard to resist. The Phillipino and Indonesian crew were outstanding and very accommodating. The spa was the best we've ever found at sea. Quite a good size. Take advantage of the scalp massage and hydrotherapy pool - it was heaven! We booked a private guide for Jamaica and it was well worth it. We saw the real Jamaica with wonderful people and interesting out-of-the way places to see. Grand Cayman was a great shopping port. On Cozumel we took a taxi to the Allegro Cozumel all-inclusve resort just ten minutes from the pier. I had Emailed the resort before leaving home asking about day passes. The guest relations manager Emailed us with a rate of $35 pp for all food and drink plus use of all facilities. This was a great bargain with wonderful snorkeling as well. It is a smaller all-inclusive resort patterned after a Polynesian village with thatch roof bungalows with hammocks on every porch. Very nice place and great staff as well. Upon leaving the guest relations manager thanked us again for visiting the resort and personally called us a taxi for our return trip to the pier and some shopping. This was a wonderful cruise. Embarkation and debarkation were smooth and flawless. We are now spoiled with HAL and will find it difficult to cruise any other line again.

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