CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Holland America Line Oosterdam Eastern Caribbean March 14, 2004

We had enjoyed sailing on the Veendam last year,but were disappointed with our experience on this newer ship. The colourschemes certainly were not dull! Beautiful artwork, more traditional than some lines, but at least things to admire and detailed enough to warrant a close look at replicas and unusual items; much better than what I call Grade 4 reject-type modern art on some lines that look like kindergarten crayoning practice.

Overall a beautiful ship! Was a bit mystified by the bad peeling and unvarnished state of many visible wooden railings on such a new vessel and no upkeep being done. Tasty meals and excellent quality of meats and steaks; however this was spoiled by very slow service in the dining room. Our servers just brought 2 plates at a time--no trays used, so lots of waiting. You are out of luck if you like to eat lots of vegetables. Apparently these are used for decor only! 2 marble -sized potatoes or a slice of tomato doesn't count as a serving to me. Portions have definitely become smaller, but you do get filled up if you eat all the courses. Don't bother trying the informal dining. Despite use of tablecloths in the evening, service is not nearly as good as during the day. Lots of help to get to the table, but noone clearing up, so soupbowls and other plates just piled up on the table, and items quickly got cold. Enough moaning. The price was great and we unexpectedly got upgraded to a veranda which was lovely, so would do it again anytime. There are positives and negatives with ALL the lines, as we have noted over the years. Just accentuate the positive and don't dwell on the other bits!

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