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Found 2,173 results

  1. Is there someone who has been on the O recently out of Tampa? Wondering if we can get the lobster in the Lido on the second formal night? Thanks, Linda
  2. Starting a roll call for this sailing: May 28, 2017 - embark Port of Seattle, depart 4:00 PM May 29 - at sea May 30 - Scenic cruising Stephens Passage, Juneau, Alaska, US - arrive 1:00 PM, depart 9:00PM May 31 - Hubbard Glacier - arrive 2:00PM, depart 6:00PM June 1 - Sitka Alaska - arrive 8:00AM, depart 4:00PM June 2 - Ketchikan, Alaska - arrive 7:00AM, depart 1:00 PM June 3 - Victoria, British Columbia - arrive 6:00PM, depart 11:59PM June 4 - arrive 7AM Seattle - disembark
  3. The Oosterdam and Zuiderdam are calling on Oranjestad, Aruba, today. The Oosterdam is there from 8:00 AM till 17:00/5:00 PM AST and the Zuiderdam will arrive at 13:00/1:00 PM 23:00/100:00 PM AST. The Zuiderdam will take the spot to be vacated by the Island Princess currently docked there until 12:30 PM. The Royal Princess is also there from 8:00 AM till 19:00/7:00 PM AST.
  4. I don't really know how to start a roll call thread, There is not one for this sailing on the Oosterdam. This is a 7 night Alaska round trip Seattle.
  5. Hi Sean, Here's the Oosterdam leaving Seattle about 5 pm today: My sister (Old as Dirt Mom) asked me to post this next one for you. She said she waved as the Oosterdam went down the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but since she took this through a telescope .... :D (I'll try to take webcam screenshots and post them here at each of your ports.)
  6. Does anyone know if you can use your own coffee in these new in-cabin coffee machines?
  7. The Tampa sail-away season starts with the Oosterdam's arrival from Europe for a season in the Caribbean. The Oosterdam is scheduled to set sail at 16:30/4:30 PM ET (subject to change as always). The webcam is at: http://www.porttampawebcam.com/ The Oosterdam's 7-Day Western Caribbean itinerary: Nov 18 Tampa, Florida, US Nov 19 Key West, Florida, US Nov 20 At Sea Nov 21 Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras Nov 22 Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala Nov 23 Costa Maya, Mexico Nov 24 At Sea Nov 25 Tampa, Florida, US The Oosterdam's 21-Day Western/Southern Caribbean initnerary: Nov 18 Tampa, Florida, US Nov 19 Key West, Florida, US Nov 20 At Sea Nov 21 Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Honduras Nov 22 Santo Tomas de Castilla, Guatemala Nov 23 Costa Maya, Mexico Nov 24 At Sea Nov 25 Tampa, Florida, US Nov 26 Key West, Florida, US DH Nov 27 At Sea Nov 28 At Sea Nov 29 San Juan, Puerto Rico Nov 30 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Dec 1 St. Johns, Antigua and Barbuda Dec 2 Castries, Saint Lucia Dec 2 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay CO Dec 3 At Sea Dec 4 Willemstad, Curacao Dec 5 Oranjestad, Aruba Dec 6 At Sea Dec 7 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Dec 8 At Sea Dec 9 Tampa, Florida, US
  8. The following are some of our experiences on the Oosterdam 3/10 sailing out of Tampa Florida. The itinerary included the ports of Cozumel, Roatan Honduras, Santo Tomas Guatemala and Costa Maya. We have about 26 cruises under our belt and chose this particular voyage because it included 3 new ports for us and also gave us the opportunity see family and friends living in the area prior to departure. Admittedly, we weren’t too excited about this trip as the sailing date approached. We were very underwhelmed by our last HAL cruise - September 2014 on the Maasdam and totally “wowed” by our last 3 Celebrity cruises in a row. Pre-cruise: we stayed at the Double Tree, Rocky Point. I wouldn’t recommend this property if you don’t have a car, there is nothing within walking distance. And even with a car, it is still a poor value – it is an old property in need of updating. While it might be OK for business travelers, it didn’t seem appealing to vacation travel. Embarkation/disembarkation: We arrived at the port about 1:30 PM – a short line for security and then suite passenger expedited check-in got us on board in less than 5 minutes. Luggage was delivered about 2 hours later – very efficient. Neptune Suite #7079: this room is in a great location, convenient to both mid-ship elevators and the Neptune Lounge. The room was nicely appointed as always and in very nice condition. The 2 concierges in the Neptune Lounge couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful and professional. We appreciate consistent, good quality service and HAL offers it with a well-trained, committed staff. Food/Dinning: this is always a subjective topic but in our opinion, Oosterdam knocked it out of the park. While Celebrity offers exclusive dining options and venues for suite passengers, HAL does not; but it doesn’t need too. The Oosterdam MDR dining experience is absolutely wonderful. Food nicely presented, delicious and always presented at the right temperature. The menu is creative and offers very nice choices that should appeal to most conventional tastes. The service was prompt and courses were paced very nicely; we never felt rushed at any meal. This is important to us and the sign of a well-trained and observant wait staff. We chose open seating and there was never a wait for a table for two; we had a different team each night and they were all equally good. Sommeliers were equally professional, fun and very attentive. Other dinning venues we tried on this cruise included the Pinnacle Grill for breakfast and lunch (excellent service and great food), room service for breakfast (served hot and on time), Lido for an occasional slice of pizza or piece of fried chicken (always hit the spot) and the Dive-In for a Paddle Dog once in a while (again, very good). Finally, Neptune Lounge offers some nice refreshments and snack choices that they changes out several times a day. If you are a smoked salmon fan, this is the place to score big time! Oosterdam offers lots of choices and in our opinion, the ones we tried were all good to excellent. Service: again and as always, HAL really shines. Service everywhere on the ship was very good to outstanding. Room attendants, although appearing very over-worked and under-staffed, always greeted guests warmly and cheerfully. Our team did an excellent job maintaining our room and responding to our modest requests. Elsewhere on the ship, service staff was usually very polite, seemed efficient and normally engaging. Entertainment: this is where HAL really stood out when compared to our recent Celebrity cruises. Oosterdam offered terrific entertainment venues – absolutely first rate. Although we didn’t see them all, the ones we did experience were great. For starters for those who have seen Danny and Anderson in the Billboard venue, you know what I am talking about. These two singer/piano players are unbelievably good and immensely talented performers. Although they perform 3 times a night, there shows are all different; there is the occasional repeat of a song but for the most part, every set is unique. We attended about 2 shows a night and thoroughly enjoyed them all. We can honestly say that these two talented, engaging guys were the best nightly entertainment we have seen on any cruise. They left the ship at the conclusion of our cruise; hopefully their replacements will be equally as talented. The new piano configuration in our opinion is far superior to the previous small (smokey), cramped venue of the past. There was plenty of room for everyone and these guys usually played to a full house. A few other acts we saw were a talented virtuoso piano player/singer Juan Pablo; we really liked this guy who was somewhat old school but very entertaining and had a great Latin flair. A talented comedian Rich Aronovitch did an amazingly funny and creative show; I thought he was hilarious and he kept in moderately clean which is always appreciated. Although we only stopped for an occasional listen, the performances at Lincoln Center and the BB King Club were always well attended and seemed to hit the mark for fans of each venue. OK, now to the things that really misfired for us. Wine by the glass: we are not wine snobs by any stretch but we do enjoy a decent Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc or nice California Pinot Noir. But the choices by the glass (Simi, Formation and Meridian respectively) were fairly low end and lacking. And at $9.50 a glass,they also seemed overpriced. We wouldn’t mind paying more if we could get something decent. However there were some good choices available in the dining room by the bottle. Casino: the dealers were good –well trained and fun. But the problem was the tightest slots and video poker machines we’ve ever seen, anywhere. Yes I know everyone who plays machines hast he same complaint but these things never paid enough to keep you engaged at all, honestly. And what kind of casino only has 4 quarter slot machines? Ports: this is totally my fault for not doing my homework. Although we normally love Cozumel, the first port, and have been there many times, it is a much different place on Sunday. Most of the things we enjoy and the places we normally go to were closed or scaled back. I am fairly certain that Oosterdam was the only ship in port, so there was also no incentive for many places to be open anyway. The second port, Roatan, was probably nice if you wanted a beach day but there wasn’t much else in the immediate port area to do. The third port, Santo Tomas, was really, really lacking. Unfortunately I realized this only after I booked this cruise; there was almost no information about the place on CC or Trip Advisor. It is a container port with a big shed set up at one end were merchants are packed together all selling the same stuff. There are bus and boat tours available; but reviews I read and people we talked to that went on them were not particularly favorable. But it’s all pretty subjective and some may enjoy what is available. Finally, we had a nice day in Costa Maya. I thought the port was nicely developed with nice shops and a few decent restaurants.We took the shuttle into town but there wasn’t much to see at all. In summary, except for the few topics we were disappointed with, this was a great cruise and in many ways, HAL hit it out of the park. Thank you to the wonderful staff and officers of the Oosterdam for all your hard work, great humor and total commitment to the passengers.
  9. I know that the signature suites on the Oosterdam received a major overhaul this spring and I have seen some pictures of the bathroom. It looks like they eliminated the medicine cabinet on the side wall. Does anyone know if there is a medicine cabinet behind the mirrors? It looks like the mirrors are away from the wall but I am not sure. It also appeared that there may be drawers in the area between the two sinks. Thanks.
  10. We were on Oosterdam for 12 days room 1060 main deck . It's under the Queens lounge. The wonderful BB KING group played 2 or 3 times nightly. Ridiculously noisy, they couldn't move us, they did give us each obc to compensate. I was disappointed since PCC recommended this room,and we paid extra for the larger room. So though they took money off the final bill, I was still a bit disappointed . I did mention all in survey. But avoid this room, and check deck plans. Thanks Augie's mom
  11. On previous cruises, we have really enjoyed some fabulous performances from the Adagio duo in the Explorers Lounge. Sadly, I suppose this is no more with the introduction of Lincoln Centre Stage. Where is the venue now and what can we expect to see and hear? We'll be on the Oosterdam in March next year.
  12. The Oosterdam is scheduled to set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing: Emerald Princess, Silver Wind and Celebrity Constellation. And in Key West (http://keywestharborwebcam.com/) the Veendam departs at 18:00/6:00 PM EDT. The Oosterdam's 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer itinerary: Jan 18 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 19 At Sea Jan 20 At Sea Jan 21 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 22 Castries, Saint Lucia Jan 22 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Jan 23 Bridgetown, Barbados Jan 24 Fort-De-France, Martinique Jan 24 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Jan 25 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Jan 26 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Jan 27 At Sea Jan 28 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 29 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Oosterdam's 21-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer itinerary: Jan 18 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 19 At Sea Jan 20 At Sea Jan 21 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 22 Castries, Saint Lucia Jan 22 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Jan 23 Bridgetown, Barbados Jan 24 Fort-De-France, Martinique Jan 24 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Jan 25 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Jan 26 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Jan 27 At Sea Jan 28 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 29 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 30 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 31 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Feb 01 Cruising Bahia de Samana Feb 01 Samana, Dominican Republic Feb 02 At Sea Feb 03 Kralendijk, Bonaire Feb 04 Willemstad, Curacao Feb 05 Oranjestad, Aruba Feb 06 At Sea Feb 07 At Sea Feb 08 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  13. Three dam ships (sung to the tune of Three Blind Mice) Three dam ships. Three dam ships. See how they sail. See how they sail. They all sail after the muster drill With waving people and their dark blue hulls Did you ever experience such a thrill As three dam ships? Three dam ships. Three dam ships. Hear how they sail. Hear how they sail. They toot their horns when they sail away Condo owners and cam additcs cheer away Did you ever experience something so "cray" As three dam ships? (I apologize for it not being holiday music related!) The Oosterdam, Maasdam and Zuiderdam are scheduled to set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing: Costa Deliziosa and Independence Of The Seas. The Oosterdam's 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 At Sea Dec 31 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 01 Castries, Saint Lucia Jan 01 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Jan 02 Bridgetown, Barbados Jan 03 Fort-De-France, Martinique Jan 03 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Jan 04 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Jan 05 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Jan 06 At Sea Jan 07 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 08 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Oosterdam's 21-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer Collector Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 At Sea Dec 31 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 01 Castries, Saint Lucia Jan 01 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Jan 02 Bridgetown, Barbados Jan 03 Fort-De-France, Martinique Jan 03 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Jan 04 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Jan 05 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Jan 06 At Sea Jan 07 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 08 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Jan 09 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 10 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Jan 11 Cruising Bahia de Samana Jan 11 Samana, Dominican Republic Jan 12 At Sea Jan 13 Kralendijk, Bonaire Jan 14 Willemstad, Curacao Jan 15 Oranjestad, Aruba Jan 16 At Sea Jan 17 At Sea Jan 18 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Maasdam's 7-Day Western Caribbean Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 30 At Sea Dec 31 Ocho Rios, Jamaica Jan 01 Georgetown, Cayman Islands Jan 02 Cozumel, Mexico Jan 03 At Sea Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Zuiderdam's 7-day Eastern Caribbean Holiday itinerary: Dec 28 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 29 At Sea Dec 30 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Dec 31 San Juan, Puerto Rico Jan 01 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Jan 02 At Sea Jan 03 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Jan 04 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  14. Traveling on oosterdam to the Mediterranean later this fall, and wondered if the ship has public showers? We will have 3 ladies in our cabin, and we thought one or two of us could shower in the fitness center's showers? Is that even possible, without 'joining' the Spa center for the trip? If so, what are the facilities like? thanks!!
  15. The Oosterdam is scheduled to set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ Also departing: Celebrity Constellation. The Oosterdam's 11-Day Southern Caribbean Wayfarer itinerary: Feb 29 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Mar 01 At Sea Mar 02 At Sea Mar 03 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Mar 04 Castries, Saint Lucia Mar 04 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay CO Mar 05 Bridgetown, Barbados Mar 06 Fort-De-France, Martinique Mar 06 Daylight passing Mount Pelee CO Mar 07 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Mar 08 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Mar 09 At Sea Mar 10 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas TR Mar 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US The Oosterdam's 21-Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer itinerary: Feb 29 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Mar 01 At Sea Mar 02 At Sea Mar 03 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Mar 04 Castries, Saint Lucia Mar 04 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Mar 05 Bridgetown, Barbados Mar 06 Fort-De-France, Martinique Mar 06 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Mar 07 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Mar 08 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Mar 09 At Sea Mar 10 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Mar 11 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Mar 12 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Mar 13 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Mar 14 Cruising Bahia de Samana Mar 14 Samana, Dominican Republic Mar 15 At Sea Mar 16 Kralendijk, Bonaire Mar 17 Willemstad, Curacao Mar 18 Oranjestad, Aruba Mar 19 At Sea Mar 20 At Sea Mar 21 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  16. Translation of pressrelease in Holland; Holland America Line celebrates its Dutch heritage in a new partnership with the National Museum, the most visited museum in the Netherlands. The 'Rijksmuseum at Sea "was created by Empire Studio and is installed in April 2016 on the ms Oosterdam. The next few years the concept will be introduced in the entire fleet. Holland America Line has become an official sponsor of the Rijksmuseum. This is a special collaboration between two traditionally Dutch companies with a large orange heart. Through collaboration with the Rijksmuseum, Holland America Line is able to bring its guests in touch with the rich Dutch history where both the museum and the company is proud of. The collaboration between the Dutch cruise line and the museum will include form by making special reproductions of some of the most famous masterpieces from aboard the ship. In addition, a special area created for guests to explore their own creativity through art workshops. On television in the staterooms can watch films about the museum and its collection and on selected cruises, programs and presentations are offered by employees of the National Museum. Guests can also buy products from the Rijksmuseum in the onboard shops. "Special art is always central in our decor on board and we are delighted that the cooperation with the National Museum adds some fantastic prints on the collection of over 1,300 works of art in our fleet," said Orlando Ashford, president of Holland America Line. "Through art we look at things differently, like to travel, we open our eyes to the world around us and see things that we may never have experienced before." The Rijksmuseum opened its doors in 1800 in The Hague. The museum offers a representative overview of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages to the present and major European and Asian art. In 1808 the museum of The Hague moved to the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. In 1885 the museum moved to its current location in the museum in Amsterdam. In April 2013 following a renovation closure of the main building for 10 years, the renovated Rijksmuseum opened its doors again. At present, the museum receives nearly 2.5 million visitors each year. The Rijksmuseum and Holland America Line have both historical brands with a proud Dutch history. We are grateful that Holland America Line guests from all over the world, by our new partnership, be enabled to view our impressive collection in the 'Rijksmuseum at Sea ", created by Empire Studio," said Wim Pijbes, director of the Rijksmuseum . The collection goes back to the year 1200 and consists of one million objects, of which 8000 are currently being exhibited. Visitors to the museum can view masterpieces by painters Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Johannes Vermeer and Jan Steen.
  17. I'm going to start this Live thread for our Oosterdam holiday cruise, which starts today. I hope to provide updates from the ship, we'll see how the internet goes.... I'm typing on my iPad, so please forgive any typos. Background My husband and I are 4 star Mariners with hundreds of nights on HAL, although our last HAL cruise was in December 2011. Shortly after that cruise, our young adult son was diagnosed with cancer and we spent the better part of the last years caring for him. Unfortunately he passed away this summer. This is a bittersweet cruise for us, we have many memories of cruising with our son. We chose a holiday cruise because we can't imagine being home alone for our first Christmas without him. We've done HAL holiday cruises before, and have always enjoyed them. Pre-Cruise We always come in the day before, we'd come sooner if I had my way, but our work schedules are always so tight. There is so much to do in Fort Lauderdale, and I just like being in warm sunshine. We arrived in FLL yesterday around noon. We are Marriott points people, always using them for our business travel, and typically stay at either the Renassiance or Marriott Harbor Beach. Because yesterday was my husband's birthday (53!) we splurged and booked the Ritz Carlton. I say splurge conservatively, because it was only about $30 more a night than the Renaissance. Of course the Ritz adds resort fees, etc so it's not a budget choice, but all in all it was well worth it for us, especially since we arrived early and had the day to enjoy the facilities. We had dinner last night at the hotel restaurant, Burlock Coast. Research tells me it's a new restaurant with mixed reviews. We liked it very much. Because we are elite status with Marriott, we had a card for 10% off. When they found out it was my husband birthday they also gave us a complimentary dessert and round of drinks. My husband was drinking 18 year old Macallen scotch, so that was no small gift. We found the food to be excellent. He had grouper and I had snapper. Both fish entrees were piping hot and expertly prepared. We shared a key lime pie for dessert, that was so big (it's meant for sharing) that we had them pack it up for a midnight snack. It was my breakfast today! We would definitely be happy to return to Burlock Coast. The food and service were excellent, as well as we really liked sitting outside with a view of the ocean, and the pretty blue holiday lights lining the boulevard. As I'm typing this, it's 10am and we are packing up, and will leave for this ship in about an hour. I hope to provide updates as frequently as our time and the internet service allow. Next stop....the Oosterdam!
  18. We just booked this ship out of Tampa for November 2016. We have a verandah midship. Can anyone recommend a good cabin with a larger balcony? We have tentatively chosen cabin 6099 while aboard the NA last week. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
  19. As we Americans sit around eating leftover Thanksgiving turkey sandwiches, the rest of the world can join us to watch the Oosterdam set sail at 16:00/4:00 PM EDT (subject to change as always). The webcams are at: http://portevergladeswebcam.com/ http://ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ 10 Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer Itinerary : Nov 27 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Nov 28 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Nov 29 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Nov 30 Cruising Bahia de Samana Nov 30 Samana, Dominican Republic Dec 01 At Sea Dec 02 Kralendijk, Bonaire Dec 03 Willemstad, Curacao Dec 04 Oranjestad, Aruba Dec 05 At Sea Dec 06 At Sea Dec 07 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US 21 Day Southern Caribbean Seafarer/Wayfarer Itinerary: Nov 27 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Nov 28 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Nov 29 Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Nov 30 Cruising Bahia de Samana Nov 30 Samana, Dominican Republic Dec 01 At Sea Dec 02 Kralendijk, Bonaire Dec 03 Willemstad, Curacao Dec 04 Oranjestad, Aruba Dec 05 At Sea Dec 06 At Sea Dec 07 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US Dec 08 At Sea Dec 09 At Sea Dec 10 Philipsburg, Sint Maarten Dec 11 Castries, Saint Lucia Dec 11 Scenic Cruising Soufriere Bay Dec 12 Bridgetown, Barbados Dec 13 Fort-De-France, Martinique Dec 13 Daylight passing Mount Pelee Dec 14 Basseterre, St Kitts and Nevis Dec 15 St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. Dec 16 At Sea Dec 17 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas Dec 18 Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US
  20. any suggestions for pier parking close to the oosteredam's departure pier
  21. We are just off the Oosterdam's eleven day Southern Caribbean itinerary. This was a Monday sailing so it made planning a little easier and was also our first Thanksgiving on board ship. The Oosterdam itself is in fine shape. Yes I could see some of the normal wear and tear that passengers will cause but nothing that would cause me to second guess our choice. There was one persistent issue in our cabin. We were in cabin 8082 and had an issue with the water in the bathroom. One our first day we could get no cold water to come out of either sink, shower or tub. After three calls the plumbers replaced a mixing valve on the first sink that made the issue manageable. When turning on the cold water we would get hot water, so hot that you could scald yourself. After the water ran for a few minutes then we would get water that was cool enough to shower and brush our teeth. We did take to bringing a glass of water from the lido to take our daily pills. The internet service on board is still the old system. One hundred minutes for $55.00. I received 100 free minutes as part of the package and the service was rather good in my stateroom, although very slow. I have come to depend on free wifi when on shore but if and when the new internet becomes available I will give it a try. I do like to make sure my cats are all OK and maybe post a few pictures for friends at home. The food on board had its good and less than good moments. We ate in the MDR twice. The first was on embarkation day, despite being told at check in that it was closed. The food and service were both good. The second was for the Mariners lunch and that too was good. We ate in the Pinnacle Grill for one meal and I was able to get the Steak Diane by requesting that ahead of time. Thanks to the CC members who posted about this option. It was fantastic! We also tried the Canaletto for the first time since it became a surcharge event. We received it as a freebie when we booked. The service and food were very good. It was so good that we paid to eat there two more times. I was able to get the lasagna without any fuss and it was better than what I can get at home. DH had the seafood soup the first time as a starter and then had it as a main course the second time, it was that good. (He never has requested to go back to a pay meal before) Each time we thought we had too much food to eat, even when sharing one starter. The food in the lido was fare but the choices seemed less than before, not in one night but for the 11 days. At no time did we see steak as an option and the veggie choices were not too exciting. The pasta bar saved us a few nights. An added plus was seeing some crew in Canaletto and the lido that we met on the Maasdam. The entertainment was standard for what we have become used to. We both are looking forward to the ending of the Dancing with the Stars program. The singers and dancers were a bit better than what we have seen on the past few cruises so hopefully that means the shows will improve over time. One observation to note for the gamblers and smokers. There were a minimum of three smoke free nights in the casino. One of those announcements was made at a show and the audience was loudly enthusiastic about the news. Later I got to speak with the cruise director and he let me know that the smoke free nights are very popular and more profitable for HAL. He also said that it would be a long time before it became a totally smoke free venue. We attended our first Mariner Society event since this cruise marked our 100th sea day on a HAL ship. I was very surprised at the number of no shows. We received a call from someone to verify that we would attend. It was a pleasant event where they served champagne, wine and snacks. Later, on our last night we also received our 4 star pins since this cruise also got us to the next level. In the end I had another wonderful vacation with HAL. We both decided that we could do this itinerary again. Barbados is a beautiful island and we would like to go back. I met some really nice people and hope to keep in touch with them. I also got to meet Joanie and we had some wonderful chats out by the aft pool. Time to start planning the next adventure. :D
  22. This is the first installment of my normal "live" report from each cruise. Unlike other cruises and to give better information, I am armed with an infrared thermometer for A/C and food temp issues, tape measure, cameras, scanner, a discriminating palate (no escargot), and an eye tuned to ship's maintenance issues. I will find all of the relevant names for the staff and entertainment, report rumors of changes, scan every menu, critic the food, and do my best to describe ship's activities. Feel free to ask questions and I will find the answers. Weather here in Fort Lauderdale is heavy overcast and raining. Long range forecasts predict rain in several of our ports, as well. More later after boarding.
  23. Beautiful day for those on the Oosterdam! Sunny and 72 degrees in Astoria today!
  24. Asking all of my great CC pals who have been on the Oosterdam within the LAST 2 years to help me make a decision. :) I have a hold on VA5094. This appears to be just over the life boats, checked several deck plan sites and all look the same. QUESTION: Does this interfere with your view from the veranda? I ask because we usually are higher up. How is the condition of the ship, food?, any complaints/compliments???? Anyone have current menus from Pinnacle and Canaletto? I have found older ones, nothing within the last 2 years. Thanks for your answers, have to make a decision by tomorrow. Linda:o
  25. My wife and I recently returned from an Alaskan cruise on the Oosterdam. Although we would give the ports of call 5+ stars, sadly I must report that the ship was a great disappointment. This was our third HAL cruise... and probably our last. Each successive cruise on HAL showed further cuts and cost containment rendering the line inferior to other options out there. Now I will admit to bias. One of the primary reasons that my wife and I like to cruise is for the entertainment and activities on board. Well... these were few and far between and what was scheduled usually conflicted with dinner. Sure, there were a couple of presentations, culinary shows, etc. but very little scheduled pool side, trivia usually held at 7:30 pm, etc. The CD was all but absent, only providing a brief introduction to shows with time worn jokes. At the end of the show, most CDs would highlight the next day's activities... nope. The Vista Lounge presented only two production numbers both of which were mediocre... a mishmash of songs thrown together with no story to speak of. Sets were minimal, costumes poor, dancers below average - though I will give credit to the singers who were superb - when they weren't lip syncing to prerecorded music and vocals. No show band. Three of the shows in the theatre were not really shows at all: 1. movie night; 2. dancing with the stars (sorry, but I do not view watching fellow passengers dance on stage as entertainment.) 3. Philipino crew show. Lounge entertainment was generally good: We really enjoyed Adagio - a piano/violin duet, the BB King Allstars, and the pianoman. One lounge band... The Band, should have been called "The Bland". No vocals and a sound similar to a one-man electronic keyboard. HalCats no longer exist. Food was good in the MDR though the Lido Buffet was average at best. The Pinnacle Grill was inferior to specialty dining restaurants found on other ships. We chose this cruise as HAL was the only line to include the Yukon in the land package.
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