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Found 123 results

  1. Oosterdam is transiting the Canal on her way to Willemstad Approaching the locks at 8:20am
  2. Including 40-minute video of encounter at gangway. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/04/29/holland-america-cruise-american-crew-denied-disembarkation-la-coronavirus/3046817001/
  3. This is a quick review of our Oosterdam Mexican Riviera cruise. We booked this cruise a year ago to replace our cancelled Cuba cruise . And just barely squeezed this one in! We almost cancelled due to Covid19, but decided to go, and glad that we went as we were able to unplug a little from the virus craziness. The ship did not sail full, 500 less passengers, and it made for a very uncrowded ship with no lines. The ship - first time on the Oosterdam for us and we had SB5191, a corner aft suite and loved the balcony. We had a lack of hot water for a day that took maintenance a couple of tries to fix, but the concierge Christine and Carlo were great handling that. Sewer gas smell on deck 2 mid ship, and a loss of all power our second sea night for about 30 minutes were the only other issues experienced. The crew were outstanding at every level, I can not say enough positive things about them. Constant cleaning and a healthy ship. We ended up with extra OBC from not cancelling and the hot water issue (400 $) and I signed it back to the crew. After learning on Saturday morning catching up on email before disembarking, I feel better doing that. Very bittersweet getting off and many of the crew clearly struggling with the news. Ports- all new to us and I don't know why living on the west coast we haven't done this before!. Puerto Vallarta we did the Las Caletas beach getaway and that was the most relaxing for us, no news to watch and no cell phone, beautiful weather and lots of drinks. Mazatlan did a private tour of the city to see the sights. Cabo did our own thing, shopping and lunch and drinks. Entertainment and dining- BB Kings were just ok, not the best group we have encountered as the vocalists were overpowered by the musicians. Post modern jukebox was good, great vocalists but not a fan of some of the song arrangements. Did not do Lincoln stage or Billboard. Spent a lot of time on the balcony. Dining in the MDR was very good, great servers and my diet will need to start today. Did the Lido for lunch as we love the salad station. Pinnacle grill for breakfast was always quick with attentive service. In closing, obviously a little more stressful cruising with the rapidly changing virus situation but we are glad we went. We enjoyed ourselves. We have a AK cruise at the end of May on the Oosterdam booked (before the outbreak and also in a Neptune suite) that most likely will be cancelled by HAL. We will wait and see how things progress and hold onto the booking until the decision is made by HAL or the government and go from there. The virus situation is so incredibly fluid and fast changing. My thoughts and prayers are for all the crew, and thanks to providing us a wonderful vacation.
  4. So, I've been cruising about twice a year on NCL and had a few RC and Celebrity as well. Got tired of the nickel and dime style of NCL, but the change in service was the biggest thing. Everyone seemed too busy doing too much for too many passengers to say hi or smile. I canceled my NCL cruise for December and took the Oosterdam for a 7 day Mexico trip out of San Diego. San Diego Port: This was my first time out of San Diego as I alway go out of Long Beach. Long Beach has easier parking since it is right at the pier but it can be pricey. At San Diego, I prepaid at the Wyndam and walked across the street. Still easy to do, just not as quick and direct at Long Beach. It was cheaper though at San Diego though. I drive so getting to each port is about the same. The terminal baggage was a mess at San Diego. Passengers will walking around since there wasn't clear signage and the port staff were rude and unhelpful. Big difference from Long Beach. The port staff, who I know are not employeed by HAL, are so much nicer and accommodating at Long Beach. Inside the terminal, both are about the same. Boarding was quick. Lines were short and we only waiting about 10 minutes before we were called to board. The big positive for HAL is the ability to carry on sodas. My wife loves Diet Pepsi in the room so I brought a couple cases with us. Oosterdam: Big positive is as usual for HAL from my reading is the rooms were ready. No waiting. NCL typically takes longer in my experience and Celebrity is just terrible and really makes you wait. Since I was lugging around 2 cases of Diet Pepsi, I wanted to get them into the room asap and HAL didn't disappoint. Now the Oosterdam looks dated. However, I really liked the look. Not ultra-modern. Lots of wood and warm tones and colors. The room was a mid ship veranda, room 8066. Bed was nice, good pillows. Balcony door opens out instead of sliding like NCL. One thing I wish they did like NCL, is have a channel for the Cruise Director and information about the exact ship and sailing. HAL has the generic stuff, but no channels for the Cruise Director to describe the events for the day. However, the On-Demand movies was a welcome surprise. A big free selection. NCL used to do this but has changed to pay per view style. Elevators. If you've been on a ship like the NCL Bliss, elevators can be a big deal. The Bliss has a serious shortage of elevators. No idea why they designed it like that but they are always full and it just sucks the fun out of you to have to wait forever for an elevator. Not the case with the Oosterdam. Not only does it have 3 banks of elevators, but has additional glass elevators on the sides. What a pleasure to press a button and actually expect to get on the next available elevator. Hope HAL keeps this in mind as they build newer ships. Now in fairness, the older NCL ships I've been on, like the Gem, Jewel, etc which are smaller do have plenty of elevators too, but NCL seems to be pushing the bigger mega ships more and more out here on the west coast. Food: Oosterdam does have a very limited restaurant selection. However, the food quality is the best I've experienced anywhere. Lido, MDR, were very good quality. Not a great deal of quantity in terms of selection, but the quality was great. Everything tasted fresh and flavorful. Also, the staff comes around and serves you beverages. Just like the old days. We had the coke package and I thought I would have to go find a bar and wait like you do on NCL. I was happy to see HAL still does this right. Plus the attitude from the servers is always happy and polite. Very impressed. The Pinnacle Grill was amazing. I'd stack it up against anywhere. We ate there twice and each experience was spot on. The Main Dinning Room was beautiful and the staff was as good as any restaurant I've been to on land much less the sea. Upon our arrival for our second dinner, they didn't need to ask our names. They greeted us by name and directed us to our table without asking us anything. They then offered the same sodas, diet coke and a sprite, from the previous night without us having to remind them what we were drinking. Impressive stuff after just one dinner. Entertainment: Ok, this is a little lacking on the Oosterdam. I do like it that you don't have to reserve seats for the main shows, but there just aren't any. There was a comedian one night and an illusionist another night, but no Vegas style show or musical. I would have liked a main show or two. The performances at the Lincoln Center Stage were terrific but it was packed and people, including me were left to stand around and listen. It was very popular in a small setting. We did gamble in the casino quite a bit but there are not a lot of slots compared to the NCL Gem, etc. They seemed extremely tight initially, but later in the cruise we did hit some big payouts including 2 hand pays. The casino hosts were very nice and made sure we were well taken care of. A first for us on a cruise ship casino. Overall, I was very happy with my cruise and would recommend it to anyone looking for a more relaxing cruise. If you want to dance and party every night, then this is not the ship for that. If you are stressed from work and need to disconnect and slow down life a bit, then yes, you will love HAL and the Oosterdam. They have a very nice observation lounge where it is easy to find a seat and chill. There's plenty of deck space but the pools are a little small so if you bring kids, the experience for them is not as varied as other cruise ships. Since I don't have any, it was perfect for me. Everything went at a nice leisurely pace which is exactly what I wanted. No drunks falling down. No loud banging music on deck all the time. No annoyingly loud drink of the day announcements. Just happy friendly staff in the hallways, restaurants, spa, everywhere. This is cruising like it used to be. Oh, and disembarkation? We did Self Assist. I timed it. From the time I closed my stateroom door to the time I opened my car trunk was 35 minutes. Loved this vacation!
  5. I got off the Oosterdam last Saturday....BTW, had a great cruise! This was forwarded to me today....anyone know why all three cruise lines cancelled Mazatlan? Oosterdam should have ported there tomorrow. https://themazatlanpost.com/2020/03/10/cruise-lines-cancel-three-arrivals-to-mazatlan/ L.
  6. We are seasoned platinum Carnival cruisers looking for a change. We are wintering in Arizona and found a 7-day Mexican Riviera cruise on Oosterdam out of San Diego so we went for it......I was nervous as I had read and heard the usual HAL comments.....cruises for old people, very snooty, dressy etc. We usually cruise out of Florida as we are Florida residents so I knew nothing about parking or cruising out of California. I opted to drive in the day before the cruise and we chose a park n cruise option at Comfort Inn. Comfort Inn is a small hotel, older, but very clean and well kept. It turned out to be a gem of a find for us and we utilized our time well. We walked across the street and enjoyed walking up and down the Harborside Boardwalk on Friday afternoon and a great meal at Mitch's for dinner. After a complimentary breakfast at the hotel, we relaxed in our room until we were ready for our complimentary shuttle to the port. Great service and we left our vehicle at the inn for the week. In a nutshell embarkation and debarkation were a breeze, they have it down pat, smooth as a baby's bottom! No treating the virgins like second class cruisers. Since it was our first HAL cruise and I wasn't sure we booked an obstructed ocean view room. We were pleasantly surprised that we could access our room when we boarded and wow the room was spacious for sure....win win for sure. We knew ahead of time that we had no plans to get off the ship in any of our ports. We were leaving our options open though just in case. We wanted to enjoy the ship! We walked around and we couldn't stop commenting to each other how beautiful everything was and everyone was so friendly. No waiting on elevators, no pushing and shoving, no running up and down the halls. The food the entire week was over the top, so many choices. We ate in the dining room once, by choice, for gala night on Thursday. I had the surf n turf while my partner had the duck breast. The lobster was melt in your mouth and the filet had great flavor. The duck breast was a hit as well. The remainder of the week we ate on Lido. There were so many choices and we loved the way they served your food ILO serve yourself...less waste and safer for sure. Oh and the ice cream with waffle cones was an extra added benefit. The desserts were all very tasty, the banana cream pie reminded me of what my mom made when I was a child and the no sugar added chocolate mouse was silky smooth, the key lime pie was just like what I make! The breakfast and lunch choices were just as plentiful and the employees all worked together as a team so well, all with smiles and asking you if needed anything else etc. We enjoyed all the shows we attended, two Post Mordern Jukebox; comedian; magician; combo comedian & magician. Billboard Onboard was packed every night and both gents were very talented. Our favorite wound up being BB King's All Stars...we were there every night. This group of musicians were so talented and they really love what they do. They got the crowd out there dancing and clapping along with them. An added bonus was on Friday there was a Meet & Greet with the All Stars so we got to know them more which was very interesting. We loved Happy Hour each day, buy one drink get the 2nd for $2. There was only one thing that we would say was not as tasty as we've had on Carnival and that was the Dive In burgers do not match Guy's Burgers but hey I can have a burger at home anytime so no deal breaker there. Overall we are now hooked on HAL. Not sure about the larger HAL ships but we will give them a try. Oosterdam was the perfect size for our tastes. We met so many nice folks and we enjoyed chatting with all of them. We saw whales and sea lions right from the ship and the views from the ship while we were in all three ports were picturesque for sure. Now I just have to find a TA for future cruises I booked this direct with HAL. Any questions, ask away, I still need to unpack but we have tons of great memories! Susan
  7. Returned from a wonderful, relaxing cruise (Mexican Riviera) on March 7th Discovered several red bites on my back on about the the 10th of March - itchy, itchy, itchy ! After trying SEVERAL different lotions, creams, etc. to stop the itch, for the last week, finally went to the Dr. yesterday - and was diagnosed with bed bug bites ! Dr. thought about 10 days old. I always sleep on my back - My husband has Sleep Apnea - DID not sleep on a bed in our stateroom on the ship, but sitting up in a chair, next to his CPAP machine. - he has NO bites ! Just thought everyone should be aware. I am going to send an email to the execs at HAL -
  8. https://youtu.be/yLosfkTJ2Gc
  9. On the Oosterdam, currently in Puerto Vallarta..hubby noticed that all of the lines (anchor lines, etc.) Have those metal rat guards on them. We have been on 40-some cruises, never seen them before on a cruise ship. (He recognized from long ago US Navy days). He spoke to both the concierge and room steward about them. Concierge pretended not to understand, room steward knew right away what he was asking about...yup rat problems on the "lower " decks of the ship in recent weeks ! No Corona virus aboard, just rats! EEEk !
  10. This is an update to the issues I expressed in December regarding the changes to ClubHAL on the Oosterdam in the following post: I received fair compensation for the way the changes affected my family's cruise over Thanksgiving. More importantly, I received confirmation that the former ClubHAL has been mostly reinstated on the Oosterdam. Please see the attached flyer. Upon receiving so many complaints and concerns after the Thanksgiving cruise, HAL sent the management person in charge of developing the new High Score! program on the cruise immediately prior to Christmas week. Like the Thanksgiving cruise, there were over 300 children on that cruise. Based on that person's observations, the following changes have been made. (I was asked to mention that this information is still "subject to change.") Guest relations have confirmed that all children ages 3-9 will be supervised on a sign-in/sign-out basis in the Kids Club. Parents of children ages 10-12 will be offered the option to have to sign their children in and out or allow them to come and go on their own. The new High Score! program (an arcade-style room) will be available for the older pre-teens through high school aged children. Also, families will still be able to use that area from 7-10 pm. Lastly, it has been confirmed that the new High Score! program will next be implemented on the Nieuw Amsterdam, probably sometime in April. The new program on that ship will be modeled after the newly revised High Score! and kids club on the Oosterdam. This was a huge issue for my family because our next cruise had been booked on that ship out of Venice in June. There was no way we would have maintained that booking without the ability for our 7 year old son to enjoy some of his time in the kids club. Now we are excitedly looking forward to that cruise. Lastly, I want to compliment the people I worked with from HAL Guest Relations and the Office of the President. I don't want to name names, but never was I made to feel that my concerns weren't justified. It became an issue of "we messed up, now we want to make sure we get it right before making any promises." They were all very respectful and responsive, and I appreciate their efforts, especially when they had so many other issues to deal with at the same time. (See Nieuw Amsterdam Azipod.) 121219_Oosterdam Family Programming Changes Letter.pdf
  11. DH and I are on the Oosterdam on February 29 to Mexican Riviera, and accepted an upsell to a Signature Suite. I know that suites get double mariner days, but does that count on upsells? Thanks! L.
  12. Does anyone know if the verandahs on Deck 4 of the Oosterdam have the deeper balconies? Thanks! L.
  13. I am looking to take my 7 year old granddaughter (and her mom) to Alaska and would like to leave from Seattle ... the Oosterdam fits that part....I my granddaughter has been on 3 weekend cruises, one RCCL, two Carnival...she lives to cruise! My question is would Holland America be a good fit for a 7 year old and her thirty something mom?
  14. Let's try this a different way. (Didn't get any replies on my last post). Has anyone used Club Hal on Oosterdam since the change to High Score? Can you please let me know your experience? Do you have the daily schedule? Thank you!
  15. Has anyone recently had experience with Rudi's Sel de Mer on the Oosterdam? We are doing the Mexican Riviera, leaving on February 29. Thanks all! L.
  16. Eurodam will be at pier 21 (starboard to) from 0545-1700. She is doing an 11-day Panama Canal Sunfarer cruise. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (06 Feb 0800-1500); Oranjestad, Aruba (08 Feb 1300-2300); Willemstad, Curacao (09 Feb 0800-2300); Cartagena, Colombia (11 Feb 0700-1300); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (12 Feb 0500-0500); Colon, Panama (12 Feb 1500-2000); Puerto Limon, Costa Rica (13 Feb 0730-1700); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (16 Feb a0700) Oosterdam will be at pier 26 (port to) form 0530-1700. She is going on a 17-day Panama Canal cruise. This is her last visit of the season to Port Everglades. Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (06 Feb 0800-1700); Oranjestad, Aruba (09 Feb 0800-1800); Panama Canal (Cruising Canal) (11 Feb 0500-0500); Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica (13 Feb 0700-1700); Corinto, Nicaragua (14 Feb 0900-1700); Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala (15 Feb 0800-1800); Puerto Chiapas, Mexico (16 Feb 0800-1700); Huatulco, Mexico (17 Feb 0800-1700); Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (19 Feb 0800-1700); San Diego, California (22 Feb a0700) Veendam will be at pier 19 (starboard to) from 0515-1700. She is leaving on a 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos (07 Feb 0800-1500); San Juan, Puerto Rico (08 Feb 1300-2300); St Thomas, US Virgin Islands (09 Feb 0800-1700); Half Moon Cay, Bahamas (11 Feb 0800-1600); Fort Lauderdale, Florida (12 Feb a0700) The only other cruise ship In port is Crown Princess at pier 2 from 0600-1600. The PTZtv webcams can be found at https://www.ftlauderdalewebcam.com/ and https://www.portevergladeswebcam.com/. Next up: Nieuw Amsterdam and Zuiderdam on Saturday, 8 February.
  17. Does anyone have a recent copy of the When and Where from the Oosterdam? Thanks! L.
  18. We are doing a back to back Mexico from San Diego. Woke up this morning to opening our curtains and seeing the ship-love that! We spent 4 days prior to the cruise in San Diego during their heavy rain storms & wind. Luckily we knew this before arriving so brought coat & umbrella. We went to the Mariner reception which still includes alcohol, no charge. They do prefer you taking their mimosas or sparkling wine but if you request something else they will get it. Great appetizers of breaded scallops, springs rolls and spicy wings. Off to muster drill. I’m not great at answering questions (unless really easy!!). We have the premium internet included in a promo when we booked our Neptune suite. More later.
  19. First timer on HAL, sailing 3/7-14. Anyone have comments (pro or con)and/or pictures of cabin 6104. I'm beginning to think I should have booked a larger cabin for my mother who uses a walker. Afraid the aisle may too small for her walker? ALSO, contract states we can only bring onboard 1 bottle of wine per passenger. On the board I have read we can take as many as we want, as long as we pay the corkage fee. Has anyone had experience when embarking the Oosterdam out of San Diego regarding additional bottles? ONE LAST Question: Never boarded from SD, what pier do we go to? Thank you in advance for your responses, hope I don't sound like an idiot.
  20. Hello, first time sailing on Holland America and first time cruising with our son, who will be 22 months this summer for our Alaska cruise. It looks like that on the deluxe veranda\balcony rooms, there is a curtain that divides the bed and the couch area...does anyone know if the curtain actually pulls across to separate the areas, or if it’s just for looks? I’m asking because I’m trying to figure out where to put my son’s crib as we want to give him his own little private area so that he could sleep better. If the curtain does not close all the way, then I will need to look into some magnetic hooks and bring our own cover. Any other suggestions as to where to put the crib? I was hoping not to put him in front of the sliding glass door but that looks like the only place that makes sense, especially if there would be a curtain dividing him from us. Also he’s a pretty tall boy but it looks like it’s more like a pack and play rather than a crib? Thanks!
  21. Have not cruised on the Oosterdam for many years. Have been very pleased with new wifi on Princess on our recent cruises. After booking Mexican Riviera cruise for next month I noticed statement in our booking information about "do not expect wifi reception in every stateroom". Not a fanatic about wifi, but curious if anyone can give us an idea of what to expect. Speed of access on Princess was exceptional. However, I prefer not to invest in wifi with a "no refunds" and discover that it is non-existent or virtually useless from our stateroom Upper Verandah Deck 6 aft (verandah stateroom). Really appreciate any input you can supply. Thanks
  22. This will be our second cruise with Holland, so very glad to be back. Our first cruise was in 2010 so my memories are a little foggy. We're sailing on Oosterdam out of San Diego. Does anyone know what time we can expect to board the ship and when will our Signature Suite (not sure if a booking a suite makes a difference in availability) be available? First time having a suite, celebrating our 40 year anniversary! Any other tips about Oosterdam and San Diego cruise port would be welcome.
  23. I consider myself pretty lucky...I happened to stumble upon the High Score/Club Hal circus on CC by chance today. (Oh, how I love all of you for the info I learn on here!!!!). Not lucky enough to find it BEFORE final payment was due (ugh!), but at least I know what's going on ahead of time, so I'm still lucky...ish. Haha. It seems the initial brew-ha-ha has died down considerably, BUT...how is it now? (My kids are 9 and 11). What's it like for an 11 year old boy in Club Hal with a 3 year old? Are they really in "different areas" in the room? Has the experience completely changed? How are other passengers handling children in the 10-17 age group, (who no longer require permission to sign in and out,) roaming the ship? Are they running amok? Are there still video game consoles in Club Hal, so my 9 year old can play, too? (We don't have video games at home...it's a treat for them on a cruise). Are they still doing cruise activities? Arts, crafts, games, etc. in Club Hal? I've already called and spoken with a rep from HA, but what she says is all in theory and not actually what's happening. Would love some personal experiences from you amazing CC members!!! Thanks in advance!
  24. I was reading the latest Oosterdam reviews and it looks like many first time reviewers were unsatisfied with their cruise. I was disappointed to see that. We really have enjoyed the Oosterdam and will be sailing on her for 6 weeks in early 2020.
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