Jump to content
Forum Maintenance: Wednesday March 20 @5:00 am ET Read more... ×
Cruise Critic Community
Shep_Proudfoot

Would I enjoy the Oosterdam?

Recommended Posts

A while back, I found the rarest of things, a Caribbean itinerary with four, yes four ports, I’ve never been to despite having cruised in that region eight times previously on Carnival, Celebrity, RC, Princess and Norwegian. This is on the Oosterdam for winter 2019. When initially researching the ship last winter, I found quite a few negative reviews, but also some hope for improvement with the scheduled dry dock that occurred several months back.

 

I figured I’d wait and see how the reviews seemed post dry dock before pulling the trigger, and now that I’m revisiting this, the reviews are still decidedly mediocre post-dry dock. For example, the overall June sailing CC rating is only 3.4 stars with a number of harsh comments.

 

So, before deciding anything, I thought I’d see if any very recent travelers on Oosterdam have any further info or opinions to share? My last cruise was a disappointment on the older Jewel of the Seas and I don’t want to repeat that experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We found nothing wrong with the Oosterdam post drydock in April. Nice and clean, a lot of areas new...

Remember my personal statistic: If there are 2000 passengers on a ship, 300 of them will complain about SOMETHING, 100 will complain about EVERYTHING!

So take the Cruise Critic posts with at least a grain of salt.......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We found nothing wrong with the Oosterdam post drydock in April. Nice and clean, a lot of areas new...

Remember my personal statistic: If there are 2000 passengers on a ship, 300 of them will complain about SOMETHING, 100 will complain about EVERYTHING!

So take the Cruise Critic posts with at least a grain of salt.......

 

Good formula. I endorse it. HAL ships overall provide room, board, entertainment, interesting itineraries and good value.

 

But a while back someone was shocked because he spotted some rust on his balcony ceiling and you would have thought it was the end of the world along with mocking those of us who have long liked HAL's room service club sandwich. That set the complaint standard for me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.....

 

So, before deciding anything, I thought I’d see if any very recent travelers on Oosterdam have any further info or opinions to share? My last cruise was a disappointment on the older Jewel of the Seas and I don’t want to repeat that experience.

 

Tell us more about what you found disappointing on the "older Jewel of the Seas" and that can give a little more direction for what you might or might not find on the Oosterdam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tell us more about what you found disappointing on the "older Jewel of the Seas" and that can give a little more direction for what you might or might not find on the Oosterdam.

 

The Jewel of the Seas felt worn and just not very special, especially in the common areas. It seemed like a ship whose prime was ten years earlier, and paled compared to any Celebrity sailing I’ve been on, which is my favorite line so far. The entertainment (music) was pretty bad and that is something I value greatly. Honestly, the ship was so forgettable I’m having trouble recalling many specific details.

 

Everyone, thanks for your input.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Jewel of the Seas felt worn and just not very special, especially in the common areas. It seemed like a ship whose prime was ten years earlier, and paled compared to any Celebrity sailing I’ve been on, which is my favorite line so far. The entertainment (music) was pretty bad and that is something I value greatly. Honestly, the ship was so forgettable I’m having trouble recalling many specific details.

 

Everyone, thanks for your input.

 

In that case, I think you would not be happy with the Oosterdam since entertainment and eye-pop decor has never been HAL strong points. it provides more quieter charms along with what you have already noted, great itineraries. Celebrity is hard to beat for what you are looking for in those other regards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
In that case, I think you would not be happy with the Oosterdam since entertainment and eye-pop decor has never been HAL strong points. it provides more quieter charms along with what you have already noted, great itineraries. Celebrity is hard to beat for what you are looking for in those other regards.

 

That’s somewhat like I figured, I do like traditional “nautical” (think teak) as well, and have heard good things about Holland America in that regard. Glitzy is less important than classy. The thing with Celebrity is the itineraries are boring (repetitive) for when and where I’m going, and the most compelling ship at this time, the Edge, is considerably more for a balcony than Oosterdam is for a suite. So plenty of cons there. Just trying to collect the facts and opinions to weigh the options, thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also did the post drydock cruise in April. Previous cruise had been on Koningsdam so I was expecting a let down. Not so. The common areas are very nice.

The cabin was identical to the cabin on the K but I believe it was a tad smaller in depth as when they separated the beds there didn’t seem to be as much space on the sides.

We ate most meals in the Lido and the food was very good. I can highly recommend the pepperoni pizza for lunch. The only problem we encountered was the female wait staff in the Lido seemed more interested in chatting them taking care of the clientele, so we started looking at the server names on the table.

If you are looking for a quiet place during the day, check out the Pinnacle bar on the second deck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That’s somewhat like I figured, I do like traditional “nautical” (think teak) as well, and have heard good things about Holland America in that regard. Glitzy is less important than classy. The thing with Celebrity is the itineraries are boring (repetitive) for when and where I’m going, and the most compelling ship at this time, the Edge, is considerably more for a balcony than Oosterdam is for a suite. So plenty of cons there. Just trying to collect the facts and opinions to weigh the options, thanks.

 

Now you are back on track with the Oosterdam probably being okay - homey, comfortable, traditional and kept up well. Just not "exciting". There is more a cocoon feeling we get on HAL ships - very comfortable cabin layouts, easy to find your way around, good food with good variety and because they are smaller they will create less impact on the ports visited if they are the only ship in town.

 

Oosterdam in the past did get the bilious decor awards however- massive plaster blue boy benches and wavey wave patterned carpet. We spent many, many days on her with no ill effects whatsoever and enjoyed each cruise immensely, along with few good chuckles over what were they thinking when they put in that decor. However, that was a number of years ago and HAL has definiitely upped its game decor wise, if not yet fleet wide.

 

What is always winning on any HAL ship are the delightful crews and the feeling one is coming "home" when we get onboard any one of them. They don't wow, but they do comfort. Others may translate that as ....boring. For us, it is the itineraries that excite. Once on board we are looking for predictable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More people will get online to complain then those who would compliment. Not to mention that within a cruise line some ships are better than others. We've cruise on NCL a few times and without a doubt the Sun was the worst ship we've ever been on for reasons too long to list here. The other NCL ships were fine for the most part. Sailed on the Pacific Princess once because of the dates and itinerary. It didn't live up to the expectations we had from the reviews of Princess we've read. However we may try Princess again sometime in the future.

 

We like HAL for staff, service, food, itineraries, quietness, atmosphere, and cleanliness. Granted, any ship at any particular time can disappoint or overjoy the passenger. But no matter what, we always return to HAL.

Shipboard entertainment seems to always disappoint for us so we skip the shows. Music spots are hit or miss, though we are looking forward to the Lincoln Center on our upcoming cruise. The main theater shows we've attend, on almost all the ships, make it hard for me to breath when they dump in the fake fog. My lungs can't handle that, not to mention that fog doesn't make bad performance better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad to read this thread as we are on the Oosterdam in March 2019 and I too, had read some horrible reviews. Our experience with Holland has always been of classy, clean, sophisticated comfort and excellent service. I will anticipate the same with our upcoming cruise! And yes, the itinerary for our March cruise has the 4 ports, and it was a sell for us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m also glad to see this thread! We’re (husband, four year old son, and myself) booked on the Oosterdam over Thanksgiving, and I was a little disappointed to see the post dry dock reviews were such a mixed bag. The negativity didn’t dissuade us from booking, however— we love HAL (only sailed on the Eurodam twice), so the Oosterdam will be a little different for us.

 

Anyways, thank you all for the reassurances!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first cruise ever was on Oosterdam, in 2005, and many, many cruises, and many ships and lines later... I would sail on Oosterdam again in a heartbeat. My last cruise on her was about 10 months ago, and I was a bit nervous about how she had held up over the last 13 years and I was pleasantly surprised to find she was in perfect condition, and all the good was still there and many things were even improved. I know what you mean about Celebrity, and if the classiness of the decor and especially the quality of the entertainment are deal breakers for you, then you need one of the larger Celebrity ships and the Oosterdam will disappoint. If, however, you want a lovely, quiet ship with amazing service by the crew, and, as you said, the new ports of call... I don't think you can go wrong with the Oosterdam. You didn't say which cabin you were considering, but I think the Neptune Suites on the O and the other Vistas are some of the best cabins afloat.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A while back, I found the rarest of things, a Caribbean itinerary with four, yes four ports, I’ve never been to despite having cruised in that region eight times previously on Carnival, Celebrity, RC, Princess and Norwegian. This is on the Oosterdam for winter 2019.

What itinerary is it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(only sailed on the Eurodam twice), so the Oosterdam will be a little different for us.

...but really only a little. The O'dam has 1 less deck and no Tamarind and of course it's a bit older. Sailed on O'dam 3x and E'dam 2x and would sail either again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have sailed on the Oosterdam multiple times. Here is what I love about her-wonderful size-roughly 1500 passengers, full outdoor promenade, really friendly crew (that is all HAL ships), bigger than average cabins), very good food in the main dining room, good food in the Lido, lots of options for room service including breakfast (menu says limited choices, but I've written in other things, and they have always brought those), available loungers at the pool, and the classical music. The entertainment isn't always the best, but I like to mainly kick back and read a book or go up top and look at the stars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What itinerary is it?

The winter sailing is out of Fort Lauderdale, goes to Key West, Amber Cover (DR), Turks and Half Moon Cay Bahamas. My husband doesn't really like sea days, so 4 ports is great for us!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've sailed the Zuiderdam on a 18 day Panama Canal cruise in 2006 which was outstanding. The following year we did an abbreviated 11 day Panama Canal on the Oosterdam and sailed her again in December 2017 after the dry dock.. For the December 2017 cruise we booked a corner aft suite (5190) and thought it was fabulous. As others have said, it has spoiled us for anything other than an aft corner suite. We are booked in the same cabin for an Alaska cruise in June, 2019. We loved everything about the Oosterdam and all the suite perks.

 

We considered, and actually preferred to try another Holland ship for the Alaska cruise, but it seems the Vista class ships have larger verandas on their aft corner suites not found on the other ships in Holland's line. We also love that 5190 was covered. We considered Princess for Alaska and really wanted to do the 10 day from San Francisco but the aft corner suites on Princess can't compete with Oosterdam's 5190.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The winter sailing is out of Fort Lauderdale, goes to Key West, Amber Cover (DR), Turks and Half Moon Cay Bahamas. My husband doesn't really like sea days, so 4 ports is great for us!

 

Nieuw Amsterdam is doing the classic itinerary (my favorite, actually top of the top 7-day cruise in the Caribbean):

Fort Lauderdale, Grand Turk, San Juan/Puerto Rico, St. Thomas/Charlotte Amalie, Half Moon Cay, Fort Lauderdale

 

Dates: Nov 25, Dec 9, 30, Jan 6, Feb 3.

 

Just five winter (unfortunately only winter) rare itinerary on the best ship in the Caribbean.

 

The Nieuw Amsterdam difference: additional sun deck (overall sun deck space is about twice as much as Oosterdam), most popular Tamarind specialty restaurant, charming Silk Den observation lounge (now called Tamarind Lounge), larger spa, different forwad viewing deck location. The ship was recently renovated.

I wouldn't think too long to rebook. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, OP here. Thanks for all your replies. Just wanted to say I ended up booking a Signature Suite on the Oosterdam for the Tropical Carribbean itinerary for Feb next year.

 

Looking forward to checking out HAL for myself!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×