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Djptcp

Just Off the Oosterdam: the Good and the Bad

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      This was our 8th HAL cruise, 48th cruise overall, first time on the Oosterdam, and 5th Neptune Suite. The ship was in good shape, dinner at the Pinnacle Grill was very good, Lido Buffet food was also very good (especially the Italian station and ice cream), room service breakfast was excellent, and the crew was exceptional. Having said the good things, one of the bad things was our horrible location for a Neptune Suite (Deck 4 way aft with a wrap around deck). We always book specific Neptunes on Deck 7 close to the Neptune Lounge because I have mobility issues. However, in order to receive a great casino rate and free casino Fun Play, we had to book a Guarantee. At booking, I told the agent about my mobility issues and she said she would send a message to the Inventory Dept. with my request to be assigned a Neptune between the forward and mid elevators. I also contacted the Special Needs Dept. with my request. We received our cabin assignment a week before sailing and it was 4180....as far from everything as possible. I called HAL immediately and explained my situation. The agent gave me the Inventory Dept. fax number and told me to send them a letter with my situation and ask for another assignment. Well, a better assignment didn't happen and my cruise was definitely impacted by our horrible location. Also, that Neptune was much smaller and with so much furniture it was hard to get around without knocking into something. The casino was way forward and didn't go every day because of the walking distance (I did have a rollator to help me get around), but I ended up bringing home all the casino cash I brought with me due to good luck on the slots, so a good thing. The casino is tiny and crowded. We ordered room service breakfast every morning (love those free Mimosas), ordered MDR dinner through the Neptune Lounge Concierge most evenings to eat in our suite, and had most lunches in the Lido Buffet. Never did get to the MDR, so can't comment on service. Enjoyed the Lincoln Center Stage musicians, the Billboard had a good male piano player but were horrible singers, especially the female who couldn't carry a tune, DH said the magician wasn't very good. Definitely not the professional singers/dancers shows as before on HAL. Passengers with mobility issues did not have to attend the muster drill at the lifeboat stations - we could sit in a lounge nearby and crew members demonstrated the life jacket stuff for us and we could hear the safety information on the PA system.

     Lesson learned was not to ever book a Guarantee if you have mobility issues and need to be located mid ship. We have booked Neptunes before with casino rates and always got to select our cabin, so this booking Guarantee was a surprise. I won't do it again in spite of a fantastic offer and free casino money. My mobility issues are fairly new and walking long distances or standing for a long time are somewhat difficult. The Guarantee for the Neptune Suite was not worth it as it negatively impacted the cruise for us.

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Hi DJ,

 

I'm sure that your post is quite interesting, but because there are no paragraphs, I can't read it.

 

Ira

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I’m sorry this happened to you.  Most (not us though) would love the aft Neptune.  We are ones that will not book a guarantee-did once and were not impressed.  

 

Friends booked a Neptune guarantee once and ended up at the very front on the Koningsdam and hated the suite-balcony was a joke it was so small, shape of room different and they were not happy at all.  

 

 

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Thank you for letting us know those deep discounts offered select groups of people,  likeClub 21, are not necessarily a bargain  if you don't like the compromises that come with those super deals.  Glad to hear the rest of the experience was up to its usual and very welcome HAL standards. 

Edited by OlsSalt

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Thank you for telling us about your experience with a Casino guarantee cabin.  Glad that everything else went well.

 

We prefer to book a cabin of our own choosing.

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I fully understand your issue because the last cruise I took with my darling husband we were offered an Oosterdam NS on a flash sale.  He had lung cancer and couldn't walk any distance at all, so we rented a wheelchair.  The first cabin we were offered was that same aft you received.  I turned it down and we ended up on the 6th floor, 2nd NS from the amid ship elevators.  It was a perfect location for us, since I pushed him to the elevator, we rode up one floor and those elevators weren't too far from the NL.  It was our first time in a suite as before we'd always booked a large inside (one of those 200 square feet cabins on Deck 1), so experiencing the NS was quite a treat for us.  He died four months later, but I've never been sorry that our last cruise together was so special.

 

I hope your bad experience won't turn you off to HA.  Maybe it will turn you off to booking a GTY which I've never been brave enough to do.  I prefer to know where I am going to be "housed," usually months in advance.  So sorry that the poor location affected your cruise adversely.  Perhaps the motto here is "Live and Learn."

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