Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

jazzsea

Oosterdam Alaska

Recommended Posts

Am thinking of taking my family on Oosterdam June of 2005 to Alaska. We picked Oosterdam over Amsterdam because we wanted verandah cabins for everyone. Any thoughts? My husband and I have been to Alaska many times but our sons and their wives and children have never been. I would love to take them all the way to Anchorage but the air fare for twenty people makes that prohibitive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're just back from the Oosterdam to Alaska. Its a beautiful ship. Alaska's a beautiful state, as you probably already know. We didn't have any children with us, but any that I did see seemed to be enjoying themselves. They have a good program for children and the teens, from what I heard, were having the time of their lives. They can stay out all night and their parents never had to worry about where they were. I say do it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just came off the O. It is a different cruise from Seattle. We arrived in Juneau earlier than anticipated (seems like Capt Mercer has the trip down pat now and the ship and has been arriving in ports earlier and earlier). I booked a pedicure told we would not be in port until afternoon. Well, we were in port during the pedicure and we could have spent more time on shore if I had known. Hubbard Glacier was spectacular as always. We went there earlier and spent enough time for port and starboard to see the glacier. Sitka was lovely. We were there the entire day. Ketchikan--we were only there from 7 to 1 pm. I notice when we left, a couple of ships came in to take our place. Victoria, our mandatory foreign port, we were to get in at 8 pm but got there about 6 so we skipped dinner on the ship and ate in Victoria. All in all, a very nice cruise. This is the first 7 day cruise we have done in a long time and many corners were cut but all in all everything was great. We were in an SS suite on the navigation deck. Unfortunatley we were below the ping pong tables and a lot of noice during the day but not at night. There was an overhand though that shielded some weather. The service in the dining room was less personal (since the mandatory tipping) but good overall. You can no longer buy liquor an pay the duty to have it in your room. You can buy a "Package" like the gin and tonic which was $32 and included a liter of Beefeaters and three cans of tonic. We bought gin on land and it was almost as much, but got no hassle bringing it on. So, if you like to have a drink in your cabin, bring your own bottle! Bingo was also very dissappointing. There were set prices for the pots no matter how many people participated. Think we got ripped off on that one. Average age was much younger than other HAL cruises--many families and very family friendly. I still don't understand the staggered dinner times. there were 500 wait listed for early seating.

We always like late so not a problem.

They moved up the two later seatings to 7:45 and 8:15--again still don't get this one. I guess to accommodate those who wanted to eat earlier. All in all a very pleasurable cruise. I would highly recommend this cruise for families and groups. Very interesting and educational for kids. Shows were good. Slots were "loose" occasionally. This cruise was a little "loosened up" from other longer HAL cruises we were on in an effort to appeal to younger people and they did a good job while maintaining that "traditional" cruise ambiance. The Pinnacle was sold out every time we tried to book. We ate there on our Hawaii cruise and it was alway empty then so I am glad to see people trying an alternative. Movies were show on your tv and in the Queens lounge. Great cruise experience overall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cauvet, thanks for your remarks concerning the O-Dam. I'll be doing the same trip this month. The early arrival times ( especially in Victoria) sounds very nice!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for your comments. I am more than pleased to hear about the earlier arrivals in port.

 

We haven't sailed on HAL since March of this year so have not experienced service with the new tipping policy. Also glad to hear that you had no trouble bringing a bottle aboard. I'm not sure that we would do that, but it's nice to know, that we could.

 

I hope they don't change their policy on bringing wine aboard. We plan to visit a few of the wonderful Washington State wineries before the cruise......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:)

 

Have been on the Oosterdam - loved her.

 

For a family your size, you will all enjoy the Oosterdam.

 

As a rule, HAL has the dining times for Alaska earlier than anywhere else.

 

For example, we have done several Alaskan cruises on HAL before the new dining times were put into place and our dining time was 5:45.

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard there was no problem bringing wine on board. I don't know what the corkage fee is. Our wine steward was very attentive and gave excellent service each evening.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jazzsea

If you are ever going to do a balcony cabin of any sort the Alaska cruise is the place. We were on deck 7 and spent may early mornings out there coming into port with the sun coming up. absolutely beautiful!! we seen whales, bears and eagles from the balcony. To say sailing aroung the glacier in your cabin balcony was a "hoot". You will not be disappointed. The captain of the O is one of the nicest persons you will ever meet and as Cauvet stated he is a marvel at doing his captain thing. We had a small fire on the ship and he and his staff took over and every thing was back to normal in five minutes. My wife and I got to spend about 40 minutes with him at the ROV ceremony and he just was a "great" guy. If HAL has an outstanding rep it is him. Look for Herry in the LIdo as he is one of the line attendants and he is also a "hoot". Colleen as asst cruise director is a go to person as she is also super. Have a great time/.

Jerry.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jazzsea

Oopps forgot to tell you there is a big board stating that wine and champagne are ok to bring on but all other spirits will be held until end of cruise. We were coming from Kansas so I had preordered my wine (14 bucks) a bottle earlier. It was really pretty good wine and we could have it anywhere and we did, ie.. cabin, vista and pinnacle as our wine steward was great in finding us. I did tip him good.

Jerryu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions. I'll be booking cabins next week. How nice it will be to have a family reunion and not have to cook, clean, make beds or share bathrooms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • 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

Announcements

×
×
  • Create New...