Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: May 6th, 2006
Itinerary: Mexican Riviera
First cruise for my wife and I.
Ms Oosterdam was a great introduction to cruising and the standard would be hard to match.
The service and food were fantastic. The Filipino and Indonesian crew were great - friendly and does anything for you. Our cabin steward was great and the little extras like doing animal displays with towels were very clever.
The Filipino drinks staff were great to us Aussies and we were sure to show them courtesy and respect for the great job they did. They are so good at remembering names even in the streets of towns and cities when you may bump into them.
The major negative of the cruise was the cost of photos taken - I made the comment on my survey that if they want people to buy them as memories then the price should be such that people would buy them.
Captain Mercer was very considerate when we encountered rough seas and changed course that added time to our journey but gave a more comfortable trip.
The shows were all very good including those performed by staff.
Professional shows from a comedian, singer, juggler/magician were good also.
With 1800 passengers instead of greater numbers on larger ships, things flowed quite smoothly at eating times except for problems with finding a seat in the Lido restaurant in peak times.
The Pinnacle grill was fantastic but you should remember that on the first night of the cruise, the cover charge is only $10, not $20. Staff, food and service - Exceptional.
The Vista restaurant was also great for food and service. The march of the baked Alaska on the final cruise night is a wonderful event.
HAL introduced a change to their dining seating during the cruise. There was still early and late dining times but you were now able to arrive up to 30 minutes before the end of the session, It was titled 'flexible dining'. The later times had less people dining and there was really no problem in missing the first sitting and just rolling up and asking for a table although for us it was just a table for two.
What can I say - we enjoyed the ship and recommend it.
I have no hesitation in recommending the ship and the line.
As I said I only had one negative everything else was top notch.
How I find a ship to match the Oosterdam I don't know but if I do, I would certainly cruise again.