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Jerry Schloetter

Age: 73

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Oosterdam

Sailing Date: 2010-12-26

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera

We have friends who rave about Holland America Lines, but my wife and I were disappointed. I guess we expected more. After out last three cruises on Oceania and Azamara, we felt that this cruise did not meet our expectations of what a cruise should be. Unlike others who mentioned that this was an old-peoples cruise, this cruise over New Year's had lots of families and the age of the passengers ranged from a few weeks old to persons in their 90's. The cruise director mentioned that there were 365 children aboard. Rating 2 of 4

The food was probably our biggest disappointment. Some items were very good, but others were almost inedible. The onion soup that is offered every night at times was served cold. Other times it had sat so long that the bread had soaked up all the soup. Three at our table of six had the lobster bisque, and complained about the taste and texture. Going to the Lido buffet was always a challange with long lines and then trying to find a table. Rating 2 of 4

The stateroom was about what we expected, but a little shabby. The tile on the bathroom floor had a number of small pieces broken out. The drapes had holes in the backing. The shower/tub, did not drain properly. Even after taken a short shower, you found yourself standing in three inches of water. Rating 2 of 4

We only took advantage of a few of the onboard activities. The "Broadway" type shows were so-so, although the singers and dancers really put out their best effort considering the show they had to put on. Rating 3 of 4

You don't go to the Mexican Riviera for great sight-seeing. We went on out own into downtown Matzalan. Going through the Central Market, is an experience. In Puerta Vallarta, we found that taking a van tour is probably better than going through the cruise line. Only licensed tour drivers are allowed in the dock area. The smaller vans can take you places that a large bus cannot go. If you haven't been to Cabo for a while, you will not recognize the place. My adult children took a catamaran trip where they were able to go snokling and see a lot of the coastal area. No Rating, since we did not use the line's excursions.

This was a trip that we took our adult children as a Christmas present. Living in the San Diego area, taking this trip was very convinient, since we did not have to fly to the dock, but had Super-Shuttle take us from our house directly to the dock. A week before, the Port of San Diego opened the Broadway Pier as an alternative cruise ship terminal. This was a mess. When we got to the terminal a little after 1:00 PM, there was a line extending out to the street. It took over an hour and a half to check in. We were in luck that the rain had stopped, because there was no cover for most of the time and you are standing outside. We were told that the problem was caused by having only two security scanners. Trying to send 2000 people through security in about 3 hours became a real problem. We understood that this was not the cruise line's obligation, but the Port Authority's problem. On return we came into the main terminal and had our luggage and on our van within five minutes of leaving the ship. Rating on embarkation: 1/2 out of 4. Rating on disembarkation 4 of 4.

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