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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
Jeffrey Clinard

Age: 44

Occupation:Information Specialist

Number of Cruises: 15

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Oosterdam

Sailing Date: 2011-03-5

Itinerary: Mexican Riveria

A fairly basic cruise with a few nice things and many disappointing things. Big pluses were DVD borrowing services and large staterooms. Entertainment / activities were minimal. Lack of soda card a big minus.

The food was good, with few bad dishes and a variety of options. I liked the Eggs Benedict station at the lido buffet for breakfast, as well as the grilled sandwich station for lunch. Flexible dining times worked well for us. Lack of a all-you-want soda card a big minus.

This was one of the better staterooms I've been in, with an ocean view, more space than most staterooms, and ample closet space. There was a DVD player as well as a (non-HD) flat screen TV and a small refrigerator. I was pleased with stateroom.

Few and far between. One trivia session a day, plus a session of name-that-tune on sea days. Almost no activities poolside or on shore days.

I did not go on any excursions.

This crusie was more of a getaway than an adventure cruise. It had several things going for it, including price and location, as both myself and my parents live in Las Vegas. Sailing out of San Diego meant a drive, not an airline flight. I've been on many cruises, though this was the first one on Holland America. My parents have also cruised extensively, however, this was our first cruise together in over ten years. All of us had done this particular itinerary before, so the ports were familiar. In short, I was disappointed. The ship fell short of my expectations in many ways. Holland America doesn't sell an all-you-can-use soda card, so I avoided bar drinks altogether. Entertainment was geared towards production shows, which we mostly avoided. Trivia was limited to a single session per day, and when in port, most of the ship functions shut down. The expectation is clear - they want you to go ashore rather than use the vessel as your personal yacht. Some of the shutdown was due to condition red medical status, which shut down many ship facilities until the alert status change. This included one of the bright spots of the ship - ShipFlicks. This service allowed you to borrow from the DVD library on the ship, which provided a DVD player as well as a flat screen television. My stateroom was changed twice. I had paid for an inside cabin and printed out the assigned stateroom tags for my checked luggage. When I went to sign in, I was informed I had been moved. The move was to an outside cabin with a nice view. Embarkation was smooth, but shortly after I went into my stateroom the front desk called, asking if I would move in order to serve a family group. I agreed, and was moved to a similar stateroom. The most notable change was that it was designed to sleep five, with a pull down bed, a sofa bed, and the regular bed. I had it all to myself. I saw one movie (Inception) in the screening room, and several via ShipFlicks. Much of the rest of the entertainment was self-service; I played several different games with my parents, especially on nights where the showroom was staging a show not to our tastes. Aside from tip, I purchased nothing on the ship. With a $50 / room credit, my final bill was about $22.

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