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Jen

Age: 39

Occupation:manicurist

Number of Cruises: 5

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Oosterdam

Sailing Date: 2011-05-7

Itinerary: Vancouver to Seattle

This is the third time we have done the repositioning cruise. Twice from Seattle to Vancouver, this time Vancouver to Seattle. Holland America has always met our standards, this time however they exceeded them. I was happy to get an email 2 weeks prior to our trip informing us of a room upgrade. We were orginally booked into a superior verandah suite and were upgraded to a deluxe verandah suite. Concierge level. This is the only way to sail in my opinion. It will be hard to get a lower catagory room after this! The Neptune lounge was fantastic. Very classy and the greatest little bar for canapes. The ship itself is not huge and easy to find your way around. This was our second time on the Oosterdam.

The food was very good. The portions are not that huge so you can enjoy a wider varitey and not be stuffed. When you board, I highly recommend the lunch in the Vista dining room. Last time we went to the Lido and it was packed to the rafters. There was no one in the dining room for lunch and they were more than happy to wait on us. It was calm and quiet. We had shrimp cocktails and grilled salmon wtih veggies and roasted potatoes which was excellent. Make sure you check out the embarkation BBQ on the lido deck just after leaving port. They set it up by the lido pool and do a nice job of it. We did order room service to enjoy on our balcony before dinner. Smoked salmon, shrimp cocktails and the cheese platter. Again, small, but very nice. Nice presentation. Dinner was in the Vista dining room again. Make sure you make reservations! We did but the people who didnt waited in a huge line up to get in. We just breezed by. This was at 8pm. We enjoyed soup, salad, entree and desserts. Again, portion sizes are on the small side but it was perfect for us as we were munching all day! The food in the dining room was very good. It wouldnt be a cruise without hitting the lido for a midnight snack! They had pizza and afew pastas set up for the die hards. Pizza was great.....nice and hot. The Neptune lounge on the Rotterdam deck was the hilight of our cruise. Its a private lounge for Deluxe Verandah and Penthouse passengers only. You need your stateroom key to enter. They had leather couches, large screen TV's, wonderful coffee and teas, ice tea, cranberry juice, ice water, cookies, brownies and wonderful canapes available until 10pm. The Concierge is there and will get you whatever you may request. In our case, ice and robes.

Where do I begin with the stateroom. Highly recommend the Deluxe Verandah suite. We had a huge balcony with a large round table, and 4 charis. And 2 sun loungers. When we got to the cabin we had a bottle of Champagne and a large bottle of water waiting for us from the captian. The room includes a nice changing/makeup area just outside the bathroom. The bathroom itself had a shower, a seprate jetted tub with a hand held shower head, large counter with duel sinks. Large dispensers on the shower and tub walls held the shampoo, conditioners and body lotions. The room also boasted a wrap around couch which pulled open to a Queen pull out, King sized bed, and table and chairs. There were 3 of us and we had lots of space. Closet space was also the most we have seen in any cruise stateroom. **Note, this catagory of stateroom includes a special line at check in! We didnt have to wait at all and we got right on board and our cabin was ready. This was at 11am. Everyone else waited to board the ship.

A cruise is what you make of it. Nighttime activities were just OK I would say on this trip. They had kareokee party going on. Everyone was really into it, we stayed for about 5 minutes. Then we wandered to the Piano Bar. It was pretty full too. But the piano guy left alot to be desired. He was playing the songs way to fast and choppy for anyone to have any hope of singing along with him. Or dancing even though people tried. It was like trying to dance to a fast jazz song. Wasnt going to happen. The nightclub the Northern Lights was really rocken' They were having the "Rock till we Dock" party. Everyone was! The casino was not open. We really enjoyed sitting at the Crows Nest enjoying the scenery, having a drink and a canape'. Coffees, and teas are also offered for a small charge. They also have a wonderful library there and internet WiFi.

As it was only a 1 day cruise we did not do any excursions.

Overall we had a fantastic time. Holland America outdid itself. The only thing I didnt like was having to leave! We will be back!

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