MS Oosterdam

2 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


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Date of travel

July, 2016

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Reasons for trip

Regular holiday

As previous travellers with Holland America, we were looking forward to our Mediterranean cruise on Oosterdam, and we were not disappointed. The ship is elegant, well maintained, offers a range of activities and is well suited to Silver Travellers.

Although carrying over 250 children amongst a total passenger number of over 2,000, there was no disruption or excessive noise. The children were hardly “seen or heard”, and this may be of interest to those of us of uncertain years:).

Port stops mainly concentrated on Greece and some of the Greek Islands and we arrived punctually, ready to brave the over 90o temperatures. Due to the recent disturbances in Turkey, a scheduled visit to Kusadaki was exchanged for Rhodes and Split was exchanged for Kotor, in order to comply with the need to visit a non EU port.

TIP: If you want to get ashore as soon as possible, don’t wait for the Captain’s announcement, which only happens at 8am. so that sleeping passengers are not disturbed.We disembarked earlier than that on many occasions. Just keep an eye out for the gangplank!

The passenger mix was terrific – mainly American and Australian but a fair number of other nationalities, including Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Dutch & Israeli.

TIP: If you want to meet lots of different people, opt for ‘Open Dining’, rather than set dining times. To ensure a table at a time to suit you, just book on advance. You can ask to share or dine alone. We tried Canaletto, one of the two chargeable restaurants and found that the food, though good, was no better really than that offered in the Main Dining Room. But, at only $10 it was a nice extra. We felt hygiene was particularly good, as most food in the buffet was actually served by the staff, rather than ‘self service’.

There was a good variety of entertainment from modern to classical. For us, the highlight was the newly established Lincoln Centre. Adapted from a previous bar area, there is a small stage where a group of 5 musicians played a variety of mainly classical music, some themed to fit in with the cruise. The performers are from the Julliard School of music and were so good that we sat in on as many sessions as we could.

In port, we prefer to ‘do our own thing’ finding that most ship excursions are expensive and don’t always provide what we want. Most of the ports on this cruise had free shuttles provided or HAL provided a shuttle bus which cost about $16.
TIP: Most ports have local bus stops outside the gates. We travelled into Dubrovnik for about 1 euro! However, cruise companies don’t usually tell you this.

Our cabin [sorry, stateroom] was big enough for 4 with ample storage space and a bath as well as a shower. Towels were changed twice a day, linens several times during the 12 day cruise and each night we had a pillow chocolate as well as a towel animal.
TIP: ask for a ‘disabled cabin’ if you would have difficulty stepping over the bath into the shower.

The corridors are wide so access for people with mobility problems was very good. All cabin doors are marked in braille and there are special wheelchair areas in the buffet. Although self service, we found the staff very eager to help with carrying plates to tables, and getting drinks etc.

Disembarking at the end of the cruise was easy. We did not have to vacate the cabin any earlier than our scheduled time. HAL offers excursions to fill in time while waiting for a flight, as well as a transfer to the hospital but local taxis work out cheaper.
TIP: Find another couple to taxi share with, which halves the cost.


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