Overall, exemplary service and attention. Ports of call are picturesque. The water is very clear - especially if one is a snorkeler/diver. The Dutch Islands and residents are very hospitable. The Oosterdam is a very elegant ship. It does not seem overcrowded. Boarding and departing is quick and simple. Food is average, but tasty. I would recommend eating in the specialty restaurants. However, I note that Lobster, King Crab and Shish Kabob have been taken off the menu. There is smoking in the Casino, but several days were allocated as "no smoking" (portends, hopefully, a true no smoking environment within the ship someday?). Entertainment is geared toward a mature crowd. Formal nights have been replaced by 'Gala' nights, so there is less formal dress. Sadly, the panache of yester years is being replaced by more relaxed apparel. This particular cruise was attended by mostly elderly passengers - perhaps due to the length and the fact that school is still in session. The seas were very calm. The weather was hot and humid.
Poor weather cannot be controlled. However, cold food and slow service are not up to the standards of previous sailings on Holland America. The food in the Pinnacle was disappointing for the upgraded price, i.e., steak was tough and a surcharge of $20 for King Crab (added to the $29 pp. initial meal charge). In addition, the Pinnacle meal experience was close to two-and-a-half hours from appetizer to dessert.
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reviewed their Caribbean - Southern cruise on Oosterdam and gave it 4 stars!
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