Wonderful, relaxing trip!
Oosterdam Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
Sail Date: May 19, 2013
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 4 years ago
This was a very special trip that my brother and I made with our 86 year old mother. I had cruised before but never with Holland America. I was very impressed with the cleanliness of the ship and the service we received.
We enjoyed each port and we went on the Seaplane over the Misty Fjord in Ketchikan. It was the highlight of our trip! We would have liked to have had more time in Ketchikan as it was a really fun little town.
This is the perfect ship for older folks as it is fairly easy to navigate with walkers and wheelchairs. It is a smaller ship than I have previously been on and I didn't find that much to do although we weren't interested in many of the activities such as the art exhibit or jewelry sales, etc. We did attend the shows in the Vista Lounge and they were very good. We mostly ate in the Lido Restaurant which is a buffet and the food was good and plentiful but at times it was very crowded and impossible to find a table.
The crew was outstanding and everyone we worked with did everything they could to make our trip enjoyable. There was an elderly woman in a wheelchair at our muster station who was cold and was unsuccessfully attempting to zip up her jacket. One of the crew saw this and immediately came and asked if she'd like assistance and he very respectfully helped her with her coat.
The only real complaint we had was the strong smell of cigarette smoke in the assembly area just outside the elevators we used. Our room was near this area and we did not smell smoke there but it was very strong near the elevators. We were on the Main Deck near the Atrium. The Atrium was actually an enclosed area where you could arrange for shore excursions on one side or take care of ship concerns on the other with a bar in between.
HAL does have very good mattresses on their beds and ours was okay but they were beginning to reach the point where they needed to be replaced. It wasn't a concern for us as we were comfortable.
I would have liked to have found an area on board ship where we could have sat comfortably inside a quiet area and enjoyed the views. The only place we could really do this was at the Lido pool area or outside on the small deck. It was often too cold and windy outside and the Lido pool area was very noisy and usually had a lot going on. We didn't use the pool or the hot tub because it was very small and because the area was often so noisy and crowded with other activities that crowded the area. Lines for the Alaskan Salmon Bake and the Dessert table were very long and, again, it was very difficult to find a table to sit at.
These were very small concerns as the trip itself was very lovely. We all had a wonderful time and this is a trip my mother will never forget. Unfortunately, we were unable to go up into the Tracy Arm Fjord because of high winds and ice but our captain took us into an alternate fjord that was not so narrow and it was beautiful. We didn't feel that we had missed anything.
I would definitely recommend this cruise and Holland America to my friends and family.