Cruising with friends to Alaska
Oosterdam Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
Sail Date: June 09, 2013
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 4 years ago
This was the first Holland America cruise my husband and I took. We enjoyed the smaller size ship and found that the seating space around the ship was vast and also provided enjoyment to view the beauty of Alaska.
The luggage arrived in the room earlier than anticipated and our room stewards were excellent, provided service when needed. We did call the front desk about a leak in the bathroom near the toilet and/under the sink. Service again was made in a timely manner. We were a bit disappointed that our room provided no chair for the table. There was a small under counter stool but we would have benefited from an additional chair. Room service for ordering breakfast was excellent, food arrived hot and on time.
The meals on the cruise were wonderful and we enjoyed the afternoon teas, we were disappointed that the chocolate extravaganza in the evening we were hoping for never happened. The terrace grill on lido deck provided good food and we enjoyed having the taco bar. The lido buffet gave numerous cuisine options. We enjoyed the food cooking demos by David and Chief Guru. Three members in our party participated in the cooking class that culminated with eating in the pinnacle grill for lunch. This was an excellent value for $29 to be able to cook with a professional chef who was very accommodating and enjoyable to be with.
We booked one excursion from the cruise line in Ketichan and enjoyed our visit to Saxman village with the Tlignit people. The lumberjack show was comical and okay but we would have preferred to have more time to shop and visit in the city area. Our time in Juneau was excellent and we booked whale watching, Mendenhall glacier and dog musher experience on our own. The Juneau whale watch company is an excellent group to work with and made for a great Alaskan experience!
The cruise had some good selection and variety of live shows. The screening room that showed currently released movies was too small to accommodate large number of guests. The photographers photo gallery was a bit of a disappointment. However, we did purchase one of the DVD videos of our ship's destination which was excellent and a good keepsake.
We had "expedited" disembarkation which was poorly managed. We were told to go to the back of a line that had other people that were not expedited. Our stateroom letter indicated the expedited category which apparently meant nothing. We would recommend that HA address this and ask to see the letter or have a separate line indicating expedited customers for the future. Fortunately, we did arrive to the airport in time to go through a very long security but things moved very quickly and we were able to board our flight back home to Atlanta.
The booking process for this Alaskan cruise was okay but not as good as we had previously on a former cruise. On the previous cruise, there was more followup communication after booking. We initiated bookings for 4 cabins on the first cruise and 3 cabins on this cruise.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Shout out to the culinary center for food demos and experience to cook with Chef Guru! We enjoyed the crows nest for views, games, and live entertainment with Matt on guitar and the piano bar with Joshua were highlights along with the afternoon teas.