Holland America - never again!
Oosterdam Cruise Review to Europe - Western Mediterranean
Newly weds or nearly dead.
This is an old slogan that should be advertised. The ship completely shuts down at 11:30 pm. This is except for the casino because it is making money for the cruise line. And, that's only for another hour.
The entertainment from the crew that was hired for that purpose was very good, when they were playing. The individual entertainment, one night stands, were average.
The food: that's another story. The menu was unexciting, the entries were very unimaginative, the food was nothing to write home about. Naturally, the wine selections were not cheap. The best meal was in the Pinnacle grill. It cost an additional $50 each.
The hotel services were very good at $12.50 a day per person.
The excursions were not advertised well enough. If you didn't attend the seminar at the crack of dawn, you didn't know what was going on. The excursions were, again, not cheap. The worst was the Monte Carlo shuttle service back and forth to the ship. Because of the Auto Racing, we were not allowed to dock close to shore. This was reserved for the yachts who pay more for docking than a ship that docks almost every week. The water was full of white caps. The shuttles should have been cancelled. One of the shuttles broke down in the water. A repair man had to be transferred via another shuttle to get it close to the ship. Four crew members had to practically lift the passengers onto the ship.
The ports were expected and were quite interesting having never been here before. It seems that the ship added two new ports (?). No one seemed too excited about them.
The daily events calendar was just that. Nothing about the world, excursions (yesterday's, today's or tomorrow's), food, etc.. No ship wide interest (distance, experiences, etc.). Unless you ate, drank, went on an excursion, etc., there was no intra-communication between passengers.
One rather important fact is that the ports of most of these stops are quite a distance from towns, shopping, sight seeing, etc.. In most cases you have to take a shuttle which the cruise ship company CHARGES you for.
I will discuss this and the flight with my agent personally.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Review the itinerary of all the ships going where you want to go. Verify that where they go is exactly where you want to go. Talk to lots of people who have traveled on these ships. Compare prices and all the details. Go on line for assistance. Do not rely on the liner company.