A lot has changed in 25 years
Oosterdam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
I cruised on the Veendam on her inaugural season and, based on the excellence and elegance of that experience, I chose to take my wife on the Oosterdam for our 10th anniversary cruise. In those 25 years, the excellence and elegance has faded to a poor shadow of what it was.
Granted, the crew, wait, bar, and guest services staff made up for a lot, but there were many on board that required more training: open seating maitre'ds, Lido breakfast cooks, and back office staff.
I thought I had booked a veranda cabin, based on what I saw on the website; what we got was a veranda, but the lower half under the banister was not clear, but a metal bulk head. i should have been informed of that in advance. My wife and I were sorely disappointed. Despite best efforts of guest services, there were no more open veranda cabins available. Keep in mind I booked this months in advance.
Our first dinner at "open seating" was a long wait disaster as the maitre d's were poorly trained and obviously overwhelmed. I was then told one could make "reservations" for open seating (something it would have been nice to know before hand) Interesting to note that those who had made reservations waited as long as we did due to the inefficiency of the staff.
Group control and traffic management needs a lot more work. I have cruised on much larger ships without the constant lines we endured on the Oosterdam.
Guatemala is an exceedingly poor choice to include in the itinerary. It is poverty stricken and slum-like as Haiti. We paid $35 each for a one hour tour of what amounted to a dump. The port, a nasty pile of containers, is also a poor choice.
Dining was okay, but appetizer and dessert portions were small, and the menu's in general struck me as uninspired compared to other cruise lines have enjoyed.
We made the best of it and compliment those of the staff who we came in contact with as they were friendly, cordial, and clearly well trained.
I cannot recommend this cruise in good faith to my friends of similar tastes.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
I would not recommend the Oosterdam to my friends based on this experience.