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Oosterdam Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 15
Helpful Votes: 179

Overall rating:

4.7 out of 5

12 Night Mediterranean Romance (Venice To Barcelona)

Sail date: August 28, 2018

Ship: Oosterdam

Cabin type: Suite

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Excellent itinerary and the Oosterdam is a nice size ship, not too big. But be prepared for lots of walking! This itinerary is very port intensive so plan some downtime between the more vigorous tours!


5 out of 5
We did the HAL Signature Experience for three days in Venice prior to the cruise which included all transfers. The morning of the cruise went very smoothly. HAL arranged for our luggage to be picked up from our hotel room and delivered to our stateroom. It was great! And we got to board the ship by 11:00. Checkin was painless!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
The food on the Oosterdam was excellent, as always! Great menu in the MDR and the Pinnacle Grill.

Lido Restaurant

5 out of 5

Holland America has mastered the buffet! They have separate stations for different cuisines so you don’t need to stand in a single buffet line. You can go directly to the food station you want. And they always have excellent variety. And don’t forget the best hamburgers and fries at the Dive-In.

Pinnacle Grill

5 out of 5

We dined at Pinaccle for a regular evening and had excellent steaks, but the highlight was dining when it was a pop-up Sel de Mer! Excellent food and service!

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
We spent most of our days in port and relaxed when we were on the ship. But there was plenty going on if we wanted to participate.


4 out of 5
Saw a few good shows and comedians.

Crow's Next

3 out of 5

I don’t like the changes to the Cow’s Nest with too many interactive tables for excursions. They don’t have enough comfortable seating to view the ocean and the bar has been replaced with the coffee shop.

Children's Programs

Did not travel with children.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service is excellent on any HAL ship!

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Even though the Oosterdam is an older ship, it is very well maintained and well decorated. Very classy.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We booked a suite because at time of booking it included the Signature Experience (3 days in Venice prior to the cruise) which we were planning on doing anyway. Overall, with the pre-cruise package included, we got a suite for only $200 more than it would have cost for a Verandah. It was well worth it for a 14 day cruise.

Ship tip

Eat lunch in the dining room on embarkation day. It’s less hectic than the buffet.

Ports of call

Venice, Italy

5 out of 5
What’s not to like? Love Venice. It is an awesome city.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

5 out of 5
Took an excursion to the countryside! It was beautiful. Old Town is very interesting and unique but it was very crowded.

Sarande, Albania

5 out of 5
This is a tourist port in it’s infancy, but we really enjoyed it. We walked along the beach and stopped along the way for local beer.

Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

5 out of 5
We loved visiting Olympia! Very impressive!

Naples, Italy

5 out of 5
We did a behind the scenes tour of Pompeii! Incredible!

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

4 out of 5
We did The Best of Rome tour. It was very interesting but they now make the tour buses park far from the sites so there is a lot of walking. We love Rome, but next time we’ll skip the tours and walk in our own.

Livorno (Florence & Pisa), Italy

4 out of 5
Beautiful city! We had a very knowledgeable tour guide, but he didn’t leave enough time for us to explore on our own.

Monte Carlo, Monaco

4 out of 5
We took an excursion to France. Just hung around port area in Monte Carlo.

Toulon, France

5 out of 5

Barcelona, Spain

4 out of 5
Interesting tour to see some of the unusual architecture.


5 out of 5
Holland America is very efficient and organized. Used the HAL transfer to the airport. No issues.
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