Sorely Disappointed

Oosterdam Cruise Review to Hawaii

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 23

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5

17 Night Circle Hawaii (San Diego Roundtrip)

Sail date: November 06, 2019

Ship: Oosterdam

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 8037

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

We had high expectations based on our previous experiences with HAL but this was nothing like our previous cruises. I realize it has been 6 years since our last cruise with this line but, still, I couldn't believe how everything has been cheapened. As a business owner I understand the importance of keeping costs down but cutting to the point where your product loses all it's customer appeal does not make sense. I spoke with an elderly passenger who cruises about every 6 - 8 weeks and she fiercely defended HAL saying she couldn't understand why everyone was being so critical. My only explanation of this is the boiling frog experiment: If you place a frog in a pot of body temperature water then keep increasing the temperature until the frog boils to death it never realizes that anything is wrong. I think this is the case case with HAL's loyal clientele. The only problem is that those folks are in their 90's and won't be cruising much longer. HAL had better get it's act together.


4 out of 5
Everything went very smoothly. Lines were long but that's to be expected.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
The MDR was very nice. Sometimes the meat was overcooked and occasionally tough but overall good even though selections were pretty limited. The buffet was a challenge and very monotonous. Food in the Pinnacle Grill was fabulous but the wait staff was terribly understaffed for a gourmet restaurant.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
We signed up for the Thermal Suite and enjoyed it but the facilities were in poor repair. There was rust in the thermal pool, the showers were either out of order or did not function properly. There wasn't any background music playing in the room with the heated lounges & saunas.


2 out of 5
The entertainment was almost nonexistent. The main show room had some good shows, but only about half the nights. There were only 3 music venues. They were always crowded but not particularly good. When we would leave the dining room at about 7pm there was dead silence on board - not even Muzak!

Children's Programs

No children

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
The ship's crew, for the most part was fabulous but terribly overworked. Our waiters in the MDR were very good and attentive. They remembered our preferences and were always prepared for us. The cabin stewards were some of the best we have ever had. On the other hand, some waiters and servers at breakfast and lunch in the MDR and Lido were flat rude to passengers!

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
The ship was clean enough but it was in poor repair. There were broken windows everywhere, chipped paint everywhere. The signature teak deck chaises were unusable. They were completely worn out and would not hold any position other than a full recline! The seats in the main showroom were quite uncomfortable - they tilted forward so you kept having to scoot back in your seat. I missed the fresh flowers, the ice sculptures and all the other niceties that used to distinguish HAL.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Our cabin, while clean, had holes in the wall and mold and cracked tiles in the bathroom. It was a bit smaller than I expected but it was serviceable.

Ship tip

Don't do it!

Ports of call

San Diego, California

5 out of 5
San Diego is an easy port to sail from. A very pleasant city.

Honolulu, Oahu

5 out of 5
It was nice. We rented a cabana at a local resort for the day. Good access to Waikiki Beach. The next day we just did some sightseeing and shopping.

Lahaina, Maui

5 out of 5
A pleasant little town. We did a sunset dinner cruise with the Whale Foundation.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Did not visit port

Tendered plus 94-degrees, sunny and humid.

Cruise Kilauea Volcano Did not visit port

Too late (apx 2 AM)

Hilo, Hawaii

5 out of 5
Nice port. We rented a car and did some sightseeing on our own. Saw some waterfalls, coastline, and Volcano National Park.

Ensenada, Mexico Did not visit port


5 out of 5
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