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Holland America Line: Oosterdam

  • Holland America Line
  • Holland America Line

Oosterdam Review

Insider Take

Overview

One of the four "Vista-class" ships; movie theater, fine library, alternative dining, lovely staterooms.

Onboard Experience

The Oosterdam is the second in the series of Vista-class ships that began with Zuiderdam (the four sister ships; Zuiderdam, Oosterdam, Westerdam and Noordam represent the four points of the compass in Dutch). Oosterdam, however, is nothing like Zuiderdam except in structure. The main difference in this class is the number of decks adding additional cabins. One thing to watch out for is the upper promenade deck is now populated with cabins rather than public rooms, and if you get an oceanview cabin on that deck you may have people walking outside your window during all hours of the day & night, or your view will be fully obstructed by a lifeboat. There are verandah cabins on that deck with no structural problems.

With Oosterdam, Holland America attempts the difficult trick of melding traditional elegance with modern pizzazz, and mostly succeeds. Because the ship's designers have filled it with intimate public areas that feel like private clubs or lounges, it's easy to forget you're aboard an 82,000-ton middle-liner, unless, that is, you venture into the casino, larger than on other Holland America ships and now with an active Texas-Hold'em table resting in the Sports Bar; behold the influence of Holland America's parent company, Carnival Corporation.

If you want to read a book and enjoy the sunshine, there are a great number of comfortable spots both inside, or even better on the line's signature teak and cushioned deck loungers on its open promenade deck. Service staff is always warm and near at hand, but very discreet.

Oosterdam benefits from Holland America's "Signature of Excellence," a program of fleet-wide enhancements the company began in 2004. New features include tableside waiter service at dinner in the Lido, a new Culinary Arts Program with show kitchen for demonstrations and classes, expansion of spa and fitness facilities, upgraded Club HAL Kids' Centers, and new shore excursions. The Explorations Cafe is a combination library, Internet center, music listening area and sidewalk cafe. Staterooms now offer the best mattresses and duvets sold in Europe, and top level suites offer flat screen TVs and DVD players. There's early boarding and a choice of four dinner seatings.

The Explorations Cafe is a combination New York Times-powered library, Internet center, music listening area, and sidewalk cafe. Oosterdam has the best crossword puzzle area ever glimpsed at sea. While there is an Internet center with typical cruise prices available ($70 for 100 minutes) the throughput speed can be so dismally slow that audible moans of frustration may be heard. Its better to wait for a port day and follow a crewmember to a nearby Internet cafe.

The final set of Signature of Excellence upgrades will be completed in May of 2009, and include a new nightspot, the Pinnacle Grill Bar, to be located in the Crow's Nest close to the newly expanded Explorations Café, powered by The New York Times.

Public Rooms

The central atrium, only three decks high, would look right at home in the lobby of a small chic hotel. The attractively laid out Vista Lounge, for the most elaborate nighttime shows, is big enough to accommodate everyone aboard over two performances with tiered seating both upstairs and down and universally excellent sight lines.

The large (at least for HAL!) casino is next door to a sports bar with big-screen televisions on which to watch the big game. The sport's bar is also where you will find the Texas Hold'em Poker games. The casino has many slots and a vatirty of games including Blackjack, Let it Ride, Craps, Roulette and Caribbean Stud Poker.

The large Ocean Bar, with sea views by day and romantic lighting at night, is the most popular spot for pre- and post-dinner cocktails, not least because of the complimentary d'oeuvres it offers before dinner. The Queen' Lounge doubles as the movie theater and karaoke bar, but the Piano Bar, enlarged from earlier Holland America ships to accommodate more guests, is rather more popular. The Crows Nest observation lounge, with its 320-degree view, is the perfect place from which to watch your departure from port.

Oosterdam separates smokers and nonsmokers as effectively as any ship at sea. In general, smoking areas are located "wherever there is an ashtray," which in most cases is in the corner of any given room. Smoking is not allowed in the Dining Room or Pinnacle Grill.

There's a variety of brightly lit shops onboard selling logo-wear, jewelry, knick-knacks and chocolate.

Tipping

For years Holland America was known for its no-tipping policy, but today gratuities of $10.00 per person (including children) are automatically added daily to the shipboard account for dining and stateroom service. Visit the front desk to adjust that amount. There is also a 15 percent service charge automatically added to bar bills.

Entertainment

Activities on Holland America used to be almost an embarrassment for such a quality line, but Oosterdam's serves notice that things have changed. Instead of the usual four singers and dancers in the production shows, the Oosterdam has more than a dozen, with much more elaborate sets and costumes designed by Bob Mackie. The ship's library is excellent (though book-borrowers, shockingly, are required to deposit $25 deposit on every book they borrow!). Daily activities include exercise and dance classes, bridge, bingo, Friends of Bill W meetings, guest lectures, and ice carving.

A highlight is the dessert buffet, presented late night sometime in the middle of each cruise. Picture taking is as good as the tempting delights, with the abundance of ice carvings, pastry statues, fruit carvings, and sugar and marzipan creations.

The new Culinary Arts Center, with overhead video monitors for those seated far from the action, is set up very much like a TV Food Channel set, and must be adjudged a marvelous addition. A number of demonstration classes are offered at no charge. Hands-on classes, limited to about a dozen students, charge modestly. As these classes are very popular, be sure to sign up early.

There is no dedicated onboard cinema, as on the S-class of Holland America ships, but the Ocean Bar is transformed into a movie theater at least twice daily and you can still find the free bags of popcorn, though they have gone from hot to lukewarm. The movie selection is surprisingly recent releases and refreshingly intelligent in content, favoring good plots over mindless action flicks.

An adjunct to the Internet center are the computer classes on a few basic topics mostly having to do with digital photography. There are two classes offered for free, with follow up classes for $20 per person for those who want to become advanced users.

Cabins

Oosterdam's staterooms are larger than most mass-market cruise lines', with balcony cabins bigger still. Standard inside cabins are 182 sq. feet, outside staterooms 197 sq. feet, and standard balcony cabins 284 sq. ft. Balcony cabins have a spacious veranda with two chairs and a table. Be forewarned, though, that staterooms have few shelves and no drawers.

The verandahs on Holland America are quite adequate for two. The well-equipped staterooms offer wonderful new pillow-top beds, better pillows; fluffier towels; duvets and high-thread count sheets; a stocked mini-bar (with charges for all beverages consumed); hair-dryers; safes; functional storage space. Staterooms always feature fresh flowers; a filled ice bucket; and a bowl of fresh fruit that's replenished regularly.

Television service includes several stations, such as CNN, ESPN, television shows, shore excursion presentations, and shopping presentations. There's no self-service laundry, but several laundry packages are available, the $45 unlimited laundry package seems a good deal, though it doesn't include dry cleaning.

Suite passengers have access to the Neptune Lounge on Rotterdam Deck, a private room that serves various snacks (from light breakfast fare in the mornings to hors d'oeuvres at cocktail hour). The concierge therein can book dinner reservations and shore tours.

There's no self-service laundry on this ship, although several laundry packages are available through your room steward.

Fitness/Spa

Oosterdam has one of the most spacious gyms on the high seas, with cardio equipment and weight machines arranged in tiers, and a large hot tub in the center. The Greenhouse Spa and Salon's reception area is situated in the midst of a hallway between the main pool and an elevator bank, making the fitness center purposely difficult to locate. Despite the name, it's still run Steiner's, which means that its treatments are somewhat pricey, though the staff is not quite so relentless about sales.

An nice alternative to a massage is a day pass to either the thelasotherapy pool with extremely strong water jets to soothe your muscles ($20/day), or you can go to the steam and aromatherapy center and relax on heated loungers and take steambaths infused with essentail oils. Day passes to this are also $20/day. Or you can buy a weekly pass to both for $250 unlimited.

The Oosterdam has two outdoor swimming pools, one with a Magrodome roof that can be closed in case of inclement weather. There are also several hot tubs available at no charge. The large gym has state-of-the-art strengthening and aerobic equipment, and there's a jogging track on one of the upper decks. There's a nominal charge for some of the exercise classes.

Attire

On the two weekly formal nights, half the men opt for a dark suit rather than renting a tuxedo. Casual on these ships means comfortable, but T-shirts, jeans, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are all forbidden in the dining rooms and public areas. It isn't allowed, but also not unusual for people to change back to casual after dinner on formal nights. As long as you stick to the deck areas or casino, no one will frown at you.

Best For People Who Want

A combination of elegant surroundings with refined music, cognac and cigars next to raucous Karaoke and piano sing-along bars. Recent release movies, large and comfortable cabins in all categories.

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Mainstream resort cruise ships with Waterslides and rock climbing

Cuisine

The beautifully presented, banquet-quality, Continental cuisine in the Vista Dining Room has improved in recent years as a result of more contemporary menu selections such as seared tuna and grilled rack of lamb. Gone are the bland entrees of a few years ago. Service in the dining rooms has taken a noticable leap forward, now that the expansion of the cruise line is no longer tapping the best service people for the newest ships. On a recent cruise, the waiter was not only efficient, but engaging and warm, remembering our preferences and never missing a beat. In fact, when it was pointed out to him that his badge had the all too typical misspelling "Dinning Room Steward" he actually had it corrected by the end of the cruise.

The lunch buffet on Lido Deck, along with the separate food stations for Italian and Asian cuisine, offers abundant variety and easy access. Lines are rare except at peak times. The Deli custom sandwich bar serves its phenomenal grilled BLT on a baguette; don't even consider not trying it, while the Poolside Grill offers hamburgers and hotdogs all day with hand-stirred mayo, mustard and ketchup. There's also a taco bar immediately forward of the Grill. Unlike many mass-market cruise lines, a request for an ice tea from a bar waiter outside will not be answered with "you can get those yourself inside." They will actually bring to your table for you - no charge.

The alternative Odyssey Restaurant seats 130 and specializes in dishes featuring ingredients from the Pacific Northwest, an homage to Seattle, the home city of Holland America Line. There is a $20 per person surcharge. The food is cooked in a separate area of the main galley, and served piping hot. The desserts alone are worth the price of admission, especially the tri-flavored creme brulé sampler or the "Grand Marnier Chocolate Volcano Cake."

Watch for specialty nights such as the "Chef's Dinner" for 12 people with wine-pairing - cost $89 per person.

Also the "Le Cirque" night in the Pinnacle Grill when they serve itrems from the menu of the iconic New York restaurant

Restaurants

The two-level Vista Restaurant has spacious seating for two, four, six, eight and 10, and good soundproofing. The unusual central curved staircase between the two decks creates the feel of a much more intimate restaurant. The Murano glass ceiling is well worth looking up from your food to admire.

There are four assigned seatings -- 5:15, 6:15, 8 and 8:30 p.m. The idea was to improve service, but it may not have worked, as servers can seem harried, on the one hand, or bored, on the other. That said, a staff member will greet you every time you enter, be it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. From the Rosenthal china and Riedel glassware to linen tablecloths, dining is an elegant affair. Some evenings you will dine by candlelight, others to the accompaniment of a string quartet. The menu includes special "health-conscious," vegetarian, and low-salt items, as well as sugar-free desserts.

The Pinnacle Grill, Oosterdam's alternate dining venue, offers cuisine (and wine) of the Pacific Northwest in an irresistibly elegant atmosphere. Reservations can be hard to come by, but the restaurant is open for lunch on some sea days (for only $10 per person) with a different, but comparably wonderful, menu.

The buffet-style Lido Restaurant is an attractive alternative to the main dining room. Breakfast and lunch are served on a tray that a staff member will carry to your table for you. In the evening, the Lido offers waiter service. There is ample seating both indoors and out. In addition to the large main line of hot entrees, there are separate stations for omelets in the morning and for pasta, salad, desserts (including HAL's famous bread pudding) at lunch. There's even a deli/sandwich bar, and a very popular ice-cream bar, with cups, cones or sundaes at no charge. Daily afternoon tea is served and late-night (usually around 11:30 p.m.) snacks are also available in the Lido Restaurant.

Another alternative is room service, available 24 hours a day at no additional charge. Holland America has one of the widest-ranging room service menus at sea. In fact, it is possible to order dining room meals from the evening's menu to be served in your cabin, but only if you order during the first 1/2 hour the dining room is open (6:00 on most cruises, but this can vary, call room service to verify when it is available).

Service

Oosterdam's gracious, ever-attentive staff are some of the best at sea in the premium class due to the line's most organized system of grooming crewmembers. With schools in Indonesia and the Philipines feeding the crew for the fleet, the average crewmember has been on board for five years and really knows his/her stuff. They take pride in their jobs and seem to enjoy the passengers' company as much as their counterparts'. You never see them congregating and ignoring their duties.




Ship Overview

The second of Holland America Line’s Vista-class ship, Oosterdam was named for the Eastern compass point and christened in 2003. As a symbol of the line's history of circumnavigating the globe, the centerpiece of Oosterdam’s atrium is a magnificent Waterford-crystal globe. In addition to her art collection, her cast-aluminum elevator doors were inspired by the art deco work of the New York Chrysler Building.

Ships for the 21st century, Vista-class vessels integrate new, youthful, and family-friendly elements into Holland America Line's classic fleet. Exquisite Waterford-crystal sculptures adorn triple-deck atriums and reflect vivid, almost daring color schemes throughout. Although all the public rooms carry the traditional Holland America names (Ocean Bar, Explorer's Lounge, Crow's Nest) and aren't much different in atmosphere, their louder decor (toned down a bit since the introduction of the Zuiderdam) may make them unfamiliar to returning passengers.

Veterans of cruises on older Holland America ships will find the layout of public spaces somewhat different; still, everyone's favorite Crow's Nest lounges continue to offer those commanding views.

Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873—all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet's multimillion-dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the ships' names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix dam and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland's rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.

Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style, and with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Next to the Crow's Nest, an outdoor seating area is a quiet hideaway
  • Exterior panoramic elevators offer an elevated view of the seascape
  • You can borrow iPod shipboard art tours

Cons

  • Vista-class ships do not have self-service laundry rooms
  • Murals in Pinnacle Grill restaurants look out of place alongside priceless art found throughout the rest of the ships
  • Some chairs in Pinnacle Grill are so heavy that they barely budge without effort
Ship Stats
  • Entered Service 2003
  • Passenger Capacity 1,916
  • Crew Members 817
  • Number of Cabins 958
  • Gross Tons 82,305
  • Length 936 feet
  • Width 106 feet
  • New

Nov 6, 2016

Mediterranean Dreams

Experiment N' Terror - Sixth and LAST with HAL... please "read tell us about your trip" for FULL details. HAL is in the hospitality service business, at least that is the rumor which their hygienic practices, shipboard administration and post cruise customer service rapidly dispels. In hospitality and service, misrepresentation should not be rife and "caveat emptor" should not be the maxim of the day, but HAL sure seems to have taken it to heart.

HAL's upper management attitude and level of customer satisfaction for problem resolution, during and post cruise, has left this formerly satisfied customer feeling like, sailing with Capt. Jack Sparrow on the Black Pearl (Pirates of the Caribbean), would be an upgrade from HAL. In an effort to deny reality and just recompense, I shudder to imagine what HAL's professional deflection tactics and denial system aka "wall of non stick voodoo teflon" at the Office of The President, will cook up and attempt to serve to future victims. And of late, that is exactly what the HAL experience leaves you feeling like. Dining: Lido Buffet - Very Good; Main Dining - NA Large Inside Cabin 1067 - Positive, tons of room and storage, nice 40 inch LED TV and free on demand movies. Negative, you can't hear the BB King band, but you can hear the late night deejay with his techno beat coming from above. NA = Not Applicable Cabin: Excellent - attached review Dining: Lido Buffet - Very Good; Main Dining - NA Embarkation: Poor - slow, long queues. Disembarkation: Poor - swift and merciless. Fastest we have ever been given the bums rush. Hundreds were awaiting shuttles and cabs, many with reservations for a hour later. Enrichment Activities: NA Entertainment: Average - The BAND is GONE. BBKing and Ventriloquist Magician were excellent; Piano Bar dueling pianos, meh. Sing around single piano was better; Shows, not good. Family & Children: NA Fitness & Recreation: Average; Free men's locker shower, gym and dry sauna Onboard Experience: Terrible - attached review Public Rooms: Average Rates: Terrible - Overpriced Service: Excellent - Cabin stewards, Bar and Lido staff. Shore Excursions: NA Ports: Average - attached review Value for Money: Terrible - attached review Ports Venice: Romantic, but expensive. Buy a vaporetto pass and validate it before riding. Visit Venice, stay and eat on the Lido. Sarande (Albania): Quaint beachfront esplanade. The best and least expensive "greek" food (15E for two) on this cruise. Kerkira (Corfu): Scenic historic city center and park walks await. Katakolon (Greece): Waterfront, two streets, four blocks of shops. Olympia ruins and Giorgio's Bike Bar ride await. Nafplion: Trendy beach front, downtown and exhausting bay fortress walk await. Athens: Best Duty Free, Parthenon and Acropolis ruins await. It's a big city. Mykonos: Quaint is now over commercialized, Big money bought out the independent's. Iraklion (Crete): Historic city center now glorified brand name outlet mall. Knossos Palace ruins await, big AM queues, empty after 1PM. Santorini: Take the funicular, beware of queues, avoid donkeys. Overrun with small shops. Naples: Capri, Sorrento, train to Pompeii, Herculaneum ruins await. You must be cautious, a young couple was victimized. Do not get on a bus or train without a validated ticket and announce the fact. You will be legitimately fined or caught in the typical Napoletano "we are the police" scam. Pick pockets, purse, phone, camera and jewelry snatchers galore. If you value it don't bring it ashore. As for your bank card and getting cash, do not use the ATM's. Theft of cash, identity, card eating ATM's and non dispensation of cash, while debiting your account are common here. Rome: Nice beach at port of Civitavecchia. Take train to Termini station, see the Colosseum first. Like Naples, it's the big city, beware. We gave ample monetary consideration in the form of time off, airfare, transfers, excursions and the cruise itself, only to be subjected to a lack of hygienic common sense or a virus known as stupidity on the part of HAL ship side management. To be clear, in 34 cruises taken over a 50 year span, I have never been exposed to such unsanitary conditions and unhygienic practices. In 34 cruises, 31 ships, 9 lines, 122 ports, this was the first time I have contracted any type of illness on a cruise. Many were afflicted as witnessed by multiple conversations with passengers and crew who were impacted and aware of the situation. An outbreak of diarrhea was brought to my attention by several crew and passengers in the know. Two passengers made the unsolicited comment which I cannot take credit for, "this ship is a floating petri dish". HAL may have violated CDC health regs, but most importantly, common sense which violated their guests trust. As a result, some of HAL's guests suffered, my wife and I included. The cause? In the prior 33 cruises, I have never seen beverages or ice dispensed in such a haphazard fashion. From the beginning of the cruise, the non touch ice beverage dispensers in the Lido buffet were occasionally non functional, i.e. did not dispense ice or water. When they were functional, unprotected pitchers were often positioned on the drip tray blocking their usage, forcing unnecessary manual usage of make shift ice chests and pitchers. Rather than no touch, the process required a minimum of eight full hand to surface contacts on three different surfaces; chest lid; ice scoop; pitcher. In addition, the ice chest was compromised by the complete insertion of a hand during the scooping process. These conditions were mysteriously allowed to persist for the duration of the 12 night cruise. An email to the Office of the President at HAL, solicited the following response. "Interestingly enough we had our public health specialist on board this cruise. Non-touch beverage/ice machines were functional during the cruise and not disabled as suggested. There was no outbreak of influenza or diarrhea as suggested. We are not in a position to provide you with a monetary refund." HAL's Office of the President shot a clear message across my bow regarding the complaint. Their response was nothing more than a complete denial of circumstance and refutation of my on board experience. The response left my family feeling cheated, deceived and lacking future trust in the HAL brand.

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  • New

Jun 7, 2015

Sail Alaska inside passage and on to Danali

We had a wonderful time cruising to Alaska, so many wonderful sights to see, great weather, lots of wildlife. The cruise would have been perfect except for smokers. We paid extra for a larger room and a balcony and in three rooms below us were smokers. Every time we wanted to sit out side or there was something wonderful to see we had to breath in their smoke. I do not understand why they can not put the smokers on the back half or quarter of the

ship so their smoke does not bother the rest of us? I was told by a lady on the ship that works at the front desk that lots of times they lie about smoking, and if it was really a bother they could ask them to restrict the smoking? Give me a break. You need to put in your information that if they are caught lying they will be put off the ship at the next port with no refund. When your literature stated that smoking was restricted to an area out on the deck and some balcony rooms I assumed that they would be in rooms that would not effect us. This will stop us from cruising again unless we can make sure not to have to put up with this.We will also tell others thinking about cruising to get some kind of guarantee that this will not happen to them or they would get a refund. there was plenty of food choices, lots of good salad bars and lots of fresh fruit and choices in the protein department and lots of nummy desserts. I am a tea drinker and on 2 mornings the hot water for tea was put in a container last used for coffee and that ruined the flavor of the tea. But the afternoon teas were wonderful. Roomy and very comfortable cabin. There was plenty to do if you were looking for something to do. Busy Busy Busy The whale watching excursions are not to be missed, we saw 3 types of whales. Our trip gave us many wonderful memories and we kept so busy I felt I could sleep for a day to recover.

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  • New

Dec 2, 2014

Ms Oosterdam

This cruise was a terrible experience, we were publically humiliated and asked to leave the vista dining room for breast feeding our 6 month year old because breast feeding is supposedly against the dining room policy, we were then later told that the dining room does not even have a policy, dining room manager chose to illegally discriminate against us at her own discression, you would think in this day and age they would know better, Kids club HAL

took no interest in amusing our 3 year old child she was more interested in watching TV as there were not many kids on the boat this cruise. We also didn't get to see Tasmania or Milford sound which was meant to be the highlight of the cruise, the only saving grace was the kindness of the waitresses and room service staff who were lovely and couldn't do enough for you. This is not a family friendly cruise and Holland America needs to life their game if they want to appeal to families. We didn't get an apology from the person who made us leave the dining room even though they admitted they were wrong, took them 8 days to work that one out.

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Jul 14, 2014

southern route

Prior to sailing my husband called Holland American at their 800 number and spoke with a C/S/R, regarding our upcoming trip to Alaska aboard the Oosterdam. The rep. told his that we were permitted to bring water ( up to 1 case) soda ( up to 1 case) and wine ( at 1 bottle per person). Which we did.... Upon arrival at the ship check-in a disaster, felt like cattle being led to slaughter. Over 30 min in line. Checked into state room immediately

upon boarding, deposited our carry on's and went to explore the ship. 2 hrs later returned and all but 1 pcs of luggage was in the room. So I called and was told it was being held and would be delivered at a later time. Again leaving the room we went to dinner then drinks, upon return found that the last pcs had been delivered, minus the 2 bottles of wine. In side was a form letter stating that the product was removed and would be returned after the cruise. Immediately went to the customer desk and explained the the H/A csr said we could bring this aboard. The rep put me if there was a problem I'd have to discuss it the Beverage Manager. Which I requested a face to face with. After waiting about 30 min he finally appeared. He explained H/A policy, and I informed him of what I'd been told by the csr at the 800. But because I wasn't able to remember who I spoke with he was unable to permit us to keep our wine and the company policy would prevail. Presentation excellent at restaurant average at buffet. As for quality also good but not excellent. Very clean cabin. Average shows. Comedy Ventriloquist ..Excellent Illusionist....Excellent Somewhat overpriced tours and little direction as to best times to go. We had booked excursion to Skagway never told what the time of departure was until we boarded and found out it was 06:30 way to early. No additional times available so we had to cancel. Even after our explanation the staff just refunded w/o any remorse. PLEASE!!!! Read The FINE PRINT. One wouldn't think a reputable cruise line would have fine print BUT they do and they stick to it!!

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Aug 8, 2013

Alaska

This cruise is definitely more for older people...the quality in the rooms was poor- granted it is 10 years old..there is nothing Dutch about it....it's a shame all the Dutch traditions are gone..although the Captain was Dutch an did a great job getting us into Tracy's Arm (inner passage)an turning around avoiding ice bergs. It was a treat to see the glazier. It is a shame Carnival has let all the old traditions go. First two days of the sail

was terrible then slowly there was improvement..don't go for the food unless you don't care.. The room was good an private ..the view was nice..but no improvement in 10 years.. High tea an classical music and the art collections . If you like history ..take in the bishops house that was made a saint..probably for living in Alaska. I did enjoy the glass elevator.. get a room close to it..it's mid ship but you need not worry about rough seas on inner passage.

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