Today, May 3rd was the west coast debut of Holland Americia's Oosterdam.
A review...........After boarding the ship my partner Kirk and I (Jerry) explored for about 2 hours until my ailing foot said STOP! So we missed seeing the spa area and sports deck but we saw everything else including most of the different cabin categories, from a standard inside to the Penthouse Suite.
What we liked:
1. The extremely friendly crew......everyone soooo helpful......including Rob, (a cutie) and District Manager of Sales who spent way too much time with us in conversation. Mostly telling us about his nice life in Atlanta with his partner of 9 years. Ya never know !
2. The surprisingly spacious inside cabins. Although the amenities are basic, we could be very happy with this more affordable accommodation (some veranda cabins didn't appear to be any larger, minus the veranda's of course).
3. The outside glass elevators......what a view !!! All of the other elevators had strickingly beautiful metal embossed doors......interiors are beautiful too.
4. The departure from the conservative decor found on most of their ships in public rooms. I must admit however, there are a few rooms that are a little over the top!!! We particularly liked the many cozy spots where one could enjoy more intimate conversation while sipping that strange drink the bartender talked you into buying.
5. The fabulous bright and airy Lido Cafe (buffet). Plenty of choices for food here..... American, Asian, Italian and so forth and so on. Best public room on the ship, at least in our humble opinion. And not just for food but for all around design, seating, view, etc.
6. The warmly decorated dining rooms and layouts. There are beautiful and comfortable wood carved chairs (thick padded seats and backs), Rosenthal china, impeccable service and good food. The Maitre' de zeroed in on us immediately and danced around our table several times during lunch. He opened up the conversation by asking us if we had ever been on an RSVP cruise (hello!) on their line. When I answered no, and added that we have never been on any gay cruise he was upset......hello again! Why not, he asked ? I told him that we weren't party animals and that we left our costumes behind years ago. His retorte was........ But you'd look great at the White Underwear party and you wouldn't have to invest any money in a costume. I said SURE, with my big fat belly hanging out over stretched elastic, I'd really be a big hit ! We all had a good laugh and more playful conversation.
What we didn't like:
1. The closed-in feel of the ship. Even though there are plenty of windows all around, they don't seem to be as high or wide as most newer builds are these days. Some areas were too dark and somewhat depressing, particularly the center of the ship which obviously gets less light.
Thanks for the great information! It's so thoughtful of you to report back.
Glad to hear the District Manager was so forthcoming, but the maitre'd kinda went over the top, huh? When he inquired about the white underwear party, I would have said, "It would be fine, but I don't wear any." That should have stopped him.
__________________ Harry Martin
Moderator - Mexico and G/L message boards
I just got off the Oosterdam, having done the Mexican Riviera on the ship with RSVP.
I really love the Vista class, but I have to say the ship is either understaffed or the crew is overworked. Trying to get a drink in the Dining room was difficult if not impossible. Granted, we had open seating, but it shouldn't take 2 courses before the wine is served. We also had trouble with the Pinnacle Grill..."everything is booked" were were told, yet say less than 20% occupancy at any time when we had wanted to book. That was extremely frustrating.
Spa personnel tried seling product after product. And one of the bartenders in the Crow's nest was downright surly!
That said, we really loved the ship and most of the crew. Our room steward was a dream, the CD is an incredibly hot Aussie named Dane Butcher (Butcher than whom?).
We didn't have a camera with us that day, but we don't own a digital anyway. Sorry we can't supply you with pictures. There are a few pics of the Oosterdam on this websites Photo Gallery (dated 2-4-04) but just some exterior shots and a couple of shots of a veranda cabin, the rest is land stuff. Surley someone out there has more complete photos of the ship. Post your pictures boys and girls for Eric and Martin to view.....please!
Ooops! My mistake. You didn't go on the cruise, did you? Well anyway, you don't have to be a partyboy to have fun on these cruises. And personally, I love to see a big fat belly hanging over stretched elastic.
Do you really love men with big fat bellies ??? Would you mind giving me your phone number?........just in case something should "accidentally" happen to my partner. Look Glenn, I was just kidd'in about not being a partyboy or not wanting to wear a costume because I have plenty of costumes ( in graduating sizes ) and not only that, my partner is/was a costume designer in Hollywood.....no shortage here! What I said to the Maitre'd were simply words that came out of my big fat mouth, nothing more. But actually, we have never been on an all gay cruise, but only because we favor cruises of 3 weeks or longer and there isn't much in the offering.
Be well,...... AND don't forget to send me your phone number.......just in case!