I just returned from a Baltic cruise on the Oosterdam. It was my first cruise and I did enjoy it but many aboard said they were displeased with the direction that HAL was going in with these larger vessels.Even though it was my first cruise I did see some problems that smaller ships may not incur such as lines for breakfast and lines to disembark. Does anyone else feel this way?. I would like to cruise again but I think a smaller ship would be more service oriented?
We fully expected to not like the new Vista ships at all. We shocked ourselves to have loved the Zuiderdam. She is not even sailing a year yet, but we have fully enjoyed four cruises on her thus far.
Just returned from her last week, and while the ship is definitely larger, we kept remarking how wise the designers were to keep all of the lounges to a small scale. We never felt as though we were in a massively large room with too many people.
We even feel the dining room was well designed to be able to seat approximately 900 people per seating yet it does not seem there are nearly that number dining at the same time.
We love the ship.....and we are among the large group of long time, frequent HAL cruisers who are very accustomed to the previous ships of HAL. I've read over and over on these BB's that the traditional MARINERS of HAL will not like Vista....not so, in our case. I'm convinced many who are spouting that nonesense have never even set eyes on either of the Vista ships let alone have actually cruised one of them.
We did the Oosterdam on the cruise before you .. and since we have also done the Grand Princess and The Celebrity Millenium .. I can tell you that HAL was MUCH more organized in getting tours going and allowing people on and off the ship ..
I also liked the small settings for many of the bars/lounges and it did not ever seem crowded in those
Where we found the crowds were when we returned to the ship late from tours that were really popular and had only the Lido Buffet to choose from ..
Our other complaint .. slight annoyance perhaps .. was that NO food at all was available between 10 AM and 11 AM .. so you had to go to breakfast early or wait for lunch and we really like to sleep in .. we did find we could get room service .. but I don't know I would have loved to have an omelet on deck during those hours
I HAVE BEEN ON ALL SIZES OF SHIP TRAVELING AS A SINGLE. MY OBSERVATION IS IT IS NOT THE SHIP BUT THE PEOPLE ON THE SHIP THAT MAKE THE DIFFERENCE. STARTING WITH THE CREW--FRIENDLY AND CONCERNED OR NOT--AND THE PASSENGERS AND A LOT OF THAT DEPENDS ON YOU. GET OUT OF YOUR SHELL AND BECOME AN EXTROVERTED, GREGARIOUS, FRIENDLY PERSON AND YOU WILL BE HAPPY ON ANY THING FROM A RAFT UP TO THE USS CARL VINSON. SIT IN YOUR CABIN BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO GO TO THE SINGLES PARTY AND BE MISERABLE BUT DON'T BLAME THE SHIP...
What Frank says IS true. To get the most out of one's cruise vaction they do need to get out of the cabin and be gregarious. That works for me on the Statendam class ships.Once I did a 2000 plus passenger ship with another line and got lost in the crowd. I would make friends and not see them again. Just too many people!! How is the comradery on the Zuiderdam and Osterdam?
Hi all, we were on the Oosterdam 9/20--10/2 Harwich to Rome. First time on HAL, but about 16th cruise. We're a young 60 years old couple.
Been on Seabourne Goddess with 80 paxs, Radisson Diamond with 350 paxs, many NCLs with 700-1200 paxs, the old Disney Oceanic, Celebity Horizon, Millenium, Constellation & I forget what else.
Although the O is a large ship & I compare it to the Millenium/Constellation we found it very well laid out an did not feel crowded at any time.But, neither did we feel that on the 2 comparable Celebrity ships. I think, besides the design, it had to do with the "handling of paxs". Example: a line at the Vista lounge door moved very quickly to give excursioners a sticker for which bus they would be on. We then sat down for about 5 minutes & they called our number. We then proceeded to the gangplank with only our bus paxs. It worked very efficiently.
Also, Embarkation/Disembarkation were very efficient.. On HAL it makes no difference if you are Mariners. On Celebrity they have a separate check-in area for past paxs. Which made a difference on both of the Celebrity cruise---so we were able to get checked in fast & onboard, but not other paxs. They were still in line.
Also, let me say that it really depends on fellow paxs and the cruise itinerary. On the European cruises there is usually an "older" crowd who are a bit more sedate--so it usually works well, except for a few who must be the first on the bus. We were on the Constellation from San Juan/Southern Carib in March and it didn't go as well I think because folks were younger and , how can I say, more energetic. Also, the thermal pool area on the Millenium Med. trip was a quiet place to relax. On the Constellation trip it was overrun by(no ,not kids) middle age folks who wanted to get away from kids, but were louder then any kids I know---even though signs were posted that it was a "quiet area". We had to pay $125/pp to join & use the "quiet" thermal suites to get away from any noise---well worth it and refreshing. BTY--spa on Celebrity is a little better. Also, our balcony was next to a family with 2 screaming children.
If you want a laid back experience & more personal shore excursions with no crowding then try Radisson or Seabourn.
We've done all the Carib islands by private/commercial plane/cruiseship Been there, done that.. It's time for the younger folks to cruise there--and enjoy!!!!
We also did the Oosterdam from Harwich to Rome and found the ship to be a real pleasure. We have cruised HAL multiple times on the Ryndam,Veendam,Maasdam class ships and enjoy that size ship-approx 1200 pax compared to the approx 1800 on Oosterdam.The design of Oosterdam seemed to provide more places for people to relax and get away from it all without staying in the room than the smaller ships.Sure did take longer to get from the Crow's Nest to the dining room though!
Embarkation was effortless-15 minutes or less from bus to on board and debarkation was fine after you overlook the very serious attempts by the shore staff to send our bags to downtown Rome and us to the airport. We watched our bags go on the bus but the shore staff removed them for some never explained reason after we got on the bus. Maybe that was related to the number of passengers but I don't think so.
We think the size is just fine.
We just returned from a wonderful cruise on Oosterdam ( Civitavecchia to Lisbon).
There were 1731 passengers and we never felt like it was too crowded. Every meal we had was very good or better. The ship is beautiful and easy to get around in. At midship you have the choice of six elevators as well as stairs.
On our first sea day in the Med there were gale-force winds and 15 foot seas and the ship rode remarkably well.
We have been on larger ships and smaller ships and enjoyed them all, but we especially enjoyed the O!