Oosterdam to Mexican Riviera in Jan 08 - Advice/Help Needed
After reading hundreds of posts, we have finally decided on HAL's Oosterdam for our Mexican Riviera cruise. It will be our first cruise. We originally wanted to go in October, but it looks like it's sold out until January 5th. We're okay with that since that's the date of our 23rd wedding anniversary and we'll just do something else in October.
I plan on callling HAL to book this cruise by Wednesday. I have a few questions for you veteran cruisers: What do you recommend for cabin selection? We plan on getting a deluxe veranda outside stateroom, unless we decide to upgrade to the suite. Is there a preferred location, such as mid-ship? We are a little concerned with motion-sickness since my husband experienced it on an ocean fishing trip a while back. Do you have a preferred deck and do they let you choose? I have read it's important to know what's above and below the deck your cabin. Any other advice you think I should know before I call and book?
I am so appreciative for this message board. When we first were looking at cruises we were on vacationstogo.com and had no idea what to choose. Thanks to the cruise reviews, cruise line and ship info, we think HAL is the best fit for us. Thanks for your help!
If you can afford a Suite (SA,SB,SC) go for it, especially since it's for your 23rd anniversary, even though it's a bit later.
Best location is mid ships on the Rotterdam deck as that is where the Neptune Lounge is located and with a Deluxe Suite (SA), you will have all the amenities, like the use of the Neptune Lounge, free laundry, welcome aboard the first night with the Captain and other amenities. Of course, you will be spoiled and never want to take a lower cabin.
If you can't get a Suite on the Rotterdam deck, there are few located on the Upper Verandah deck (SB).
There is a big difference between the ships and boats used for an ocean fishing trip, but if your husband is prone to motion sickness, tell him to take Bonine - start a couple of days before the cruise and take one tablet each day.
Yes, HAL will let you choose which cabin you want, unless of course it's gone. If we don't take a Suite (SA), we take an SS or SY on the Upper Promenade deck, mid ships. We've never been concerned about what is above or below us but I know a lot of people are.
The HAL rep will be able to help you choose and hopefully make a good selection.
Have a great time. I am sure you will enjoy yourselves and sail again.
We are going on 12/8/07 Oosterdam to Mexican Riviera. There are lots of cabins available at very low prices cuz' it's close to the holidays and before school lets out. Check out the Mexico sailings specials on HAL's website. We booked an SC aft suite which has a huge balcony at the rear of the ship and access to the Neptune Lounge. The price has gone down $200 pp since we booked this May. We're first-time HAL and booked directly with them & have a "Personal Cruise Consultant" there. He has been very accommodating & gave us credit for both of the price drops.
On the HAL website, or in the HAL brochures they have deck layouts where you can see where the cabins are located. I wouldn't want to be under the restaurants, showrooms, casino, etc. Best to be between two cabin decks. We booked a particular suite # by checking the deck layout.
Well, tonight we booked our trip through cruise.com. We took a guaranteed cabin for VF (I believe it was). Unfortunately, we were unable to find any cabins we wanted in all the Verandah classes, they were all either at the elevator, the front of the ship, or the very back. I wanted the very back of the ship, but DH was worried about vibration, noise, seasickness, etc. We chose a class which had cabins mainly mid-ship in the hopes we'd get one there. I figure we'll call later and check to see what we can get.
I am so excited about our first cruise! Now I have to figure out how to add a ticker to the bottom of my posts.
Our first cruise is 12/8 and we can't stand this waiting! So excited . We had purchased a cruise last year but family illness prevented our sailing. HAL was wonderful to us as we dealt with that tragedy so really wanted to travel with them. We are waitlisted for early dining. How does that work? We haven't purchased excursions yet.
Offtoseatheworld (spelling??) - if you are on the 12/8/07 sailing of Oosterdam to Mexican Riviera - see the cruisecritic.com HAL Board. We have a group of about 45 assorted passengers sailing on that date.
We'll be taking this same cruise 2/2/08. Anxious to see how you liked it.
You asked what to do to make first timers more enjoyable. The first cruise is a bit confusing - especially getting around the ship. I'd make sure you brief them thouroghly on directions and how to find places.
I haven't been on the Oosterdam but have been on the Zuiderdam. Sister ship. Here is a hint,,if you booked a VF, try to upgrade to a VD. The VD cabins have slightly larger balconys due to the design of the ship !
HAL Volendam 2004
HAL Maasdam 2006
HAL Zuiderdam 2007
HAL Eurodam 2008
CCL Paradise upcoming 2010
We are home from this fabulous cruise! Hated to get off the ship . Our cabin was a VD about 1/3 from the front and we would pick that area again. It was quiet, smooth sailing, and close enough to stairs and elevators. Do look at your map and the maps near the elevators to know where you are on this 900 foot ship! Loved the verandah for sitting when sunny, looking at the sea, and ports. The food was excellent, do go to the Vista dining room and the lido buffet. We did not pay to eat at the Pinnacle Grill. The shows and headliners were professionals and a great way to spend the evenings. We took excursions at all 3 ports. 2 were cancelled and the ones we substituted were okay. We had wanted to take the jeep tour in Cabo, but it rained the night before. In Puerto Vallarta, it was a national holiday, so activities were limited downtown for some tours. the morning of disembarkation, use room service as it is quicker, and a chance to enjoy those last moments in your stateroom. The cruise director had only been on this ship for 3 cruises, David M. but is excellent, funny, and plays drums at the final entertainment night. I liked the cooking demonstrations, and the talent show is fun. We didn't partake of the Bingo or casino as we can do that on land anytime. The shops on the ship have sales near the end of the cruise, but remember to check prices as some things are quite high. Our room steward, Dodi kept our room spotless with a towel pet, chocolates on our pillows, ice, and a fruit bowl every evening. The dining steward was always smiling and accomodating, remembering our names and tastes.
When leaving San Diego the first night, the sea is a bit rocky and we wore seabands the first 2 days, and were never seasick. The art on the ship is interesting, there are 2 piano bars, a nightclub, crows nest with dancing-Don't miss the black and white ball on formal night to dance with the captain!
Go, enjoy, eat, rest, laugh, swim, exercise if you want, shop, and HAVE A GREAT TIME!