As soon as I stepped onboard the Holland America Oosterdam, I was reminded that all mid-sized cruise ships are not the same.
The Oosterdam is tastefully decorated, bright and vivid, but with an impressive, understated beauty, a refined elegance.
This five-star ship carries up to 1,964 passengers and 817 crew. It features several restaurants, lounges, and entertainment options, as well as both relaxing and active alternatives.
To date, we have spent over 160 days on a variety of cruise ships, the majority of which are mid-sized (1,500-2,499 passengers) across seven cruise lines. Too bad we are not cruising at this time.
We won a tour and a decadent lunch. It’s a prize earned simply from having my name randomly pulled from the hat.
Holland America’s ms Oosterdam was christened in July 2003 by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands.
Our first view of the Oosterdam
We arrived in Auckland for our afternoon onboard the Oosterdam via ferry.
Our first glimpse of the HAL Oosterdam came as we approached the city. She sat prominently in front of the Auckland skyline, her black and white exterior almost blending into the background rather than being a huge eyesore.
Let’s get into the cruising mood …
First impression onboard the ms Oosterdam
Greeted by the beautiful atrium, it was the giant globe hanging over the entrance that first caught my eye. It instantly took me to places all around the world, reminding me of the romance of long-term travel and of faraway places that can be reached via ship.
Lounges and dining
With six places to eat onboard, plus 24-hour room service (included), you will not leave this ship hungry. In fact, it is the opposite, and you might want to check out a few of our tips for eating onboard without gaining weight.
The dining options range from casual to formal, although both the steak house and the Italian cuisine restaurant have an additional cost.
The food was fabulous, and our lunch was so good that I am almost embarrassed to admit that I ate it before I remembered to take photos. That is until dessert, a light, fluffy strawberry perfection.
Artwork on the Oosterdam
In this case, a picture is worth 1,000 words. The artwork around the ship was eclectic, interesting, striking, and seemingly everywhere. Even the elevator doors were intricately decorated.
Cabins on the Oosterdam
The carpet in the long hallways did match the decor in the rooms, although what I share here is a blue hallway and a red room.
We saw two different cabins, and this was the larger suite. Attention is paid to every detail.
It was the view from the balcony of the suite in the photo just above that let me really see how the other half lives. We can clearly see a spa tub on the balcony of one of the largest suites.
I can only imagine how magical it would be to sit in that tub whilst cruising on a moonlit evening. Although, the lack of total privacy might be a concern.
We got a chance to see World Stage, the main entertainment stage, although we were not treated to a performance (nor did we expect one, as all we thought we won was lunch, even the tour was a big bonus).
I can only imagine it is impressive. After all, it’s a five-star ship, and all of the entertainment we have seen on other ships (ranging from 3-6 stars) has been excellent.
Plus, HAL has an exclusive partnership with the Lincoln Center, one of the world’s leading centres for performing arts. This is a real treat for fans of classical cruise ship music.
Swimming pools and spa tubs
There are two pools, and the main/lido pool has a retractable roof so that you can swim regardless of the weather.
Each pool has spa tubs, and the outdoor sea view pool has four adorable chairs that keep your body dry, but your feet in the water.
More onboard the Oosterdam
We didn’t see it all. There is also…
- Observation deck
- Two pianos
- Trivia games
- A family game room
- Two-story LED video screen
- Full spa services, including massage
- Fitness center
- Art Gallery
- Kids clubs (for ages 3-17)
I could easily enjoy a few weeks aboard this ship. A few hours was not long enough.
Cruising into New Zealand
- Nearly every summer day, at least one cruise ship arrives in Auckland, New Zealand (about 120 per year).
- If you are lucky enough to be on one, there are plenty of things to do in Auckland and lots of interesting places to head to nearby Auckland.
- And if it’s your first time visiting, be sure to check out some of the New Zealand highlights on Albom Adventures and tips for first-time visitors.
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Will you cruise on the ms Oosterdam?
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