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Please Note: Cruise-Australia and my other related maritime sites are 100% non-commercial and privately owned sites. Be assured that I am NOT associated with any of the cruise companies nor any travel or cruise agencies, etc! The author has been in the Passenger Shipping industry for a very long time and although now semi-retired, but I am delighted to share all my knowledge with those who love to take their vacation by sea! Thus I continue to write on worthy Cruise Companies and their wonderful Ships in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts for their pleasure, but more so to ensure that you, my wonderful reader will make the best-informed choice possible!

 

ms Oosterdam

ms Oosterdam maiden arrival in Sydney on October 24, 2012 for her summer cruise season

 

PLEASE NOTE: Photographs on this page were kindly provided by Holland America Line, Inc,

as well as many of my own personal photographs!

It is a well-known fact that I consider Holland America Line (HAL) to be one of the finest 5˝ Star Cruise Companies in the world! The truth is that this company has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1873 and Holland America Line has continually received countless cruise awards and accolades for being one of the finest and highest rated as well as the best value Cruise Line each year, and that is for two full decades up to and including 2014. That is something that not a single other cruise line is able to match!

These are just some of the International awards received, including the prestigious Australian AFTA Award:

“The Highest Rated Cruise Line” - Conde Nast Travellers Readers; Choice Travellers Awards; Travel & Leisure Word’s Best Awards.

“Best Overall Cruise Value” - 22 consecutive years to 2014 – World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society.

“High Deluxe Five Star+ Rating” - World Ocean & Cruise Liner Society.

“International Five Star+ Diamond Award” - The American Academy of Hospitality Sciences.

Cruise Line with the Highest Client Satisfaction” - TravelAge West.

Holland America received the following awards “Best Cruise Operator” and “World’s Leading GREEN Cruise Line.”

“Best Cruise Operator” (Internationally based) - AFTA award at the AFTA National Travel Industry Awards.

Gold 2010 Rear Admiral William M. Benkert Environmental Protection Award” from the U.S. Coast Guard.

World’s Leading Green Cruise Line Award” and the “Blue Circle Award” from the Port of Vancouver.

In addition, there are so many other awards that have come since I have placed this list online, but it says a great deal about this remarkable cruise company, which has been called for well over 140 years as the “Spotless Fleet” but also as the ultimate 5 Star Cruise Company for offing the ultimate in service, and this is because every staff member you would ever meet on board has been trained at a special Academy to the highest standard possible to ensure that every part of your experience on board a Holland America ship will be an extra special experience!

Over the past years Australia’s has been blessed with Holland America Line (HAL) ships like the ms Volendam commenced operating out of Australia in 2009 and she was a huge success! Considering that Australian’s enjoyed the superior style and luxury of the Volendam, HAL decided for the ms Zaandam to join the Volendam in Australia for the 2011-2012 season. However, HAL decided that it was tine to send one of their premier ships to Australia, the grand 82,000-ton ms Oosterdam and she proved to as big a success as the smaller fleet mates! Yet, the ms Volendam continue to visit our shores as she sails across the Pacific to Sydney each year, then operates a circumnavigation of Australia, and after returning to Sydney she heads north and sails via the Queensland and Northern Territory via Indonesia to Singapore where she is based for three months. From Singapore the Volendam commences a series of 7 or 14-day cruises between Singapore and Hong Kong, and Australian’s take Holland America Line Fly-Cruise options, which are very popular indeed!

The delightful 61,214-ton MS Volendam

Photograph taken & © 2008 by Reuben Goossens

ms Oosterdam will cruise to destinations around Pacific as well as the popular cruises around New Zealand and these are usually booked out well in advance. Thus I do suggest that bookings are made well in advance. There is no doubt that this spectacular ship has a great deal to offer, for it has countless new features, yet she retains all of the traditional Holland America standards, such as the famed venues such as the “Explorers” and “Exploration” Lounges. Then there is the ever-popular Ocean and Piano bars, and the traditional Crow’s Nest atop of the ship offering spectacular views over her bow!

Oosterdam berthed at the Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay Sydney, her homeport

whist she is based in Australia during the summer cruise season

A Personal Recommendation:

You may ask, “But have you actually cruised on this ship?” The answer is yes I have, and like always, I paid my own full fares, as I do not accept any freebies or favours and thus I am able to provide an honest review on the ship, service, food, entertainment, etc. As my regular readers know well, I tend to be completely honest and I will always state the fact, because integrity is vital to me!

My fried and associate, Mr Hun-Eng Tan and myself departed on the ms Oosterdam from Sydney on February 6, 2013 for a 14-night cruise around New Zealand via Hobart, and we disembarked in Auckland from where we flew home to Brisbane. The voyage was sheer delight and the service was without a doubt typically Holland America, that means perfection, as were all our meals, but our specialty meals taken at the Pinnacle Grill, well they were simply beyond being sublime for we have eaten at some of the finest restaurants in the world, and believe me the optional Pinnacle Grill is right up there if not even better! Food on HAL is simply superb even if you only dine in the dining room or the Lido Buffet! We enjoyed the excellent entertainment as well as the ships fine facilities that was so Holland America, full of class yet suitable to everyone! My favourite room on all HAL ships is the Crows Nest, a venue located topside far forward overlooking the bow of the ship and this is the perfect venue to read a good book during the day, for on the starboard side is the amazing Explorations Lounge and Café that is also the library and internet café as well as having a superb Barista Café! But being a huge venue, the port side is very peaceful thus the perfect place to read and that is something that not a single Princess ship has, for tragically all their ships are poorly designed, having their buffet placed where the Crows Nest should be, as on all other high class companies, thus Princess although a good company misses a spacious quiet venue which is rather sad!

Therefore I highly recommend Holland America Line and I do so considering that I have now sailed on well over 150 cruises/voyages in addition having been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960, but retired for a good 35 years. But be assured if you prefer a better quality and style of cruise vacation, yet at an excellent fare, the ms Oosterdam is really worth looking at, and I am assured that you will not be sorry!

Reuben Goossens.

Details and specifications regarding the ms Oosterdam:

The Oosterdam is one of four identical sister ships, being the ms Zuiderdam, Westerdam and the Noordam, they all have Vista Class hulls and they were built by the famed Fincantieri - Cantieri Navali Italiani S.p.A., at their Fincantieri Ship Yards at Marghera, near Venice, Italy and the Oosterdam was built in yard number 6076 for all those ship enthusiasts!

The ms Oosterdam was christened by Her Royal Highness Princess Margriet of the Netherlands with the ceremony-taking place in Holland America Line's founding City of Rotterdam on July 29, 2003. The event was held over three days of celebrations marking the company’s 130th anniversary. A special touch of the event was, when the joint flagship of the fleet, the ms Rotterdam, joined the Oosterdam “bow-to-bow” in order to officially welcome her into the fleet.

Specifications: 82,305 GRT (Gross registered Tons). Length: 290m (950ft). Beam: 32.25m (105.8ft). Draught: 7.9m (26ft). Power and drive: Combined diesel and gas turbine electric power, propulsion is per 2 x 360° Azipods, producing 17.62 MW (23956.53 ps). Speed: 24 knots max (44 km/h), service speed, 22 knots. She has 11 passenger decks, accommodating just 1,916 guests with a crew of 812, meaning that there are almost two crew members per passenger, which is far higher than most ships based in Australian waters, or anywhere for that matter, unless you are sailing on a super premium boutique smaller expedition ship! Her call sign is: PBKH. IMO number: 9221281.

Now we have completed her details and all our ship lovers are satisfied; let us continue for those who simply love the comforts and the luxury of cruising, and that is just what Holland America is so famed for.

The following are a just a few of the ms Oosterdam’s superb on board features:

The Three Level Atrium:

The Atrium Bar on down on Main Deck, note the delightful stylised art deco feel of her décor

The magnificent Pinnacle Grill is located on the middle level on the right hand side, or port side in this case

 

On the top level of the Atrium is the popular Ocean Bar behind the screen on Promenade Deck, this venue spreads across the ship

 

The Atrium with the ever turning Waterford Crystal Globe hanging from high above, below is the delightful Atrium bar

 Looking down from Promenade Deck

Three level Vista Show Lounge: features talented vocalists, dancers, illusionists, comedians and variety acts.

 

Above & below: Far forward of the ship is the grand three deck high Vista Show Lounge

 

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

Crow's Nest: offers sweeping 270° views during the day and it is a fashionable nightclub each evening.

Here we see the seating along the front windows

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

 

Looking to Centre aft is the Crows Nest Bar

Explorations Lounge & Café, powered by The New York Times: a comfortable, *coffee house environment where you can browse through an extensive library, surf the Internet and check email or simply read the morning paper. *Barista coffee and pastries are available.

It is the Internet Café, the Library, a place to relax and have a superb Barista coffee, or speciality tea and a snack!

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

Explorers Lounge: One of the more classical lounges with a relaxing atmosphere during the day and with Classical Music in the evening!

One of HAL’s signature lounges ~ the Explorers Lounge

Vista Dining Room: features impeccable service and an extensive wine list. Five-course menus include continental cuisine, vegetarian and low-carb options.

 

Above & below:

The multi level Vista Dining Room located aft of the ship that offers ocean views through spacious windows on three sides

Open dinning is available on the lower level or first and second sittings on the upper level

 

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

Lido Restaurant: offers a relaxed ambiance for all three meals and features a variety of fresh, cooked-to-order specialties.

The superb Lido Restaurant that offers excellent cuisine!

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

Canaletto Italian Restaurant: Why not try an evening meal and enjoy some superb Italian dinning, I did and it was simply sublime!

The delightful Canaletto Restaurant

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

*Pinnacle Grill: This intimate reservations-only venue offers an elegant, sophisticated dining experience. Featuring premium Sterling Silver beef, inspired seafood dishes and many select wines rated "Excellent" by Wine Spectator - as well as distinctive Bvlgari® china, Riedel® stemware and Frette® linens.

Above: The ultimate of elegance in dining is to be found at the Pinnacle Grill and it has its own lounge and Bar. You will discover that a meal here is an EVENT not to be forgotten! This superb venue is located on the middle level of the Atrium on Lower Promenade Deck

Just imagine, at the Pinnacle Grill you dine in the grandest of style for your delicious meal will come served on the most ultimate of plates, nothing less than, “BVLGARIChina, and you will drink your wine, or drink of choice from fine “Riedel” stemware or glasses, and the table is  laid with the finest “FretteLinens. Thus at the Pinnacle Grill you will be assured that receive nothing but the worlds best, that is why it is the “Pinnacle of Dining!”

Nothing but the finest China at the Pinnacle Grill – “BVLGARI” - thus go and spoil yourself with the best on earth!

The Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows: Guests will be able to show and tell their vacation memories, learning how to share all their digital memories through email, blogging and social networking - so friends and family can see where they've been cruising even before they return home. Free workshops taught by Microsoft-trained “techsperts” make it easy and fun, even for novices.

Join the “Digital Workshop” to learn new computer skills from a Microsoft “Techspert”

The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine: our state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen offering interactive gourmet cooking lessons taught by our own Master Chefs or culinary guests. These sessions are mostly in the especially designed Queens Lounge. There are both free, as well as some options lessons when higher priced ingredients are used!

The next venue is the delightful entertainment venue, the Queens Lounge for concerts and guest artists

This venue completely changes as the stage converts into a full kitchen for the
“Culinary Arts Centre” and cooking demonstrations, etc

*Greenhouse Spa & Salon: features heavenly beauty and wellness rituals. Enjoy a facial, hot stone massage, steam in a thermal suite and have your hair and nails done for a special evening.

HAL has some of the most luxurious Spa facilities; this is the Hydro Pool – Lido Deck

Club HAL®: Is HAL’s dedicated youth centre and has activities for kids ages 3 - 12; activities are supervised and are age appropriate.

The Loft: Is designed exclusively for teens (13 - 17) to have fun, socialize and hang out with people their own age!

One thing I particularly like on board all HAL ships is the careful detail that is given to the hygiene on board their ships and how it is presented to every passenger on the ship. The company is not known for nothing for having what they are world famous for as the “Spotless Fleet.”

When you step on board you will be amazed by the sheer delights of colour, the masses of flowers and all the art that is found throughout the ship! You can tour the ship and find something new and exciting every single day! Each and every Holland America ship has up to three million dollars worth of fine art scattered around the ship, be it in the stairwells, the Promenade Deck hallways, lounges and other public venues. Indeed it is everywhere. You can obtain a special Art Tour of the ship on IPod and discover the amazing pieces that are aboard and you will be amazed what you may have missed! You might just discover a terracotta sculpture of Phillip V, that was made by Rigaud of France way back in the 1700s and there is so much more on board as well as modern art and nautical works!

But what will be the most impressive of all is the attentive detail is the amazing service, the superb food that will satisfy the most discerning person, no matter how fussy you are, for if you wish something special, be assured it will be there! And the best entertainment I have ever found on any cruise company, it is top quality, with excellent staging and wonderful performances that leave you wanting for more and more, and best still, you do not feel like you have been to one of those cheap Las Vegas style shows, like on most other ships!

Now let us take a closer look at the ship herself!

As you will have already seen above, her décor is quite amazing and although she is as modern as tomorrow, yet she seem to have a split personality in some of her venues. Overall she tends to have that stylised art deco feel, but then some venues are    ultra modern in other venues, ranging to the classic style in the Library section of the “Explorations Café. Her Lido Deck and pool area is very spacious, and unlike the vast majority of cruise ships these days that have cheap plastic chairs and tables, not on HAL, where you will discover delightful high quality cane and metal seating and quality tables and at the Lido Bar end of the pool the lighting is shaped like ultra modern trees. Of course high above there is that massive glass-sliding dome that can be closed in cooler weather! Other special touches that are so HAL, each morning as you step into the lift you will discover there is a new mat that has the name of the day on it, thus you will always know what day of the week it is, also public facilities (WC) are some of the best equipped that I have personally I have seen on any ship! There are not just paper towels, but also small cloth hand towels! As I said earlier hygiene is important on HAL. When finished your hand washing and drying, HAL encourage you to take a paper towel to the door, open it using a paper towel, for sadly some people may not have washed, and there is a bin at the door for the paper towel. Now that is clear thinking Holland America Line!

ms Oosterdam - Photo Gallery

 

I am sure that many Australians who sailed on the ms Volendam previously

Will now love the superb and countless facilities onboard the fabulous ms Oosterdam!

 

Above: This is the intimate and delightful Piano lounge that is located forward on the starboard side on lower promenade deck, during the day this venue is used for meetings and other purposes, but at night, the Piano man takes to the keys and the fun commences. Expect sing-a-longs and a really good time. There are theme nights, be it Musicals, Songs from Days long gone, yet most know them, and the list just goes on!

Just aft, but on the port side is the Northern Lights Night Club and Disco and this is where the party really starts late at night!

 

On Promenade Deck is the mini cinema or the Screening Room as it is called

 

 

Top side on Deck 9, is the Lido Pool that has a delightful Lido Bar located aft near the Lido Restaurant (buffet), which on the starboard side is the Grill, that has some wonderful food for a light lunch or a wonderful snack. Note above to the right, you can see part of the sliding glass roof, that is currently open

Looking down from Observation deck (10) to the Lido Pool and deck with the delightful Penguin sculptures

on the right (forward) you can see the now open glass-sliding roof

 

A small corner of the comprehensive and spacious Fitness Centre that is located far forward on Lido Deck

 

Far aft on Lido Deck is an Adult only area and it has the wonderful Seaview pool and Bar as well as its spacious decks

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

 

Are you ready to join the wonderful Luxurious 5 Star ms Oosterdam, or the ms Noordam in 2016?

Believe me it does not cost as much as you may think!

 

A wonderful photo of ms Oosterdam departing Sydney heading for a Pacific cruise!

Accommodations:

I have found that HAL staterooms are very spacious and even the most inexpensive inside room as can be seen below is a most pleasant room indeed and it has every possible facility that one could wish for to provide the perfect vacation, whilst going on a value for money vacation.

In all staterooms, beds can either be made up as a twin bed or in a double bed configuration, just let your travel agent know when you make your booking, regarding your preference, but you must do this when you book as well as your dinning preference, you can choose “Open Dining,” meaning dine when and with whom you wish, or “First” or “Second Sittings.”

Every Stateroom includes:

Luxurious beds featuring Sealy® Premium Euro-Top mattresses and finely woven cotton linens.

Deluxe waffle weave and terry cloth bathrobes for use during your voyage.

100% Egyptian cotton towels.

Premium massage showerheads.

5X magnifying make-up mirrors and salon-quality hair dryers.

Fragrant soaps, lotions, shampoo and other bath amenities from Elemis Aromapure.

Complimentary fresh fruit on request.

Elegant ice bucket and serving tray for in-stateroom beverages.

Flat-panel TV and DVD player.

Ice service, shoeshine service and nightly turndown service.

Whilst the Deluxe and Penthouse have additional features including the use of the Neptune Lounge and other facilities.

Please note that I have not included everything that is in the cabin, such all as the usual inclusions, like a phone and hairdryer, etc. HAL has thought of just about everything!

Inside Stateroom

 

 

Twin or double inside staterooms are quite spacious and have a pleasant lounge area!

And remember you are looking at the cheapest stateroom on the ship!

 

Oceanview Stateroom

 

This is an outside twin or double stateroom again with a lounge

Staterooms are generally very spacious

 

Verandah Staterooms 

 

A Verandah Stateroom have a queen sized bed or can be made up as a twin bedded room, their balcony’s

are obvious smaller than with the suites below, but the still offer two chairs and a table with fine views!

 

Signature Suite

 

Here we see one of the Signature Verandah Suites offering a delightful lounge area

 

Neptune Suite

But why not opt for a spacious Neptune Suite and travel in style as well as enjoying the delights and the superb snacks and espresso coffee as well as good company and so much more in the “Neptune Lounge,” which is only available to guests in the Neptune and the Pinnacle Suites! In addition, you will have the use of your concierge by the press of a button on the phone.

 

Above & below: Here we see the superb Neptune Suite I was able to enjoy during our Pacific Cruise. WE enjoyed our restful

lounge and the spacious bedroom area that had those amazingly comfortable mattresses and a wide choice of pillows available!

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

 

 

Outside was the welcome Verandah, perfect for meals or just relaxing and reading a book!

Photograph by & © Reuben Goossens

The main room is spacious with a bedroom and a sizable lounge area, then there is a dressing room complete with further wardrobes, but these doors are clad with full-length mirrors! There is a privacy curtain at the entrance, At the make up area for the ladies besides the huge wall mirror, there is also a special backlit round mirror that has enlargement, etc. The there is a and a spacious bathroom that has a separate shower, as well as a full sized spa-bath that has a removable overhead shower head. On the other side, besides the massive mirrors, there are two washbasins and spacious cabinets on both sides, as well as the usual requirements! In the main hallway there are further wardrobes and just in the lounge area there is a full-length cupboard that contains the safe. There are a multitude of cupboards, for glasses, the fridge and mini bar, as well as a very long desk area. Stepping outside through the spacious glass door is the deep and wide Verandah, containing a round timber table with four rattan chairs, perfect for meals. In addition there are two comfortable rattan armchairs with footstools and a small, steel-posted round timber table located between them.

I am speaking from experience, as I cruised on the Oosterdam in December 2014 in a Neptune suite, number 7067 and I shall be showing further photographs of the suite in my new review that will come online very soon, but I have place just one image above, which I took just after we had arrived.

Reuben Goossens.

Pinnacle Suite

 

Want to go in style, well, here we see the Penthouse lounge and dinning room, this is what we call the ultimate in cruising!

 

Neptune Lounge

 

The elegant Neptune Lounge is available only to those in Suites and Penthouse

 

PLEASE NOTE: Photographs on this page were kindly provided by Holland America Line, Inc. 

 Unless stated otherwise!

 

We arrived in Auckland on February 20, 2013 and travelled back to Brisbane with Qantas that day

Photograph by & © Mr. Hun-Eng Tan, my travel companion

Your Cruise & Travel Professional:

For Holland America Line enquiries or reservations, consult an established Cruise & Travel Specialist who is a travel professional. But do yourself a big favour, never book with any cruise company direct for they never offer you any service or any discounts something your experienced agent can do!

However for general information regarding their ships visit www.hollandamerica.com.au.

Holland America Line hopes to welcome you onboard very soon!

-All Holland America Pages are by the Author, Reuben Goossens-

Page One The History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1872 to 2000

Page TwoThe History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1993 to 2015

-Holland America Line Ships featured on Cruise-Australia-

ms Koningsdam - ms Noordam - ms Oosterdam - ms Rotterdam  

ms Volendam - ms Zaandam & ms Nieuw Amsterdam

ms Prinsendam & ms Statendam - (A 4-page ship review)

-Cruise and Ship Reviews by the Author-

ms Oosterdam 2013 New Zealand Cruise Review

NOW ONLINE …

The all NEW - ms Oosterdam 2014 Review

 

ms Volendam Cruise Review - ms Amsterdam Ship Review

Also read the Holland America Line News Updates Provided by HAL.

 

Please Note: Cruise-Australia and its associated pages are 100% non-commercial and privately owned cruise sites and are NOT associated with any cruise company or travel agency! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and is retired, but continues to write cruise and ship reviews and articles in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and provide information for those intending a cruise in the future.

Bon Voyage!

Reuben Goossens.

                                                                                                                                             

My recommendation: I highly suggest that you visit a good and a long established Travel/Cruise Agency for information, bookings and obtain the best possible cruise fares. Personally I never book with any cruise company direct, for they do not offer any personal service or discounts! I know that they do not like me saying this, but I have to be honest and provide you my readers with the very best possible advice! Reuben Goossens.

 

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