oosterdam in sitka

Holland America Line 'ms Oosterdam'

mount ranier from seattle OOSTERDAM DEPARTURE

The majestic peak of Mount Rainier hovered on a cloud above the city as we departed from Seattle. The Emerald City grew smaller beyond our stern as we cruised at a leisurely 15 knots through Puget Sound towards the Pacific Ocean. We passed by Dungeness Bay (famous for their crabs), then between Port Angeles, WA and the elegant Canadian city of Victoria, BC which we would visit on our return journey.  

Earlier that same day, we had been processed with the utmost efficiency through the embarkation terminal. Armed with our electronic ID cards/cabin keys, we strolled along the gangway from quayside into the ship.  

Built in Venice, Italy in 2003, Holland America's Vista Class ship 'ms Oosterdam' (pronounced oasterdam) is 935 feet long and has a tonnage of 82,000. With a crew of 800 for the 1824 passengers, everyone on board is assured of excellent service, and we were not to be disappointed. Courtesy of the handy and essential deck plan, we found our way to the Lido deck, home to a large restaurant and both indoor and outdoor pools. In fact, the indoor pool had a retractable roof for good weather, which we were blessed with throughout the trip.  
on board the oosterdam crusie ship
dining on board the oosterdam cruise ship

We had not eaten since leaving home at 4:30am so decided to taste the Lido's cuisine. Many counters held a wide array of dishes, from pizza and pasta to grilled chicken and fresh sea food. Salad, deli and oriental food could also be chosen, followed by a large selection of deserts. There was little chance of us going hungry on this trip, and there were a further two restaurants to be discovered later. We made our choices and found a quiet table by the window to sit and watch the dock activity from the 9th deck. The food was excellent, and now that our appetite had been satisfied, we continued our exploration. 16 passenger elevators were available to whisk us up and down the 11 decks, four of them glass encased giving wonderful views from the ship's sides.  

The ship was fully equipped for entertainment, having a casino, theatre, cinema, internet center, basketball & volleyball court, library, together with duty-free shops, art gallery, spa, salon, fitness center and golf simulator. It would take more than the 7 days we had to sample all the amenities on board. A large collection of artwork was on display throughout the ship. Antique and modern statues, paintings and furniture gave the interiors a classy ambience. The decoration throughout was very stylish and colorful, kept spotlessly clean by the ever efficient staff. shopping on board the oosterdam cruise ship
cabin on board the ossterdam cruise ship verandah on bthe oosterdam cruise ship
At 1:30pm we were allowed access to our stateroom on deck 6. We had booked a Deluxe Verandah Outside stateroom, which was compact but very well appointed and comfortable. As soon as our luggage had been delivered a few hours later, we found adequate room for our clothes in the 3 closets. Opposite was the small bathroom with a shower over the bath. The main room contained the queen size bed and 2 side tables, and a lounge area had a TV on a table with a minibar beneath, with a small table and chair and a comfy sofa that could be converted into a bed for an extra guest. Out on the verandah, with privacy screens on both sides, were two chairs, an ottoman and a table.  
on board the oosterdam crusie ship  art on board the ossterdam crusie ship

We changed for dinner, and rode down to deck 3 for our reservation in the Vista Dining room. We were shown to our table and presented with the menu, which contained an excellent selection of choices for each of the 5 courses. We found the surroundings to be very elegant but comfortable, beautifully decorated and well lit. The stewards and waiters were most attentive, helpful and friendly, and extremely efficient. In fact we were very impressed by the incredible teamwork that went into the enormous operation of feeding over 1800 diners every evening, and we were never kept waiting for any course.

For more cruise reviews and information, please visit the following websites


 PART TWO - Sunrise and Mountains 

More photos from Alaska can be found on our new website or on the links below

Departure Sunrise Juneau Yakutat Bay Sitka Sitka Wildlife Ketchikan
Misty Fjords Flight Butchart Gardens Eagles Sea Lions & Otters Seals Whales Hubbard Glacier
Alaska Photo DVD Now Available

Now $9.99 for a limited time only