Earlier this week we had our first visit for the season by Holland America Line's Oosterdam. While she was in port in Auckland I had a ship inspection and lunch onboard.
Oosterdam is an 85,000 tonne ship and carries approximately 1900 passengers. She is one of Holland America's Vista Class ships and was built by Fincantieri in Italy.
The onboard décor of Oosterdam is quite bright with plenty of reds, oranges and gold. There is also a large collection of artwork and artefacts onboard.
The lobby itself is quite small compared to most other ships however it does have a beautiful globe made out of Waterford Crystal.
There are plenty of intimate areas on the ship so it's easy to find a place to get away from it all to relax. One of the more open relaxation areas is the Crows Nest, Observation Lounge located on Deck 10 at the bow of the ship. This would be a wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by. It has amazing views out to sea and comfortable leather chairs. At night time it transforms into a night club/disco.
One of my favourite areas on was the swimming pool with its' retractable roof. This would be perfect for destinations such as Alaska and even cooler New Zealand days as it means the outdoor pool can be used in all weather. There is also another swimming pool and a kids pool onboard along with a couple of spa pools.
Other ways to keep fit onboard are the gym, and sports court, the promenade deck or jogging track. Alternatively if exercise isn't your thing then just use the stairs instead of lifts during the day and you can enjoy the amazing onboard cuisine without any worries.
The main dining room is the Vista Dining room and it seats approximately 1045 passengers. It is located across 2 decks and there is the option of set time dining or open seat dining. There are tables available for 2,4,6 or 8 (subject to availability). There are also some alternative dining options available onboard such as the Lido Café buffet restaurant and a couple of restaurants with a cover charge including Pinnacle Grill and the Canaletto (Italian) Resurant.
There are plenty of activities onboard to keep you busy and entertained. The Vista lounge is the main show lounge and has Broadway style shows, comedians and Magicians. There is also a Dancing with the Stars at Sea show and dancing lessons.
Alternatively if you like cooking there is a Culinary Arts Centre which offers wine tastings, cocktail tastings, cooking classes, cake decorating and flower arranging etc - fees will apply. Other daytime activities include bingo, language classes, trivia competition, art auctions and movies in the onboard cinema.
Over the next 4 months Oosterdam will be doing 14 night itineraries around New Zealand and the South Pacific. She will then be heading off to Vancouver in April 2015 where she will be doing 7 night Alaska and Canada cruises.