Setting Sail on the HAL Oosterdam

This was my first cruise on Holland America but my ninth cruise overall. I’ve also cruised on Royal Caribbean and Carnival, but I’m a loyal customer of Norwegian. Or I should say I was loyal until I found a better price with Holland America. That coupled with recommendations from friends for the HAL Alaskan cruise caused me to “jump ship.”

As I explained in an earlier post, we upgraded our cabin to a suite which was sweet. We appreciated the increased square footage in the room and on the balcony, but the bathroom was really sweet with double sinks and a whirlpool tub that I used several times.

Our cabin on the Oosterdam

Stateroom 6113 on the Oosterdam

Vanity area in our cabin

Vanity area in our cabin

Our cabin

Our cabin looking out to the balcony

Sofa in our cabin aka Sheryl's bed

Sofa in our cabin aka Sheryl’s bed

Our balcony

Setting sail from Vancouver —Jim on the balcony

Sitting on our balcony

Sheryl sitting on our balcony

We typically spend very little time in our stateroom on a cruise but with a balcony, we actually spent more time than usual, especially once we got to the glaciers. But there’s so much more to do onboard than sit in your stateroom. When we were in port we were usually off the ship but we had plenty of time to explore the ship and experience the activities onboard.

HAL Oosterdam

HAL Oosterdam

HAL Oosterdam leaving Vancouver

Overlooking the pool on the HAL Oosterdam leaving Vancouver

HAL Oosterdam

HAL Oosterdam

HAL Oosterdam

HAL Oosterdam

An early experience included Jim as part of the show for the axe throwing competition. Instructed by a real Alaskan lumberjack on his way to a competition in Ketchikan, the two teams of four men each faced off. Jim was the first competitor and he buried his axe into the target on his first try. While Jim didn’t win the competition, the final winner was on his team.

Ax throwing contest on the Oosterdam

Axe throwing competition on the Oosterdam

Ax thrower on the Oosterdam

Alaskan Lumberjack on the Oosterdam

Jim and the ax thrower

Jim and Jamie the Lumberjack

Sheryl and the ax thrower

Sheryl and Jamie the Lumberjack

We attended several cooking classes where we learned how to cook the halibut Jim caught on his fishing excursion and the salmon we purchased in Alaska.

HAL Oosterdam cooking class

HAL Oosterdam cooking class

And the wine tasting was one of my favorite activities.

HAL Oosterdam wine tasting

HAL Oosterdam wine tasting

I think we took in the entertainment every night while onboard and I was impressed by the quality of the stage shows. Photography isn’t allowed so, unfortunately, I can’t show you. But when we returned to our stateroom, our steward would often leave a little surprise when he turned down the cabin.

HAL Oosterdam towel art

HAL Oosterdam towel art

Later in this series of posts from our Alaskan adventure, I’ll likely post food pictures because the food was good and the presentation was definitely photo-worthy.

But all of this pales when compared to the scenery we saw both on and off the ship in the inside passage and in Alaska. Check back next time for scenes and stories from the inside passage and our first port at Ketchikan, Alaska.

Based on events in June 2015.

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Setting Sail on the HAL Oosterdam

  1. Great glimpse inside your cruise ship . I think i would love the cooking classes and wine tasting as well. The room looked amazing and I would have been on that balcony all of the time when I was in the room I bet. The upgrade was worth it, right?

  2. That’s a really nice room! I’ve never sailed with them but it looks really nice and I’ve heard good things 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    What a good idea to upgrade your room – much roomier – also to have the couch and bigger bathroom.

  4. Norma Skogen

    Oops – the last one was from me!

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