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Holland America Line
July 27-30, 2003
Royal Christening in Rotterdam & Ship Preview

by Linda Coffman, Part Two

Public Areas

Waterford Crystal Globe*

Adorned by an exquisite Waterford Crystal globe, Oosterdam's modest triple deck atrium only hints at the delights beyond. Public rooms are concentrated on Promenade and Lower Promenade decks, from the three-deck Vista Lounge forward to the exquisite two-deck Vista Dining Room aft. In between are the cozy Ocean Bar and Explorers Lounge, Casino, Northern Lights Disco, Piano Bar, lively Sports Bar, Pinnacle Grill Restaurant, and Queen's Lounge. Rich, jewel-tones prevail throughout and seating for shows and other presentations is extremely comfortable in the Vista Lounge and Queen's Lounge.

The Crow's Nest and Explorer's Lounge are perhaps the most traditional of the public rooms on board Oosterdam. Subtle variations in decor between port and starboard sides of the Crow's Nest make it the ideal setting for afternoon Royal Dutch High Tea or after dinner brandy. While both lounges are large, they have distinctive, intimate seating areas for cocktails and inlaid wood floors ideal for dancing. Adjacent to the Crow's Nest, the Explorations Cafe is a warm spot with a coffee bar, library, and multiple stations to connect to the Internet. Just outside the Crow's Nest are secluded spots to relax under the stars in heavy whitewashed wooden chairs with overstuffed canvas cushions.

The Greenhouse Spa boasts a full menu of salon services and spa treatments. A hydro pool and thermal suite are extra-tariff indulgences for complete relaxation and the aroma-steam room is a rare treat for sinus sufferers. Don't overlook your exercise regime while on board; Oosterdam has a fully equipped fitness center with state-of-the art equipment and a wide range of classes. After a jog around the teak Promenade Deck, take a refreshing dip in one of the two pools or select one of the hot tubs to soak sore muscles.

Children haven't been overlooked in the expanded indoor and outdoor facilities for Oosterdam's "Club HAL" Program and they will enjoy their own cruise cuisine from special menus designed to appeal to young passengers. Club HAL features a "mocktail" bar, play areas, computer center, and even a small curtained stage for youthful performers. Teens, always difficult to please, can participate in a wide range of sports, dance parties, and entertainment options. Even "doing their own thing" with new-found pals is completely safe at sea.

The Oosterdam Experience

Why go on a cruise if you don't see expansive views of the sea? Like Zuiderdam, her Vista-class sister, Oosterdam presents those sea views and more in unexpected ways. For instance, four scenic elevators carry guests from Deck 1 to Deck 9. While you are waiting, take a good look at the etched glass doors—they mirror the 1920's motif of the ten interior elevator doors done in cast aluminum. Frans Dingemans, the ship's architect, contrived to give guests the "impression they are on a little ship with lots of surprises." For instance, the additional space on Vista-class ships meant he could create bay window seating areas in the Ocean Bar for more angles facing the sea.

An intricately carved elephant greets casino patrons

Marvelous nooks and crannies contain hallmarks of Holland America vessels—priceless works of art and magnificent flower arrangements. Even the chairs in the Odyssey Restaurant are unique creations—sculpted to echo organic forms of the Northwest and cast in polished aluminum, they are not only beautiful, they are comfortable.

Look up at the ceilings for delicate glass ornamentaion and do take the stairs where you will find whimsical benches outside elevators and captivating paintings and sculptures on the stairwell landings. Tucked away among the books in the library is a delicate miniature room. Don't miss these elegant touches!

Identical in layout to Zuiderdam, Oosterdam's interior palette includes many of the same colors and even the same fabrics and carpet designs. However, Oosterdam's muted hues flow from one area to the next to create a soothing atmosphere not present on Zuiderdam. 

What You WILL Find:

  • Delicious meals, creatively presented
  • Light and healthy spa cuisine
  • Gracious service by a professional staff
  • Activities to suit a wide range of interests for all ages
  • A rollicking late-night disco
  • Stunning artwork and flowers
  • Duty free shops generously stocked with high-end merchandise
  • Numerous triple and quad staterooms and suites suitable for families
  • Attention to accessibility for the physically challenged, including equipment for the hearing impaired
  • Spa services by the exclusive Greenhouse Spa & Salon
  • Guest performers, production shows, and some of the best entertainment at sea throughout the vessel
  • Four outside panorama elevators with scenic vistas of the sea
  • A dentist! Holland America Line is the only cruise line with a dentist aboard every cruise
  • WiFi Internet access available in public room hot spots

What You WON'T Find:

  • Glitz and flashing lights (except in the disco & casino)
  • Boredom
  • Laundry rooms

Fast Stats

  • Launched 2003
  • 82,000 tons
  • 936 feet long
  • 1,848 guests, double occupancy
  • Generous space ratio for passenger comfort

Back to -->  Oosterdam Preview, Part 1

Photos © and *Michel Verdure, Courtesy of Holland America Line

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