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As the crew start to clear the decks from the tons of confetti, we venture up to Oosterdam's highest point to begin our Ship Tour. Holland America's Vista Class ships have acres of outdoor space which make them ideal for cruises in sunnier climes. That said, Oosterdam and her sisters also feature a pool with a retractable glass roof, so should you experience a drop of "liquid sunshine", the pool action just continues.

Starting at the very top of the ship, the Sports Deck all the way forward is an excellent vantage point to watch distant shores come closer. On sea days, this secluded spot might very well be the best choice for serious sunbathers and shadow seekers alike, with a shaded area overlooking the Lido Pool. On the same level, but only accessible from the open aft decks are dedicated basketball and volleyball courts, catering to the active set. One deck below you will find Observation Deck, which offers wide open teak wooden deck space. All the way aft is a sun deck acting as balcony to the Aft Pool one deck below. Intended as a family area, the Aft Pool has a large colorful wading section, twin Jacuzzis and a small pool. The circular Sea View Bar takes care of drink request, while just next door, the Lido Restaurant caters for the hungry stomachs. Interestingly, Oosterdam does not have a dedicated children's pool. 

Hydro Pool
Hydro Pool
Hydro Pool

Beautiful wide sunning areas run along the sides of the ship's Observation Deck, with a wide open deck area just aft of the Crow's Nest. A circular staircase leads down to Lido Deck and the expansive Lido Pool area amidships. Covered by a sliding glass roof, the nicely sized pool with three Jacuzzis, a great Lido Bar and Terrace Grill may be used in all weather conditions. Even at night this is a remarkably attractive open deck area, with its innovative "trees of light" and ultra-comfortable seating areas. Uniquely, the walls of glass can be covered by curtains. Very classy!

All the way forward on Lido Deck is a third pool, overlooking the Pool Deck and the skies above through a huge skylight. The Hydro Pool forms an integral part of the expansive Greenhouse Spa & Salon, operated by Steiners. Oosterdam's Spa offers a huge array of treatments, with elegant relaxation areas dotted between the various therapy rooms. You will find Thermal Suites, a hairdressing & beauty salon and a huge Gym with ocean views here.  

Aft Pool

Aft pool
Wonderful teak-wooden Promenade Deck
Lido Pool
The Gym at The Greenhouse Spa

The Greenhouse Spa & Salon

Lots of space in the sun

Lido Pool
Lido Bar
Reception, Greenhouse Spa & Salon
Relax area, Greenhouse Spa

 

All photos and text: 2003-2005 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on May 1, 2005

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