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One of the hallmarks of VFD Interiors is their intricate use of space. With lots of nooks and crannies and an imaginative use of forms and colors, the design team has done the impossible: create a feeling of intimacy on a 86,799 ton ship. As the sun sets, it suddenly turns out that the odd lampshades and funny color combinations blend into a single home-like atmosphere, best described with the Dutch word for cozy, "gezellig".

It must be said that this cozy feeling is enhanced by the charming crew. Holland America trains its staff in their own schools in the Orient and it shows. Without exception the crew is smiling and friendly. The administrative heart of Oosterdam is the Front Office on Main Deck, open around the clock for inquiries and staffed by charming staff dressed in immaculate white uniforms. Across the hall is the Shore Excursion desk. Holland America is renowned for the quality and choice of their shore tours, even though prices are very steep.

Internet Center
Java Corner
Java Corner

Two steps away from the Front Office and Shore Excursion desk is the ground floor level of the 3-deck Atrium, which is one of the design highlights of the ship. Done in an eclectic style, the revolving crystal globe that hangs suspended from the ceiling rightfully attracts a lot of attention. On the highest level, the Atrium gives way to the extensive Shopping Arcade (done in a sober, subdued style that works very well) and the Java Corner, a self-service lounge & coffee corner adjacent to the Conference and Internet Center with views of the teak-covered wrap around Promenade Deck outside. Walking back towards the Atrium, we stumble across the gorgeous Erasmus Library.

The Erasmus Library is very spacious and done in a very attractive semi-classical style. Of special interest is the elaborate reading table and the beautifully illuminated globe that allows you to chart your own course. Back in the Atrium area we sit down for a drink in the wonderful Ocean Bar. The designers made very good use of this prime location and have brilliantly created two rooms in one. The area directly adjacent to the Atrium is bright and lively, with lots of reds and purples, while the bar area to starboard has its own identity with its wooden floors, neutral shades and intimate alcoves offering a nice view of the sea.

Ocean Bar

Ocean Bar
Atrium with revolving crystal globe
Shopping Arcade
Photo Gallery

Erasmus Library

Atrium

Crystal Globe
Ocean Bar
Erasmus Library
Erasmus Library
Erasmus Library

 

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

First published on May 1, 2005

All rights reserved.