Those DAM ships and I guess anything else DAM was the catch cry for the Mexican Riviera cruise on Holland America Line’s the MS Oosterdam. The cruise and accompanying days in Los Angeles staying at the Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills on the way over (excellent location, very good service, and recently renovated rooms with exceptional beds) and the Wiltshire Grand in downtown LA (not impressed with service from any of the staff encountered, and the rooms were a little tired and really only a good location if attending the convention centre) and flights with Air New Zealand (very good service, friendly staff) made for an excellent break away from the ho hum of normality.
Classic, cultured, sophisticated, and wonderful service probably sums up the Oosterdam. From the subdued navy and white on the outside to the elegant decorations, jaw-dropping Waterford crystal globe centrepiece in the Atrium, and roomy comfortable staterooms on the inside, the Oosterdam is class all the way. The combination of three days sailing and three days in port was great, giving the best of both worlds. There was plenty of time to experience Mexico and its culture, and to make the most of the ship and all it had to offer whilst cruising.
The check-in through customs was reasonably smooth and efficient, and when greeted by staff at the ship’s entrance we were immediately made to feel at home. After a quick, guided tour we settled into a great buffet lunch at the Lido restaurant - the start of many gastronomic delights during the week.
Booking off shore excursions was our first piece of work. The hardest part was deciding what to do in our three ports of call. I opted for going out of town in Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos, a charming oasis town and mission. Added to this was an authentic Mexican lunch at the Hotel California (the inspiration for the Eagles’ well known song).