Holland America Line Food on m/s Oosterdam
There is no shortage of good eats on Holland America Line’s m/s Oosterdam; Cruise foodies will find plenty of culinary options onboard to satisfy most palettes.
As cruise ship food goes, Holland America Line’s food is a standout in the premium cruise market. If you want to see what it looks like behind the scenes in the galley, make sure to check out my post here. Meanwhile, read below to discover the culinary highlights on Oosterdam.
The creative team behind the food
The driving force behind the culinary program on Holland America Line is the Culinary Council. The Culinary Council members include Council Chairman and Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, along with chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Marcus Samuelsson, Jacques Torres and Charlie Trotter. Besides sharing their insights on menus, the Council also consults on the enrichment programs offered in the Culinary Arts Center.
Vista Dining Room
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the Vista dining room is the main dining venue onboard Oosterdam. The highlight of the Vista dining room are the special Culinary Council menus crafted by Chef Rudi, Chef Jacques Torres, Chef Marcus Samuelson, and Chef David Burke.
- Holland America Line does offer As You Wish Dining where you can show-up at any during the dinner hours and be seated as a table comes available. The problem is that most people tend to show up at the same time. Avoid the rush and ask the Maître D’ to reserve you a table, it’s worth the ask since you might be able to avoid the rush.
- Steaks are cooked to order so specify your grilling preference and adjust for travel time from the galley to the table.
Specialty Dining Food
On most mass-market and premium cruise lines, “specialty dining” refers to alternative dining venues that charge a fee. The theory is that cruise passengers might like the option to pay a surcharge for a more intimate setting and a sophisticated menu with higher quality ingredients. On m/s Oosterdam, there are two specialty dining venues: Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto Restaurant.
Open for lunch and dinner, requires reservations, and has a cover charge: $25 per person at dinner and $10 per person for lunch. Highlights of the Pinnacle Grill include:
- Hand-selected Sterling Silver premium Beef and sustainable seafood.
- Meat is cooked on their 1,600-degree grill, which helps sea in the juices.
- Bvlgari china, Riedel stemware and Frette linens.
- Extensive wine list
- “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill”
Worth the splurge?
If you are a foodie and don’t mind waiting for your food, then I say, “yes!” totally worth the splurge. If food is not your thing and you are happy with your options in the Vista Dining Room, then pass.
Named for the famous 18th-century Venetian artist, Canaletto Restaurant serves classic Italian fare with personable tableside service. You will find Canaletto tucked away into a corner of the Lido restaurant. At $10 per person, this alternative dining venue is a bargain for those looking for some variety and some good Italian food.
Lido Restaurant Food
A casual Lido restaurant serves buffet breakfast and lunch; at dinner the Lido offers waiter service featuring entrées from both the Lido and Vista dining room. I loved the Asian corner where a variety of Chinese, Japanese and Indian foods were available. Also, the salad bar was a great place to stay on track with my daily caloric goals.
Explorations Café Food
Offering specialty coffees and teas, Explorations Café charges “Starbucks” prices for their drinks. Although the prices might come with sticker-shock, I would recommend getting a non-alcoholic beverage card for $50 to help keep track of your budget. Any unused money not spent on your beverage card will be credited back to the credit card on file.
- There are delightful light snacks in the Explorations Café cooler case. Look for fresh cinnamon rolls in the moring and snack-sized sandwiches and sweets around lunchtime. There is no charge for the snacks and you don’t have to purchase a drink either.
Daily afternoon tea service is elevated to Royal Dutch High Tea once per cruise. Look at your Holland America Line Explorer guide for location and time.
Complimentary hors d’oeuvres are served by waiters during cocktail hour.
Holland America Line does a great job with room service food. I ate breakfast most days in my stateroom, including debarkation day. Food was delivered on-time and my order was hot upon arrival, which is a challenge considering how far the galley was from my cabin.