Embarkation: Much too slow, taking about two hours. Had we been told to fill out and submit our immigration forms on the Internet, our processing would have been completed in a fraction of the time. Next time, we will know better.
Public areas: The Westerdam has intimate sitting areas scattered mainly throughout the second deck. This is a classic Holland America vessel, gleaming brasswork, and marble inlaid floors. However, although this is a relatively new ship, carpets are beginning to show signs of dirt and wear. Steps leading down to Atrium level #1 from level #2 are carpeted in dark blue causing the outlines of the individual stair surface to blur and become indistinct. What we have here is an incident waiting to happen.
Entertainment: Aside from a "ho-hum" illusionist , a generic juggler and an Aretha Franklin/ Whitney Houston wannabe, the sets and costumes for production numbers showed originality. Overall, the singing was mediocre and the dancing was uninspired. For me, the surreal high point was a Filipino singer doing an old Irish ballad. He was laughing while I was hurting.
Food: Breakfasts were good, even though they tried substituting "Tang" for real orange juice. Lunch and dinner offerings were glowingly described on the menus, but they turned out to be very poor in execution. Quality of the beef was uniformly low, with one inedible sirloin steak followed by another tough filet mignon. I stopped ordering sherbets for dessert because my portion appeared to contain what looked very much like maggots. I called this to the maitre d's attention and he removed it immediately, but nothing was ever done about it.
Summary: I usually gain weight on a cruise but here I lost eight pounds in seven days.