Westerdam Cruise Review by alwaysckb: Wonderful relaxing cruise. Best food ever!
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Wonderful relaxing cruise. Best food ever!
Our cruise was wonderful! This was our first time on HAL. The first thing to mention is the food. We've been on other lines, but so far Holland America wins, hands down on the food. The selection, the quantity, the quality of the food was superb. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but overall, it was stunning. We felt like we were eating at a five star establishment every single night. Even the breakfast was a step up. They had multiple, and I mean multiple versions of eggs benedict's. That's unheard of.
Embarkation was usual. Lots of people crammed in to a small space, trying to get their ship card, etc.
The room was spectacular, as we had the superior verandah, and we can say it definitely felt superior. We loved the extra room, the balcony, the double sink, the whirlpool bath and separate shower. Of course HAL promotes the room to be a little more than what it actually is. They state that there is a dressing area and walk-in closet. This walk-in closet is More simply a curtain drawn between the main part of the room and the closet area. Not exactly what I would consider a "walk-in closet". Then the fresh flowers in the room. Yes, when we came in there were three very small flowers in a very small vase. However, the flowers were changed at the end of the cruise, and only after the old ones died a withery droopy death. However, these are just minor details, overall, the room was fantastic. The service, the cleanliness of the ship, the service is all superior to the other lines, in my opinion.
One thing to mention is that this ship has a policy that you cannot serve yourself any food for the first 48 hours on board. They do this in precaution of the Norwalk and other diarrhea causing viruses that can follow passengers on board. Yes, this can definitely cause longer than usual waits for food in the buffet areas, but it's there for our safety, so not much to be upset about. We did notice that even after the 48 hour time frame was lifted, a lot of the major food items were still being prepared and served by the staff. Like an assisted buffet. It was nice having juice included on the cruise and different kinds of juice. Not just at breakfast, but at all times of the day. Furthermore, getting champagne at the captain's toast and the mariners lunch was a wonderful touch. We definitely didn't feel nickled and dimed on this cruise. My first time doing afternoon or "high" tea. Highly recommend it. The snacks alone are worth it, and the Indonesian teas were amazing.
Lastly, all the rumours and statements that HAL is only for "old" people wasn't our experience. Perhaps it was the time of year, who knows, but there was definitely a mix of all kinds on board. This was a no pressure, not in-your-face, no announcements-every-10-minutes, relaxing, low-key cruise, and we absolutely loved it! Less
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Cabin review: Westerdam Standard Interior Stateroom Verandah 6069
We were in SY6069. It was a wonderful room. The whirlpool bath tub was wonderful and the separate shower was very nice. The double sink gives lots of room in the bathroom with ample storage space. They changed the towels all the time, which I like, because it can be complicated to track when the towel was used, or whose towel, etc. They had lots of chairs and the couch inside the cabin so you didn't have to end up sitting on the bed, until it was time for bed. The balcony was nice as well. Instead of the loungers there are wicker chairs with foot rests. We thought it was fine, although some would probably prefer the loungers. They cleaned the balcony regularly which was good, to get rid of the build-up of salt from the day/night before. Lots of closet space, which is great for hanging up clothes and lots of storage underneath the bed so the suitcases could be out of the way. Location was great. Nice and quiet. The boat does not dock on that side, at least for our stops, so it was usually very private balcony. Overall, excellent room, definitely would stay in one like this again.