We live in San Diego and chose the Westerdam for a cruise to Florida with family members from Vermont. It was our first HAL cruise. We expected an older crowd and it was, but we were very impressed by all the active Seniors who swam and jogged daily. Fellow passengers were a happy group and we heard no petty complaints.
We prefer smaller ships and the Westerdam was cosy. It was nice to be able to walk from the dining room to the show room without sore feet even on formal nights while wearing 3" heels. The cleanliness, maintenance and decor of the ship was very good.
Our stateroom had the largest balcony that we had ever seen on a ship. The room was well appointed with lots of closet space. I liked the closed door on the bathroom medicine cabinet. I also enjoyed a soothing bath or two. Our room stewards were exceptional.
We were delighted with our 8th floor veranda suites since we had only booked guaranteed verandas at the lowest rate. My sister and her husband were also upgraded to a stateroom next door to us. The only drawback was that we were only one level below the buffet so even the use of the stairs did not prevent us from gaining five pounds each.
The food was good and the service in the main dining room was great. We also liked the eggs Benedict served in the buffet. Breakfast on our veranda while transiting the Panama Canal was a real treat.
Perhaps the daytime and evening activities could use some work. The cruise director was good, but we still did not have many "wow" moments. The Panama Canal stole the show and it was awesome. We would travel on HAL again.