After reading quite a few reviews of our Westerdam 11-25-12 sailing, I felt it might be nice to write one of my own. Full Disclosure: We are BIG skiers from Colorado, we are not kids, we are not geriatric and we do not cruise a million times a year. By no means do we consider ourselves experts (or even REMOTELY knowledgable) about cruising. We learned an awful lot from Cruise Critic for this cruise and we are VERY grateful for that!
With that, here is our take on the Westerdam 11-25-2012 Eastern Caribbean Sailing:
The Ship: Lovely. In great condition overall. Some wear and tear on loungers and cushions but nothing traumatic. The Westerdam does not disappoint! It really is a lovely ship and the crew and the food are amazing!
Embarkation: Piece of cake! Easy, fast and no problems... Even at 11:00 am! We went right to our cabin the minute we were on the ship... Which took all of 20 minutes!
***Thank you to Cruise Critic for the heads up about taking our own water, soda and wine onboard. We managed to save about $250.00 on our cruise in this area alone!!
Our Cabin: Lovely! We went from a VF cabin to an SY and it was truly a treat! Lot's of room and a veranda that we LIVED on for a week! Double sinks and showers/tub. More closet space and hangers than we could ever fill!! We had a very fun sail away get together with New friends Kazu and CruiseWhere and they brought wonderful wine and goodies from the Neptune Lounge!! We donned our Colorado flag (Kazu brought her Canada flag) and we waved like crazy people to you Sail Away addicts! Great fun! Thanks for hosting a couple more cocktail hours in your suites, Kazu and CruiseWhere! We LOVED chatting with you!!!
Our Room Stewards: What can I say about Ari and Dharma? Absolutely wonderful!! We had a bucket of ice every morning and evening. We had towel animals galore and they even taught us how to do a couple. They delivered the invitations for the meet and greet that were sitting out on the desk without even being asked or expected to!! (I needed the exercise and was planning on delivering them myself). They were absolutely outstanding!! Loved these guys!
Our Dining Room Experience: Unfortunately, we only ate in the dining room on the first night. It was fantastic!!!!! The food, the wait staff, the wine steward... Outstanding ! We had late seatting and a table for 2 and we were really catered to. I felt no rush and the wait staff seemed to really be in a great rhythm. The food was excellent!! I had the eggplant parmesian. Fabulous! They brought a birthday cake for my husband. Lovely!
Lido: Great fun to go later in the evening and have hot fresh food and the place to ourselves. One thing we found was that if the food was not there, we could ask and they would do their best to accommodate! Food was very good.
Room Service: Okay, these guys are the best!! On a side note, I was extremely sick after our first port on Tuesday in Grand Turk. I had the Conch Fritters at a highly recommended restaurant on Grand Turk, thus the beginning of a beautiful romance with room service, the infirmary staff, our phenomenal stewards and movies in our room.... More on that later!
Pinnacle Grill: Phenomenal ! My husband loved his wonderful meal the night we ate there. I had to leave before we ever started the meal and they packed up everything for us and delivered it to our room. I was too sick to eat, but it smelled wonderful! Kudos to HAL who refunded our meal from this night due to my being sick.
Our M & G: So much fun! I loved meeting so many on our cruise and people who had been posting on here for months! We did a silly gift exchange (I thought it would be fun), and it was! The gifts from people's hometowns became wonderful conversation starters! Such fun!! I hope I get to keep in touch with many of you over the years. Oh yes!! One more thing.... We had 4 Officers attend our M&G! Fun!
Entertainment: I have never understood why people rip on the HalCats. They were great! A really talented group of musicians. The steel drum player at embarkation set the mood perfectly for the Caribbean! The 4 singers and the dancers were really great and very entertaining every time they performed! Excellent! (The Bob Mackie costumes were amazing!) I missed the juggler and my husband loved the comedian. You have read a lot about Recycled Percussion and I must say that I think it is a good thing to offer such an interesting experience! These guys were so nice! (And a % of their earnings goes to charity)! You can watch them on YouTube! Great fun! Also, we really enjoyed trivia nd loved the people we played on a team with!! Thanks for the fun!!! So nice to meet you all!
Grand Turk: Wonderful! Explore this wonderful little island if you can and talk to the locals. Very fun. Unfortunately, I got food poisoning and was very sick the next day, but a great island.
San Juan: I missed it! My husband loved El Morro.
St. Martin: Beautiful and amazing! A great place to go back to some day. We took Bernard's tour and just loved it! I could do without ever seeing one of THOSE naked people at Orient agin, but I did get to check " nude beach" off my bucket list!!
Half Moon Cay: If you have never done it, get a cabana! Get a butler! Spoil yourselves! To us, this was very much worth it!! We were celebrating so much and will probably not get back there any time soon. The Pinnacle spoiled us with a 5 course meal and EVERYTHING (including all drinks) were included!! We were the first ones off the ship and the last to return! A perfect day in paradise with the best food of the entire cruise!!!! It more than made up for a couple of lost days.... And a perfect way to celebrate our Anniversary (the actual day we were at HMC!!!) Thanks for trekking out to see us at # 15, Laura, Molly & Clyde!! We loved sharing our corner of paradise with you!!
Disembarkation: Smooth, fast and painless.
One Final thought... I think one of the MOST under appreciated parts of the ship is the infirmary and it's staff! A HUGE kudos to Peg who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure I was able to feel better and enjoy the rest of the cruise. Yes, I was quarantined for 24 hours "just in case" but that was no big deal. Our stewards waited on us hand and foot and made sure I was okay and comfortable. Outstanding! They even continued to deliver sea sick pills, etc... on the rough sea days (even though I was not sea sick... Just food poisoning from an off ship restaurant.)
We had a phenomenal 7 days in Paradise and loved our cruise!! Thank you to everyone who helped to make it so wonderful!
Thanks for all the help you gave us, Cruise Critic!!