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Westerdam Cruise Review by drahcir

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Member Name: drahcir
Cruise Date: January 2005
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Bahamas
Cabin Category: hh
Cabin Number: 5135
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Westerdam Cruise Reviews | Bahamas Cruise Reviews | Holland America Cruise Deals
Member Rating   5+ out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness Not Rated
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 5+
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money Not Rated
Rates 5+
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Ship Facts: Westerdam Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Westerdam Deck Plans
Westerdam - Bahamas
Overall, a brief, but very good trip. The ship was wonderful, on a rather short itinerary.

The trip got off to a good start. we learned were upgraded from an obstructed standard stateroom to one on the Verandah deck with a balcony before we left for the ship.

The trip from Ft. Lauderdale airport to the airport was less than $10 by cab- don't bother with Holland's transfers, they're not worth it. The airport itself was somewhat chaotic, with a bit of a wait for a cab.

Embarkation was great- we'd done as much of the preboarding as we could over the internet, and it really helped. There were two lines- internet and others.

We were able to board the ship and were having lunch by 1130am.

The cabin was great- the bathroom even had a tub! We found the room quite spacious, and enjoyed it for the duration of the trip.

We had meals in the main dining room and the Lido deck. All the food was enjoyable; the portions seemed smaller than on some other cruise lines (Carnival) but of high quality (on par with Celebrity). At random intervals, they ran out of chocolate ice cream on the Lido deck! Very high marks overall.

We only sampled one stage show- it was okay, but nothing extraordinary.

The ship was quite impressive overall. Immaculately clean, well appointed, and it even LOOKED like a ship, if you know what I mean.

The clientele was mixed in age- we'd been expecting an older crowd. However, we found quite a few young families, so the atmosphere was very pleasant.

The cruise went to Half Moon Cay, Nassau, Key West, then back to Fort Lauderdale. We didn't book any activities through the ship, but "did our own thing". Unlike some ships, it wasn't possible to view our account in our cabin, but there were no billing difficulties.

Half Moon Cay was lovely- the beach was well maintained, the water gorgeous, good amenities. We were disappointed that Holland charged for any kind of activity, including the use of SHADE!!! Our analogy would be to compare this to a beachfront resort, where we feel it would only be reasonable for the guests to be use non-motorized watersports, etc, without having to pay.

Nassau was, well, Nassau. Interesting to walk around and sample the activities.

Similarly, Key West was also enjoyable. We were shuttled from the dock into town. We took the "Trolley Tour" and found it a good overview of the island.

Disembarkation was also well organized and trouble-free. We chose to request breakfast in our cabin the last day, to avoid having to compete for space in the dining room or on the Lido deck.

We had been hesitant to travel with Holland, first because it was owned by Carnival (and we'd expected cheapening of the brand) and secondly because of the passenger demographics. We were very pleasantly surprised- with the exception of charges in Half Moon Cay, there was no "nickel and diming" of the guests, and the mix of people on the ship made for a lively and enjoyable experience.

Publication Date: 02/21/06
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