I'll keep my review brief. Embarkation was a breeze, my husband and I did the pre-night at the Westin in Ft. Lauderdale, but opted to go by taxi to the pier. We were able to send our luggage on ahead with our transfer so that we didn't have to handle it. We walked into the terminal at about 11:20 am and right up to the counter. Registered our Amex card and received our HAL keycards ASAP! We were so excited. We sat down at one of the tables there in the hall and did our Nassau, Bahamas form right away so that we could be done with it.
We walked on board and went up to the Lido Deck for our lunch. Lunch was delicious and when we were done we decided to check out our state room. When we walked in, my breath was taken away. It was much more spacious than I anticipated and happily! The room was impeccably clean and it shined! The verandah was spacious and the seating of our table which we had our breakfast at each day and the 2 chairs complete with foot-stools were so comfortable. Just perfect. By the way, I haven't had as good a night sleep since we left our cabin behind--the beds are so very comfortable and I understand they are brand new.
My husband and I took the wine package 4 bottles of wine for about $90 with gratuity came to about $100 was a success. Whatever you don't use in the dining room can be saved and brought back the next night.
For a spa package we took the Thermal Suite Package for unlimited use of the hydro pool. This was our favorite and right from the start we got started using it. We made it part our routine to use the gym and then go for a walk on the Promenade Deck. After our walk we'd go to the Hydro Pool, then to all the Saunas and finally to relax on the beds facing the beautiful sea. Just heaven!
We enjoyed dinner at the Pinnacle Grill and we both ordered the filet mignon. A must.
Our table in the Vista Dining room was 135 on Deck 2. Our head waiter was Putu and Assistant was Ir. They were incredible and made us feel so special. They always remembered our names and what we liked to drink at dinner.
Entertainment was the only disappointment. My husband and I both felt that the entertainment could be improved upon. Alfreda Gerald's performance was my favorite and from reading Cruise Critic, you'll see her name mentioned repeatedly.
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. But if they must, you might as well not have a bad time of it. Well disembarking was as effortless as getting on. I'm happy to say that we were able to walk off the ship and into a cab and got to the Ft. Lauderdale Airport with no trouble at all. We waited in our room til about 8:20 am and then when our number was called we walked off ship. My husband checked his watch on the way to the airport -- it was 8:50 am. Just that easy. All this meant that we missed all the craziness at the airport, assuring that our relaxing vacation stayed that way. If you've cruised before, you know what disembarkation can be like and the jamming at the desk at the airport if you are not early enough to avoid it.
We didn't book any shore excursions so I can't review them. I can tell you that Half Moon Cay was fabulous. I joined the yoga class on the beach and it was so wonderful. We saw the horseback riding off at the other end of the island and thought we'd like to try that next time.
My quick assessment is that the Westerdam was elegant and classy. Her crew are professional and attentive and I can't wait to book our next cruise on HAL!