OVERALL: The Westerdam went above and beyond my husband and I's expectations for service, cleanliness, luxury, and quality. We had an ocean view room that was very nice (and more spacious than what we were expecting). Our cabin stewards were fantastic and extremely professional, and my husband and I had a great time sight-seeing and taking advantage of the shore excursions offered by HAL.
DINING: I LOVED all of the food choices on the Westerdam. The lido always served a large variety of options. My husband and I stuck mainly with the Asian options because about 95% of the crew were of Asian descent (mainly from the Phillipines) and we figured they know how to cook their own food. Boy were we right: The Asian section of the Lido was always fantastic, and we highly recommend it for anyone who is open to eating things other than hamburgers and fries on a cruise. My husband and I also spent the $40 for a night at the Pinnacle Grill, the Westerdam's award-winning restaurant. It was PHENOMENAL! The service was outstanding and the food was out of this world. The Vista Dining room food was superb, but the wait time was often quite long. We would go at around 6pm and not be leaving until around 8pm.
ENTERTAINMENT: The Westerdam put forth their best effort in this category; however, since my husband and I are under age 55, we found the entertainment to be a little blase for our taste. The show tunes were primarily from the 50's and 60's, and although those decades produced some fine tunes, I would have liked to experience some entertainment that was at least from our own generation. There was one night where they had an Elton John tribute that was OUTSTANDING and hilarious. Other than this, I felt the entertainment was geared more towards the older crowd. Which brings me to my next category....
CLIENTELE: My husband and I were told prior to booking with HAL that their ships are geared towards an older crowd, so we figured we knew what to expect: quieter nights, a slower pace, etc. However, we were SHOCKED at the ways in which other passengers treated staff. On a regular basis, we overheard 70 year-old guests literally YELLING at poor crew, complaining of the most ridiculous things. For example, my husband went to the spa to purchase me a massage and had to stand behind an older woman yelling at the front desk woman that the steam in the steam room "wasn't hot enough." Are you kidding me? Every time we walked past the front desk, we would hear some retiree talking down to a crew member as if we were still in the era of slavery and that these crew members were property. WE WERE APPALLED!!!! I couldn't believe that on a luxury cruise ship that has so much to offer, pretentious and well-to-do passengers thought they were entitled to speak to crew members in such a rude and inappropriate manner. Nonetheless, crew members always seemed to keep a smile and assist these guests. As guests ourselves, my husband and I were embarrassed to say the least.
All in all, my husband and I were very impressed with the service we received on the Westerdam. In fact, our only real complaint has nothing to do with the Westerdam itself, but with the other passengers! I would recommend this ship to retirees but NOT to anyone under the age of 55. The ship did their best, but there's only so much you can do when the only people who book it happen to be old, wealthy, and pretentious. Also, beware of wheelchairs GALORE! If you think walking around through Wal-Mart is frustrating, try navigating a ship where about 60% of the passengers are on some sort of assisted vehicle. It's like spending a week at a retirement home, or as I like to call it: Death's waiting room.