Having sailed on several Holland America ships previously (Prinsendam, Ryndam & Veendam), the Westerdam is the largest of the HAL ships I've sailed on thus far. Crew unfailingly pleasant and helpful, cabin stewards very attentive and somehow managed to keep everything "ship shape" despite the large number of cabins they had to oversee. Noticeable on this voyage was the "nickel and diming": breakfast cappucino and dinner espresso in dining room now offered with extra charge, formerly offered at no charge; option now offered to purchase water with meals; at Mariner's Brunch refill on champagne not offered; port/city maps and overview now in a booklet not convenient to take ashore for quick consultation.
I blocked out/didn't listen to the heavy sell of onboard shopping, port shopping, art auctions, shore excursions, etc. Linda provided several good lectures about Alaska, its history and geology and good port advice. I took one HAL shore excursion (Juneau) and was pleased with the option for getting to the Mendenhall Glacier, plus two other sites. Ship furnishings and finishes have a worn air. Given the time of year, many multi-generational families traveling and appeared to be enjoying the various options on board.
The Lido food was well presented with a large variety of options, however, i only dined in the Lido a couple of times finding the passenger jostling and grabbing to not be very relaxing. Main dining room very accommodating when I requested a table by myself at breakfast. Main dining room had a variety of menu choices, food nicely presented and very good. Wait staff very pleasant, professional and attentive. I dined in the Pinnacle Grill one evening and that was a pleasure although the menu is the same on each ship. It would be great if each Pinnacle Grill chef could offer a "special dish" on each voyage tailored to local ingredients or local cuisine. The Le Cirque theme on "special" nights is a bit tired.
The US park rangers who came aboard during our day cruising Glacier Bay really added to the experience.