Westerdam Cruise Review by barrycher: Never Again
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: San Diego
Lets start at the beginning: the embarkation was flawless with the exception that you had to walk up a lot of stairs if you weren't lucky enough to get an elevator within a decent time frame. Next the cabin, it was a great cabin but I had a problem with the cabin steward from the first minute. We were in 5184, a perfect aft cabin with lots of space on the outside. The inside was normal HAL however, the A/C wasn't working and the steward said when we get going it will be better, that was the first of many temperature problems, the solution was that we were given a big box fan which mad my wife very happy.
The rest was fine unless you consider that we were sideswiping a hurricane, so we spent 1 1/2 days in Puerta Vallarta and nothing in the port of Hutalco. The next port was ridiculous! we went into the town of Chiapis where they took no dollars for anything from water to the most disgusting bathrooms. We got back on a bus that took us back to the ship and that was Chiapis. More
Shows were cute and good; casino's were not for the real gambler. The craps table didn't open until 9pm which meant if that was your game you didn't get to play. The excuse was that they didn't have enough dealers. The best "deal" was there were about 3-5 hours of Microsoft education each day and the teacher was great. I loved learning about Windows 8 and my wife learned about improving her photraphy skills.
We split most of our meals in the Lido and Dining Room (especially because we didn't intend to get very dressed up. The food was cruise ship food: check the menu and if you liked the main dining room food that night, then go there. Then the best part of the trip was exactly what we expected: the Panama Canal Transit. We saw a lot, learned a lot, and shot a lot of pictures. Very, very cool and thats from a 71 year old.
By the way, I learned another thing: don't attend a meeting if you don't know what it is #1 I know friends of Bill W is for members of AA #2 I've learned that friends of Nancy or LGBT is something that my wife had to educate me about, since she is familiar with it in a large corporation. There were a lot of those attendees on the ship and it was fine, different, but noticeable.
The disembarkation was horrible and I thought it would be good because they had the tv with the times for your luggage tag collors; that was good until you got down and found that you basically go into Disney lines waiting to leave. It was OK for us but rought for those having a Ft Lauderdale tour and then going to the airport; they were very very stressed,
All in all, the ship was problemed by smelly walkways; smelly elevator lobbys and smelly everything in the cabin areas. They weren't dealing with the toilets very well. This is our last time on HAL even with our Mariner Status. To quote my wife, that pin don't get you S--T, you can walk the halls and get it.
They don't care about anything other than selling you stuff to make money. Over priced wine packages; over priced internet useage and over priced tours. We are going to try the longboats of Viking on rivers from now on and we tour every year. Less
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