I just returned from a 1 week inside passage cruise on the Westerdam. This was my 16th cruise-only the second on Holland. I have cruised on Celebrity, RC, Disney, and Princess. This was a family reunion cruise of 3 adults in their 50's, 2 in their mid-late twenties, and 2 late teens/early 20's. While we all enjoyed our journey this was not a high quality cruising experience. We are an active group and did non cruise line activies at each port.
My sense of the service/staff on this boat was that they were not trained well in customer service. As an example, the waiter at our table (Table 71) never introduced himself to us and barely uttered a word and almost never smiled during our dinner services. I found this to be quite odd and unusual, as typically wait staff on cruises are highly motivated to be friendly, helpful and engaging. Our group as a whole were fairly easy to please and always thanked him for his service. One evening my daughter left a graduation gift on the table. She contacted the dining room staff and later the main desk on Level1 and was told the gift was not found. I find it hard to believe that it wasn't found on the table during the clean up after our second seating dining-when there were very few passengers in the dining room.
The food was inconsistent. Some meals were wonderful, others were very unpleasant. The portion sizes were at times minute-and I am not a big eater. Our best meal was in The specialty dining Grille restaurant. Although I have to point out it did not compare to the specialty restaurants I have eaten at on Celebrity ships (such as the Murano Restaurant on Solstice).
The boat itself had some attractive areas-such as the main dining room, library/computer/specialty coffee restaurant on Deck 12. The cabin we had, 1099-was bare basic in nature with completely drab colors and decoration.
The entertainment was ok, but not particularly varied or of memorable quality. One notable exception was the piano player in the Piano Lounge next to the casino. He was wonderfully talented, has charisma and attracted a fun crowd every evening. He should be applauded for his efforts and talents.
The staff in the ART gallery/auctions were wonderful and quite entertaining. I enjoyed attending their talks and auctions.
Overall this cruise did not measure up to similar cruises on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Princess-in terms of quality of customer service, quality of food, and general attractiveness of the ship.