Having seen what the Splendor passengers went through, I have to say we were very grateful they discovered the problem before we left and not at what would have been our first stop, Grand Turk, where we would not have been able to even find a backup generator, let alone find a crane to get it on the ship. HAL handled it all the best they could and we've been around long enough to know "stuff happens". So we were a day late leaving Ft. Lauderdale and, as has been mentioned here before, we were given the option of 10% off the price of the cruise or 20% off a future cruise. More than fair enough since we had all the amenities while we waited and the worst that happened was we didn't get to see Grand Turk. There was also a very nice sail away party with champagne and appetizers, all paid for by HAL.
Having said that, this might be the least favorite of our 10 cruises. Not because of the generator problem, but because this trip was not what we have come to expect from HAL. Service More
was fair at best and we understand that the crew had a lot to deal with in the first couple of days. But it didn't get any better after all the problems were dealt with. We had a balcony on 5 and the glass railing was dirty when we got on the ship and stayed dirty the whole trip. There is a trough just under the railing and when we boarded it was filled with water (I can only assume the cabin stewards on the decks above were better at cleaning the balconies). We laughed and called it our "lap pool". It stayed that way for the entire trip, sometimes filled with water and sometimes filled with a mixture of what looked to be water, mud and salt. For crying out loud HAL, give the stewards a mop and tell them to use it!
The Westerdam is a beautiful ship and our cabin was roomy with a nice size balcony. The sitting area couch had seen better days (we got an extra towel from the steward and fixed that), but the cabin has plenty of storage and a great bathroom with a tub. Beds are very comfortable.
We chose anytime dining and were always seated immediately since we look forward to meeting new people. The new people were great, the food was not. The chef has written several books on spices and you could certainly tell. When your clientele is pretty much an older crowd, it might not be a good idea to spice it up. Note to HAL: you're serving 1800 people--don't try to make it gourmet or asian fusion. Can't be done for that many people. We're happy with good, normal food. We went to the Pinnacle one night and I had the lamb chops. They were good, cooked perfectly, but why oh why do we have to get creative and serve apple chutney? What's wrong with good old mint jelly or sauce? Just because it's tried and true doesn't make it passe. Worth $20/person? Well, it's a change from the MDR and a good place to go on formal night when you don't want to be formal.
Just an opinion, but I think things have gone downhill in the last couple of years: we paid $599/person and we used to pay twice that much for a balcony. So the economy is dictating what happens, and while we enjoy the lower prices, we get lower value. You really do get what you pay for, and that may lead us to some of the higher end ships. Maybe it's the "Carnivalization" of HAL. I sincerely hope not.
All said, any cruise is enjoyable for us. Sometimes it's fabulous, and sometimes it's just okay. Won't stop us from going again! Less