This was our 20th cruise, 5th on HAL, and 2nd on the Westerdam. We have said before we would stick to HAL from now on but have been lured away by a "deal." This time we mean it. Customer service doesn't get any better than this.
We walked on board at noon, had lunch in the Lido, and found our cabin. ALL our luggage was already inside. Our cabin stewards, Kris and Della, showed up smiling to ask if we needed anything. These two young people were really the highlight of our week. They service 30 cabins twice a day but every time we saw then they asked if we needed anything and if we did, stopped at once and accomodated us. We never had to wait on anything.
We had calls from the front desk to see if there was anything they could do to make our cruise more enjoyable. We had calls from room servive to see if we had enjoyed our breakfast. We were spoken to pleasantly by every single staff person, even those cleaning the decks.
Since nothing is perfect, I will cite the only negatives: Our balcony was overdue for a good cleaning, it was crusted with salt. In high winds, the balcony walls rattled. I had really fatty lamb one day in the buffet, and stale potato chips once from room service.
However, we otherwise LOVED the food. Everything in the Vista Dining Room was excellent. Fork tender fillet, perfect lobster tails. Even "common" dishes like Jerk Chicken and Beef Short Ribs excelled. We chose the anytime dining option as we usually do. Normally, we just show up and hope not to be seated with anyone obnoxious. Our first night, we were waited on by Daru and Rendy. Our water glasses were never empty. We "waited" about 60 seconds between courses. They took pictures of us with our camera. They were as attentive and friendly as it is possible to be. So the 2nd night we asked the Maitre d' if we could sit in Daru's section. We have never done this before but it was a great move. The downside to anytime dining is that you don't get to "know" your servers. As it was, we were served by Daru and Rendy all week, had impeccable service and at the same time never had to worry about being tied to a schedule.
We didn't do the shows but enjoyed Zach Winningham on guitar. Don't miss his Beatles Hour!
Half Moon Cay is paradise. By the way, they actually put liquor in their drinks! We enjoyed Curacao and Bonaire as well. At the end of the day in Bonaire, the most incredible sight, a perfect rainbow arced over the ship. What a sendoff!
Disembarkation was the most painless we have ever had. We lolled about in in our cabin until our color was called, right on time, and strolled off the ship. How different from having to sit for hours in a public area!
We mean it this time....it is HAL for us from now on. Why go anywhere else?