Our cruise on the fully-booked HAL Westerdam provided the best cruise experience we've ever had. We loved our superior suite cabin (on the Navigation deck) for its space, large bathroom, extra-wide balcony, and excellent ship location. Our congenial cabin stewards provided excellent service and we wanted for nothing.
The food served in both the main dining room and the Lido buffet restaurant was well-prepared, tasty and quite varied. Restaurant service was friendly, helpful and efficient.
Every evening's shipboard entertainment provided an array of very talented musical choices including a string quartet, a jazz trio, a solo guitarist/singer, a rock band, and piano bar singer. There were 2 comedians on board, both hilarious. The stage shows were also enjoyable with impressive, energetic dancing and good-enough singing.
We bought a pass to the spa's thermal suite and hydrotherapy pool which we used every day. Typical ship recreational activities were offered but we didn't participate in any of these. There's plenty of spaces for relaxing throughout the ship, including next to the 2 swimming pools, but our favorite outdoor spot was on the chaise lounges located on the top observation deck, which is the highest point on the ship. Because the ship was fully-occupied, space near the swimming pools was always very limited.
We played in the casino a few times during the week but usually didn't stay long because of the stink of the cigarette smoking. This casino is very small in comparison to other ships we've cruised on.
We enjoyed our first time port visits to Aruba and Curacao. In Aruba we took the bus ($2.50 roundtrip pp) to go swimming/sunning at Eagle Beach, ate dinner in a local restaurant, and won some money in a local casino. In Curacao we rented a car, drove 30 minutes to the lovely Cas Abao beach where we rented chairs & a palapa, snorkeled, and swam.
There's nothing we would change about the cruise experience we had on the Westerdam - we had a fantastic week!