First off, I want to say, I've NEVER been on a BAD cruise, some are just better than others. I am an avid cruiser, love the ships, the ocean and everything associated with cruising. I could go on a 30 day cruise without ever hitting a stop, sea days are my favorite.
This cruise was our "break away from the norm" cruise, which normal to us is Carnival Cruise lines. NOW, I don't want you to think that by me trying a different cruise line that there is something bad about Carnival...there isn't. As a matter of fact this is WHY I'm writing this review.
The boarding process was extremely fast and pain free. As I stepped aboard the Westerdam, I had feelings of being impressed and of being unfaithful (to Carnival). The unfaithfulness soon went away as soon as I started to explore the ship..VERY,VERY Nice. AND,I was told almost immediately, that my cabin was ready! It was noon. On to my cabin. This was an UPGRADED cabin, top floor,forward. Not impressed with the cabin. It was very small compared to balcony rooms on carnival and this was an UPGRADE? Anyways,we unpack our carry-on and figured we get some grub, opened the door to leave and there's our luggage. WOW, only 12:30..on to the food. The 1st 48 hours they feed you..you cannot serve yourself. Some kind of protection thing fo germs. OK,whatever, I could care less, I'm on a cruise! We got our food, sat down to eat...and right away noticed a difference and not in a good way. It never got any better. It was bland,tasteless and most times cold. Room service for coffee in the mornings? SOMETIMES, if your lucky. 2 of the 6 days I ordered coffee, it never showed up at the time I ordered it for. Left and went up for coffee and came back an hour later and there it sits, on my bed. AND sat there all day long. The room steward never introduced himself to us, nor did we ever know which of the 3 running around WAS our steward. The crew is really laid back on this ship compared to what I'm used to. On a Carnival ship, you never have to look for a waiter to get a drink, their always right there, almost annoying,but on this ship you can hardly find someone to get you a drink. I sat in the casino with a empty glass for over a 1/2 hour one night.
The people on the ship were all great, no rude people, everyone was just having a good time. Alot more elderly on this cruise, hardly any children. Good shows and the music was more our speed,(alot of rap and hip hop on Carnival). Another big plus is there is never any lines,anywhere. That part I liked very much. HAL does not supply razors or tooth paste, which was a little weird,because I never bring either because Carnival does supply those items.
All in All it was a good cruise...just different from what I'm used to. The ship was wonderful, the room was small, the staff was unusually laid back and very much, not in a hurry. The food was not as good as I'm used to, but food is food. The best part of this cruise was the other passengers, everyone was just enjoying the cruise. No rudeness, no harshness , everyone just being nice to each other..that was different! I still haven't decided what I'm willing to give up. I probably decide on going back to old faithful, it's what I know best and what I'm used to and being a stockholder I get a great rate.