Westerdam Review

Editor Rating:  4.5
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Westerdam Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    4.0
    5.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.4
    4.0
  • Cabins
    4.3
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.7
    5.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    3.9
    5.0
  • Family & Children
    3.0
    3.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.9
    5.0
  • Enrichment
    3.7
    4.0
  • Service
    4.3
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    4.0
    4.0
Editor Rating
4.5
Member Rating
Why Choose Westerdam?
  • Pro: Free and specialty restaurants continuously exceed expectations
  • Con: Signs of wear evident throughout the ship
  • Bottom Line: Mid-sized ship with a friendly, care-free atmosphere

Westerdam Overview

Updated by Ginger Dingus, Cruise Critic contributor

Holland America Line's Westerdam (it means west) is the third of four Vista Class ships, and a decade into its existence, it continues to do what the line does best -- balance the traditional cruising experience with updated, contemporary amenities. Westerdam keeps up with the times in two major areas, entertainment and dining, and recent refurbishments and programming additions reflect that.

Nine LED panels were added to the Vista Lounge stage in 2013, allowing the introduction of six edgy, high-tech, production shows, a nod to an increasingly more youthful audience. B.B. King's Blues Club also takes center stage five nights a week in the cozy Queen's Lounge. And traditional ballroom dancing has moved into the 21st century via the line's hugely successful "Dancing with the Stars at Sea" dance classes, contests and performances.

Dinner menus have been streamlined and signature dishes introduced by a Culinary Council of renowned chefs. There's a new vegetarian menu, and only sustainable seafood is served, showcasing the line's support for the environment. Casual dining has been enhanced at the new Dive-In at the Terrace Grill, where an enticing array of gourmet burgers and hot dogs are made to order.

Ultimately, it is the warm, welcoming attitude of the crew passengers will appreciate. A smile and "hello" go a long way in making you feel at home on a ship that's ample but not too large. With just under 2,000 cruisers, Westerdam excels in yet another balancing act. There's enough variety in daily activities to keep you entertained, but you won't feel you've missed something. The same goes for dining. On a weeklong cruise, you can sample every restaurant and still return to your favorites.

Westerdam Fellow Passengers

Holland America is expanding its traditional North American passenger base to attract more English speakers, particularly Brits and Australians. The average age, too, is shifting, in this case downward, and is now around 45. During the summer Alaska season, Westerdam sees more families traveling with small children, and there might be 100 or more kids younger than 18 onboard.

Westerdam Dress Code

The ship offers two formal nights on weeklong cruises, more on longer trips. While some men wear tuxes, suits and ties are the norm on formal evenings -- with ladies wearing dressy, not-over-the-top, attire. Those preferring to remain casual can avoid the main restaurants on formal nights, and they seem not to feel out of place being underdressed in entertainment venues after dinner.

Smart casual is the rule most nights, meaning slacks and a sports shirt for men and a dress, skirt or slacks for women. T-shirts, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in restaurants during evening hours. Casual and comfortable works fine during the day.

Westerdam Gratuity

The automatic tip for passengers staying in interior, oceanview and verandah cabins is $13.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $15 per person, per day.

Next:  Westerdam Cabins

Updated by Ginger Dingus, Cruise Critic contributor

889 Westerdam Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Gulliver1956
Member Since 2015
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Well, except for some small points about the shipping company and the boat as: The reserved cabin, Signature Suite category SY "guaranteed", does not correspond with the awarded (6108) Suite SS category, supposedly superior ... Read more
klscaz
Member Since 2002
2 reviews
848 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
This was the first cruise after dry dock. We did not experience any issues in our stateroom. We did see some steps in the main dining room where the carpet needed to be tacked down. Deck 10 was closed but this was not a problem for us. HAL ... Read more
Darshan1
Member Since 2009
14 reviews
33 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
Based on my experience with the Veendam and now the Westerdam, Holland America Corporate doesn't give its ships enough time in drydock to finish repairs and modifications. That caused major problems for some passengers from broken glass ... Read more
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