Westerdam Review

Editor Rating: 4.5
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Why Choose Westerdam?
  • Great Pacific Northwest fare at Pinnacle Grill restaurant
  • Traditional atmosphere with modern amenities on a not too big, not too small ship
  • Edgy high-tech production shows

Westerdam Overview

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 $12.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $13.50 per person, per day.
Next:  Westerdam Cabins
Updated by Ginger Dingus, Cruise Critic contributor

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Westerdam Editor Ratings

  • Category
  • Dining
  • Public Rooms
  • Cabins
  • Entertainment
  • Spa & Fitness
  • Family & Children
  • Shore Excursions
  • Enrichment
  • Service
  • Value-for-Money

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775 Westerdam Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
This was our first cruise, and trying to read ratings, reviews and make a decision on which cruise line to pick can be daunting. I read one reviewer that noted some of the poor reviews were from pretentious cruisers with expectations that ... Read more
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
1 helpful vote
Sailed three weeks ago
We wanted to sail to Alaska from Seattle and found a great deal on this cruise on Costco travel. We spent three days in Seattle and really enjoyed this city, although the Pikes Market area is very busy, even during the week. Holland ... Read more
Nova Scotia cruiser
Member Since 2014
4 reviews
325 forum posts
4 helpful votes
It had been many years since we sailed HAL and we decided to go back on what was the new Westerdam. Embarkation was simple. We had a signature suite which we were to.d that we would receive early embarkation....did not happen, but we still ... Read more

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