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Westerdam Review

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80% of cruisers loved it
  • 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

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Westerdam Overview

(4.5) 4.5 out of 5+ star rating

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

Holland America Line automatically adds $11.50 per person, per day ($12 per day for suite guests) to onboard accounts. This is shared among waiters, stewards and other service personnel. That amount can be adjusted in either direction by visiting the front desk. A 15 percent gratuity is tacked onto wine and bar bills. A 15 percent gratuity is also automatically included on spa treatments.

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Westerdam Member Reviews 650 Reviews

This was my third cruise on the Westerdam over a period of 7 years. It will be my last. In between I have been on the larger RCCL Ships, Norwegian and Celebrity. I would go on HAL again, especially if I go back to Alaska but for other locations I ...continue

   Pretty good; not quite great
November 2014

Just got home from a seven-day cruise on the Westerdam. All in all, we had no major complaints. The week rate a solid B-. There were just a few things that could have made the experience just a bit smoother. Getting hot coffee was something they ...continue

Service in the dining room was disorganized and very slow. The waiters are having to serve more tables but that didn't excuse the chaos that characterized the first and last night's dining. The dining room staff looked quite stressed. The courses ...continue

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Eastern Caribbean
Western Caribbean

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Ship Stats
Crew: 800
Launched: 2004
Decks: 11
Tonnage: 82,348
Passengers: 1,916
Registry: Netherlands
CDC Score: 98
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