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Westerdam Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,133 reviews
See all photos
Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Overall
Dori Saltzman
Contributor

Holland America has been in the midst of a change for several years and Westerdam is a perfect example of the line's new, younger persona. Rather than exclusively catering to the senior market, Westerdam now is perfectly positioned to attract both baby boomers and older Gen Xers.

The ship offers something for most everyone in those age brackets. Music lovers have three amazing choices from classical (including modern hits in classical style) at Lincoln Center Stage to have-to-dance blues and rock 'n roll in B.B. King's to sing-along sessions of your favorite radio hits at Billboard Onboard. While you're not going to find any raucous early-morning parties on Westerdam, the entertainment onboard keeps the boat rocking until a bit past midnight. This is particularly true on the ship's European itineraries, which bring in a more global -- and younger -- group of passengers.

Foodies will love the America's Test Kitchen theater, with its step-by-step cooking demonstrations (recipe cards with simple directions included), as well as the two pop-up gourmet restaurants, each providing epicurean feasts at reasonable prices.

Those looking for enrichment during their travels will find computer and camera classes in the Digital Workshop, as well as destination lectures from the Explorations Central (EXC) experts. Plus, the neat interactive touch tables in the Explorations Central lounge have a variety of information about many of the ports of call on every itinerary. We loved stopping by the Question of the Day display each day to give our answer to questions like, "Which country could you visit over and over and never get tired of?"

With all that's on the daily schedule, along with the spaces that are still perfect for relaxation -- the Crow's Nest section of Explorations Central, the King's Room library -- Westerdam is a perfectly calculated mixture of energy and tranquility.

But with all that's new, Westerdam has not lost Holland American staples like an emphasis on service (though on our cruise, service had the occasional bump, particularly in the restaurants) and delicious food in all venues.

Pros

Emphasis on live music, of a wide variety, that makes for a lot of choice in the evening

Cons

Few entertainment and activity options for teens and young adults

Bottom Line

Refined, but casual experience that attracts its youngest and most active crowd in Europe

About

Passengers: 1964
Crew: 800
Passenger to Crew: 2.46:1
Launched: 2004
Shore Excursions: 616

Fellow Passengers

Your fellow passengers on a Westerdam cruise will be remarkably different depending on whether you're cruising in Europe or the Caribbean. In Europe, the passenger base is heavily Australian and Dutch, with people also coming from England, the United States, Asia and Spain, and the age range is wider than in the Caribbean with more families including kids (in some cased more than 100 kids under 18) and adults ranging from 45 to 80 years old. On these cruises the party goes a little bit later into the early morning hours and the overall atmosphere is more active in general.

In the Caribbean, the demographic shifts back to Holland America's core North American market and the age range goes back up to 55-plus, with nightly fun coming to a close closer to midnight (or earlier). This is not because the onboard offerings change, but because the line historically draws an older clientele in North America and its newer offerings have not yet been adequately communicated to the cruising population at large.

Holland America Westerdam Dress Code

Casual attire is appropriate during the day and most evenings in all dining venues. Shorts, beachwear, distressed jeans and men's tank tops are never permitted in any of the restaurants except the Lido Market. On Gala Nights (there's usually one per seven days), passengers are encouraged to dress to the nines, though slacks and a collared shirt are all that is required for men, while women should wear a dress, or skirt or slacks and blouse ensemble. You will see plenty of men in suits and even a few in tuxes, and you'll see women in gowns.

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More about Holland America Westerdam

Where does Holland America Westerdam sail from?

Holland America Westerdam departs from Singapore, Seattle, Vancouver, Fremantle, Hong Kong, Yokohama, Sydney, Auckland, and Tokyo

How much does it cost to go on Holland America Westerdam?

Cruises on Holland America Westerdam start from $174 per person.
Holland America Westerdam Cruiser Reviews

Missed the Arctic Circle & Bering Strait!

Hard to explain - but on Westerdam we didn't find great unique places to relax. During the glacier viewing days it felt like 1/2 the ship was in the Crow's Nest which also wasn't great.Read More
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CruiseNC1111

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 55s

A bit of a Westerdam disappointment

Better training and better communication skills are needed and Westerdam can go back up to the four or five star rating she could achieve again.Read More
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When and How

many10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Some hits, some misses

Westerdam is an old ship. It appears that the latest refresh was for the main areas as they were all very nice and clean. The cabin certainly could use a refresh.Read More
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RDMACKAY

few6-10 Cruises

Age 68s

A return to cruising after 10 years for me and a first for my partner

I was also drawn to the size of Westerdam, being a small ship.Read More
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MG1664

couple2-5 Cruises

Age 61s

Holland America Line Fleet
Volendam

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