1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Previous trip on HAL Westerdam was so nice that we made a special effort to get the same cabin on this trip. Partially obstructed view, but twofold panels of glass kept the room bright even on the cloudiest day (and we had about 5 of ... Read More
Previous trip on HAL Westerdam was so nice that we made a special effort to get the same cabin on this trip. Partially obstructed view, but twofold panels of glass kept the room bright even on the cloudiest day (and we had about 5 of them). Cheerful, gracious crew always seemed to be looking for a way to improve the experience. They were available without being intrusive. In various lounges and bars, if you declined a drink, they just leave a napkin there so that you won't be approached by every last server. Great idea. As I said, 5 rainy, windy days across the north Pacific, and the crew were resolutely cheerful at all times. Captain Mark took us a bit out of the way to avoid the worst weather, which was so very thoughtful. We stopped at Kushiro in Japan, and the rain was blowing, but many us took the free shuttle to a kind of mall which gave us an insight into some of the Japanese culture. Stops in Alaska were fortunately sunny, and Icy Straits is one of the most hauntingly beautiful place I've seen. We were sorry to leave, and we learned how difficult it had been to dock due to winds and nearby reefs. We saw a couple of whales, which for most of us was a first. Overall, a serenely beautiful cruise with the most amazingly gracious staff ever. Once again, Denny and Theo, thanks for taking such good care of us. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
I choose this 15 day cruise to get away from my regular daily life and it was great for that. 6 days at sea, including 5-6m waves for a couple days. The food ands staff was great as I remember it from my other HAL cruises. But the ... Read More
I choose this 15 day cruise to get away from my regular daily life and it was great for that. 6 days at sea, including 5-6m waves for a couple days. The food ands staff was great as I remember it from my other HAL cruises. But the Westerdam state of repair is sad. So many little things broken. Lights in public bathroom about to fall out, fan in elevator running at full speed as it is burning up (you could smell the plastic melting), hot bench in Thermal Suite out of order since February (3 months). 1 sauna not working at all, 1 sauna on its last leg, including a thermometer just wedged into mount and could have fallen during heavy sea and create tiny glass splinters, etc. etc. The central sound system for the Greenhouse Spa was also broken for weeks and so it was music everywhere or no music at all. This meant on one of massage I asked for music, but it was turned off 2 minutes later as someone else requested it to be turned off. I never was able to relax at all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise to experience Japan in Cherry Blossom season and experience the culture and history of the country. The tours provided by EXC (HA's onboard service) were good. I feel I saw most of the attractions I wanted ... Read More
We chose this cruise to experience Japan in Cherry Blossom season and experience the culture and history of the country. The tours provided by EXC (HA's onboard service) were good. I feel I saw most of the attractions I wanted through these tours, while being guaranteed I wouldn't miss the boat at the end! The price was up there, but after sorting out some private tours at either end of the cruise, the costs were comparable for the amount we experienced. The ports we stopped at were new for Holland America. There really weren't any ports that were in the centre of town. It was at least a 20 minute bus ride into the town centres if you were wondering around by yourself for the day. The frequency of busses was adequate. Due to Japanese law we had to visit a different country at least once before we made it the whole way around Japan. This is the only reason why we went to Russia for one day. The port was Vladivostok. Don't bother doing a tour here, the town is run down and you have to go on a HA tour for Visa reasons. The customs debacle for this one day out of Japan was appalling. I understand all customs issues are never fun, but HA was definitely did not make it any better. For a cruse company that is meant to be professional at this stuff, they could have made their clients a lot more comfortable through the process. We had a lot of older guests on the ship, I felt horrible for the them. The quality of the ship was a little tired, with maintenance undertaken at every port we stopped at. Sometimes this was an inconvenience to the patrons. We were on level 8 in a stateroom. They had asked us if we minded being in a an 'accessible/disabled' stateroom before the cruise. We agreed, but we would not do this again. Mum and I were twin sharing, but if this room was used for a disabled person, you could only fit one person in there. We missed out on a good shower, cupboard space and a sitting area because of this, and we paid jut as much as the other guests. The food in the main dining areas was good, tasty and well presented but not as fresh as I am used to. The dining experiences in the premium restaurants was much better. Don't worry about the special events like seafood nights or degustations and wine pairing, these are much steeper in price and not much better in quality to any other night. The hospitality, bar and dining staff were great, nothing was a problem, my mother and I came down with illness on the ship and they were very accommodating. Our waiters and bar staff knew us by name from the second day and remembered what we liked to drink - which was an extensive list! Drinks packages - definitely get one. we got the 'Signature' package for approx $50USD/day. The wine options were a little too limited for us, if we had the time again, we would have purchased the top drink package for approx $10USD/day extra. The most disappointing this was the accounts department of HA. We printed our statement every morning to check our account. Almost every second day there were charges on there that shouldn't have been - we were charged for drinks that were covered in our pre paid package, room service charges that we didn't order, etc. On the last night, the whole cruise was taken over by chocolate and towel animals as a bit of fun, but I can't help thinking this type of activity is to 'smooth everyone over' at the end so we leave happy and recommend them to our friends. At the end of the cruise, we went to pay our bill, and they held the amount on our credit card. On the last day we received an account that they had charged us. This was fine, apart from they still had the amount on hold as well, effectively holding twice the amount of money they owed us. This can be quite debilitation if you are only half way through your entire holiday. Through waiting for statements to reflect charges and calling HA a couple of times to sort it out, I am still waiting for this money to be released 7 days after disembarking their ship. The HA girl assured me this would be released no later than 72 hours after the cruise finished. After trying to explain that didn't happen, I am also chasing this through with my bank. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We selected this cruise because we had never been to Japan. We typically cruise with Holland America but have found on our last couple of cruises that their standards are starting to slip. The quality of the food and the ... Read More
We selected this cruise because we had never been to Japan. We typically cruise with Holland America but have found on our last couple of cruises that their standards are starting to slip. The quality of the food and the selection/variety is not what it used to be. As well, even though the staff are all dedicated and hardworking and do their best to keep the cruisers happy, HAL seems to have reduced the number of staff and so the service is also not what it used to be. Embarkation, in our opinion, was poorly handled and slow and we spent a lot of time simply standing in line. Disembarkation, on the other hand, was quite efficient and quick. The selection of ports for the 14 day Japan portion of the cruise was very good and we enjoyed all of them. We arranged private tours for all but one of the ports and so were always in a very small group, which meant we had more flexibility and usually were able to see more than the large groups. We had an inside cabin and it was quite comfortable and our room stewards were great. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Japan at a specific time of year.Now regretting choice of cruise line.READ on what to find out what you can expect. PROS. First of all the ship is clean although ageing. The signature suite ... Read More
We chose this cruise primarily to visit Japan at a specific time of year.Now regretting choice of cruise line.READ on what to find out what you can expect. PROS. First of all the ship is clean although ageing. The signature suite we had was clean and comfortable although its furnishings were dated ,the sofa bed was also past its best. Crew and staff generally ok no problems. CONS (litterally in respect of wine package) Bottled water is available in your room at $5 dollars a bottle and on going ashore. .Reluctantly we purchased a signature drinks package ($1486 plus %15 service charge ).You have to buy 2 if you are in a two person cabin..The drinks package. allows you to get any wines on the wine menue at $9 dollars or under. However most of these are undrinkable and even then you only have two choices of a white wine or three of a red.Within a few days of sailing they even ran out of a cheap white leaving you no choice unless you paid an extra full price for a wine above $9.. One.,evening we were even charged full price for a higher priced glass of wine that we had paid extra for even though they had run out of it.( we were given a cheaper plonk in its place) .'In previous reviews it has been stated that the food in the Lido Market is cold , unapettising and very repetitive.Apparently on this ship it is difficult to keep warm so you need to go early to take advantage of the hot food at the start. OK if you like to eat early.In the evening by 8pm they are closing down.Having said that, after visiting several more times every hot item is almost cold A word of warning for those of you who want a spa bath. The water jets in the bath initially spewed out a torrent of dirty water leaving the bottom of the bath full of scumand slime..Advise you run it several times before use with soap. Internet cost $170 dollars for 14 days and is very slow. A bagfull of laundry cost $30 dollars. but came back clean and pressed within 24 hours..Apparently the self service laundry on this ship was removed several years ago .(presumably so that they can extort more money out of you).. All the above issues have been raised with customer services but the ship is what it is. One other thing that needs mentioning is that at 11pm at night save for a few areas the ship is like the Marie Celeste IT DOES NOT OFFER VALUE FOR MONEY AND WE WILL NOT SALE WITH HOLLAND AMERICA AGAIN Generally entertainment on the ship is ok ,the resident band is very good with no complaints.The service is variable.. depending on what part of the ship you are in.. We have not been on any excursions as we feel they are overpriced Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit ... Read More
We had AFT suite which had the perfect outlook as a panoramic view including the side. Vibration can take a little getting used to during the night but this only occurred when we were making up time or docking. Steward service was hit and miss for a suite as we were surrounded by non suite staterooms and the allocation to each steward would be higher. Rarely did we see a child(I think there were 2 on board), most passengers were American Australian UK then South African average age 65. Loved the free laundry and staff in Neptune lounge were fantastic. Shows were nothing like the big ships so were a bit hit and miss. Pinnacle restaurant was great especially their degustation but MDR food was also great and service perfect. Always hard to compare different ships particularly of different size. Suite benefits vary dramatically in different cruise lines so check what suites you. As a 1900 passenger ship it is less crowded with fast elevators less queuing but the trade off is less shops and activities and shows of a lower standard. Tours in china and Japan were poor value with communication issues with the guides but they were well organised. Internet even on the premium package was hit and miss. Would definitely recommend this ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the 2 day stop in Shanghai and Beijing and ending in Japan. This was our first time cruising on HAL. It was just the 2 of us cruising and we stayed in a balcony cabin, which was very nice. We arrived at ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the 2 day stop in Shanghai and Beijing and ending in Japan. This was our first time cruising on HAL. It was just the 2 of us cruising and we stayed in a balcony cabin, which was very nice. We arrived at embarkation to find out we needed copies of our Passports and Visas on separate sheets of paper. We waiting in a line for 15 minutes + to have this done. If we knew prior to arriving, everyone would have these copies available. There were numerous agents to check us in and was quick. Unlike other cruise lines we've been on, the ship does not have a bright center atrium. It's quite small and dark. The ship as a whole in the interior is dark, the evening entertainment is just so-so, MANY people walk around with their bathrobes on visiting the pool/spa/buffet which we found strange and their were limited activities on sea days, All our tours were private with 8 people so can't comment on the ship's tours. We did attend several information sessions about ports, culture and various topics and found them well done and interesting. The service and food options in the Lido Marketplace, buffet, was very good. We ate our meals here for the variety and did not participate in the formal nights. We met friendly people since most times you share a table in the Lido Marketplace. For the first time ever, we took our luggage off by ourselves since we had reserved tickets for the bullet train. This worked well since we each only had 1 suitcase. Depending on the ports/cost, we would consider going again on HAL. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I booked this cruise mainly due to the itinerary it offered to East Asia, the brand of Holland America was the second reason. The Westerdam is a nice, clean and comfortable cruise ship and offered all the amenities that cruise lines ... Read More
I booked this cruise mainly due to the itinerary it offered to East Asia, the brand of Holland America was the second reason. The Westerdam is a nice, clean and comfortable cruise ship and offered all the amenities that cruise lines offer. I enjoyed the itinerary and all the ports visited. However, my experience of the Westerdam was a little disappointing and although the staff were polite and welcoming that really hid the lack of attention to detail and lack of service in some areas. Having spoken to a few guests who had travelled on the Westerdam previously it appeared I was not the only one experiencing a lack of service that would be expected on a ship of this calibre. Keeping it brief I experienced: A wait of over 20 minutes for food from the Dive Inn take-out only to find they had not switched on the little box that notifies you when the food is ready and then served me cold food. Having clothes returned from the laundry where on 3 occasions the clothes were not pressed or part pressed. For the whole cruise (apart form the last 2 nights after I had to highlight this to the waiter) I was not offered any alcoholic drinks with my dinner whilst watching other passengers arriving at their tables with wine, beer or soft drinks waiting for them. Whilst staff would acknowledge you with the obligatory good morning, afternoon or evening the Officers must of believed I was a member of staff because they were arrogant and rude on some occasions and this even includes the Captain who passed me one day and whilst I was attempting to see what his name was I got such a look of distaste, no hello or how can I help you. Being lied to by the EXC team (excursions) in regards to dis-embarkation resulting in many passengers paying $15 for a transfer when in fact there were plenty of options at the dis-embarkation port. The EXC team presented that taxis would be not available and even provided pictures of lines of people queuing for a taxi, there were lots of taxis on stand by! There were other little things which you normally brush off as 'oh well things happen' but a lot of these things add up and just highlighted the lack of control the management had on its staff and service suffered. First time on Holland America and not a good experience. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was the friendliest cruise ship, we have been on. The crew were helpful and happy to serve. Stateroom was comfortable and larger than those on the newer ships. Good selection of tv programmes and movies available. The only problem ... Read More
This was the friendliest cruise ship, we have been on. The crew were helpful and happy to serve. Stateroom was comfortable and larger than those on the newer ships. Good selection of tv programmes and movies available. The only problem we had was with the air conditioning was not strong enough to cool the room enough during the night. The main dining room was good especially in the anytime dining restaurant, food was well presented and there were plenty of menu choices available including regional specialities to suit everyone. The lido was a little bit of a let down, due mainly to the way it was arranged for service. Breakfast was the worst as I had to wait at two different counters to be served my bacon and eggs as the english bacon and sausage were not available on the same counter as the fried eggs or the omelette counter. The dive in was excellent as the burgers are cooked to order with fries etc.... The salad bar was also good with a lot of choice. Entertainment on the main stage was a little disappointing and repetitive, the enrichment program was better and I especially enjoyed the port talks and lectures on the places we visited. The entertainment staff were very visible and I especially enjoyed the trivia and games. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Great ports, lots of activities aboard ship on sea days. Services were outstanding; staff was pleasant and aimed to please. Food in the main dining room included options that were specific to our ports of call, and Lido Market dinners ... Read More
Great ports, lots of activities aboard ship on sea days. Services were outstanding; staff was pleasant and aimed to please. Food in the main dining room included options that were specific to our ports of call, and Lido Market dinners often reflected that as well. Ship is well-maintained. Would sail on this ship again and again. Embarkation process was a little slower than other cruise lines but disembarkation was efficient and smooth. Lectures by Master Kam enhanced the experience in understanding the histories and cultures of the Asian countries we visited. He also conducted tai chi classes that were open to all. Shore excursions were a bit pricey but the Holland American EXC tours that we took were run efficiently and showed us the highlights of the regions that we visited. We also booked some tours with friends. These were less expensive than the HAL tours and often covered the same areas. The ship-sponsored tours have the "convenience factor" and consistently expert guides. Read Less
Westerdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.5 0.0
Public Rooms 4.5 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 2.5 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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