Sail Date: December 2014
I am a single professional in my 40's what went to cruise for a conference that was on this ship. Who knew it had to be the Dances of the Stars cruise. So my fellow cruisers of almost 2000 people were mostly seniors. Average age ... Read More
I am a single professional in my 40's what went to cruise for a conference that was on this ship. Who knew it had to be the Dances of the Stars cruise. So my fellow cruisers of almost 2000 people were mostly seniors. Average age about 70s- and couples. Nice people but ..older. So I tried to stay open minded and went with the flow. I had done a 3 day cruise to Ensenada before and that ship moved too much so I thought this was a perfect opportunity to give it another chance. First day, did ok and we went to Half Moon Cay Bahamas. This island was amazing! Beautiful and peaceful and isolated b/c it was owned by Holland America. Really enjoyed it. Our second stop was St Thomas which was also nice. I took the tour around the island and enjoyed that as well. I'm not much of a shopper but there was plenty of opportunities here for that. Our third stop was San Juan Puerto Rico. I was really looking to this stop , but we had 4 HOURS total in port. I was infuriated! I later heard it was because it's an expensive port to stop in. And finally we went to Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos. Once again disappointed the island was the smallest and least interesting island in the Caicos. I attempted to take a tour around the island but it was terrible. So ghetto.. Honestly just stay in Margaritaville. We couldn't snorkel b/c the water was too choppy. And on that choppy water segway.. if you're not a "cruiser" you'll be sick on this ship. Even though it was big it was STILL moving. My dramamine didn't cut it. So when we got to land I ran off the boat! Never again.. The food was also plentiful but NOT good. I really wanted to think it was going to taste as good as it looked but NOPE. Even the sit down dining in the evenings was very subpar. The alcohol is over-priced. But you can bring 2 bottles on your own so I highly recommend you do that. The only good meal were the burgers at the grill. I'm sure this was the case when Carnival bought out Holland America. Quality is not a concern. The service was ok. Most of the staff was from Malaysia and Bali. English was so -so . They never refilled our coffee cups. Asked us if we needed anything. Just cleaned up after us. The bare minimum. And something I didn't know they charge you tips daily on your bill. So don't worry about extra tipping unless you feel they deserve it. And the shows were meh... The dances with the stars was so conceited they forgot the reason they are famous is their fans. But I'm not a fan so I didn't care.. lol So never again for me.. I heard Celebrity is better so may try that. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
This was my 3rd cruise with HAL and to me the 2 other ships had higher standards ( Ryndam & Zuiderdam) Although the service was excellent, it did not seem personal as if they didn't like their jobs. Except for housekeeping ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise with HAL and to me the 2 other ships had higher standards ( Ryndam & Zuiderdam) Although the service was excellent, it did not seem personal as if they didn't like their jobs. Except for housekeeping attendants ( Reindra & Wayan) They were always happy, joking around and fun. They worked their butts off too! Making sure everything was great for us. Their attitude earned them extra tip money from us. Age group was younger then first 2 cruises Entertainment was alright. They could have stepped it up. Sorry but the Hal Cats singing by the pool were not the best. Comedian was great, he had everyone laughing Food.....overall good. Heard lots of people saying portions were too small in dining room. If we saw something on the menu that we liked we asked that it be doubled up, no problem. Dress code was acknowledge by everyone as far as I could tell on formal nights. But no tuxes Room service was another story. We never did get what we ordered, but it was close! (This was for the actual menu items) And I read comments that if it wasn't on the menu you could write it down and get it. That never happened. In the Lido it was tough sometimes to get a table. Good thing there were 3 of us so 1 person could hunt something down and save the table while the other 2 went for food. The food here was fairly good except for the pizza and spaghetti, not so much. We had gone down for a late night snack about 9:45 as in the program the Lido was supposed to be open until 10:30 pm for this. It was right closed down Cabin SY6087 was very good, lots of room. Huge bathroom plenty of room for the 3 of us on the veranda. Bed was oh so comfy. Sofa bed for our adult son was kind of small for him. The lighting was very dim, needs to be upgraded Time in ports was way to short, that may be something to check on a persons itinerary when picking a ship. There was (for us) only enough time to do 1 thing. It was either beach or shopping, not both. I would recommend Mullet Bay on St Maartens. It was about a 25 minute ride from port and only cost $27 + tip, great deal. 3 Lounge chairs and 2 umbrellas for $24 and the best was the beer only $2.50 a bottle. Bar b q was smelling pretty good but we didn't get any food. Water was clear with some bigger waves coming in. Beautiful white sand. We really didn't find any good snorkeling in the Carib at the beaches we were at which were Pillory (Grand Turks) Mullet Bay Ship could not go to Half Moon Cay due to winds and that was disappointing. But hey can't control the weather. Although there were lots of unhappy cruisers because of this. The Captain does his best, the line looses money but people act like the Captain was just to lazy to try and other comments Anyways after all is said and done, it will be some time before we cruise again. I think we all prefer to pick a spot and plant ourselves. But cruising does give us the opportunity to get a taste of an island and decide if that's the place for us   Read Less
Sail Date: June 2013
First of all, thanks to all of you who answered questions and offered advice prior to our trip. In many instances it made all the difference! At any rate, here's my review and helpful hints of my own. EMBARKATION We left the hotel ... Read More
First of all, thanks to all of you who answered questions and offered advice prior to our trip. In many instances it made all the difference! At any rate, here's my review and helpful hints of my own. EMBARKATION We left the hotel at 11:00. Security was a breeze, but then there was some "hurry up and wait". If you can, arrive after 11:30. The wait is a little shorter at that time-we learned that after cruising Princess from the same pier last year. Regardless, we were still on the ship, carry-ons duly deposited in our cabin and at the Mariner lunch by 12:30. Lovely! CABIN We received a SWEET upsell/upgrade from a guaranteed VH to a VA and were in stateroom 8027. My DM and DF were in 8033. The cabins were roomy and our steward, Nyoman, introduced himself right away and never failed to call us by name and/or ask after my husband if we weren't together. The cabin was always maintained impeccably. Helpful hints-there are LOTS of hidden drawers! Not only the ones in the nightstands (which come with keys to lock them-a great touch allowing us to lock up our IPads) and under the foot of the bed, but also under the sofa! Helpful hint 2-our verandah was about 2 feet shorter than my parents' verandah a few doors down. Not a big deal, but it did end up with less of an overhang and was often wet while theirs was completely covered and stayed dry. This seemed to keep their cabin a smidge cooler too, since the sun didn't beat in quite as much. Helpful hint 3-bring in your chair cushions at night...they'll be soaked with dew/fog/rain, depending on the weather. FOOD I'm not a foodie, and generally love food that I don't have to cook or clean up after. The beef dishes in the MDR was almost always great and done to order. While there were always things I tried and didn't love, there were MANY, MANY great things to eat. We generally tried to stay out of the Lido for the first 48 hours as many people here mentioned the LONG lines there as you're being served by the staff. We gave up after trying lunch in the MDR...very slow service...and very different from the service at dinner-our waiter, AA, was phenomenal. I liked the food in the Lido just fine, but did find it interesting that there were periods of time that it was closed, particularly when returning from Victoria. They had some pizza and ice cream available prior to setting up the "evening snack" that night which was hamburgers, but other times it was closed at odd times. Fortunately I didn't need any more food! Tried room service too...food was often delivered a little early. ENTERTAINMENT/SPA The entertainment was ok...some of the shows a little hokey. The country/western one was pretty good and the magician was great. The comedian only did two shows, both at odd times, which was disappointing, as we usually enjoy the comedian and couldn't see him. Didn't do any spa treatments, but DH used the fitness center and felt it was crowded, but okay. He couldn't always get on all the machines that he wanted to so he compensated with a walk around the deck-3 times around the Promenade deck equals a mile. I did a few yoga classes. They were comparable in price to most classes in studios at home, although they were much shorter. The instructor did a nice job tempering the poses to the experience and flexibility of the group who attended. Interestingly, there isn't a "package" of yoga classes-you pay as you go, but if you sign up and come to the first class, you're given priority for future classes in case they're too full. Helpful hint 4-if you have a yoga mat that you can bring, do it. I brought a yoga towel to put over my mat. They ask you to wipe down your mat afterwards with antibacterial wipes, but using a mat that God-knows how many people have done a half-pigeon on? Just, well, ewwww.... The casino was fun...a woman hit the jackpot on video poker one night-wish it would have been me, but it was fun to watch the fuss. Bingo was fun too, but I didn't win that either. DH loved the culinary presentations and took a computer class too that he said was pretty good. If you partake in such, there is a priest on board and Mass is said daily with interdenominational services as well. He was pretty funny to listen to and did talks of his own throughout the week. They're not posted in the daily program, so we could never find them. They sounded like they'd be interesting though and he was an enjoyable speaker, so I'm kind of sorry I didn't get to see him. PORTS It rained hell-bent in Juneau. In fact, they said that they hadn't had rain like it in weeks. Made for a VERY wet gold-panning expedition. The guide clearly loved his job and catered to the kids on the trip, but got us back to the ship very, very late. So late, in fact, that DH, DM-I-L and DF-I-L had already finished dinner. Our waiter, the fabulous AA, brought us dinner in record time. Glacier Bay is gorgeous and defies description. Sitka and Ketchikan are sweet towns. We didn't do any excursions there and just walked around instead-nice quilt shops in each port too, if you're interested. Victoria was beautiful with amazing weather. We booked a tour through Victoria Classic Car tours. We were picked up by Dale in a 1954 Cadillac and got a private tour. I have the contact information, but don't know if I'm allowed to post it here. If I am, I'll be happy to share. FYI...the waits for leaving the ship are HOT....and long. Helpful hint 5-dress in layers. DISEMBARKATION We did the Luggage Direct option with the airport transfer. Worked like a dream. We were off the ship by 7:50 and at the airport by 9:00. Helpful hint 6-at about 7:25, open your cabin door if you're still in your stateroom. You won't hear the disembarkation announcement otherwise. By the way, we had NO days of the week mats in the elevators and NO disembarkation talk. If anyone has any specific questions, I'm happy to answer!   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
As in other areas of service, dining and entertainment HAL has been cutting back on its stateroom amenities. Though these items were included in the HAL fact sheet of Stateroom Amenities, we found them lacking on the Westerdam. We did not ... Read More
As in other areas of service, dining and entertainment HAL has been cutting back on its stateroom amenities. Though these items were included in the HAL fact sheet of Stateroom Amenities, we found them lacking on the Westerdam. We did not have a steward escort us to our stateroom, or meet us there until well into the night. Service levels are still there, enhanced if you give the steward a tip in advance. The plush bathrobes that were promised, and experienced on previous cruises, now are absent unless you pay $49.00 each. there may be a complimentary fresh fruit basket, but it was empty. The satellite edition of the New York Times was no longer delivered to your cabin, had to hunt for it. The menus, both in the Vista Lounge and on the Lido buffet, suffered from a lack of variety over the three week cruise. Portions in the dining room, were decidedly smaller than previously experienced on a sister ship. Noted repeated use of leftover entree ingredients from the previous night incorporated into the following days appetizers, salads and soups. The lobster tails were very small, and only offered at two formal nights. Escargot only, one night, but frequent usage of smaller sizes of shrimp. The preparation of the nightly fish entree varied greatly in terms of cooking times, frequently dry and over cooked. The biggest disappointment was the use of half green tomatoes even in such dishes as a beefsteak tomato appetizer plate, and on the Lido salad line. Entertainment was generally geared toward the older crowd except for the delightful Roadhouse review. And even with a three week schedule, there were only a few song and dance shows. Comedians were okay, ventriloquist was the best show.Stateroom was comfortable in size, but the furnishings were outdated. The seating was very uncomfortable when one spent the evenings in the room. Had to pad the sofa with additional scatter pillows provided by the steward. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Our family of seven headed to Port Everglades through a massive traffic jam in our rented minivan. Port security asked two of us for identification which we provided and we slowly made our way to Pier 19. Boarding at Fort Lauderdale Pier ... Read More
Our family of seven headed to Port Everglades through a massive traffic jam in our rented minivan. Port security asked two of us for identification which we provided and we slowly made our way to Pier 19. Boarding at Fort Lauderdale Pier 19, you must have passports and boarding pass and health survey to board. Unfortunately, husband had my passport and he was returning the rental car at FLL. I was able to be seated in the terminal to wait for his return. In about one hour, he returned by taxi through the traffic jam at the port. We got into the line and moved quickly to the registration desks. Because we had sailed before, they had our photos from the previous trip in 2008. Our son had his photo quickly taken and our sea passes were issued. We were now on board and after dropping our hand luggage off in our room, we headed for the Lido deck for lunch. It was about 2:30pm and the Lido was crowded but we found lunch and a place to sit. Our ship was scheduled to depart at 4pm. We returned to our cabin located mid ship. It was more spacious than a standard balcony and the sofa converted to a single bed for our son. Our bed was a queen size bed. The bathroom had double sinks, a small shower with detachable shower head and a jetted bath with another detachable shower head. The shower was so tiny that the pan filled up with water so we found it better to shower in the tub. There were three small closets, one with shelves and safe, one where you can hang long items, and one that you can hang shorter items. There was a vanity with the hair dryer in the top left hand drawer. The remaining drawers you can use for small items. There is a media wall with TV and DVD player. There was a second desk area that my son used for his suitcase. He chose to live out of his suitcase instead of unpacking. We went down the hall to my daughter's cabin, category SB. Her cabin is larger than ours. They had a king size bed and a large sofa that converted into a bed for two persons. She had a dressing area before you entered the bathroom. The bathroom seemed to be the same size and configuration as our bathroom. The amenities include Neptune Lounge and laundry. They enjoyed the Neptune Lounge located on 7. They really liked the Concierge. The laundry was very handy for her family of 4, including two young children, ages 1 and 3. They generate a great deal of laundry. They really appreciated the extra room and bathtub for the children. Dining: We used the Lido Restaurant almost exclusively because of the young children. The menu for the Lido is different from the Vista Dining Room. There may be a couple items from the Vista that are served at the Lido. We ordered room service for a couple breakfasts and one dinner when surf and turf was on the Vista Room menu. My daughter and her family never entered the Vista Restaurant but my husband and I enjoyed the Mariner's Brunch and the final night in the Vista Room before we returned to Fort Lauderdale. The Lido Dining Room was adequate for our needs. The pasta station was excellent serving a terrific meat sauce. We found the Lido was crowded mostly at breakfast and lunch and less used at dinner. In fact they close down half the stations at dinner. We also found it inconvenient that the main buffet lines close at 8pm and because we are from the West Coast, head down to dinner late and almost missed dinner completely. After 8pm, there are limited offerings of pizza, pasta and drinks from 10:30pm until 11:30pm. After that you have to order room service with another limited menu if you are hungry. Room service for breakfast isn't that tasty. The best meal we had for room service was from the Vista Dining Menu; Filet Mignon and Lobster Tail with Escargot for appetizers. It was delicious! The service was great and they called to make sure we received our order. Room service tray had a small vase of flowers with the meal. I found that to be a nice touch. Appearance of Cabins and Rooms: The cabins were kept clean by Joko and Dewa. The cabins were well maintained and the balconies had sufficient room and furniture. We have absolutely no complaints about our cabins except we couldn't use the balconies when our neighbors smoked. Because I am allergic to smoke, I had to retreat to my cabin. I am grateful I didn't get second hand smoke inside the cabin. I wish Holland America would have a no smoking policy on balconies like other cruise lines. Appearance of the Ship: Outside of the ship, there were rusty areas but inside the ship, it was clean and well maintained. The rugs were clean and the areas kept very tidy by the staff. I did not use the exercise room but my son did and he said it was good. The public restrooms were very clean and consistently so. I appreciate the terry hand towels to wipe your hands. I have been on ships where the public restrooms were dirty and not kept up. There were potted orchids at every table at the Lido Restaurant. The staff was constantly cleaning tables so tables can be made available for other guests. Pool Area: The hot tubs were usually filled and the swimming pool outside the Lido Restaurant had children swimming. Small children aren't allowed in the pool but there is a perimeter around the pool with overflow and the grandkids waded and splashed happily. Amenities: The library is one of the better ship's libraries with some good selections to check out. There are magazines and newspapers also. The ship's computers for guests are located in the library. Outside the library is the Explorations Cafe for specialty coffees and desserts. We did not check out the DVD's or used the DVD player in our cabin. Shows: We did not attend any shows since we were sleepy after dinner. I had heard from other guests that the pianist and comedienne were very good. Final Comments: We do not agree with Cruise Critic posts that criticize Holland for bad food and a dirty ship. The food was on par with other lines and the facilities were far cleaner than other ships. This is our 14th sailing. In 2008, we sailed on Holland as part of a cruise tour and the food was superior. However, the overall experience on the Westerdam was more than adequate. It is a smaller and older ship and seem to vibrate or creak sometimes. However, we had no need for sea sickness patches that we brought because it was not that rocky where we were midship on 6. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2012
My husband and I are in our 40's. This was our ninth cruise and our third time on HAL. We expected the ship to be the similar to the Zuiderdam and Noordam which we have previously cruised on and we were not disappointed. We really ... Read More
My husband and I are in our 40's. This was our ninth cruise and our third time on HAL. We expected the ship to be the similar to the Zuiderdam and Noordam which we have previously cruised on and we were not disappointed. We really love the layout of these ships, especially the covered promenade deck that allows you to walk all the way around the ship without having to go inside and offers quiet space for reading and watching the waves. Embarkation was smooth and our room was ready upon arrival which was a pleasant first for us. Our room was an SY on the starboard side. We had never had a suite before and it was a treat to have a larger bathroom with double sinks, more space, and a larger balcony. Oddly, this cruise was shorter than our other HAL cruises and our room was bigger but I found I struggled with clothing storage. There were very few hangers and I missed the extra shelving that is over the TV in the balcony rooms. I realized on the last day that there are flip down shelves in the closets. I wish I had realized that sooner! One other minor irritation is that I have noticed on all three HAL ships that the balconies are always dirty when we arrive with the chair cushions all wet and unusable for days. Our room was cleaned timely but our room steward never introduced himself to us, in fact, we saw him only 2-3 times during the whole cruise where he called down the hallway to us to have a good day or evening but never got close enough for an introduction. Not a huge deal but we do usually enjoy meeting the person taking care of our room. It's a personal touch we've experienced on other cruises that we missed on this one. In addition to walking on the promenade deck, we enjoyed the comfy chairs in the Crow's Nest and partook in a few activities including trivia, bingo, and Mixology. Mixology really was the highlight of the activities and I can't give enough accolades to Nino, Bill, and Lisette at the Ocean Bar for the enjoyable time we had there. One thing we really loved was the surprise appetizers at happy hour. I've never had food served to me in the cruise ship bars before. That was awesome. During the cruise we participated in 2 HAL excursions and purchased one non-ship tour. The non-ship tour we took was horseback riding in Grand Turk with Sunset Rides and Tours and it was fabulous. If I get a chance I'll write a review for that on the boards as it does not belong here. In San Juan we took the El Yunque Rainforest Day Hike and I have written a review on HAL's site for that already so I won't go into detail here except to say we liked it. The other excursion we purchased was the Around the Island Art Tour which, in keeping with the 5 star rating on HAL's website, we loved. On Half Moon Cay we rented a clamshell which we needed due to our pale northern skin. Although that was a very inexpensive purchase I wasn't psyched about the clamshell as the chairs were on an embankment. The chairs sloped so steeply that I could not stay in the chair unless I put my feet on the bottom edge which quickly became very uncomfortable. We tried to adjust the chairs by digging sand out from under the legs but there were huge chunks of coral or cement under the sand and the small adjustments we were able to make didn't do much. We eventually gave up and made the best of it. At one point I moved the chairs out of the clamshell and put my towel down on the sand which was a bit better, doable at least. Switching over to food... the lido restaurant was good with reasonable selection, though fewer desserts than I remember which probably saved me some significant calories. I missed the trays because I often order my eggs over hard so they set aside my plate while the eggs cook and when they hand the plate to me it is too hot to carry. The first day that this happened I asked a nearby staff member for a tray and his response was "we don't have those anymore" so I set the plate down and went to find some napkins in order to be able to carry my plate. The next day I grabbed the napkins ahead of visiting the egg station. Finding a seat was not always easy but not the worst we've encountered. However, often there was no silverware and inquiring resulted in "it's on the table" which obviously wasn't the case or I wouldn't have gone looking for it. While this sort of service wasn't really ideal, it didn't ruin my vacation. And, I do want to credit the cooks in the buffet as they did a great job. They took my order quickly and delivered what I asked for the way I asked for it with a cheery smile and a "have a good day" every single time. For dinner we had "Select Dining". We traveled with some friends this time and seating was very efficient. Only once did we have to wait for a table. The food on the first couple days was just ok. The low point was a really really bad chocolate dessert. I took one bite and I almost spit it out because it tasted like soap. I wasn't going to say anything about it because I consider it divine intervention when I don't like the dessert, however, our friends seated with us also ordered this dessert and before I could say anything about it they tasted it and said "wow, that tastes bad" and I said "like what?" and they said "like soap!" Upon confirmation that it wasn't just my crazy taste buds we flagged someone down and ordered different desserts which came quickly and were much better. On the third day the food improved greatly. I particularly liked the wasabi crab roll which I think may have been served the same night as the turkey dinner which was also very good. There were also a few really good soups throughout the week and my husband had a hazelnut cream cake that was outstanding. We did go to the Pinnacle Grill once as well which was wonderful. I really like the experience of dining in the Pinnacle Grill, though I get bored of the menu which is always the same. The food really is awesome though, especially the spicy cream soup and the steak Diane. Regarding debarkation, we signed up for expedited debarkation and that went very smoothly for us. We were off the ship and at the airport in record time which was terrific because we were headed to visit family and had a bit of a drive ahead of us. Overall I like the older clientele and calmer vibe offered by the HAL cruises, and I really love the ship layout. We have had better service on other HAL cruises (particularly Zuideredam) but I feel my issues were minor and I'm not the type that needs to be waited on hand and foot to be happy. I was ok with what we got for the money we paid and I only mention the minor glitches here for those who need to know them as everyone has a different style and things that don't bother me might very much bother someone else, which is the whole point of writing and reading reviews. This reminds me that we did not receive an end of cruise survey in our room so I did not report anything you see here to HAL. Again, despite these minor issues we did have a great cruise vacation and I would get back on the Westerdam (or any HAL ship) in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2012
I went on this cruise with my mom. Embarkation was approximately 15 minutes. We were in stateroom 4092, which has a partial ocean view. We had a nice, ocean view out of half the window. We could hear the elevator ding when our tv ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my mom. Embarkation was approximately 15 minutes. We were in stateroom 4092, which has a partial ocean view. We had a nice, ocean view out of half the window. We could hear the elevator ding when our tv wasn't on, but that didn't bother me. Our room was always kept clean and the room stewards got us anything we requested. We had excursions at each port and not a lot time left over to explore the towns afterwards. We went whale watching, to the Raptor Center, on a sea otter excursion, and I went on a float plane ride. (I'll try to post a review about my excursions in the Alaska forum.) When we were on the ship, I went to a wine tasting, a mixology class, a photo class, and a towel animal class. I also went to see some shows. My mom even won a bracelet at one of the give-aways. My mom used the gym around 6:00 AM most days. She said there was sometimes a wait for the treadmills since they were allowed to be used for one hour at a time. My least favorite part about the Westerdam was the food. Some days a dish might taste really good and if you ordered it the next day, it would taste bad. Sometimes food would be over cooked and hard. I saw a few people send their food back during dinner. I also saw a lot of people piling food on their plates at the buffet, so I know everyone has a different idea about what they like. Overall, sailing on the Westerdam was a good time and I thought Alaska was beautiful. Of course, it probably helps that we had beautiful weather throughout our trip. We were told we could leave the ship at 8:00 AM and we walked out, grabbed our bags, presented our customs forms, and met our ride in about 15 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
We got a direct flight from Cincinatti to the airport and from there only a fifteen minute taxi to the ship. The first thing we noticed was how friendly and sweet the crew were. I've been on six other cruises with Princess Royal ... Read More
We got a direct flight from Cincinatti to the airport and from there only a fifteen minute taxi to the ship. The first thing we noticed was how friendly and sweet the crew were. I've been on six other cruises with Princess Royal Carribean and Carnival and this was the best crew yet. I saw several people being rude and ordering them around like slaves and they responded withcurtesy and kindness. We loved all the classic Greek statues out of mythology all over the ship. I liked the way they combined the library internet and cafe with lovely picture windows and comfortable chairs. My husband and I enjoyed many books from there. The aft pool area. Was also enjoyable. We enjoyed the view every night sitting on a deck chair there was romantic . During.g the day the aft pool was always the right tempature and deep. Mostly they kept the kids out of it which was nice. I thought the breakfast was very good and especially enjoyed the fruit eggs benedict and banana pancakes. The steaks roasts and fish were always good at night. We truly enjoyedbeing able to order from the dining room menu to out room and did this several nights. I thought the singers and dancers were better than princess. My favorite show though was with trachea the comic impressionist really good and I wish I had seen the german juggler. Heard good things about himOne of my favorite things on the ship though was the promenade deck great for taking walks and sunsets and the spa. Absolutely loved the hydrotherapy pool and thought those heated ceramic lounges were amazing. You would lie on them and smell the aromatherapy from the two steam rooms. Listen to the fountains and look out in the beautiful sea view and gradually the lounger would heat up under tour back and hips and feel amazing. Thought half moon cay was lovely and just pulled our chairs under shade near pirate ship bar. Lovely day. Loved Curacao. Clearest water I have been in. Went to jolting with two beaches nice pools and great margaritas. No problem getting day passes at gym. Might want to get pass with some drinks included since they are high. We will be back in this ship. So easy to get around Read Less
Sail Date: March 2012
Background: We are a couple in the 30's from Finland who enjoy exploring the world and cruising as well in a relaxed way. Cruised with Carnival, MSC, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and HAL. Chose the Westerdam because of the ports of call ... Read More
Background: We are a couple in the 30's from Finland who enjoy exploring the world and cruising as well in a relaxed way. Cruised with Carnival, MSC, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity and HAL. Chose the Westerdam because of the ports of call and to check a HAL ship. We took this cruise on March 18th 2012, in combination with a cruise on the Allure the week before. Embarkation: We came off the Allure and took a taxi from Allure to Westerdam, very straighforward. Embarkation is efficient and from taxi to entering Westerdam only took half an hour. We were on the ship around 11.30. We did have to wait for our luggage until 3.45 though, even we could see it laying on the dock for +2 hours. Ship overall: As we just came from the Allure, this ship was almost the opposite . Therefore no comparison to be made between the Allure and Westerdam. The Westerdam is a small ship, it has a cosy and quiet feeling. It is easy to navigate, also because it is not a large ship. All activities are concentrated on certain decks, so by the end of the day you know your way around. We found the interior a bit old and outdated. In the evenings, besides the shows (or if you enjoy spending you time in a smokey casino) there is not much to do on the Westerdam. The pools are quite (actually very) small and not much possibilities to take nice evening walks on the deck. The ship was well maintained. Room: We have an Aft Ocean-view Balcony. The room not too clean upon entering, but the stewards Anton and Dean did a great job to keep it and make it clean during our stay. The size of the room is just amazing. We felt it looked more like a hotel room than a stateroom. This is by far the largest stateroom we ever had. A really nice thing and would recommended anyone to go for the aft staterooms. Balcony: The balcony size was in accordance with our expectations. It was huge, 2 deckchairs, 1 normal chair, 1 table. The balcony was not kept that clean though. Also we were located on deck 4 and there is no balcony roof. We chose this deck, in order to enjoy the sun, but I would recommend to go to deck 6 or 7 and get an aft balcony from there so you are partly protected against the sun. Food: When on holidays and considering wearing suits during work, we do not want to dress up during our holidays and therefore do not attend the MDR. For lunch and dinner, we went to the Lido. During lunch, it was sometimes busy, in the evening it was always very quiet. The selection of food during lunch is good. During dinner, it is actually quite limited. The quality of the food on the Westerdam was above average compared to any other cruise line. They had some really nice dishes and on the first days even fresh strawberries. The lay out of the lido was somewhat confusing, also the line forming. After 7 days on the cruise, we still had to wander around trying to figure out what food was served where. We used room service during breakfast time, which was always delivered correctly and right on time. That was great. 1 major comment we would like to make in respect of food issues: Even though it is clearly stated that one should not refill its own cups at water/coffee stations, people continue doing this. I find this extremely unhygienic and do not understand the some people do not have any sense of understanding that filling up own water/coffee cups can spread a possibly virus. Unfortunately staff does not seem to bother and in 2 occasions they even assisted people filling up their bottles. And this whilst it appears HAL has a strict policy in respect of health/food safety, e.g. first 48 hours no self service. Entertainment: Hilby was just great. We have watch various shows on various cruises, but Hilby was (together with the Aqua show on the Allure) the best ever. So funny and hilarious. Other shows were average. Ports of call: Half Moon Cay: We booked this cruise in order to see Curacao and Bonaire. Half Moon Cay was "just" a "bonus". But we have to say, Half Moon Cay was the best port of this trip, one of the best ports ever visited and the beach is in our top 3 (next to Megan's Bay on St. Thomas and Shole Bay East on Anguilla) of best beaches. Wow. What an amazing place Half Moon Cay is! Just picture perfect scenery, it is nice to take a walk (e.g. to the Stingrays), enjoy the views, do a bit of shopping, have lunch (no lines) at the island and most of all, enjoy the views of the beach. Curacao: We had higher expectations of this port. Whilst the Dutch houses in Caribbean colors looked really nice, there was not much else to do in Willemstad. Bonaire: Rented a car, recommended. We toured the north and south part of the island. It was a rainy morning, but dry in the afternoon. Debarkation: Very smoothly, we waited not even 1 minute at customs and the considering we had a late departure number. The cruise was really nice, and I wouldn't say I would not cruise Westerdam again. However, for our next cruise, we would probably look for a newer ship. Westerdam is in our opinion a great ship for relaxing, enjoying your book on your balcony and cruising the ports you are interested in. The people on the cruise are indeed older than on e.g. Celebrity or RCI, but this didn't bother us. Read Less
Westerdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 2.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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