Good Value, Tired Ship: Westerdam Cruise Review by Ninjaneer

Westerdam 4
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Good Value, Tired Ship

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
The Westerdam was scheduled for dry dock immediately after this cruise and looked like it. In spite of the furious efforts of the crew to stay ahead of the inevitable entropy of sea travel, the ship looked tired and in need of service. The public spaces were not very impressive in decor or condition. The main dining area was very plain and passageways in the stateroom areas were truly dreadful with hideous artwork and drab finishes. This contrasted sharply with the handsomely appointed staterooms. Our "Superior Verandah Suite" was really more of an oversized balcony cabin than a suite, but it was very nice. The bed was the most comfortable of any I have experienced on a cruise. There was a reasonable amount of space to entertain guests and the large restroom with Jacuzzi was excellent. The only complaints we had with the stateroom were that the first day cleanup was not 100% thorough and the glass panels comprising the balcony handrail were so dirty they were nearly opaque. More The former was handled on subsequent days quite well by our cabin stewards and the latter by me with a wet towel.

The ship itself moved around under sail more than most in my experience, but that may have been due to its modest (by modern standards) size. However, it was very smooth-sailing and amazingly free of mechanical noise or vibration. It was so quiet that it was impossible to tell we had docked without looking outside. We noticed that despite being reasonably full, the ship never really felt crowded and we never had to wait in line for more than a few minutes.

The crew was delightful. Mainly Pilipino and Indonesian staff with Dutch officers, we got nothing but outstanding service from all. The food was also uniformly excellent with the specialty Le Cirque dinner a true 5-star experience. We availed ourselves of a high-end wine tasting that was memorable and well worth the extra cost. We also liked the flexible dining option very much.

Entertainment was somewhat limited compared to other cruise lines we have experienced, but was generally of good quality. The shopping areas were oddly configured, limited in size and scope, and not up to the level of the RC, Carnival and Cunard ships we had been on before. Even so, the staff, as elsewhere on board, was friendly and knowledgeable.

Administratively, the ship was run flawlessly, with check-in and check-out amazingly quick and efficient.

Overall, this was a very good cruise and well worth what we paid. Hopefully when Holland America returns the Westerdam from dry dock, some of the faults we found will be corrected and they will have kept all the best parts. Less

Published 04/18/12

Cabin review: 8092

Excellent location on ship. Very convenient to Lido Dining one deck up. The overhanging 9th deck structure above provided a nice sun and wind screen that increased the utility of our balcony and was an advantage over similar cabins on lower decks. The adjacent cabin (8090) had a diagonal balcony that was partially visible from ours, compromising privacy a little, but we did not mind it. The cabin itself was nicely appointed and the extra large bathroom a real treat.

Port and Shore Excursions

This is the perfect stop for "beach day." The beaches are immaculate, the sand like sugar and the water like liquid turquoise. There are a number of activities available, but relaxing and swimming were high on our list. Note that the nearby bar--which looks like a wrecked pirate ship--is a lot of fun but closes 2 hours before sailing time. I suggest bringing your own beverages!

St. Maarten had a very nice and easily accessible beach. We loved the cheap beer and seaside lounge chairs and umbrellas that were readily available for a modest charge. The only downside was a throng of vendors plying their wares about every 30 seconds directly in front of our view of the water. This was a major distraction from what was supposed to be relaxation, especially considering the rather impressive dimensions of some of them. One alternative is the nearby Hard Rock Cafe which has covered, outdoor, second-story seating and a nice view.

Compare Prices on Westerdam Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Read more Westerdam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Westerdam Review >>

Compare Prices on Westerdam Eastern Caribbean Cruises

Member Since 2011
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?
Skip X

See Westerdam deals up to 82% off:

September Deals
Westerdam 75% Loved It

12-day Mediterranean Rivieras
See all Westerdam Deals >>