My wife and I did the 12 day cruise from Vancouver to San Diego then to the Mexican Riviera and back to San Diego. It was broken down into 2 distinct sailings, which I didn't realize was the case when I booked it. I should have known, but didn't. The first 5 days was great with the exception of the first sea day which was rainy. But with HAL, there is much to do and interesting people to meet, so all was good. The ports we visited on this leg of the cruise (Vancouver, San Francisco, Catalina, and San Diego) were great and the excursions were ok. The second leg of the cruise which was 7 days was another story. Totally different clientele (class) on this portion of the cruise. Lots of children and adults who normally would be on a Carnival cruise. Very disappointing! First day out a child decided to poop in the main pool which shut it down for 2 1/2 days. It probably cost the cruise line a small fortune in labor and in loss of drink revenue. So I was a little surprised when the crew did not restrict the children from using the aft deck pool. One would have thought that the public relations involved with restricting the children from the remaining pool would have worked better than taking the chance of a repeat of what happened to the main pool. The ports in Mexico (Cabo, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta) were your typical beach type of port. Nothing earth shattering, but nice.
In keeping this short, overall I thought the Westerdam is a good ship. It compares favorably to HAL's other ships and other cruise lines ships. My wife and I have sailed many times. The crew and staff were great. Food was good. Room was clean and comfortable.
Our only complaint, is that we noticed a definite drop off in what Holland America had been in the past. This I believe is due to the pricing, and policy adoptions from it's parent company Carnival. It did not have anything to do with the crew or staff.
Our feeling is that Holland America is rapidly becoming another Carnival and in order to get that old Holland America vibe back, I will have to bump up to another cruise line and watch the pricing closely. If they too have fire sale cabin pricings, it will be best not to sail on it.
I have talked with many 4,3, and 2 star mariners on the cruise and they were voicing the same concerns. Won't be sailing Holland America again until it shapes up.