Westerdam - Northern Europe: Westerdam Cruise Review by barbara gesse

Westerdam 5
barbara gesse

Overall Member Rating

Westerdam - Northern Europe

Sail Date: May 2004
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Venice
We just returned from the Westerdam's 2nd voyage and it was a marvelous experience. I was a little leery of going on such an early voyage but Holland America outdid themselves on this cruise.

The crew is friendlier than ever and more than willing to do anything for the customer. The ship itself is very spacious--even with a full contingent of passengers you never felt crowded. The only time I couldn't find a seat was at the disembarkation lecture so I just left and caught it later on the tv.

The newly revamped Lido is outstanding. We hardly ever waited at all. The viewing from the Vista Lounge is excellent. But best of all is their newly implemented Signature of Excellence program. All staterooms have lovely linens and bathrobes. There are now 4 dining times which is an improvement. If only HAL would go to open dining so we could eat at 7:30 and with whomever we wanted--then their product would be the best in the market!

But the best change was the More addition of the gratuities to your shipboard account on a daily basis. This is so much fairer to all of the staff and takes away a lot of the negative feelings we always felt on the last night of a cruise. (It's hard enough to get off the ship anyway!) We participated in a lot of the shore excursions and felt they were very good value for the money. All guides were excellent and the ports were fascinating--Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey and Malta. We have cruised Radisson more than any other line and this experience ranked up there with those trips. The food was every bit as good.

The decor was a bit more splashy than other HAL ships but very attractive. I particularly liked all the orchids and cloth towels in all the public restrooms. Treat yourself to a cruise on this ship and you won't be sorry! Less

Published 06/23/04

Cabin review: ss6106

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