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I was in charge of researching the cruise for everyone. The fact that Holland America's website was difficult to use and uninformative on specifics made it very tough. Here is some of the info I needed: The adults had adjoining balcony cabins at the very end of the ship. Loved the views (take binoculars). There are panels separating the balconies. The steward can lock open the end panel so that you can go back and forth. Although the ship is not really set up for high schoolers, they had a great time. Three of them hung out a lot, the fourth made friends and hung out with other high schoolers. They had a teen only (13-17) mixer and other activities on the evening of departure, and lots of games and fun activities other times. The first night was rough sailing. We had motion two directions. My husband and I have vision issues that do not allow us to use the patch. We reoriented so that our feet pointed out the back of the ship. This worked for us. The La Cirque dinner (upcharge) is only available one night (Sitka). It sells out. It was very nice. The other special dinner sold out when we planned to go. There were two formal nights. The day at sea (Sunday) and after Ketchican (Thursday). Our group split up for excursions. Both groups really enjoyed the Juneau excursions. One group went to the glacier and saw whales, the other went on the shorter scientific expedition and saw lots of whales. Both groups were very happy with the wildlife viewed. If you book your excursion from the ship, we were told the ship will not leave you if you are late. This is important as the time in port in Ketchikan is very short--especially if you want to go fishing. Another benefit is that if you don't arrive, your fees are refunded. We were delayed leaving Ketchikan by travelers who were late getting back to the ship. We didn't get to get off the ship at Victoria because we missed the opportunity to dock before a storm blew up. The friends who had booked an excursion on board the ship got a refund. Glacier Bay--Be sure to go up to the top of the ship early. The National Park Rangers and interpretive guide had a very nice program and were selling a limited quantity of books that they carried up the side of the ship! We took a case of wine. There was a small corkage charge and, we ended up with wines that we much preferred. The waiters put our name on opened bottles and stored them in a refrigerated area until the next night. In addition to all the other ways/times to eat, there was room service. It always came on time and was nice. Overall, there were many daily activities on this ship. Although I was not impressed by the talent in the main evening show, there was a lovely classical duo, and the Blues Club show was very good. I thought the embarkation and disembarkation was handled very well. I thought the food was okay..

4-High Schoolers, 4 Parents, and a Grandmother

Westerdam Cruise Review by Horned Frog 2

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
I was in charge of researching the cruise for everyone. The fact that Holland America's website was difficult to use and uninformative on specifics made it very tough. Here is some of the info I needed:

The adults had adjoining balcony cabins at the very end of the ship. Loved the views (take binoculars). There are panels separating the balconies. The steward can lock open the end panel so that you can go back and forth.

Although the ship is not really set up for high schoolers, they had a great time. Three of them hung out a lot, the fourth made friends and hung out with other high schoolers. They had a teen only (13-17) mixer and other activities on the evening of departure, and lots of games and fun activities other times.

The first night was rough sailing. We had motion two directions. My husband and I have vision issues that do not allow us to use the patch. We reoriented so that our feet pointed out the back of the ship. This worked for us.

The La Cirque dinner (upcharge) is only available one night (Sitka). It sells out. It was very nice. The other special dinner sold out when we planned to go.

There were two formal nights. The day at sea (Sunday) and after Ketchican (Thursday).

Our group split up for excursions. Both groups really enjoyed the Juneau excursions. One group went to the glacier and saw whales, the other went on the shorter scientific expedition and saw lots of whales. Both groups were very happy with the wildlife viewed. If you book your excursion from the ship, we were told the ship will not leave you if you are late. This is important as the time in port in Ketchikan is very short--especially if you want to go fishing. Another benefit is that if you don't arrive, your fees are refunded. We were delayed leaving Ketchikan by travelers who were late getting back to the ship. We didn't get to get off the ship at Victoria because we missed the opportunity to dock before a storm blew up. The friends who had booked an excursion on board the ship got a refund.

Glacier Bay--Be sure to go up to the top of the ship early. The National Park Rangers and interpretive guide had a very nice program and were selling a limited quantity of books that they carried up the side of the ship!

We took a case of wine. There was a small corkage charge and, we ended up with wines that we much preferred. The waiters put our name on opened bottles and stored them in a refrigerated area until the next night.

In addition to all the other ways/times to eat, there was room service. It always came on time and was nice.

Overall, there were many daily activities on this ship. Although I was not impressed by the talent in the main evening show, there was a lovely classical duo, and the Blues Club show was very good.

I thought the embarkation and disembarkation was handled very well. I thought the food was okay..
Horned Frog 2’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 16+
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 7136
It was fine. Loved looking out over the back.
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews