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This was my family's first cruise and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were surprised at how attentive the staff was and how well-cared-for we felt. We had no pre-conceptions or notions as to how cruises generally were so we were surprised at all of the niceties and courtesies we were given while on the cruise and at ports. We have decided cruising is the most bang for the buck because there would be no way a family of 5 could stay for 7 nights, have at least 3 meals a day, attend events and shore excursions and basically have your every wish granted. It was a real eye opener. I mean, sure, there will be times where we'll want to travel to one destination and spend more than a day there but it was perfect to get a sampling of the Mexican Riviera for a day and then go back to OUR ship and get comfortable again. It becomes a proprietary thing, when you feel you belong to a ship and a ship belongs to you. We feel that way about the Westerdam but we're definitely going to give the rest of Holland America's fleet a chance. We're already getting ready to book our next annual family vacation with HAL. I also think I would consider a quick getaway for my husband and me aboard HAL, too. Holland America is definitely a destination for every family of every type - small, large, empty-nesters, etc... So glad we chose Holland America!!

Everything we hoped it would be and so much more

Westerdam Cruise Review by TheOceansAwait

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2016
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Signature Superior Verandah Suite
This was my family's first cruise and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were surprised at how attentive the staff was and how well-cared-for we felt. We had no pre-conceptions or notions as to how cruises generally were so we were surprised at all of the niceties and courtesies we were given while on the cruise and at ports. We have decided cruising is the most bang for the buck because there would be no way a family of 5 could stay for 7 nights, have at least 3 meals a day, attend events and shore excursions and basically have your every wish granted. It was a real eye opener. I mean, sure, there will be times where we'll want to travel to one destination and spend more than a day there but it was perfect to get a sampling of the Mexican Riviera for a day and then go back to OUR ship and get comfortable again. It becomes a proprietary thing, when you feel you belong to a ship and a ship belongs to you. We feel that way about the Westerdam but we're definitely going to give the rest of Holland America's fleet a chance. We're already getting ready to book our next annual family vacation with HAL. I also think I would consider a quick getaway for my husband and me aboard HAL, too. Holland America is definitely a destination for every family of every type - small, large, empty-nesters, etc... So glad we chose Holland America!!
TheOceansAwait’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Signature Superior Verandah Suite
Cabin SS 8048 & 8050
We had adjoining Signature suites and we had them remove the divider on the balconies so we could connect the rooms. It was amazing! Our rooms were kept immaculately and the staff were so friendly and gently professional that we never felt hovered over or bothered by their presence in any way.
Upper Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach
    We really our travel excursion company - Explore Cruise & Travel. It was very obvious that we'd have been confused and frazzled by all of the commotion at the port at Cabo if we hadn't had something lined up. It was a bit disconcerting to be hassled by nearly everyone at the port for our business. I hated to ignore them but mostly, I politely explained we already had reservations with Explore. It was something we just had to get used to and we learned not to 'admire' anything at any shop - otherwise, you'd be pursued mercilessly until you finally had to nearly run out of the shop. Our tour group stood out from among other vendors with their uniforms and logo-ed shirts. They were professional and took charge of our group right away. The guides to the arch were amazing and informative. I'll never forget their kindnesses and professionalism, even though I'm sure they've seen it all a thousand times. Well worth the time and $$.
    View All 29 The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach Reviews
  • City Tour
    Chilly Willy entertained us with his stories of Mazatlan while we sat in an air-conditioned bus visiting sites like the church downtown, the market, the opera and a silver merchant's shop.
    View All 49 City Tour Reviews
  • Cliff Diving Show
    The cliff diving show was a bit sad and we felt like we were just there to - yet again - be encouraged to tip 'someone' - anyone. It was a bit of a let down.
    View All 12 Cliff Diving Show Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    We loved Puerto Vallarta the best out of all of our port stops. We were't accosted quite as much as other ports and the views on our way to our secluded cove were amazing! The hike to get to the cove was a bit strange. It wasn't so much of a nature hike as it was a path that the locals took to get from point A to B. So, it wasn't very striking as the view of the cove was once we came out of the hike. The cove seemed like it was just there waiting for us. We snorkeled out quite a ways and the current was strong, giving us quite a work out. All in all, I would have liked to stay there for the rest of the trip and enjoy the solitude and beauty of that secret hideaway. Our tour guides were excellent were excellent and we felt we were well taken care of throughout the excursion.
    View All 21 Snorkeling Reviews
  • San Diego
    This was our departure port so we didn't do much at this location. San Diego is beautiful and though it was a bit chilly, the weather was perfect for a stroll near the port. The port was immaculately kept and we felt secure there.
    View All 291 San Diego Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Diego Cruise Port Review