1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Westerdam
We are equal opportunity cruisers…we will consider almost any line and choose based on itinerary, schedule, and price. As an example, our last four cruises have been Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and most recently Holland America. Our next cruise is on Regal Princess so maybe we're repeating the cycle, who knows? We were on the first Westerdam cruise following dry dock at the end of April. Our cruise was extremely port intensive. It was a 12 night cruise with only one sea day. My husband and I thought the ship was an excellent choice for such a port intensive itinerary, but I don't think we would choose it for an itinerary with a lot of sea days. For a cruise with a lot of sea days, we prefer a larger ship with a wider variety of venues and activities. We didn’t do too much in the evenings because of the type of cruise…we were worn out after full days of touring! One change that was made during drydock was the addition of Billboard Onboard, a dueling piano bar that packed people in every night. That venue and Lincoln Center Stage were always crowded and had loyal followers. We appreciated the smoke-free casino but didn't spend too much time there. I was lucky enough to hit a decent payout on a slot machine early in the cruise and thought it prudent to lock up the cash and stay out of there! I can't tell you much else about the nightlife because our days were so long and tiring we became early to bed cruisers! In my opinion, the food in the dining room and Lido was very good. I liked having items served in the Lido, and the limited hours were not a problem for us because we usually had lunch on shore. We had any time dining and never had to wait for a table. The burgers and fries at the "Dive-In" window were excellent! We also enjoyed specialty dining in the Pinnacle Grille and Canaletto. We were in a Neptune Suite which had been beautifully refurbished during the dry dock. Service throughout the ship was exceptional, and we had no problems that were related to the drydock. The Crow's Nest was closed during our cruise due to continuing construction. We were given a $200 OBC each for that inconvenience. I thought the ship was a great choice for the ports that we visited. My preference on this kind of itinerary is for a "smaller" ship, which ruled out quite a few options. My other requirement was a minimal number of sea days since I can get those closer to home without spending the money to fly transatlantic. Believe it or not, I actually could have used an additional sea day! We loved the places that we visited, but it really was very tiring. I can’t over-emphasize the importance of planning. I read/heard complaints about a lack of things to do in several of our lesser known ports, but we had a great time on the independent excursions we booked. We thought variety was important…you can only walk around so many ancient walled cities without a plan! I would put HAL at the top of my list for this kind of cruise, and I would visit again at the same time of year. Because it was early in the season the ports weren’t too crowded and we were able to dock in ports we had anticipated would be tender ports. We wanted a ship to truly be our floating hotel on this trip, and the Westerdam did the job perfectly!

An Awesome Adriatic Dream on the Westerdam

Westerdam Cruise Review by Cindy

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are equal opportunity cruisers…we will consider almost any line and choose based on itinerary, schedule, and price. As an example, our last four cruises have been Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and most recently Holland America. Our next cruise is on Regal Princess so maybe we're repeating the cycle, who knows?

We were on the first Westerdam cruise following dry dock at the end of April. Our cruise was extremely port intensive. It was a 12 night cruise with only one sea day. My husband and I thought the ship was an excellent choice for such a port intensive itinerary, but I don't think we would choose it for an itinerary with a lot of sea days. For a cruise with a lot of sea days, we prefer a larger ship with a wider variety of venues and activities.

We didn’t do too much in the evenings because of the type of cruise…we were worn out after full days of touring! One change that was made during drydock was the addition of Billboard Onboard, a dueling piano bar that packed people in every night. That venue and Lincoln Center Stage were always crowded and had loyal followers. We appreciated the smoke-free casino but didn't spend too much time there. I was lucky enough to hit a decent payout on a slot machine early in the cruise and thought it prudent to lock up the cash and stay out of there! I can't tell you much else about the nightlife because our days were so long and tiring we became early to bed cruisers!

In my opinion, the food in the dining room and Lido was very good. I liked having items served in the Lido, and the limited hours were not a problem for us because we usually had lunch on shore. We had any time dining and never had to wait for a table. The burgers and fries at the "Dive-In" window were excellent! We also enjoyed specialty dining in the Pinnacle Grille and Canaletto.

We were in a Neptune Suite which had been beautifully refurbished during the dry dock. Service throughout the ship was exceptional, and we had no problems that were related to the drydock. The Crow's Nest was closed during our cruise due to continuing construction. We were given a $200 OBC each for that inconvenience.

I thought the ship was a great choice for the ports that we visited. My preference on this kind of itinerary is for a "smaller" ship, which ruled out quite a few options. My other requirement was a minimal number of sea days since I can get those closer to home without spending the money to fly transatlantic. Believe it or not, I actually could have used an additional sea day! We loved the places that we visited, but it really was very tiring.

I can’t over-emphasize the importance of planning. I read/heard complaints about a lack of things to do in several of our lesser known ports, but we had a great time on the independent excursions we booked. We thought variety was important…you can only walk around so many ancient walled cities without a plan!

I would put HAL at the top of my list for this kind of cruise, and I would visit again at the same time of year. Because it was early in the season the ports weren’t too crowded and we were able to dock in ports we had anticipated would be tender ports. We wanted a ship to truly be our floating hotel on this trip, and the Westerdam did the job perfectly!
Cindy’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Cabin
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Westerdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite
Cabin SB 5191
This beautifully refurbished Neptune Suite has a huge, completely covered balcony overlooking the wake and side of the ship. It isn't huge by suite standards...the draw is the balcony and view.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    We had a fantastic day with Corfu Taxi Tours! We toured with one other couple, and our driver did an excellent job of getting to know us and tailoring the day to our touring style! I loved that "Spiros 2" took us to see some hidden gems we would have missed on our own. We had low expectations for Corfu, and the day couldn't have been better!
    View All 44 City Tour Reviews
  • Dubrovnik
    We were supposed to take a Bosnian Wine Tour with Taste Dubrovnik, but that tour was cancelled on the day of due to an accident with our driver and guide. :( Six of us ended up hiring a van to take us to some scenic sights and then to Old Town. We enjoyed a nice lunch and walked the wall, but I think the day would have been more enjoyable if we had been able to take our scheduled tour or if we had plans. I felt like we were just wandering aimlessly for a good part of the day. Walking the wall was fun and interesting, but if we were going to return I would make sure we had an activity in addition to visiting Old Town.
    View All 1,115 Dubrovnik Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Dubrovnik Cruise Port Review
  • Skocjan Caves
    We loved our day with Roundabout Travel in Slovenia. We started with a tour of the caves. They were fascinating, and actually a little scary in places. This is not the spot for you if you're unable to climb steep slopes or are afraid of heights! I'm glad we toured the caves, but I'm not sure I'd go again! Please note at the caves you're at the mercy of the local authorities, and you will be placed in a fairly large group for the hike through the caves. Our group had about 30 people, and everything had to be said in two languages.

    We had lunch at a fabulous family owned restaurant, Muha in the tiny town of Lokev, then made the short drive to Lipica Stud Farm to see the famous Lippizaner stallions. The facility is pristine and very interesting, but the highlight of the visit was a performance of the riding school. The horses are magnificent and the show was very interesting.

    There didn't seem to be anything to do in Koper in the immediate area of the port. I recommend researching options for a tour if you visit Koper.
    View All 6 Skocjan Caves Reviews
  • City Tour
    We had a terrific day with Korcula Explorer. We walked through the countryside of Lumbarda and stopped at two wineries for tastings and lunch. The owner, Rachael was friendly and pleasant. I found the company to be very responsive before, during, and after our tour. I know quite a few people didn't care for Korcula because they didn't think there was anything to do/see. We loved our day...it got us out away from the port and walled city for an authentic look at a region and a peek at Life on Korcula.
    View All 2 City Tour Reviews
  • Montenegro Highlights
    Mladen Lalatovic, the owner of Montenegro M Tours was a fantastic host for our day in Kotor. The scenery was breathtakingly beautiful, and we enjoyed the towns of Perast and Budva. I recommend getting out and seeing some of the surrounding area as opposed to just staying in the walled city of Kotor. Perast was stunning, and Budva was a wonderful choice for an outdoor lunch in a non-touristy environment.
    View All 70 Montenegro Highlights Reviews
  • City Tour
    We loved our walking tour with Photograph Malta! The owner/operator took us to many sights we would have missed on our own. She provided us with local knowledge and photography tips! After the tour she recommended a lovely bistro where the four of us from the tour had a fantastic meal outside enjoying the beautiful evening.
    View All 61 City Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    This was a very good "Welcome to Rome" walking tour that included highlights such as the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps. Our guide was very personable and we enjoyed the tour, although we were exhausted by the time we were done since we had arrived that afternoon.
    View All 306 City Tour Reviews
  • Colosseum
    This was an excellent tour with an extremely knowledgeable guide through Livitaly. We paid more for this tour because they take a maximum of six people in a group, and it was well worth it! Our tour of the dungeons and third level were fascinating, and our walk around the Roman Forum was enriched by our guide's knowledge.
    View All 169 Colosseum Reviews
  • Culinary tour
    We really enjoyed our Trastevere Food Tour with Eating Italy. The stops were varied and interesting, and the portions were plentiful. Highly recommended!
    View All 20 Culinary tour Reviews
  • Historic Tour
    Our "Rome as a Local" tour with Walks of Italy was fantastic. On this combination walking/mini-bus tour we saw Trastevere and the Jewish Ghetto before driving to see Circus Maximus, the Baths of Caracalla, the Appian Way, and the Park of the Aqueducts. It was a fascinating tour!
    View All 44 Historic Tour Reviews
  • Vatican Museums
    This was an excellent tour with an extremely knowledgeable guide through Livitaly. We paid more for this tour because they take a maximum of six people in a group, and it was well worth it! Our early entrance tour was well worth the price of admission...even the Sistine Chapel was relatively uncrowded compared to the throngs of people later. I highly recommend touring the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's with a guide.
    View All 122 Vatican Museums Reviews
  • Walking Tour
    Our excellent walking tour of Diocletian's Palace and the old city took us to the basements and far off the beaten path for lunch. This was an enjoyable walking tour with a very knowledgeable guide. The city was very crowded when we visited because it was a Saturday and a festival/holiday weekend.
    View All 27 Walking Tour Reviews
  • Taormina (Messina)
    We loved our Hidden Villages and Godfather Tour through Sicily Life. Our driver made the best of a bad traffic situation by rearranging our itinerary to maximize our time touring instead of sitting in traffic. We thought the tiny village of Savoca was the most interesting spot. We got a workout on this tour. There's only one way up and one way down if you want to see the famous church and the upper part of the town, and that's on foot!
    View All 11,618 Taormina (Messina) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Taormina (Messina) Cruise Port Review
  • City Tour
    Our "Venice in a Day" tour through Walks of Italy was our only touring disappointment of the whole trip. We really didn't connect with our guide, and didn't feel like she listened to us. She had a schedule to keep and a script to follow, and by golly that's what she did, even when we all said enough!

    I enjoyed the morning part of the tour, which was walking through markets and neighborhoods as well as a gondola ride. My only complaint would be that we moved too quickly. In the afternoon we toured Saint Mark's and the Doge's Palace. I was not alone in thinking the tour of the Doge's Palace would never end! It was just too much, and I finally took my headphones out and went to my own little world. I think the tour was a little too ambitious for a single day. I chose it because we hadn't been to Venice, but I would choose differently next time.
    View All 27 City Tour Reviews
  • Culinary Tour
    We really enjoyed our Progressive Dinner in Cannaregio with Myra and Adam of Venice Bites. We had cichetti at three different locations, a sit down meal of pasta and salad, Gelato for dessert, and after dinner drinks overlooking the Grand Canal. Food tours are a great way to discover some off the beaten path eateries and see some back streets and quiet neighborhoods of a city in the process.
    View All 5 Culinary Tour Reviews
  • Venice Walking Tour
    Our off the beaten path tour of Dorsoduro with Luisella Romeo of See Venice was fantastic! Luisella is passionate about her city, and it shows in her enthusiasm. We especially enjoyed seeing some things that are far, far from the popular tourist sights and their throngs of people. I will definitely reserve another tour with Luisella when we return to Venice, and see another hidden part of the city!
    View All 64 Venice Walking Tour Reviews