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We chose this cruise as it was 10 days and in Europe so fitted with other commitments and took us to ports we had visited some time ago. We have completed 14 HAL cruises and this was our first time on the Westerdam. Some of the changes to the Ship seem to be a mistake. The loss of the Library particularly, there are very few books now and the Crows Nest is not conducive to a peaceful quiet read, it was such an adaptable space but is now not as comfortable and well set out although it houses the few books available. There are useful tables which are full of information at the touch of the screen which is a new and useful addition but otherwise not a good change to the ship since refit. We had a Signature suite which was comfortable and well serviced by Rosy and Nana, and we appreciated the TV although disappointed that Port Talks were no longer available on screen, so if you were unable to attend the Port talk there was no opportunity to see it in the stateroom. On board activities were almost non existent, we have had the fun of pool games and indoor "golf" and various well thought out games but nothing in Westerdam. The dining room food was sometimes cold and the service we experienced was slow although we had late dining at a table for 2. Our biggest bugbear was the standard of dress. No one expects "tuxedos and diamonds" when people fly half way round the world to join a ship, but even on formal nights we were surrounded by distressed jeans, t shirts shorts and very beach type "smart casual "wear. It was disappointing for those people who had made an effort to dress suitably. There was always the Lido if folk didn't wish to conform to dress code, but this was not enforced unfortunately. The entertainment on board was at times excellent, we had a wonderful pianist from Istanbul who played for an hour and had his audience spellbound, the comedian and magician were good, but have to say the Westerdam Singers and Dancers were among the worst we have ever seen. The shows were lacking any flair or good costumes and the music was far too loud and racous, the best place to listen was in the Casino! We only did one shore excursion through the ship, their excursions are far too expensive and we object to being herded with a number badge from place to place, but we had some excellent excursion with fellow cruisers which we enjoyed and used hop on hop off buses in several ports which with exception of Messina were excellent value. We were disappointed that so much of the upper deck space is now given over to Cabanas which denied access to the front of the ship to all other cruisers, unless willing to pay for use of The Retreat. Embarkation was well executed, but disembarking was disorganised because too many people crowded the access routes despite it not being their time for leaving the ship. Not sure we would choose to cruise in Westerdam again and sorry her sister ships are due for the same changes.

Not the best HAL cruise

Westerdam Cruise Review by marinermari

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise as it was 10 days and in Europe so fitted with other commitments and took us to ports we had visited some time ago. We have completed 14 HAL cruises and this was our first time on the Westerdam. Some of the changes to the Ship seem to be a mistake. The loss of the Library particularly, there are very few books now and the Crows Nest is not conducive to a peaceful quiet read, it was such an adaptable space but is now not as comfortable and well set out although it houses the few books available. There are useful tables which are full of information at the touch of the screen which is a new and useful addition but otherwise not a good change to the ship since refit.

We had a Signature suite which was comfortable and well serviced by Rosy and Nana, and we appreciated the TV although disappointed that Port Talks were no longer available on screen, so if you were unable to attend the Port talk there was no opportunity to see it in the stateroom. On board activities were almost non existent, we have had the fun of pool games and indoor "golf" and various well thought out games but nothing in Westerdam.

The dining room food was sometimes cold and the service we experienced was slow although we had late dining at a table for 2. Our biggest bugbear was the standard of dress. No one expects "tuxedos and diamonds" when people fly half way round the world to join a ship, but even on formal nights we were surrounded by distressed jeans, t shirts shorts and very beach type "smart casual "wear. It was disappointing for those people who had made an effort to dress suitably. There was always the Lido if folk didn't wish to conform to dress code, but this was not enforced unfortunately.

The entertainment on board was at times excellent, we had a wonderful pianist from Istanbul who played for an hour and had his audience spellbound, the comedian and magician were good, but have to say the Westerdam Singers and Dancers were among the worst we have ever seen. The shows were lacking any flair or good costumes and the music was far too loud and racous, the best place to listen was in the Casino!

We only did one shore excursion through the ship, their excursions are far too expensive and we object to being herded with a number badge from place to place, but we had some excellent excursion with fellow cruisers which we enjoyed and used hop on hop off buses in several ports which with exception of Messina were excellent value.

We were disappointed that so much of the upper deck space is now given over to Cabanas which denied access to the front of the ship to all other cruisers, unless willing to pay for use of The Retreat.

Embarkation was well executed, but disembarking was disorganised because too many people crowded the access routes despite it not being their time for leaving the ship. Not sure we would choose to cruise in Westerdam again and sorry her sister ships are due for the same changes.
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