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Westerdam Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,099 Reviews

Very pleasant cruise

Westerdam Cruise Review by LadyDi1002

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2017
  • Destination: the Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

This is our third HAL cruise. We like the atmosphere and the service on HAL.

The Westerdam is very nice, recently refreshed. The cabin was comfy, and big enough for the two of us. There is a small safe in a closet, plenty of hangers, and bathrobes, which I was happy to use. The bathroom was big enough, the tub and shower were easy to regulate, and there were plenty of towels.

We had open seating in the dining room, and we always shared a table. It was fun enjoying dinner with people from all over the world. The menu has been changed, I guess upgraded as the meals are designed by noted chefs. I always found something fun to try. The dining staff are very accommodating. I noticed menus were given to people with food allergies the at dinner for the next night. They could select their firsts, amins and desserts and make note of any required changes.

It seems that HAL has contracted a company called EXC to manage tours. I'd purchased two ahead of the cruise and two while on board. I'm not entirely happy with the tours and shared my concerns with the tour management. No big issues, but bothersome, e.g., a tour of the Acropolis and Athens was done in reverse order. We spent two hours touring the city before we got to the Acropolis. By that time it was nearly 11AM, hot, and the Acropolis was very crowded. Better to go to the Acropolis first when it was earlier in the day, cooler and far less crowded.

We only went to the nightly entertainment a few times, but enjoyed it each time.

HAL has embarkation and disembarkation down to a science, and gathering for tours is handled pretty well. Service is fab in all of the lounges, and on the Lido deck and Exploration Lounge on deck 10. There are some fun digital displays so one can get info about where the ship is, and also about upcoming ports.

We've been on the Oosterdam, the Zuiderdam, and now the Westerdam. We are looking forward to next year's cruise on the Nordam, so we will have been on all four compass point ships. Definitely looking forward to the Nordam.


LadyDi1002's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VE 5039

The Westerdam is very nice, recently refreshed. The cabin was comfy, and big enough for the two of us. There is a small safe in a closet, plenty of hangers, and bathrobes, which I was happy to use. The bathroom was big enough, the tub and shower were easy to regulate, and there were plenty of towels.

There was a smoker in the adjacent cabin, and this person was outside smoking all the time, so I was unable to enjoy my veranda. I did report it to the front desk and it was handled immediately and the smoking ceased.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Venice

We'd been to Venice a few times so didn't arrive early to go again. During the first sail away there was a narrator in the Explorers Lounge describing the city as we passed it. That was nearly as good as actually being there and we didn't have to deal with the crowds.

Sarande

This was pretty much a waste. None of the tours looked appealing, so we went into town and walked around. Not much to see.

Argostoli (Kefalonia)

This is a pretty typical Mediterranean Island. We took a HAL tour which was mediocre. IT was a bus ride to a tourist trap village for lunch which was at 10:30! and then a ride to a hidden lake. This was really pretty, but there was a 90 minute wait in the sun for a 10 minute boat ride.

Katakolon (Olympia)

We were tired, and chose to just walk through the port town at this stop. It is a lovely, very walkable town.

Nafplion

The tour was Ancient Corinth and Mycenae. We enjoyed it very much. We got to see the ancient forum where the Apostle Paul spoke. Then we went to the Citadel of Mycenae. It was a long walk up the hill but worth every step. We saw the Lion's Gate, and the remains of the Royal Palace and the Treasury of Atreus, known as the tomb of Agamemnon. Definitely worth the $150 per person.

Acropolis

The Acropolis was just as I imagined it, and the time spent there was great. It was very hot and crowded, and it was hard to take a photo without other tourists in the frame.

View All 390 Acropolis Reviews
City Tour

The tour was called The Acropolis and Athens City. We did the city first which was interesting, then to the Acropolis. By then it was after 11AM and very hot, the Acropolis was very crowded. Better to have done the Acropolis first earlier in the day when it would have been a bit cooler and less crowded.

View All 164 City Tour Reviews
Mykonos

Nice tourist trap, lovely shopping. There are lots of little cafes, and lots of jewelry stores with lovely silver and gold offerings, and clothing stores which featured Greek made clothing from Egyptian linen. Very nice.

City Tour

This was a fab two hours. Semis charged E50 for two of us. He took us all around the island, and was very knowledgable about its history. He drove us to all of the places to see beautiful vistas and ancient ruins. It was the best tour of the cruise. Semis can be reached at semispa@yahoo.gr

View All 28 City Tour Reviews
Oia Village

Everyone says this is the most beautiful island, and I'm thinking they are correct. It sure is beautiful. You take a tender to a non-descript docking area and then a bus which travels along a precarious road along the cliffs. It's a long drive to the little town of Oia. The town was a disappointment as it is a true tourist trap with the usual shops and cafes. To get down to get the tender back to the ship there is a cable car. It was a 90 minute wait in the sun, and people kept rudely cutting into the line. The other options are to take a donkey down the steep hill, or to walk.

Very pretty, very tiring.

View All 255 Oia Village Reviews
Amalfi Coast

We'd been to Naples before so just wanted a nice drive down the Amalfi Coast, a view of Positano, and a little while in Pompeii. This was a good tour, we had ample time to shop in Sorrento, drove the Amalfi coast which is breathtaking, and had a nice guided tour through Pompeii. Exactly what we wanted. The tour operator is CBM - Cant Be Missed. They were on time and got us back to the ship in plenty of time before all aboard.

View All 284 Amalfi Coast Reviews

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LadyDi1002
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