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We were attracted to this cruise because of the itinerary which included many places we had not seen before. And we were not disappointed! The sea was very rough at Monaco, and the staff was very professional and efficient getting people on and off the tenders. When the wind and rough seas made it impossible to go to St. Tropez (a tender port), the captain made the wise decision to go to Villefranche which was lovely and very enjoyable. But the refit of the Westerdam was a great disappointment, especially the disappearance of the library. The Crow's Nest is no longer an inviting place. The former comfortable reclining chairs in front of the windows are gone. The board game collection has been greatly reduced and moved to another small room, and it was often closed at 4 PM, so there was no opportunity for a game after dinner. Jo Leggett got it right--the ship is thoroughly average! Like some other reviewers, we had trouble with our air conditioner, and I resorted to wearing ear plugs at night to cut the noise of air rushing through it. After several appeals to our cabin steward, I spoke to someone at the front desk, and then it was fixed. But there should be a way to turn it off if desired. Embarkation was smooth and easy. We stayed in an excellent B&B in the town of Fumicino before the cruise and had a nice lunch in Civitaveccia (there is an excellent gelato shop right on the main street!) before going to the port. We didn't experience the formal disembarkation process because we left the ship on the day it arrived in Barcelona (we had seen a lot of Barcelona at the end of a previous cruise). We enjoyed the meals in the dining room and had fabulous stewards (Jaka and Chukran) who remembered all of our requests from one day to another. The meals were very good, and the portion sizes were just right for us. And the omelets in the Lido at breakfast were delicious! We were generally able to find a table there at breakfast without too much trouble. We did not take any of the ship's shore excursions--they are very expensive. But we had a wonderful day tour with Spain Day Tours to the Alhambra, and we had an excellent local guide there. I also arranged for a private van tour of Marseille and Provence with Alcyon Riviera Tours. They suggested I put a message on the Cruise Critic board for the cruise to recruit three additional couples to share the tour, and that worked very well. Our guide took us to several places the ship's tours did not go which were most enjoyable. For other ports, I read guide books (primarily by Rick Steves) and brought along copies of the relevant pages to give us pointers of what to see. We are 3-star Mariners and have had several cruises with HAL and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them, so the Westerdam was a bit of a disappointment even though the staff does what they can to overcome the problems.

Missed the library and Crow's Nest--Will Avoid the Westerdam in the Future

Westerdam Cruise Review by dthawkins418

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We were attracted to this cruise because of the itinerary which included many places we had not seen before. And we were not disappointed! The sea was very rough at Monaco, and the staff was very professional and efficient getting people on and off the tenders. When the wind and rough seas made it impossible to go to St. Tropez (a tender port), the captain made the wise decision to go to Villefranche which was lovely and very enjoyable. But the refit of the Westerdam was a great disappointment, especially the disappearance of the library. The Crow's Nest is no longer an inviting place. The former comfortable reclining chairs in front of the windows are gone. The board game collection has been greatly reduced and moved to another small room, and it was often closed at 4 PM, so there was no opportunity for a game after dinner. Jo Leggett got it right--the ship is thoroughly average!

Like some other reviewers, we had trouble with our air conditioner, and I resorted to wearing ear plugs at night to cut the noise of air rushing through it. After several appeals to our cabin steward, I spoke to someone at the front desk, and then it was fixed. But there should be a way to turn it off if desired.

Embarkation was smooth and easy. We stayed in an excellent B&B in the town of Fumicino before the cruise and had a nice lunch in Civitaveccia (there is an excellent gelato shop right on the main street!) before going to the port. We didn't experience the formal disembarkation process because we left the ship on the day it arrived in Barcelona (we had seen a lot of Barcelona at the end of a previous cruise).

We enjoyed the meals in the dining room and had fabulous stewards (Jaka and Chukran) who remembered all of our requests from one day to another. The meals were very good, and the portion sizes were just right for us. And the omelets in the Lido at breakfast were delicious! We were generally able to find a table there at breakfast without too much trouble.

We did not take any of the ship's shore excursions--they are very expensive. But we had a wonderful day tour with Spain Day Tours to the Alhambra, and we had an excellent local guide there. I also arranged for a private van tour of Marseille and Provence with Alcyon Riviera Tours. They suggested I put a message on the Cruise Critic board for the cruise to recruit three additional couples to share the tour, and that worked very well. Our guide took us to several places the ship's tours did not go which were most enjoyable. For other ports, I read guide books (primarily by Rick Steves) and brought along copies of the relevant pages to give us pointers of what to see.

We are 3-star Mariners and have had several cruises with HAL and have thoroughly enjoyed all of them, so the Westerdam was a bit of a disappointment even though the staff does what they can to overcome the problems.
dthawkins418’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VE 6137
Adequate space. Nice verandah. Problems with air conditioning (see above). Had to ask almost every day for wine glasses (we brought some with us to have in the room).
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins