1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Westerdam
This was our first cruise with HAL having previously cruised with Azamara, Celebrity (Elite), NCL (Silver) and Princess. We picked this cruise as it was very port intensive, (18 ports in 24 days with overnights in Venice & Athens) and we had the opportunity to see a lot of the Mediterranean in one cruise. The passengers were a 60+ crowd and if you were looking for entertainment to keep you amused throughout the day this was not the cruise for you. Food is a very subjective topic so I’m not going to go into any details besides saying (in my opinion) that is was very similar to what we have experienced on Celebrity. There was lots of variety in the Lido Buffet and the food was very good in The Dining Room. The Good: • Embarkation, we arrived at the port at 11AM and were onboard at 11:30 AM and our stateroom was ready, • Luggage was in our stateroom at 1PM, • All of the ports guides for the entire cruise were in our stateroom, • KK & Brett,EXC staff gave great port presentations. • $30.00 for a bag of laundry and you can put a lot of clothes in the cloth bag if you roll them tight, • Great tender service, they always had 5 tenders running and by 9:30 AM there was no waiting for one, • The Cruise Director provided clear and concise information whenever he spoke on the ship’s PA, • The elevators are the fastest we have experienced, • All of the staff (bar, Lido, dining room) were friendly, polite and willing to provide assistance. • The stateroom attendants were fantastic, polite, and knew our name from day one. They had 29 staterooms to look after. The So So: • When you went to the muster drill you reported to the Lido Deck and stood around your assigned life boat. It was so packed you couldn’t see the life jacket demonstration unless you were right in front of the person providing the demonstration & the announcements on the PA were hard to hear. I found it to be a strange location to hold the drill due to the passenger congestion. On a positive side it only took about 20 minutes to complete the muster drill. • The evening entertainment was ok but nothing special. This was the first cruise I have encountered where they showed a movie on a couple of nights instead of live entertainment for the evening show. The Not So Good: • No pay per minute internet. They only offer packages that are for the entire cruise. So if you only want to use the internet to print you boarding pass on the last day of the cruise you would have to buy a package. • I found the ships excursion staff to be very abrupt and they seemed to be very rushed when I went to see them at the Excursion desk. • The ship just completed a refit this spring and they relocated the Future Cruises Consultant into a small office on the 10th deck in the Explorations area. There is nowhere for her to leave out any pamphlets on any future cruises so you have to make an appointment to see her and get the pamphlets/brochures. It seemed to me that it was a waste of everyone’s time to have to book an appointment just to get brochures. • Prior to the cruise I went on HAL’s website to confirm the dress requirements of Gala Nights in the Dining Room. The website states that men must wear a collared shirt and slacks. Along with others, I wore a collared golf style shirt and was turned away from the dining room. They informed me that the collared shirt has to be completely buttoned down from top to bottom. So you can attend Gala Nights if you wear a buttoned down short sleeve shirt that you bought on your last Caribbean Cruise for $10.00. But, if you wear a golf style shirt that cost $90.00 you get turned away. I went to customer service and showed them the dress requirements on HAL’s website and the reply I receive was that fully buttoned down is implied. On our last Gala night I saw them let in a gentleman who was wearing jeans but according to the dress requirements that is not allowed. If a buttoned down shirt is the requirement then HAL needs to update the dress requirements on their website. • This was the first cruise where I have seen passengers wearing robes and their PJ’s allowed to eat breakfast in the Lido Buffet. All I can say is it is appaling seeing passengers sitting around in robes and PJ’s eating breakfast. This practice needs to stop. • Approximately 10% of the passengers and staff used the hand sanitizer dispensers when entering the ship or eating areas. It appeared that the ship didn’t put an emphases on Hygene/sanitation. This was the worst we have experienced on any ship. All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise, lots of great ports and we would sail with HAL again as we appreciate that they have collector cruises which provide for some interesting destinations.

Great 24 day cruise

Westerdam Cruise Review by bdrcole

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2017
  • Destination: Mediterranean
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
This was our first cruise with HAL having previously cruised with Azamara, Celebrity (Elite), NCL (Silver) and Princess.

We picked this cruise as it was very port intensive, (18 ports in 24 days with overnights in Venice & Athens) and we had the opportunity to see a lot of the Mediterranean in one cruise.

The passengers were a 60+ crowd and if you were looking for entertainment to keep you amused throughout the day this was not the cruise for you.

Food is a very subjective topic so I’m not going to go into any details besides saying (in my opinion) that is was very similar to what we have experienced on Celebrity. There was lots of variety in the Lido Buffet and the food was very good in The Dining Room.

The Good:

• Embarkation, we arrived at the port at 11AM and were onboard at 11:30 AM and our stateroom was ready,

• Luggage was in our stateroom at 1PM,

• All of the ports guides for the entire cruise were in our stateroom,

• KK & Brett,EXC staff gave great port presentations.

• $30.00 for a bag of laundry and you can put a lot of clothes in the cloth bag if you roll them tight,

• Great tender service, they always had 5 tenders running and by 9:30 AM there was no waiting for one,

• The Cruise Director provided clear and concise information whenever he spoke on the ship’s PA,

• The elevators are the fastest we have experienced,

• All of the staff (bar, Lido, dining room) were friendly, polite and willing to provide assistance.

• The stateroom attendants were fantastic, polite, and knew our name from day one. They had 29 staterooms to look after.

The So So:

• When you went to the muster drill you reported to the Lido Deck and stood around your assigned life boat. It was so packed you couldn’t see the life jacket demonstration unless you were right in front of the person providing the demonstration & the announcements on the PA were hard to hear. I found it to be a strange location to hold the drill due to the passenger congestion. On a positive side it only took about 20 minutes to complete the muster drill.

• The evening entertainment was ok but nothing special. This was the first cruise I have encountered where they showed a movie on a couple of nights instead of live entertainment for the evening show.

The Not So Good:

• No pay per minute internet. They only offer packages that are for the entire cruise. So if you only want to use the internet to print you boarding pass on the last day of the cruise you would have to buy a package.

• I found the ships excursion staff to be very abrupt and they seemed to be very rushed when I went to see them at the Excursion desk.

• The ship just completed a refit this spring and they relocated the Future Cruises Consultant into a small office on the 10th deck in the Explorations area. There is nowhere for her to leave out any pamphlets on any future cruises so you have to make an appointment to see her and get the pamphlets/brochures. It seemed to me that it was a waste of everyone’s time to have to book an appointment just to get brochures.

• Prior to the cruise I went on HAL’s website to confirm the dress requirements of Gala Nights in the Dining Room. The website states that men must wear a collared shirt and slacks. Along with others, I wore a collared golf style shirt and was turned away from the dining room. They informed me that the collared shirt has to be completely buttoned down from top to bottom. So you can attend Gala Nights if you wear a buttoned down short sleeve shirt that you bought on your last Caribbean Cruise for $10.00. But, if you wear a golf style shirt that cost $90.00 you get turned away. I went to customer service and showed them the dress requirements on HAL’s website and the reply I receive was that fully buttoned down is implied. On our last Gala night I saw them let in a gentleman who was wearing jeans but according to the dress requirements that is not allowed. If a buttoned down shirt is the requirement then HAL needs to update the dress requirements on their website.

• This was the first cruise where I have seen passengers wearing robes and their PJ’s allowed to eat breakfast in the Lido Buffet. All I can say is it is appaling seeing passengers sitting around in robes and PJ’s eating breakfast. This practice needs to stop.

• Approximately 10% of the passengers and staff used the hand sanitizer dispensers when entering the ship or eating areas. It appeared that the ship didn’t put an emphases on Hygene/sanitation. This was the worst we have experienced on any ship.

All in all it was a very enjoyable cruise, lots of great ports and we would sail with HAL again as we appreciate that they have collector cruises which provide for some interesting destinations.
bdrcole’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Westerdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VE 8020
The stateroom was very spacious and it had lots of closet space. The balcony is large and it is bigger than we have experienced with Celebrity, Princess & NCL. The stateroom is located under the Spa and it is a very quiet location.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins