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We had travelled as a family with HAL on 4 previous occasions. Always loving it however HAL lost some of their shine for us with this cruise. There appear to have been service / facility reductions compared to previous cruises. I am not sure if this is peculiar to the Westerdam or a trend for HAL. 1) No self service laundry any more - only valet service. 2) No separate disco anymore; has been converted into a games / TV area. 3) New Years Eve celebrations had been confined to Lido instead of multiple options across the ship. 4) The number of hand sanitizers around the ship were far fewer. 5) No prizes anymore for daily activities. 6) Trivia and happy hour no longer located on Observation Deck. No reason to go there any more. 7) Entertainers had far less interaction with the guests than previous cruises. I still rated the service aspect very highly for our cabin staff and waiters in the Main Dining Room. The food was excellent too. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient. The Visa costs for Vietnam and Cambodia added a lot to the cost of our trip. This was handled well by HAL but guests need to be aware of these charges before booking the cruise. On previous HAL cruises we have felt like Royalty. On this one, we felt like a number. I hope these reductions are only on the Westerdam but I fear it might be across the fleet?

HAL Cutbacks

Westerdam Cruise Review by Aussie Battler

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2018
  • Destination: Asia
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We had travelled as a family with HAL on 4 previous occasions. Always loving it however HAL lost some of their shine for us with this cruise. There appear to have been service / facility reductions compared to previous cruises. I am not sure if this is peculiar to the Westerdam or a trend for HAL.

1) No self service laundry any more - only valet service.

2) No separate disco anymore; has been converted into a games / TV area.

3) New Years Eve celebrations had been confined to Lido instead of multiple options across the ship.

4) The number of hand sanitizers around the ship were far fewer.

5) No prizes anymore for daily activities.

6) Trivia and happy hour no longer located on Observation Deck. No reason to go there any more.

7) Entertainers had far less interaction with the guests than previous cruises.

I still rated the service aspect very highly for our cabin staff and waiters in the Main Dining Room. The food was excellent too.

Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth and efficient.

The Visa costs for Vietnam and Cambodia added a lot to the cost of our trip. This was handled well by HAL but guests need to be aware of these charges before booking the cruise.

On previous HAL cruises we have felt like Royalty. On this one, we felt like a number.

I hope these reductions are only on the Westerdam but I fear it might be across the fleet?
Aussie Battler’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 5012
Our cabin accommodated 3 adults and one child.
A double bed, a fold out bed and a bunk bed above the double.
We had a balcony. Room was quiet.
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins