We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We have previously sailed with P&O, Princess and APT.
Embarkation was very crowded and took a long time. I don't understand why the times aren't staggered to prevent hundreds of passengers arriving at the same time.
We chose a signature suite and paid the extra $$ for the larger cabin and the location on the ship. Our expectations were a lot higher than what was delivered. We were very disappointed when we entered the cabin because it had a filthy odour and was very worn and used looking. Certainly not up to the standard of previous suites we have stayed in. Not a good start to the holiday! I cannot fault our room stewards because they can only work with what they are given.
We prefer to have a more relaxed holiday and not do a lot of fine dining, so we only visited the dining room a couple of times. The food was OK but not remarkable. The drink service was very slow.
The food in the Lido dining area was very repetitive. However, I did like the idea that we were served by the staff so that it wasn't a buffet type area.
However, there seemed to be a problem with the food as my husband and I had gastrointestinal problems twice. The 2nd bout was definitely from the food eaten on the ship as we had not been onshore, so I am also attributing the 1st bout to that as well. It was not the norovirus because ours responded to antibiotics.
We could not fault the Doctor or the medical staff. From our observation it seemed as if a lot of passengers were experiencing the same problem as we were.
We also noticed that the hygiene was not up to health standards as far as passengers sanitising their hands before entering the dining areas. On previous cruises there are staff allocated to the entries to make sure that everyone who enters the dining areas are given the hand sanitiser.
The entertainment on the main stage was very poor.
The corridor leading to the mainstage and the BB kings bar emanated a very unpleasant odour. I had been told that it had been reported but nothing was done to alleviate the problem.
We found the gratuities charge was not worth the value that was being charged. As did many other passengers, we also chose to opt out and decided to personally pay staff that served us well.
The beverage packages need to be reviewed. It is completely unreasonable that everyone in the same cabin has to have the same beverage package.
The tour desk weren't fully informed about certain aspects of different ports. e.g. not informing passengers about shuttle services at different ports.
Disembarkation was a disaster! If you are disembarking at Kai Tak terminal do not take any notice when the tour staff produces photos of long queues and saying there will be no taxis available. We were told that it was too far out of town for the taxis to come. We were then offered to be transferred by bus for $US15 to the airport express station in Hong Kong. BUT surprise, surprise, as we exited the terminal at least 50 taxis were waiting. We then had to walk at least a kilometre to a bus that didn't have enough storage space underneath for the luggage. SO we were packed into the bus with the excess luggage piled on top of one another on the seats. A very dangerous situation if the bus had to brake suddenly! HOWEVER, it only gets better!! As the bus was driving to the station the luggage door on the outside of the bus opened and luggage spilled onto the road. NOT happy travellers! Another example of the tour staff being out of touch with what is available at terminals. Or is it just so they can fill the buses??
Surprisingly there was a survey waiting for us when we returned home. We truthfully answered all of the questions. However, it seems they choose to ignore unfavourable feedback as we have not had a response from them.
Our advice if you are considering cruising on Westerdam……
1. DON'T waste your money. There are so many nicer ships to holiday on.
2. Take plenty of immodium with you. ( prescriptions are extremely expensive compared to Aussie prices )
3. Have travel insurance.
Very used and worn looking. Had a terrible odour.