Westerdam Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,115 reviews

A bit of a Westerdam disappointment

Review for Transpacific Cruise on Westerdam
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When and How
10+ Cruises • Age 60s

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Value for Money
Public Rooms

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Sail Date: Oct 2023

We had sailed the Westerdam a couple of times before and felt that it was one of the best ships of a very good line. The ship itself is still very good indeed, so why were we disappointed? Alas, just about every staffer we encountered seemed unfamiliar with their job. Standing in line for the front desk, a staffer came out and asked who needed service, but obviously everyone did if they were in line. Waiters brought the wrong food more than once and totally forgot my breakfast one day before finally bringing it along stone cold when reminded. Once the ship’s clock was an hour off for some time causing confusion, and some cooking efforts were rather sad. I was served French onion soup without cheese once in the dining room and a Linzer torte that tasted like pure cloves so it was pretty disgusting. These are huge lapses anywhere, but gigantic fails for a dining room on a good cruise ship. The Lido was worse. It was always tremendously crowded, which was because the time kept changing so everyone was hungry earlier than usual. Perhaps the hours could have been adjusted to accommodate that. Food was often poor and beginnings and ends of lines not obvious. Staffers didn’t understand requests as cruise lines don’t worry about teaching them vocabulary for the job. Dishes were not identified and sugar free foods were not clearly identified. Whipped cream was never seen in quantities over a level teaspoonful, which seemed excessively chintzy. Cabin service seldom happened twice a day and never on any sort schedule. The cruise director’s announcements were painfully loud.

These are the fails, and while they are serious, there were still wonderful things on offer.

One spectacular success was the chocolate. Not the pillow chocolate, which was neither better nor worse than ever, but the baked goods. While most cruise lines skimp on cocoa and all of the chocolate is pallid and tasteless, the baker on Westerdam got it right and everything chocolate they made was better than on every other ship on any of the five lines I have tried. The flourless chocolate cake and the lava cake were both really, really good and also greatly appreciated.

Cabin Review

Our cabin was a little out of date for sure but clean. The dreaded duvet was present, but I eviscerated it by pulling out the inner duvet and slept ok with just the sheet and the cover.

HAL had seemingly thought three of us might want to sleep in one bed, but we got that fixed up by the steward. The bath tub, such a luxury on most lines, needed a little Re Education in the plumbing eccentricities of Holland America before it could be enjoyed. The tub is plugged by turning the cover plate of what appears to be the overflow drain and the shower diverter only works if you turn the water off before switching it. The glass on the balcony was clean, which is not common, so well done on that, HAL.

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