Last April we booked a charter repositioning cruise on the Westerdam which was sold by a German company through a South African travel agency. The cruise went from Cape Town to Rotterdam from 12-26 July, 2010. Unfortunately the German company ran into financial difficulties, we were told and, at the last minute, sold cabins in Germany for as low as 800Euros, which included transport to the airport in Germany, flight to Cape Town, 14 nights in an outside cabin, and transport by bus from Rotterdam to Germany! As a result what should have been a quiet repositioning cruise turned into an overcrowded cruise with most of the passengers being amongst the most unpleasant, rude, aggressive and arrogant that I have ever encountered. Out of over 1700 passengers, about 1400 were Germans and most of the activities were geared towards them. The 300 South Africans felt they were on board to subsidize them as they had paid very much more than what the Germans were bragging they had paid. This being said, we met very elegant, educated, pleasant Germans, but they were very much in the minority and looked as shell shocked as we were.
I will thus review the Westerdam in light of the above, as I don't think we had the regular experience.
The ship She is not the prettiest inside - whoever was in charge of the decor must have been on some very strong hallucinogen at the time. Horrific colour schemes in the public rooms with ghastly pseudo-Egyptian and other massive pieces of decorative furniture everywhere (and a Reinie Mackintosh style love seat thrown in for good measure). But she grows on you and by the end of the cruise you'll love her.