The WESTERDAM was WONDERFUL but....: Westerdam Cruise Review by lifeizgr8

Westerdam 5
Member Since 2009
1,229 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: September 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Seattle
We just got home from a 7 day cruise to Alaska aboard the Westerdam. We had a great time! We had a few problems, that really need to be addressed by Holland, but all in all we were happy with this cruise.

EMBARKATION AND DEBARKATION: Embarkation was a little slow, but we had a Suite so our line went very quickly. The only problem is there is no signage to let you know you don't have to wait in the long lines if you are a Suite Passenger! Debarkation was not even 5 minutes!! We were to our car from the ship in 12 minutes total!!

CABIN: Our cabin, SA7077, was my favorite cabin to date, for all 18 cruises I have been on! The room had plenty of space and a jacuzzi tub, 2 sinks and 2 showers. Our king bed was very comfortable and the deck had 2 loungers and a table with 4 chairs! Our room was kept very clean and organized the entire cruise and the cabin stewards, ANDRI and MADE went well above the normal to see we had everything we needed! We even had towel animals every More night which I just love, and we had not seen in the last 3 or 4 cruises!!!

NEPTUNE LOUNGE: Because we had a suite, we were given a concierge room and boy was that a great addition!! When we needed anything, and I mean anything, we would just visit the gals in Neptune, Cara and Faye, and within minutes we had it! They tried to make our cruise the best it could be. It was really nice to have coffee, tea and juices all the time just down the hall, and there were snacks at all times from 8 in the morning to 10 at night!!

FOOD: This is where the Westerdam took a nose dive!!!!!! I have Celiac Disease, so I know, it can be a little difficult because I cannot eat anything with gluten (wheat, soy etc) and that does create a bit of a problem. But, on my last 5 cruises (Princess and Celebrity) it was NEVER a problem except a few times in BLU on its maiden voyage, but after I explained this to them, it did get better. On this ship NO ONE except for the Chef knew what gluten free meant!! I had a terrible experience with this. I was sick for the first 2 days, because I was told my food was prepared correctly, to find out pretty quickly it was NOT! When I tried everything I knew to rectify this problem, I just got frustrated!! I tried the concierge, the Maitre D, the Housekeeping manager, the front desk, every Chef I could find, only to be disappointed at every turn!!!! Not until we began paying $50 for our dinner's and $10 for our lunches at the Pinnacle Grill could we get real gluten free foods!! When I had made such a fuss in the MDR, the head Chef came to our table and just thru everyone else under the bus, and blaming everyone but himself for the major problem! I even met a gal in the pool who was sick for 4 days, so much so, she had to go to urgent care in AK!!! NO ONE and I mean NO ONE in the MDR or LIDO)buffet) have a clue about contamination!! My gluten free Pizza was cut with a pizza cutter that was just used on a regular pizza one second before mine! I watched in horror and told him I could not eat that pizza now! The server said this is gluten free pizza, and I told him it was NO LONGER gluten free because of the pizza cutter. He just rolled his eyes and put the pizza in the trash can behind him!! The only person who understood my problem was ANDREW, the chef in the Pinnacle. I told him my problem and he fixed it for me in the Pinnacle, but his help did not reach anywhere else!! If you are gluten free BRING YOUR OWN FOOD, OR EAT IN PINNACLE OR YOU WILL BE VERY SICK THE ENTIRE TIME!!!!!!!!!!

ENTERTAINMENT: The entertainment was marvelous!! We loved everything except the Piano Bar singer!! We all decided we should all through in $50 each and give it to him just to stop playing!! It didn't work, but we thought that was a good idea!! All the other shows were great, and I would say, they were the best shows on any ship I have seen in 10 years!!! We were very happy with all the entertainment besides the Piano Man.

PINNACLE GRILL: WORTH EVERY PENNY WE SPENT THERE!!!!!! This food was beyond great, and reminded us of the food of long ago on cruises!! The Pinnacle Grill not only saved me, but my husband said their steaks were the best he had on any cruise ship in 20 years!!! DO NOT LOOK AT THE PRICE, JUST LOOK AT IT AS MAKING YOUR CRUISE THAT MUCH BETTER BY EATING THERE!!!!

CASINO: This casino was terrible!! They need more penny machines, and they need to turn them up a bit! I did not see anyone win anything!! Usually on a cruise you don't win too much, but you are at least able to win a little and lose a little. NOT HERE!! I was playing most nights along one wall of 10 machines! In 5 hours I did not see anyone win anything!! Now that is bad!! Don't go!!! Go spend the $$$ in Pinnacle Grill for a better cruise!! You will be happier and so will your wallet!!!

I hope I have given you a good feel for this cruise! The ship was beautiful, the food was just so-so to terrible, the service was good, the cabin stewards were all great that I could see, the entertainment wonderful, BUT if you or any family member is gluten free....BEWARE!!!!! Be very careful! I learned to ask them for the recipe for every sauce I ate, and to ask where it was cooked! That is the only way you can be safe! I give this cruise an 8, but if you take away the gluten free problem and only eat in Pinnacle I would give it a 9 1/2!! That is how much we loved Pinnacle!!


from West Linn, Oregon I would like to recommend the Spa too! It was wonderful and they all did a good job! But, stop pushing the products! If I want to buy something I will ask!!

The Hydrotherapy Pool and Heated Lounges get a 11 on a scale of 1 to 10!! Totally worth the money!!!! Less

Published 09/11/11

Cabin review: SA7077 Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite

We were in cabin SA7077. We just loved it and I have only great things to say about it!! The deck is very large with 2 large lounge chairs, a table with 4 chairs and we still had a lot of room!! This cabin was in the perfect location!! I hope to have this exact cabin again one day!! Very quiet, great view with wonderful cabin stewards!!!! I feel we could not have had a better cabin on this ship!!!!!!!

Read All Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite (SA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We have been to Juneau 3 other times, so we had done the hatchery, whale watching and the floatplane, which I would recommend to all! So this time we just walked around and had a wonderful lunch at the crab shack! WAY TOO MANY JEWELRY SHOPS!!!!!! We had planned to do ziplining, but a last minute health issue stopped us, but some friends went and they raved about it!

Read 1185 Juneau Reviews

I personally do not like Ketchikan! If you like to fish, this is a good place to do it! Our friends caught 4 very large Salmon. The shops are very touristy, and the constant rain seems to stop many excursions! I was VERY HAPPY to see a few new shops full of beautiful Alaskan art and pottery, but we found only 2! I did enjoy them!! The only thing I have ever enjoyed here is the canoe trip on the lake in the rainforest area, and then take a guided walk in the rainforest to learn all about the flora and fauna! I feel you are pushed to shop, which I am very tired of by now, and would love to see an area different that the regular ports every ship seems to visit! They need to start going to a few newer ports to add to the itinerary for regular cruisers. How much shopping can you do or do you want to do???? Almost every shop has the same thing. Most of it was made in China! I don't need to go to AK to buy Chinese, gaudy "crud!!

Read 1339 Ketchikan Reviews

We began there and went to Pikes Market and ate brunch there ! We had been there many times, but always enjoy the fish throwing and the Crab cocktails that are wonderful at the Fish Market! For $8, you will eat the best and freshest Crab on the West Coast!!

Read 521 Seattle Reviews

WE had also been to Sitka before, but love the beauty of this port! We think it is one of the most beautiful on the AK cruises!! This time we went to the Totem Park, and found it to be very interesting, beautiful and it was FREE too!! We visited the Bishops House and the Russian Church! There was authentic dancing at the church and it was wonderful!! I love Sitka and don't miss the brewery above the shops closest to the ship! Great fun and good too!!

Read 250 Sitka Reviews

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