Christmas at Sea: Westerdam Cruise Review by Ol Salt

Westerdam 5
Ol Salt
Member Since 2007
4 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Christmas at Sea

Sail Date: December 2011
Destination: Southern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Sorry for the long review

We usually sail on Carnival, but went with Holland American this time because of the itinerary and deal. Brooke, our travel agent, knows exactly what we like and do not like but took a chance on booking us a VH guaranteed room at a great price. A week before the cruse we were assigned a room and it turned out to be a VB room aft. What a great room.

Holland American has a great selection of items that you can pre-purchase. From drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) to on board credit, coffee cards, soda cards and even casino chips. This was great in pre cruise preparations. We were able to purchase our soda and coffee cards along with a picture package and not have to worry about having it on our final bill. We didn't use all of our speciality coffee card and the balance was credited to out final bill. this was sooooo nice, The cards wre waiting in our stateroom as soon as we arrived. Amazing!

We traveled the day before the More cruise and stayed at the Fort Lauderdale Marriott North. The hotel was easy to find, right off 95 and 15 minutes from the port. We had a vey nice room with a king sized bed. Plenty of restaurants within driving distance and the staff were very helpful in providing directions to the local drug store and grocery store for last minute supplies.
We had breakfast at the Moonlite dinner, just up the road from the hotel and went to the port. Not knowing how long it would take we left about 9:30 and arrived at the Park and Go in fifteen minutes. The Staff at Park and go were extremely helpful and courteous. I reserved the parking on line and received a coupon for $8.99 per night. Out of the car, on their bus and 5 minutes to the ship.

Check in was easy because we were one of the first people their. They began boarding and we were in our room at 11:30am. No kidding, the room was available at 11:30, it was great.

Being used to Carnival, I was in awe of the Westerdam. It was beautiful and elegant. Everyone was friendly with a hello or good morning and they were all eager to help. My fellow Cruise Critics were helpful when they said that it would not be stuffy. It wasn't.

Lido resturant was excellant, like a fine dinning area. The first 48 hours the staff will serve you. this is to help cut down on cases of Norovirus. I understand and completely agree. It only slows down the service a little. You get your food and grab a seat, the waiters come by and will bring water, coffee, tea, iced tea. Another waitress will come by to see if you want someting from the bar, soda or other selections. Tables are always kept clean. It was excellant.
Christmas Eve dinner was formal and was great. All the dinners were great. Smart casual was the dress, polo shirt and pants. Formal was suit and tie. For the people who didn't want to dress up the Lido restaurant was great and nicely made up. Not like what you would see on Carnival.

Holland American does "On Deck for the Cure". A 5k walk to support brest cance research. A good crowd took time out of thier day and did the walk, it was great.

There were also religious services almost daily. We had midnight mass on Christmas Eve and a Christmas Day mass. It was really a nice way to help celebrate the holiday.

All I can say is Amazing!!!. The ship, the crew, the atmosphere everything AMAZING!

Even departure, We filled out our intentions the first few days onboard and received out directions the night before. You are assigned a 15 minute window and a colored tag. It made it go so smooth. We were assigned 8:30 -- 8:45, got down to the gangway at 8:30, the Park and Go bus was there as soon as we stepped out of the terminal and we were on I595 going home by 9:00.

Amazing cruise! Less

Published 12/30/11

Cabin review: VD6149 Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom

Upgraded from a VH to a VB (6149). I thought the room was plenty big for us. Great storage space, small sitting area and wicker chairs on the balcony. Tub with a shower and the normal size bathroom. The only drawback was if my wife was standing at the foot of the bed I couldn't get from the seating area to the bathroom without her moving or jumping on the bed. Ohter than that it was excellant.

Read All Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom (VD) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Aruba, overcast and raining. I understand that some of the shore excursions were cancelled. We did the touristy walk around the town and shopping. Personally, I wasn't impressed.
Read 1289 Aruba Reviews

Bonaire, we did the beginner snorkel tour because the two reef snorkel tour was sold out. We really wanted to dive but couldn't get the time. The tour took us to a small local beach. It was ok. There was a lot of glass and trash around the beach but the reef we snorkeled on was beautiful.
Read 444 Bonaire Reviews

Curacao, overcast and spotty rain. We did our own walking tour to the floating market, the old fort and other places. Did a lot of walking. We docked at the large ship dock and the Renaissance shopping area and casino was within crawling distance (it was close).
Read 917 Curacao Reviews

Compare Prices on Westerdam Southern Caribbean Cruises

Read more Westerdam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Westerdam Review >>

Compare Prices on Westerdam Southern Caribbean Cruises

Ol Salt
Member Since 2007
4 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Westerdam deals up to 82% off:

October Deals
Westerdam 75% Loved It

25-day Mediterranean Dream & Spanish Passage
See all Westerdam Deals >>