Westerdam: Westerdam Cruise Review by Bukavu Girl

Westerdam 5
Bukavu Girl
Member Since 2012

Overall Member Rating


Sail Date: March 2012
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
A friend and I just sailed on the Westerdam for 2 weeks in the eastern Caribbean. We loved the experience. We had a room with a veranda. And were very happy to have one in the Caribbean not only for the views but to keep the door open at night. Our room stewards were fantastic--they made our beds even after naps!!
The ship was clean and health is important to HA. For the first 2 days, there was no self serve at
the buffet. Staff would serve you so there would be no cross contamination. For the first 2 days on the tv were messages about the importance of hand washing. This is the cruise for people who are concerned about cleanliness.
There are 3 dining options--Lido (buffet), Vista lounge (tables, waiters) and Candeletto (Italian). First, open seating is the best option instead of getting locked into times. The food is good. There were some outstanding dishes. The seafood linguine at the Candeletto was fantastic. Some fell short (Surf and Turf). And the More desserts just didn't make it. Have you ever seen 3 people bit into carrot cake and push it away? The Pinnacles Cafe is an extra charge option. We ate there and my cod was cooked perfectly. My friend said the steaks were also cooked perfectly. Afternoon tea is good and they switch themes to mix it up. Our favorite was Cupcake Tea. There are many types of music at night--from classical violin to 50s sock hops. And big shows. Bingo, trivia contests, water aerobics, tai chi, line dancing. The list goes on. There is no reason to be bored. Sitting by the pool is another fantastic activity in the Caribbean.
The important part of this review is the captain (Keijer). It's obvious that safety is paramount to him.
The safety drill was mandatory--and 3 cabins didn't show up. He kept calling their room number and
said that if they didn't participate they would not cruise with us because it could jeopardize the other passengers safety. He repeated this for 15 minutes. Word
in the lounge the next day was that since they did not attend they were escorted off the ship. Although disappointing, we did not go to Half Moon Cay because the winds were too strong. Although disappointed, everyone knew it was a safety issue. There was a medical emergency and he deviated the ship to a new island so that person could get medical care. And then he did everything possible to get back on schedule (and did). Its obvious that he takes his job seriously. Most people on the cruise were retired. But, the second week there were many families with kids. The casino and piano bar allow smoking but that will change in April.
We enjoyed the cruise very much and would go back on the Westerdam. Less

Published 03/21/12

Cabin review: SB4010 Neptune Deluxe Verandah Suite

Westerdam 4010. Room with a veranda, good views, average size room, hallway quiet, wonderful stewards.

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Port and Shore Excursions

Palm Beach--although a fantastic beach--white sands, blue waters, drink cabanas, I will not go back. We couldn't find a way onto it because the hotels had claimed their space on the beach. We walked through a hotel, got escorted to the beach. We had to pay for a chair (not the problem). But it was not relaxing because people were getting evicted from chairs around us with yelling, I couldn't get a pina colata because I ordered it at the wrong cabana, we were told that we could use the bathrooms at the hotel but were picked up by security and we had to talk our way into the bathroom. Too much stress for paradise. I'm going to Eagle Beach next time--right near Palm and no hotels.
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When you dock in Curacao, you know you're in a foreign place. THe architecture is Dutch. I just walked around and really enjoyed it. It was a very clean city. I enjoyed shopping and visiting the floating fish market. A very nice day.
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I loved Grand Turk. It isn't developed with high rise hotels. The only developed place is Margaritaville and the cruise jewelery stores. With the 3rd largest coral reef in the world it is a divers paradise. THe beach is fantastic. I took a tour around the island and saw older homes, beaches, the museum, the lighthouse. I would recommend this because it only took 2 hours and was interesting. Then I had the afternoon to sit on the beach with a margarita. Fabulous.
Read 1692 Grand Turk Reviews

This is Holland America's private island in the Bahamas. It was totally made to give the passengers a day in tropical paradise. Not only was there a fabulous beach (probably man made), but options like biking, kayaking in a lagoon, swimming with rays, para-sailing, etc. It is totally set up for any of these activities. There's a barbecue lunch that was good, but no vegetarian options like garden burgers. There is a bar in a ship if you want to drink and one? souvenir shop. It's low key and wonderful. I would go back, maybe tomorrow.

The 3 rating is because I spent basically no time there--I went on the America's Cup racing yacht. This was an incredible experience--it's hands on--you can be grinding or helping with the sails. We had a race with 2 other yachts. It was fun! Do do this if you have any interest in sailing.

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Bukavu Girl
Member Since 2012
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