4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Loved the Westerdam. Great cabin 10018 with excellent location. Good viewing when on a southbound cruise. Entertainment great and went late into the night. BB Kings good. The 2 piano players in the Billboard Bar were also great. ... Read More
Loved the Westerdam. Great cabin 10018 with excellent location. Good viewing when on a southbound cruise. Entertainment great and went late into the night. BB Kings good. The 2 piano players in the Billboard Bar were also great. Food good. Only disappointment was lunch in the Pinnacle Restaurant. Not worth the extra $. Not sure why a Coconut Trifle would gave 2 layers of rich chocolate that overpowered the taste of anything else...inedible. Strawberry pavlova...better pavlova in the Lido. Crab cakes for appetizer were excellent. Entrees (mains) pretty ordinary. Dinner may have been better. Santos and Otto did a great job in looking after us in our stateroom on Deck 10. Recommend this Stateroom, in particular location. Great service with a smile everywhere. Plenty of updates from the Captain. Smooth sailing. Embarkation was easy and we were able to board earlier than designated. Disembarkation needed more signs for lines of group colours. Easy to look up everything on TV in cabin, e.g. account and dining menus for the day. Good movies too. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted an Asian experience and it fitted the dates we could travel. Overall the ship is tired, but in saying that it is clean and well presented. Before we booked I read that the ship had had a make over recently. This is not true. Only one place had been done up and that is what used to be the Crows Nest Bar. It is now a coffee lounge and the EXC tours are run from there. According to the crew (spoke to many) it used to be the best place on the ship. Its now just a boring coffee lounge. The whole ship is badly designed from other cruise ships we have been on. There is lots of wasted space, and the ship is a rabbit warren. It took us until day three to work out our way to navigate around the ship (usually only takes a couple of hours). The Food was really really bad. The Lido was badly organized and unless you walked in there at opening, it really did just look like a pig trough. We had open seating in the dining room, but never got a chance to use it. The reason for this, is that every time we went down to the dining room, there was over an hour wait for a table, so in the end we just gave up and went back to the pig trough. We are fully aware that this was an Asian cruise, but we were not expecting the amount of Chinese that there were to be on board. The ships holds approx 1900 passengers. 1400 were Chinese. HAL is traditionally a cruise line that supports the western market so it was a shock. The cultural divide was immense. Even the crew really really struggled with it. The Chinese don't drink alcohol, so the bars were always empty. So there was no atmosphere at all. The Chinese didn't understand the traditional activities and entertainment on board provided by HAL, so didn't go or would walk out half way through a performance spoiling the show. Also the Chinese do not believe in queues or lining up. It was just barge on through. Probably why the Lido looked like a pig trough most the time. It was also a nightmare getting off the ship. Once again the Chinese would just barge on through. There is a huge cultural divide there. HAL has every right as a company to target the Chinese market, but they should not do it at the expense of their traditional market. The first 4 ports we went to were great, Japan and Taiwan, but Manila was a hell hole. I really cant understand why any cruise ship company would want to go there. On the tour we did, it took us 2 1/2 hours to travel 8 miles through the traffic. There was no toilet on the bus and my partner was seriously considering using a bottle at the back of the bus. The only major positive from the ship was our state room. Though dated, it was comfortable and had all the facilities we needed with our state room attendants being fantastic. Maybe on a different cruise it would have been better, but I do not think I will sail again on HAL in the future. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
To give this context, I want to start by stating that I have been on 20 different cruises, each lasting 7 or more days. These 20 cruises have included 8 different cruise lines, as I value iteneraries and price above blind allegiance to a ... Read More
To give this context, I want to start by stating that I have been on 20 different cruises, each lasting 7 or more days. These 20 cruises have included 8 different cruise lines, as I value iteneraries and price above blind allegiance to a single cruise line. That having been said, I have cruises with Holland America before. There is no doubt about it; this cruise line is different. I won’t get into that, though. Different is not bad; it’s just different. That having been said, I was hit with one negative surprise after the next on this cruise. It started when I got on board and had no hot water. It took 2 days to get this resolved. Then I got word that my onboard spending account was weong; I was charged twice for three of the excursions that I had already booked. Then, on my first excursion in Shimizu, the tour guide left me at the first stop. Bear in mind that I am a healthy 33 year old, who was told when and where to meet back at the bus, and was still left behind, despite being 5 minutes early. Then, later that night, I receive a call from the excursion desk stating that I am going to get an additional $300 tacked onto my bill. Why? Well, since I was traveling alone, apparently there was meant to be a premium on my overnight excursion to Beijing. My problem is this; I booked and paid for an excursion to all but one of our 10 stops on the Asia cruise I was taking, and I did so 2 months in advance. So when I got a call two days into my cruise stating that they misbilled my excursion, and that it was non-refundable, and that I could either take a $900 dollar loss or be forced to pay $300 to stay on the tour... needless to say, I was pretty upset. The cruise just kept having issues mount up. The excursion team did nothing to try and make this blunder on their part right. Then, despite all of my problems with excursions on this trip, I decide to book one more (for the one port stop I had not already booked one for). Sad news for me. The excursion desk wasn’t open for 24 hours straight, the self help kiosk was broken, and guest services apparently didn’t have the ability/authority to help me. So I also went without trip plans on the one day where I failed to book in advance. All told, as a young, healthy, active, intelligent repeat cruiser, this was the worst cruise of my life by far. If I had to assign a percentage to it, I’d say that this cruise was %20 of the value of any other cruise that I’d ever been on. With all due respect to the readers of this review, if you book a cruise on this thankless, and leaderless cruise ship, quite frankly you deserve every atrocity that will inevitably come your way. Thank you. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
A quick way to read this review: Find the heading and skip to the bottom where you will find a letter grade for the service/experience on this Holland America Ship. WHY THE WESTERDAM? We chose this cruise because Holland America ... Read More
A quick way to read this review: Find the heading and skip to the bottom where you will find a letter grade for the service/experience on this Holland America Ship. WHY THE WESTERDAM? We chose this cruise because Holland America provides easy access to Denali National Park via the Alaska Railroad. We were transported by a special train to the McKinley Resort at Denali National Park and to the ship in Seward via comfortable motor coach. Both trips are lengthy and are narrated. Brace yourself for the usual bad puns from time to time. The better guides limit themselves to a wealth of information of the area you are in. The best guide was the guide for the chartered Wilderness Tour, a 7.5 hour narrated ride on 60 of the 90 miles of two lane gravel road into the park. The return trip is on the same gravel road as it's the only one in the park. Those exploring on their own must ride the National Park shuttle. We saw the following mammals: Grizzly bear (a couple singles and a sow with 2 two-year-old juveniles); 3 wolves; about 10 Dall sheep, red fox, snow-shoe hares, and caribou. I'm not going to give a grade since the three transports are so different in scope. The Wilderness Tour should not be missed. BOOKING From conversations on-board, we got the impression that we spent less for some of the same amenities since we booked through Costco's travel agency. At the very least the large added on-ship credits added by Costco allowed us to skip paying for the drink plans which seem somewhat reasonable, but the idea of having access to 10-15 drinks per day was not something we would use. Through cruise-critic, we found out that our price went down about 4 months before the trip. Through the travel agency, we saved $500, keeping the same reserved cabin in the middle of the ship. However, we ended up with about $750 in combined on ship credit. No money is used on board, it's all part of your room key/credit card. Make sure you check your balance daily which is easily done on a machine near guest services. You can view it electronically or have the machine print the record. There is also access through the on-board app which runs on the free portion of wifi. You can purchase the slow, expensive Internet access if you wish to degrade your vacation time by being online when you "should" be enjoying the scenery. Grade: B+ CABIN I'd read reviews on cruisecritic.com saying the rooms were outdated. It appears that the Westerdam has gone through a recent upgrade. The photos on this site were no longer accurate. The condition of our room was quite good. What to ask for when greeted by your room stewards who will ask you if there's anything additionally you want after first viewing your room: Ask your room steward to explain how the shower works AND to put the single beds together as a (queen-sized) larger bed. By booking a half year early, we were able to reserve a cabin mid-ship and one level below the lido deck where the buffets are available nearly 24/7. Our cabin was smaller than a hotel room, but since you don't spend much time there, that is hardly a problem. There were two single beds that the room stewards put together as a queen sized bed on the first night by request. The head has a toilet, bathtub, sink, and shower. There was a 3-shelved medicine cabinet for storage. The balcony was a bit bigger than I expected. The suite includes 2 end tables with two drawers for storage, bed with able storage for suitcases below, love seat with small table, desk with small refrigerator and two more small shelves. One includes a hair dryer for your use. The room stewards automatically clean twice a day and replace towels during those two visits. More visits may be done by request. Grade: A DINING The buffet area on the lido deck is very clean. It's easy to access hand disinfectant at various places near the food service. Used dishes are quickly picked up by friendly staff. Tables are also cleared quickly so it's not difficult to find a place to sit near the buffet or near the pools. Most areas have attendants preparing made-to-order items or simply ladling food into bowls and onto plates. This isn't your average buffet. It's mostly fine dining quality food which is easily accessible. You could easily take all your meals here, but I'd suggest using the dining room most evenings and as often as possible for breakfast. You will be seated with others on-board unless you request otherwise. I'm not much on meeting new people, but I'm glad we chose to eat with new acquaintances each time we went for breakfast in the dining room. We were seated with the same couples at night, but if someone chose to eat in the specialty cafe or lido buffet, their seats were empty. Gala nights are a step up in quality of environment, but the the food is always exquisitely prepared and served. Meals in the dining room last about 2 hours, which surprising goes quickly if you simply talk about what you did during the day with your table-mates. On those evenings we ate at the Lido Market (buffet) we made separate trips for appetizers, salad, main course, and dessert, much like those served in fine dining. Drinks are served by request in all areas. The dining room attendants are numerous and very attentive learning your name quickly. You will most likely find that nearly every person associated with the dining room make your voyage amazing. From our viewpoint, the small added cost dining areas, such as the Pinnacle Grill, are not necessary. However, those we talked to reported being very pleased by their meals there. Grade: A+ ENTERTAINMENT VENUES The entertainment venues that we attended after dining: BB King Stage (Rhythm and Blues and Soul), Lincoln Center Stage (violin, cello, viola, and piano), and Main Stage which included hour long performances a comedian, illusionists which we attended as well as some song/dance variety shows (which we didn't but heard were good). Drinks are served by request. During the day there are various activities available from card playing to trivia to afternoon concerts. The BB King Stage was transformed to a cooking show by PBS's America's Test Kitchen, now in its 18th season(see episodes at https://www.americastestkitchen.com/episodes or teasers on youtube such as the following: https://youtu.be/mpnshdmtE2Y ). Carla, from the youtube link was the host on this ship. This cooking show was very well done. I loved Carla's dry sense of humor. The technicians could do away with the canned applause, though. Even if you don't prepare meals, make it a point to get to at least part of a 45-60 min. presentation. You are given the recipes to the items prepared so you can follow along. Get to the Main Stage show about 20 minutes early or you may not find a seat. It's ok to send one of your party to save 3-4 seats while others wait to enter spending $$ in the nearby casino or have a drink in a nearby lounge. We were surprised to find a lack of interaction between audience and musicians in the BB King Stage. However, the quality of the music was quite high. The classical musicians at the Lincoln Center Stage were quite accomplished in many different styles of music (not just classical). There was a small contingent of hearing impaired guests. An ASL interpreter was at the Main Stage. I don't think the ship supplied interpretation, but the signers did a good job for those they served. I appreciated that the comedienne interacted with the interpreter and indirectly with those they served. Grade: B+ OVERALL SERVICE One of the supervisors at the guest services mentioned that Holland America is not for the rowdy and you won't find lots of children. There were families with with children, but the kids had an access area on the 10th deck all their own and could play basketball, paddle ball, table tennis and have other activities without being bothered by adults. It sounds like Carnival (corporate owner of Holland America) is more of a ship for kids/young families. We found that on a ship of over 2000 people, we did not feel crowded until disembarkation morning and that's only because breakfast was only available on the lido deck. Still, the staff did an excellent job keeping tables available for those later arrivals. If you abhor cigarette and cigar smoke, stay off the aft area of the lido deck. That's the only place for smoking. Generally, the smoke is blown off the back of the ship while moving. In short, the diverse staff, representing some 80 different countries and regions, was outstanding. If you are on board, you are treated like family (except for the family squabbles). Grade: A OVERALL EXPERIENCE We imagined our first cruise would be very good with some pitfalls due to not having cruised before. It was much better than we could have imagined. The Westerdam's crew and staff's grade: SUPERIOR. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
My wife and I chose to celebrate our 40th by going on a cruise. We picked Holland America and was very glad we did. The experience was beyond our expectations. The comfort and service was better than most 5 star resorts. We especially ... Read More
My wife and I chose to celebrate our 40th by going on a cruise. We picked Holland America and was very glad we did. The experience was beyond our expectations. The comfort and service was better than most 5 star resorts. We especially enjoyed the perks of the Neptune Suite. The concierge service was great. We decided to renew our vows during the cruise and the Cruise director, Erin, and our concierge staff made it the most memorable moment of the cruise. My wife is still beaming for the care that was provided and the ceremony performed by Captain Vincent. Dinner afterwards in the Pinnacle Grill was spectacular. The entertainment was really good and the the Exploration lounge was great for those down times. We did not experience any problems with embarkation or debarkation. In fact it was extremely efficient and well done. We most will certainly cruise Holland America again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The ship was great, just underwent a refit this past spring. Elevators are extremely fast, service was excellent, easy to get around the ship, food was really good (way better than most lines) and the small details really made a ... Read More
The ship was great, just underwent a refit this past spring. Elevators are extremely fast, service was excellent, easy to get around the ship, food was really good (way better than most lines) and the small details really made a difference. The Casino and bars were great as well! Grandmother, Mother and Father, and 2 teens traveled in 2 Veranda rooms - very comfortable. We dined mainly in the Dining Room for dinner. The selections were top notch - not lobster every night but, some really nice duck breast, halibut, prime rib, rack of lamb, etc. all well prepared, meats were cooked perfectly, sauces were very good, and sides were also good. The Lido restaurant had some great breakfast and lunch offerings - not just leftovers from the dinner before, and dinner there was comparable, on most days, to the dining room just buffet style - and the Dive Inn had delicious, cooked to order burgers and fries daily. One thing we really appreciated was the selections, most of them anyway, were served by kitchen staff instead of "help yourself". It seemed much cleaner, less waste, and fresher. The casino staff were exceptional on this trip. $6 Black Jack and $5 Craps were available. The dealers were professional, especially the pit bosses, and the servers (Pio in particular) were fantastic. We were never left waiting for a cocktail for more than a few minutes. Our room attendants were barely seen but, certainly noticed. The rooms were cleaned promptly and quietly. The spa staff were good. We enjoyed massages although felt pressured to buy over $120 worth of oils immediately AFTER - while still sitting on the massage table. Massages in nice spas are not inexpensive so we thought the pitch while trying to enjoy the relaxation was a bit much. Other than that specific sales pitch, the Westerdam had very little overzealous photo selling, photo taking, trinket peddling, etc.... although they still have the same "outfits" selling gold plated jewelry at real gold prices, etc. but, they aren't constantly shoving them at you. Overall a relaxing trip, easy ship to get around on, great dining, and excellent service! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
We came to San Diego for a Thanksgiving cruise and stayed at the Grand Horton Hotel for a great price. Nice historic hotel in Gas lamp district. Valet parking is $42. a night though. Glad a great dinner at Fleming's Steak House a ... Read More
We came to San Diego for a Thanksgiving cruise and stayed at the Grand Horton Hotel for a great price. Nice historic hotel in Gas lamp district. Valet parking is $42. a night though. Glad a great dinner at Fleming's Steak House a short walk away. We have been on 18 cruises with Princess and about 12 on other lines but had never been on Holland America. We parked at Wyndham Bayside and walked across the street to the ship. This is a midsized ship. There were short lines and embarked in about 15 minutes. Debarking was even shorter and about 10 minutes in customs!! The entire ship looks refurbished. Our room had new bed linens, curtains, carpeting, sofa, sofa pillows etc in a nice blue color. We had a balcony room. This room is a bit smaller than we were used to but in great condition. Loved the on demand movies. Customer service was excellent on the entire ship. Food was great in main dining room and LOVED Caneletto's Italian and ate there twice. Also loved Pinacle Grill for great steak dinner. Really good room service and had the buffet a couple of times. They have great entertainment choices. We loved Billboard for the dueling pianos with a lot of variety. BB King was very good and Lincoln Center had classical music. Shows at the main stage were average or better. Most people dressed up for formal (Gala) nights - 2. Had a fun tour in Mazatlan - Shrimp Fest. Beautiful grounds, live music, pool to get into, margaritas and great food. Hardly any one at champagne art auction. Usually there are 200 - 300 people at these. Only about 25 people. Between us and our friends we won 3 bottle of good champagne!! All in all a great cruise that we will take again!!! Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This is our third cruise. We sailed with Raphosy of the seas and celebrity reflection both were really good and far superior to westredam in any aspect. The Celebrity was the best. We are not fussy in any sense and don't mind if ... Read More
This is our third cruise. We sailed with Raphosy of the seas and celebrity reflection both were really good and far superior to westredam in any aspect. The Celebrity was the best. We are not fussy in any sense and don't mind if things are not perfect but this was just a poor experience. And the sad things is it cost us more than the celebrity cruise. We paid quite a lot of money for this cruise but got nothing in return!! We are a couple in our mid-40s with 2 girls 15 and 9. The average age was probably 70. So many old, unfriendly and grumpy couples that don't seem to like younger people and kids. They just everywhere you go on the ship. Entrainment was non-existent. Poor shows that lasted half an hour. Celebrity had the tenures of rock on for 2 amazing shows and 4 live bands playing all day all over the ship. We sadly had to go to bed at 10 every night and just watched a movie. No discos or parties to go to. No bands in the pool, no pool parties, no activities for younger the crowd. The BBKING band was good but played the same oldies songs every night. The whole place was like sedated. It felt like old age home rather than a cruise ship. The daily activities were mostly talks and seminars about how to fold towels, how to diet and bridge card game. Old people staff all day long. Great basketball court but no activities on it. Food was repeatable. Sma every night. For instance, the celebrity had a theme night. If we docked in Greece they had Greek food and so on. Nothing like that on the Westerdam. Food was always the same. Eating time are very short especially for lunch which was 12-14. If you missed the time then no food! so if you onshore you have no chance of making it back for lunch. How stupid!! Celebrity had the dining room open till 4 for lunch which made life much easier. Not enough staff to clean the tables. They did not have one BBQ party on the pool deck for the whole 10 days!! It felt like the whole ship is running on a really tight budget. The ship is also built really funny. It's an old ship very poorly decorated. Felt like in some sort of a rundown 80s hotel. No central area. Unless you are penthouse VIP passenger. you cannot access the front of the ship at the top deck so it was impossible to watch the ship entering ports from the front ogf the ship. The back of the ship there is a pool, and a bar it was always flooded with water and people were smoking there the whole time which made it really unpleasant. The Gym was but only strech classses which full of old ladies . Destinations were fabulaous. Especially kotor and venice. Bot the ship dont giver you much time onshore. The had to back on the boat by 16:30 and some days it was 15:30! Read Less
Sail Date: July 2017
We like to cruise with Holland America for years and are in general happy with the company. We notice that the signature of excelence is slowly less "readable". Too many changes not really in favor of the customer... The ... Read More
We like to cruise with Holland America for years and are in general happy with the company. We notice that the signature of excelence is slowly less "readable". Too many changes not really in favor of the customer... The changes on the Westerdam are an example for us that the changes are not a big better for us. The librairy is converted in a small amount of travel books in the Crowsnest oh sorry the exploration room. The frontdesk, sorry again, the guests service office is now on deck 1. For your accountprint are two machines available, but the last two days those machines were out of order.... The Indonisian crew is still fantastic, although you notice that there are less people working on the ship. The officers too are very busy! The first invitation was not ery good prepared, we did not see anyone of the officers to meet and greet.... But we still keep on cruising with the HAL!! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2017
We have cruised on other lines. This was the first cruise in Holland America and will also be the last. By comparison to Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean this ship was a disappointment. The stateroom steward was excellent but the ... Read More
We have cruised on other lines. This was the first cruise in Holland America and will also be the last. By comparison to Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean this ship was a disappointment. The stateroom steward was excellent but the other service on board was not nearly as good as what we have experienced before. The Guest service desk seemed very inexperienced and did not live up to commitments made. The booking agent also did not provide us with the same deal they gave our travel companions. The tour groups were very large and tour guides could not be heard. Not all wore microphones which were definitely needed with 50+ people in one group! The disembarkment process was clearly a message that Hollland America was no longer engaged with theur customer. They had us to the airport 2 hours before the line was even open for check in. We were dropped off and had to walk about 15 minutes (with our luggage and no porters) to get to the terminal. We were told a Holland America rep would be inside to assist. There was no one there to help us. Very disappointing. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job ... Read More
Great ports of call but many days lost to illness. I have cruised eight previous times and this is the first time I have ever been sick. That being said---MANY guests were very ill on this cruise. My cabin attendant did an excellent job cleaning my stateroom but I never saw banisters, lounges or elevators being cleaned. Horrible meal at the "Pinnacle". No anchovies for the Cesar Salad and no fresh berries. The wait staff said that this was to be expected "at the end" of the cruise. Really? There were three more sailing days left. Was the upcharge expected? The fish was overcooked and the steak was below average. The food quality at HAL is diminished. The coffee is horrible. The wine list is really pitiful. No water onboard the day of desembarkation. I wonder how those guests who remained onboard were expected to wash their hands? Princess Cruise Line is far superior in food quality and Guest Services to HAL. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
First of all I want to say about the Pro's and then the Con's Pro's 1) Good quality of food 2) Most of the staff were friendly. 3) The cabin was ok. 4) The dinning experience was good. Con's 1) ... Read More
First of all I want to say about the Pro's and then the Con's Pro's 1) Good quality of food 2) Most of the staff were friendly. 3) The cabin was ok. 4) The dinning experience was good. Con's 1) Doesn't have a dance club or a place for dancing. 2) 24 days and we only enjoy two shows. 3) The entertainment is only for older adults doesn't have dancing music, karaoke or any other kind of entertainment. 4) The gym is a joke, too tiny and close too early. 5) Only have 12 days variety of food. 6) The sports desk is too limited and only have two ping pong tables. 7) I try to organize a dancing space but the entertainment director was very rude. 8) The sauna is so tiny that only have space for two people and close early. 9) No free steam room, you need to pay for thermal pool package that it is not worth it. ($149 for single person, $299 for couples for 12 days). Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I chose this cruise for the destinations especially Dubrovnik and a chance to relive memories of Malta and Gozo. On arrival at the embarkation I could not believe how simple and easy check in went - on board within 30 minutes of ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the destinations especially Dubrovnik and a chance to relive memories of Malta and Gozo. On arrival at the embarkation I could not believe how simple and easy check in went - on board within 30 minutes of arrival. Apparently the ship had been in dry dock and some work would continue during the cruise. A benefit of $200 each for the inconvenience was added to our onboard account as a gesture of goodwill. Some noise was evident but as the cruise only had a single sea day this was not a problem. Part of the ship were out of use but this did not hamper our enjoyment. Valletta - choose the hop on hop off bus tour which is value for money . Red route in the morning ,blue route in the afternoon. Gives a good impression of Malta but having revisited Bugibba ,St. Julian's etc. I don't want to see them again. Gozo - very pretty on arrival but unfortunately I damaged my meniscus on alighting the tender in choppy seas and lasted only 15 minutes on Gozo. On return to Westerdam I made my way to the Ship's medical centre and was seen by the excellent Dr Dupreez and his team . We were given the option of early disembarkation,not a nice situation to be in. Having weighed up the options this seemed to be the way forward having now been fitted with a full leg brace and on crutches . The next day being a sea day gave me a little more thinking time before our arrival in Corfu where I spent most of the day in a clinic for more X-rays etc. We made our way back to the ship with 20 minutes to spare. The option of leaving the ship was discussed but the only suitable flights were some 19 hours duration with a couple of stops on the way. Faced with recovery at home or on the ship we chose the later and we were allowed to stay on board. I missed out on Dubrovnik and a couple of destinations as I couldn't board the tenders but having said that we managed to get a lot of enjoyment out the cruise and the kindness of the ship's company due to my lack of mobility. Kotor - very pretty and fairly easy to get around. Busy market Korcula - tender transfer so unable to vist. Split - Probably the best location for my limited mobility . Very busy with many market stalls and numerous ferry passengers. Koper - Sunday visit so most things closed but pleasant ambling around. Venice - misty arrival but very busy with at least three cruise ships in dock. Always a memorable place to visit and this was no different. Cabin 7015 - well tended by Bagus and Sugiman , well sited for Lido breakfast . Not so for the main dining area when on crutches. Dining - always a good standard in the Lido. The main Dining room served by Alip and Fauzi , a good choice throughout the courses and superbly tended by the afore mentioned gentlemen. However the best meal was served in the Pinnacle Grill. I have never seen prawns so large and the filet mignon was outstanding. It was unfortunate that there was a ' bright star ' medical emergency during our dinner and suddenly reality bites. I hope the lady in question has now fully recovered. I will revisit on our next cruise with Holland America. B.B.Kings club is always to our taste rather the shows on the main stage but from the small amount of viewing the performers were very capable and professional. One small gripe , why have music trivia quizzes at 9:00 when most people are still in the late dinner sitting. 9:30 would have been better from our point of view. Service - throughout our cruise,through the ups and downs of medical problems this has been the best cruise I have been on . We didn't t get the feeling that everything as a cost and suffer the perception that you have to pay for every thing, however small. Congratulations to the Hotel staff. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
This was my family's first cruise and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were surprised at how attentive the staff was and how well-cared-for we felt. We had no pre-conceptions or notions as to how cruises generally were so we ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise and we were not disappointed. In fact, we were surprised at how attentive the staff was and how well-cared-for we felt. We had no pre-conceptions or notions as to how cruises generally were so we were surprised at all of the niceties and courtesies we were given while on the cruise and at ports. We have decided cruising is the most bang for the buck because there would be no way a family of 5 could stay for 7 nights, have at least 3 meals a day, attend events and shore excursions and basically have your every wish granted. It was a real eye opener. I mean, sure, there will be times where we'll want to travel to one destination and spend more than a day there but it was perfect to get a sampling of the Mexican Riviera for a day and then go back to OUR ship and get comfortable again. It becomes a proprietary thing, when you feel you belong to a ship and a ship belongs to you. We feel that way about the Westerdam but we're definitely going to give the rest of Holland America's fleet a chance. We're already getting ready to book our next annual family vacation with HAL. I also think I would consider a quick getaway for my husband and me aboard HAL, too. Holland America is definitely a destination for every family of every type - small, large, empty-nesters, etc... So glad we chose Holland America!! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
The Rock and Roll Cruise Major crew members Mark Rowden – Captain Sarah Koster-Claxton – Cruise Director Christina - Culinary Director Jake - Show Host I have taken one cruise on Holland America back in 2004 to ... Read More
The Rock and Roll Cruise Major crew members Mark Rowden – Captain Sarah Koster-Claxton – Cruise Director Christina - Culinary Director Jake - Show Host I have taken one cruise on Holland America back in 2004 to Alaska on the Old Statendam. This trip to Hawaii will complete a bucket list item - vacationing in all 50 states. A note about me – I am a solo cruiser, retired from teaching and usually a road tripper (not an option for Hawaii as I do not like long plane rides). I love to learn about and see the varied landscapes that can be experienced within the USA. A 16 day cruise with 10 sea days to relax sounded just to my liking, I could read, enjoy the ship, and just relax for 2/3 of the trip with 5 days of port activities. I splurged for a balcony (5063) to enjoy watching the sea go by and see the shorelines as we traveled around the islands. Embarkation Day I stayed in the Pan Pacific hotel in Vancouver the night before embarkation, got upgraded to a one-bedroom suite with a fantastic view. In the morning I looked out the window to see the Westerdam docked below me. The hotel took care of my luggage to the ship. I went to the terminal about 11:00 AM and found hundreds of people waiting. There was a mix-up with immigration, the people who had taken the 1 night trip from Seattle to Vancouver had to leave the ship and be rechecked. This made for a big back log however HAL put out hundreds of chairs and everyone who wanted was able to sit while they worked out the problem. It took about 45 minutes. Once they were able to start the check-in process again HAL was very smart and took the people row by row so there was no long time standing in line and many apologies to the passengers. My cabin was ready on embarkation and I went to the dining room for the Mariner champagne lunch. After lunch my luggage was in the room. I spent the time before the safety muster unpacking, getting familiar with the cabin, and stewards Rifqi & Ron. I did request my ice bucket be filled every day. I should have asked how the balcony door worked as it took me several tries to get it open. There was a mini-fridge with room for me to store my water. The bathroom was about the same size as the one I have at home so it was a good fit. The muster drill took about 30 minutes. The crew members assigned to lifeboat #5 make the wait enjoyable. I use a cane for stability and was asked several times if I wanted a chair brought out, but I leaned against the wall and things were fine. Dinner was in the main dining room, I had open seating. I was with two couples, we had a pleasant conversation. I was very pleased that the dietary restrictions I had requested were noted, they had a special dinner ready for my. It was very good and followed my requests. The evening show was a brief overview of the trip with a few numbers by the Westerdam entertainers and Rod Long, a comedian, who was very funny. I will try to catch his show one night in the Queen’s Lounge. With the time change I was very tired after the show, it was 9:00 PM on the ship but 11:00 PM Alabama time so I was ready for bed. There was a time change at 2:00 AM so an extra hour of sleep was coming. Knowing I usually wake up early I ordered room service breakfast for 6:00 – 6:30 AM delivery. Monday 10/3/16 1st full Sea Day This morning I was awakened by the room steward delivering my breakfast at 6:15 AM. Guess tomorrow I need to order for later delivery. The seas are very rough today, lots of pitching and movement back and forth. No sea sickness for me, but keeping my footing has been somewhat difficult. Captain Mark hopes we will be in better water tomorrow. There are a lot of my fellow passengers who appear have been too long in the bar, we are all a little wobbly. Mostly overcast skies with occasional breaks of sunshine. I attended the 9:00 AM Good Morning Westerdam Show with Cruise Director Sarah. Each sea day morning she will interview a crew member and discuss what is happening on the ship that day. It was a great way to spend an hour, have a cup of coffee, and learn something. Team Trivia was before lunch. I played with a Cruise Critic team, we didn’t win. I went to lunch in the Lido buffet, a salad and roll. The salad bowls would hold about 10 cups of salad if you had them filled up. This lunch produced a very interesting discussion. Two couples and me. One couple was English the other was Dutch now Americans. They had interesting views on our elections and government actions. Why Trump is resounding with so many people and the role third party candidates may play in the eventual outcome. These types of conversations are a main reason I enjoy traveling solo. There is always someone interesting to talk to. You need to keep up with current events to hold your own but that is also part of the fun in meeting new people. The ship is moving so much the waves in the lido pool are making it real splashy, but lots of fun for the few kids on board. In the afternoon I had two activities planned: a ukulele lesson, learning Little Grass Shack and some history of the Ukulele and an introduction to the Hawaiian language. The onboard location entertainers were very, very good. At 3:00 PM I enjoyed the movie Independence Day – Resurgence in the Queens Lounge – be sure to bring a sweater to the Queens lounge during the day it is kept very, very cool. It warms up at night when the BB King group is performing. Tonight was the first of 3 Gala nights. I went earlier than last night as I did not calculate how long it takes from ordering until you actually get food. I was able to pre-order my meal to follow my dietary restrictions. The dining staff somehow made a no salt, low fat meal very tasty. Tonight the main dish was rack of lamb. My dinner companions were three men two were traveling together and one was a solo. There was a retired English teacher and one was a navy technology officer, I did not hear what the third gentlemen did. The retired navy officer had spent some time in Pensacola so we had some things to talk about and the teacher and I enjoyed talking academia. The evening show was a flute player Viviana Guzman. She did things with a flute I didn’t think you could do. I made it an early night after the show. I did order breakfast for 7:00 AM tomorrow. The seas were very rough all day 15-20 foot swells. He captain assures us we will be out of the low pressure area late tomorrow. At the dinner announcement the Captain joked saying his wife also complains about his driving. I must say poor Captain Mark did everything he could to give a smooth cruise, but Mother Nature just would not cooperate. I think she was determined to remind the passengers how we used to rock and roll in the 60’s and 70’s. Tuesday 10/4/16 2nd Sea Day Seas were rough all night. I was awakened several times. I decided not to take a shower this AM, with the rolling of the ship I am not very steady on my feet. Breakfast was delivered as promised at about 7:10. I went to the 9:00 AM Good Morning Westerdam show with Cruise Director Sarah for the 2nd day. The guest was the culinary host Christina. She was very enjoyable. I talked to the cruise director a bit before the show to make sure I had the time difference correct as I wanted to see the Vice-presidential debate at 9 PM eastern which would be 5 PM ship’s time. Joined a new Trivia team and did better. Jan was raised in Alabama and moved to Washington State with her husband. We are calling our team- Bama. I am glad they are changing the time for Trivia from 12:00 to 1:00 as I can get to the buffet lunch before it becomes a zoo. Today’s lunch was a mess nowhere to really sit. I did have a salad and a cheese sandwich on half a ciabatta roll. The seas started to calm down after lunch as promised by the Captain. The temperature is still only in the mid-60’s. In the afternoon I attended a presentation about the history of Lahaina and Nawiliwili (Na-willie-willie) the final two ports of call in Hawaii, it was somewhat interesting. Heather, the On Location Director is more a reader than a presenter. In the afternoon I attended a history of the hula lecture. Not a hula lesson but how hula has changed over the years and the effects of the missionaries and westerners on the hula. Very interesting seeing the contrast between classic hula and modern hula. I did watch the VP debate from 5 – 6:30. Went to the buffet for dinner. I had a small steak, rice, and broccoli, strangely uncrowded. The 8:00 PM show was the first by the Westerdam entertainers a program called Soundstage featuring songs from movies. There was dancing, singing, and scenes from several movies. An average show but maybe that was because I did not know most of the songs. Note to self - next time sit further back in the Vista lounge as it was loud. Calm seas to rock me to sleep. Wednesday 10/5/16 3rd Sea Day Woke to blue skies and flat seas this morning. Breakfast was delivered between 6:30 and 7:00 as requested. I have now set my alarm for 15 minutes before delivery time but have been awake before it went off last two days. I am enjoying the shower in the cabin, very comfortable and easy to set the water temp. I have ordered an egg substitute vegetable omelet each morning and they have been good, they include a potato cake and I have resisted eating the whole thing. I also order seasonal melon and have been getting a plate with honeydew, watermelon, cantaloupe and either blueberries or blackberries. This is a good way for me to start the day. Yesterday I dropped my tweezers between the cushion on the couch and the hide-a-bed mechanism. I asked if he could fish it out and when I returned to the room later there were the tweezers on the table. Today they had Music trivia in the morning. I went but did miserably I was good with the tune names but you also had to name the artist and I am no good at that part. It was 50’s and 60’s music today. Went to lunch early today as the main dining room was closed for a Mariner’s luncheon. I knew the buffet would be much busier than usual. Glad I did. Finished my Grisham novel last night and started on Michener’s Hawaii today, I haven’t read it in years. I am trying several areas as the best reading nooks. Right now I am focusing on the Captains area of the Crow’s nest and the Explorer’s Lounge on the lower Promenade. As it warms up in the next day or two I am looking forward to reading outside on the Promenade deck. Team trivia was after lunch, team Bama scored more points than yesterday but were still about 8 points behind the winners. We lost not knowing pi to 8 decimal places. They play hard ball trivia on this ship. Went to the Vista lounge for a very enjoyable lecture on the geology and geography of the Hawaiian Islands in the afternoon. I decided to stay in the lounge after the lecture to try Bingo. It was fun but $25.00 for 3 cards and four games is a bit steep. They have unique cards in which you punch a perforated hole for each number called. When a Bingo is called they type in the card number and the program determines if it is a winner. The prizes range from $150 to $275 per game. Dinner was nice, I was at a table of 10 and enjoyed the company of my table mates. Delicious brisket. Skipped the show tonight, Bayne Bacon, as the room was full. He was a popular entertainer. Watched a movie I had brought, the DVD player in the cabin stopped playing part way through so I watched the final half on my computer. Thursday 10/6/16 4th sea day Second Gala Night Woke to calm seas and better temps this AM, finally back in shorts. After breakfast in my cabin I spent some time outside on the upper observation deck. Walked the circuit on that deck and did fairly well. At 9:00 AM went to the Good morning Westerdam show the guest was show host Jake. One funny thing occurred during the interview Sarah asked Jake about how his show the party continues had been attended. This is an opportunity to listen to music but it starts at 11:30 PM in the Northern Lights bar. Jake calmly said he had no one actually show up for the activity. It became a running joke for the rest of the cruise – How is the Party Continues doing? Most readers will know that the demographic for a long HAL Cruise is 60+, most of us are not out and about at 11:30 PM. After the show I went out on deck to read, then took a lap on the Promenade deck (1 lap = 1/3 mile). In the afternoon I attended the 2nd Ukulele lesson and attended a 2nd movie The Descendants. I spent a couple hours before dinner enjoying the breezes on the balcony and reading. This evening’s show, All for Love by the Westerdam entertainers, was completely full when I went at 8:00 PM. I decided it would be a good early night. I just can’t stay up for the 10:00 PM show and I do not like to sit in the lounge/bar areas, it is too tempting to order a drink. I do wish they would not keep the show rooms and lounges so cool. I usually like cool but I have found myself shivering many times. I really wish I had brought one of my cardigans. If you don’t like cold be sure to bring a sweater or cover for the public rooms. Friday 10/7/16 5th Sea day The last sea day on this part of the trip. During the Good Morning Westerdam show Cruise Director Sarah revealed she was anxious for land this is the longest stretch of sea days she has done. In the late morning the On Location Director Heather presented a lecture on Pacific Wayfaring, very interesting. After lunch the crew and passengers had a water volleyball game in the aft Sea View pool. It was fun but for the first time the passengers beat the crew, a rematch is being planned for the return trip. An Aloha concert was scheduled for 3:00 PM. All week the ukulele class and the hula class have been practicing for the concert. After the on location team performed the passengers came on stage. It was fun and part of the cruise experience. There was a Hawaiian language class today and it was very informative. The language is very colorful and has only 16 consonants and 5 vowels. If you can learn the vowels you are say the words. Learning what the words mean and how they are used in a sentence is the hard part. The show tonight was a combined show with the comedian Bayne Bacon and the flutiest. I had heard everyone enjoyed Bayne Bacon but his first full show was full and I didn’t get to see his act. He was funny. Saturday 10/8 Port day Honolulu At last land. I went to go to the house where my parents had lived when they were first married. Upon returning to the port I had about an hour until it was time for the Pearl Harbor Tour. The Aloha Market Place at the dock has free Wi-Fi, I did not buy an internet package on the ship and was anxious to check social media, email and make contact with family and friends back home. I saw some passengers using Wi-Fi, they explained the log-on process. It was really easy once you determined which one of the many networks to use. As I was finishing another couple from the ship stopped by and I showed them the steps to get online. The Pearl Harbor and City Tour Gray Line – Polynesian Adventure Tours (Holland America Excursion) was a 4 hour tour driving around the city and then out to the National Memorial. It includes picture stops at the King Kamehameha I statue and the Iolani Palace. There is a drive through the National Cemetery in the Punchbowl crater. The World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (Arizona Memorial) is very informative. The exhibits Before the War and the Day have very good information, artifacts, and reproductions of the time. The grounds have way stations with informative signs about where ships were and how things happened in 1941. The 20 minute film reviewed the day and is narrated by Stockard Channing. The launch to the memorial is right after the film. It takes about 5 minutes to cross the harbor and you have 15 minutes at the memorial before the launch returns. This is time to contemplate what happened and more of an emotional experience than I expected. Before dinner there was a hula recital by a local Hawaiian dance studio. The dancers ranged in age from 4 years old to 71. It was a mix of men and women. They were very good and the little ones were cute. At the end the ship Captain, Cruise Director, and some passengers got up on stage doing the hula with them. Tonight’s dinner group was not the most interesting, very little cross talk other than an introduction and where you live. The Evening show singer Elika Santos, did not appeal so I spent some time on the Sea View Deck watching the island lights as we sailed from Oahu Sunday 10/9 Port Day Hilo Lori Pele: Goddess of Fire Volcano Exploration Gray Line (excursion through Holland America) I booked this 4 hour tour of Volcanos National Park through Holland America. Gray Line tours Polynesian adventure tours is the operator. I am glad I selected the small group option as we were in a small bus with about 15 people. Lori was interesting but you could tell this was close to the end of tourist season and she had done the tour many times. The first stop is the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut factory. Lori did inform us that there was no food service any other place on the tour so we might want to pick up a sandwich etc. here. It was about an hour up to Volcanos National Park. At the Jagger Museum you could look out over the crater and see the lava spewing about 50 feet in the air. There isn’t a current lava flow just the cauldron. The return trip had two main attractions the Thurston Lava Tube and the 1974 lava flow. The Lava Tube required a walk down steep steps and was slippery so I did not go down. Sitting at the top of the steps I enjoyed ease dropping on another tour operator talking about the tube and the local flora and fauna. The day in total was interesting and I did learn a lot about volcanos. I was very tired upon returning to the ship and decided to enjoy the sail away, a light dinner in the Lido, and listening to Adagio in the Explorer’s Lounge before an early bedtime due to a long excursion tomorrow. Monday 10/10 Port Day Lahaina Lahaina is the only tender port on this cruise. Due to the shore excursion, I had purchased through HAL, I was ticketed for the first tender of the morning. The excursion was Adventure to Hana. This is a 10 hour tour that takes you around the east side of Maui. About 40 miles of the route is the Road to Hana a very curvy (620 curves) with many (59) one lane bridges and road sections that are really one lane but you may need to squeeze by other vehicles. Our mini-bus hugged the mountainside many times. The scenery is tropical rain forest passing several beautiful waterfalls, scenic views, and cattle ranches. There is a short stop at the Waianapanapa State park and black sand beach. I was fortunate to have Bruce as the driver/guide for the day. Bruce a transplanted Texan made it an enjoyable day and took into consideration the needs of his 15 not so young passengers. At the end of 10 hours we all felt we had a great time and made new friends. There are sufficient breaks and opportunities to get out, stretch your legs, and use bathroom facilities. The stops allow enough time to view the area but you don’t feel rushed. The stop at Palapala Congressional Church the location of Charles Lindbergh’s grave was very interesting as well as the Kipahulu National Park location of the 7 sacred pools. It is about a half mile walk down to the pools. The visitor/ranger station had some very interesting history of early Hawaiian life. Along the highway are homes of several famous people - Oprah, one of the Beach Boys, Willie Nelson and others. There is a stop at Travaasa Experiential Resort for lunch which was just OK, but I am a bit jaded after many days of superb cruise ship dining. A word of warning, they caution people with back backs and pregnant women to avoid this trip – pay attention to this warning the road has many miles of unpaved and poorly paved roads. The curves take skill and knowledge of driving on narrow roads. I think it is best left to the professionals and locals rather than trying to drive it yourself. It was late when we returned to the ship, the driver added some things to the tour as the ships departure time had been moved back. The sail away was delayed several hours allowing passengers to attend an evening Luau in Lahaina, which was arranged after we had left Vancouver. It is nice that HAL can make changes on the go. Tuesday 10/11 Port Day Nawiliwili This was my big splurge on a splurge trip - a helicopter tour of Kauai. Here is the Trip Advisor Review I posted of the experience. Great Experience on Kauai I don’t give a lot of five star ratings, but Safari Helicopter on Kauai, Hawaii deserves five plus stars. From my first phone call they were caring, business like, and more than willing to answer questions from a first time helicopter flyer. I say this because I was treated rudely by two other companies while asking questions about weight restrictions before booking. If you are around 250 pounds they will work with you to get you on a flight with no surcharge, if they can, not true with some other companies I contacted. The pick up from the dock was on time, when arriving in the office we were given safety information, be prepared to be entertained if Sherrill (sic) is your driver, he is funny. Julia, the pilot was friendly and well informed about the places we were flying by. You fly through Waimea Canyon, along the Napali Coast. Hanalea bay, and the wettest place on earth. There are many water falls and greens that look painted rather than the natural beauty that is Kauai. The actual flight time is about 45 minutes but it takes about 1.5 hours from dock to dock. The price is pretty much in the middle of the options available. I would suggest Safari Helicopters for a wonderful experience of a beautiful island. The office is across the street from Hilo Hattie’s and there is a free shuttle from HH to the ship. Tonight there is a sail away cookout on the Sea View deck with grilled pu-pu. This was supposed to be appetizers but I made it a meal. Spent the evening in the cabin editing and organizing pictures from the last few days. Now five sea days to relax going home. Wednesday 10/12 Sea Day At 10:00 AM there was a special sail away party on the Sea View deck with a farewell to Hawaii ceremony. Throwing your lei over as you sail away ensures your return to the islands. Fresh Mahi Mahi was purchased on the islands and was grilled for lunch on the lido deck, it was delicious. This is a recovery day from the four active days in port. Mostly reading and relaxing. The evening show was Patrick McMahon. He is great and had the entire Vista lounge singing along to songs we all enjoyed in the 60’s and 70’s. The ships clocks will be set forward one hour tonight. Thursday 10/13 Sea Day Good morning Westerdam has returned for the trip back to Vancouver. Enjoyed hearing about the library and resources available. Sarah also explained the time changes coming up and why they are doing it the way they are. Rather than losing an hour each night, which is very hard on the crew, the clocks will be set forward ½ hour at 2 in the afternoon. Since we are at sea no need for exact time and this way you still get a full night’s sleep and no jet lag. Sounds strange but it worked very well and it was almost unnoticeable except for the Captan’s announcement of the change each day at 2 PM. Today also started the dance classes late morning in the Crow’s Nest, each of the sea days will present a different dance. I don’t dance but I went to watch and hold a place for the Trivia team to re-organize after the port days. They did have Trivia on port days but the time did not work for me. In the Afternoon Stryker from the piano bar held a talent show organized from the passengers he had encountered in the piano bar events. It was fun and the passengers were very good, for the most part. I did join a friend for Bingo in the afternoon and won a regular game (with 4 others) and the cover-all (with 3 others). Prize is enough to cover my gratuities bill, not bad. The evening show was the Bornsteins, a mentalist act. Unfortunately it was fairly mediocre. Friday 10/14 Sea Day Today Captain Mark held a very informative Ask the Captain Q&A. I did play Trivia today, but somehow I just didn’t feel like doing a lot. At dinner I was seated with two couples who did not know each other but came to find out both had taught and lived in rural Yukon for many years. Just listening to their stories of living and teaching in that area of Canada made for an enjoyable evening. The evening entertainer was Lilly-Jane Young a singer who was very entertaining. She sang all types of songs from show tunes to classical opera. Saturday 10/15 Sea Day Today is not a good day, a fellow passenger decided to share their cold with me. This may account for feeling out of it yesterday. I do have a few cold tablets but will need to buy more. I decided to spend most of the day in the cabin as the cold pills make me drowsy. I ordered breakfast and lunch in, but the soup was so salty I could not eat it. The ship is still rocking and rolling a lot. Unfortunately in the early afternoon a stabilizer went out and the ship developed quite a roll in addition to the pitch from rough seas. The Captain warned everyone to take great care when moving about the ship. The movement was so bad there were comfort bags hanging from the railings by all the elevators. The motion has not bothered me but I could really tell the difference as I went higher in the ship. The stabalizers were fixed after about 2 hours of rocking and rolling. I decided I did need to get out of the cabin so went up to the Lido for a light dinner. I took in the Variety show featuring the Bornsteins and Patrick McMahon. Sunday 10/16 Sea Day This is the last full sea day. My cold is better but I don’t have a lot of energy. I spent most of the day reading in the Explorer’s Lounge, having a quick bite in the Lido for lunch, dinner in the MDR and an early night. Monday 10/17 Port - Victoria Captain Mark moved across the Pacific at a higher than usual speed to avoid bad weather in the Pacific North West. Due to the speed docking in Victoria was several hours ahead of scheduled. I was feeling somewhat better but since I had been to Victoria several time I decided it would be a good time to just enjoy the ship. I was able to walk around and spend time looking at the art and enjoying some peace and quite while many passengers were off the ship. Tuesday 10/18 Disembarkation – Vancouver Getting off the ship was fairly easy. I did have some trouble finding a cart in the luggage area on the pier but finally received some assistance from workers in the area. The line to board the transport bus to the airport was fairly long but time was only about 35-40 minutes in line. I had plenty of time until my flight so this did not worry me. Overall, this cruise was a wonderful experience. I met several very interesting people and had a very good time. Traveling solo opens you up to new experiences and new friendships. A caveat is if you do not like sea days this is not the cruise for you. If on the other hand you enjoy the relaxation of sea days this is a wonderful way to get a taste of Hawaii and be pampered at the same time. As I wrote this review I received an offer for another HAL cruise and will be sailing to the Panama Canal on HAL in December 2016. Read Less
Westerdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.5 3.9
Entertainment 4.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 2.5 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.9
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 4.0
Rates 4.0 4.2

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