April 2015 - Westerdam to Panama Canal, Central America
I have never cruised with Holland America before as it was not really "on my radar." I am loyal to Princess. Because of the itinerary that fit my schedule and points of interest, we decided upon a short 4 night cruise from San Diego to Vancouver. I left the hubby at home and went on a girl's trip with 2 friends. It was great. The ship was smaller than I am used to, but this brought a sense of privacy and quiet that was refreshing. The Westerdam is a beautiful, dark colored elegant ship loaded with art and sculptures. We were pleased with our large staterooms. We chose the aft center that had a very large balcony for us 3 ladies to enjoy together for coffee and happy hour. The service was wonderful, the shows very good. (I am a singer and I was impressed with all of the vocalists, especially the BB King blues singers... WOW). The best surprise was the food. It was excellent. The quality far exceeded any other cruise line. I am a good cook, and a real foodie. On other lines, it is always hit or miss for me. I am telling you, our food on the Westerdam was restaurant quality. The selection in the Lido buffet was incredible. The hamburger/hot dog grill was as good as my favorite hamburger restaurant at home. I do not know how they do it. The pastries and bread were as good as a specialty bakery. We travel quite a bit, especially in Europe, and the food was as good as anywhere we have been! Now- on the downside... I thought the guests were VERY casually dressed all the time, definitely OLDER and VERY QUIET! Zzzzzzzzz. I like at least one formal night and there wasn't one and "smart casual" means smart casual, not tennis shoes and t shirts in the dining room! There was no real night life onboard. The ship showed a little wear and tear, chairs that didn't recline, and frayed carpets. With that being "said" I look forward to coming back to another Holland cruise with my husband. I know he will love it too.