April 2009 - Westerdam to Panama Canal, Central America
Before sailing on the Westerdam, we were told by several people who had sailed with Holland America that they had been disappointed. We always try to find out for ourselves and this time, our friends were right. The ship is small, and boring. At every port there was an ambulance to meet us for some emergency or another. The biggest problem was finding a seat at the Lido Deck for breakfast or lunch. Most of the cruisers chose to sit at "their table" for all of their meals and would not move. In between feedings they would sit, read, and sleep. We decided it was easier to order room service. Anytime seating was nice, waiter staff were very attentative. Food was fair at most. Menu was always trying to make it something it was not. The enitre staff was great and seems to be the only asset Holland America has. Entertainment was OK. Everything seemed to shut down before 11:00pm. If you have ever cruised on the other cruise lines like Carnival and Royal Carribean, you will notice that the ship stays active most of the night. Going thru the Panama Canal was an awsome experience but we were disappointed in other ports. Why stop at ports that it is obvious that tourists are not welcome.
All and all, we had a great time and accomplished what we wanted, but would never travel on Holland America again.