A Mediocre Experience Not to be Repeated

Westerdam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 4
Helpful Votes: 7

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Sail Date: March 01, 2008
Ship: Westerdam
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 10 years ago

This is our 2nd cruise on this cruiseline. We cruised 2 years ago on the Oosterdam and had a wonderful experience. Not so on this trip. The quality of HAL's service has greatly deteriorated in the past couple of years - could this have anything to do with being owned by another cruise line now (think "the party ships")? Ship staff is either overworked, or indifferent to customers. For example, our rooms/beds/baths were not "made up" until late afternoon, 3:00 p.m. one day, and never before noon. One day, they came in so late they just turned the bed down for the night. This is not acceptable.

They formerly had carafes of ice water in the rooms. Now, if you don't want to drink the water out of the bathroom sink, you must purchase bottled water from the mini-bar in the room. They have removed one storage area and placed a mini-bar so the rooms have less storage space. I actually was going to drink one of the diet drinks out of the mini-bar, but luckily noticed the expiration date on the bottom of the can and it had been expired for 2 months.

Ice cream and cookie bar had cookies only about half the time. When we finally asked for cookies one day, we were told that we could get them from Room service, but the cookie bar was "Out of Cookies". We asked if Room service and the cookie bar got cookies from the same place and was told yes. We then asked if we could get cookies, why couldn't the cookie bar. Finally, a "higher up" was summoned and he corrected the problem and apologized. It seems the person on duty at the bar just didn't want to walk down to the kitchen and get another tray of cookies. This was the attitude of most of the service personnel. Something was definitly wrong on this ship.

Food was only "OK", but nothing special. We did not like the open seating. We were told that the open seating plan was the only way we could eat in the dining room, so every night, we had a different table, different waiters and a different time to eat. We like to have our table ready for us with the type of drinks we like ready, etc. Seven nights out of seven, our dinner orders were wrong.

We were traveling with another couple and their experience was as unpleasant as ours. As we were leaving the ship, all we heard were negative comments about this cruise. I'm glad I'm a seasoned cruiser, or this experience might have turned me off from cruising. We probably will not travel on Holland America again in the near future.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Food was average. They seemed to have a hard time keeping up with the flow in the Lido restaurant as lines were usually long. AYW dining is not for us, but we weren't able to get traditional so had to live with it.


3 out of 5
Singers and Dancers were great, along with the staging/costumes. The Elton John Impersonator show is not to be missed. Julie Barr (the comedienne) was was mediocre and a little crude for our tastes. Helen and the HALcats were average (actually, just Helen - the HALcats were above average). It would have been nice to have more "Island Music" up on deck around the pool instead of the same old tired 50's-60's stuff. The trivia games were fun to participate in and the library at Explorations was very nice. Activities were geared to the older set. We are in our late 50's and we would have been considered some of the younger set, which is OK by me.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
For the whole week, the only bright spot was one waiter at the lido pool who offered to get us glasses of water when we playing cards. This was the only show of actual concern for passenger's comfort from the crew that we experience and we turned his name into the front desk to make sure he was recognized for his thoughtfulness. The crew (other than the officers) was almost entirely Indonesian or Philippino and they seemed very clickish with each other and not as interested in interacting with the passengers as we have experienced on other ships where the crew was more multi-national.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Nice public areas that were well maintained.

Cabin / Stateroom

1 out of 5
See above. One washcloth/towel per day. In past cruises, everytime we left our stateroom the steward came and straightened it up, brought fresh towels if needed and refilled the water carafe (which now has been eliminated).

Pros: The Itinerary

Cons: The Unfriendly and Unhelpful Crew

Recommends Westerdam? No.

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