Worse than other cruise lines
Westerdam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Sail Date: October 26, 2008
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 9 years ago
Definitely caters to a certain audience. The repeat Holland America cruisers we spoke to, were happy with the trip. We were in for a bit of culture shock.
* Under no circumstances should it be considered acceptable for smoke to permeate the staterooms of non-smoking passengers. Because they allow smoking anywhere on the ship -- there isn't even a single floor/deck set aside for non-smokers -- cigarette smoke is felt as soon as you step on board the ship.
* Except for the pizza and taco bars, there was almost no "off-hours" food service -- lunch hours were strictly 12 - 1:30, and afternoons or > 9pm it was hard to find any edible snacks. The last day's breakfast is over by 8am, even though the last group disembarks at 10:15am.
* Entertainment was limited (karaoke was contest-only; theatrical shows were revue/variety only). Food lacked variety -- no tropical fruit or various smoked fish for breakfast, like on Princess. Not enough dancing -- actually, no dance classes at all. No karaoke, except for the contest which you must enter on the first night, and there's more verbal abuse of the contestants (a la american idol) than there is actual singing. No real cover bands like Norwegian; would be nice to have some reggae to get into the spirit. Instead they try to be classy with a string quartet before dinner, which gets boring, and anyway they were flat / out of tune.
* The sauna/spa is a joke, it's tiny compared to other cruise lines, I think the "real" sauna is not free and part of the spa package (not like princess).
* Food is definitely not any better than other cruise lines, though the "loyal customers" swear by it, and adore the head chef, it's not that imaginative or memorable. Lamb and escargot were good though.