Nice cruise for an older crowd

Westerdam Cruise Review to Alaska

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 17

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5

10 Night Double Denali Ct-D6l (Anchorage To Vancouver)

Sail date: June 20, 2019

Ship: Westerdam

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

The last time we cruised with Holland America was in 2000. At that time we found HAL among the elite in the cruise line industry. The ship we cruised on then was pristine in every way but the Westerdam did not meet that same standard. Additionally, on this cruise HAL made promises for offers and sold services to us that they cannot, will not, or are incapable to provide. My wife and I were offered a complimentary dinner at the Pinnacle Grill but when we got onboard we were not provided a reservation as were our traveling companions. We paid $89.99 for a week's worth of internet service but the service was so poor it was rarely useable. We found the Customer Service Desk confused and rarely able to provide help. They rescheduled us for the Pinnacle Grill dinner but that turned out to be a sham. When our friends tried to adjust their Pinnacle Grill reservation to match ours they found out that we did not have a reservation and, in fact, the one they once had had disappeared too. Finally, HAL seems to be a favorite for older, less than ambulatory, passengers. There isn't much HAL can do in this regard but for the younger, fully functional, traveler HAL probably is not a good choice.


5 out of 5
Outstanding! HAL processed us when we were on the train from Vancouver to Seward. Walked off the train and onto the ship with our cabin key in hand and without delay. Nicely done!

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5
Food and drink onboard were excellent!

Pinnacle Grill

1 out of 5

The Pinnacle Grill is actually very nice. The problem is getting in. Don't count on having a reservation because HAL gave you a complimentary dinner there. It seems it is only complimentary if enough people onboard don't choose to pay for dinner there. Also, you cannot rely on any reservation made for you by the Customer Service Desk. They make reservations for you at the Pinnacle Grill but when you get there you get turned away because they don't have your reservation.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
Didn't really do that much onboard other than enjoy the music at the Billboard and it was excellent! My wife had a great time at the casino as well.


5 out of 5
Again, the musicians at the Billboard were great.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Room service was outstanding. Guest services is a bit of a fiasco. They seem to promise services or help which requires them to follow-up, they just don't follow up. Made reservations for us at the Pinnacle Grill but when we got there there was no reservation. Dissappointed, we ate at the buffet that night.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
It;s a smaller and older ship so doesn't offer all the amenities of the larger and newer ones. We were fine with that but generally I would say the Westerdam is showing her age and probably is due for refurbishment.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
We had a Verandah cabin and it was very nice although typically compact. Our cabin stewards were awesome and kept us comfortable and stocked throughout.

Ship tip

Unless you are tolerant to a much older crowd, many who are barely ambulatory I would not recommend cruising with Holland America.

Ports of call

Anchorage, Alaska

3 out of 5
Anchorage was just a stop over for us as we traveled by train from Denali to Seward. We stayed in the Westmark Hotel which was average at best. As we left the hotel to get on a bus for transport back to a Seward bound train, the HAL representatives were horrific and totally lost control. The two elderly ladies who put you on the buses are not capable of handling large crowds leading to confusion and a whole lot of frustration. It was ugly!

Denali State Park

5 out of 5
Simply outstanding. Alaska is about wild life and scenery and it doesn't get much better than Denali. HAL's McKinley Resort is awesome with nice rooms, good food and drink and excellent entertainment.

Seward (Anchorage), Alaska

5 out of 5
Didn't spend much time here but transitioned from the train right onto the ship. HAL did a great job with the transition.

Cruise Glacier Bay

5 out of 5
Beautiful scenery!

Skagway, Alaska

5 out of 5
Very nice, quaint little town. White Pass train ride was nice.

Haines, Alaska

4 out of 5
Not much going on in Haines.

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
Another nice town. Did some whale watching here and it was very enjoyable.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
This town is allot of fun with its shops, bars and restaurants. We did an excursion here and wish we would have just stayed in town. The excursion was great but by this point in the cruise we probably could have done without seeing more mountains, snow, trees, waterfalls and well just water.

Cruise Inside Passage, Alaska

5 out of 5
Again, unbelievable scenery similar to what we saw throughout the cruise.

Vancouver (Canada Place), British Columbia

5 out of 5
We were not prepared for Vancouver. It is the nicest, cleanest and friendliest cities we have ever been in and we are not city type people. We highly recommend the "Hop-on/Hop-off" bus tour service. It takes you all over the city on a narrated tour that you can jump off and back on anytime you like. Also recommend the Best Western Hotel on Granville St. Nice rooms, great service, lots of restaurants in the area and a Hop-on/Hop-off stop right in front of the hotel.


5 out of 5
Disembarkation was well organized and efficient.
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