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Holland America Line: Westerdam

  • Holland America Line
  • Holland America Line

Westerdam Review

Introduced in 2004 and named for the Western compass point, Westerdam is the third ship in Holland America Line’s Vista-class. Westerdam's art collection theme is Dutch Heritage in the New World and works range from paintings of historic Dutch ships, such as Henry Hudson's Half Moon, to a huge Indian silver-overlaid wood palace doorway. Contemporary pieces include an original Andy Warhol portrait and sculptures by Sedona artist Susanna Holt.

Ships for the 21st century, Vista-class vessels integrate new, youthful, and family-friendly elements into Holland America Line's classic fleet. Exquisite Waterford-crystal sculptures adorn triple-deck atriums and reflect vivid, almost daring color schemes throughout. Although all the public rooms carry the traditional Holland America names (Ocean Bar, Explorer's Lounge, Crow's Nest) and aren't much different in atmosphere, their louder decor (toned down a bit since the introduction of the Zuiderdam) may make them unfamiliar to returning passengers.

Veterans of cruises on older Holland America ships will find the layout of public spaces somewhat different; still, everyone's favorite Crow's Nest lounges continue to offer those commanding views.

Holland America Line has enjoyed a distinguished record of traditional cruises, world exploration, and transatlantic crossings since 1873—all facets of its history that are reflected in the fleet's multimillion-dollar shipboard art and antiques collections. Even the ships' names follow a pattern set long ago: all end in the suffix dam and are either derived from the names of various dams that cross Holland's rivers, important Dutch landmarks, or points of the compass. The names are even recycled when vessels are retired, and some are in their fifth and sixth generation of use.

Noted for focusing on passenger comfort, Holland America Line cruises are classic in design and style, and with an infusion of younger adults and families on board, they remain refined without being stuffy or stodgy. Following a basic design theme, returning passengers feel as at home on the newest Holland America vessels as they do on older ones.

What You Should Know

Pros

  • Next to the Crow's Nest, an outdoor seating area is a quiet hideaway
  • Exterior panoramic elevators offer an elevated view of the seascape
  • You can borrow iPod shipboard art tours

Cons

  • Vista-class ships do not have self-service laundry rooms
  • Murals in Pinnacle Grill restaurants look out of place alongside priceless art found throughout the rest of the ships
  • Some chairs in Pinnacle Grill are so heavy that they barely budge without effort
Ship Stats
  • Entered Service 2004
  • Passenger Capacity 1,916
  • Crew Members 817
  • Number of Cabins 958
  • Gross Tons 82,305
  • Length 936 feet
  • Width 106 feet
  • New

Jan 1, 2017

Review of Westerdam

david seydler Age: 57 Occupation:construction superintendent Number of Cruises: 1 Cruise Line: Holland America Ship: Westerdam Sailing Date: 2013-09-6 Itinerary: alaska the ship looked great and our neptune room was nice but our toilet would not flush and sewer gas could be smelled almost all the time.the first two days they kept working on it and pronounced it fixed over and over,and i got a plate of strawberries.when the problem persisted i was

told by front desk person Mel that a meeting with senior ship personnel and i would happen next morning to resolve the issue.no one showed up and no reason was given.nothing was ever fixed i even got my foot infected in an unsanitary bathroom.no compensation was ever given food was good very nice except toilet would not work and that's actually kind of important did not do so much plane ride and land on lake in wilderness was very cool it doesn't matter how good the food was or how friendly the staff is if you have to live with an unsanitary bathroom i will not be back

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  • New

Jan 30, 2014

alaska

the ship looked great and our neptune room was nice but our toilet would not flush and sewer gas could be smelled almost all the time.the first two days they kept working on it and pronounced it fixed over and over,and i got a plate of strawberries.when the problem persisted i was told by front desk person Mel that a meeting with senior ship personnel and i would happen next morning to resolve the issue.no one showed up and no reason was given.nothing

was ever fixed i even got my foot infected in an unsanitary bathroom.no compensation was ever given food was good very nice except toilet would not work and that's actually kind of important did not do so much plane ride and land on lake in wilderness was very cool it doesn't matter how good the food was or how friendly the staff is if you have to live with an unsanitary bathroom i will not be back

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By Mike_CR

  • New

Aug 31, 2013

Caribbean

Like many others have sald, Holland isn't a premium line like Celebrity any more, sort of a middle of the pack one. Bad customer support, as bought a watch on the cruise that had problems, and never could get any help when it went bad after 8 months. I would probably try Royal or some other line the next time in this location. Adequate, buffet definitely below average in some areas. Didn't like fact that most of the main line food was

controlled by servers versus help your self the whole trip. Bar deals a plus. Above average, decent but a bit dated. Not a lot, but didn't expect a lot on this cruise, more of a destination cruise.

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  • New

May 22, 2013

inside passage

This was my first cruise experience. I have always wanted to go to Alaska since I was a child so decided to do that first time on a cruise to be able to see a lot of the landscape. Overall the cruise experience was very positive. We felt looked after and things ran smoothly. One negatvie comment is that on the first day of our cruise after embarkation we went to explore the facilites and it felt a little bit like a sales tour as everywhere we went

we were being offered 'special packages' (i.e. if you want to use the hydroterapy pool you can purchase our special package today of $300) and the second negative comment which will have an impact on my future bookings is regarding how much time we had to explore the town/city we were visiting. It seemed that with the trip the only place we had a decent time to explore the port was Juneau, after that the time window became less and less. It was very frustating when in Ketchikan which turned out to be my favorite place, after our shore excursion I had only 20 minutes to walk through town before we had to leave. And the worst was in Victoria, Canada: we were supposed to arrive at 6pm and our shore excursion would leave at 6.35pm. Bearing in mind, everyone had to be on board again at 11.30pm that did not give enough time, but that was only made worse by the fact that Canadian Immigration took ages to process everyone so by the time we went out of the ship it was 7.30pm! A little bit late for sightseeing. Food was amazing, however there were times where we had difficulty finding a place to sit down and eat. At other times, when for example a barbecue was taken place we had to give up the idea because the queue was absolutely huge! I imagine the all the cruise ships have small cabins, so even though we were in a suite it still felt small, but having a balcony was surely a plus as we were able to spot several whales from our stateroom! I did not participate in a lot of them as did not think they were very interesting. Juneau - photo safari was well worth it as we were able to see the beautiful scenery of Medenhall Glacier and spot some whales and sea lions Sitka - raptor center is a must as you get face to face with beautiful eagles and other majestic birds; bear sanctuary was nice as this was our only opportunity to see bears up close but the place makes you a little bit sad for the bears and it looks a little bit of a dump. Salmon hatchery was also interesting. Ketchikan - miss the excursions and explore this lovely town by yourself otherwise you are left with almost no time to do it and it is a shame! Victoria - Visiting the city is worth but skip the so called castle as it is not a castle at all and it is not that interesting I have always wanted to visit Alaska since I was a child as the landscape is just amazing. This is a huge state and also so beautiful that you will find yourself thinking you are in some type of post card experiment all the time! Beautiful place, nice people, amazing views and wildlife!

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  • New

Mar 18, 2013

Caribbean

Summarizing our holiday I would say we had a good time but will not use HAL again. In our opinion not up to five star prices. Would suit families who like cruising and on a limited budget. I did not see much for the children to do but I am not an expert so could be wrong but it is something perhaps parents should really look into before booking. We thought the food was good with good variety. The buffet had a good selection of food

and catered for all or if not most of the guests. The restaurant in the evening was chaos. HAL have the option of either set times or anytime which just does not work when the ship is at full capacity. It was chaos especially the second week when we had new guests aboard. It did not matter whether you had set dining or anytime as the most popular time was between 7.45 and 9pm. On average we waited for over thirty minutes for a table and on one night nearly an hour. We opted after a few nights of anytime to go for set time - no difference total chaos. When we did arrive at our table there was always something missing, cutlery, glasses, serviettes and one one occasion I actually went and found some cutlery. Our meals themselves took on average one and a half hours and on two occasions took over two hours to get the food and eat it and we gave up on the coffee as it just did not arrive. The wine stewards were excellent so we did at least have drinks whilst waiting! Everyone who either spoke to us or us to them experienced the same. We felt sorry for the stewards and they just could not cope it was just awful. If you wanted to see the show it was either eat in the restaurant and take a chance or go for the buffet. The stateroom was clean. The steward was ok but a few times we had to clean up after him for eg. an empty shampoo bottle and body lotion had been left in the bathroom for two days before I actually cleaned the bathroom. I think he simply just did not notice them although they were on the edge of the bath. My friends stateroom she use to straighten her sheets every night and shake her pillows as the bed had not clearly been made properly. Again they are in such a rush they cannot cope. Good I think although we did not participate everyone seem to enjoy them. Unfortunately we did not get to two of the islands. The first island HAL's island we could not tender because of bad weather. Turks & Caicos we could not go to as there was an outbreak of illness on the island and the ship was advised not to dock. We do not go on organised excursions as we prefer to do our own thing and use local knowledge i.e. taxis etc. when cruising. However we did do two in Fort Lauderdale and both were very good and well worth the value. Having paid five star price for this cruise I would have expected better service and the interior to be up to scratch. We arrived on this ship and through the necessary administration which went very smoothly and I thought this is a very good start to the cruise. I went with my husband and two friends who equally felt we were off to a good start. However it went down hill from there. When we were shown to our staterooms I noticed the decor somewhat dated and in need of redecoration. The stateroom was good and everything in order. Overall the cruise was good but certainly not up to five star or up to the standard of Celebrity Cruises or Princess Cruises. A fellow guest commented overall the ship lacked the small detail which makes a ship and the cruise an unforgettable experience. Had we paid four star price it would have been just acceptable and we will not be using HAL again. as the Westerdam does not live up to HAL's advertisements. They really must sort out the restaurant timetable. All four of us are very active people who go on several holidays all types and have been all over the world and will be holidaying for several years to come but this has been the least enjoyable holiday but a few good laughs at the chaos.

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