Posted April 17th, 2005, 10:00 PM
We're back! Had a great cruise on the Westerdam. I'm going to start this thread now and I will do a more thorough review in the next couple of days.
Real quick though. Embarkation was a total disaster. The check-in line was over 2 hours long and HAL wasn't dealing with it very well. More later.
There have been alot of posts about terrible food and service. There were absolutely NO problems with either one. Quality and quantity of food was excellant and certainly up to HAL standards. We would have liked a little more variety but what was offered was very good. Service staff was up to usual HAL standards. NEVER had a problem with someone taking drink orders or anything like that. Dining room service was as quick as it has been in the past. It's always slower then eating at LIDO buffet.
I don't want to start any rumors but there seems to be some health issues with Capt. Jack. He totally missed the welcome aboard party and at one point the Daily program intimated that Capt Dirk was in command. However, at mariner's society reception on Saturday Capt. Jack greeted everyone but seemed a bit pre-occupied.
The Westerdam has now gone into "Wet Dock". They are taking 10 days to clean and refurbish before departing for their trans-Atlantic. For those in the Port Everglades area I heard that the "Westie" was going to anchor off shore and "tender" back and forth. The crew seemed to be looking forward to the 8 hour work day and trip to Disney. The cruise staff is being broken up though. Jennifer the shopping ambassador and Vuk the cruise director have left and are not returning for the European stint.
For those who chose to fly into Miami International and transfer to Port Everglades for ANY cruise; you might want to rethink that decision. It's a long story and I'll tell more in the next few days.
I paid special attention to details that I had seen posted here. If you have a question I'll try to answer it. The shampoos and soaps are the same as they have been and I noticed a smoking post that I'll try to explain more fully later.
All in all we had a great cruise and were not at all dissappointed. By the way, we started getting winds in Cozumel on Friday and it was a rough trip back on Saturday with 12' seas but nothing like the ship at Charleston.