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Found 111 results

  1. I follow a boat reviewer Aquaholic on YouTube and he is out for a ride in Tor Bay and circles around several ships - notably Westerdam, Volendam and Zaandam (QM2 and two P&O ships earlier). One thing's for sure - these blue-hull beauties need paint stat. The Volendam's white around the 3/4 aft name area is badly oxidized! YouTube link starting at the Westerdam ...
  2. I've read for several years now that starting January 1, 2022 the larger cruise ships that do "drive by" Antarctica cruises will no longer be able to offer them. On the strength of this I booked an itinerary for January 2021 on Westerdam thinking it may be my last chance to do this cruise without investing in the hefty cost of the expedition vessels. Needless to say I've been losing hope of a January 2021 sailing due to COVID (and even if the sailing takes place, not sure I would feel safe...). Yet a few weeks ago when I went looking at itineraries to try to figure out what to do about that, lo and behold I found a number of larger ships STILL OFFERING these itineraries in January 2022 -- including Westerdam, Celebrity's Silhouette (larger still) and Princess' Sapphire Princess. How can this be? Other than a poster or two here on Cruise Critic, there seems to be an absence of clear information on the Polar Code's impact to larger cruise ships. I do understand there are two categories of requirements, those that are environmentally-based (which already went into effect I believe) and those that are safety based. Now as I cannot believe that all of these large ships have had the necessary hull-strengthening done, I am wondering what gives? The alternatives seem to be: For some reason the hull requirement has been rolled back or further delayed. Large cruise lines are ignorant of the ruling (impossible to believe) or are simply ignoring it. Cruisers are being lied to when the description says that we will have "expedition cruising in the Antarctic peninsula" on our cruises. Past interpretations posted here on CC of what the changes would entail were incorrect. Having found a good deal on the January 2022 cruise on Westerdam, I went ahead with a reservation. But I would be very curious to find out exactly what is going on. (I am still holding on to the 2021 for the time being "just in case".) I will be most unhappy if I am told 3 months out by HAL that the itinerary has changed due to "new" requirements -- which have been known since 2017 at least. That's a bait and switch that would be difficult to gloss over. Anyone have any thoughts on this situation? I've already read a number of online articles about this and feel very little wiser.
  3. I'm starting a new thread to track the returning Westerdam pax. The existing thread ' has become muddled by misinformation. The last 5 pages of the 47-page thread is not worth reading. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2731085-news-on-the-westerdam/ This thread is for those with useful information to share. For those interested in useful information. Thanks to the pax who have provided updates, and to their friends and family doing the same. To recap, there are over one thousand pax in transit limbo and still on the ship, A few hundred passengers have returned home and are being monitored. The 800+ crew are still on the ship. I'm sure that we wish them all the best. Two pax are hospitalized in KL. The passengers in Cambodia and Malaysia have undergone a laboratory test. So far, it looks like there were no other infected persons on board. Time will tell whether the KL infected pax passed the disease on to others. COVID-19 is a highly infectious and deadly. The tables here provide the numbers... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019%E2%80%9320_Wuhan_coronavirus_outbreak Fortunately, the number of infected outside China/HK (and excluding Diamond Princess) is tiny. In the last few days, the number has remained at 400+. Only four deaths. The efforts by the Chinese/HK governments are paying off. The number of infected in HK is small and remains static. Life goes on. International containment is working. Lessons have been learned from the SAR and H1N1 crisis. It remains to be seen whether the Westerdam infected pax has made a difference. At this time, there's not much point in recriminations. Rather, let's use this situation as a learning opportunity. Best wishes for everyone infected anywhere in the world.
  4. The Westerdam call into Southampton UK
  5. I'm thinking about sailing on the Westerdam in a veranda (VA) cabin and read that those cabins on the Veranda Deck have balconies that are 4.5 feet wide whereas those on the Navigation Deck are 5.5 feet wide. Is this true?
  6. Has anyone out there received a refund from HAL for this sailing which was cancelled?
  7. I'm hoping that 3 time's a charm. We have never had a Neptune Suite. The closest we've come was our April Australia/NZ cruise that was cancelled, then our January 2021 Hawaii cruise that was cancelled this week. So, we're going to upgrade our balcony cabin to a Neptune Suite for our Med/TA cruise in October 2021. It will be on the Westerdam. We prefer aft or mid ship, on decks 6 or 7 and want a SC or SB. We're ok if we aren't on the same deck with the Neptune Lounge as long as the cabin is a good one. Does anyone have any favorites? Some of the cabins we're considering: 6166, 6167, 7142 and 7151. These are aft wraps -- are the cabins smaller than other VBs? Looking at the deck plans, is the entryway more narrow for these cabins? Since this is our first NS I'm being a bit more fussy than usual 😉 Others are 7087 and 7093 on the hump -- same question, is the entryway narrow? The others we're looking at are 7084, 7086, 7089 and 7091. Any advice is welcome!!
  8. I understand that so many cruises have been cancelled, but I was wondering what are the chances of the Westerdam sailing in South America in November going a head. I don’t have to pay the balance until July, if pay the balance and it is cancelled there seems to be a long wait for a refund. However, a bigger worry is that the cruise does sails, but it is not what we where expecting
  9. Let me first say we loved our Alaskan northbound cruise, the scenery, the crew, fellow passengers but—I have never seen a word posted about the ventilation coming out of the ceiling, hot and cold 24-hours a day—just over our beds. I should have had the beds separated by day two, giving a few inches relief, but I didn’t. By Ketchikan, I had a full blown sinus infection. Am on antibiotics now. Meanwhile, good friend of mine got the flu on the Westerdam in early July and was led off with all the other sickies and their spouses to a separate train car, sent to a resort to recover for 3 days before Denali. Oakman58 in his wonderful Westerdam report from early June ended up at the Denali Clinic from cruise crud https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2677658-westerdam-alaskan-cruisetour-jun-2-13-2019/page/3/?tab=comments#comment-57890076 So do all the ships in this class have this type of ventilation? Am I the weakest link in our biological cruise-chain. I’m hesitant to book the Volendam for a 35 night Amazon cruise.
  10. I have been keeping an eye on what is happening with the ships. The logistics are fascinating, I am in San Diego, for the last couple of weeks we have been host to the Disney Wonder and the Celebrity Eclipse. This morning on Marine Tracker I was surprised to see the Westerdam was in SD. We record the AM news and they use the waterfront as a live background. I watched the early news and could only see the Eclipse. Later in the morning - there was the Westerdam. Just curious, is she just in for re-provisioning? It is really strange to always see cruise ships docked in SD, instead of leaving around 5:00 or so off to new adventures.
  11. I was just reviewing the thread on the new EXC on the Westerdam. I noticed on post number 43, there are pictures of the "new & improved" retreat. Oh, my goodness, what is HAL thinking??? It appears as there are no chaise/lounge chairs in the cabanas. They have been replaced with a daybed type piece of furniture, a footstool and a serving buffet. The lounge chair has been moved outside the cabana in the sun, butted against the cabana entrance. Also gone are the cute cabana names, replaced by a number. I wish I could figure out how to link the pictures to this thread so you could see. Maybe one of you with better computer skills could add the photos to this thread.
  12. From Cruise Industry News: Puerto Vallarta to Accommodate Westerdam March 17, 2020 Holland America Line will now bring Westerdam to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, instead of Juneau, Alaska, according to a statement. When the company announced a voluntary suspension of global cruise operations on March 13, the decision where to dock the Westerdam was re-assessed as part of a broader review of ships deployment during this period. The ship was not currently in service after departing Asia, where four cruises were cancelled. Prior to arrival in Puerto Vallarta, Westerdam will clear U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and medical entry requirements in Honolulu, Hawaii, on March 16th and 17th. Westerdam departed from Manila, Philippines, on March 2, 2020, with no passengers. Aboard ship are 680 crew and 18 contract service staff, all of which tested negative for COVID-19 in mid-February. Upon arrival to Puerto Vallarta, the ship will have sailed for more than a month with no port calls.
  13. Looks like our Westerdam is finally back in San Diego after cruising all over the Pacific Ocean, making the news as well. The Maasdam is showing just off the harbor entrance. Hopefully Maasdam will be docking right next to her bigger sister soon.
  14. This article was posted by a trusted Alaska source, The Alaska Landmine, an hour ago. According to an internal Juneau Borough email, Westerdam is headed to Alaska after stopping in Hawaii. The ship should arrive into Juneau in mid March where it will be tied up until the Alaska season starts. https://alaskalandmine.com/landmines/ms-westerdam-on-its-way-to-juneau-from-asia/?fbclid=IwAR1nl6lp0nktYyHsHcUv8ckBJA8aqvI4nUFYCAZwxmlhUpGKSFgiuQkwJXk
  15. Hi everyone, I've only sailed once with HAL on their Nieuw Statendam, which I absolutely loved. That ship was amazing (my comparison point is Celebrity before the face lift and this was so much better). We had the Verandah and it was tight but ok for 7 days. The ship more than made up for it. I applied my future cruise deposit to the Westerdam 19-day sailing in October from North to South America. My hope is that by then (1) the poor Westerdam will be sanitized sufficiently, and (2) there will continue to not be any cases of coronavirus in South America (and limited in North America as now). In any case, we can cancel for full refund until mid-July so lots of time to see this whole thing play out. Because this sailing is so long at 19 days, I booked the Signature Suite category but now I am doubting myself as to whether or not it's worth the money. The price difference between Verandah and Signature Suite is approximately $100 per night (for both ppl). This seems relatively reasonable on a per day basis but over the length of the cruise, it's almost $2K extra so no small peanuts! We can spend that money on drinks and excursions and spa instead. As I mentioned, I have never sailed on Westerdam nor stayed in a Signature Suite, so I'd love some input from those who've done both as to whether the value of the extra space is worth the price difference. Thank you in advance!
  16. Since I cannot imagine my Fort Lauderdale to Rome transatlantic actually sailing, I was looking at alternative itineraries. Lo and behold, there are some dirt cheap Alaska itineraries on the Westerdam starting April 29.
  17. We are booked on a SA cruise Feb 2021. I just went to the HAL website to check for price drop and it shows there are no cruises for the Westerdam in Feb and Mar 2021. Does this mean the cruises are sold out? Or is perhaps something else going on, ie charter or dry-dock? FWIW my booking is still showing in my account.
  18. Just posted on HAL’s Facebook page: Holland America Line will be making a decision on all of Westerdam's remaining Asia sailings by the end of the week. We would like to thank everyone for their extreme patience and understanding during this unprecedented situation.
  19. I thought people might be interested in this Australian news article. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-03/adelaide-couple-stuck-on-cruise-ship-refused-entry-to-manila/11923620
  20. Couldn't help noticing the website of the new Hammerhead pier in Yokohama listing the Westerdam visit, I could see some humor in it. http://www.hammerhead.co.jp.e.aix.hp.transer.com/terminal/ Wondering if you notice it......
  21. What is it like onboard? Are there still shows and trivia and lectures? Is there entertainment in the showroom? Are meals still good? Is it just one sea day after another? How are you coping?
  22. We will be boarding a HAL ship (Westerdam) for the first time in two weeks and are very looking forward for this. We have tried several lines now, so we are excited what the vibe on HAL will be. It is our honeymoon. We booked this before we decided to marry, but now we are married since 10 days, so we declared this vacation to our honeymoon :-). We will stay one week in Hong Kong before the cruise. While planning activities, we were shocked by the prices of the shore excursions. Additionally, there is not really a choice of interesting tours, just a few ones. So we set up our own excursions with private guides. This was really a let down during the planning stage. We intended to book a Neptune or Signature Suite, but then decided for a center aft cabin on deck 8. Prices then dropped significantly, and after some back and forth with our travel agent and HAL we are now waiting for the cabin assignment for a guarantee signature suite, I guess they will assign it at the pier the latest. This is the first time that we have booked a guarantee cabin - this is a good training for my personal patience ;-). We have several questions.... We need some advise for the specialty restaurants. On all cruises we have taken we were satisfied with the main dining room. Some courses were better then others, but all in all we enjoy it and it is something special for us. We have tried speciality restaurants only twice and we did not feel that it was worth the money. But now I saw a package for one dinner for Canaletto and Pinnacle Grill each. Shall we try this? Is this a step above the main dining room? Maybe someone can give us some advise Do they have spinning bikes in the fitness center on Westerdam? There is a class pass for the whole 14 days to buy in the cruise planner. Does anyone know what kind of classes they provide? The homepage of HAL is a little lacking of information ;-) And, is Red Bull included in the Quench Beverage package? It is shown on the picture for the package, but not mentioned in any descriptions. Do we both need to buy the same beverage package because we are staying in the same cabin? Thank you for all your advises Greetings from Germany :-)
  23. Since the 2/15 two week cruise will now depart from Yokohama (Tokyo) instead of Shanghai, China, can anyone tell me which Yokohama port will be used by HA and Westerdam? I've looked online it it appears that there are quite a few docking locations. I'm trying to book a hotel near the port for pre and post-cruise stays. Thanks for any help from experienced cruisers!
  24. We're booked for a sailing onboard Westerdam next year. I've been looking at the various drinks packages available under my account on the HAL site. I've been trying to cut back on alcohol so I probably won't go for the Signature Package. Also, I don't really drink energy drinks or speciality cofees so the Quench package isn't what I'll go for. I'm thinking I would get the Unlimited Coca Cola Package. Other than one P&O Cruise, I've only sailed Carnival and I always get the Bottomless Bubbles package. Upon reading HAL's website, it states, "Guests will be issued one specialty cup to be used in connection with this promotion. The cup is not replaceable.". So does this mean I need to be carrying the cup with me wherever I go if I want a soda? How does it work exactly? Onboard Carnival Legend or Spirit, I simply flash my Sail and Sign card which has the little sticker on it and they pour me a Diet Coke or whatever. It's just a standard glass. Also, if I buy a Scotch and Diet Coke, do they subtract the soft drink component on the drink as Carnival does? This will be my first time aboard HAL.
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