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voyeurism26

Westerdam Review 1/4/2005 Sailing

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As many of you know, HAL and Celebrity are two of our favorite cruiselines but in most cases we continue to go on HAL more then any other cruiseline. For those that read my past reviews regarding the Zuiderdam, you may have noticed that I am not a big fan of the Zuiderdam and I was loosing faith in HAL.

 

I am wrong, my faith in HAL has been re-stored on our 1/4/2005 sailing. This was a quick 5 day get-away for us until we go on our next cruise.

 

The Westerdam, this was my 3rd time sailing on the Westerdam, twice on the old Westerdam and this time on the new Westerdam. The Westerdam is part of the "Vista-Class Ships" and she is the sister ship to the Zuiderdam and the Oosterdam. The ship is the same layout of the Zui and the Oosterdam but the decor was much better and certain changes have been made compared to the first "Vista-Class Ship" the Zuiderdam. The ship is 7 months old and is in great shape and the staff is very experienced. Many of the staff members that we knew from other HAL ships are on the Westerdam. It was great to see our waiters,cocktail servers, Matire'd's and assistant cruise directors from past cruises.

 

Embarkation was a breeze and our cabin was on the 8th floor (navigation deck) cabin #8021 and was ready and clean.

 

Food: In my opinion, the food is getting worse compared to years ago. The food is good, but not excellant. Celeberity still has a better portion and quality of food but HAL has more of a selection. However, I did not starve either.

 

Pinnacle: Great like always!!! and Yes I had the Valcano Cake...!!!!

 

Service: Service throughtout the ship was great! Our cabin stewart was very intentive and friendly and always went out of his way to chat with us about our day, always with a smile!!! Our waiter in the dinning was great too!!! Since we go on a HAL ship particuly every 3-6 months, we know the menu and we know what we want so on one particular night we told our waiter that we just wanted the salad and duck only, he was kind of taken back by our request but once we explained to him that we take many HAL cruises and we know the menu, we just want to eat our favorite dishes. It was great how he catered to our liking and understood.

 

The bar staff, the pool staff and the cruise director and his assistances were all great and fun to watch.

 

What I liked about this cruise was that the other guest were fun and a bunch of great people. No one was rude, not that many kids and the one's that were there was well mannered. It was a ship of younger, middle age and older cruise guest and everyone got along. Very eclectic crowd!

 

Overall this was a great cruise and I learned a great lesson this week, you can't judge one HAL ship to make an opinion based on the whole and company and its fleet of ships. You have to experience other ships to enjoy HAL. The Zuiderdam for me is not a ship I will go on again, it my be the management of the Zuiderdam that makes me feel that way but not every ship is like the Zuiderdam. I highly recommend going on other HAL ships like the Maasdam, Volendam and certainly try the Westerdam and the other "dam" ships.

 

-V26

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Thanks for the nice review.

I allways say. "A cruise is what you make out of it"

I also feel HAL has a great product.

But I will try to advoid the big ships of HAL and stick with the smaller ones.

dont care for all that many people on the big ones.

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Thanks for letting us know that your Westerdam Cruise went well. I agree that each ship can be totally different. I also think ships can change some from cruise to cruise. Our first HAL cruise was on the Zuriderdam and we did not dislike it or we would not of booked a second HAL cruise. We thought the Zuirderdam was great till we sailed the Oosterdam, we then thought the Oosterdam was much better than the Zuirderdam. We also like the Ryndam a lot but not neccesarily better than the Oosterdam. They are just different yet still HAL ish. We are very much looking forward to sailing the Westerdam in just 9 weeks.

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I enjoyed reading your review, thank you. I have a question about the balcony. I thought I had read once that the balconies in the forward or rear sections of the ship extend out a bit further than the balconies in the center portion of the ship. Is this true? Or are all balconies of equal size? (Excluding the aft balconies, of course.)

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Pumpkin~ The Balconies are all pretty much the same for the Cabins that are Veranda...the S and the SS have large Balconies. The Cabins near the outside elevator stick out a bit more compared to the other cabins with balconies and the people riding in the outside elevator can see your balcony.

 

I really don't care for the cabins in the aft (back of ship) the balconies are much larger but everyone from the lido deck down can see your balcony. I rather have a veranda cabin that is not in the back or near the outside elevator. Check on the HAL website for the deck plan of each ship and that will give you a better idea of cabin placements.

 

-V26

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Can I get some info about cabin 4038? Will the elevator passengers be able to see our balcony?

Do you know of any personal providers of shore excursions in any of the Baltic ports of call? Is there one website for those businesses? Is there some way to contact other cruisers for this cruise?

I wasn't told about the 4 choices for dinner. Is the 7:15 the most crowded? I was assigned to the 5:15, but that's too early on shore excursion days.

I appreciate any info you have to share with this first time HAL cruiser. S.

 

 

 

 

 

As many of you know, HAL and Celebrity are two of our favorite cruiselines but in most cases we continue to go on HAL more then any other cruiseline. For those that read my past reviews regarding the Zuiderdam, you may have noticed that I am not a big fan of the Zuiderdam and I was loosing faith in HAL.

 

I am wrong, my faith in HAL has been re-stored on our 1/4/2005 sailing. This was a quick 5 day get-away for us until we go on our next cruise.

 

The Westerdam, this was my 3rd time sailing on the Westerdam, twice on the old Westerdam and this time on the new Westerdam. The Westerdam is part of the "Vista-Class Ships" and she is the sister ship to the Zuiderdam and the Oosterdam. The ship is the same layout of the Zui and the Oosterdam but the decor was much better and certain changes have been made compared to the first "Vista-Class Ship" the Zuiderdam. The ship is 7 months old and is in great shape and the staff is very experienced. Many of the staff members that we knew from other HAL ships are on the Westerdam. It was great to see our waiters,cocktail servers, Matire'd's and assistant cruise directors from past cruises.

 

Embarkation was a breeze and our cabin was on the 8th floor (navigation deck) cabin #8021 and was ready and clean.

 

Food: In my opinion, the food is getting worse compared to years ago. The food is good, but not excellant. Celeberity still has a better portion and quality of food but HAL has more of a selection. However, I did not starve either.

 

Pinnacle: Great like always!!! and Yes I had the Valcano Cake...!!!!

 

Service: Service throughtout the ship was great! Our cabin stewart was very intentive and friendly and always went out of his way to chat with us about our day, always with a smile!!! Our waiter in the dinning was great too!!! Since we go on a HAL ship particuly every 3-6 months, we know the menu and we know what we want so on one particular night we told our waiter that we just wanted the salad and duck only, he was kind of taken back by our request but once we explained to him that we take many HAL cruises and we know the menu, we just want to eat our favorite dishes. It was great how he catered to our liking and understood.

 

The bar staff, the pool staff and the cruise director and his assistances were all great and fun to watch.

 

What I liked about this cruise was that the other guest were fun and a bunch of great people. No one was rude, not that many kids and the one's that were there was well mannered. It was a ship of younger, middle age and older cruise guest and everyone got along. Very eclectic crowd!

 

Overall this was a great cruise and I learned a great lesson this week, you can't judge one HAL ship to make an opinion based on the whole and company and its fleet of ships. You have to experience other ships to enjoy HAL. The Zuiderdam for me is not a ship I will go on again, it my be the management of the Zuiderdam that makes me feel that way but not every ship is like the Zuiderdam. I highly recommend going on other HAL ships like the Maasdam, Volendam and certainly try the Westerdam and the other "dam" ships.

 

-V26

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We cruised on the Westerdam 12/12 - 12/19/04

 

I really think the thing about being able to see into the aft balconies is a bit overdone. Yes, you can see part of those balconies, but the overhang is enough to provide privacy if you sit nearer to the cabin door.

 

In regard to the balconies next to the glass elevators, again I don't think it is much of a problem. The elevators move past so quickly that there is really not much time to really look at who is there. You barely register the fact that people are on the balcony and you have already passed it. I suppose a voyeur could continually ride the elevator and keep the eyes glued to a certain spot, but how likely is that?

 

Unless you plan something exotic for your balcony time, :D I don't think it is necessary to avoid those cabins next to the elevators.

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voyeurism26, we were on the same cruise and agree with all of your comments. We had a C Cat. outside cabin (1076) so not the same experience, but still a wonderful cruise on a wonderful ship. I hope to comment more later when I get somewhat settled again. Yesterday afternoon we were on a beautiful Ft. Lauderdale beach and now back in snowy New Hampshire, but I am still smiling. :) - Jane

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BKREADER-Yes! It was a very good cruise and I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it too. Although it was a short cruise, we really had a great relaxing time and the service was great and the food was good!

 

"I miss the bread pudding" :)

 

As for the balcony, as I mention its my own personal observation. If I am going to have a balcony I really don't care for elevators passing our veranda all the time and as for the AFT cabins that have the balcony, I don't think its great if I have to sit near the balcony door to seek privacy. If a person wants to get sun or eat breakfast or even walk out on the balcony in there underwear or robe to view the morning sun or the night sky I would not like to have people watching me from the above decks, just my view...call me crazy :)

 

Besides that, I do recommend the Westerdam!!!

 

-V26

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We cruised on the Westerdam 12/12 - 12/19/04

 

I really think the thing about being able to see into the aft balconies is a bit overdone. Yes, you can see part of those balconies, but the overhang is enough to provide privacy if you sit nearer to the cabin door.

 

In regard to the balconies next to the glass elevators, again I don't think it is much of a problem. The elevators move past so quickly that there is really not much time to really look at who is there. You barely register the fact that people are on the balcony and you have already passed it. I suppose a voyeur could continually ride the elevator and keep the eyes glued to a certain spot, but how likely is that?

 

Unless you plan something exotic for your balcony time, :D I don't think it is necessary to avoid those cabins next to the elevators.

 

If anyone does plan something exotic on your balcony for the 3/20 week trip, please post your schedule early;) .

 

We booked an aft( or is it stern?) cabin with a balcony for our 1st cruise. Hoping for a little afternoon sun before dinner.

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Can I get some info about cabin 4038? Will the elevator passengers be able to see our balcony?

Do you know of any personal providers of shore excursions in any of the Baltic ports of call? Is there one website for those businesses? Is there some way to contact other cruisers for this cruise?

I wasn't told about the 4 choices for dinner. Is the 7:15 the most crowded? I was assigned to the 5:15, but that's too early on shore excursion days.

I appreciate any info you have to share with this first time HAL cruiser. S.

On the Westerdam cabin 4038 is not near the elevators and they won't be able to see your balcony. The only balconies exposed are those directly adjacent to the mid-ship elevators, and as a previous poster said it isn't that big of a deal, it's just what you are comfortable with.

 

I don't have any info on the Baltic shore excursions but if you try Cruise Critics Ports of Call Boards you will likely find a wealth of info. Same with contacting other cruisers, check out the Roll Call board for Holland America and then search your ships name. People put up dates in a variety of formats so it is best to leave that off the search.

 

I've always assumed the dining times are pretty much equally distributed without one time being more crowded or less crowded. I;ve always dined late and the dining room is always full.

 

-Robin

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We booked an aft( or is it stern?) cabin with a balcony for our 1st cruise. Hoping for a little afternoon sun before dinner.

 

Only if the ship's sailing east - or you hang WAY over the railing! :rolleyes:

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I agree on the elevator comment. We rode the glass elevators every chance we got and spent 99% of the time gazing at the ocean on the way up and down. I did notice that you can look at someone's balcony, but you get a really fast glimpse and that's it. I don't recall ever seeing someone out there.

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I was on the same sailing

Awesome cruise experience

Ship is beautiful, comfortable and clean

Service was excellent

Most of the time did not feel like there were 1800 people on board

We were in cabin 8044 SS catagory, FANTASTIC ROOM, large bathroom and huge verandah. Very comfortable bed.

Food was very good, never ate anything that was not tasty

Loved the ship, service, cabin and the whole experience.

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