Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

rothbury

Just Back - Westerdam 4/10-4/17

Recommended Posts

Hey everybody,

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.

 

 

Gary

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

According to the SOE schedule, Westy is drydocking in Freeport. I can't see them anchoring off shore in Port Everglades and tendering back and forth. :confused:

 

 

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 will be very interested in your above comment, because we are flying into Miami for our December cruise. We have done this before and have never had a problem as we book a Limo to take us to the hotel in FLL. What happened?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very interested in everything you have to say about our Westie as I'll be on her next week for the transatlantic! How was HMC? Weather? Cabanas? Did you go to the gym at all while onboard? Do you know how many treadmills there are? Any free weights?

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wohooooooooo Welcome Home Rothbury!!! Glad you had a nice time, sorry embarkation was a mess. I guess HAL needs to work harder on it! I will be excited to hear about the rest of your cruise as soon as you rest :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I have a few minutes I'll start at the beginning.

 

Well, as far as Miami Airport being a nightmare; it started with no directions from American Airlines as to which baggage carousel had our baggage. If your no familiar with MIA it's huge, crowded and people going everywhere. Most of the "bilingual" employees are not and it took awhile to find our luggage. The transfer was fine with no problems.

 

Now to embarkation. The Rotterdam was in, and at the normal HAL location. We were across the street and beside the parking garage. The ticket area is about half the size of their normal location. On top of that we were told there was some type of medical emergency that delayed ALL embarkation for an hour. Again, due to the "bilingual" problem we never could find out what the medical emergency was. Contrary to my belief that suite passengers had a seperate line the only people getting priority were 10 deluxe suite passengers and the wheelchair bound. We stood in line well over an hour and the process of boarding was about the same. What was interesting is the shipboard videographer had given up on even taping embarkation. Even with all of the confusion we left on time so other then the check-in process everything was normal.

 

Half Moon Cay was great as usual. There was only minor visual damage from the hurricane. The cabanas had been freshly painted and looked fine. My wife and I rented a clamshell as we usually do. The ONLY thing I saw that could be considered a problem is the beach didn't seem as clean as I have seen in the past. There were alot of cigarette butts snubbed out in the sand. Last year (and I have read other comments) about the clamshell rentals not being available has been improved. If you're early (and we were) you could pick the location of your clamshell and were actually assigned a number. Last year passengers whether they had paid or not were grabbing them, this year they were "policing" that and asking for your "ticket". It seemed they had more employees working the beach this year. Boarding the tenders was a "little" rough but timing the waves was not that bad.

 

We chose to eat at the Lido Buffet on several nights and never found a huge crowd. The food choices at the Lido are pretty much the same as the Dining Room without the service. They post the menu several hours prior to dining time in both the Lido and outside of the Dining Room. We usually compared the choices and made our decision based on what was being served. I guess at this point I'll touch on the passenger manners thing a little bit. Trust me, I'll have more to say before I end this thread. As former cruisers know they have hot pizza available from 11 AM to about midnight. On several occassions I watched passngers walk by, pick off pepperoni or whatever toppings and keep right on walking. There was actually one guy who did this on 3 different days. Then there was the oriental guy who stood by the sushi, grabbed a piece and swallowed it, fingers in his mouth and all and went back and grabbed maybe 5-6 times more. Needless to say, I stopped eating pizza and sushi after watching what was going on. For those who don't know some food is self service and most is handed over/under a sneeze guard after being prepared and handed to you by the crew. We pretty much started taking ONLY food that the crew had prepared. By the way, we never heard of a Norwalk sickness onboard.

 

I'm going to wrap up this mini review for now.

 

Just a quick note on the "wet docking" we heard from every crew member from officers down that they would anchor off of Ft. Lauderdale and tender to shore. It would be very pricey to pay docking fees for 10 days. Now, maybe when you read "free port" that was their way of saying that by anchoring off shore it was "free". Just a thought on my part. Maybe somebody will confirm if they see the ship setting off shore in a couple of days (Khaselmire?). Not trying to be argumentative here just repeating what we were told.

 

More to come.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's on to Jamiaca. As the cruise staff during their shore excursion talk explained; Jamiaca is a third world country. I think this board has pretty much covered the problems there. The gardens were amazing and Dunn's River Falls was crowded.

 

Since the Westerdam won't be making the Western carribean cruises anymore I guess there is not much point in describing the ports of call.

 

In case HAL does read this board I would like to relate our experience at Grand Cayman though. There were 7 crusie ships at Grand Cayman on the day we were there. They had 2 piers running tenders and at off peak times there didn't seem to be much of a backup to catch a ride. As so many passengers complained and the underlying theme was all the same. Carnival Corporation (NOT Carnival Cruise Lines) owned fully 4 of those ships. You would think the corporate execs would plan things differently. It was so crowded in Georgetown that you couldn't move. Handicapped (Wheelchairs and walkers) were at a total disadvantage.

 

I'm going to wrap up this review by saying again that the Westerdam and the entire crew was completely up to HAL standards. There is NOTHING I can say bad about the ship and it's crew. I think I mentioned earlier but in case I didn't, so many of the cruise staff are being split up that my experience may not be like others.

 

I mentioned earlier that I would say a few words about the passengers with us. The gentleman picking his nose and using the tablecloth to wipe his hands, the cross contamination of food that I mentioned and the total disregard for dress codes (Bathing Suits in the Dining Room and tank tops in the Lido dining area during dinner) were unfortunate. You know, the cruise ship is like a city of 1800 people during a 7 day cruise. Some local police departments have smaller populations to take care of. I would like to have seen dress codes, food contamination issues and the FEW children who were onboard better supervised. I know that will light a fire under some people but I am entitled to my opinion.

 

I will still be contributing to these boards and will answer any questions I can.

 

Oh yea, about the gym equipment. There was a fee to use it and they wouldn't give a break for my Bally's membership so I will start making up for that tomorrow. Sorry I can't really answer the question but that was one area of the ship I just walked through a couple of times.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yea, about the gym equipment. There was a fee to use it and they wouldn't give a break for my Bally's membership so I will start making up for that tomorrow. Sorry I can't really answer the question but that was one area of the ship I just walked through a couple of times.

 

 

There was a fee to use the gym equipment????? This is the first I've heard of having to pay to go use the gym equipment. Are you sure this was the case?

 

:confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh yea, about the gym equipment. There was a fee to use it and they wouldn't give a break for my Bally's membership so I will start making up for that tomorrow. Sorry I can't really answer the question but that was one area of the ship I just walked through a couple of times.

 

 

There was a fee to use the gym equipment????? This is the first I've heard of having to pay to go use the gym equipment. Are you sure this was the case?

 

:confused:

 

I too am confused on this statement also:confused: I used the gym almost every day, treadmill, stairstepper, bike, eliptical and weights and was never charged a dime or asked to pay anything and that was only a few weeks ago on the Westerdam.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yea, about the gym equipment. There was a fee to use it and they wouldn't give a break for my Bally's membership so I will start making up for that tomorrow. Sorry I can't really answer the question but that was one area of the ship I just walked through a couple of times.

 

I sure hope this is not a new addition :( Alot of pax will be disappointed if it is!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a fee for the Hydropool and the Thermal Suite. It's a week pass for $149 with the second person 1/2 price or $29/day. The hydropool is my husband's favorite thing. On some of the spa treatments, you get to use the Thermal Suite for the remainder of the day.

 

Sorry I did not get to meet everyone. I was at the Lido bar at about 3:45 and didn't see anyone with beads. I had my white Big Dog Mom cap on. I waited about 10 minutes but had to leave. My husband had made plans with our friends so I needed to change and get ready.

 

I have to agree with Rothbury about some of the manners of other passengers. One day in the Hydropool someone brought their child, about 5-6 yrs, and got into the hydropool eating an ice cream cone. The adult was eating the cone. She then made a remark about paying for it so she was entitled.......Sorry, I don't feel I should be in the pool with the dregs of your cone should it have fallen in, never mind your child whose head barely cleared the water line!

 

The cruise on a whole was great! Embarkation could have gone a little better but it't not the worse I've been through. We sailed Galaxy last year from Baltimore and embarkation took 6 hours. We sailed 4 hours later than we should have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We sailed Galaxy last year from Baltimore and embarkation took 6 hours. We sailed 4 hours later than we should have.
Wow now thats the longest embarkation I have ever heard about! How awful for it to take so long, I hope they kept you comfotable at least! eeeks!:eek:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Embarkation from the Galaxy was suggested to start at 2PM. We got there at 1 and had a seat in a glorified warehouse on the pier. We had air conditioning, no snacks,just water. We got on the ship at 5, went to lifeboard drill then dinner. We got on earlier than most because we had a Sky Suite. It was a little wierd coming back from dinner and still being in port. We sailed at a little after 8. The best excuse- there was a problem with Customs. Anyway, we digress from the great experience on the Westerdam!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, BigDogMom is probably right about what they charged for. We went up to the spa area at embarkation and people were complaining about the fees. There was a nice young lady standing by the counter and I asked about a discount and she smiled and said, "No". I'll take the blame for "assumimng" there was a fee for everything.

 

Heck, for that matter my wife and I walked laps around the promenade and enjoyed the atmosphere much more then sitting on a bicycle or walking a treadmill! I can do that in my gym. It's not every day that I can walk around a ship as magnificent as the Westerdam. I'll take the promenade any day!

 

Sorry for the confusion!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, we're going to be at sea for about 6 days in a row, so there's plenty of time each day to toddle up to the gym and hop on that dreadmill (oops, did I SPELL that wrong???????????????) for a couple of miles......

 

To think that one would have to PAY for that privilege boggled my little mind.

I can understand the spas, and the hydrotherapy pool, etc. But the gym equipment should be gratis, in my opinion.

 

At any rate, I'm so excited to go!!!! I've been doing the doc dance for a couple of weeks now!!!!

 

--sherita

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to agree with Rothbury about some of the manners of other passengers. One day in the Hydropool someone brought their child, about 5-6 yrs, and got into the hydropool eating an ice cream cone. The adult was eating the cone. She then made a remark about paying for it so she was entitled.......Sorry, I don't feel I should be in the pool with the dregs of your cone should it have fallen in, never mind your child whose head barely cleared the water line!

 

That is disgusting! What is it with people who think we all want to be around their kids, especially when they're doing something like that? If they want that kind of a cruise, shouldn't they be on Disney? (That goes for diapers, too!) :mad:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • NCL Sail-Away Giveaway Sweepstakes - Win a 7-Day Cruise on Norwegian Joy!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...