Jump to content
lmentzer

Diappointment with the Westerdam

Recommended Posts

We have cruised a number of times. This was our first on Holland America. Our ship was the Westerdam on the Panama Canal Cruise October 19 – November 2nd.. We chose to cruise with Holland America because it offered the Panama Canal transit cruise, it had a good reputation and we didn't care for all of the children we had experienced on Carnival. We had a balcony room on the Upper Promenade deck of the Westerdam (4035). We really enjoyed the canal transit and our visit to Cartagena Columbia, where we had arranged a private tour with Dora de Explorer. We had considered taking this cruise for a long time and unfortunately we were very dissatisfied with almost every aspect of the Westerdam and disappointed with our Holland America experience.

The room was dirty, stains and hair on vanity, blanket was stained and dirty, TV remote was filthy. Our room had a slow draining shower, and the toilet didn't flush correctly. A plumber was quick to respond, and fix the problem in the shower by removing debris. However, he did not contact the room steward to clean the bathroom and we had to call again to have the steward reclean the bathroom. The plumber could not find the problem with toilet and it never worked correctly throughout the cruise.

We had a stained blanket, which we repeatedly reported to the steward, which was never replaced (just turned over on bed!) The room had dirty worn chairs and couch, nicked and marred tabletops, frayed outdoor furniture, dirty, stained, torn, and frayed curtains, shower curtain was old and dirty, and old worn carpet.

The room was smaller than on other cruises, balcony was deep but narrow. The outside partition between the two balconies had a broken latch that was held shut by stuffing a towel between the partition and rail.

We experienced poor service from our room stewards. We seldom saw the stewards throughout the cruise, they never checked to ask if there were any problems or we needed anything. We had to contact the front desk to request anything. The room did have good air conditioning, the bed was comfortable, and the towels were nice.

Overall the food was good, but certainly not exceptional like we had on our other cruises. The buffet was not really a buffet, with food mostly being served by the staff throughout the cruise. Times of the buffet were too limited and items often not restocked or unavailable.

Ethnic food was bland, different Asian foods all tasted alike and were under seasoned, the pasta/pizza station and Mexican poolside buffet (a real buffet) were good, but again repetitive. The hamburgers were not very good, precooked and no variety over the two weeks.

Wine was extremely over priced for selection.

The Pinnacle Grill food and service was excellent, but the plastic covers on tables were cracked and showed through the tablecloths (so they looked dirty.)

 

All of the Westerdam staff were very friendly and polite. Unfortunately our service in dining room was sporadic. Room service was mostly on time and the food was hot.

Same as Carnival, tours were expensive and crowded. Both of HAL’s tours we booked were disorganized and lacking substance for the price. HAL's behind the scenes tour of ship cost of $150 per person which was ridiculously priced. The narrative while going through the canal was poor; it lacked information, the speaker was poor, clearly not an expert and it was impossible to hear as the ship’s sound system was terrible.

The Crows Nest (the bow viewing area and bar) was nice and overall the bars were less crowded than other ships we have been on. Alcoholic drinks were heavily pushed starting early in the morning throughout the cruise, promoting excessive drinking.

The casino was very small, tight (low payout) machines, poor selection of slots, no drink service. Like Carnival, the internet was expensive and only offered in select public areas. Ship shopping heavily pushed throughout the cruise, but all very expensive. Like Carnival the spa was very over priced. ..

Demographic of guests was a trade off of too many kids on Carnival with a very elderly crowd on HAL. It's either running screaming kids or very old folks blocking the aisles in walkers and wheelchairs.

Overall we felt that the Westerdam is very old and plain for a cruise ship. The entire ship needed lots of touch-up/repainting. The ship common areas were very run down. Furniture was worn and stained, the carpets were dirty, stained, and frayed. Tables in buffet were often sticky and not sanitized well. The Westerdam needs to be refitted with updated carpets and furniture throughout. The communication system on the Westerdam is very poor and could not be heard in our rooms, on balconies, on decks or on the television.

Entertainmentwas hit or miss, some good, some not so good, for example the "BB King Blues Club" group was excellent, comedian was not so good, magician was very good and professional. Cooking demos were cute, but not to the standards that were advertised by HAL. The Cruise Director was overly condescending at times.

Embarkation was very good. Rooms quickly available, and luggage quickly delivered. The debarkation was not. Organization, signage, and staff support on the disembarkation deck was lacking.

The quality of this cruise was definitely not worth the cost. We had such high expectations and were extremely disappointed with almost everything on the Westerdam and thus our cruise was not the experience we had hoped for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your review. I am sorry that you were disappointed in you HAL experience. Cruising is very subjective. People tend to have certain areas of high interest (e.g. spa, dining, casino...). Sometimes when our area of interest fails us, it ruins the entire cruise.

 

I would have called head of housekeeping regarding the cleanliness of the room. I just don't like dirt, especially other people's. I would have struggled with this as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a self-diagnosed germaphobe, and walking into a dirty room like that would not make me happy either! But on the other hand, if people are starting to board at 10:00, realistically, what can one hope for in terms of cleanliness?

( I pack a small amount of my own disposable disinfecting cloths and windex in my carry on and will clean my own cabin all over again before I unpack and start to enjoy my vacation. Im pretty certain that there is not one hotel or cruise line out there, that would meet my standards:o). I know I'm crazy to do this, but it just gets me over that initial disappointment of a less than sparkling room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a shame that the cruise did not live up to your expectations. We experienced much the opposite when we sailed the Westerdam last December. We are going again in December and hope to enjoy the same great experience that we did a year ago. Time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Westerdam Sept. 29 - Oct. 5 and the ship was in great condition including our cabin. We also heard no complaints from anyone. I doubt the ship went downhill during the two jazz charters that were between our cruise and OP's cruise. While we prefer the R and S class ships, we've much enjoyed both our Westerdam cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too wouldn't think of moving into a cabin on any ship or hotel room without wiping down things that will come in contact with my hands. All knobs, pulls, handles, tv remote, light switches, etc. are wiped as soon as we enter the cabin, and again each day after the steward has cleaned. Takes maybe 5 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I too wouldn't think of moving into a cabin on any ship or hotel room without wiping down things that will come in contact with my hands. All knobs, pulls, handles, tv remote, light switches, etc. are wiped as soon as we enter the cabin, and again each day after the steward has cleaned. Takes maybe 5 minutes.

 

Ahhhh! Soul mate!:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our local dollar tree sells

travel size packages of disinfectant wipes for one dollar. Fabulous bargain and helps to ease some of the discomfort of other people's germs.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Demographic of guests was a trade off of too many kids on Carnival with a very elderly crowd on HAL. It's either running screaming kids or very old folks blocking the aisles in walkers and wheelchairs.

 

 

Maybe next time you see someone in a wheelchair or walker, you could consider them an inspiration. And hope to yourself that if or when you become in need of mobility aids, you still have the enthusiasm for life to continue travelling.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We have cruised a number of times. This was our first on Holland America. Our ship was the Westerdam on the Panama Canal Cruise October 19 – November 2nd.. We chose to cruise with Holland America because it offered the Panama Canal transit cruise, it had a good reputation and we didn't care for all of the children we had experienced on Carnival. We had a balcony room on the Upper Promenade deck of the Westerdam (4035). We really enjoyed the canal transit and our visit to Cartagena Columbia, where we had arranged a private tour with Dora de Explorer. We had considered taking this cruise for a long time and unfortunately we were very dissatisfied with almost every aspect of the Westerdam and disappointed with our Holland America experience.

The room was dirty, stains and hair on vanity, blanket was stained and dirty, TV remote was filthy. Our room had a slow draining shower, and the toilet didn't flush correctly. A plumber was quick to respond, and fix the problem in the shower by removing debris. However, he did not contact the room steward to clean the bathroom and we had to call again to have the steward reclean the bathroom. The plumber could not find the problem with toilet and it never worked correctly throughout the cruise.

We had a stained blanket, which we repeatedly reported to the steward, which was never replaced (just turned over on bed!) The room had dirty worn chairs and couch, nicked and marred tabletops, frayed outdoor furniture, dirty, stained, torn, and frayed curtains, shower curtain was old and dirty, and old worn carpet.

The room was smaller than on other cruises, balcony was deep but narrow. The outside partition between the two balconies had a broken latch that was held shut by stuffing a towel between the partition and rail.

We experienced poor service from our room stewards. We seldom saw the stewards throughout the cruise, they never checked to ask if there were any problems or we needed anything. We had to contact the front desk to request anything. The room did have good air conditioning, the bed was comfortable, and the towels were nice.

Overall the food was good, but certainly not exceptional like we had on our other cruises. The buffet was not really a buffet, with food mostly being served by the staff throughout the cruise. Times of the buffet were too limited and items often not restocked or unavailable.

Ethnic food was bland, different Asian foods all tasted alike and were under seasoned, the pasta/pizza station and Mexican poolside buffet (a real buffet) were good, but again repetitive. The hamburgers were not very good, precooked and no variety over the two weeks.

Wine was extremely over priced for selection.

The Pinnacle Grill food and service was excellent, but the plastic covers on tables were cracked and showed through the tablecloths (so they looked dirty.)

 

All of the Westerdam staff were very friendly and polite. Unfortunately our service in dining room was sporadic. Room service was mostly on time and the food was hot.

Same as Carnival, tours were expensive and crowded. Both of HAL’s tours we booked were disorganized and lacking substance for the price. HAL's behind the scenes tour of ship cost of $150 per person which was ridiculously priced. The narrative while going through the canal was poor; it lacked information, the speaker was poor, clearly not an expert and it was impossible to hear as the ship’s sound system was terrible.

The Crows Nest (the bow viewing area and bar) was nice and overall the bars were less crowded than other ships we have been on. Alcoholic drinks were heavily pushed starting early in the morning throughout the cruise, promoting excessive drinking.

The casino was very small, tight (low payout) machines, poor selection of slots, no drink service. Like Carnival, the internet was expensive and only offered in select public areas. Ship shopping heavily pushed throughout the cruise, but all very expensive. Like Carnival the spa was very over priced. ..

Demographic of guests was a trade off of too many kids on Carnival with a very elderly crowd on HAL. It's either running screaming kids or very old folks blocking the aisles in walkers and wheelchairs.

Overall we felt that the Westerdam is very old and plain for a cruise ship. The entire ship needed lots of touch-up/repainting. The ship common areas were very run down. Furniture was worn and stained, the carpets were dirty, stained, and frayed. Tables in buffet were often sticky and not sanitized well. The Westerdam needs to be refitted with updated carpets and furniture throughout. The communication system on the Westerdam is very poor and could not be heard in our rooms, on balconies, on decks or on the television.

Entertainmentwas hit or miss, some good, some not so good, for example the "BB King Blues Club" group was excellent, comedian was not so good, magician was very good and professional. Cooking demos were cute, but not to the standards that were advertised by HAL. The Cruise Director was overly condescending at times.

Embarkation was very good. Rooms quickly available, and luggage quickly delivered. The debarkation was not. Organization, signage, and staff support on the disembarkation deck was lacking.

The quality of this cruise was definitely not worth the cost. We had such high expectations and were extremely disappointed with almost everything on the Westerdam and thus our cruise was not the experience we had hoped for.

 

 

 

I was on the same cruise and thought every aspect of it was great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wine was extremely over priced for selection.

 

HAL wine prices are in the same range as ALL of the other lines we've sailed (not to say the prices are great but they're all the same)

 

Demographic of guests was a trade off of too many kids on Carnival with a very elderly crowd on HAL. It's either running screaming kids or very old folks blocking the aisles in walkers and wheelchairs.

I find it hard to believe there were hordes of walkers or wheelchairs blocking your every move - and not sure why, on a cruise ship, such constant rushing was critical (just sayin') ... and while I'm at it .... be careful ... "Karma's a Bitch" ... and you will be "elderly" before you know it :)

 

The communication system on the Westerdam is very poor and could not be heard in our rooms, on balconies, on decks or on the television.

Again, on none of the lines we've cruised do the announcements play in the cabins. Even on the Queen Mary and on RCCL's we had to open the cabin door to hear loud speaker announcements.

:confused::confused:

Edited by summersigh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Imentzer, so sorry you had such a bad experience on the Westerdam. We have sailed on her twice and we experienced no problems on either cruise. So happy we did not have the experience you had. You mentioned you have cruised a number of times. May I ask, which other cruise lines you have sailed?

 

Diane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In reply to a couple of you that responded. More power to the "old" folks still traveling. I'm happy for them, but had I known that the average age on this HAL crusie would be over 70, I might have had second thoughts. I saw one child under the age of 16 on the entire cruise...he must have been lonely for some his own age. Being old does not grant the right to be rude to staff and other passengers, cut in lines, be loud and obnoxious, block aisles and think they deserve special attention. Just consider my post as notice to future cruisers that my experience with HAL is that it is for the very very "mature" traveler and not for all.

 

I agree that wine prices are high on all cruise lines, but bottles selling for 5 to almost 10 times the grocery store prices is a bit much, and remember these cruise lines probably buy their goods tax free.

 

And, the comm system on the Westerdam was worse than on any of the other ships I've cruised on. None were great, but this one was worse.

 

For those commenting on the cleanliness of the ship, I agree, but more than anything, this ship was old and needed a ton of refit (furniture, carpet, painting, etc). Not just in our state room, but most or all of the public areas as well. We didn't have a good steward team, but others told me they did. Could have probably happened on any cruise line, but it was a first for us. We had none of these complaints on our other cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Legalslave, We've done the Mexican Riviere, Alaska, and the Caribbean. All on different Carnival ships. Our friends that we traveled with, who share my opinion of this cruise, have done six other cruises. The four of us have traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and North America. We do enjoy the occassiooal cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

HAL's behind the scenes tour of ship cost of $150 per person which was ridiculously priced.

 

Overall we felt that the Westerdam is very old and plain for a cruise ship. The entire ship needed lots of touch-up/repainting. The ship common areas were very run down. Furniture was worn and stained, the carpets were dirty, stained, and frayed. Tables in buffet were often sticky and not sanitized well. The Westerdam needs to be refitted with updated carpets and furniture throughout. The communication system on the Westerdam is very poor and could not be heard in our rooms, on balconies, on decks or on the television.

 

 

1. Behind the Scenes Tour: I took this tour on the Westerdam this past summer and was impressed. Have to admit I've worked on cruise ships so I'm familiar with alot of what we saw, and did the tour for fun. To give passengers that much access to crew only areas was extraordinary, and IMHO, it was well worth the price. Besides having the chance to talk with engineers, Captain, bridge officers, environmental officer and other crew, lunch in the Pinnacle Grill was included. The tour guide was terrific and knowledgable and clearly had a good working relationship with ship's staff. We also received a generous "goodie bag" of HAL souvenirs. I have and will recommend this tour to anyone interested in how a ship truly operates (it will cut down on the whining, that's for sure !)

 

2. Condition of the ship: I was onboard one month prior to your cruise, and I had friends onboard shortly before you. The ship was immaculate in all areas...public and private. Granted the Westerdam just finished a very busy Alaska season and there may be some worn areas. If my friends (HAL and Crystal devotees) saw anything amiss, they certaily would have mentioned it.

 

The ship is far from "very old and plain" but I understand you have your opinion. It certainly does not have the glitz of Carnival ships, and rightly so. HAL and Carnival ships are designed for a different demographic and feel.

 

One question: when you spoke to the Guest Relations Manager about your problems, what was the response ?

 

And finally (and most importantly)...your comment about elderly people, walkers and wheelchairs was uncalled for and callous.

Edited by Boatdrill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your review.

 

I am sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your cruise.

 

We sailed the Westie last year happily and we were surprised by how much we enjoyed her as we typically prefer the smaller ships.

 

Our stewards were excellent as was the service in the MDR and the PG.

 

Such a shame that you did not receive the service we did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband and I, along with our daughter and son-in-law, disembarked the Westerdam on Saturday morning having enjoyed a wonderful 7-day cruise. We had a great time and I'm sorry to hear that everyone didn't have as much fun as we did. We certainly found nothing to complain about!

 

 

Sent using the Cruise Critic forums app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clearly, HAL is not a good fit for you. Sorry the ship didn't live up to your expectations.Getting older is something we should all aspire to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for taking the time to give your perspective of your cruise. That isn't easy to do here when you have not enjoyed your cruise and have more negatives than positives to report. I am sorry you didn't enjoy your time on board.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In response to the OP saying he felt sorry for the one young fellow (16 years) he saw on the Westerdam. We cruised on the Westerdam 2 years ago with our 2 sons, then 20 and 23. They were definitely some of the youngest on board. We all had a great time. The next year we took them and our daughter and her now husband on a Princess ship. We chose Princess as we thought they might have more activities to appeal to the younger crowd. We were surprised that all 3 of our kids and son in law (who have all sailed on HAL before) said they preferred HAL. They liked Princess but given a choice would choose HAL. So just because the age demographic might be older on HAL doesn't mean that other age groups wont like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We thank the OP for posting their thoughts. As frequent HA cruisers (about 300 days with the line and just back (2 days ago) from 28 days on the Veendam) we think the OP has done a great job describing the general state of things on HA....not just the Westerdam. We have oft posted a general opinion that HA has cut-back on so many onboard items that it is now taking a toll on cruisers. That being said, we should also post that our cabin (#630) on the Veendam was very clean and well serviced by our stewards. On the other hand, 4 of the 8 at our dinner table had major issues with their cabins (1 had to change their cabin) and we heard many other complaints during our socializing with other passengers. Although we continue to love HA for its great itineraries, there is little else about this line that measures up to some of their competition.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sorry your experience on the Westerdam was so unsatisfactory. Although we prefer the smaller ships, our one cruise on the Westerdam is remembered as our single "Perfect Cruise".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A llittle research on this board should have alerted you to the fact that HAL is indeed usually chosen by the MORE MATURE cruiser. But I find older folks interesting to talk to and learn from.

 

I haven't cruised extensively (only 8 on Carnival, RCCI, Princess, Celebrity, NCL [2] and HAL [2]) and I prefer HAL decor and understated elegance over any of the other lines glitz and MODERN decor, with rock climbing walls, ice skaing rinks, etc.

 

HAL in my opinion has always tried to be more of an ocean voyage, than just a cruise. Lots of wood and brass with simple Navy and White color scheme. Wooden deck chairs as well as a wooden promenade deck that encircles the ship without any up/down deck changes. Fresh flowers all around the ship. And the biggest cabins and best beds at sea.

 

On my two cruises on HAL, the crew has always been wonderful. If there was any problem, it was always taken care of quickly and with a smile. If you couldn't find your room steward or the clean up wasn't done after speaking to them, you should definitely have searched out the Hotel Director. Dirty items are never acceptable.

 

Sounds like you really liked Carnival, and that might be a better fit for you.

Not everyone has the same likes and dislikes.

 

Just a tip, if you didn't like the older crowd with walkers and scooters on HAL, don't ever think about Celebrity, there were a ton more on my cruise of New England/Canada on Celebrity Constellation.

 

Hope you have better cruises in your future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on the Jazz chartered and debarked on Oct 19; I'm struggling to recall the boat we were on that is described above. At the beginning I asked for 2 daily programs and extra ice, gave an additional "thank you" and had both items daily. Yes, wine is expensive; that's why we brought our own. As for being served at the buffet - I don't mind at all; I'm sure it cuts down tremendously on waste. Elderly people? I hope to be one of them one day and still traveling.

 

It is too bad you didn't have a good experience. And I wouldn't have liked a dirty room either... maybe that affected the entire perspective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear of your less than enjoyable experience on the Westerdam. But having just gotten off that ship 52 hours ago, some sort of transformation must have taken place in the ship between mid-October and early November

 

We could not have enjoyed our cruise on her more. There were 4 of us, my wife, my 15 y/o ds and 11 y/o dd. The ship was spotless everywhere we looked, cleaning was constantly going on. Our room stewards were wonderful, they kept our room perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just a tip, if you didn't like the older crowd with walkers and scooters on HAL, don't ever think about Celebrity, there were a ton more on my cruise of New England/Canada on Celebrity Constellation.

 

Absolutely true!! Recently was on our fist Celebrity cruise and have to say the demographic there was a lot older than on any of our HAL cruises.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear of your less than enjoyable experience on the Westerdam. It is so disappointing to put much planning and much money into a trip and not have it live up to expectations. I've been there more that I wish. But having just gotten off that ship 52 hours ago, some sort of transformation must have taken place in the ship between mid-October and early November.

 

We could not have enjoyed our cruise on her more. There were 4 of us, myself, my wife, my 15 y/o ds and 11 y/o dd.

 

I happened to enjoy the understated elegance of the ship and its size. I knew I was on a ship.

 

The ship was spotless everywhere we looked, cleaning was constantly going on. Our room stewards were wonderful, they kept our room perfect. I spoke to them probably 3-4 times a day. Any time we met we were asked to please let them know if we needed anything or if there were any issues. They kept our room perfect. We were in one of the large interior staterooms (1054). Ample space for the four of us for the amount of time we spent in the room.

 

The rest of the ship was spotless as well. The crew was constantly cleaning, everywhere. We saw painting going on the entire cruise to the outside of the ship. Late one night I couldn't sleep and went up to the atrium on deck 3 to read about midnight. I parked myself in a comfortable chair, and watched a young man wipe down every table and chair that he could with cleaner and disinfectant. I heard someone (some sort of head waiter) politely but sternly chastise a steward working in the Lido buffet for not discarding something (not sure what, I couldn't hear whole conversation, sorry I was eavesdropping) that had hit the floor that he was cleaning with. The head waiter had watched him do it. They did tolerate unsanitary practices. The effort I saw in the crew and the pride they took in their work was impressive. I realize it is indeed possible to have a bad apple in every basket, but I can't help but believe from what I saw on the Westerdam, that if your issues with your room cleanliness would have been taken up with the hotel management, it would have been resolved.

 

Don't get me wrong. The Westerdam was not perfect. The ship has rust, worn areas, etc. exterior-wise, but what 10 year old ship in the ocean does not? If cruise lines constantly repaired and replaced everything that got a bit worn, cruises would cost twice as much. These issues did nothing to detract from the enjoyment of the cruise.

 

It was indeed a more "mature" crowd than the RCI and Carnival cruises we have been on. I knew that when I booked the cruise, it was not hard to find the demographics of the passengers via the internet. My kids were two of the only 26 that were on board. But they had a great time doing absolutely nothing!!

 

Yes we saw more wheelchairs and walkers and scooters than we have on other cruises. But I think one lady in a wheelchair caused to take about one minute longer to get back on the ship at Grand Turk. Other than that they were of no consequence. I admired the spirit of the some of the much older crowd that were doing their best to travel and stay active as long as they could. The two rude folks that stood out on the ship were a "gentleman" in his early fifties that jumped all over a steward up by the Lido Pool that picked up his towel that had his shirt wrapped in it (the steward had no way of knowing that), and a twenty-something "lady" that griped out the server at

the Lido buffet sandwich station because the rye bread was dry. Jerks come in all shapes, sizes, income levels, and ages.

 

Our cruise this past week (our first HAL) made us truly appreciate the quieter, slightly more refined, cruise experience. Our conversation on the way home was one of planning the next relaxation vacation, possibly on even a smaller ship with a longer itinerary. We loved our cruise on the Westerdam. She is one Jekyll and Hyde ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Absolutely true!! Recently was on our fist Celebrity cruise and have to say the demographic there was a lot older than on any of our HAL cruises.

 

We routinely cruise both HA and Celebrity and can relate an amusing tale about a cruise (last year) on the Silhouette. There were an awful lot of scooters on that particular cruise and one evening the waiters borrowed the scooters of all the passengers in the MDR and had a "scooter parade" around the MDR. It was a real "hoot" and much more fun then the waiters singing "Ol Sole Mio" or some other silly song. Come to think of it, we do not recall anyone posting the lyrics from the birthday song we hear on HA ships :)

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe next time you see someone in a wheelchair or walker, you could consider them an inspiration. And hope to yourself that if or when you become in need of mobility aids, you still have the enthusiasm for life to continue travelling.

 

 

WOW!!!! Nicely said!!!! So very inspirational!!! THANK YOU!!!!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry to hear of your less than enjoyable experience on the Westerdam. It is so disappointing to put much planning and much money into a trip and not have it live up to expectations. I've been there more that I wish. But having just gotten off that ship 52 hours ago, some sort of transformation must have taken place in the ship between mid-October and early November.

 

We could not have enjoyed our cruise on her more. There were 4 of us, myself, my wife, my 15 y/o ds and 11 y/o dd.

 

I happened to enjoy the understated elegance of the ship and its size. I knew I was on a ship.

 

The ship was spotless everywhere we looked, cleaning was constantly going on. Our room stewards were wonderful, they kept our room perfect. I spoke to them probably 3-4 times a day. Any time we met we were asked to please let them know if we needed anything or if there were any issues. They kept our room perfect. We were in one of the large interior staterooms (1054). Ample space for the four of us for the amount of time we spent in the room.

 

The rest of the ship was spotless as well. The crew was constantly cleaning, everywhere. We saw painting going on the entire cruise to the outside of the ship. Late one night I couldn't sleep and went up to the atrium on deck 3 to read about midnight. I parked myself in a comfortable chair, and watched a young man wipe down every table and chair that he could with cleaner and disinfectant. I heard someone (some sort of head waiter) politely but sternly chastise a steward working in the Lido buffet for not discarding something (not sure what, I couldn't hear whole conversation, sorry I was eavesdropping) that had hit the floor that he was cleaning with. The head waiter had watched him do it. They did tolerate unsanitary practices. The effort I saw in the crew and the pride they took in their work was impressive. I realize it is indeed possible to have a bad apple in every basket, but I can't help but believe from what I saw on the Westerdam, that if your issues with your room cleanliness would have been taken up with the hotel management, it would have been resolved.

 

Don't get me wrong. The Westerdam was not perfect. The ship has rust, worn areas, etc. exterior-wise, but what 10 year old ship in the ocean does not? If cruise lines constantly repaired and replaced everything that got a bit worn, cruises would cost twice as much. These issues did nothing to detract from the enjoyment of the cruise.

 

It was indeed a more "mature" crowd than the RCI and Carnival cruises we have been on. I knew that when I booked the cruise, it was not hard to find the demographics of the passengers via the internet. My kids were two of the only 26 that were on board. But they had a great time doing absolutely nothing!!

 

Yes we saw more wheelchairs and walkers and scooters than we have on other cruises. But I think one lady in a wheelchair caused to take about one minute longer to get back on the ship at Grand Turk. Other than that they were of no consequence. I admired the spirit of the some of the much older crowd that were doing their best to travel and stay active as long as they could. The two rude folks that stood out on the ship were a "gentleman" in his early fifties that jumped all over a steward up by the Lido Pool that picked up his towel that had his shirt wrapped in it (the steward had no way of knowing that), and a twenty-something "lady" that griped out the server at

the Lido buffet sandwich station because the rye bread was dry. Jerks come in all shapes, sizes, income levels, and ages.

 

Our cruise this past week (our first HAL) made us truly appreciate the quieter, slightly more refined, cruise experience. Our conversation on the way home was one of planning the next relaxation vacation, possibly on even a smaller ship with a longer itinerary. We loved our cruise on the Westerdam. She is one Jekyll and Hyde ship.

 

Thank you so much for you lovely unbiased review of your cruise..Agree the Westerdam is an older ship & shows some of her age..But don't belive any of the HAL ships would be good fit for the OP... Perhaps she would be better off sailing only brand new very large cruise ships which can't get into some of the exciting ports that HAL goes into..Obviously some people have no idea of the work involved in keeping a ship in Pristine condition.. We are boaters & know what sea air & water can do overnight!

A REAL OLD Gentleman once said:

“You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” AL

 

 

 

Maybe next time you see someone in a wheelchair or walker, you could consider them an inspiration. And hope to yourself that if or when you become in need of mobility aids, you still have the enthusiasm for life to continue travelling.

 

Thank you Friend.. I could not have said it any better!

Betty

Edited by serendipity1499

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's a reason you didn't see the stewards

 

They jumped overboard:eek:

 

LOL, I was looking for the "like" button. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Maybe next time you see someone in a wheelchair or walker, you could consider them an inspiration. And hope to yourself that if or when you become in need of mobility aids, you still have the enthusiasm for life to continue travelling.

 

Applauding your response. Well said!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was also on this cruise on the Westerdam. In response to the concerns about the age of the furnishings, the Captain said that the ship would get huge makeovers next April. This was part of his Captain's talk,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I experienced a cabin or a hotel room in this condition it would be of little consolation to be told by the captain/manager. that it would be updated in six months time.

 

Rather, I would be wondering why it was not updated six months ago. This is exactly the issue that is all too common on HAL...postponed maintenance, ie sub standard maintenance.

Edited by iancal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not that it will make you (Imentser) feel any better but Westerdam is scheduled for drydock on April 5th, returning on April 15th. She will then reposition to Seattle for 7-day Alaska trips next summer. Try her again after the re-fit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somehow I think that the OP will vote with his/her feet.

 

Cannot blame him/her. Most of us would probably do exactly the same. It is not like a bad restaurant meal where you are not risking much by trying it again. Once you are on the ship there is no going back...for however long the cruise is.

 

This is the big challenge for the hospitality industry.

 

People have high expectations-especially after visiting vendor websites. When you have these expectations and then walk into a cabin in poor condition and with tattered furnishings it does not encourage you to take another cruise with that cruise line or that particular ship.

 

I think most people would tend to try another cruise line. It is just human nature.

 

A comment from the Captain about a refit in six months time would do absolutely nothing to encourage me to sail again-actually it would have the opposite effect.

Edited by iancal

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Somehow I think that the OP will vote with his/her feet.

 

Cannot blame him/her. Most of us would probably do exactly the same. It is not like a bad restaurant meal where you are not risking much by trying it again. Once you are on the ship there is no going back...for however long the cruise is.

 

This is the big challenge for the hospitality industry.

 

People have high expectations-especially after visiting vendor websites. When you have these expectations and then walk into a cabin in poor condition and with tattered furnishings it does not encourage you to take another cruise with that cruise line or that particular ship.

 

I think most people would tend to try another cruise line. It is just human nature.

 

A comment from the Captain about a refit in six months time would do absolutely nothing to encourage me to sail again-actually it would have the opposite effect.

 

The op basically complained about everything under the sun. He left out that he didn't like the navy blue color of the hull.

 

Going with your theory. Hal would have to have a full time furniture factory down in the bowels of the ship with hundreds of workers working 24/7 to make sure you never see a worn arm on a chair.

Edited by Wakepatrol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×