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Review of Westerdam Alaska Cruise 9/17-9/24


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Here is a brief list of what was available on this trip

1. Dutch Night with hats and traditional Dutch Night menu

2. Hors D'ouerves served in the lounges beginning at 5pm

3. Suite party on night of sailing in the Neptune Lounge

4. Suite mini-luncheon on last day at sea (Crow's Nest)

5. Art auctions almost every day

6. IPod art tours

7. Salmon grill on outside lido deck 11:30-2:30 (sailed at 1pm)

8. Royal blue bubble souvenir glasses for sailaway

9. Suite cocktail party in the Explorers' Lounge

10. On board cruise consultant

11. Royal Dutch as well as Elemis products


The things I've come to expect on HAL which did not seem to be available

1. Alternate dinner entrees other than salmon


3. Drawer space in cabins other than under bed and night table

4. Radio stations

5. Molson Canadian Beer

6. No ship's whistle at any sailaway


The Ship:

The Westerdam is a beautiful and very-well organized ship, with a definite "WOW" factor, free of traffic jams at public events except for the dreaded logjam at the very ill-placed photo gallery on deck 3 near the upper dining room. The pictures in the corridors leading to the cabins are great additions, and the ship's theme is "everything Dutch". Despite the size and the new public rooms, she is definitely HAL, and never felt crowded even though this trip was sold out. The color scheme is predominately blue with hints of lilac and peach. There are some crazy chair patterns like the animal prints in the Ocean Bar but I doubt HAL killed anything to get them, rather they should have shot the one who chose them (IMO). The Captain, Peter Harris,is very likeable, quite friendly and informative, and has a delightful British accent. All in all it's a very well-run ship.


Our cabin and its' veranda blew us away. Although slightly smaller than the S's on the S and R class ships, the aft veranda is big enough to house your friends and pets. The port side part is long enough for a dog run and is completely covered. (and we needed it because it rained like cow p****** on flat rock all the way through Alaska.) So much so that most tours were cancelled in Ketchikan.

BUT, the dam ship doesn't have any drawer space...I can't understand that. We did have 8 closets however, cupboards galore, and 15 pillows on our bed. I liked the Elemis stuff, especially the lemon citrus hand soap. I do prefer the Royal Dutch shampoo though, and our steward Rurie, kept me well-supplied.


This trip had many new cruisers, to the extent that we, with barely 100 days were the fabled mariners. Many thought that the seas were really rough and we heard it everywhere. There were many vacant places in the dining room nightly. Being so far aft, we should have felt the motion but didn't. One thing we did feel though was that persistent rumble under the bed. I could probably say that I now know what it feels like to sit on a vibrator. We really liked being buzzed and shaken to sleep, I am definitely not complaining. Really, I'm not.


Food and service were great, except for thedinner in the Pinnacle Grill. It was a really poor experience this time, and our waitress was inept to say the very least. I wanted to coldcock her with the very undercooked unbaked potato because of her surly attitude.

If the westerdam is an example of all the Vistas, I would say that the larger ships are a bit impersonal compared to the friendliness on S and R's, but I would sail her again as we did have a marvelous time and met many super people.


We had a bear crossing in Juneau and some were delayed getting back to the bus. And speaking of buses, I hated the Grey Line airporter HAL uses as a transfer shuttle to the hotels and pier. We elected to send our luggage to the pier the next morning on the butt, -er bus, and took a cab. Our hotel mates didn't leave the Fairmont until 12:30 and we were onboard ship at 11:25. A 6 minute $8.00 taxi fare notwithstanding. Embarkation was totally painless but it's a long long hike up an inclined winding ramp to board.


I'll omit the ports and tours as you've heard all about them by now, I'll just say, Glaciers, whales, and bears, Oh My!

I'll end with, Great trip, great ship, and 3 wonderful days at the Columbia River Gorge post cruise.

I love you all,


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Thanks for your review.


We were told on our Alaskan cruises this year that Alaskan is not allowing the ships to blow their whistles or have many announcements that can be heard on the open decks -- it wasn't like that in the past.


Also our Statendam menus had 2 and 3 choices of salmon every night as well -- not like that in the past.

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We were on the Westerdam with Granynurse and she did a very good job in her review. The only thing that I could add, which isn't all that bad just a little irrating, is that they keep running out of cream (in the lido) for our coffee. Now after having been on the Oosterdam and the Westerdam, I think we will go back to the samller ships.


This was our 5th time to Alaska, and I won't go again that late in the season, just taking to big of a chance on the weather.


Loved meeting Grannynurse and her husband, both are a delight, a welcome addition to any cruise.


Now looking high and low for another cruise, hate not to have one booked!;)

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My ship and cabin pix are are on this board under Alaska on the Westerdam. They are still on this page last time I looked. The Westerdam is very organized and well-run. She's a beautiful ship with a great crew. I hope you enjoy your cruise as much as we did.


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Hi, I really enjoyed your review, good information.


There is a thread about the hor' devours




Some of us wanted to know the details about the current service, in particular do they still serve hot hordevours?? Could you post some detials about your cruise to the above thread? Much appreciation in advance.


You got to see soo much widelife, that's great!

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I forgot to mention how smoothly disembarkation went. No crowding, and easily found luggage. What surprised me was that the food didn't disappear by 8 am like on other HAL ships. They were still serving at close to 9am.


Also room service was great, especially because we were on board 3 and a half days due to the itinerary and the weather, so they had to be really busy.


My DH liked the laundry service better on the Westerdam and declared it his next favorite ship to the Maasdam.


Amother comment. I noticed that the public areas were not well utilized (except for the Lido). There were not many people in the lounges at all. I wonder if it had to do with the number of first time guests or the length of the cruise. Usually the ocean Bar is packed before dinner and it was virtually empty. The Crow's Nest was about half full for sail away but not so on the other days. The shops were fairly crowded but not jammed. They had the usual amber and inch of gold sales, watches and rings 2-fers.

The sundry shop had more merchandise than the smaller ships.


I should have mentioned how good the food in the dining room was. The soups were wonderful, the salads fresh, many entrees, especially the lamb chops were very very good. I just remembered, we didn't have any napkin waving, probably due to the last night being a port night in Victoria and open seating in the DR.


OH yeah, another funny thing... the show lounge and the dining room are both named Vista and at opposite ends of the ship. Many people were continuously going in the wrong direction.


After hearing the rave reviews of the Oosterdam, I think Westerdam must be a close second in organization and management. If the tone of the first part of the review sounded sarcastic, I appologize, it was 3 am and my attempt at humor was pretty warped. We really loved our trip, even if we did get azipodded, you know, I could get to like it....


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happy cruzer,

The hors d'ouerves were served nightly after five in the lounges but I expect, after consulting with RuthC, that it may change now that the Alaska season is over. Sail said they quit serving them on Maasdam in the middle of her B2B so I was surprised when I saw them served.

The service was wonderful. Great cabin service and very efficient crew in the dining room. There are always a few mis-events and some attitudes, but over all the HAL caring attitude prevailed. It's just abigger ship than we're used to, but we still felt as if "we were home".


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Thanks for the Great review GN, I will go check out your pictures. I have to agree about the vibration in the corner aft but it is a very good vibration:D We actually love that cabin. There is just a certain sway or movement that you feel there that is so relaxing. We are exciting that we were able to book 5191 for the Noordam to Alaska for next June. I have seen pictures of this cabin and it is identical to 5187 inside and the verandah is just a bit smaller but the side is the same.:) I really wish that they would not spend the moeny to change the other three Vistas to be like the Noordam. I love them just they way they are.

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I loved reading your report, grannynurse. Thanks for getting it posted so quickly. And very glad you had a good time.

Something you didn't mention.... I know Alaska is one of those "early to bed, early to rise" places, but I also know that you're a night owl just like I am.

Did you go to any of the shows? Who were the featured performers? And who was playing in the various lounges; did you like them?

Nice to see you back on the boards. :)

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NO BREAD PUDDING!!!!!!! GrannyNurse, please say it ain't so. They have always made such a big deal out of their famous bread pudding and sauce. I am so sad :( . It would be like telling RuthC that they stopped serving chocolate!!:ee


ps thanks for the great review

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NO BREAD PUDDING!!!!!!! GrannyNurse, please say it ain't so. They have always made such a big deal out of their famous bread pudding and sauce. I am so sad :( . It would be like telling RuthC that they stopped serving chocolate!!:ee


ps thanks for the great review


Trisha, there looked to be plenty on the Veendam, so I am sure we will have plenty on the Zaandam:D

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I can't swear that the Westerdam never had any bread pudding. I couldn't find any, and when i asked the server always said "no, not any". I guess it could have been a communication problem but when I asked other pax no one had seen it or had any either. I could hardly believe it.


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It's not on the Alaska board, they're on page 2 or 3 of this board under pictures of Westerdam in Alaska. The cabin you mentioned should be on the deck above ours on the port side like ours. (even numbers are port side). The only thing different may be the closet layout. Our tablemates had the corner cabin on deck six on the starboard side and said they didn't have 8 closets like we did. Anyway, you'll love the cabin, and the veranda.

Happy sailing,


Here's a link

Cabin shots are at the end of the slideshow


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Ron and Michal came over last night and we got talking about the missing bread pudding. They said it was hidden BUT they found it. It was at the Ice Cream Bar back and out of the way and you had to ask for it. The only way they knew about it was the person in line in front of Michal ask for it and that is how they discovered it. We only ate Dinner with them, the subject never came up, so they didn't know, we didn't know where it was at.:rolleyes:

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Thanks vie lee,

I want to tell you how much i enjoyed meeting you and Larry. Chuck thinks they really bonded and really loved spending time with him.

Please Say "Hi" to Fran and Jim and pam and her DH for us.

We forgot to exchange info, so if you will email me your personal email address I'll send you our info.

grannynurse @cox.net


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