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Westerdam 4/6/08-4/13/08


jerseygirl3

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Just got off Westerdam and sitting at FLL awaiting our flight home.

 

Will write a review tomorrow, but I will tell you, it was fabulous from start to finish. This was our second cruise on Westerdam, and it didn't disappoint.

 

If anybody has any specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to include it in my review.

 

Jo-Ann

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I too just returned from the Westerdam (April6-13). EVERYTHING was fabulous. The food was excellent. Not one complaint. The activities were too fun. Cruise Director Jason, Illusionist Leo Ward, and DJ Dan had the ship laughing, rocking and rolling. Half Moon Cay was once again beautiful. Aruba was okay. Nice beaches but the shopping district was dirty. Curocao was beautiful - shopping was okay but great beach - Jan Tiel (??). This was my third time on the Westerdam and best yet.:p

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If anybody has any specific questions, feel free to ask and I'll try to include it in my review.

Well, since you offered....:D

I'm especially interested in the entertainment aboard. I like to know who appeared in the show lounge, and what you thought of them. I also like to know who's playing in the various lounges, and how you found them, also.

Thanks! :)

Welcome back to the real world. :rolleyes: At least it sounds like you had a great time while you were away from it. I'm glad for you.

Safe flight home, and am looking forward to your report.

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I so wanted to go on this cruise!

My dh said he knew so many people that got "last minute deals" that he wanted to WAIT to book. OK, we waited....:) the price went UP! We waited some more, the price went up again. :D Guess we learned our lesson.

won't do that again......

looking forward to your review to see what we missed.:D

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There has been a lot of talk about the aft cabins since the retrofit. We are booked in an aft cabin on deck 7 for our upcoming Westerdam cruise. Did you have a chance to see the aft balconies and are they good sized? Thanks.

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I just returned from the westerdam as well (4/6 - 4/13)

service for the most part was outstanding

disappointed in free choice seating - made reservations and they kept messing it up

also my cousin - first time cruiser - when entered his room for the first time it had NOT been cleaned and was filthy - the man in white coat at end of hall was only mildly concerned - quite a shame!

3 big misses were the matre d (who didn't seem concerned about losing our reservation), the dirty room upon boarding and the female lead (brunette in show) - she was AWFUL but rest of cast great.

3 big hits - 1. steward FANTASTIC, 2. staff throughout ship sooo pleasent, and 3. cruise director jason - awesome!

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Glad to hear you enjoyed the Westerdam. We are sailing on her in Oct.. It will be our first HAL cruise and I was wondering about the kid's program. If you used it, how was it? Were there many kids onboard? Thanks for any info. Looking forward to your review and thank you in advance for taking the time.

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Yes, we used Club Hal - 12 year old, 14 and 15 year old. Kids had a blast! Unlike the other reviewer, we had absolutely no problem getting a table for dinner. One evening we made a reservation and our table was ready. Two other evenings, we showed up at 7:30 and waited less than 5 minutes for a table. Shows - did see Leo Ward - the illusionist. He was quite entertaining! The talent show was funny. Helen and the HalCats entertained around the ship and Lido - did not care for Helen. DJ Dan provided entertainment on the back deck i.e. pool games. He also hosted late night dancing each evening in the Northern Lights lounge. Line dancing was fun. He had everyone participating.

This was our eighth Holland America cruise - with our young children. Once again, it was perfect.

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Open note to HAL:

Granted, Cruise Critic members have a reputation for being picky and hard to please at times. But let me say that most agreed this cruise was OUTSTANDING! Veteran cruisers seemed to have the opinion the food was tastier and the staff was even more friendly than normal!

 

We had a very large number of Cruise Critic members on this sailing and most were not shy about expressing their positive feelings.

 

...more to come later.

 

To address a question above: entertainers on board were the very funny illusionist Leo Ward, singer Alfreda Gerald (great voice and thankfully her mugging for applause was toned down from our last HAL sailing), HAL cast (great productions but agree the lead vocals were weak and hard to hear on the lower notes but much better when they were belting it out), and I also must include celebrity chef Dean Max. The final performance of "Superstar" (an American Idol type of passenger contest) was at 4:00 in the afternoon and was absolutely packed in the Vista Lounge... standing room only!

 

Our five year old, who is NOT the emotional type, cried this morning because he didn't want to leave!

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We were also on the 4/6 Westerdam Cruise. It was great. Wonderful to meet all the cruise critic people. We had our own kitchen tour, martini class and cocktail reception! Thanks Cass.

 

The food was outstanding. Even better than our last trip in December. Meet the new chef. I think he is really making a difference.

 

Aruba was just ok. Loved Curacao. We did the trolley train tour around town and was quite informative.

 

Only one negative for us. Our VA Balcony room (8131) was on the 8th deck below the aft pool. Lots of chair scraping early in the morning and during the day. Just a minor annoyance but I would not recommend booking a cabin under the aft pool. Cabin steward was not the best we have had. Came back to our cabin early afternoon a couple of times and cabin was not clean. I guess someone had to be last on the list. Beds were always turned down early though so that was nice.

 

Several of the same crew were on the ship in December. It was nice seeing the familar faces. Great Crew!!

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Thanks Beachgirl. I appreciate any kid info (especially positive):)

 

Thanks, too, Bob. I have been reading your thread. Being a rookie, I wasn't sure what it was all about. We are on the 10/26 sailing. I'm not sure about joining the meet and greet tho as we have kids 10 & 12. I don't know if they can go to the kid's club when you have it. I don't even want to think of starting a thread like kid's in the PG (kids at the meet & greet):o

Sorry I don't mean to take over the OP's thread.

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The good: steward, wait staff, celebrity chef, food

the bad: maitre d, lead female singers in cast show

the ugly: room still had not been cleaned when boarded - felt men over that hall seemed indifferent to this.

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The good: steward, wait staff, celebrity chef, food

the bad: maitre d, lead female singers in cast show

the ugly: room still had not been cleaned when boarded - felt men over that hall seemed indifferent to this.

 

This is curious. Your Steward is responsible for the maintenance of your cabin.

 

Who was this man, who was indifferent to your plight?

 

In any event, from time to time, it seems that the crew forgets a cabin in terms of disembarkation/embarkation day turnover. Given the last passengers do not disembark till as late as 10:30 and the new passengers are often boarding just 30 minutes later, the pressure to turnover the ship is enormous and sometimes things slip through the cracks.

 

The higher end cruise lines typically do not allow general boarding till 3:00 P.M. and charge $125 p/p for early boarding and lunch.

 

That occasionally a cabin fall through the cracks is a small inconvenience for the privilege of boarding earlier in the day, without paying a premium for it.

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We were on the Westie the last 2 weeks in March and LOVED the entertainment, but it looks like it changed drastically for your cruise. We LOVED the comedianne Julie Barr as well as the Elton John singer Joel Mason. Sorry you weren't able to enjoy them as well.

 

DJ Dan had told us that he was getting off the ship for his break and hoping to end up with a Cruise Director job for his next assignment. Looks like they keep asking him to delay his break, poor guy. But isn't he great!

 

And LOVE Jason Venner, the CD! He really played well off Julie Barr and Joel Mason - the three of them were the judges for the Westerdam Superstar contest - hysterical!

 

So glad you enjoyed your cruise. The Aruba/Curacao itinerary was my least favorite of my back-to-back in March. Much preferred the Eastern itinerary.

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Hi all.. I am a first time cruiser... oh myy. I know.. how can that be? well.. it is.. I have and do remain a landlover. however I am very excited about being on the Westerdam for an Alaska cruise. May 11th.. I would love some feed back on this cruise and what might be the best and most reasonably priced excurisons. Is it wise to book through other agents, assuming we have enough time and are not late in our return to the ship.???

I have read some of your reviews on this Ship and it sounds like we will like it.

thanks for your advise in advance

warm regards jeanne... jeanne@intoowitgirl.com. Please email me personally.. thanks

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Hi all.. I am a first time cruiser... oh myy. I know.. how can that be? well.. it is.. I have and do remain a landlover. however I am very excited about being on the Westerdam for an Alaska cruise. May 11th.. I would love some feed back on this cruise and what might be the best and most reasonably priced excurisons. Is it wise to book through other agents, assuming we have enough time and are not late in our return to the ship.???

I have read some of your reviews on this Ship and it sounds like we will like it.

thanks for your advise in advance

warm regards jeanne... jeanne@intoowitgirl.com. Please email me personally.. thanks

 

Hi Jeanne,

 

We've got quite an active Roll Call going for the Westerdam 5/11 cruise to Alaska....come join us!

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=587796

 

Catherine

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Hi all.. I am a first time cruiser... oh myy. I know.. how can that be? well.. it is.. I have and do remain a landlover. however I am very excited about being on the Westerdam for an Alaska cruise. May 11th.. I would love some feed back on this cruise and what might be the best and most reasonably priced excurisons. Is it wise to book through other agents, assuming we have enough time and are not late in our return to the ship.???

I have read some of your reviews on this Ship and it sounds like we will like it.

thanks for your advise in advance

warm regards jeanne... jeanne@intoowitgirl.com. Please email me personally.. thanks

 

 

This should be a separate thread in order to get responses.

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This is curious. Your Steward is responsible for the maintenance of your cabin.

 

Who was this man, who was indifferent to your plight?

 

In any event, from time to time, it seems that the crew forgets a cabin in terms of disembarkation/embarkation day turnover. Given the last passengers do not disembark till as late as 10:30 and the new passengers are often boarding just 30 minutes later, the pressure to turnover the ship is enormous and sometimes things slip through the cracks.

 

The higher end cruise lines typically do not allow general boarding till 3:00 P.M. and charge $125 p/p for early boarding and lunch.

 

That occasionally a cabin fall through the cracks is a small inconvenience for the privilege of boarding earlier in the day, without paying a premium for it.

I will clarify - my steward was AMAZING! My cousin who was on a different hall (and a first time cruiser) was the one whose room was not made up - not only not made up but GROSS!). We spoke to a man (white jacket) at his hall who appeared to be over that area - he was ok, we will clean it. We did not board early - i feel once they let you board - your room should be CLEAN. It wasn't until we complained at the main desk that anyone responded appropriately (they sent him a note and a free bottle of wine - but it still was inexcusable that his cabin was so filthy when he arrived.) Having said that - i will say that overall the HAL staffers were amazing, Jason the cruise director was great, loved celebrity chef, and wait staff at table 300 PERFECTION!

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We, also, just got off the Westerdam. We had a wonderful time, the crew is fantastic, the food delicious, and the ship beautiful. The Lido buffet had a different special each day, carved roast beef, meatloaf, port loin, rotisserie chicken. Loved my omelette in the mornings. My dh visited the ice cream area several times a day.

 

Our Roll Call group had a great time seeing each other all week and joining in the activities that Cass had planned for us - thanks again, Cass.

 

Vette

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