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Age: 51

Occupation:Restaurant Manager

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Westerdam

Sailing Date: 01-4-2009

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was our first cruise with HAL . We were told there would be a free shuttle from the FLL airport but found it to be running infrequently so took a cab for the short ride to the port. With tip, it was $20 for the 2 of us. I recommend taking the cab back as the ship charges $17 each and you have to go by their schedule. Getting on the ship was easy and we got there early and were lead up a back way to a small waiting area that was first to board. The ship is rather closed in and is definitely showing it's age. The atrium area is only 2 decks high and halls feel like dark passages. Being in our early 50's we immediately felt like the youngsters of the group. The overall feel of the ship is quiet restfulness. Very few announcements or activities - you won't find any hairy leg contests here! The good thing is you won't find people with buckets of beer at 10 in the morning either. This isn't the ship where you'll make a lot of new friends either, as most of the guests have cruised so many times they're way past the 'hi - we're are you from' conversations. Overall it was a very relaxing week - Hey! we were cruising - and that's always a good thing!! Probably the best food we've had overall. We ate in the Pinnacle one night for the extra $20 per person - completely worth the money. The main dining room was very crowded as my chair was bumping against everyone elses. One formal night they put chair covers on the chairs that looked like they had been bundled up in a hamper somewhere - looked terrible. I use the same covers for catered events at work and would never consider putting out something as wrinkled. The servers were order takers and did very little interacting with us - until the day before the last day when they know it's tip time - which has gone to $11/day per person now. Clean - lacked drawers for clothes - had to use shelves in the closet. The lighting over the vanity was inadequate. Actually had a tub in the room which we never had in only a window cabin before. The shows were geared for older folks - had a vantrilaquist and this guy who was a cross between Wayne Newton and Tom Jones. The opening show is like a bad game show but they did have one production show and the featured singers are all good vocalists. The cruise director is all business and interacts very little with you throughout the week. It was a nice week but we're really not ready for such a snoozer of a cruise. After months of anticipation it was a bit of a let down in some ways but we love cruising and it was great just to be doing it and not at work. The food was good, the casino was old and small, the ship was easy to navigate but seemed dark and closed in. Most of the passengers were older and had no interest in socializing. We told our 27 year old son (who was very unhappy he couldn't go with us) that he probably would have been bored as the entertainment died out by 10 PM and there were very few young women on board. We enjoyed not being bombarded with announcements every 20 minutes or dealing with the party crowd. We'll probably go back to Royal Carib for a while as it has a nice balance of elegance and activities for us.

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