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Gary Charles

Age: 66


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Westerdam

Sailing Date: 2009-06-8

Itinerary: Alaska

This was our first time on a cruise. Glacier Bay was a most incredible experience and well worth the trip.

As to the ship, we were not impressed.

The staff who cleaned our room and served us in the dining hall were excellent. They were over worked and not supported by their managers. We avoided the Lido dining area, it was over crowded and seemed to be always out of cups, tea, a juice dispenser that did not work the entire trip and during dining hours short on tables. We found that the meat dishes were tasty and the sea food poorly prepared. We avoided the Lido, too busy and average. The cabin and food staff were very friendly and very over worked. The managers need to be more engaged and support their staff. It was quite frustrating to see the food staff being overworked and not supported by their managers while the managers stutted around in their suits disgaged from both their staff and their guests. On several occasions I saw food handlers needing supplies and not able to get anyone to help and having to leave their position to get dishes and other food items. It gave the impression that the ship was under staffed.
Prior to the cruise we heard how wonderful the food was on a cruise, we concluded that they were referring to the quantity not the quality of the food.

We will probably not do another cruise.

The towns we stopped at were tourist traps, we walked out of the tourist shop areas - you can only stand so many jewelry and trinket stores. Before we would consider another cruise we would need to be convinced that all shipboard services are included in the ticket price and we would not be subjected to endless sales pitches.

The rooms were small, if you want to sit in your room be aware the furniture is not comfortable. We had a good bed and enjoyed the veranda.

The entertainment was poor. We really got tired of all the commercials under the guise of a class or entertainment.

Alaska was very impressive and well worth going. HAL was not so impressive. We got very tired of all the commercials. Tired to take several on-board classes, they were sales pitches. Be aware that HAL recommended on-shore stores paid to be promoted. Glacier Bay was most impressive. It was the most amazing sight I have seen. Be aware that the towns of Juneau and Ketchikan are overly commercialized tourists traps, I have never seen so many jewelery stores in one location.

Would we cruise again? Probably not. We decided we would fly to a location and take a local tour. If we cruised again it would probably not be HAL and I would research the amount of infommercials they submit you to on the ship.

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