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Bill McFarlane

Age: 59

Occupation:consultant

Number of Cruises: 10

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Westerdam

Sailing Date: 2011-09-25

Itinerary: Pacific Coast Van to San Diego

This was the worst cruise of the ten we have taken over the years! Weather which was of course beyond the cruise line's control forced closure of all swimming pools and hot tubs and prevented the ship from calling on the one port included in this short repositioning cruise.

I found service on this ship was not up to the standard we find on Cunard. Most of the staff are Indonesian and in many cases there was a language problem especially in the dinning rooms.

Honestly I have no complaints with the food in the Vista dining room. The service left a great deal to be desired but on the whole with few exceptions the meals were very good indeed. The dinning room is under staffed and we felt servers pushed the soda and bottle water too much. Food on the Lido deck was a little iffy. For the most part sausages and eggs were stone cold but the orange juice appeared to be freshly squeezed. Burgers and Sausages at the pool side bar were wonderful as were the french fries. Food in the specialty restaurants was excellent as was the service.

We booked a superior stateroom on the Navigation Deck 8. The stateroom is spacious with a large bathroom and outside deck...sadly the room was located directly the Lido deck and we heard the rumbling of carts and scraping of chairs in the wee hours of the morning. Workers also chose to do construction on the Lido floors starting at 11:30pm and lasting until 5AM making sleep rather difficult for two nights. I would recommend you NOT BOOK any stateroom on deck 8 located below the Lido or the pool area.

Onboard activities appeared to be geared toward seniors and were of little or no interest to us. Anything that was of interest seemed to be slotted for the time we were having dinner. It was a very strange schedule of events. There was an excellent guitarist singer in the Crows Nest bar, a funny magician comedian in the main show room as well as an action packed all dancing all singing production show that was rather good. Because of the age of most passengers on this ship...the decks were very quiet after 10:30 pm as most people retired to their rooms.

The hop on hop off trolley in San Diego is a must do...For $34 dollars this tram will take you to everything you want to see in this beautiful city.

Although the cruise was just four nights long it felt like we were on this ship for a lot longer. There was very little to do and because of the inclement weather we were confined to the ship's interior for two days. There is not enough merchandise in the shops to keep one occupied for long. I must say I found the Westerdam boring and staff seemed unwilling to address any of our concerns as they came up...especially the noise complains from the construction. In the end the front desk gave us 50 dollars for the inconvenience of being kept awake for two nights in a row....

I realize this is just one cruise and I can not judge the whole line by a few bad experiences on the Westerdam. We have booked another cruise with Holland America this December and I am now instead of looking forward to it I am worried and wondering if any on these problems will surface on the Zuiderdam....in the Caribbean. I sure hope not.

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