Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: April 9th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Holland America Line
Westerdam Cruise Review
Our family (my husband, 6-yr-old
daughter, and in-laws) just returned from a 1-week cruise on the Westerdam.
The only other cruise line I had been on was Disney, which is rated 3 stars, so we were very excited to try a 5-star line such as HAL. My ILs had previously been on Norwegian and RC.
Overall, we all agreed that the other cruises we had been on (Disney, RC, and Norwegian), were all better. More to do, more attentive staff, higher level of cleanliness, higher level of customer service. The Westerdam is new (only 2 yrs old), very pretty and spacious (we never felt crowding), and the food is fairly good, but that's about it, in terms of positives, unfortunately.
The staff was slow, uninvolved, and somewhat sloppy. Some examples:
* Our room steward never bothered to move any of the items off our bathroom sink, and simply wiped "around them." * The public restrooms smelled.
* People were constantly slipping and falling on the wet puddles around the pool area, and no one tried to wipe them up or even put up "Wet Floor" signs.
* A dirty bandaid floated in the Jacuzzi tub for a good few minutes before I finally pointed it out to a crew member.
* Children were using a dolphin statue as a diving board, and no one stopped them.
* Children brought glassware into the Jacuzzi tub, and until I told a crew member about it, no one noticed.
* There were only a small handful of activities on the ship during the day.
* In spite of HAL's attempts to cater to a younger crowd and families, the average age was still quite high (I'd guess late 40s), and there were very few children's activities in "Club HAL." And, those activities were only scheduled for 2-hour intervals, 3x a day (10 am to noon, 2-4 pm, and 8-10 pm).
Basically, everything about the ship, the service, the entertainment, etc., was just "ok." For a 5-star line, I expected a lot more. Better service, a more attentive and involved crew and staff, more activities, etc.
While I can't say we had a BAD time, I would definitely not choose HAL again.