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June 8 Westerdam cruise

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I recently took my first cruise on Holland America and the Westerdam. It was a 7 day roundtrip cruise out of Seattle to Alaska. This was my 12th time to Alaska on a cruise ship. This is some information on our experience on the Westerdam. I want to make sure you understand this is my experience and not necessarily everyone's experience.

First the good things. The way they handled the boarding process, especially for my wife who is handicapped, was excellent. The process was smooth and very quick.

Our room VA class 8010 was very nice. There was plenty of storage and the balcony was great.

We received our luggage within 5 minutes of getting to our room. This was the fastest we had ever received our luggage on any line.

The music performed by the piano player and violinist called Adagio is well worth spending time listening to.

The debarkation process was very smooth and painless. They also only made one announcement and you just followed your time period to leave the ship.

Unfortunately that is all we had that was a positive experience. The rest of our cruise was less positive. The layout of this ship is confusing with many dark colors. The furniture in public areas was nice to look at but very uncomfortable, with only a few exceptions.

In many cases you had to walk through the shops. This is not a big deal except for the fact that the sales people would hound me like I was at a carnival midway. If they were not trying to drag you in to sell things they were trying to give you coupons for a giveaway that would cause you to come back multiple times into the shop. I only felt comfortable walking past these areas when the shops were closed.

I only buy one picture from a cruise and that is the boarding photo because it has the ship name and cruise dates on it. When I went to purchase the photo I was told that we had to purchase a package of multiple pictures and could not buy one photo. I was told this by several sales people. On the last night of our cruise I talked to the manager and he told me I could have purchased the single photo at anytime and we should not have been told we had to buy a package. I will say the manager was not happy with his employees.

The Lido has a nightmare layout. You can not tell where the lines into any area starts. The food was very inconsistent in its taste. The crew behind the counters were more interested in talking with each other then taking care of the passengers. When hot food was presented it was given on plates to hot to handle. They would tear off paper towels for you to try and hold your plate as you took it to your table, which was not easy to find because there was not enough seating.

We had traditional dining in the main dining room. We were at a table for 6. Every night at least one meal was wrong or totally missed. There were many excuses for the mistakes but they never stopped.

Our room steward was not terrible but many times we had to request things over and over.

In general the crew were very polite but seemed disinterested in dealing with the passengers. They seemed more interested in just talking with other crew members. At times it would be hard to get the attention of the crew to ask for something or have a question answered. Many of the officers would walk around with a sour look on their face and never acknowledge passengers. It was like they were to intense on staring down their staff.

The truth is this was the first time that I could not wait for the cruise to end and get off the ship. We still met some nice people and Alaska is always great but I have to say this was the worst cruise experience I had ever had. I was not looking forward to getting on the Statendam when we got off the Westerdam.

I am sure there are people who love Holland America and even love the Westerdam, however the things I mentioned and many other things I have not mentioned really turned us off of the Westerdam and Holland America. Again this was my experience and not necessarily what others experienced.

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Thanks for sharing your review as well as your honesty. I'm sorry your cruise was disappointing. I think it's safe to say that it was both your first and last time on HAL. Hopefully, the next cruise will be a winner!

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Thanks for the review. Sorry to hear the crew fell so far below expectations – we’ve always heard the quality of the crew aboard Holland America ships was one of their greatest assets.

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