When she was launched in 2004, the ms Westerdam was the third of Holland America's Vista-class ships (released after the Zuiderdam and Oosterdam). She's one of the larger and more feature-filled ships in the Holland America fleet, enjoying some of the latest technological advances in the cruising industry (such as an Azipod propulsion system). Her onboard theme is Dutch heritage in the New World, so she featuers a nice art collection onboard focusing on that subject.
The Holland America Westerdam will be featuring cruises in the following regions (subject to change, based on the cruise line's discretion):
2012: Southern & Western Caribbean 2013: Alaska, Southern & Western Caribbean, Hawaii, Pacific Coast, Panama Canal
Being a Vista-class ship, there are a wide range of accommodations available onboard the ms Westerdam, from standard interior staterooms to luxurious and large suites.
Interior Staterooms: The interior staterooms onboard the Westerdam range in size from 143 to 207 square feet. They feature 2 lower beds that are convertible to 1 queen-size bed. Each room has a bathroom with a shower.
OceanView Staterooms: The Westerdam's oceanview staterooms are 185 square feet. These staterooms have 2 lower beds that are convertible to 1 queen-size, as well as a bathtub and shower in their bathroom. All category G oceanview staterooms have a partial sea view. All GG, H and HH staterooms have fully obstructed views.
Verandah (Balcony) Staterooms: The standard balcony staterooms onboard the Westerdam are referred to as Deluxe Verandah OceanView Staterooms. They are 249 square feet in size and have 2 lower beds that are convertible to 1 queen-size, as well as a bath & shower in the bathroom, a sitting area and floor-to-ceiling windows (leading out to the verandah).
Suites: The most basic suites onboard the Westerdam are its Superior Verandah Suites (categories SS, SY and SZ). These accommodations are 389 square feet and feature 2 lower beds that are convertible to 1 queen-size bed, a bathroom with a whirlpool bath, shower and dual sink vanity, as well as an additional shower stall, a large sitting area, dressing room, private verandah and sofa bed for 1 person.
A Deluxe Verandah Suite (categories SA, SB and SC) is 510 square feet. Such a stateroom features 2 lower beds that are convertible to 1 king-size, a sofa bed for 2 people, in addition to all of the features found in a Superior Verandah Suite.
The most premium accommodations onboard the Westerdam are its two (category PS) Penthouse Verandah Suites. These massive staterooms are 1,318 square feet and feature a bedroom with a king-size bed, an oversized whirlpool bath & shower, an additional shower stall, a living room, a dining room, a dressing room, pantry, sofa bed for 2 people, microwave, refrigerator, stereo system, guest toilet and private verandah with whirlpool.
The Westerdam's main dining room is the Vista Dining Room. It is a two level restaurant that is located towards the rear of the ship, on the Lower Promenade and Promenade decks. The main dining room features fine china and serves a wonderful five-course dinner. Passengers have the option of booking themselves into a traditional, assigned dining setup (at either an early or main seating) or a more flexible/open dining setup. The flexible/open dining schedule is available from 5:15 pm to 9:00 pm. You must choose which format you prefer when you initially book your cruise. You can change your mind prior to your departure, but the dining you prefer may be waitlisted or closed at that point in time.
The Pinnacle Grill is the Westerdam's optional specialty restaurant, located mid-ship on the Lower Promenade deck. This gourmet venue offers a 5-star dining experience, featuring upscale selections such as Sterling Silver Beef, fresh seafood and a world-class wine list. There is a $20 per person cover charge for dinner, and a $10 per person cover charge for lunch at the Pinnacle Grill. This restaurant is available by reservation only, and it is recommended that you make your reservations as soon as you know that you want to go (to avoid the restaurant being booked up when you want to eat there). Children under 12 dine at the Pinnacle Grill free of charge. Children 13 to 17 years of age only have to pay half of the typical cover charge.
The Westerdam's main buffet area is located on the Lido deck and is (appropriately) called the Lido Restaurant. It's a casual and relaxed dining option that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner (with wait service). The Lido Restaurant features a wide variety of choices, from pasta, pizza, cooked-to-order omelets, and a salad bar to gourmet sandwiches, sushi and Asian stir-fry. Indoor and outdoor seating is available at this venue.
The Terrace Grill is located outside on the Lido deck. This venue serves pizza, sandwiches, sausages, nachos, hamburgers and hot dogs. It's a nice option for a relaxing poolside lunch.
Don't forget that 24 hour room service is available for all passengers. There is a basic complimentary menu, but it's an excellent option for a late night snack, or for when you're feeling a little lazy and would rather the food come to you. There are a few items on the menu that you can order at an additional cost, such as bar drinks.
The first passenger level deck onboard the Westerdam is the Main deck. The first level of the Westerdam's atrium is located on this deck, by which you can find the shore excursion desk and front office. Forward on this deck is the Vista Lounge, which is the Westerdam's main show room. There are various interior and oceanview staterooms also on the main deck.
The next deck up is the Lower Promenade deck. On this deck is the balcony level of the Vista Lounge, as well as the piano bar, sports bar, Northern Lights Night Club, Queen's Lounge & Culinary Arts Center, casino, Pinnacle Grill (the Westerdam's specialty restaurant), Pinnacle Bar, art gallery, first level of the Vista Dining Room (the Westerdam's main dining room, located towards the rear of the ship), Explorer's Lounge and the second level of the atrium.
The Westerdam's third passenger level deck is the Promenade deck. Located towards the rear of the ship on this deck is the second (and highest) level of the Vista Dining Room. Also on this deck is the second balcony level of the Vista Lounge. the photo gallery, Half Moon Room, Hudson Room, the Erasmus Library, the Shopping Arcade, the Ocean Bar and the third level of the atrium are all also located on the Promenade deck.
The Upper Promenade deck is the next deck up onboard the Westerdam. There are a variety of accommodations available on this deck, including various interiors, (obstructed) oceanviews, verandahs and suites.
The fifth and sixth decks are the Verandah and Upper Verandah decks, respectively. There are many interior staterooms on these decks, in addition to a bunch of verandahs and suites.
The Rotterdam deck is the next deck up onboard the Westerdam. On this deck are various interiors, verandahs and suites. Also located on this deck is the Neptune Lounge, featuring a concierge. The Neptune Lounge is only accessible to guests staying in a SA or SB Deluxe Verandah Suite, or in a Penthouse Verandah Suite.
The Westerdam's eighth deck is the Navigation deck. On this deck are various staterooms, including interiors, verandahs and suites.
The Lido deck is the next deck up onboard the Westerdam, and is one of the most popular decks to hang out on. This is because the Westerdam's main outdoor pool (the Lido Pool) is located on this deck. Also on this deck is a bunch of outdoor lounge chairs, great for sunning and relaxing. Also on this deck is the Lido Bar, the Terrace Grill (great for a quick outdoor meal), the Greenhouse Spa & Salon (featuring a hydro pool, thermal suites, therapy rooms and fitness center), the Sea View Pool, the Sea View Bar, and the Westerdam's main buffet area (the Lido Restaurant).
Deck ten onboard the Westerdam is the Observation deck. On this deck is Crow's Nest, an observation lounge by day, and night club by night. Explorations Cafe is located nearby Crow's Nest. There are many outdoor lounge chairs located on this deck as well. Club HAL (where the children's program is based out of) and the Loft (the teen center) are also located on this deck, both conveniently near an arcade.
The Westerdam's highest deck is the Sports deck. On this deck is an observation deck, where you can take in a fabulous panoramic view of the ship's surroundings. Also on this deck is a volleyball court, as well as a basketball court.
Dress during the day is casual. Holland America asks that you wear shoes and a cover-up over bathing suits when you walk in the interior of the ship.
Evening dress is broken up into two categories by Holland America: Formal or Smart Casual. Smart Casual is defined by Holland America as slacks and collared shirts for men and casual dresses, slacks and informal evening wear for women. T-shirts, swimsuits, tank tops and shorts are not allowed in the restaurants or public areas during the evening hours. On Formal evenings, ladies usually wear a suit, cocktail dress or gown and gentlemen wear a jacket and tie, dark suit or tuxedo. There are approximately two formal nights per week.
Holland America offers a supervised youth and teen program for children ages 3* to 17. The program is broken up into three, aged based, groups.
Club HAL® Kids is for children ages 3 to 7. Activities include storytelling, fabric painting, indoor games, arts and crafts, drawing contests, puzzles, bingo and more. Children in pull-ups or diapers are not allowed in the youth facilities due to US Public Health laws.
Club HAL® Tweens is for children ages 8 to 12. Activities may include learning golf putting, disco parties, theme parties, participating in the award winning National Park Service Jr. Ranger Program (only on Alaska cruises), on-deck sports events, scavenger hunts and more.
The Loft and The Oasis (not available on all Vista-class ships) is for teens, ages 13 to 17. Activities include a teen disco, karaoke, video games, sport tournaments, trivia contests, bingo, movies and more.
When there are over 100 children onboard a HAL Talent Show is offered. *On the Prinsendam. youth activities are offered for ages 5 to 17.
Club HAL® has an After Hours program available on all ships (except the Prinsendam), from 10:00 pm to 12:00 am. This special program costs $5 per child, per hour.
Holland America automatically applies a Hotel Service Charge of $11 per person per day to each person's shipboard account. This charge is paid to Holland America's crewmembers that service you throughout your cruise, including the dining room wait staff, room stewards, galley crew and laundry staff. You are free to adjust this charge (higher or lower) if you deem this as being appropriate. A 15% service charge is automatically added to all bar charges and dining room wine purchases.
The official minimum drinking age on all Holland America Westerdam cruise is 21 years of age. A corkage fee of $15 will be charged for wine and champagne brought to the restaurants or bars onboard the ship. Except for wine and champagne, alcoholic beverages purchased in the ship's shops, or brought onto the ship, cannot be consumed on the ship.
Guests must be at least 18 years old in order to gamble on a Westerdam cruise.