Holland America Line | MS WesterdamBy on 05 September 2017
Always a tricky decision – a two week holiday villa with pool, flights and hire car costs or a ten day cruise from Rome to Venice calling at some new ports and some revisited during the last two weeks of August? We wanted to fly and flop and knowing MS Westerdam was refurbished in April, we saw a great offer and booked earlier than we have ever done.
We enjoyed fabulous service as on our trip two years ago on MS Eurodam. Our other reason for sailing again with Holland America was the mix of nationalities on board and this again proved the case with our dinner table having us, English, plus Scottish, American and Australian. Our teen was with us and he enjoyed the smaller children group sizes compared to P&O Cruises, but missed the more structured kids programme. The entertainment wasn’t as good as on MS Eurodam but the weather was better. Hence the reason we chose this cruise and we did flop by choosing not to get off in two ports and enjoyed the quieter ship as a reward. Flights and co-ordination at airports was excellent and we also stayed on in Venice with Holland America. Extremely impressed by the private water taxi to our hotel from the ship, land agent contact and availability details and the sweet representative who arrived at 04.45am to escort us all the way to the airport check in desk, by private water taxi, from the hotel. Considering the cost per night equalled the direct hotel quote we would definitely extend a land stay again with them.
We were able to stay in a Pinnacle suite this time and it has certainly spoiled us! Free soft drinks in the kitchen fridge, great coffee maker, fresh prepared fruit platter each morning and the use of the Neptune lounge, alongside the gorgeous space and balcony, would mean we would book this again subject to the deals on offer.
The food we enjoy because it is with an American influence, but still struggle with fruit soup starters. Teen had pancakes and crisp American bacon every day but eating in the Pinnacle grill for breakfast is unhurried and peaceful.
Swimming pools, just the two, but we used the rear pool most days. The thermal suite also was visited regularly though the steam rooms never worked properly. Only poor service was in the spa when a manicure was tricky due to faulty machinery. We didn’t return. The gym was used but no classes attended this time so can’t comment on those.
The onboard deals for further cruises tempted us and we still were able to put our choice through Bolsover to maintain the excellent contact we have with Chloe. The mid ship size suits us and we are staying with Holland America, for now.