On a cruise ship
CruiseClout score: 95.0
ms Westerdam: Elegant sailing surrounded by a wide-ranging art collection
The ms Westerdam is the third in Holland America Line's series of Vista-class ships. As such, she embraces the latest industry and environmental technologies such as her use of a diesel-electric power plant for optimal energy efficiency and an Azipod propulsion system. Most of her staterooms have ocean views and many have private verandas.
The theme of Westerdam's art collection is Dutch heritage in the New World. Art ranges from paintings of historic Dutch ships, such as Henry Hudson's Half Moon, to a huge Indian silver-overlaid wood palace doorway, a bone tobacco pipe carved in the shape of a woman's head to a collection of 5,000-year-old pre-Columbian carved limestone figures from Ecuador. Contemporary pieces include an original Andy Warhol portrait and signature sculptures by Sedona artist Susanna Holt.
Who will like sailing on Westerdam?
Holland America is expanding its traditional North American passenger base to attract more English speakers, particularly Brits and Australians. The average age is shifting downward, and is now around 45. During the summer Alaska season, Westerdam sees more families traveling with small children, and there might be 100 or more kids younger than 18 onboard.
Where Holland America's Westerdam sails
The Westerdam sails the Caribbean, Alaska and Pacific Northwest, Central America and Panama Canal.
World-renowned master chefs lead the award-winning culinary staff in providing extensive dining options, including "light & healthy" items, continental and ethnic cuisines, and vegetarian dishes. All are available in a range of dining venues. Dining options include:
- Vista Dining Room: features impeccable service and an extensive wine list. Five-course menus include continental cuisine, vegetarian and low-carb options.
- Pinnacle Grill: This intimate reservations-only venue offers an elegant, sophisticated dining experience. Featuring premium Sterling Silver beef, inspired seafood dishes and many select wines rated "Excellent" by Wine Spectator - as well as distinctive Bvlgari china, Riedel stemware and Frette linens.
- Lido Restaurant: offers a relaxed ambiance for all three meals and features a variety of fresh, cooked-to-order specialties.
- Terrace Grill: Kid-friendly menus including tacos, hamburgers and hot dog on the pool deck.
Entertainment & activities
- The Digital Workshop powered by Microsoft Windows: Guests will be able to "show and tell" their vacation memories, learning how to share all their digital memories through email, blogging and social networking - so friends and family can see where they've been cruising even before they return home. Free workshops taught by Microsoft-trained "techsperts" make it easy and fun, even for novices.
- The Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine: a state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen offering interactive gourmet cooking lessons taught by Master Chefs or culinary guests
- Greenhouse Spa & Salon: features heavenly beauty and wellness rituals. Enjoy a facial, hot stone massage, steam in a thermal suite and have your hair and nails done for a special evening.
- Explorations Cafe, powered by The New York Times: a comfortable, coffee house environment where you can browse through an extensive library, surf the Internet and check email or simply read the morning paper.
- Vista Show Lounge: features talented vocalists, dancers, illusionists, comedians and variety acts.
- Crow's Nest: offers sweeping 270 degree views during the day, and a hip, fashionable nightclub each evening.
- Volleyball & Basketball Court
- Club HAL: a dedicated youth facility with activities for kids ages 3 - 12; activities are supervised and age appropriate.
- The Loft: designed exclusively for teens (13 - 17) to have fun, socialize and hang out with people their own age.
Eighty-five percent of her staterooms have ocean views and sixty-seven percent have balconies.
All staterooms feature:
- Mariner Dream Bed with premium plush Euro-top mattress and high-quality cotton bed linens
- Flat-screen TVs
- Bathroom enhancements ranging from deluxe bathrobes to lighted, magnifying make-up mirrors
- Fully-stocked mini-bars
- VCR/DVD players with access to an extensive video/DVD library
- Personalized stationery and use of the exclusive concierge-staffed Neptune Lounge
Lanai staterooms feature doors that open directly onto the walk-around promenade, while Spa staterooms located near the Greenhouse Spa offer exclusive amenities such as an organic cotton bathrobe and slippers, yoga mat, water fountain, special room service menus and treatments, and more.
Interested in a cruise on this ship?
How about you? Have you sailed on ms Westerdam? What was your take on the art and ambiance? We would love to hear about your experience — please share!
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Top highlights on this ship
- Andy Warhol, Dutch classics and pre-Columbian and Ecuadorian art dazzle the senses on board.
- Learn to cook or pick up some new techniques at America's Culinary Arts Center Program