Sunday, May 03, 2015

A day at the Westerdam

Hours before the Westerdam, Holland America Line cruise liner, disembarked on it first 2015 cruise for Alaska, social media experts and travel writers had the opportunity to tour the ship, sip cocktails and enjoy a luncheon, on May 2nd.

We embarked around 10: 15 AM. Welcoming and cheerful staff escorted us to the Queen’s Lounge where green and purples cocktails arrived very soon with mixed nuts and pieces of cheese. The president made a warm introduction and then the King's Blues band sang songs spreading joy and smiles. Before leaving, we took a bite of the celebratory cake wishing “a happy and well-traveled” season.

The cake

Then the exploration on the boat started. We visited the Neptune staterooms on the 7th floor. Those are the “first class” cabins: spacious and luxurious come together with a private balcony to enjoy the ocean view and plenty of perks –including a tray filled with chocolates and access to the Neptune lounge, a concierge type of lounge for the demanding and privileged few.

Lunch was served at the Vista Dining Room, one of the largest restaurants on the ship. The appetizer was tuna and salmon tartare, followed by a sun-dried tomato gazpacho and then the selection of three: salmon, filet or ravioli. A light Chardonnay and a well-balanced Merlot were the wines options from the Santa Carolina Cellar Selection of Chile.

We went one touring the ship after lunch, starting with  the spa that offers numerous treatments including an exclusive package for the thermal suite with the heated ceramic lounges and the hydropool with the mineralizing bubbling water (at an additional fee). The gym was fantastic surrounded by windows: what a great way to exercise while looking at the deep-blue ocean!

The indoors pool

Fellow writers relaxing at the heated ceramic lounges

We briefly stopped at the children’s activity center, the Culinary Art Center and the library, all interesting locations to spend time while on board.

It seems that cruising to Alaska in the summer is rather tempting and I may soon give in and be on Westerdam for the real experience.