The Caribbean Sea--The Westerdam is a Holland America Line Vista -- class ship, 85 percent of all the staterooms have an ocean view and 67 percent of these staterooms feature verandahs.
The many room amenities include the luxurious beds with Euro-top mattresses and Elemis toiletries. After a delicious dinner in the two-level Vista Dining Room, the upscale Pinnacle Grill, the Canaletto -- an Italian offering, or the more casual Lido and Terrace Grill, evening entertainment is offered at the Vista Show Lounge. Others may prefer dancing in the trendy Northern Lights or a quiet nightcap at the Crow's Nest.
The Westerdam holds its 1,848 passengers quite comfortably, with many areas to relax or have some fun including the library, internet café, casino, golf simulator room, and a number of bars, cafés and lounges.
One can unwind at The Greenhouse Spa & Salon. Treatments include massage, body treatments and facials. The spa has a state of the art fitness facility to help those who care to battle their bulge while cruising.
Like all the other Holland America Line ship's the Westerdam has a terrific children's program called Club HAL, designed for kids from ages 5-17. The KidZone is geared to younger children offering a wide variety of supervised activities both in and outdoors. The Wave Runner is where the pre-teens and teens hang out. It has a dance floor, large screen movie corner, and a computer and video game area.
This winter Westerdam's itinerary included the Southern Caribbean out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The Southern Caribbean cruise itinerary began with a day at Holland America Line's own private island – Half Moon Cay in the Bahamas.
On the island you can:
Brides and grooms can have a Bahamian style wedding at the island's little chapel. Those already hitched can renew their vows there too!
An amazing way to experience the island in and out of the sea is by horse. You and your four-legged friend enter the Atlantic Ocean, the horse swims, when you try your utmost to stay seated on top the animal's special waterproof saddle that has no stirrups to help keep you afloat.
Aruba is known for its colourful floating markets, amazing coral reefs and div-divi trees peppered throughout the landscape. Oranjestad the island's capital dazzles with all its many jewellery stores doting the main street. Shore excursions offered by Holland America Line include beginner's snorkelling, a beach getaway, a sunset cruise and land and sea tours.
Curaçao is the largest island in the Dutch Caribbean. The capital is Willemstad a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Check out Wilhelmina Park, the historic forts, a floating market and shops selling souvenirs, crafts and fine jewellery. Excursions include visits to the Ostrich Farm, or swimming with the dolphins at the Curaçao Sea Aquarium.
For more information about the Westerdam, contact your travel agent or, call Holland America Line at 1-877—SAIL-HAL or online at www.hollandamerica.com.
Photo credit: Kathryn Kates
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