Boarding the Westerdam

Once we got onto the ship, we immediately made our way to the elevators where we headed up to our stateroom on Deck 7, the Rotterdam. Even though I had seen the panaroma photos on the Holland America website, I really had no idea what to expect when we opened the door to our room. At first glance, it is sized a little like an RV, with a narrow hallway, and carefully planned storage. We had a room with a balcony. Our larger bags had not made it to our room yet, so we took the opportunity to step out onto the balcony and take in the view in port.
We happened to be docked next to The Allure of the Seas, which is reportedly the largest cruise ship in existence. But. who cares about that ship, when we were aboard a chartered Gaither cruise?!

We left the room and started to explore the ship. We made it up to the 10th deck and found the Explorations Cafe, which adjoins the internet cafe. You can see a couple of folks who had already stacked out a reclining chair to enjoy the view. Hubby and I separated as we looked out at the different views. When I looked back around the room to find him, I saw that he was chatting with someone in the library section. Tori Taff was up there selecting a book to read and she and my hubby were having a lively conversation! I walked over, let my husband know that he was talking to one of the artist’s wives, and told her how much I enjoyed reading her blog. Once we left her to continue her search for a good book, I told him how hilarious she is! If you have never read her blog, check out her out at

Explorations Cafe--Westerdam

We checked out the view from the top deck and found ourselves looking down onto the Skyview Pool, which is on the Lido Deck (9). The Lido restaurant is sandwiched between this Skyview Pool area and the other pool which has a retractable ceiling that can be opened when the weather is right.

Yep, there is a basketball court on Deck 10!

On our stateroom key was a code which told us which lifeboat we were assigned to, in case that were to be needed. I was comforted to know that Buddy Greene and his wife would be in our boat. I’m sure he would bring his harmonica and we would sing our way to safety.

They take this safety drill seriously, though. As soon as we all congregated in our various areas (artists included), they read off the stateroom number and had us indicate that we were present. Those that were not present had their names called out over the loud speaker and asked to report or face removal from the ship. (Several names/stateroom numbers were called, but I believe that all were eventually accounted for.) Departure time was at 5 p.m. and this mandatory safety briefing was held promptly at 3:45 p.m.

We made it back to our stateroom to put away our belongings. Here are a few photos of our room before we messed it all up with our junk.

This one is blurry, but maybe it will give you an idea of the desk size. There is a little mini-bar stocked with “stuff.” We emptied it and filled it with Diet Coke. πŸ™‚


Boarding the Westerdam — 9 Comments

  1. We need to be getting to the information and photos about the music and SINGERS! This waiting is killing me! Or bring photos when we see each other next – soon!

  2. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping Judy posts her photos first. Mine aren’t all that great! (Just trying to torture you, Janelle!)

  3. I am loving your blog Brenda….you are telling me exactly what I need to know for next year. LOL got any pictures and details about the food??

    • Lets see, you posted this 10 hours ago. So by now you are in Miami. But to anwser your question for future reference, just go from the airport to the ship and when you get there the ship’s porters will be available to take your luggage so it can be put on the ship and taken to your cabin. Plan to tip them about $1. per bag. Then just grab the same or another taxi back across the causeway to town. You need to know where you will want to be dropped by the taxi but downtown is right across the causeway from the pier too far to walk.Then remember that you will need to be back at the ship at least 90 minutes before the scheduled departure time. Actually, you can board the ship as early as about 11:30 to noon.

  4. Brenda – Enjoying your blog! Thanks for sharing. Glad you were comforted with the knowledge that Buddy was assigned to your lifeboat. He is always great for a good sing-a-long and who better on harmonica?

    • Selina,
      Thanks! I have a lot more information to post on the blog, as soon as I get a “round tuit!” Buddy Green is awesome. My daughter and I worked at this product table once and he was so personable!

  5. I’m also a Gaither fan, and my very first cruise was a Gaither cruise to Alaska on the Statendam in 1999. I’ve really enjoyed your blog. Are you going to finish it? You’re doing a wonderful job on it.

    Looking forward to the rest of your cruise story….

    Sue In Nebraska

    • Sue,
      I am going to finish my blog. πŸ™‚ I appreciate your kind comments. Have you been on other Gaither cruises? My husband and I really want to go again, but we do prefer the warmer destinations!

  6. Help!! Sailing 7/20 w/ Gaither crew to Alaska, your blog had so much info I needed and I was avidly reading just getting to the part I was looking forward to and it STOPPED!! Any hope you will finish beforwe then???

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