Great itinerary but run down ship

Rotterdam Retired Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 62

Overall rating:

3.9 out of 5
Rotterdam Retired

32 Night Holy Land & Journey To The New World (Rome To Ft. Lauderdale)

Sail date: October 19, 2019

Ship: Rotterdam Retired

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 3349

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Amazing itinerary. Run down ship with no history speakers or real “shows”. Awesome service. Great embarkation/disembarkation.


5 out of 5
Fabulous. Walked right on. cabin ready.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Food was good but rarely great. Service was phenomenal. Did not eat in specialty restaurants as a matter of principle. Quality should be top notch in main dining room. Fourth level against large windows had STRONG odor of mold just like crow’s nest.

Onboard Activities

2 out of 5
Missed the speakers they used to have on Holland America. Can’t believe they don’t let you taste things in test kitchen. Might as well be watching tv if you can’t sample the food. Trivia questions were awful.


2 out of 5
There were no stage shows. They had comedians and singers that would have been on side stage or part of a show on another line. When you’re paying twice the price, it’s hard to accept half the entertainment.

Children's Programs

No kids

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service was top notch. They knew your name and remembered everything you asked for. From providing extra hangers and ice, to leaving extra towels and sheets, service was excellent.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Except for the dirty curtains and mold smell in dining room and criw’s nest, crew did the best they could with what they had to work with. Lay out was good.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Good size, layout and storage. Loved the “lanai” format. Gives you access to a lot of outdoor space, large deck chairs and very social. But I’m sure it would not be satisfactory to anyone who will be bothered by having a constant flow of people outside their window. Had black out curtains so didn’t bother us. We were bothered by crew painting the railing on several occasions. I don’t think they would have painted noxious rust treatment on railing of a private balcony on a Sea day. There were three days we could not go outside due to the paint fumes. One day was so bad we could not be in our cabin at all on a Sea day.

Ship tip

Just be forewarned. This ship is really run down. Will be refurbished soon. And there is very little to do onboard so make sure you like the people you’re traveling with. But itinerary was worth it.

Ports of call

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

5 out of 5
So much to do in Rome. Did private tours. Train is currently being worked on. Plan other transportation for now. Would have spent weeks exploring Rome.

Katakolon (Olympia), Greece

2 out of 5
Not much to do here but see the ruins and museum. We did ship excursion but people got there cheaper if you’ve got the time to research. You really don’t need a tour guide.

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

2 out of 5
Loved our private tour to Corinth, Corinth canal and Semeli winery. Air quality was terrible. Refineries’ smoke blowing right at the port. Definitely plan on doing tour away from the port. So much to see in this area.

Ashdod, Israel

5 out of 5
Great private tour to Masada. Traffic terrible so not able to do much else this day until after dark. Stayed in hotel in Jerusalem and took taxi to Jaffa gate. Went to church of the holy sepulcher after dark. Little less crowded. Both sites worth the trip. Get letter from cruise line at least 30 days in advance to stay off ship so you don’t waste three to four hours a day driving to ports of doing multi day Israel. Do private small group. Very crowded and you don’t want to have to wait on others. Terrain is very uneven. Lots of walking and steps. Be realistic about your mobility and fitness. Plan for your level of tour.

Haifa, Israel

5 out of 5
Do private tour appropriate for your fitness level. Stay in hotel in Jerusalem if you have multi days in Israel. Traffic is terrible and it is crowded. Have private guide plan your days. There are certain days that areas are closed or too crowded. Be aware that your tour guide will direct you to certain shops where they get commission or otherwise have relationships. Just stand up and say no. I’m going to shop over there if they try to push you to particular shops...unless it is a prearranged bathroom stop of course. Timing is critical for church of all nations/garden of gethsemane and holy sepulcher. Sites are really worth the trouble!!!

Limassol, Cyprus

5 out of 5
Public bus 30 takes you to port, old town and along coast for 1,50. Little more for all day. Great beach. Take snorkel equipment to the beach or arrange with local dive shop. I was supposed to scuba dive but they had problems with their boat so I just spent day at beach. . Other people did tours but the castles, monasteries of the various Greek isles were so similar you really don’t need to keep repeating the ship tours day after day unless they really appeal to you. Take the free shuttle and settle in for some Greek food in town, instead.

Rhodes, Greece

5 out of 5
Did kayak tour with local company. Castles and towns are so similar on these islands that I recommend branching out to other activities.

Souda (Chania), Crete

5 out of 5
Did a great couple of scuba dives here with private dive shop. Great caverns and lots of fish/octopus. Highly recommend water or other sports here as the ship tours are so similar from island to island that you shouldn’t keep doing that on every single Greek isle. Food is great here.

Messina, Sicily

5 out of 5
Private tour of the mountain top villages, sampling local wines and food was great. Spectacular scenery. Good pizza. Other folks enjoyed trips to mount Etna but very cold.

Naples, Italy

5 out of 5
Great private tour of Amalfi coast. Fantastic scenery. We’d already been to Pompeii and Capri which I recommend your first time. Lots of time spent in van here no matter which attraction you visit.


5 out of 5
Fastest and easiest ever. Recommend taking your time to eat breakfast and be last in your group leaving ship so you’re not in a crowd of people in your luggage group.

Traveler Photos

Trevi Fountain St. Peter’s basilica Some nights they had great cuts of beef and shrimp Noteworthy desert...some nights Ancient Corinth View across Sea of Corinth Cabin had good storage and on the walking track so very social Church of holy sepulcher Unforgettable itinerary Ship needs some work Needs refurbishment Colosseum
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