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NE/Canada Cruise in the Fall by charsims

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

The Rotterdam is a nice size ship, not too big or smalll, and able to dock at the pier at most ports.  Had to use a tender at Bar Harbor, ME.  With the smaller size ship, I didn't feel that the ports were overwhelmed with tourists when we arrived.  On this cruise the ports were close to the town and for those who had not been to these town, I feel that the excursions were not as necessary as some.  We did take an excursion to Peggy's Cove, which was beautiful, but on the day we went there were so many tour buses that it overwhelmed the area (and the one bathroom available).  This was our first non-Caribbean cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it.    

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Cruise in the Maritme Provinces by charlesmcandrew

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

The cruise was very nice. The ports were great. The food was just ok. The quality of the meat was not good! We had a window room with a dirty window that did not open.We learned from this cruise that in the future, we will definitely book a verandah (balcony)  room. We like opening the balcony sliding glass door to let in fresh air and the extra space.  The shows were fabulous! The ship had no game room with pin ball machines and video machines!

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Have had better with HAL by Dawgcruiser56

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

Our cabin had no working fan to blow the air conditioning in our cabin for the entire length of our 7 day cruise.  We notified the front desk for the first 3 days of the cruise and they made attempts to get it working.  We found out that another couple traveling with us in the cabin right next to us was having the same problem as well as several other cabins on our section of the main deck.  On the 4th day we requested a fan be brought to our cabin to at least move the air around in the cabin.  We did this as a result of the couple traveling with us next door to us had made the same request and received a fan right away.  We made the request at 3pm on the 4th day and were told it would be in the cabin by time we got back from dinner.  When we came back to the cabin around 9:30pm, there was no fan.  We called the front desk around 11pm to find out why we had not gotten the fan and they told us they would have it to us in 15 minutes and we did end getting a fan to our cabin shortly after the call.  My wife was miserable with no a/c in the room and the fan did help some to at least move air in the cabin.

Some of the entertainment was great and some so-so - Tian Jiang played a truly amazing piano concert and Evan Bosworth did a great job singing a wide variety of music.

Could not find any food places open after 8:30pm at night - even the buffet line was closed by this time.

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great cruise for seniors by larry46hall

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

Quebec city was the absolute highlight of this cruise.  It is an amazing city and needed more time there. There were very few children on this cruise and not enough to keep them busy as it is a smaller ship.  Mostly seniors on this cruise  The food O.K., not many places for food, but is adequate.  Smaller portions, but you can always get another portion. Crew was friendly, entertainment  lacking, but again this is a small ship. Casino was the smallest and tightest I have been in.  Beautiful Ship, very elegant, but old.

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Holland cruise staff was outstanding by gagoss

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

No matter what ports you visit, service and details are what make or break the cruise experience.  I have travelled on multiple cruise lines and enjoyed most of them, but the Rotterdam was a cut above.  I especially enjoyed this Holland cruise because the cruise staff was service-oriented, very professional while being friendly, and thankfully kept announcements to a minimum.  You learn to appreciate these things after being on a ship with a staff that is unhappy and taking it out on the customers or being stuck on a ship with a talkative person in charge of the overhead microphone...you can't tune them out.  Thank you, Rotterdam, and Holland cruise lines for a perfectly enjoyable cruising experience. 

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I See Old People... by mindag64

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

Life on Board:  HAL has a reputation for attracting a more mature crowd, and we knew this going when we booked.  Once on board we were shocked to see that "mature" meant people in their 80s instead of the 60s or 70s we expected (we are in our 50s and ended up being the youngest people on board!).  Not sure what HAL can do about this, but you should be well aware of it when you book because it does affect daily life onboard ship.  We wanted to slow down and relax, not grind to a stand still!  Seriously though, the people were nice enough but we missed having a peer group.  

 

Food:  The food quality in the main dining room was mediocre - bland and over-sauced.  We found that we preferred the Lido for all of our meals due to better variety and healthier choices combined with a great selection of desserts (it's all about balance).  The salad and stir fry stations were offered at both lunch and dinner.  The main dining room menu is posted around 10AM daily on Deck 5, and the Lido daily menu is posted by the doors going out to the outdoor pool area (Deck 8) and it's worth a look as many times several items found on the main dining room menu were served at the Lido as well. We also enjoyed in-room dining for breakfast a few mornings when we had an early excursion and it arrived on-time, hot and accurate.  My husband, a self-proclaimed coffee snob, found the onboard brew to be just fine.

 

Cabin/Interior Spaces:  We had an interior cabin on Deck 2 and found it to be a great place to stay.  Lots of closet space and our stewards were wonderful.  I am an early riser and my husband is an afternoon napper, and it was always possible to find a quiet place to read or just look out the window whenever I felt like it.  The ship was very livable.

 

Entertainment:  The magician and comedian were good.  HAL revue was mediocre.  Shows were definitely geared towards the elderly crowd.  The Band and classical duo were good too - nice to hear them while walking through Deck 5.  Huge onboard library with a lounge area for reading.  In-room TV viewing was very limited, and the DVD selection looked extensive in the booklet but nothing was available when we tried to arrange for viewing.  

 

Ports/Excursions:  The ports of call on this cruise were wonderful. Canada is beautiful, and the people were friendly too.  We will definitely go back to many of the places we visited so that we can spend an extended time there.  Our favorite excursion was sea kayaking in Saguenay Fjords National Park.

 

Overall impression:  The Rotterdam was a great place to call home for 10 days.  HAL has excellent service, but we will probably wait 25 years to sail with them again so that we fit in Big Smile

 

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Our First Holland America Cruise by hurleylinda

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Canada, New England, New York

We were pleased with many aspects of our New England and Canada cruise.  The service was great, the cabin (interior) comparable to those on other cruise lines, closet space very generous.  We ate most of our meals in the Lido Marketplace and found the selection and service to be excellent.  It was also our first trip to Canada and we were happy with the ports of call; especially Halifax, Charlottetown, Saguenay and Quebec City.  We chose to end our cruise in Quebec City so we did not get a chance to see Montreal. 

Overall we had a very good time but found the activities on board a bit sparse.  We were glad we only had one day at sea.

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Greenland, Iceland, Norway--WOW by nerwin2

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Transatlantic

Wonderful trip.  Rotterdam is small--1400 passengers, and we like that.  Entertainment was very good both guests and in-house, although selection of songs by entertainment company needs improvement.  Ports of call very excellent.  Enjoyed everyone.  Service on board was superior.

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good ship great ports and sights by gmlsd

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Transatlantic

good service, good ship great experiences-Holland America gives you great value for money-its the best intersection point of price and value- I've been on Crystal, Seabourn etc and you pay 3x as much for only 10-15percent more luxury- do you really like or need caviar that much?

Only critical advice :book your own shore excursions.. HAL charges too much (most lines do) for what you get

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Great cruise by pilimili

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Western Europe

As always with HAL, was  great service, good food, excellent shore excursion, although as usual, the public areas were very cold, the thermostat was set at 66 F. 

My only complaint is the future excursion person Lynn. Rude, unprofessional and inefficient.  

Other than that, I highly recommend Holland America go anybody body that wants a quite, easy going cruise.

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Good cruise. by cjholderby

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Western Europe

We enjoyed the cruise on the Rotterdam.  This was the second cruise on a Holland American ship during a period of 18 months.  On the first cruise from Venice to Istanbul and back to Venice, we noticed the quality of food on the ship was not what we have always expected on Holland America.  On the last cruise, we noticed the same lack of quality.  Is this what we will be experiencing on future cruises with Holland America? 

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First HAL cruise greatSurprisedI. Like desserts by Ritchaso

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Western Europe

Rotterdam ship was very clean and quiet throughout the ship unlike Norwegian ships which are noisy everywhere. Staff extremely polite and anxious to please. When we booked we did not realize we would get $450 ship credit each. That $900 completely covered our daily gratuity, two tours, wine,  and a couple of watches for my wife. Nice to owe nothing at end of cruise. 

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A great first trip to Europe by cmsgtrph

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Mediterranean

This was our second time on Holland the cruise was as great as our first to Alaska. It was the personal that make the difference with Holland. They were always there to help us with our every need.

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Nickel and Dimed to death by gponkow

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Western Europe

Ship was boring and out dated. The ship refuses to pay for transport at docks, literally forcing you to pay for buses into the city with no walking options. You're not allowed to buy a single person liquor/beer package if there is more than one person in your cabin, you HAVE to buy two; oh and my wife is pregnant so she wouldn't be drinking but the manager refused to allow it... (who the hell is going to pay $1800 for beer for 2 weeks especially when only one person is drinking?!). Ship provided little to no entertainment for younger couples. They did nothing special to acknowledge my new bride and myself on our honeymoon.

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Rotterdam cruise by miko

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Northern Europe

This cruise was fantastic.  We received an upgrade to the Neptune suite and the room was absolutely wonderful.  The Neptune lounge was convenient.  All staff were very friendly and learned our names on the second day.  The views were wonderful from our balcony and Norway is just gorgeous. 

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Baltic and Norway collection cruise on ms Rotterdam by dddh

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Northern Europe

Holland America is THE cruise line to take. I have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Disney (great if you have kids) and by far the best is Holland America. Why? Because they have a variety of activities at no additional charge that appeal to a wide variety of tastes: bridge lessons, cooking demonstrations, digital workshops, fitness workouts, dancing lessons, mixology (drink mixing) lessons, gambling lessons as well as the usual trivia games, movies, crafts, fabulous shows, marvelous food, and presentations on the ports being visited. If you want more from your cruise than lying by the pool, this is the cruise line for you...for ANY destination. 

They have daily alcoholics anonymous meetings, meetings arranged for singles/solo travelers, meetings for GLBT folks, Catholic mass, and Jewish Sabbat.

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indonesia holiday by skyashpan

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)

the itinerary was very interesting so we enjoyed seeing these islands, when in java the borabdur trip is a MUST bali is great, dont be afraid to get off the ship and take your own taxi whereever you want to go there-some difficulty with guides on some of the tours, some very good -others not so much which interferred to some degree of enjoyment-food and service was very good-found the entertainment at night only so-so

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Excellent 5 star experience by Odonnalou

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Eastern Mediterranean

The ship was beautiful and the food was fantastic. The ports were well chosen and the staff were friendly and professional. I have cruised only  5 other cruse lines, but this is my first time on Holland America. It will not be my last!

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Great cruise by happytravels

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Western Europe

Excellent ports of call with lots of time in ports. Ship was very clean, excellent service and good entertainment in Showroom. Cabin 2707 was good size, only negative it was on the main deck and had stair case blocking view and any natural light. Would choose same deck but room on side. Food was good but would have liked more choices in main dining room. Would take a cruise on the Rottedam again.

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14 day Iberian 2013 by rickid

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple
Ship: Rotterdam Retired / Destination: Europe - Western Europe

Third cruise on HA but not as great as the others.  It started & ended at the same port so 80% of passengers were Dutch, older, rude.  The Atlantic was rough.  The Rotterdam itself is older.  AC didn't work for 2 days and the toilet was a problem 4 times.  If you persist they do fix the problems but make you feel like it was your fault.  Service by the steward & in room dining staff was impeccable and always on time.  Furnishings are old, worn, scratched & cloth chair covers in the main dining room are torn.  Food is ok at buffet not spectacular and catered to European tastes (weird salads such as mint pasta???).  Extra cost for Italian restaurant not worth it, food is good but the same thing was offered on the buffet the next day!!!   The Slice (pizza) grill was bad (like cardboard and cold).  However their Med BBQ and desert extravaganza were great.

 

Excursions on this trip were 30/70 (30% worth it).  The HA line seems to attract a really old crowd. We are 60 but everyone else seemed 75-80. Lots of wheelchairs/walkers/canes that help up excursions everywhere.  Buses had faulty or no AC and windows wouldn't open.

 

Other cruises on the Med & Baltic were much better (Noordam) however I did love the availability of the laundry.  There were also 2 days of just cruise in the beginning & end of the itinerary which could have been better if another port was added - just too much sea time in the choppy Atlantic

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