Horribly Run Ship
Sail Date: May 01, 2007
Reviewed: 9 years ago
Traveled As: Couple
Room Type: Oceanview
We chose this cruise for its itinerary. The itinerary was incredible! However, we had planned our travel plans through the itinerary we received with our tickets from HAL. What we found when we were on the boat is that our arrival and departure times changed, meaning we arrived later (up to an hour) and departed earlier (up to an hour). We had found out by talking to some nicer crew members that the captain was trying to save gas, due to high gas prices. In one particular port it meant that my husband and I were unable to make the shore excursion we had planned for ourselves (it was not a shore excursion we had purchased through HAL). In the other ports our times were cut so short that we were unable to do everything we had planned. In addition, in Le Havre the boat failed to mention that a free shuttle was available to transport passengers from the boat to town, which meant that many people even people in wheelchairs actually walked the mile to town. Finally, in Santorini the Rotterdam arrived at the same time as 4 other cruise ships. As a result everyone who got off the boat early ended up stuck in line for nearly 2 hours for the cable car. The boat did not give anyone a heads up about the line until 10am (we arrived at 7am). The alternative was to walk up or take a donkey up, we walked while dodging donkey poo and donkeys literally running down the hill at you. Several passengers from the cruise walked or took donkeys and as a result one person slipped on poo and broke her arm and another was run over by donkeys and broke her leg. HALs make up for this unmitigated disaster was a free wine glass of cheap bad wine for all passengers at the seated diner.
I would not say our stay on HAL lines was horrible, but it wasnt the most pleasant cruise we ever took. I was very disappointed because my parents have been loyal HAL cruisers and recommended the ship to us for our honeymoon. As a result of our experience my husband and I will hesitate to ever cruise on HAL again.
Pros: The Itinerary
Cons: The ports of call were cut short
Recommends Rotterdam? No.
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|Service and Staff||Most staff were gruff (especially the captain), there seemed to be almost a total lack of the ability to speak English (or something other then their native Asian tung). Some of the staff were very nice though (The Port Director, Cruise Director, Musical Staff and Librarian were the nicest and most accommodating people).|
|Food and Dining||our server would often forget parts of our meal, and it seemed that we were always the last to be served, which meant we were the last to leave our section of the dining room. We did eat at the buffet dinner a few times. At high time since HAL believes in serving all food the lines could get very backed up. In addition, at dinner the servers serve your drinks; however, if you sit in the wrong spot in the Lido Deck you never get a drink. On HAL you have 24 hours room service (which when we ordered it at night it took 50 minutes for delivery), but that is your only choice for food during odd hours. The grill on board closes at 6pm and there is no food for a half hour. At the same time the buffet closes at 8pm and there is no food available again until 11:30pm. It would be helpful if they had a wider array of food choices available at the caf during these odd hours. I will say one nice thing about HAL food service is that if you make special requests for food they do try to fill it|
|Cabin / Stateroom||Broken toilets, in the front you hear the ship side engines and anchors every morning (plan on waking up VERY early). Otherwise it was clean and in working order.|
|Entertainment||because we had a late seating dinner we were to attend the late show, but the shows usually started at 10:30, which was quite late for the early itinerary we had. The shows we did goto were ok (missing them didn't make us feel bad).|
The ship was clean, The toilets were broken for half the ship for the entire cruise, Many things on the ship were broken (lights, rails, chairs). They seemed to have alot of leaks as well we kept passing wet spots in the hallways.
We were surprised to find that the hot tub closed up at 10pm. My husband and I had chosen a late seating dinner, which meant we werent out of dinner until 9:30. We love cruising because after dinner we like to relax in the hot tub; however, on this cruise we were unable to do that.