We had a great time on this cruise. We had previously taken this cruise in the other direction (Boston to Montreal) on the ms Maasdam and enjoyed that so much we decided to do it again in this direction. The things that were on the other ship and not on the Rotterdam were dance lessons, flower arranging class, more Bingo, and movies we liked better. But overall, we still liked this cruise. We liked the different ports that we stopped at. The crew was fantastic. Everyone is friendly, attentive, professional, and efficient. We enjoyed the different foods and activities. Gala night was fun. The shows at night were excellent. There was no "crew show" on the Rotterdam like there was on the Maasdam (which we enjoyed), but that may be because the crew are just so busy. Overall, we would highly recommend this cruise.
5 out of 5
Embarkation was very smooth, quick, and trouble free. Staff were all friendly.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
The buffet on the Lido deck was good. The dining area was clean and the staff was friendly, efficient, and accommodating. Buffet was quite varied especially at breakfast. We would have liked it if some of the entrees in the Dining Room could also have been served in the buffet/Lido deck. We thought the food was better when we sailed on the ms Maasdam. We found the beverage plans somewhat confusing to understand.
The Main Dining Room was a very nice place. The staff there are exceptional. We found it at times difficult to get a reservation for the time we wanted, so ended up going at 5:15 pm. We found the Caesar salad was not crisp and seemed like it had sat around a bit. Escargot was very good! Loved the pot roast. The different soups were tasty. Desserts were delicious and artfully presented.
4 out of 5
We participated in almost all the Trivias. Those were a lot of fun and we met new friends during them. Erica, the assistant cruise director, was great! We attended the cooking demos, and I would have liked more. We also attended all the Digital Workshops. Mike Acton, the instructor, was patient and very helpful. We would have happily gone to more. We attended one of the movies. Overall though, we did not like the selection of dramas presented. Too cold in October for the pool. Played Mah Jong. That was fun. Would have liked more Bingo times as we couldn't make the ones that they offered. We loved going to afternoon tea. Staff there are very engaging and fun. The little cakes and sandwiches are pretty to look at and delicious. We also attended Mass and appreciate that this is offered on the ship. We liked doing the Sudoku and Crossword puzzles daily.
5 out of 5
We enjoyed the stand up comedian Ritchie Shydner and the Devlin magic shows. They were very entertaining. We also liked the dancers and singers on the ship plus the opportunity on one of the afternoons to meet them and go backstage. I also liked the violinist's performances.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Our room stewards, Ali and Fat, were very attentive, friendly, and efficient. When someone is going in and out of your room all day, it is important that you feel comfortable with them and trust your stewards and they were very trustworthy and unbelievably efficient. We liked them a lot. Also, we enjoyed the towel animals every evening.
Jun, a waiter in the Dining Room, was great. He gave great dinner suggestions. He also made my fiancé's birthday dinner special with a cake and singing!
Zaldy, in the Ocean Bar/lounge found my lost purse! He got it to the Front Office, left a message in my room, and found me to tell me. Totally saved me.
Jenalyn and Carl made an impression. They knew one of us had Coke plan and were ever ready with a glass of Coke wherever we showed up. Amazing.
Erica, who ran the trivia, was funny, engaging, kept things fun. We kept going back to Trivia because of her.
Mike Acton, the digital workshop instructor was a good teacher. We learned things about Microsoft Edge and my digital camera that were invaluable. We attended all his classes. They were good!
Katino and Gusti K and Maisal gave excellent service at Tea.
Everyone was really friendly and always helpful.
5 out of 5
Layout and design of the ship were not difficult to understand. The common areas were clean and very well-maintained. Elevators were clean.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our cabin was clean and very comfortable. Bathroom was a good size and we liked the shower. We would have liked more space on the sides of the bed but it was not a real problem. One of the drawers' latching mechanism did not always engage properly. Closet space was good. Size of the room was good. Room was very clean.
I think that reservations for dinner in the Dining Room should be made early.
We did a Hippopota-bus tour which was educational. The tour guide was friendly and even sang a song for us. (There were only 4 of us on the bus). We had steamers and steamed mussels at a portside restaurant which were good.
We went to Baddeck and visited the Alexander Graham Bell museum plus the small town. The museum was informative and very interesting. However, the port of Sydney itself does not have much to offer except for photo ops with the humongous violin.
We did not do an excursion but we did our own walking tour. We ate at the Blue Nose II restaurant which was excellent. There are so many things to see and do in Halifax (but we had one them before on another cruise and other trips).
the town is idyllic and has many many shops. We did a horse drawn carriage tour which we enjoyed despite the rain. (We had previously done the Lulu lobster boat excursion which was excellent). We wonder if some of the dockside restaurants are overwhelmed when a cruise ship comes in, because service staff were not that friendly or as helpful as we would have expected them to be.
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