This cruise was great. The food was excellent, the entertainment was just great and the tone and pace of life on the ship was very comfortable. All staff treated use with respect and were eager to help. Our waiter and assistant were wonderful and dining in both the main dining room and the Lido was very pleasurable. An extra benefit is that it was not too loud nor was the air conditioning too cold. On shore or off, we had a wonderful time.
The ports of call were excellent. We enjoyed our time in each city.
Note: We appreciated how the captain and cruise director kept us informed as our itinerary changed due to poor weather. We appreciate their decision to keep us safe and comfortable.
Perfect cruise for seniors, middle age, possibly grown ups, but not necessarily for teenagers, juniors and kids. Impeccable service by ship's crew and staff. Great food selection and quality. Efficient, functional, beautiful ship's interior design, layout, color, and appurtenances. Dull, unappealing, very poor exterior paint (black?) selection. Truthfully, it looks more like a cargo ship than a cruise ship. If you're receptive, value your guest's feedback and serious about improving the ship's exterior appearance, please... please... I beg you to change the color black to something other than black.
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.
We booked this cruise in hopes of seeing the fall colors in Canada and New England but the warm weather had delayed this. Otherwise, the cruise had no issues. It's an older ship (1997) but well maintained and all the systems were working well. One thing to be aware of, bring a plug strip if you intend to plug things in - there is only 1 115v outlet in the cabin and the TV was plugged into it.
We enjoyed the food in the Italian restaurant and the steak/seafood restaurant (Pinnacle Grill). Reservations in advance are a must for both of them. The ship was full but we didn't feel crowded even on the Lido buffet lines. Food was decent but not outstanding (optional restaurants were excellent). Decent variety on menu and decent selection in Lido buffets. Nice pastry and dessert items as well.
Staff was plenty friendly and competent. Shows were OK nothing spectacular but we had a wonderful concert violin and pianist who would outstanding.
This was our first HAL cruise and we will go on them again.
Favorite memory: Sitting in the bar near La Fontaine dining room with our friends, having a cocktail and listening to the delightful piano/violin duet playing classical music before our 8 p.m. dinner. It was so elegant and relaxing--the pre-dinner ritual and the meal itself. Almost everything about the cruise was top-notch. Even the weather cooperated. Our favorite ports were Bar Harbor and Charlottetown--and of course, Quebec City, where we disembarked (a day early).
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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