This was a new experience, being at sea for so long, 32 nights, but apart from a slightly chaotic embarkation at Southampton, everything else was top class. We loved the ship, having previously been on the larger Queens, but the size of the Rotterdam was about right. We loved our suite, much larger than Princes Grill on QM 2, and we can't sing the praises of the mainly Indonesian and Filipino crew enough. To be met every day by such pleasant, polite people was a reflection both of their natural friendliness and good training that we can't imagine anything better.
There were so many options to fill in the time between ports of call, especially on the trans-Atlantic days that it would be hard to be bored. We particularly enjoyed the Dutch islands, but all ports had something to offer. The entertainment was a bit mixed, but the days of top names are gone, I think, too expensive I suppose, but mostly the shows were enjoyable.
The menus were very interesting and generally the food was great, occasionally a bit slow but serving 600 people at two sittings can't be easy and chatting to new people filled the gaps. The only downsides for us were some of the passengers who were looking for any reason to complain and using any excuse to refuse to pay the daily service charge which we found inexcusable, reducing the pay of a terrific crew instead of directing their complaints to the management. Apparently there was a shortage of breakfast tea bags, not helped by people stockpiling them in their cabins, and if that is all they had to complain about, then they are pretty sad people. But taking it out on the crew was beyond ridiculous. Anyone who can afford a cruise should thank their lucky stars that they were on such a great ship. I really feel the cruise lines should make the service charge compulsory or just add it to the basic cost of the cruise, but to have the crew suffer is not good enough. This was a great trip to the Caribbean and back and thanks to HAL for a lovely month at sea