Just back from our 42 day Mediterranean cruise. Yes after 117 days (Jan to May 2013) World Cruise in the Amsterdam we were ready for a shorter one!
We embarked in Barcelona. It was the fastest embarkation in our 108 cruises. When we arrived in the port we were the only ones in the 4 Star's line.
The Rotterdam is not the best ship we have cruised in but it was in better shape than the Amsterdam.
The staff, once again the Holland America staff makes you want to come back to their ships. Yes, like the last critic said, the Lido serving personnel had some language difficulties, but they made up for their eagerness to serve you. Even if something you wished was not available in that day's menu they would try to make it for you. The quality decreased a little when Chef Marshall left in mid cruise, but still nothing to complain about.
The only negative on all our dining experiences was eating in the Canaletto. We love Italian food after living in that country for a year, unfortunately the Italian food in the Canaletto left us with a poor experience. From the mushy Polenta, to a minestrone soup that was a poor version of bean soup, to overcooked pasta, it was not nice. However the staff, once again went over board with their service.
The cabin was what we paid for! The stewards Wayan and Harry outstanding!
The last critic mentioned the age group, well compared to our World Cruise, we were surrounded by teenagers!
Activities and entertainment- not more or less than the short cruise usual fare. Unfortunately, we booked a 42 day cruise expecting appropriate conferences, but when we realized that the cruise had been sold in 4 sections, we understood that we were going to get the same mayor shows 4 times. Still, the visiting artists were exceptional! The HAL Cats and singer kept us asking for more!
Service- after experiencing the staff of the Amsterdam, which was the best in our experience, the staff of the Rotterdam should be happy to be second best! Andy of the MIX was terrific!
Ports and shore excursions- we did book the cruise because of the ports it visited and we were not disappointed! Great ports! of course due to obvious reasons our scheduled visits to Tunesia and Egipt were exchanged for visits to Sardinia and repeated visits to Kusadasi and Limassol, Cyprus, plus credits. Except for 2 tours with the ship, which by the way were great, we did the other ports on our own.
Now the passengers, it seems Holland America offered a low price in both the first and fourth segments of this 42 day cruise. In the first segment we noticed a large number of Dutch people of all levels of society with on and off episodes of rudeness and loud behavior but that was nothing compared to the people that came into the ship in Athens. Never in our 108 cruises have we been exposed to such obnoxious behavior of such a large group of people. Unfortunately the staff of the ship displayed total indifference. This is hardly the signature of excellence that Holland America prides itself off. This is more on the level of a 7 day Caribbean Cruise with Carnival! It is too bad that the only goal seems to be filling the ship!