The cabins on the Rotterdam are a little larger than on a lot of other cruise lines. However, we endured banging noises in our cabins which got worse at night making restful sleep an impossibility. There was such a strong smell of rotten garbage in the cabins and even up in the lounges that we felt nauseated. They seemed to have problems with temperature control in cabins and lounges - we saw people with blankets wrapped around them sitting in lounges and we couldn't‘t adjust the temperature in our cabins. You could turn the dial, but it didn’t make any difference in the cabin temperature. There were problems with the telephone message system and the wake-up call system. The toilets stopped working at one point (not just in our cabins). The carpeting and the windows were filthy.
The crew and officers were sullen and often seriously impolite, to the extent that we even had doors slammed in our faces on two occasions. There was no enforcement of no-smoking regulations. We saw a high ranking officer standing talking to a man who was smoking at the opposite end of the deck from the smoking area and no request was made for the man to put out his cigarette.
Overall, the food was okay. Some foods were stale and near the end of the cruise, the ship ran out of some foods. Food service in the dining room was very slow. On the night when the Baked Alaska was served, which is usually quite a production on cruise ships, some waiters were serving the Baked Alaska long before the parade of waiters began. Our Baked Alaska was sitting so long that the ice cream was mostly melted and we were served tiny servings to make the dessert stretch to serve everyone at the tables our waiter served. Preferential treatment was given to one group of passengers, which unfortunately created a negative environment on the ship.
Public rooms were kept very cold. It wasn't enjoyable to sit and read in the public rooms because of the cold and because of children running wild and kicking balls around. These unruly young children's parents were obviously not asked to keep the children under control or even to make sure that they were not left wandering alone on the ship. They ran up and down the hallways late at night and no one on the ship seemed able to do anything about it.
COMPANY RESPONSE TO CONCERNS:
On board the ship, the manager of customer services never bothered to return calls.
To add insult to injury, when we wrote to the President of the cruise line to outline our concerns about the cruise, we received a letter stating that they were “thrilled” to hear about our cruise experience. I would have been appalled if I were responsible for this cruise line, but as a past passenger I’m insulted by the response of this cruise line to our concerns.
The shore excursions were excellent, with the exception of one port. The problems in that port were dealt with promptly and to the satisfaction of the passengers. I think that the shore excursions were priced on the high side in most ports. Compared to other ships we've been on, it was a little chaotic when passengers were sent out from the ship for the excursions.
Unfortunately, this was a terrible cruise for us. The Rotterdam was the worst cruise ship I've ever been on and the cruise line apparently condones the kind of experience we had on board this ship.