March 2010 we sailed with the ms Rotterdam from San Diego to Hawaii and French Polynesia.
We were exited about the signature of excellence transformation and but finally having some mixed feelings about it. The overall appearance is great. all fresh, new carpets. The Lanai suites are superb. Just opening your slide door to the promenade deck is great. All amenities are OK. The new mix has a great appearance, but due to the open space it is noisy. The noises from the casino and the sound from the piano player are literally mixed.
We missed the production shows. The alternative, 5 singers and 2 dancers, brought us back to 3 star cruising 15 years ago. We expected a bit more
The retreat on the back, did not appeal to us. You just sit in ankle deep water without any shade.
The food was excellent and the pinnacle grill superb. The Canaletto's was just OK. The venue good been better.
Interesting to see the different cultures between Hawaii, Kiribati and french Polynesia. The Maori culture recognizable on Hawaii and Polynesia. The small scale tourism on Polynesia, the completely different way of living in Kiribati. The tropical views and gorgeous wildlife. We were lucky is seeing lots of Whales
Because the islands are small, a ship size the Rotterdam is max (1400 passengers). Also the number of excursions is limited and most port must be tendered. If you have difficulty moving around, don't go on this cruise, unless you are satisfied with being on board or just on the pier. Taxis are also limited