My expectations were exceeded on this cruise. The Rotterdam staff and crew deserve a big round of applause. To me the food on this ship was the best I have ever had. I also really enjoyed my fellow cruisers-although we were younger than most- they were very polite people overall. The ship was very clean and our Veranda Suite was fabulous and in a perfect location. This ship doesn't have everything the big ships have but it had everything we needed and we didn't have to walk a mile to get to the dining room. Our seven year-old son was well cared for by two wonderful ladies in Club Hal. Included in our fare was port and sea day childcare. Last HAL cruise didn't include all of the port day hours. Thank you HAL!
There are just so many things that Holland America gets right. The many small touches throughout the cruise made us feel special. I've decided that HAL is my preferred cruise line now. Elegant, fabulous food, classy passengers, professional staff, nice shows, classical music at dinner and I could go on and on.
The itinerary was unique and the reason that we booked this cruise. We sailed in and out of Athens, Greece (where we currently live) and up the Adriatic Sea to the most beautiful city in the world overnight (Venice) and then back to the Aegean for a few Greek islands. The ports were Corfu, Dubrovnik, Split, Venice, Ravenna, Kotor, Crete and Mykonos.
In four of the ports we had stormy weather but what is so wonderful about cruising is that in the evening you can take a hot bath or shower and enjoy a fabulous meal and entertainment which washes away the storms.
The new ports for our family were Ravenna and Kotor. If you haven't been to Kotor by ship you're in for a surprise because you will sail through fjords (my first time)! Ravenna was interesting but very cold. Went on a private tour with cruise critic friends. Got soaking wet waiting for bus back to port.
Great job HAL! Rotterdam was a dream. Hope to sail her again.