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Rotterdam Cruise Review by rjjacob

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Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Member Name: rjjacob
Cruise Date: February 2012
Embarkation: San Diego
Destination: South America & Antarctica
Cabin Category: BB
Cabin Number:
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Rotterdam Cruise Reviews | South America & Antarctica Cruise Reviews | Holland America Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 4.0
Spa & Fitness 3.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 2.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 3.0
Value-for-Money 3.0
Rates 2.0
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Ship Facts: Rotterdam Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Rotterdam Deck Plans
Disappointment in Peru
We selected this cruise to eliminate Machu Picchu from our bucket list. Big mistake. Lesson learned: take separate trips for such major destinations. Weather dealt us a double punch: it was too foggy to dock in time to catch our plane to Cuzco and, even if we had gotten that far, rain cancelled the trains. Now, of course the cruise line cannot be held responsible for the weather, but the way in which they handled this major disappointment was appalling. First, to schedule a big ticket excursion (~#3,000) with only a one hour allowance for late docking was poor planning. Second, not to have a plan B was inexcusable. After running around like a decapitated chicken for a couple of hours, the excursion director finally decided to try to find a charter plane "somewhere" (we bailed at that point.) Third, by the time the trip was officially cancelled, there were no attractive alternative excursions left for the three days we were parked in Lima. When I expressed our disappointment, an insensitive HAL representative told me snottily not "to put all my eggs in one basket." Well, a cruise ship is a basket in which I will not anymore place important travel eggs.

The 30 days of cruising - many sea days and only a few impressive ports - were pleasant, except for the three Code Red periods. But it felt like we were in a nursing home: at least 10% of the passengers disembarked in wheel chairs and that didn't count walkers, scooters and canes. The average age had to be over 72. Food was average for a cruise ship; dining room fare often disappointed and occasionally disgusted. The entertainment, especially the ship's cast, was actually very good, if somewhat undermanned (only two cast dancers). But port destinations and meeting new friends, not food, entertainment or shipboard activities, is why we cruise. We did very nicely in the friends category.

Our veranda cabin was as spacious and comfortable as we could hope at the fare we paid, and the veranda was large enough to be useful (unlike the one we had on the Eurodam two years ago.) Storage space was more than adequate. I was glad to have brought a power strip with me, as there was only one 110 AC outlet in the room. Although wifi isn't piped to cabins, we were close enough to the Explorer Cafe to get a good signal. Of course, the cost of wifi was outrageous, considering the glacial response. Cabin stewards were excellent - we love these Indonesian guys. Thermal control was iffy. Lighting was good. Acoustic separation from neighboring cabins was quite good. TV was sporadic. And is carrying Fox News but not MSNBC a corporate decision?

Publication Date: 03/07/12
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