Launched in 1997, Rotterdam VI is the sixth in a line of Holland America flagships and it shows. The first Rotterdam set sail in 1872, beginning a Holland America tradition and reputation that continued through Rotterdam V, one of the most beloved ships of all time and host to 28 world cruises.
Like her five classic predecessors, Rotterdam is more of a throwback to earlier cruise ships compared to most megaships built after 1995. However, with a maximum cruising speed of 25 knots and all of the modern amenities expected of a relatively large ship, the Rotterdam successfully straddles that sometimes fine line between classic and modern.
Highlights of the Rotterdam experience include: some of the largest "standard" cabins afloat; a high percentage of outside cabins that feature verandahs; upscale alternative dining in the Pinnacle Grill; and the Explorations Cafe -- a library, Internet cafe and coffee bar wrapped into one popular hangout.
The Rotterdam also features typical Holland America history and service. Memorabilia of the line's fabled past can be seen throughout the ship (the Dutch officers are happy to share the company's history with curious passengers). In addition, the Indonesian and Filipino staff continue the Holland America tradition of sparkling clean ships and white-gloved service.
Rotterdam Fellow Passengers
Though a typical Holland America and Rotterdam cruise tends to attract more mature passengers, younger travelers and families are definitely coming aboard. It all depends on the itinerary and time of year. Gentleman Hosts are typically onboard for cruises of two weeks and longer.
Rotterdam Dress Code
Seven-night cruises typically feature two formal nights, with an extra formal night for every additional five days or so on longer cruises. Men definitely tend to wear tuxedos on these nights. Semi-formal nights call for jacket, but ties are optional. Casual nights simply call for resort wear, where blue jeans and T-shirts are frowned upon by fellow passengers.
Holland America Line automatically adds $11.50 per person, per day, to onboard accounts; this is then shared among waiters, stewards and other service personnel. That amount can be adjusted in either direction by visiting the front desk. A 15 percent gratuity is tacked on to bar bills. Note that gratuities are not automatically included on bills for spa treatments.
Although we have taken over 40 cruises, this was our first on Holland America and we would certainly cruise with them again. The crew and other passengers were the friendliest we have ever encountered and service and food were excellent. The ...continue
Positives: Beautiful ship. Very good service by staff and crew. Smooth operation of complicated itinerary. Interesting guest lecturers. Good orientation lectures about each port of call. Flexible dining and always the desired table, even for 2, ...continue
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My wife and I renamed the ship: "Sorrydam." Second HAL cruise, last was the Ryandam, was five start service expected the same on the Rotterdam...let me tell you, it is not the line but ship culture that make it all worth while.
Too many ...continue