Lots of space, convenient layouts, thoughtful amenities, and muted colors all keep the Rotterdam's cabins as popular as ever. As mentioned, the standard cabins consistently get rave reviews, with the 346 standard outside cabins offering 197 square feet and the 125 inside cabins featuring 182 square feet. These cabins offer a separate sitting area that features a leather couch, with more storage space for a standard cabin than is typically seen at sea. Other standard cabin offerings include a nice-sized bathroom with hairdryer and toiletries, a safe, and a television with movies, satellite coverage when available, and closed-circuit choices. There are 25 cabins with Holland America's excellent wheelchair access and facilities.
The verandah staterooms are definitely worth the price (especially on cruises where a verandah will be used often). The 152 Verandah Suites (230 square feet, excluding verandah) are an especially good value, with a queen-size bed, a larger seating area, in-room refrigerator and mini-bar, whirlpool bath, and a verandah. The 36 Deluxe Verandah Suites (385 square feet, excluding verandah) and four Penthouse Suites (946 square feet, excluding verandah) throw in a king-size bed, dressing room, complimentary stationery, a dressing room and expanded verandah, as well as the use of the exclusive Neptune Lounge, with personal concierge service, food and beverages throughout the day, and a reading area with current magazines.
Two new cabin categories feature interesting modifications to the basic cabin choices. Twenty-three cabins near the spa form a group of spa cabins. These cabins come with extra amenities, such as priority spa bookings on embarkation day, spa concierge service, turn-down gifts each evening, an enhanced mini-bar setup (Vitamin Water and Voss, rather than Evian and Coke), organic bathrobes and slippers, a "distinctive shower head," wooden bathmats, iPod docking stations, water features, yoga mats, pedometers and fitness DVDs. In addition, spa cabin guests can book Spa Stateroom Rituals, spa treatments exclusive to these passengers. A spa breakfast menu is a healthier take on the typical room service menu, offering items like healthy cereals (no Frosted Flakes), egg selections made with egg beaters or egg whites, and fresh-fruit smoothies.
In addition, former outside cabins on the Lower Promenade Deck have been transformed into 39 lanai cabins. These cabins are the same size as standard outsides. The difference is that, instead of an outer wall with a picture window, each has floor-to-ceiling windows with a sliding glass door leading to the Promenade Deck. Two deck chairs outside are reserved per cabin. The back door is opened from the inside with a push button; to get back, you must swipe a special key against a pad to unlock the door.
In order to have access out the sliding door, the cabin furniture is arranged like a balcony cabin, but as there's not as much floor space, the desks in lanai cabins are smaller than in other cabins and have no drawers. All cabins on this deck (both outside and lanai cabins) have special glass, so the interiors of the staterooms cannot be seen by day from deck. (At night, draw the curtains.)
The lanai cabins are great for people who want easy access to the outdoors and the wraparound Promenade Deck. But, having access to a public deck is nothing like having your own balcony -- no place for al fresco breakfasts in your PJ's, no private space to relax and gaze at sea. A lanai cabin should not be equated to a balcony cabin when choosing which stateroom to book.
Next: Rotterdam Dining
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