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7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Tampa

7 Night Western Caribbean Cruise from Tampa

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Rotterdam
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Itinerary

  • Day 1
    Tampa
  • Day 2
    Key West
  • Day 3
    Cruising
  • Day 4
    Santo Tomas de Castilla
  • Day 5
    Roatan
  • Day 6
    Costa Maya
  • Day 7
    Cruising
  • Day 8
    Tampa

Rotterdam

Rotterdam - Holland America Line

Pro

Pool deck never feels overcrowded

Con

Older ship showing signs of wear

Bottom Line

Simple ship with a laidback atmosphere


Cruise Reviews

3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise for convenience of the port. My husband had a course in Orlando on January 12 and 13, so we quickly drove to Tampa when his class finished and boarded by 2:00. This is the smallest ship that we have been on, but it ... Read More
We chose this cruise for convenience of the port. My husband had a course in Orlando on January 12 and 13, so we quickly drove to Tampa when his class finished and boarded by 2:00. This is the smallest ship that we have been on, but it offered the delicious food that Holland America is known for and that we enjoy. Our ports were Key West, Puerto Rico, St Thomas, Antigua, St Lucia, Curacao, Aruba, and Grand Cayman. Our weather was fantastic and each port had something to offer. Food: On this ship, there is very little self-serve in the buffet. This cuts down on germ transfer, but you need to be quick and specific about portion sizes when you ask for food to help them be efficient. The sticky buns were delicious and I ate at least one every morning for breakfast in the Lido buffet! There were also the usual stations with made-to-order omelettes, pancakes, crepes, waffles, sausage, bacon, fruit, yogurt, etc.... There is a great tasting and fresh taco bar set up by the pool for lunch every day! Buffet lunch highlights included roasted pork belly (so delicious!!!) , fresh salad station, and pasta bar along with freshly made Holland America Bread Pudding and vanilla sauce. My husband enjoyed ice-cream almost every day as well, skillfully and cheerfully scooped by Romeo, the ice-cream man! Dining Room: We never ventured into the extra charge restaurants since our food was delicious in the main dining room or buffet. We found the fish tended to be a bit underdone and bland to our liking, but there were many other choices to be enjoyed over the two weeks. The menu was always different. Lobster could be purchased every night for $20, but it was offered complimentary on our last gala night ( three gala nights in total). Escargot, Caesar salad, french onion soup, shrimp cocktail, and crab cakes were some of the highlights. I appreciated that the food was served hot on hot plates! Desserts were my favorites, and the staff were gracious to let me try two of them when I couldn't decide between them! The lava cake with berry sauce was my favorite, and the creme brulee was also very good. When we didn't get to the dining room for dinner, we found that similar choices were offered in the buffet. Afternoon Tea: I would have loved to have gone for tea every day at 3, but I managed 4 out of 14 days. There was only so much eating that I could do!! Music: we enjoyed the Adagio string quartet which played almost every night at 7,8, and 9. The Ocean Trio, piano soloist, and piano bar entertainer performed almost every night as well. They were all very talented and a pleasure to listen to. Movies: A different movie was featured each day with a few showings either in the theater room (100 plus comfy seats with popcorn) or the Main stage, The theme was mostly recently released action movies, but there was the odd comedy or drama thrown in. Mama Mia 2 and Bohemian Rhapsody were also featured. Microsoft Classes: Desiree was a very knowledgeable and patient teacher and taught up to 17 classes on various topics. There were at least 15 individual computers for hands-on learning. America's test kitchen: On sea days we were able to observe cooking shows in the theater and go home with beautiful recipe cards. Entertainment: We did hear murmurings from other passengers that the entertainment was a bit odd, but we enjoyed the following shows: Magician, comedians, Postmodern Jukebox, Planet Earth in concert (BBC Earth movie with live music), Harmonica Virtuoso, Solo Pianist, Philippine crew talent show, and a few variety shows. The BBC Earth movies were very well done! It was a bit tricky to eat in the dining room and still get a seat for the early show, but we always managed to see what we wanted to see. Library/Games/Puzzle room: What a beautiful area!! Enough said! Check out the Explorations cafe in the afternoon for macarons and biscotti and the evening for truffles! Gym: we used the gym 12 of 14 days. We were always able to find a treadmill or elliptical machine, and the view through the front windows was fantastic. There were various weight machines, rowers, etc. Free stretch/ab classes were also provided. The NFL playoff games were enjoyed in lounges on large screen, and there were also various trivia games, board games, card games offered along with pickle ball and basketball. There is a lot of up-selling on the ship, and the shops and spa offer various sessions to learn about their products. Mass is offered every morning, along with Interdenominational and Jewish services weekly. Information sessions on the ports of call were also appreciated. The ship is older and is the second fastest in the world behind the Queen Mary, but it has been beautifully redone in old world charm. If you are interested in art, I asked for a listing of the on-board art at guest services and took it upon myself to locate as many items as possible. It took several hours, but I enjoyed the process...a personal scavenger hunt, if you will. The ship does not offer the Entertainment that Royal Caribbean would offer, but if you don't mind a casual cruise with an older crowd and better than average food, this may be the ship for you! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
My wife and I have cruised with all the big and not so big cruise lines. As it was our 23rd wedding anniversary, we splashed our on a Neptune level suite (7039). On our arrival at the dock in Tampa for embarkation, the paperwork was ... Read More
My wife and I have cruised with all the big and not so big cruise lines. As it was our 23rd wedding anniversary, we splashed our on a Neptune level suite (7039). On our arrival at the dock in Tampa for embarkation, the paperwork was dealt with in minutes and very soon we were outside our suite. On entering we were delighted. It was spacious and clean. The veranda was enormous with 2 sun loungers plus a table and 4 dining chairs. The en-suite had a bath (it was looking a bit old and tired though), plus upgraded lotions and shampoos. It had been a long flight from England, so that evening we had room service. I am an early riser, so about 5am the following morning I had a good look around. It was amazing. I can honestly say that this was the best looking ship I have ever been on. It was very clean and had so many nooks and crannies. When I got back to the suite I couldn't wait to tell me wife all about it. We had breakfast in the Pinnacle restaurant, which is served at your table. The staff were very pleasant and welcoming. That night was the 'Gala' night, so my wife wore a beautiful evening gown and I wore my best tux. As we were free dining, we had to wait for a table. It was then that I saw that only a handful of my fellow diners were dressed like us, the majority were extremely casual, ie jeans and trainers, some even in flip flops. This spoilt our night as we always look forward to these occasions. After that it became obvious that the dress code on the ship was ultra casual, not what I expected for such a good looking ship. As stated, the staff were wonderful and always smiling. We only went to one show, which was ok, but not Hollywood style as they say in their ads. The only reason I have given the Rotterdam 4 stars is because of the very casual dress code that is allowed in the evening restaurants. I should add that the average age of this cruise was 71 years. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
we took this for the convenience of the Port of Tampa, having done several HA in the past knew Its reputation for being a stable product. The ship is very nice layed out well with lots of" nooks and crannies" to read in or watch ... Read More
we took this for the convenience of the Port of Tampa, having done several HA in the past knew Its reputation for being a stable product. The ship is very nice layed out well with lots of" nooks and crannies" to read in or watch the sea. We liked the feel of the ship and the ease of getting around. The Rotterdam has a lot going for it in its staff and service, it is however, lacking to much for us to ever go again. If HA did it the product different this would be a wonderful ship and indeed the flagship of the fleet. I knew there are charges for everything, but having to pay extra if you wanted a lobster, come on. Pinnical Grill which you pay extra to eat has extra, extra charges to order different items. The quality of the food in PG was very good, maybe we are to picky, I really expected the the main dinning room to have as good a quality and PG to the height of dinning. Gala Night should be done away with. Most men just had on sport shirts with jeans even saw shorts with flip flops. I guess we have been spoiled by other lines and at our age will stick to them Read Less
View All Holland America Rotterdam Reviews
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