Sail Date: June 2018
The staff was the staff that answers your call from your credit card company. Staff: poor attitude, does the least Food: redundancy - bland, fried, salty, boxed, canned and not labeled with ingredients. Lots of nuts everywhere and ... Read More
The staff was the staff that answers your call from your credit card company. Staff: poor attitude, does the least Food: redundancy - bland, fried, salty, boxed, canned and not labeled with ingredients. Lots of nuts everywhere and same tongs for near multiple items. Food stations: salad bar, pasta bar & omlet bar: only one person one station and have you waiting for food for over 20 min. Why not add an additional station to actually accommodate guests? Salad bar was wilted and old veggies. Expreso bar: paid, also waiting Bartenders: no pep in the step to handle more than two people at the bar. Our bartender was 100 years old and working / sharing the same well with another bartender, so they would wait for each other to make drinks....so it was like having only one bartender, since there was another unused well in the same bar that could have been used to increase efficiency. They need a food & bev manager to regulate the staff, since they do whatever they want. One time we waited over 30 min to BUY our coffee from the expreso bar bc the front desk girls came up with an order for the front desk crew of 5 or 6 drinks. And they are on island time when it comes to tasks. Internet is per person in the room and is very expensive for being so crappy and it doesn’t disclose that it doesn’t work in all ports. Overall the staff really was bad. In attitude, in performance of job duties and in customer service. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Well, this is my 5th cruise, and 2nd time sailing Holland America and believe it or not, my second time on Ms Rotterdam. I had my first ever cruise with her and I loved it and had fond memories of the ship, however this time not so much. ... Read More
Well, this is my 5th cruise, and 2nd time sailing Holland America and believe it or not, my second time on Ms Rotterdam. I had my first ever cruise with her and I loved it and had fond memories of the ship, however this time not so much. I’ll try to just stick with the basics and facts. First, the cleanliness of our cabin was horrendous. One of the first things we had to do upon getting into our cabin was pee, and that’s where I noticed blood on the shower walls from my view whilst on the leu. After that, I entered the main cabin and lamented to my gf there was blood on the shower / tub from the previous guests and that’s where I noticed stained walls from what looked like dried Coke that had sprayed all over the walls behind the couch. And I mean all over, like how could you miss that cleaning crew. So we called to have our room cleaned and that led to a whole other incident where we were locked out of our cabin for 3 hrs. mind you we just got there, wanted to shower and change after a 10 hr flight. So it was not ideal right off the bat. The staff was very laid back about everything, and not in a good way. No hustle to get us situated (that will also come up later) During the process having to walk back and forth over 10 times to the front desk - to see if this key worked and if that key worked they finally resorted to call a locksmith that leasurley came 3 hrs later. Our toilets backed up daily and our room smelled like poop well because there was poop floating in our toilets that wouldn’t flush. At the first port I went to buy some Lysol wipes and wiped the cabin down myself. Being grossed out from everything upon arrival. The blackness that came off everything was nauseating: the phone, the switches, door handles, all black and filthy. I was trying to be a good sport and not complain bc it was my girlfriends first cruise and I wanted her to have a good time. But it just continued to disappoint. The food was not great. Everything was heavy, fried and very salty. The staff in the lido deck didn’t really interact with you and didn’t listen to any requests. Like go light with the salad dressing, they would drench the salad anyway and hand it over miffed and just want to move on to the next person. Customer service in all the food areas were bad, staff had a bad attitude and pretty much just lazy. they had lines at certain stations for 20 minutes or longer, when they had plenty of staff and should have made adjustments for the busier stations, like open another omlet section or salad station. So when having dinner with your companion that ate something different than you, they would be done with their meal by the time you got yours. Never saw any food managers, either. The only thing healthy was the salad bar and the lettuce was often the “last day of lettuce” if you know what I mean. So cleanliness- very poor, food not great, staff - pretty over it and other things like the internet package is 100 bucks for 5 days, but they don’t tell you the internet doesn’t work if you’re in the fjords (that happened to be about 24 hrs or more) and your guest in the cabin has to buy their own internet so it goes by person - definitely felt ripped off that - and when I told them they should have a disclaimer when buying the internet that it wouldn’t work docked in the fjord, she just looked at me like I was speaking another language and had this expression like “oh well” and didn’t do or say anything else. So. Customer service also pretty bad. All in all I was very disappointed with the “management” of the ship. The last thing they messed up was our debark- we didn’t receive luggage tags and had to get them from the long line at guest services. Then they were late delivering our luggage to the luggage drop off center and it caused us to miss our transport bus, that we had to now wait for another bus that in turn had us RUNNING to catch our flight. We debarked the ship at 7:45 am and had a 8:30 am bus, but had to take the 10:30 am bus. So while we waited and waited- we watched the luggage handlers just take their time like no one had anything else to do that day. Very disorganized and very over their “jobs”. New management and new crew ASAP. The ship itself had a lot of cool artwork, and I liked the “antique” vibe - but that’s the best thing I can say about the ship itself and Holland America. There were just a handful of delightful people that do work there with a smile on their face but it kinda sucks the 95% of the bad staff was so bad that those 5% don’t really get the review. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Toronto airport was shutdown by ice- we had to fly out of Detroit, and missed our Cruise out of Tampa. As a result we had to get on 1 day late in Key West. We had made flight arrangements will HAL, and they were great! They put us in the ... Read More
Toronto airport was shutdown by ice- we had to fly out of Detroit, and missed our Cruise out of Tampa. As a result we had to get on 1 day late in Key West. We had made flight arrangements will HAL, and they were great! They put us in the Marriott at Tampa airport ($219 per night) and covered our flight to Key West. Food and Service was wonderful. Ship was a little tired- faded carpets (so what). TV service was intermittent and limited. DVDs were often scratched and unwatchable We were not informed that 4 ships would be docking in Punta Delgada so independent tours were not available. Main dining room open for breakfast only 8am to 9am. We were very satisfied, above comments are not intended to be overly critical, just to advise future travellers not to expect perfection. Holland America is our line of choice, after sampling most others ( no Carnival Line party atmosphere, no Cunard snootiness, just friendly excellent service). Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was a great cruise. It was a smaller ship than what we are used to but we thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. We booked most of our excursions from SPB Tours and would highly recommend them. The groups were small and the guides ... Read More
This was a great cruise. It was a smaller ship than what we are used to but we thoroughly enjoyed the whole cruise. We booked most of our excursions from SPB Tours and would highly recommend them. The groups were small and the guides were very knowledgeable. In Normandy we booked thru Overload Tours and they were fantastic. What a great tour. Would also recommend them. The room was large and even had a bathtub. The ship was very clean and the crew were awesome. Food was fantastic and had not one complaint about the food. Both the dining room and the Lido Market got high marks. All the open spaces were very clean and I found that there were lots of places to sit and just read or relax. They had a cruise EXC on board who told quite a bit about each port that you were going to. She was not affliliated with the shore excursion desk so she was very informative and not pushing the cruise ship excursions. We enjoyed all the ports we went to. I'm glad we went at the beginning of the cruise season as I can see the ports getting very crowded and very busy at the different places. I would definitely recommend Holland America. All in All a Great Cruise!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This cruise started out as a 15 day repositioning cruise from the Caribbean to Europe and we added a 12 day Baltic cruise. The Rotterdam handled the trip just fine and the crew was outstanding as you would expect a Holland America Lines ... Read More
This cruise started out as a 15 day repositioning cruise from the Caribbean to Europe and we added a 12 day Baltic cruise. The Rotterdam handled the trip just fine and the crew was outstanding as you would expect a Holland America Lines Crew to be. FYI - Just before we left, it came to our attention that the coin-operated laundry had been removed. :( As we were not at that time 4 Star Mariners [we are now], we used the Laundry-by-the-Bag option [$20]. The clothes came back the next day done well w/shirts & pants on hangers. For 4 & 5 Star Mariners, this service is complimentary. We enjoyed the food service on board. From the Dive-In, to the Lido, to the MDR. No complaints and I'm sure going to miss the fellow who served up such large portions of ice cream! Gals, don't forget the complimentary chocolates in the Explorer"s Café for after that leisurely fine dining meal. We rarely book non-HAL excuirsions w/the exception of Hop On-Hop Off buses. We booked 7 excusions including a 2 day in St. Petersburg, as did most of the folks on board. All were just fine if not a bit tiring for this 71 YO man. The evening entertainment in the Main Theatre was very good most nights [I'm not picky]. Some performances were good enough to watch twice. Be aware that it's a wise person who gets a seat about 20 minutes early. Embarcation was a nightmare as a storm delayed our plane by enough to miss the ship in Tampa [and yes I know that it's best to come a day early - but it's also expensive]. There were several folks on the plane going on the Rotterdam and we even had HAL's FlightEase option. No HAL people met that plane and we were left to our own devices as to how to get to the ship. Disembarcation was a dream! Fast and well planned. Just to clairify, we will be using HAL's FlightEase on each voyage. They just slipped up this time. Could I recomend the MS Rotterdam? Yes. Could I recommend Holland America Line for your next cruise? Yes, but remember it's not a booze cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
Everything was great except for lack of gluten free food. The dining room waiters were the only ones to help me get food and allowed me to order a day in advance. The lido was a joke for gf food and offered one choice of pasta which was ... Read More
Everything was great except for lack of gluten free food. The dining room waiters were the only ones to help me get food and allowed me to order a day in advance. The lido was a joke for gf food and offered one choice of pasta which was the same everyday and that's it besides store bought gf bread. Supposedly the bacon was gf but was served in a dish with regular bread to absorb the fat. No labels and no desserts at all. I got sick often and went hungry every breakfast and lunch. Ports were amazing. Our favorite was Roatan Honduras. Go on the Jolly Roger Catamaran for a ride and the snorkeling trip of a lifetime. Great guys. Guatemala was okay. Nothing to see at the Port, a tour is a necessity. We didn't take a tour because the Canadian Government website warned about too many dangers with tourists and we chickened out. Key West was okay but very commercial like any US Port. Costa Maya was beautiful and had a nice area to go for a walk around outside the Port area. Went diving at Dream time dive shop for a discover scuba. It was really nice but the water was choppy that day. Great people there. Overall a nice cruise but a live band playing music by the pool would go a long way to improving the lack of entertainment. Not a cruise for people under 70. I am not a partyer but lack of music was a disappointment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This was our first time on HAL. We bought the Elite Beverage Package knowing we would want to get premium wines by the glass (up to $15/glass) throughout the ship, but this was not the case. Each bar had it's own wine list and they were ... Read More
This was our first time on HAL. We bought the Elite Beverage Package knowing we would want to get premium wines by the glass (up to $15/glass) throughout the ship, but this was not the case. Each bar had it's own wine list and they were all different. Using Sauvignon Blanc as an example, most bars had two from CA, Simi and Foundation, undrinkable IMO. The only place you could get a truly good SB was in the Main Dining Room (MDR) or Pinnacle Grill, Villa Maria NZ. This was a real disappointment based on the amount of money we spent on the package. I understand that HAL can charge what ever they want for the wine, my issue is with the non-availability of good wines in the various venues, Ocean Bar, Lido Bar and Sports Bar. The other disappointment was the dress code for the MDR where gentlemen cruisers wore baseball caps throughout the entire dinner and on what was considered "Gala Night" blue jeans, t-shirts, etc. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Chose this cruise as we wanted a smaller ship this go around. We wanted back into Key West and highlight was Guatemala as never been there before. Also wanted a laid back cruise, which Rotterdam is.... understand this if booking this ... Read More
Chose this cruise as we wanted a smaller ship this go around. We wanted back into Key West and highlight was Guatemala as never been there before. Also wanted a laid back cruise, which Rotterdam is.... understand this if booking this ship. We booked Neptune Suite at phenomenal price. Provided perfect setting for relaxing, outstanding service. The ship is a bit of art gallery and museum. Lots of interesting things to stop and marvel at. Layout of ship can get boring after a few days... no real feel of energy. Maybe after sailing many newer ships, now coming back to older dsign explains why i feel this. The ship is getting a bit long in the tooth. Outward appearance suggest some updates, is maintained, but sense beneath the skin the ship is getting old, needing lots of attention......Especially cabins. The food on the ship is ok, actually a bit disappointing given our past Holland experience. Lido buffet is limited, can be a bit repetitive. Fresh made salads were a hit! Main Dining room menus, food is ok, service can be spotty. Pinacle Grill was good, not great, service not up to standard for higher end restaurant. Canaletto food good, menu poor, ambiance lacking. So.... Main showroom Entertainment was fair at best, not worthy of getting there 30-40minutes early to get a seat. Other entertainment wanting. Daily activities nothing special. Americas Test Kitchen presentations interesting, cooking class does not include much hands on.... hmmm But in the end the cruise met our desire and needs. Quiet, boring.... relaxing. Hense my head scratching..... just be aware when you book the Rotterdam, especially if you have recently sailed alot of the newer ships. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I was worried when I read reviews from Dec 2017, but not necessary. This cruise was absolutely fantastic. It is a smaller ship and that’s what we loved. Though the ship is older we didn’t notice anything that was rusted or ... Read More
I was worried when I read reviews from Dec 2017, but not necessary. This cruise was absolutely fantastic. It is a smaller ship and that’s what we loved. Though the ship is older we didn’t notice anything that was rusted or in disrepair as others mentioned. The crew was attentive, gracious and experienced. It was really refreshing to see everyone dressed appropriately in the main dining room, no (or very, very few) shorts or t-shirts, showing respect for fellow cruisers and the staff that is working so hard for you. Even the kids were very sharp; kudos to those parents and thank you! Our waiter and assistant waiter were very friendly and helpful and so very busy; but outstanding nonetheless. The live main stage entertainment was just ok, but occurred every night. The best was the Planet Earth II feature because of the live music accompaniment, it was very powerful. The Lido buffet was smaller than others, but the selection was still vast and I can’t think of anything else one could need. Loved the “big salad” bar and that you can no longer serve yourself along most of the buffet - it was significantly cleaner and more appetizing, but I will say it holds up the line a bit which is a fine trade-off. We booked all of our excursions outside of the cruise line, so can’t comment on that. All of the ports were fine, Key West was fun, as usual, Roatan was a lovely island with nice and informative locals. I’ve seen Guatemala called a wasted port, but probably not for those who did an interesting ruins tour; we did a quick walk through the vendors and went back to enjoy a relatively empty ship. Costa Maya was certainly very touristy and commercial, but it looked like people were having great fun at the beach. Definitely an up and coming Playa del Carmen. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
Second lifetime cruise for me and my 4 yr old (our first cruise was Alaska two years ago aboard the Westerdam with him, my 7 yr old and my father for his 80th birthday), first cruise for my 9 yr old daughter. My awesome wife can only ... Read More
Second lifetime cruise for me and my 4 yr old (our first cruise was Alaska two years ago aboard the Westerdam with him, my 7 yr old and my father for his 80th birthday), first cruise for my 9 yr old daughter. My awesome wife can only handle one kid on vacation at a time, meaning our 7 yr old drew the Europe straw with her this past week, leaving me, my oldest and youngest to go exploring the western Caribbean. I went budget this time (compared to the Westerdam), reserving an ocean view cabin (instead of a verandah, or as they are termed on the Rotterdam, a suite), and choosing to sail out of Tampa - a relatively easy drive from Atlanta at any time other than the start of spring break. The kids absolutely loved the OV window, and I didn't have to stress with my four year old toddling up on a deck table to look over the balcony (as he did on the Westerdam). Two big reasons I'm a fan of HA: every ship in their fleet appears to have a basketball court on the top deck, and every ship has a teak wood deck on their promenade level, which gives them a "classic" ship feel (not unlike WWII era battleships like the USS North Carolina or Missouri). We stayed at the Barrymore Hotel the night before next to the Straz Performing Arts Center, and reserved parking at the Skyhouse Garage - $56 for the week, a half mile tops from the HA terminal. We were able to take our time visiting the Florida Aquarium the morning of the cruise and eat lunch there, before walking back to the garage, grabbing our luggage, and wandering to the terminal for boarding. I've only done this twice - in Seattle and in Tampa - and to me, Tampa seemed like a big spacious terminal, and our embarkation was incredibly fast and easy. Enjoyed sailing down the Hillsborough River. Didn't eat a single meal other than at the Lido (we did the first night dinner on the Alaska cruise when my two younger kids were 2 and 5, and it was way too long and late for them; have never eaten anywhere other than the Lido since). There's enough variety with each meal - 3-4 appetizers, 4-5 entrees, 3-4 desserts, with made to order salads and pastas - and the menus vary enough that even if you eat every single meal there, you can go an entire cruise week without eating the same thing twice. First stop was in Key West, and because I hadn't yet bothered with Club HAL (it had been a bust on the Alaska cruise with my two kids being two of only five kids in the club) and had assumed I would have to do excursions with a 9 and 4 yr old, I booked events geared to the lowest common denominator - my 4 year old. We did the Land and Sea tour - an hour on a trolley train sightseeing Key West, followed by a two hour glass bottom boat cruise - which turned out to be a hit, since my whale loving 4 year old (which ironically took root two years ago on the Westerdam) got to see a pod of 6-8 dolphins up close just goofing off - which apparently does not happen often. Key West harbor was the least charismatic of any of the ones we visited - we had to go through the Truman Naval Base to get to town and got searched on the way back in - but even the least interesting harbor visit beats the best day in an office. NCAA basketball championship was that night, but since HA doesn't get TBS, I'd resigned myself to missing it for the first time in 40 years. So, imagine my surprise when I flipped on the ESPN Internat'l Channel that the boat does carry - and hearing Dick Vitale doing color for the game (which ironically, turned out to be a dud unless you're from Philly). I always dig the "at sea" portion of cruises - much boat exploring, much time spent in the ship's well-appointed Explorations Cafe (found an encyclopedia about ships which kept my four year old entertained and quiet while I taught my daughter how to play chess), and of course much time spent in the main pool with my kids mid-ship . . . Roatan was okay - the only I thing I booked for us that day was the "Magical Flying Beach Chair" which was just a ski lift from the pier to the beach - but which kids will love. The walk would've been nice too. Spent the entire day with my kids on the beach - ample equipment for rent - snorkels and floats - but cannot claim to have done anything truly "Honduran." Santo Tomas, Guatemala was memorable. Booked the Ak-Tenamit/Livingston river cruise - long boat ride up the bay and into the river, but it was worth it. I'm not a birder, but the river was dominated by water fowl everywhere. The Ak-Tenamit settlement, which included a visit to a local school with students was a hit with my nine-year old. Had a good lunch, though if I'd known how bony the fish would be, I'd have ordered the chicken. River ride out was also good; the ride back was broken up with a stop at the town of Livingston - with two kids, I never made it past their playground by the dock. The Santo Tomas harbor is a real life working harbor, and we were mesmerized watching containers being loaded and unloaded off of 18 wheelers before sailing off. What I will always remember about Costa Maya was the water clarity. The "harbor" there, is just a concrete walkway in the shape of a "T" - when we arrived, the Norwegian Pearl and I think Rhapsody of the Seas were already backed into the dock. The port area is easily the most well furnished. Would have liked to have done a beach, but with two small kids, I ended up rewarding them with a visit to the water park - which they both loved. Sea day back was relaxing - my daughter discovered Club HAL and asked if she could go - and both my kids ended up in the 9-11:30 am and 1-4 pm sessions. It was almost weird having an unexpected day to myself like that - so I did what any kidless dude in that situation would do - went to aft deck smoking area, found a chair in the shade, and lit up a big fat stogie . . . We arrived back in Tampa early the next morning - we ordered room service for 6 am, which turned out to be the right call - even though we were slotted for an 8:15 "expedited" disembarkation, the Captain released us an hour early - we were literally on the road home by 8:15 am - we got to the Fla Turnpike and I-75 so early, that for the first time I can remember, we didn't even have to stop . . . Shout out to Teguh and Anita for keeping our cabin clean, to the tall, brunette Guest Relations officer who found my kid after he ran off exploring the ship's elevators, and to the Lido dining staff who for the most part, actually seemed to enjoy my kids. Read Less
Rotterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.4
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.5
Enrichment 4.0 3.3
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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