3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
After pouring over reviews I was leary about our cruise expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ship while being older was in good condition and hearkens back to our first cruise back in the 1990's. We were some of ... Read More
After pouring over reviews I was leary about our cruise expecting the worst. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the ship while being older was in good condition and hearkens back to our first cruise back in the 1990's. We were some of the youngest on board, in our 50's, and enjoyed the fact that there was only 1200 passengers with none of the public spaces ever feeling crowded or overly noisy. We were surprised to find cloth hand towels in the public restrooms along with real orchids! The Lido also had fresh orchids on every table with the MDR having fresh flower arrangements. There were never long lines anywhere on the ship. We ate in the Lido for breakfast, lunch and a few dinners, the food was good and a nice selection offered. The MDR also was a solid 4 out of 5, if you went away hungry it would be your own fault. After chatting with some of the older passengers the over-all impression was that HAL takes good care of their "seniors". The entertainment was enjoyable with the Juggler being the most unexpected surprise and had everyone rolling on the floor. Service was good in all areas of the ship. Now that we have been back to these ports of call we will be checking that box off the list with no need to revisit. We would sail again on HAL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
My husband bought this cruise for me for Christmas and anniversary, as I had no interest in cruising (this was his only way of getting me on one!). I was always worried about feeling like a tourist, getting seasick, lineups, viruses etc ... Read More
My husband bought this cruise for me for Christmas and anniversary, as I had no interest in cruising (this was his only way of getting me on one!). I was always worried about feeling like a tourist, getting seasick, lineups, viruses etc (all of those things I read)... even moreso after doing research I was worried this ship was old, small and as some would say like an old age home. I was completely blown away and loved every minute. I loved the size of the ship as by the end we almost recognized everyone. Holland America certainly caters to an elderly crowd but we had a blast (we are age 53 and 42), met a ton of fantastic people. The intinerary was so-so, we loved Key West and Roatan (went to Little French Key!), Guatamala (not a great port, we did a river tour to an very 3rd world village, it was eye opening but I would not go back), and Costa Maya (what seemed like average Mexican port). The ship had everything we needed. We got the unlimited laundry and took a day to sort through how to do that, it was a small bag but all you could produce in one day. Fresh, clean and pressed clothing the next morning!! The ship was extremely clean, they took great measures to keep it very sanitary. We got the Signature beverage package, worth it, loved the bartenders, food in dining room was awesome, spread at breakfast had everything you ever could imagine. Evening entertainment was okay, definitely catered to older folk. Cannot wait for the next cruise (though I think we are going to venture onto Celebrity or Norwegian for a bit more night entertainment). Thank you Holland America for an amazing time!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Wanted to get out of the cold and chose this cruise because if the timing with other activities scheduled in Florida. We have sailed the Rotterdam three times in the past and loved the ship. The reviews lately were about how tired she ... Read More
Wanted to get out of the cold and chose this cruise because if the timing with other activities scheduled in Florida. We have sailed the Rotterdam three times in the past and loved the ship. The reviews lately were about how tired she was and then of smelly carpet glue and shedding carpets after drydock. The ship was lovely. The staff was exemplary. Food was tasty. What more could one ask for. We are 5 Star mariners and just tried our first inside cabin. It was fine and a good value. In fact, we didn’t feel the ocean Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Start with the fact that our bathroom that leaked water up from underneath the linoleum floor every single day of the cruise (I have pictures.) No idea where the water was coming from, but despite 3 complaints to Guest Services and three ... Read More
Start with the fact that our bathroom that leaked water up from underneath the linoleum floor every single day of the cruise (I have pictures.) No idea where the water was coming from, but despite 3 complaints to Guest Services and three plumber visits- NOTHING stopped the water leakage. It was gross. Second, it was nearly impossible to even get a glass of water with our meals in the Lido Buffet (under staffing.) The ship's overall condition was deplorable. Steward service was hit or miss. The cabin stewards were so sloppy that they left toilet water on the seat of the toilet after the bathroom was cleaned ! The Dive In Restaurant couldn't get orders straight and served me cold burgers not once, but twice ! Our room had an electrical outlet that worked sometimes and other times did not. The Thermostat in our state room did not work at all- One temperature (warm) throughout the entire voyage. The offerings in the Lido Buffet were mostly the same items every day. Very little variation in menu. All in all, not like any of the previous ships that I sailed on Holland America. Here's some good advice: Choose a different Holland America Ship (ie: Konigsdam or Eurodam, both very nice) This ship should be permanently retired from the Holland America fleet. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
third time we have been on HAL.Like the smaller ships better. This time my husband forgot his passport and thanks these 3 wonderful people at the embarkation terminal -Jennifer Richardson, Heather Vaughan and Maryann Byren he was able ... Read More
third time we have been on HAL.Like the smaller ships better. This time my husband forgot his passport and thanks these 3 wonderful people at the embarkation terminal -Jennifer Richardson, Heather Vaughan and Maryann Byren he was able to get a picture of his birth certificate and was allowed on. We had tried AIG (our insurance) and they said he HAD to have his passport. Our room 1926 on Dolphin deck was very clean at all times. Cleaned our rooms just when we wanted them to. Toilet made loud noise each time it flushed, but worked well. Food on Lido deck had great selections and was always hot. Loved the pizza, hamburgers , nachos choices and just wish they would of serviced soft chocolate ice cream every day. Entertainment was good, but not great. loved Don Anderson in the Mix bar each night. Excursions were pretty good except St. John/Antigua at Dickson Beach. 4 1/2 hr trip up around the hills (real narrow) with starving horses, cows dogs etc. and ended up with only less than 2 hrs to swim. Starving dogs laying under your lounge chairs. Really made for a sad day. Only took 1 hr to come back to ship. DO NOT recommend this excursion. Jay Jay at the Sea View Bar on Lido deck was an outstanding server. Always came over to talk to us whether we were having a drink or not. Had no problems disembarking. Highly recommend this cruise for a nice and quiet trip with beautiful weather and stops. We are planning to do the same trip next January. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
HAL is headed downscale to becoming a mass market line from its previous premier position. Let us count the ways. While the food in the dining room was still very good and the service from HAL's service staff was still excellent, the ... Read More
HAL is headed downscale to becoming a mass market line from its previous premier position. Let us count the ways. While the food in the dining room was still very good and the service from HAL's service staff was still excellent, the Entertainment Department is almost missing. During a 14 day cruise the ship's singers/dancers performed twice; there was no band by the pool for lunch/happy hour/sail away. Trivia was limited. There were no deck games to bring passengers together. There were no enrichment lectures, only the port talker reading her script from her laptop - painfully boring. The library was a mess with mis-shelved books and books in tatters with no staff ever in attendance. BB King's has been removed from the vessel in the last overhaul and the Crow's Nest is dead as there is no entertainment there. Daytime entertainment is given over almost entirely to sales pitches: shore excursions, future cruise sales, port shopping, art auction. Live performers have been replaced with videos and films. The EXC program, which is advertised to bring new value, is simply the old shore excursion pitch repackaged. America's Test Kitchen gave very basic cooking demonstrations and then ran non-stop on the cabin TV. While the recent overhaul gave the Rotterdam a pleasant face lift, it also removed all the self service laundries. Laundry service is now a profit center at HAL. Our lanai cabin was advertised as allowing one to step right through the sliding door and enjoy one's own deck chair on the promenade deck. Except nothing is done to fulfill that promise and other passengers routinely plunk down in our chairs. Regarding HAL's future, the new mantra is now: 'yes, our new ships are bigger but still mid-sized compared to what's out there'. That, of course, means HAL is only comparing itself to mass market lines as they are the ones with the huge ships. Other premium lines like Viking are building new real mid-sized ships (900-1000 pax) or, like Oceania, buying older mid-sized ships and remodeling/repurposing them as premium ships. It appears if, in the future, one wants a premium experience one will have to book other than on HAL. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We like small and mid size ship hence we chose the Rotterdam for this cruise. Must admit to getting cold feet just prior to sailing as there were some pretty negative reviews - some justified. Starting though with the positives: The ... Read More
We like small and mid size ship hence we chose the Rotterdam for this cruise. Must admit to getting cold feet just prior to sailing as there were some pretty negative reviews - some justified. Starting though with the positives: The mostly Indonesian and Pilipino Cabin and Dining crew were absolutely excellent - could not fault a single one of them. We did not see much of the Ships Officers mostly Dutch and who kept pretty much to themselves but they did their job! Previous reviewers have complained at lack of entertainment - well for this cruise we had no complaints there was a great choice of options throughout every day. - we give this top marks. The digital workshops which were held every day were excellent. The much hyped America's Test kitchen though was a bit disappointing. The presenter was good but the menu ideas were not inspiring. Our cabin (Vista suite 6111) was larger than we expected and very comfortable. Our cabin Stewards were brilliant. The en suite bathroom was spacious although the bathtub and certainly seen better days but everything worked and we saw no signs of blockages or leaks anywhere on the ship. The Lady who gave the Ports talks really did know her stuff and gave excellent island introductions. Let's talk about the food: Our room service breakfast was delivered at precisely the correct time each morning and was a good start to the day. The Lido buffet had some great food stations - we particularly liked the Salad counter and the Pasta station. We liked the idea that staff actually served you at the counters as if left to individuals everything gets mixed-up so this was a positive. For the mains and starters ample and good choices but sad that there was not lobster even once. Surprisingly few desert choices - often just 3 cold and one hot which was always bread and butter pudding . For tha main dining room we had selected open seating - sounded good at the time of booking but in reality it actually meant on any given day you could chose either 5.30 too early or 8.30 and miss the evening shows. Spa prices (unfortunately like most ships) were ridiculous. Talking of prices, Holland America do seem to want to nickel and dime you for even the smallest extra and without logic. For example you can go to the Dining Room for a full afternoon tea (included) but have a coffee in a lounge and thats $4.0 thank you! Bottles of water also charged as extra. This cruise had a great itinerary but at 2 ports of call - Grand Cayman and Aruba you had to be back on board by 2.30 which precludes doing a decent island/ beach trip. On board excursion prices were way to high. Fellow passengers. On this voyage the mix was about 95% American / Canadian and 5% Other and thats fine. Then further sub divide to about 75% Geriatric, Walkers/ zimmer frames galore. About 65% Obese. Sadly far too many not making the slightest effort to adopt smart casual - is it that difficult o was and put at least clean clothes on for dinner? Overall. Yes we enjoyed the Holland America experience but am not sure we would rush back. One final point Disembarkation seemingly went so well. Even CBP excelled in speed and politeness but once you hit kerbside - what a shambolic mess but I guess that is the fault of Port of Tampa. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We usually take longer cruises but chose this 7 day itinerary because it had 3 new-to-us ports of call plus Key West, a nostalgic favorite. We chose the Rotterdam, an older but well maintained craft, because we frequently cruise with HAL ... Read More
We usually take longer cruises but chose this 7 day itinerary because it had 3 new-to-us ports of call plus Key West, a nostalgic favorite. We chose the Rotterdam, an older but well maintained craft, because we frequently cruise with HAL and prefer smaller, quiet ships. We chose this cruise date because it was relatively inexpensive & we thought, correctly as it turned out, that the ship would not be full the week following the New Year's Eve cruise week. Most passengers were of retirement age. Priority check in and end of cruise disembarkation was quick and efficient. We drove to the port of Tampa where drop off and parking were easy. Our cabin stewards were outstanding. Our cabin was cleaned and made up on a schedule which was perfect for our wishes. We found it easy to be seated quickly for any time open seating dinners. The dining room food was OK but not outstanding. We ate twice at the Pinnacle Grill & recommend the tender, tasty petite fillet. The evening entertainment was OK, but again not outstanding. The ship's 2 singers and 6 dancers gave only 1 performance, which did not rise to the quality we have come to expect from HAL. There were port presentations which primarily were oriented to HAL tours and give minimal information for independent travelers. We usually travel independently on land but in Guatemala we took a HAL excursion to Livingston by boat for a walking tour and then continued up a scenic river to a school and lunch. It was an enjoyable tour. We had booked the all day tour to Tikal, but fog grounded our flight. BOTTOM LINE: The price was right for this cruise, the ports were interesting, and the Rotterdam staff outstanding. Knowing what we do now, if you are interested in these ports of call, we recommend this itinerary and ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We had been on a HAL transatlantic a year earlier and wanted to see if other HAL services were as good as the Oosterdam. Tampa was convenient, we'd never been to the Western Caribbean and the price was right so we decided on this cruise. ... Read More
We had been on a HAL transatlantic a year earlier and wanted to see if other HAL services were as good as the Oosterdam. Tampa was convenient, we'd never been to the Western Caribbean and the price was right so we decided on this cruise. Embarkation was a bit slow. It was cold that day so that didn't help since the Port of Tampa embarkation area is pretty much open. The ship is older. Its most noticeable in the electrical outlets ect in the cabin but otherwise we loved the ship, its size, daily Mass, the cleanliness of the cabin, the food and mostly the staff. The staff gives you the impression that they genuinely like being there and want to serve you. I can't say enough about them. The only disappointment during the cruise was the entertainment. Chris Pendleton was excellent otherwise the evening entertainment was just so-so. We've sailed on all the major cruise lines and I would say that HAL has become our cruise line of choice. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We really enjoyed this restful cruise. There is a difference in Holland America an elegance no longer on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Linen tableclothes, the meals were delicious. Excellent surf and turf with prime beef and perfectly ... Read More
We really enjoyed this restful cruise. There is a difference in Holland America an elegance no longer on Carnival or Royal Caribbean. Linen tableclothes, the meals were delicious. Excellent surf and turf with prime beef and perfectly prepared full size lobster tails. Classical pianist and violinist played before and after. No long pushy lines on the Lido. It is a mature crowd, the young people were usually with family. No hairy chest, no carry the woman type of entertainment. No drunks wandering around. There is no big screen, no slides, no party atmosphere. Small ship with1400 possible passengers. Lovely wooden decks for walking. Not a lot of activity the Test Kitchen and BBC Earth movies in a small theatre. One major production by the singers and dancers, a comedian and a magician in a medium theatre. This is a cruise for an older crowd or someone wanting a restful cruise. I loved it. Read Less
Rotterdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 3.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.0 3.3
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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