2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We originally picked this cruise due to limited dates and we wanted to avoid ports which had been hit by hurricane Irma. Little did we know how many issues we would have in our seven day voyage. Our biggest issue was being told with 36 ... Read More
We originally picked this cruise due to limited dates and we wanted to avoid ports which had been hit by hurricane Irma. Little did we know how many issues we would have in our seven day voyage. Our biggest issue was being told with 36 hour notice that we were changing our last port from Costa Maya to Grand Cayman, not quite comparable to each other. While they were playing it off that we were changing ports due to the tourist accident in Mexico, the real reason was because they had dropped a life boat in Grand Cayman and needed it back sooner than their next planned trip there. This use of people's death as an excuse to change the port was an atrocious and pathetic con which would have been more readily accepted had we be told the truth. Additionally, we arrived late in the day to Cayman the Friday before Christmas, so naturally everything was closed two hours after our arrival without the possibility of renting a car or taking the bus to go anywhere. This was truly a terrible way to end the destinations, on top of an extremely rough ride to rush to Cayman before hand (guests had to change rooms due to engine noise and vibrations). On top of this immense communication error, we also had several problems in our stateroom, cleanliness of the ship and general maintenance of the ship. Our stateroom toilet and shower both leaked upon arrival (yes toilet water on the floor), in addition to having blood spots on the wall from a sharp piece of metal trim. Our deck was covered in paint chips and the painting of the boat created noxious fumes while trying to sit on the verandah. The Sky View Deck and lounge chairs were also unkempt and in desperate need of a power washing. There were multiple exposed wires at the Sea View Bar, along the stairwells and some of the LED floor lighting strips. Additionally, we had booked our drink packages on the Holland America website at the discounted rate prior to sailing with confirmation from the website. Despite this, when we asked guest services about our drink packages, they had no evidence of the reservations; therefore we had to pay the full price of the packages on board. We were not offered a discounted rate despite having proof of confirmation date since it was a technological glitch on the website’s behalf. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
1. Our stateroom had 1 power outlet (none in bathroom) and 2 usb port outlets (for cell phones). 2. Lower dinning room, which is for anytime dining, our table for two was perfect. Table # 137. Table 136 is the same on the opposite side ... Read More
1. Our stateroom had 1 power outlet (none in bathroom) and 2 usb port outlets (for cell phones). 2. Lower dinning room, which is for anytime dining, our table for two was perfect. Table # 137. Table 136 is the same on the opposite side of dining room. We went to the 5:30 seating so we were able to reserve the same table for each night. When you arrive on board the ship go to the dinning rooms and reserve your table. See photos. Upper dining room is for select time dining. The tables for 2 along the rails are nice. Book a table and time --when you arrive on board...don't wait til dining times-- 3. Casino is small. About 35 slots and 6 table games. 3 of which are Blackjack tables. They do not offer a Craps table. I got real lucky at the roulette table playing #13. It was amazing how many times it hit. I made $700ish in profits. I only played about 25 total spins for the cruise and 13 hit 7 times. Wow! Blackjack is $6 a hand not $10. That is good for us newB's. Our inside room 3340 was perfect. No vibration, noise, ac worked well, very good location. Room to avoid (located in the middle of the ship on desks 3-2-1) at all cost because of vibration and, what I think is engine noise, are 3370,3372,3374,3377,3379 are very bad. I would also avoid 3368-3366-3381-3383-3385-3368-2634-2626-2632-2630-2635-2637-2639-2641-1896-1898-1900-1902-1904-1885-1887-1889-1891-1893-1895. 4. They do not offer karaoke nor the newlywed game. Bingo is cards only which in our opinion is better than using machines other cruise lines offer. It's more fair. 5. The buffet is good for one thing, compared to other ships from Royal, Carnival, etc, is they serve you (for most items) rather than you grab what you want. In my opinion this is more sanitary than dealing with finger lickers as they go through the buffet. 6. Save newspapers that you like to read for a few days prior to your cruise so you have something to read at breakfast. 7. Bring a watch 8. Some (most) will find this next bullet point odd, but here goes. If you port in Guatemala do something different (at least in the morning). At breakfast on the ship start saving the small boxes of cereal (Fruit Loops) and the small peanut butter containers (about 20 boxes of cereal) . Bring them with you when you exit the ship and when you exit (very short walk) the port area (he is not one of the cabs inside the port secure area) look for a blue cab, #186. The driver's name is Orlando. He will take you to Puerto Barrios (about 5 miles) for $10 per person round trip. Ask him to take you visit a poor family with kids so that you can give them the cereal and peanut butter. Ask him to take you to visit the twins girls he took us to visit. Orlando is a nice man and safe and speaks English. Don't worry that you are going off the main road in the town. The little girls and the other young kids we met were very grateful as well as their mothers. We also stopped at a local church (went inside as well) and then I asked him to take us to get a beer. I wanted a can of local beer to bring back. It was $2 america. We also stopped for coffee. He's a nice man to speak with and to learn about the people and area. The people are poor, but only in money. Very nice and they seem happy. See photo of Orlando, sitting opposite my wife, and his cab. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Having previously sailed on 6 HAL cruises, and several other cruise lines, I picked HAL when my brother and his wife asked us to pick a nice cruise for their very first cruising experience. Embarkation was a little on organized. Seemed ... Read More
Having previously sailed on 6 HAL cruises, and several other cruise lines, I picked HAL when my brother and his wife asked us to pick a nice cruise for their very first cruising experience. Embarkation was a little on organized. Seemed like new staff not knowing what to do. We were held up about an hour before being allowed to board. Once on board, I was surprised to learn, having just coming out of dry dock the chair in our cabin was stained and scuffed up. There wasn't any stationary or pen in the cabin. (Always used to have). Dining was good if we got Dodih. When we did not get him, we found service poor and slow. Entertainment has REALLY been cut back. In the past there was always a show every night on par with a Los Vegas Review. The Hal dancers were our show one night, a comic, and a piano man each did a show the beginning of the week. There was No show 2 nights, only a movie in theater was offered. On the last night the same comic and piano man were brought back again. WTHeck. Most of the crew were polite. Never saw the Captain once even attending the Mariner lunch. Heard him, never saw him. The ports were Key West fun. Roatan, interesting but the weather wasn't ideal for snorkeling, no ones fault. Guatemala, no thank you. Then we were supposed to go to Costa Maya. We were informed by the Captain about a serious bus crash so he was diverting our ship to Grand Cayman. We were puzzled, because accidents occur everyday somewhere. Why all the way to Grand Cayman instead of another Mexican Port. Many people were really upset. We left Guatemala early and they ran the ship wide open all night. We didn't arrive to Grand Cayman until 2pm the next day and had to leave by 8pm. Many of the places we wanted to see, were already closed for the day. We paid for excursions we couldn't even complete. We then found out that the Rotterdam needed to go there to pick up a life board that was in for repairs. I guess they think their passengers are dumb to figure out what the truth is. Sure hope they re-think doing things like this to people who looked forward to this trip and saved their money for a long time to take this vacation. I sure have rethought my favorite Cruise Line. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our family stayed in cabins 1830 and 1832. It was an OK cruise, my 6th of the year. I can verify that many of the other reviewers on CC have it right about this ship. Even with the dry dock that happened in October, this ship is sorely ... Read More
Our family stayed in cabins 1830 and 1832. It was an OK cruise, my 6th of the year. I can verify that many of the other reviewers on CC have it right about this ship. Even with the dry dock that happened in October, this ship is sorely lacking compared to other ships on the seas. The light blue carpet everywhere had stains, which was quite surprising given it's recent dry dock. There is no large outdoor movie screen, I can confirm that it was taken off this ship. The internet is NOT upgraded to the unlimited plans and still boasts slow speed and higher prices. The tv's and dvd players in the rooms were not upgraded during drydock. You were left watching scratched movies on dvd players that had to be replaced in many rooms (heard this complaint a lot). The tv's were flat but box like tv's. Ours had lines going through it. It felt like they were the original tv's installed in 1997. Maybe? I concur with other reviewers that cabin 1830 is noisy when entering and exiting ports and the night before disembarkation (luggage storage). Our voyage was particularly bumpy on the first sea day and it was strange, because I have been in far harsher seas this year and not experienced anything like this bumpiness that we did. Many passengers took ill, which was unfortunate when on vacation. Even the patch behind the ear had to be followed up with the pill. :( The cruise director staff did a good job and I appreciated their good nature. They are a bit stressed on Holland with only 2 staff members on ANY HAL ship. This leaves pockets in the day that are less active. If you are lucky, you will get to see guest performers Paul Pappas and comedian Frank King. They both performed marvelously and packed the house! In contrast, the in house entertainers were seriously lack luster and guests just walked out of the theater during the performance. I held out and watched the show, but by the end, there were only a handful of us left in the theater. It ranged from the poor harmonizing of sung songs, poor costuming and sets, to boring dance numbers. I KNOW they can do better and HAL needs to address some simple fixes so that the theaters are full. The food had highs and lows. Consistency was the greatest problem that the kitchen had. You will not starve on this cruise, but certainly not the quality of the other five cruises I have been on this year. Overall, I give the ship an average 3 star rating. It wasn't the best on the market, but if you are looking for a laid back vacation out of Tampa, this might just be what you are looking for. As a side note, I compared notes with guests on the Rhapsody of the Seas RCL and they indicated a lot more activities and energy on the ship that took off at the same time as ours. I would explore my options and consider this ship next time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruse primarily because of it's departure port and also because we had been very pleased on 4 previous HAL cruises. Another deciding factor was that the Rotterdam had just come out of dry dock a month before. It should have ... Read More
We chose this cruse primarily because of it's departure port and also because we had been very pleased on 4 previous HAL cruises. Another deciding factor was that the Rotterdam had just come out of dry dock a month before. It should have stayed in dry dock! In addition to the A/C problem in our cabin, the A/C was not balanced throughout the ship. Some venues were very hot and others were very cold for the entire cruise. Most furniture was reupholstered or replaced but I noticed cracked vinyl seats in the Lido. Lots of rust was visible on the exterior ironwork. The public restrooms had several urinals and commodes that were out of service for the length of the cruise. Some of the coverings on the elevator door panels were torn off and looked quite shabby as did peeling paint on wooden moldings. The BBC Earth and the America's Test Kitchen presentations were excellent and the best part of the cruise. Other daytime entertainment for the mostly senior citizen passengers was non-existent. HAL euphemistically referred to games such as Uno and Chess as "unhosted activities". In other words, they were something you could have done in the comfort of your own home for free. The movie selection was pitiful. Worst of all was the movie, "Once Upon a Time in Venice". The opening scenes showed Bruce Willis speaking to a group of kids and every other word was a 4 letter word. Shortly afterwards, he is seen buck naked on a skateboard in an attempt to escape from a client because he was caught in a compromising position having sex. After a few minutes of this garbage, about a dozen of us waled out and registered complaints at guest services. Cutbacks were evident everywhere. No BB King show although it was shown on the website when I booked this cruise. No cold facecloths on returning to ship on port days, No HAL coasters were given out at Mariners Luncheon which was mediocre. No Royal Tea. I won't be cruising again on HAL anytime soon, if at all. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
We chose this cruise after having a lovely time on the Oosterdam last February..unfortunately this was a much smaller ship, having only 900 guests ( holds 1400). Embarkation went smoothly. We were in a balcony cabin on deck 6 which had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise after having a lovely time on the Oosterdam last February..unfortunately this was a much smaller ship, having only 900 guests ( holds 1400). Embarkation went smoothly. We were in a balcony cabin on deck 6 which had a bathtub that looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a year!! After fussing and having it cleaned again it just wasn't any better. Guest services offered to move us to a different cabin but we just didn't want to repack/ unpack again. They gave us a free meal at the Pinacle dining room with a bottle of wine. We did anytime dining...we were almost alone each night around 7:30 as the older folks ate at 5 and then went to bed. ( I'm not kidding) Evening entertainment was almost nonexistent..two evenings the entertainment was a movie on the main stage at 8 pm. One afternoon the ship's A/C stopped working for 4 hours! In Cayman Is. the ship had two broken winches which were supposed to haul the tenders back up on the ship! Sooo 6 hours in port to fix them but the ship couldn't open the Casino cause we were too close to the island! ..the service was good, both in the cabin and dining room. The food was fair, like who wants stuffed peppers or roasted turkey? Not up to cruise ship standards! We will never cruise with Holland America again. We have nothing against older folks, we're in our late 60's but this was boring! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
Our 14 day cruise was overall good, I think for a ship thats this old it is in good condition. Yes you can see wear and tear but that did not bother me as the service was very good consistently across all the personnel encountered. Food ... Read More
Our 14 day cruise was overall good, I think for a ship thats this old it is in good condition. Yes you can see wear and tear but that did not bother me as the service was very good consistently across all the personnel encountered. Food was very good quality overall and I think for the price point was pretty typical. For instance on the 14 day voyage Prime Rib 3xs, lamb chops twice and lobster once. I am a pig and always order double entrees to ensure I end up with something good. Passengers were a typical HAL demographic, mostly over 60 and zero children. I am not prejudice by age and I shared a table with may interesting people from across North America and of course allot of Floridians on the cruise filling up space. I also noticed that there were many long time cruisers on-board over 30 cruises like my self. There were some plumbing problems, electrical problems, A/C problems and on the last port day a life boat was not able to be retrieved which resulted in a 9 hour delay. All of the issues did not effect my vacation but were definitely unsettling. Many of the elderly people disliked the tub because there is step up to get into the small jetted tub (I am saying its about 4" above my knee). Not an issue for me but I could understand if you have physical challenges or a rough sea day you could easily fall, use the hand rail and most people should be fine if they take it easy. I can't comment on entertainment or excursions I did not use these features. I can't really recommend this ship because I think most people demand more from there cruise experience, meaning that most people prefer allot more options for things to do and dining choices. Along with the mechanical mishaps that could be attributed to after effects of dry dock I think many would find this ship lacking. For me, no regrets, after 3 cruises on RCCL Oasis class ships I have gained an appreciation for small ships. Yes this ship less amenities but its not about people management like other ship. Embarkation and debarkation less then 10 minutes (no more customs declarations?). Slower pace overall and above average service. Laundry service unlimited for $97 for 12 days thats a pretty convenient service. So maybe for an experienced cruiser this could be a good option. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2017
We appreciate being able to embark from Tampa but the Rotterdam is the only choice from this port. Embarkation was smooth and easy. Our cabin was ready when we arrived on-board. We had an obstructed ocean view on the Promenade deck and ... Read More
We appreciate being able to embark from Tampa but the Rotterdam is the only choice from this port. Embarkation was smooth and easy. Our cabin was ready when we arrived on-board. We had an obstructed ocean view on the Promenade deck and it was a typical cabin with two twins and a small sofa. Room stewards were friendly and efficient. We chose anytime dining and made our reservations the first day for the same time and table. Our servers were amazing, menu was varied and very good. The Lido service for lunch and late night was good. Servers are always available to bring drinks. We also enjoyed afternoon tea in the dining room. Room service is still complimentary and we enjoyed breakfast in the room almost every morning. If you don't see what you want, write it on the room service menu and they will do their best to accommodate you. We added papaya and raisin toast and were never disappointed. Would have liked evening food available before 10:30 at night when the Lido opens but it seems that all cruise companies are cutting back on food service. Still miss the midnight buffet and the chocolate night. Also miss the self serve soft serve ice cream. Ice cream is served in the Lido during food service times. The Dive-In serves great burgers and fries. Entertainment was The Holland singers and dancers were great and very friendly. Often saw them late night in the Lido when they would stop to visit our table. The magician/comedian was enjoyable. Personally would have enjoyed a less "classical" theme in the showroom. One night there was a very talented violinist and twice the same Latin style singer. One night the had a BBC movie that we had seen on a previous Holland cruise. The shows with the Holland singers and dancers were very short. No BB King show although it was shown on the website when I booked this cruise. The movie selection was poor. Worst of all was the movie, "Once Upon a Time in Venice". We were also told there was a self serve laundry on board. Not so. They removed it during dry dock which meant that some were not prepared for a 14 day cruise. The laundry service for $20 for all you can cram into the laundry bag was well worth it! Activities are almost non-existent. There are computer classes and trivia but not much else. Also no music by the pool, no pool party and no pool side barbecue and no outdoor movie screen. The Oasis was not available except as a smoking area for the crew. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Our past several cruises have been with Carnival. However, this time we went with relaxation. And that is what we got! First the ship. Yes, it is older but it has been through a recent refurbishment. The carpets were beautiful and ... Read More
Our past several cruises have been with Carnival. However, this time we went with relaxation. And that is what we got! First the ship. Yes, it is older but it has been through a recent refurbishment. The carpets were beautiful and the furniture nice and fresh. The Wajang Theater was used for movies and America's Test Kitchen. We really enjoyed the cooking demonstrations on sea days. The theater was new and very modern. If I heard any negatives about HAL is that there was not enough to do. People, please do your research. HAL has things to do, but if you want 24/7 entertainment, then book Carnival. We brought our 9 year old daughter and 19 year old son and they both had a blast! Now for the negative. The only situation we had was our toilet not flushing along with the public area restrooms. Apparently the ship has plumbing issues, however, when we would put in an order for repair, someone would come to fix the problem shortly later. Our family may be considered younger for HAL, but we are hooked! Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Love cruising out of Tampa! ALl areas of the ship I visited had been remodeled. LOvely new carpet, upholstered furniture and even new bedding. THe only thing not remodeled was the bath shower curtain. AS far as the food, the dining ... Read More
Love cruising out of Tampa! ALl areas of the ship I visited had been remodeled. LOvely new carpet, upholstered furniture and even new bedding. THe only thing not remodeled was the bath shower curtain. AS far as the food, the dining room was very good although the names of the desserts always are different than I expect. GOod pastry in the dining room and the Lido! food in the Lido was good, but get there earlier than the posted closing times. The entertainment was the usual, geared to the older crowd. THE BEST was a singer named Derrick who did an awesome tribute show about Lionel Ritchie. BE sure to see him on any HA ship you sail on. Lastly, on the top deck, there is an adult area where kids are not allowed- nice leisure Areas and hot tubs. HA did enforce the no kids rule after the first day. SERVICE: excellent as usual! 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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