Having done this cruise 7 years ago, the cooler summer temperatures of the ports enticed us to cruise here again for our 20th cruise. My husband, adult daughter (her first time to the Baltics)and I did have a few bumps along the road getting to and from the ship. Although we had booked our air flights 10 months early and had picked our seats so we would be together for the long flight, Icelandair took it upon itself to seat us wherever they wanted which happened to be all over the plane. They also made us weigh our carry-ons and complained that they were a few pounds overweight. Irregardless of the fact that we were allowed 2 suitcases apiece but only had 3 total, the agent still made a fuss over the 4 extra pounds my husband and I had in our carry-ons. Needless to say, we won't be flying Icelandair any more. Then we had prepaid our transportation to and from the airport before and after the cruise with Taxi2airport. Both times they were a no show. Thanks to the kindness of the desk clerks at each of our hotels, they made repeated phone calls and got the drivers to finally show up. We stayed at the Inntel Hotel Rotterdam Centre for 1 night before the cruise. The price was right, the hotel was clean, it was a good location for our own quick walking tour of Rotterdam that night, and it was one of the few hotels which would accommodate 3 people in a room. We saw the Erasmus Bridge, the Cube Houses, the Blaak railway station, and the Euromast Observation Tower but were too exhausted to go up for the view.
Then the next day after a short taxi ride, we boarded our ship, the Rotterdam quickly and efficiently. Having been on the Amsterdam last summer in Alaska, we knew our way around this sister ship. With 3 adults in 1 room, I worried that there wouldn't be enough storage space. No need to worry, everything fit. We loved the sleep sofa for our daughter. Usually on other ships, the opened sleep sofa took up half the cabin; not in this room. The entire seat cushion of the sofa flipped over and there were the sheets wrapped around the long cushion for her bed which she said was comfortable. Our cabin was in a great location - 1st one around the corner from the elevators. Our room stewards were efficient, friendly, and went out of their way to please. Kudos to them; wish I could remember their names.
Since the next day was one of our few sea days, we had our Meet & Greet with the other Cruise Critic people. We were a little disappointed that no one from Holland America showed up but they did have the room set up with coffee, tea, juice, and cookies. So we all met and got to know each other and exchanged information about private tours.