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Rotterdam Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
467 reviews
4 Awards

Very Pleasant Cruise to Norwegian Fjords

Review for Rotterdam to the Baltic Sea
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Torontobert68
6-10 Cruises • Age 70s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2013
Cabin: Vista Suite

MS Rotterdam is one of the older ships in the Holland America Line (built in the 1990s), medium size by today's standards (1361 passengers), and of course HAL is the cruise line for people with white (or no!) hair. Nonetheless, it is an extremely pleasant vessel offering adequate amenities, good service, fine food, and an altogether delightful atmosphere. We would be happy to book her again.

The good news begins at departure, which is conveniently close to the Rotterdam Centraal train station, and takes place in a large, warehouse-like structure. One can sit down, book a FREE chair massage, and purchase a coffee while waiting. Baggage handling was prompt and efficient. We had a Verandah room, which means we had a private balcony -- just the thing for fjord-watching. The room was large by shipboard standards, more storage than we needed in fact.

The ship's decor is a bit Baroque for our tastes, but the ship carries it well. She shows her age in places, but everything worked, and the functional design shows how many years of experience lead to an environment whose elements integrate well together.

Cabin Review

Vista Suite

Cabin B

Fantastic cabin. Lovely balcony. More than ample storage. Far aft, but very little engine noise or vibration. Slamming balcony doors by neighbors an annoyance, but ended with friendly note.

Port Reviews

Bergen

Bergen is the "big city" of this cruise, and an excellent introduction to Norway. We decided to do what we wanted, which included riding on Bergen's new "Bybanen"or Light Rail Transit system. We did the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour, then had coffee and pastry in the Magdalena Cafe (a lovely mission run by the Norwegian State Church, which offers free WiFi with your coffee), and visited the main square and shopping center, where we purchased tickets from the transit authority (SKYSS) office for a ride to the end of the line. (Confession: Torontobert68 is something of an LRT nerd.) We ate lunch in a suburban shopping mall. It was an opportunity to see life as the locals live it. The day ended with a shopping trip to the Bryggen, the medieval merchants' street. Not an itinerary you'd find in the tour books, but we enjoyed it immensely.

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