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This was our first Holland America cruise (we've done Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival), and was the smallest ship we'd been on (1200 passengers vs 3000 or so). Holland America has become my line of choice. We much preferred the smaller ship. The crew was consistently cheerful, polite, responsive(even when we encountered them on their free days on shore). The housekeeping was outstanding. The food very good. The Library unequaled--we spent a lot of time there. The live music options throughout the ship were varied and all outstanding quality. We found ourselves listening to the classical and semi-classical most often, in the library lounge. But there were plenty of up-beat options. Probably most enjoyable were the people we met--they tended to be middle aged and up, interesting, generally well traveled, fun to be with. , from a variety of countries--Holland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada. On both legs of our cruise we had great dining mates.

The ship's shore excursions tended to get a be repetitive, especially in the Norway fjords. One would have sufficed, instead of three. However we most enjoyed our TJ Travel private and semi-private tours in Berlin and in St. Petersburg. They were very organized, got us inside the palaces before the lines, flexible, fed us wonderful food, knowledgeable, good English. those three days with TJ travel were the highlights of our shore excursions.

Elegant but Relaxing Rotterdam

Rotterdam Cruise Review by George Elliot

Trip Details

This was our first Holland America cruise (we've done Princess, Royal Caribbean, and Carnival), and was the smallest ship we'd been on (1200 passengers vs 3000 or so). Holland America has become my line of choice. We much preferred the smaller ship. The crew was consistently cheerful, polite, responsive(even when we encountered them on their free days on shore). The housekeeping was outstanding. The food very good. The Library unequaled--we spent a lot of time there. The live music options throughout the ship were varied and all outstanding quality. We found ourselves listening to the classical and semi-classical most often, in the library lounge. But there were plenty of up-beat options. Probably most enjoyable were the people we met--they tended to be middle aged and up, interesting, generally well traveled, fun to be with. , from a variety of countries--Holland, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada. On both legs of our cruise we had great dining mates.


The ship's shore excursions tended to get a be repetitive, especially in the Norway fjords. One would have sufficed, instead of three. However we most enjoyed our TJ Travel private and semi-private tours in Berlin and in St. Petersburg. They were very organized, got us inside the palaces before the lines, flexible, fed us wonderful food, knowledgeable, good English. those three days with TJ travel were the highlights of our shore excursions.

George Elliot’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service

Cabin Review

Cabin 2564

Loved our cabin. It was fairly close to the front elevators, but not too close. Great views. close to laundry room. Didn't hear any engine or food prep noise or showroom noise or noise from adjoining cabins. Plenty roomy. Lots of storage. And a tub!

  Rotterdam Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Amber Room

    Beautiful! TJ Travel guide got us in quickly before the crowds.

    View All 98 Amber Room Reviews
  • Catherine Palace

    Amazing.

    View All 179 Catherine Palace Reviews
  • Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood

    Overwhelmingly beautiful

    View All 157 Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood Reviews
  • City Tour

    Our TJ Travel guide was knowledgeable and flexible. It was great.

    View All 271 City Tour Reviews
  • Hermitage Museum

    Overwhelming. Our guide hurried us through a bit, but that was probably necessary.

    View All 273 Hermitage Museum Reviews
  • Neva River Cruise

    comfortable, efficient, fun.

    View All 117 Neva River Cruise Reviews
  • Peterhof Palace

    my favorite of the St. Petersburg palaces. Loved hearing the history from our TJ Travel guide.

    View All 176 Peterhof Palace Reviews
  • Private Tour

    Our TJ Travel guide was knowledgeable, spoke good English, answered all our questions

    View All 143 Private Tour Reviews
  • Russian Ballet Show

    Mariinsky ballet in the historic Mariinksy theater. Beautiful. Not too long. A bit stuff in our box. Worth every penny. Our driver picked us up promptly and was right there to return us to the ship when the ballet ended.

    View All 68 Russian Ballet Show Reviews
  • St. Isaac's Cathedral

    TJ Travel hosted our 2-day tour of St. Petersburg. We contacted them after reading reviews on Cruise Critic and were not disappointed. The first day was a private tour--just my husband and me and our guide. We got inside the Peterhof summer palace as well as lovely walk around the gardens and fountains--saw the turning on of the fountains ni the morning. Also saw Catherine's palace, had hydrofoil cruise up the Neva, city tour, great lunch, ballet in the evening. Second day was with four other people, so was a little less cost, but still a great group of just 6 plus our guide to do the Hermitage and the churches. Both guides spoke excellent english, answered all our questions, gave history as well as art facts. On second day, I would have liked amplification/speakers, but it was not really crucial.

    View All 85 St. Isaac's Cathedral Reviews