1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Rotterdam
We booked this cruise not long after we came home from a Volendam cruise in Asia and were very happy to do so. We like Holland America Line as they attract an older group of passengers and generally very few children. The Rotterdam cruise would get us (hopefully) to 4 stars (yeah, free laundry!) and we were looking forward to it. We booked with HAL direct (in Australia) and asked for a D category cabin and gave them some cabin numbers that we had picked from the deck plan, and they were quite quick in allocating us cabin 1851 on Dolphin Deck. We were very happy with that allocation. We liked the ports that we were going to see and we had quite a few tours arranged before we left Australia. We always check the Roll Calls on Cruise Critic and we had been in contact with quite a few other passengers who were going to be on our cruise. We arranged some tours ourselves and got other CCers to join us. This was no problem. Once posted, most tours were filled within days (sometimes within hours even). We also joined some of the other passengers tours. All tours turned out to be great. The only HAL tour we booked was a kayaking tour for my husband. He enjoyed it tremendously, but normally only joins CC tours due to price and also group size. Our largest private tour had 17 people in 1 group. What was also great, was that when we actually met the people we had been in contact with face to face, we found that we got on very very well. We went on many tours together and had many lunches together on sea days. Our group of about 15 people were in daily contact and it was absolutely lovely. We have not had this before on our other HAL cruises. Embarkation in Southampton was very slow due to not enough processing staff. But we took it in our stride. Disembarkation though was fine and well organised. We had anytime dining and we almost always were seated at a round table for 6 or 8. We met some wonderful people during these dining times. The food was quite good. I read somewhere that someone complained about calfs liver not being nice. Well that was my absolute favourite and brought back great memories of my youth. I would like to see more VEGETABLES on the plates, there is very little evidence of vegetables during dining times. I know you can ask for steamed vegies, but generally we forget to ask for them. The waiters were friendly and courteaous, but they always seemed in a rush. Has HAL minimised their wait staff? The Lido was excellent for breakfast and lunches, no complaints at all. The Lido staff was great, full of smiles and happy greetings. Drinks were happily brought to the tables, this was a nice change from previous cruises. Entertainment: Well what do I say. The ship's dancers were great, absolutely great. The singers were okay. BB King just marvellous. But the showroom entertainers that were flown in were certainly not first rate. The Dutch Opera family was way beyond its use by date except for the daughter. There were a few half decent comedians, but generally in 8 weeks the only thing I can really rave about was on one of the gala nights when BB King played in the showroom and lots of people danced. That was terrific and should be done more often. It was lovely to see all the men in tuxes and ladies in finery on the dance floor. The temperatures on the ship varied enormously. You could be in the library and be hot and at the other side of the ship (the Explorers Lounge) it would be freezing. The Crow's Nest was always cold. After a few weeks a horrible smell started to appear on deck 1 from cabin 1909 to the aft cabins. This was very noticeable at the aft elevators. It lasted for weeks and when we disembarked it was still not gone. Also the entrance to the Lido (mid ships) was often smelly. The Cruise Director Michael Langley was great. We played trivia with him and it was always a good laugh. He does need to get more up to date when in ports and tenders are being used. A few times he announced that the ship had been cleared and people could now get off the ship, when if fact most people had already left the ship and were on tours. We did not do shore excursion with HAL, we used Cruise Critic for that and organised our own private tours.

A Wonderful Cruise to Asia

Rotterdam Cruise Review by inekee

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2016
  • Destination: Trans-Ocean
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
We booked this cruise not long after we came home from a Volendam cruise in Asia and were very happy to do so. We like Holland America Line as they attract an older group of passengers and generally very few children. The Rotterdam cruise would get us (hopefully) to 4 stars (yeah, free laundry!) and we were looking forward to it.

We booked with HAL direct (in Australia) and asked for a D category cabin and gave them some cabin numbers that we had picked from the deck plan, and they were quite quick in allocating us cabin 1851 on Dolphin Deck. We were very happy with that allocation.

We liked the ports that we were going to see and we had quite a few tours arranged before we left Australia. We always check the Roll Calls on Cruise Critic and we had been in contact with quite a few other passengers who were going to be on our cruise. We arranged some tours ourselves and got other CCers to join us. This was no problem. Once posted, most tours were filled within days (sometimes within hours even). We also joined some of the other passengers tours. All tours turned out to be great. The only HAL tour we booked was a kayaking tour for my husband. He enjoyed it tremendously, but normally only joins CC tours due to price and also group size. Our largest private tour had 17 people in 1 group.

What was also great, was that when we actually met the people we had been in contact with face to face, we found that we got on very very well. We went on many tours together and had many lunches together on sea days. Our group of about 15 people were in daily contact and it was absolutely lovely. We have not had this before on our other HAL cruises.

Embarkation in Southampton was very slow due to not enough processing staff. But we took it in our stride. Disembarkation though was fine and well organised.

We had anytime dining and we almost always were seated at a round table for 6 or 8. We met some wonderful people during these dining times. The food was quite good. I read somewhere that someone complained about calfs liver not being nice. Well that was my absolute favourite and brought back great memories of my youth. I would like to see more VEGETABLES on the plates, there is very little evidence of vegetables during dining times. I know you can ask for steamed vegies, but generally we forget to ask for them. The waiters were friendly and courteaous, but they always seemed in a rush. Has HAL minimised their wait staff?

The Lido was excellent for breakfast and lunches, no complaints at all. The Lido staff was great, full of smiles and happy greetings. Drinks were happily brought to the tables, this was a nice change from previous cruises.

Entertainment: Well what do I say. The ship's dancers were great, absolutely great. The singers were okay. BB King just marvellous. But the showroom entertainers that were flown in were certainly not first rate. The Dutch Opera family was way beyond its use by date except for the daughter. There were a few half decent comedians, but generally in 8 weeks the only thing I can really rave about was on one of the gala nights when BB King played in the showroom and lots of people danced. That was terrific and should be done more often. It was lovely to see all the men in tuxes and ladies in finery on the dance floor.

The temperatures on the ship varied enormously. You could be in the library and be hot and at the other side of the ship (the Explorers Lounge) it would be freezing. The Crow's Nest was always cold.

After a few weeks a horrible smell started to appear on deck 1 from cabin 1909 to the aft cabins. This was very noticeable at the aft elevators. It lasted for weeks and when we disembarked it was still not gone. Also the entrance to the Lido (mid ships) was often smelly.

The Cruise Director Michael Langley was great. We played trivia with him and it was always a good laugh. He does need to get more up to date when in ports and tenders are being used. A few times he announced that the ship had been cleared and people could now get off the ship, when if fact most people had already left the ship and were on tours.

We did not do shore excursion with HAL, we used Cruise Critic for that and organised our own private tours.
inekee’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Holland America Rotterdam price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin D 1851
Our cabin was great. It was a good size with a full size couch which could be a 3rd bed. We hap opted for twin beds as that gave us more room near our window. There were 5 cupboards and plenty of storage. We had hired a bar fridge and that was great. The airconditioning in our cabin was good.

Our cabin stewards Made and Sajorno were very good. Made left us in Phuket as he was going to the Koningsdam (congratulations Made). His replacement Solly was okay.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews