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I have enjoyed HAL for 19 years but Rotterdam needs serious dry dock work soon. Visible rust on much of the superstructure, and the starboard stairs to the sky deck closed off because the supporting metal plates had rusted through was not an auspicious start to a cruise where all of deck 3's keys did not work. (no free drinks, no apologies, no keeping the Lido restaurant open for those who spent up to an hour in line at the front office to get new keys). Later on, hot water failed, then the entire hot AND cold water system was shut down ship wide - no announcements, and still selling $3 water at gangway even though tap water (which had been switched on by now) was filthy brown. On last night, a number of rooms were flooded by a burst hot water pipe, and on final morning, all elevators failed simultaneously. Amusingly, when we left Martinique, the Captain advised us to put all bottles, glasses, computers onto the floor of our cabin as some rough weather was expected, "but not to worry, the ship is seaworthy". I wonder if he himself was concerned about its condition? I fully understand that things will go wrong, but I am really concerned that HAL is scrimping on maintenance, creating these issues, but even more disappointing is that they don't seem to have any concern for resolving the issues when things do go wrong. When it became clear that about 20% of the cabin keys did not work on embarkation day, the Lido should have stayed open, and bar staff should have provided free drinks to those waiting in line, When water was shut off, if it had been planned, the timing should have been announced so that showers could have been timed appropriately. If it was unplanned, free drinking water should have been provided. And even more important, a ship which shows signs of rust is NOT a good advertisement for a cruise line which has prided itself on being "up-market". Finally, compared with previous cruises on HAL, the staff did not seem happy. I don't know if this reflects the Captain, Hotel Manager, or HAL, but there were not the usual number of "sincere" attempts to bond with the guests which I had enjoyed on previous cruises. NOTE: In the "star ratings" below, I give Embarkation a low rating of "1" because of the room key fiasco. Port desks at FLL were actually very efficient, so getting on board was easy, problems started once on board. I give service a high rating "4" despite my negative observations above because front line staff - dining room and cabin stewards - always perform exceptionally. It is the lack of interest from front desk, and non-availability of "management staff" which needs significant improvement.

Rotterdam is seaworthy, according to the captain's announcement.

Rotterdam Cruise Review by LORDBOWDON

13 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I have enjoyed HAL for 19 years but Rotterdam needs serious dry dock work soon.

Visible rust on much of the superstructure, and the starboard stairs to the sky deck closed off because the supporting metal plates had rusted through was not an auspicious start to a cruise where all of deck 3's keys did not work. (no free drinks, no apologies, no keeping the Lido restaurant open for those who spent up to an hour in line at the front office to get new keys).

Later on, hot water failed, then the entire hot AND cold water system was shut down ship wide - no announcements, and still selling $3 water at gangway even though tap water (which had been switched on by now) was filthy brown. On last night, a number of rooms were flooded by a burst hot water pipe, and on final morning, all elevators failed simultaneously.

Amusingly, when we left Martinique, the Captain advised us to put all bottles, glasses, computers onto the floor of our cabin as some rough weather was expected, "but not to worry, the ship is seaworthy". I wonder if he himself was concerned about its condition?

I fully understand that things will go wrong, but I am really concerned that HAL is scrimping on maintenance, creating these issues, but even more disappointing is that they don't seem to have any concern for resolving the issues when things do go wrong. When it became clear that about 20% of the cabin keys did not work on embarkation day, the Lido should have stayed open, and bar staff should have provided free drinks to those waiting in line,

When water was shut off, if it had been planned, the timing should have been announced so that showers could have been timed appropriately. If it was unplanned, free drinking water should have been provided.

And even more important, a ship which shows signs of rust is NOT a good advertisement for a cruise line which has prided itself on being "up-market".

Finally, compared with previous cruises on HAL, the staff did not seem happy. I don't know if this reflects the Captain, Hotel Manager, or HAL, but there were not the usual number of "sincere" attempts to bond with the guests which I had enjoyed on previous cruises.

NOTE: In the "star ratings" below, I give Embarkation a low rating of "1" because of the room key fiasco. Port desks at FLL were actually very efficient, so getting on board was easy, problems started once on board.

I give service a high rating "4" despite my negative observations above because front line staff - dining room and cabin stewards - always perform exceptionally. It is the lack of interest from front desk, and non-availability of "management staff" which needs significant improvement.
LORDBOWDON’s Full Rating Summary
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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