We stayed in Amsterdam for 3 days visiting sights such as the Rijkmuseum, Anne Frank Huis, Van Gogh Museum and the infamous De Wallen Red Light District which was pretty near to our hotel. We took a tour to the Zaanse Schanes Windmills, Marken and Volendam which was a great way to leave the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam and visit the country which was a very interesting experience and we even got some really delicious Dutch cheese for souvenirs!
On the day of the cruise, we travelled by train from Amsterdam to Rotterdam which roughly takes about an hour and a half and arrived at the port by 11am which was really crowded with passengers by the time we got there. However, despite the crowd, embarkation was a breeze and were on the ship 30 minutes after we arrived the at port.
Our first impression of the MS Rotterdam was that it was very similar to the MS Volendam which felt really spacious despite the ship having a full capacity of guests. Its decor had many Asian-Inspired pieces including the famous Terra Cotta Warriors from Xi'An, China and Samurai Armor from Japan, there were also a large scale model in the dining room of Rotterdam V which was the predecessor to today's MS Rotterdam, these pieces created an elegant yet subtle decor which we really appreciated during the cruise.
Cabin L-2676 had a great location in the middle near the aft deck 2 promenade and the elevator lobby, the cabin was pretty quiet during the evening and night, the toilet was tiny with a shower only but there was adequate wardrobe and storage space for 3 adults.
An amazing city which had a very "old-world" feel, we really enjoyed the joy ride on tram 28 around the city, it really fascinating yet scary that we were traveling just a couple of inches from people's homes. We visited Belem which had a beautiful monastery and cathedral and the monument commemorating the discovery of the new world.
We were looking forward to this port as we’ve heard so much about it but we never had the chance to visit it, we were also glad that it was an overnight stop so we had much more time to visit this beautiful city. During our stop we visited the highlights such as the Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell (which was quite a challenge to get to!) and the Las Ramblas. We also had the chance to sample some local tapas and enjoy some of the street life in the evening.
We went to the famed Casino and was not impressed by the structure but more of the sports cars zipping around the entrance and we even spotted some royalty from the Middle East which really made it seem that we were standing in the midst of a James Bond flick. Apart from the casino, the view from the royal palace was amazing where we could see pretty much all of Monaco together with France and Italy bordering her.
We have been to Rome before but we wanted to revisit some of the sights we just fell in love with during our last visit such as the Vatican where we spent most of our time there and the Trevi Fountain where it was real fun throwing those coins into it! We strolled along the streets of Rome savoring some pizza and gelato and it sure brought back memories of our last visit!
This was another port which we were looking forward to visit. We went to Oia by a really crowded bus but the journey was well worth it, we walked along the cliffs of Oia peeking into people’s homes and the view of the deep blue mediterrenean sea with the white structures was simply breathtaking. However, I would not recommend anyone to use the path which the donkey’s us at Fira to get to the town from the base of the hill, the queue for the cable car went by really quickly and at least there was no smell of donkey poo!