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We were excited about this Panama Canal Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego over the holidays. The cruise ports and itinerary were great! Absolutely no complaints here. Our excursions were a mix of HAL and Shore Ex. They were all well done and interesting. The food was just okay. More than once, I had to send my dish back in the main room. It was like cafeteria food and really, I’m not picky but the meat was inedible. The Lido was actually better and that’s not saying much. They ran out of Splenda, lemons, limes and chocolate ice cream halfway through the cruise. Our room thermostat didn’t work and apparently they are in the process of changing them out. Our room started out too warm so we asked to cool it down. They cooled it down but it turned into an icebox!! And they turned the fan speed up so that it sounded like a jet engine... (well, almost) It continued like this the entire cruise. Then the toilet didn’t flush... or did five minutes after it was pushed. We heard gurgling sounds constantly. There are hardly any electric outlets in the bedrooms. They provide plug strips but bring an extension cord or two. Especially if you have a cpap! There were no rooms left when we signed on in March so took a room that was over the Main Stage. It turns out there were rooms that opened later but we were never informed about them so we were stuck listening to any performance or rehearsal under our floor. We really liked the staff and they tried to do the best job they could but they really are understaffed and expectations are very high. We like Holland America but are going to seriously check ship reviews from now on before we book. We like the smaller ships but the Rotterdam needs to be retired. Rusty and too old to fix.

Great Itinerary But Time to put The Old Mare to Rest

Rotterdam Cruise Review by Baybari

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We were excited about this Panama Canal Cruise from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego over the holidays.

The cruise ports and itinerary were great! Absolutely no complaints here. Our excursions were a mix of HAL and Shore Ex. They were all well done and interesting.

The food was just okay. More than once, I had to send my dish back in the main room. It was like cafeteria food and really, I’m not picky but the meat was inedible.

The Lido was actually better and that’s not saying much.

They ran out of Splenda, lemons, limes and chocolate ice cream halfway through the cruise.

Our room thermostat didn’t work and apparently they are in the process of changing them out. Our room started out too warm so we asked to cool it down. They cooled it down but it turned into an icebox!! And they turned the fan speed up so that it sounded like a jet engine... (well, almost)

It continued like this the entire cruise.

Then the toilet didn’t flush... or did five minutes after it was pushed. We heard gurgling sounds constantly.

There are hardly any electric outlets in the bedrooms. They provide plug strips but bring an extension cord or two. Especially if you have a cpap!

There were no rooms left when we signed on in March so took a room that was over the Main Stage. It turns out there were rooms that opened later but we were never informed about them so we were stuck listening to any performance or rehearsal under our floor.

We really liked the staff and they tried to do the best job they could but they really are understaffed and expectations are very high.

We like Holland America but are going to seriously check ship reviews from now on before we book. We like the smaller ships but the Rotterdam needs to be retired. Rusty and too old to fix.
Baybari’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin D
Buyer beware! Don’t book this cabin...ever!
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins