Rotterdam Cruise Review by Je Maintiendrai
- Sail Date: June 2009
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
Embarkation day- We flew into Seattle the morning of our cruise, and had little trouble finding the light rail link to downtown. After a short self guided tour of the market area we bought flowers and Champagne and caught a cab to Pier 91. We arrived about 1pm and boarded quickly and painlessly but arrived to a full house on Lido deck for lunch. The Ship- The Rotterdam was glowing as we arrived, really a marvelous ship in the classic style. While we had a full ship(1300), it never felt crowded except for the Lido embarkation lunch. Further it was very easy to get around to all parts of the ship. The outside walking circuit on Lower Promenade Deck & Explorers lounge were our favorite parts of the ship. The former for long walks and scenery, the 2nd for chess, scrabble,cards and reading. Cabin- Our Verandah Suite initially looked smaller than the 292 sq ft advertised, but we found the layout to be very comfortable. The balcony was ideal- about 40 of the sq ft furnished w/ 2 chairs , lounger and covered above- I really couldn't see going to Alaska in an uncovered balcony. The queen bed was very comfortable, and we slept well every night. My DDs sofabed did not look as comfortable, but she liked it so I never offered to trade. The bath was large enough w/jetted tub, 1 sink and toilette that worked 99% of the time, twice we needed to ask for assistance and twice quickly resolved. They never had to come to the room, just a resetting of the vacuum in engineering. We had 1 fridge, 1 large desk, 1 table and plenty of storage for clothes. Food- I thought the breakfast was great with an wide selection in the Lido. Lunch in Lido was fine, but we liked the MDR lunches the best with again a good selection of salad's, soups, entrees and dessert. We ate at the Italian restaurant one night, and the MDR the other nights. With the exception of maybe a few dishes, I would say that its very good cuisine for an assembly line type environment. While we had 2 dinners in the MDR that I would consider gourmet(Lamb and Lobster), we knew we could have gourmet dinners for $20 pp in the Pinnacle Grill. note- the Pizza and Sushi were not that great Staff- This is where HAL really stood out, the Rotterdam staff is excellent. I cant say enough good things about their staff, especially Agus and Made our room stewards. Entertainment- We saw a few shows in the main showroom, they were mini musicals w/solid performers. The violinists were top orchestra quality, and we found ourselves spending most of our time listening to them or w/Charlie on the Piano. Excursions- We did a whale watch in Juneau w/Dolphin jet boats and a 3 hr boat tour w/Whale of a tail in Sitka. Both were arranged with vendors at the dock as we didnt want to prearrange something and find out the weather was miserable. We also found 2 freebies- the Capitol tour in Juneau and Aquarium in Sitka. We also enjoyed a self guided tour of Victoria. Thoughts- This was our first cruise and we were fully delighted with our Cruise. The scenery is truly breathtaking, almost too good to be true. Pictures do not do this cruise justice, as the experience far exceeds pictures. We thought the fitness center service good be more accomdating.
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