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Holland America Rotterdam Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
64 reviews

Great Cruise with a Hurricane and Refugees

Review for Holland America Rotterdam to the Southern Caribbean
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2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Oct 2022

We had a great cruise on our 10, uh I mean 11, day cruise of the Caribbean. Due to hurricane Nicole hitting Florida and closing Port Everglades we had a bonus day at sea. Luckily not only was the extra day free of charge, the captain did a great job avoiding the storm and the seas were relatively calm. During that extra night at seas, one of the passengers noticed a small craft and notified the crew of the situation. The captain turned the ship to investigate and discovered a boat with 13 refugees on board. Using the term “boat” is pretty liberal as it was composed of Styrofoam and crates. The captain originally said they had notified the Coast Guard and were going to wait until they arrived but it soon appeared the “boat” was going to sink and the refugees were brought on board. I never did hear whether they were still on board when we disembarked at Port Canaveral or whether they were off boarded to the Coast Guard during the night.

With all the hurricane and refugee excitement out of the way, now on to overall review of the cruise. I heard the ship was at about 80% capacity. My wife and I are in our upper 50’s and we felt about 75% of the ship was older than us. I know Holland America is known for addressing an older demographic but I was surprised at the number of older cruisers. Even one of the comedians made light of it one night. However age demographic didn’t have much of an impact on how much we enjoyed the cruise.

Embarkation – This was pretty much a mess. Everyone had a boarding pass stating the time they were supposed to arrive. We were lucky enough to be in the first group of passengers that were to board the ship at 11am. However, evidently everyone on the ship also had an 11am boarding time or they all showed up at 11am regardless of when they were supposed to board. As such we had to wait until almost noon to get on the ship. I’ve read the boarding process on the Rotterdam is normally very quick and smooth so maybe this was an anomaly.

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