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We (lw and neighbor couple) sailed out of Seattle on July 3rd. Embarkation was a breeze. Lunch for Mariner members was a delight. We were in our cabin shortly and soon up on deck for sail away. Of course sailing out of Seattle requires a long cruise through the Strait of Juan de Fuca before hitting the open seas. Impressions: Crew: very friendly and eager to help. Steward even complied with our request for more hangers. Cabin: well cared for and clean even though it appeared they had taken some room from the "C" cabins to make more room for the Lanai cabins. Since this was an upgrade, no complaints. Food: outstanding. We ate almost all meals in the dining room. the service was great and the menus offered enough variety to please most anyone. Anyone complaining about there not being enough food simply didn't ask the waiter for a little extra. For our group, we were very complimentary of the size of servings as they did not make you feel overstuffed. My only complaint is, HAL and other cruise lines simply haven't figured out how to cook been unless you go to the added cost restaurant. The seafood and duck were particularly tasty. Entertainment: it would be a mistake to mention entertainment without a word for the string quartet. This group of ladies from Ukraine certainly entertained well. It made for a fine calming evening. The other entertainment on board was also worthy of praise. The trio playing dance music and jazz was quite accomplished. the guitarist and piano bar added entertainment for many. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the on board show cast of singers and dancers. the singers could all hit their notes in rhythm even though some better mike technique would have made the opening night show more enjoyable. These nine people plus the Hal Cats and the string quartet entertained in the show room all but two nights. In my opinion, the best show cast I've heard on board, even from larger ships. public rooms: I would be remiss if I didn't mention the joys of visiting the explorers lounge. It was always a busy place for everyone from young people playing card games and board games, to computer users, crossword solvers and readers. Such a change from the times when you had to search for the library and they hope for a time it was open. Loved the lounge. Geography: we were on our second Alaska cruise in two years and were pleased as we were before. The ports are fun to visit with plenty of things to see. The two stops this year we didn't see last year were the Hubbard Glacier and Sitka. The captain of the Rotterdam got us so close to the Glacier it felt as if we were feeling the sound of the calving. Absolutely marvelous. Sitka is a true delight, seeing the historic Russian settlement in an environment intentionally kept free from as much tourist paraphernalia as possible. Final thoughts: If HAL is losing it, as some suggest, we haven't seen it. We enjoy the size of the ships, the attentive crew, the art on board and the ability to relax and have a great vacation. The only reason we will choose another cruise line is if HAL doesn't got to a port we really want to see.  

Best ever!

Rotterdam Cruise Review by sailaddict

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2009
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
We (lw and neighbor couple) sailed out of Seattle on July 3rd. Embarkation was a breeze. Lunch for Mariner members was a delight. We were in our cabin shortly and soon up on deck for sail away. Of course sailing out of Seattle requires a long cruise through the Strait of Juan de Fuca before hitting the open seas. Impressions: Crew: very friendly and eager to help. Steward even complied with our request for more hangers. Cabin: well cared for and clean even though it appeared they had taken some room from the "C" cabins to make more room for the Lanai cabins. Since this was an upgrade, no complaints. Food: outstanding. We ate almost all meals in the dining room. the service was great and the menus offered enough variety to please most anyone. Anyone complaining about there not being enough food simply didn't ask the waiter for a little extra. For our group, we were very complimentary of the size of servings as they did not make you feel overstuffed. My only complaint is, HAL and other cruise lines simply haven't figured out how to cook been unless you go to the added cost restaurant. The seafood and duck were particularly tasty. Entertainment: it would be a mistake to mention entertainment without a word for the string quartet. This group of ladies from Ukraine certainly entertained well. It made for a fine calming evening. The other entertainment on board was also worthy of praise. The trio playing dance music and jazz was quite accomplished. the guitarist and piano bar added entertainment for many. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the on board show cast of singers and dancers. the singers could all hit their notes in rhythm even though some better mike technique would have made the opening night show more enjoyable. These nine people plus the Hal Cats and the string quartet entertained in the show room all but two nights. In my opinion, the best show cast I've heard on board, even from larger ships. public rooms: I would be remiss if I didn't mention the joys of visiting the explorers lounge. It was always a busy place for everyone from young people playing card games and board games, to computer users, crossword solvers and readers. Such a change from the times when you had to search for the library and they hope for a time it was open. Loved the lounge. Geography: we were on our second Alaska cruise in two years and were pleased as we were before. The ports are fun to visit with plenty of things to see. The two stops this year we didn't see last year were the Hubbard Glacier and Sitka. The captain of the Rotterdam got us so close to the Glacier it felt as if we were feeling the sound of the calving. Absolutely marvelous. Sitka is a true delight, seeing the historic Russian settlement in an environment intentionally kept free from as much tourist paraphernalia as possible. Final thoughts: If HAL is losing it, as some suggest, we haven't seen it. We enjoy the size of the ships, the attentive crew, the art on board and the ability to relax and have a great vacation. The only reason we will choose another cruise line is if HAL doesn't got to a port we really want to see.
 
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin EE 3320
Cabin 3320 on the lower promenade deck was a convenient and pleasant home onboard. While the cabin is smaller than other outside cabins, it was adequate and comfortable. We had plenty of storage and our stewards were attentive.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins