Holland America Rotterdam Review


Review for the Baltic Sea Cruise on Holland America Rotterdam
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Sep 2023

We based our decision to cruise Holland after sailing with the line 2 times in the past and being extremely happy with exceptional service. However, I am sure a lot is the loss of crew members after COVID but also the age factor. It was not something we knew beforehand but did figure the line itself is for mature adults 50plus. The majority it appeared were over 75-95! We found on this particular ship the daily activities were based on the majority- origami mice/etc, Doodling, coloring, - very boring , very sedate activities peppered with a few excercise classes usually offered when the excursions were scheduled. We found the excursions far below our expectations - even juvenile for some with the guides treating their group like elementary aged- having to stand in line to count ourselves, or stand while the guide tried to make sure everyone was accounted for- not sure the guides experience but half of the tours appeared to be first time guides who were more adult babysitters. Some of the tours could have been amazing but due to the guides , some were merely time spent at a beautiful city- We had a couple good excursions but mostly left us feeling like we wasted our time/money. Good points for the amazing hard working, very patient front desk personnel- at times more help would have been nice but first come, first served. Our personal room attendant was amazing- he worked hard and always had a smile on his face and made sure we were happy- the first week for me personally was difficult with some specific dietary needs not met or even discussed. I did write a note to Errol which brought about a big change and personal attention which we appreciated. It helped- one huge disappointment I had and others also felt the same- the FORMAL afternoon tea service! I was so anxious to take Holland specifically for this lovely ritual served with special attention and wait staff in their finest with their caps and white gloves- making it a true experience with the tiered plate of different finger foods, desserts- Now? nothing special but tables with the small variety of goodies and one type of tea, poured by waiter who then disappeared. There was nothing Formal nor special- in fact I never returned since it was not worth my time - again I found many other cruisers echoing my sentiments. Food was abundant and fresh and shockingly the buffet had sometimes better food and many more varieties than the dining room offered. Room service was great too. By the time our cruise was coming to an end we had decided to cancel a cruise we had set on the Rotterdam for 14 day British Isles since we did not care to pay that much money and be as disappointed as we were. Again just talking to some others, they also said this was likely the last cruise they would take on Holland and some specifically said the Rotterdam- Again this ship is perfect if someone is a certain age - the physically challenged were able to enjoy most of the activities as they were slow paced and accomodating- It was truly inspiring to see the older age group still trying their best to stay active/enjoy the ship and activities.. God bless them! I do wish we had a wonderful time and I was writing simply positive statements- We did note staterooms were quite a bit smaller in size- but well appointed. - I would have liked to hear the announcements in room and not having to run to the door to hear what was being said- it should be an option- not just for emergency or important announcements. We only had reservations at Pinnacle Grille but it was incredible and a highlight of the cruise- food and service were great! Lacking also was daily turn down chocolates- we did find them maybe 4 times- that was it. The Mariner Lunch was great- we enjoyed it despite the very limited menu and having to wait for beverage fill ups or other special requests since staff was hard at work attending to the full capacity crowd. I guess what I realize is that we must lower our expectations- our travel agent applauded the cancellation which shocked me, but he stated the line is noted for its older guests and while we are not spring chickens ( 76 and 71) for this particular ship we seemed to be outnumbered. We elected to do a similar cruise on Princess- we have sailed her 3 times before with great experiences and much broader activities for all ages!

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