Holland America Rotterdam Review

Nice time on the Rotterdam

Review for the Southern Caribbean Cruise on Holland America Rotterdam
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Mr. Boston
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Feb 2024

We had a very nice 9 day Southern Caribbean cruise that visited Aruba and Curaçao. We missed our stop on Half Moon Cay due to the weather. We booked Club Orange and a Retreat Cabana in advance, both enhanced our experience greatly as the ship sailed full. We tried to dine in all of the specialty restaurants except the Pinnacle Grill which we’ve dined in many times on other ships. We really enjoyed Canaletto and Rudi’s Sel de Mer although being from New England we would skip any lobster or crab offerings as they were disappointing to us. I can’t say enough good things about the Retreat staff who went out of their way to make sure all of our needs were met. This was our first cruise in many that we opted for a balcony cabin rather than a Neptune Suite and we were very pleased with our cabin. It had an extra large balcony that would easily protect you in case of inclement weather. We also liked the design of the bathroom that had a shower but no bathtub which we didn’t miss.

A couple negatives and the reason for only four stars: We were very surprised that smoking was allowed in the casino in a non-enclosed area. The entire casino as well as the common areas on decks 3 and 2 between the mid and forward elevators reeked of smoke. So much so that we refused to visit the shops on those decks. It was like when restaurants used to have a non-smoking section that was pointless. Secondly, we missed the promenade deck that was wide enough for actual lounge chairs. Most of the views were blocked by the lifeboats and we felt cut off from the sea. Thirdly, we’ve never experienced such long elevator wait times on another Holland America ship and they were usually packed to the gills. I think that there are fewer elevators for more guests than the older ships.

In all we had a nice time but a pinnacle class ship would not be our first choice.

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