Rotterdam Review

2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Public Rooms

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4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pool deck never feels overcrowded


Older ship showing signs of age, particularly in non-suite cabins

Bottom Line

Simple ship with a laidback atmosphere

Rotterdam Overview

Launched in 1997, Rotterdam VI is the sixth in a line of Holland America flagships and it shows. The first Rotterdam set sail in 1872, beginning a Holland America tradition and reputation that continued through Rotterdam V, one of the most beloved ships of all time and host to 28 world cruises.

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Like her five classic predecessors, Rotterdam is more of a throwback to earlier cruise ships compared to most megaships built after 1995. However, with a maximum cruising speed of 25 knots and all of the modern amenities expected of a relatively large ship, the Rotterdam successfully straddles that sometimes fine line between classic and modern.

Highlights of the Rotterdam experience include: some of the largest "standard" cabins afloat; a high percentage of outside cabins that feature verandahs; upscale alternative dining in the Pinnacle Grill; and the Explorations Cafe -- a library, Internet cafe and coffee bar wrapped into one popular hangout.

The Rotterdam also features typical Holland America history and service. Memorabilia of the line's fabled past can be seen throughout the ship (the Dutch officers are happy to share the company's history with curious passengers). In addition, the Indonesian and Filipino staff continue the Holland America tradition of sparkling clean ships and white-gloved service.

Fellow Passengers

Though a typical Holland America and Rotterdam cruise tends to attract more mature passengers, younger travelers and families are definitely coming aboard. It all depends on the itinerary and time of year. Gentleman Hosts are typically onboard for cruises of two weeks and longer.

Holland America Rotterdam Dress Code

Seven-night cruises typically feature two formal nights, with an extra formal night for every additional five days or so on longer cruises. Men definitely tend to wear tuxedos on these nights. Semi-formal nights call for jacket, but ties are optional. Casual nights simply call for resort wear, where blue jeans and T-shirts are frowned upon by fellow passengers.

Holland America Rotterdam Gratuity

The automatic tip for passengers staying in interior, oceanview and verandah cabins is $14.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $16 per person, per day.

Holland America Rotterdam Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best for Dining
2019 Best for Public Rooms
2018 Best for Fitness & Recreation
2018 Best for Shore Excursions

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Dolphin Deck
Main Deck
Lower Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck
Upper Promenade Deck
Verandah Deck
Navigation Deck
Lido Deck
Sports Deck
Sky Deck

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Holland America Rotterdam Member Reviews

Sail Date: Mar 2019
elsewhere. Picked it again for the same reasons we picked it last year: classic ship feel of the Rotterdam; quiet, clean familiarity of the surroundings; low hassle way to get out on the open sea. Crew...Read More
Sail Date: Apr 2019
The ship. It had been two years since we sailed ms Rotterdam and the ship's inside public places were extensively done over in a very nice way. New carpets, new upholstery and a general new feel when...Read More
Sail Date: Jul 2019
the bigger Rotterdam at unbelievable rates for this great itinerary covering the north coast of Svlbard (and btw. about 10K km). So this was great. What was not great was that the Rotterdam continued her...Read More
Sail Date: Mar 2019
Living close to Tampa, I enjoy being able to jump on a ship just to cruise. The Rotterdam reminded me of why I like HAL. It is a smaller ship with fewer people and more room to just sit and relax. During...Read More

Holland America Line Fleet