10 Day Caribbean Cruise on the Rotterdam
Jeannine & Dick Cantin


We recently cruised for 10 days from New York City to the Eastern Caribbean aboard the Rotterdam VI of Holland America Line.  The ports of call included San Juan, St. Maarten, Tortola, and Half Moon Cay.    We had a wonderful cruise on this beautiful ship, so we wanted to share our thoughts with our fellow travel agents.

How were the accommodations:

The ship is very calming. There are warm colors with dark woods, lots of nooks and crannies to hide away in, fresh flowers on every table in every restaurant, bar and showroom. The powder rooms have terry washcloths to dry your hands and artwork is in every corridor and on every wall. It’s a really classy ship with a great crew who genuinely love their work.

The cabins are some of the most spacious on the seas -- 192 sq. ft in a standard cabin -- and beautifully appointed. Inside and oceanview cabins are basically identical except that oceanviews have a large window and a tub/shower combo instead of a shower only. All have a sitting area somewhat divided by tied back curtains.

This ship was designed for long ocean voyages. That is evident by the amount of storage space. There were six closets: a tall one for gowns, two with shelves, and others a combination of hanging bars and shelves. There were drawers in the night-stands, the dresser, lamp table, and even under the bed -- two of them even have locks.

Standard amenities include a safe, umbrella, hair dryers, lighted make-up mirror and mirrored medicine chest. The suites have butler service, mini-bars, a verandah with teak furniture, whirlpool tubs, upgraded bedding and duvet covers, DVD/VCR, and a private lounge on the seventh floor.

Twenty-four hour room service includes salads, shrimp, salmon, sandwiches, pasta, and desserts. Service is prompt and the food tasty.

Lighting is functional -- bright where needed and dimmer where necessary. The radio and some lighting are controlled from the headboard. Service is provided twice a day with turn down service, fresh fruit, a stainless bucket with ice, and a chocolate on your pillow.

How were the fitness and recreational facilities:

The spa and gym both offer lots of services and classes - some complimentary and some for a fee. Trainers and instructors are available to assist.

The area is spacious, overlooks the ocean and is well equipped. Discounts are offered on early morning booking and late in the cruise if appointments are not filled. If you attend a seminar more than likely a prize will be drawn or more discounts offered.

Make-up classes and some health promoting programs were free but many exercise classes were $11 each. There is a $59 package for unlimited classes for the duration of the cruise.

How was the dining experience:

This ship for 1,400 guests has seating in a two story beautiful dining room surrounded by large picture windows - and a grand staircase with either a piano player or a four piece combo. Sittings are at 5:45, 6:30, 8, and 8:30.

There is alternative dining in the Lido restaurant on the pool level. They feature an appetizer/salad/dessert buffet and the main course is displayed but orders are taken at the table and served. Each table has cloths in the evening and fresh flowers or a plant - the decor changes each night according to the menu. The atmosphere here is better than at most buffets. The menu parallels the one offered in the dining room with fewer selections.

The Rotterdam is very proud of their gourmet restaurant the Pinnacle at the Odyssey. There is a $20 surcharge per person and reservations are needed. The service is exceptional as is the food preparation and presentation. They serve beef -- filet, porterhouse, rib-eye (the best I have ever had) -- rack of lamb, chicken, bouillabaisse, salmon, and halibut. One night during each sailing they have a wine dinner for $49 per person.

Overall, I found the food very good, the selections more than adequate and the wait staff very efficient, helpful with choices, and happy. We have noticed a decline in the number of times shrimp and lobster are offered on each cruise.


How was the entertainment, bars, and lounges:

The public rooms are well set up, located on decks four and five. As you exit the dining room you hear the quiet music from the string quartet in a room set up for after dinner drinks and coffees then you move on to a piano lounge where the atmosphere depends on the crowd at hand.

If you want more excitement, the atrium area has shops, a casino, and large screen TV in the sports bar. Then you continue along to the Ocean Bar that has ballroom dancing and then there is the two-story showroom with entertainment until 11:15pm.

The Showroom always features two shows nightly -- it may be a musician, comedian, magician, talent-show and on three nights the Holland America singers and dancers entertained us with very professional revues.

The late night revelers find their way to the Crow