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About Surfwench

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    United States
  • Interests
    travel, cooking, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, CCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska, Caribbean
  1. Cruised first voyage of the season a few years ago - mid-May. We had an aft balcony and later said entirely unnecessary. I had heard of the legendary cold, (we live in Florida), and had spent $$$$ in winter gear for the trip. LOL, average temp was 72 every day except Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm day. During the glacier days we ended up spending the entire day outside on the highest deck forward of the stack, (we were on a CCL cruise). Primary reason for being there instead of on our expansive aft balcony is the naturalist is looking forward and speaking about the sights coming up. So if she says "Mama bear and cubs at 11:00 o'clock" not only can we not hear it on our private balcony, we are likely to miss it entirely as wildlife doesn't stand still and pose. Biggest Alaska tip .... bring binoculars for both of you, sharing doesn't work with wildlife. We did and best decision. Yes, it was cold and windy on that top deck, (which kept the crowds away), but it was a good chance to use the -0 rated stuff we dragged along. We could run from port to starboard in seconds to catch every memorable sight. Oh, and if you don't own a good camera, rent one with a lens for long distance shots. Camera on your phone only good for selfies. Have fun, its a memorable trip.
  2. On the Rotterdam 16 -23 December. There is no aft pool, but hot tubs with an unusual waterfall and ankle deep wading area between them. I too saw the pictures of loungers and tables sitting in shallow water before our cruise, but that is not the case presently. The hot tubs were nicely heated and the bartenders very good, so no complaints. Because of the low passenger count the Lido pool was never crowded. We didn't have 20 kids on our cruise and only 1 or 2 of them swam.
  3. Took our first HAL cruise on the Rotterdam just a few weeks ago and could not be happier. We've cruised Carnival and Royal 10 times or so, but after a week on the Rotterdam our future cruises will all be on HAL. The Rotterdam is a lovely ship with graceful lines. It is tastefully decorated with artwork throughout the ship. She's an older girl, but VERY well maintained. We had a Lanai cabin which was fun, no problem with privacy or our reserved loungers. Here and there at the edges you get a peek at her age. There was some type of black waterproofing brushed around the tub faucets where they joined the wall. This would have been objectionable if the water pressure and hot water availability hadn't been so outstanding. And the TV was laughable, BUT we don't cruise to watch TV in our cabin. In size she compares with the Fantasy class ships on Carnival. But that's where the comparison ends. Staff, food, entertainment were all far superior to the Carnival Fantasy class offering. Plus we stayed in port longer than the other cruise ships and enjoyed a beach resort, (Maya Chan), almost to ourselves because the Carnival cruisers had to skedaddle by 1:30! I wouldn't hesitate to sail on the Rotterdam again. Book with confidence!
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