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Rotterdam.....a mistake?


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You are a little out of date. HAL no longer has any "Formal Nights" but has replaced them with what they call "Gala Nights" which supports a dumbed down dress code. We do tend to dress formal on gala nights, but you will also see plenty of folks in less then formal wear..including some jeans and even an occasional guy wearing a baseball cap (this drives me nutz since I was raised to believe that this is bad manners).

 

As to your "piano bar" that has been eliminated on about half the HAL ships (but it still remains on the Rotterdam) and replaced with a "dueling piano" show which OK...but just not the same as relaxing in a piano bar (we also love piano bars). I am a long time fan of Queen....but sadly on our many HAL cruises the various musicians often think that Glenn Miller or Patti Page music is more apropro for the audience (usually less then 10 people by 10pm).

 

Hank

P.S. We are in a minority, but still a big fan of formal nights. Princess and Cunard are about the last mass market lines to still have formal nights.

Not out of date, just choosing to an out-of-date term as part of making my point :D

 

The dumbed-down dress code doesn't bother me so much (any more) as the fact that the ship has a dress code posted on "Gala" nights, and 99% of the time chooses not to enforce it. That ticks me off. But I know that we look great :cool:

 

As to the piano bars, the smaller HAL ships that we've been on recently (Rotterdam, Zaandam) still had a piano bar entertainer in the the Mix, but I agree that their choice of repertoire can be awfully dated. But there were no bar seats around the piano in the Mix, and there isn't the same intimacy in a larger open area.

 

We've only been on one cruise with the Billboard duelling pianos, and one of the two pianists was ill for most of the cruise, and so the remaining fellow had to improvise. Which was fun, actually.

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Not out of date, just choosing to an out-of-date term as part of making my point :D

 

The dumbed-down dress code doesn't bother me so much (any more) as the fact that the ship has a dress code posted on "Gala" nights, and 99% of the time chooses not to enforce it. That ticks me off. But I know that we look great :cool:

 

As to the piano bars, the smaller HAL ships that we've been on recently (Rotterdam, Zaandam) still had a piano bar entertainer in the the Mix, but I agree that their choice of repertoire can be awfully dated. But there were no bar seats around the piano in the Mix, and there isn't the same intimacy in a larger open area.

 

We've only been on one cruise with the Billboard duelling pianos, and one of the two pianists was ill for most of the cruise, and so the remaining fellow had to improvise. Which was fun, actually.

 

LOL, you do have to love how HAL changes some of their "terms" more then their policies. When we were on the Voyage of the Vikings (August) DW and I closed the piano bar on many nights (we had Barry from Boston). On a few nights Barry would choose as his last song, the Sesame Street song that went with the number of passengers (which was always fewer then 10). There was one couple on our cruise who spent nearly every minute of every evening, for 38 days, at the same 2 seats around the piano. These guys were long time 5 Star Mariners and had one of the largest suites on the ship....which they abandoned to be at the piano bar. I love piano bars, and HAL certainly has some excellent musicians in their remaining venues.

 

The dress code issue is a lost cause (on most lines) who simply choose to ignore the enforcement of any rules. DW's favorite (private) comment is "those people must have been raised by wolves" which is a label she often applies to very badly dressed passengers. On the VOV cruise we sometimes had dinner (on gala nights) with a well dressed couple (he was also in a tux as was I) who told the maitre'd to please only seat well dressed passengers at their table. The Maitre'd was happy to comply and even mentioned he missed the days when everyone dressed-up.

 

Hank

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We have been on many of the Vista Class ships before the "drydock upgrades", where they delete the Sports bar and open the whole area up to the Billboard Onboard. We loved the older, intimate Piano Bars. That area was closed off from the casino, and guests could sit around the piano. The musician was usually fantastic, and they sometime brought their own electronic keyboard for drum, bass, brass accompaniment. Billboard Onboard was OK, but very structured, and their playlist was limited by Billboard Corp. Many requests we made during their final set, which was an "All Request" set, were turned down due to limitations in their playlists from Billboard. The single artist piano bars are not limited in any way. We are booked on the Rotterdam March 11 for 14 days, and we certainly hope the Piano Bar in the Mix lives up to our expectations. And we hope they have bar stools around the piano. You can't expect audience participation from people sitting at tables 10-20 feet away from the musician.

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i booked the Rotterdam for many reasons since I am more of a ship lover than a modern cruiser. Old ships are just fine with me, and a January cruise seemed long enough post dry dock to correct last minute adjustments. I also expected issues post dry dock because the ship like me is getting old.

 

But the ship was truly rushed out of the yard , unfinished and not ready to sail based on reviews/ complaints.

 

Now into mid December I have not read anything indicating all the problems especially plumbing have been fixed.

 

I can weather problems, but I have three people joining me on the cruise that have never sailed on Holland America. Will this ship kill HAL for them?

 

Can anyone provide any updates on the ship.....is it fully operational or will our cruise be a mess, people continually complaining and officers and staff stressed out and avoiding confrontation. This isn't my first time on an old ship...but a broken one....

 

I hope HAL has addressed the problems.

 

Thanks for any updates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We are very interested in reviews of The Rotterdam, as well. We are on the 37 day Viking cruise leaving in June and LOVE cruising but want to enjoy the beauty of the ship as well.

Hello, DalsPals, my husband and I are also booked on that cruise and have sailed several times with HAL but never on the Rotterdam. Also very interested in hearing what's what on board!

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We just got off the Rotterdam this morning. It was our first HAL cruise. I will probably not be cruising HAL again in the Caribbean, or maybe ever. I had heard HAL had better service, food, etc. than the other mainstream lines, but we did not find this to be true.

 

We found the food quality and choices and dining room service to be below Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Nothing was horrible, but nothing great either.

 

I was not a fan of the buffet. For some reason, they do not allow self-service and there seemed to be no consistency as to which way the line was supposed to go. It changed from day to day and even hour to hour. Food choices and quality here were lacking compared to other lines as well.

 

The room size and storage were good, but only one electrical outlet in the room and very little storage in the bathroom.

 

The public rooms seemed too warm to me on most days. I am not sure if they were still having issues or just keep it warmer due to the average age of the passengers. Our room temperature was inconsistent, going from too hot to too cold even without moving the thermostat. We also had an issue with very low water pressure on one day, but no leaks.

 

This is the first cruise I can honestly say someone could be bored on a cruise. The main shows were ok, but not up to standards of other cruises I have been on. They posted that a group Adagio would be playing in the Explorers Lounge each night and I only saw a piano player there on the final night. It was empty every other night we walked past. They did offer some interesting programs in America's Test Kitchen during the day.

 

We enjoyed the ports and nothing was horrible on the ship, but we realized HAL is not for us. I am 56 and most passengers were 20 years older than me. I am not a big party person or drinker, but also like something to do on the ship after 9:00 PM.

 

 

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We just got off the Rotterdam this morning. It was our first HAL cruise. I will probably not be cruising HAL again in the Caribbean, or maybe ever. I had heard HAL had better service, food, etc. than the other mainstream lines, but we did not find this to be true.

 

We found the food quality and choices and dining room service to be below Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Nothing was horrible, but nothing great either.

 

I was not a fan of the buffet. For some reason, they do not allow self-service and there seemed to be no consistency as to which way the line was supposed to go. It changed from day to day and even hour to hour. Food choices and quality here were lacking compared to other lines as well.

 

The room size and storage were good, but only one electrical outlet in the room and very little storage in the bathroom.

 

The public rooms seemed too warm to me on most days. I am not sure if they were still having issues or just keep it warmer due to the average age of the passengers. Our room temperature was inconsistent, going from too hot to too cold even without moving the thermostat. We also had an issue with very low water pressure on one day, but no leaks.

 

This is the first cruise I can honestly say someone could be bored on a cruise. The main shows were ok, but not up to standards of other cruises I have been on. They posted that a group Adagio would be playing in the Explorers Lounge each night and I only saw a piano player there on the final night. It was empty every other night we walked past. They did offer some interesting programs in America's Test Kitchen during the day.

 

We enjoyed the ports and nothing was horrible on the ship, but we realized HAL is not for us. I am 56 and most passengers were 20 years older than me. I am not a big party person or drinker, but also like something to do on the ship after 9:00 PM.

 

 

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Sorry you had a not-so-great cruise on the Rotterdam. We will be on her in March for 14 days.

The comment you made about the Lido buffet not being self-serve does make sense. Let's face it, some people are absolute slobs. Near the Dive-In on Vista class ships, they have a Taco bar, and it is self-serve. I have seen a person scooping sour cream onto her plate, then she licks the serving spoon and puts it back. I have watched people on HAL ships that have self-serve pizza, using their hands to pick extra pepperoni off of other slices and put it on their slice. I have watched kids pick up rolls and bread, sniff them and then put them back. As the saying goes, "you can't fix stupid", so HAL tries to prevent actions like I mentioned above by not having self-serve in the Lido. By doing that, they are preventing some of the noro-virus outbreaks that plague a lot of ships these days.

The consistancy of where the line starts in the Lido is caused by passengers who choose to start at the wrong end, and rather than create an issue, the servers reverse the beginning of the line.

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I came within an inch of booking this ship. Different ship than I have cruised on with HAL. Pretty nice, different itinerary....Guatemala...that would have been new for me. But I read some of the comments here post dry dock. Many unfavorable comments. So I reconsidered and booked the Eurodam(again) for this coming March 25th...

 

So from the comments the staff of the Rotterdam for the most part seems EXCELLENT. MOST issues with the ship SEEM to be getting straightened out. From what I'm reading, most of the issues seem to be from lack of quality entertainment and things to do. Am I right about this?

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we are becoming 5* after our cruise in Feb.Like sailing from Tampa. Booked the drink package as we were recently on Seabourn and it's all inclusive. Wanted to sail Rdam as it has been flagship of the fleet.Like smaller ships. We don't expect super food on a HAL ship but never had a really bad meal either. Booked the Sel de Mer dinner and will probably book Pinnacle again.Not late night people but enjoy the atmosphere on HAL ships.Few kids.Hate when someone comes into dining room wearing a hat, especially backwards. Didn't like last cruise on Kdam as it was too big more like Princess. 7 days in a Neptune cabin will be relaxing. Not too concerned about the ports.

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We just got off the Rotterdam this morning. It was our first HAL cruise. I will probably not be cruising HAL again in the Caribbean, or maybe ever. I had heard HAL had better service, food, etc. than the other mainstream lines, but we did not find this to be true.

 

This is the first cruise I can honestly say someone could be bored on a cruise. The main shows were ok, but not up to standards of other cruises I have been on. They posted that a group Adagio would be playing in the Explorers Lounge each night and I only saw a piano player there on the final night. It was empty every other night we walked past. They did offer some interesting programs in America's Test Kitchen during the day...

 

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Sorry to hear about Adagio. They're our "go to" entertainment every cruise after dinner and we will be on the Rotterdam for 38 days next summer. So were their performance times posted and they just weren't there? They do take a 15-minute break every hour, I'm hoping those were the times you passed by. Otherwise that's not good at all. :( We don't need a lot of entertainment, but that would be a disappointment for me.

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I came within an inch of booking this ship. Different ship than I have cruised on with HAL. Pretty nice, different itinerary....Guatemala...that would have been new for me. But I read some of the comments here post dry dock. Many unfavorable comments. So I reconsidered and booked the Eurodam(again) for this coming March 25th...

 

So from the comments the staff of the Rotterdam for the most part seems EXCELLENT. MOST issues with the ship SEEM to be getting straightened out. From what I'm reading, most of the issues seem to be from lack of quality entertainment and things to do. Am I right about this?

 

We do agree that most HAL Staff (not just on the Rotterdam) are indeed, Excellent. On our August Rotterdam cruise the staff did a great job positioning buckets to capture the leaks. They also crammed a lot of pool deck towels at the base of the Crow's Nest windows to soak up the water before it dripped onto the carpet. Crew constantly cleaned the carpet just outside the portside entrance to the Crow's Nest to mask the strong odor of mildew/mold. We assume that these issues were repaired during the recent drydock...but that is just our wild guess :).

 

I will be very honest about the Rotterdam. The first time we went on the ship there were so many physical issues (with the ship) that DW and I decided to never go back on that ship. But after a few years we decided to again return to the Rotterdam because we really wanted to take the Voyage of the Vikings cruise (a great itinerary). When we came off that cruise in early September our feelings were we would love to again do that Voyage of the Vikings itinerary, but it will not be on the Rotterdam (unless HAL makes a huge investment to truly bring this ship up to our acceptable standards). We have cruised on more then 60 different ships over a lot of years, and the Rotterdam would come in dead last in terms of maintenance. Perhaps the recent drydock would move it up on our personal list....but we will not be finding out in the near future.

 

In a recent discussion with other frequent cruising friends it occurred to me that our issues with the Rotterdam went beyond what we saw. On reflection, it had to do with the attitude (or perhaps surrender) of the crew to the problems on this aging vessel. For nearly a week, as we walked the steps near our cabin we would see a ceiling leak near the steps on one of the passenger decks. This was a relatively small leak (it only required 1 bucket) coming out of the ceiling. It obviously was caused by a leaking pipe. Day after day we would walk by that leak, several times seeing a crew member replacing the near full bucket with a new empty bucket. There was no shame, no obvious concern, but simply change the buckets. In the Lido (where there was a major "8 bucket" leak) we noticed the same attitude. In retrospect the crew seemed totally resigned to these kind of issues. On any other cruise line we have cruised (14) these kind of leaks would have been repaired....quickly! On HAL, they were simply left to leak. Why? Perhaps the engineering staff were too busy with other worse problems (that we could not see)? Otherwise, you would have to think that HAL simply does not care. Either way, it is not good. Compare this to what once happened to us on a Princess ship. During the night we would hear a sound in our cabin ceiling, that sounded like a steel ball rolling around. The next day we mentioned this to our cabin steward (but we could not hear it at the time) and left our cabin for the day. Later that afternoon when I stopped by the cabin, two engineer staff had the ceiling torn open outside our cabin and one small/skinny engineer was actually up in the ceiling. As I later left my cabin he was coming down a stepladder with a big smile. He found a large bolt...that must have been left in the ceiling and had been rolling around whenever the ship moved. If that happened on HAL we suspect that bolt would still be rolling around :(

 

Hank

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I have been reluctant to contribute to this thread but after Hank's report I feel I have to add our experience of December 2016.

There were three of us. As many of you are aware, my brother-in-law is disabled. We took him along on this cruise and booked a Pinnacle Suite so that we would all be comfortable and have plenty of space.

The Pinnacle Suite was the only good thing about the cruise. The room stewards were good. I would not say excellent, but they did their job, sometimes as late as 2:30 pm. I would think that being in the cabin we were in they would service us early, Alas that was not the case.

 

The service in both the Pinnacle Grill and the MDR was the worst we have ever experienced on a HAL ship. At times it was impossible to be served.

 

We found the food to be less than desirable and at times there was not a thing on the menu that appealed to any of us except the available daily items.

 

Breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill and the dinners we had there as well were awful. Service was just terrible. Speaking to the manager did little to correct the situation. Every morning we waited ad infinitum for our breakfast. When I complained, I was told that "pancakes take a long time to make." Now I have flipped plenty of pancakes in my day and know how long they take. I realize we are not the only ones ordering pancakes, but 40 minutes??? We had the same situation with eggs, French toast, etc.

One morning we were completely ignored to the point that it took 30 minutes to get someone's attention to bring us menus.

Dinner service was no better.

Others who were in suites lodged similar complaints.

 

Like Hank, one could see buckets around the ship with leaking water and no one doing anything about it.

 

This cruise was the biggest disappointment and waste of money. We could not wait to get off that ship. We go on a cruise to have a happy time. When we spend the money we do and no one is happy, that is pretty sad.

 

This is the first time in all the cruises that we have taken where we did not leave extra tips above the usual gratuities. We also thought we would probably not return to HAL.

 

I sent a letter to Mr. Ashford's office after this cruise and NEVER received the courtesy of a reply.

 

We are on the Zuiderdam in February. We are again taking my BIL. If this is not better than the last one, it will definitely be our last HAL cruise.

Terri

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Sorry to hear about Adagio. They're our "go to" entertainment every cruise after dinner and we will be on the Rotterdam for 38 days next summer. So were their performance times posted and they just weren't there? They do take a 15-minute break every hour, I'm hoping those were the times you passed by. Otherwise that's not good at all. :( We don't need a lot of entertainment, but that would be a disappointment for me.

 

 

 

We saw nothing at all going on in the Explorer's Lounge, until the last night of the cruise. Adagio was listed as playing several times each evening, but we went at the times listed and there was nothing at all going on. The last night there was a piano player and another musician playing, but I have no idea if that was Adagio or not.

 

The only "entertainment" we saw outside of the main theater was a group playing 1940s and jazz music in the Ocean Bar and a piano player at other times.

 

We never went to the 18 up nightly event with the assistant cruise director "spinning the hits", but never saw anything I would consider upbeat or fun to listen to. This may be normal for HAL or the Rotterdam. I am sure many were satisfied with what was offered, it just did not appeal to us.

 

 

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We saw nothing at all going on in the Explorer's Lounge, until the last night of the cruise. Adagio was listed as playing several times each evening, but we went at the times listed and there was nothing at all going on. The last night there was a piano player and another musician playing, but I have no idea if that was Adagio or not.

 

The only "entertainment" we saw outside of the main theater was a group playing 1940s and jazz music in the Ocean Bar and a piano player at other times.

 

We never went to the 18 up nightly event with the assistant cruise director "spinning the hits", but never saw anything I would consider upbeat or fun to listen to. This may be normal for HAL or the Rotterdam. I am sure many were satisfied with what was offered, it just did not appeal to us.

 

 

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Thank you for the reply. Not good at all about Adagio. Now I'm curious if they were sick (but this should have been noted and something else put in its place).

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Comments like these are exactly the reason why we avoid older HAL ships. They do not even make our short list. I like to gamble, albeit in a smoke free casino, but I am not willing to take a gamble on older ships that appear to have questionable maintenance standards. HAL or otherwise.

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I came within an inch of booking this ship. Different ship than I have cruised on with HAL. Pretty nice, different itinerary....Guatemala...that would have been new for me. But I read some of the comments here post dry dock. Many unfavorable comments. So I reconsidered and booked the Eurodam(again) for this coming March 25th...

 

So from the comments the staff of the Rotterdam for the most part seems EXCELLENT. MOST issues with the ship SEEM to be getting straightened out. From what I'm reading, most of the issues seem to be from lack of quality entertainment and things to do. Am I right about this?

 

I think the staff and crew are working hard against heavy odds to get this ship in shape. You can read my review on cruise critic from the Holiday sailing. Personally I would not sail the Rotterdam again myself and do wish I had changed ships prior to final pay. This is the first time in 71 sailings all lines since 1984 I have ever felt that way about a ship. That I would not sail her ever again. So I think you did the right thing.

 

George in NY

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I'm 53, cruise history- 18 Carnival, 9 Princess, 8 RCL, 1 NCL. This was my first HAL cruise.

MDR- Service very very slow, we always (every time!) would finish our salad, soup, etc, then have the dirty plate in front of us to stare at until something (maybe 30 min later) arrived. The food was usually cold, either from sitting or just was undercooked. Example- order the french onion soup and the cheese was still in crumble form, not melted.

Jeans in the MDR? That be me. I also didn't bring a suit coat. Unlike many cruisers, I don't live in FL so I had to fly and pack ten days of clothes into a suitcase weighing under 50lbs, sorry if i offended.

I'm a hang out at the pool kind of guy but both sea days were cold and outside of the test kitchen, NOTHING to do. The TV was worst of any cruise I've been on, horrible sub vhs quality, with some channels having lots of distortion and only three channels (news channels and one movie). Sorry, but I don't consider putting together jigsaw puzzles as quality entertainment.

Toilet didn't work when I awoke on day 2 , phone to CS to tell them this didn't work either.

Tea time? Held in the mdr, no music, not even piped in. They should send a stow a way to Princess and learn how they make their scones.

To me, this ship fits the cliche, for "Newly wed and nearly dead".

Maybe they don't want my age group (53 too young?).

While this cruise was cheap ($700 for OV pp), I have another HAL cruise booked on the Volendam this summer to AK, but for it what it costs, I can cruise Princess and they are superior in every area, from my experience. I'll cancel that one,give my $ to Princess.

I don't know what the average age is of a HAL cruiser, but years ago, GM noticed that the average age of a Cadillac buyer was going up and up and they were in danger of losing their base. They then focused on cars at a younger demographic. Perhaps HAL should do the same?

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I'm 53, cruise history- 18 Carnival, 9 Princess, 8 RCL, 1 NCL. This was my first HAL cruise.

MDR- Service very very slow, we always (every time!) would finish our salad, soup, etc, then have the dirty plate in front of us to stare at until something (maybe 30 min later) arrived. The food was usually cold, either from sitting or just was undercooked. Example- order the french onion soup and the cheese was still in crumble form, not melted.

Jeans in the MDR? That be me. I also didn't bring a suit coat. Unlike many cruisers, I don't live in FL so I had to fly and pack ten days of clothes into a suitcase weighing under 50lbs, sorry if i offended.

I'm a hang out at the pool kind of guy but both sea days were cold and outside of the test kitchen, NOTHING to do. The TV was worst of any cruise I've been on, horrible sub vhs quality, with some channels having lots of distortion and only three channels (news channels and one movie). Sorry, but I don't consider putting together jigsaw puzzles as quality entertainment.

Toilet didn't work when I awoke on day 2 , phone to CS to tell them this didn't work either.

Tea time? Held in the mdr, no music, not even piped in. They should send a stow a way to Princess and learn how they make their scones.

To me, this ship fits the cliche, for "Newly wed and nearly dead".

Maybe they don't want my age group (53 too young?).

While this cruise was cheap ($700 for OV pp), I have another HAL cruise booked on the Volendam this summer to AK, but for it what it costs, I can cruise Princess and they are superior in every area, from my experience. I'll cancel that one,give my $ to Princess.

I don't know what the average age is of a HAL cruiser, but years ago, GM noticed that the average age of a Cadillac buyer was going up and up and they were in danger of losing their base. They then focused on cars at a younger demographic. Perhaps HAL should do the same?

 

It is okay to have a cruise ship line that works for old people. It is a specialty niche within a large demographic. CCL CEO admitted Princess has more of a "California vibe", and HAL is more "midwestern". This is okay. But you did make a poor choice for yourself. Just as we would if we had chosen Princess. Not sure why anyone wants to put down a whole cruise line, particularly one with such high loyalty ratings as HAL.

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I don't know where "loyalty ratings" come from, but things like busted toilet, cold food, slow service, no entertainment have nothing to do with a "California or midwestern vibe", they are merely indicators of a poor cruise.

Maybe there are loyal HAL cruisers that enjoy cold food and no entertainment.

Did I make a poor choice? I guess I did. It was ill informed. I assumed that the ship, coming out of drydock, would be fixed up. I was wrong. By the time people noted that it was still a leaky rust bucket, I couldn't get my money back. No one informed me (or the others on this thread) that entertainment would be non existent, mdr would be slow,that I'd have plumbing problems, that my room on full max would barely be warm enough for my wife. I also was not told that if I made Grill reservations online, that they would be lost and I'd be sent back. Or that after spending $200pp on an excursion to Chintza Itsa, the only choice for our meal would be ham (I guess I'm the only one in the world that doesn't eat pork?).

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It sounds like the Rotterdam cruise had more of a broken down, leaky, poor service vibe that it did any other type of vibe. Not Californian, not mid western or any other type of vibe other than sorry we booked this tub vibe.

 

We are not loyal to any cruise line hence we do not make excuses or gloss over these conditions. Rather, we vote with our feet and with our wallets.

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We are not loyal to any cruise line hence we do not make excuses or gloss over these conditions. Rather, we vote with our feet and with our wallets.

 

 

I am like you and choose the cruise based on itinerary and price before cruise line. We chose the Rotterdam for the itinerary and it was our first HAL cruise. We were disappointed in the quality of the food, entertainment and service compared to other lines, especially since people rave about HAL. I am starting to wonder if the die hard HAL cruisers never cruise on another line and therefore have nothing to compare it to?

 

 

 

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I really wished the recent reviews of Rotterdam were more positive. HAL food has been awesome in my experience. Love smaller ships, but so many negative reviews of this ship would chase the majority of prospective cruisers away. I am open minded as older ships are my passion as they offer a smaller passenger capacity on ships without gimmicks. I am 51 now, but a ship that gets such poor reviews for being boring from reviewers quite older than me is a red flag to me. I could deal with some leaky pipes, but the lack of any effort to offer entertainment to those under 70 or so is disturbing.

 

 

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You want positive? The quality of the beef was good in the mdr. The hot dogs at the dive in were good. I was hoping that the ship's lack of entertainment would be less noticeable with four port stops but it wasn't. The casino looked about twice as big as the ones we have in our supermarkets.

If HAL was so darn popular, then I would expect it to cost more to sail them than CCL and others. Yet, that is not the case. The cheapest cruises over the holidays was HAL. And do keep in mind that cabin prices are determined by the market. Right now, for the month of July, the cheapest AK cruise is HAL.

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I am like you and choose the cruise based on itinerary and price before cruise line. We chose the Rotterdam for the itinerary and it was our first HAL cruise. We were disappointed in the quality of the food, entertainment and service compared to other lines, especially since people rave about HAL. I am starting to wonder if the die hard HAL cruisers never cruise on another line and therefore have nothing to compare it to?

 

 

 

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For the record, we have cruised Crystal several times which is our comparison for our nearly 500 day contentment with HAL.

For the record too, we also ignore the occasional buckets out on the Rotterdam since it appears to have something to do with outdoor humidity and the glass roof over the Lido. It is occasional and we also just step around them.

 

We also do not cruise to be wined, dined and entertained. We cruise to travel and explore at the best price and value - HAL wins on that criteria every time. Yes, we miss the former emphsis on enrichment. Yes, we don't like the recent monetization of floor space and crew beds. Yes, we do like the greater variety of dining offerings.

 

And yes, we continue to value the ships of smiles we continue to find on HAL ships. However can or should HAL compete with other cruise lines on the shorter, routine itineraries - probably not and if it takes lower prices to keep their cabins full, then this is what they should be doing. We don't cruise HAL for routine - we cruise HAL for where it takes us off the beaten path.

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