The MS Rotterdam is the sixth ship to bear its name and has been the flagship of the Holland America Line since 1997. In its design, it has the classic look of earlier cruise ships, setting it apart from today’s megaships, although it excels in performance, comfort and amenities, with spacious cabins and public areas, stylish dining rooms and a cruising speed of 25 knots.
The standard-sized staterooms are some of the most generous to be found on any cruise ship, and all are fitted out for style and comfort with cotton bed sheets, Egyptian cotton towels and complementary bath products, flat screen TV and DVD. The lower promenade deck is directly accessible from the Lanai staterooms, while the Deluxe Neptune Suites and the penthouse Pinnacle Suites have private verandahs and include access to the Neptune Lounge, where guests can relax and socialize with personal service provided by a concierge. These suites also have large sitting rooms and dressing rooms, and guests can enjoy the luxury extras of priority boarding at ports of call, priority dining and reservations, and an invitation to the officers’ cocktail party.
The public rooms have an opulence and elegance you would expect from the finest of classic cruise ships, and include an art gallery, casino and fitness centre. Relax in the contemporary ambience of the Crow’s Nest lounge and bar, the more traditionally styled Explorer’s Lounge, visit the cinema for a different film each day, or see a cabaret show in the Showroom at Sea.
The MS Rotterdam offers an excellent choice of dining experiences in five different restaurants, all with impeccable standards of service. The La Fontaine is the largest dining room on the ship, with an elegantly curving mezzanine floor. The five-course menu offers a wide choice of continental cuisines and vegetarian or low-carb dishes.
The Pinnacle Grill offers reservation-only dining, featuring a continental style steakhouse menu. For one night per cruise, the Pinnacle is transformed into the ‘Taste of De Librije’, which showcases the Michelin Star cuisine of Dutch chef, Jonnie Boer.
The Lido Restaurant is a place to relax for any meal of the day, with a menu featuring a variety of dishes cooked to order. In the evenings it becomes a bistro that includes a self-service stand. One section of the Lido transforms into the Caneletto Restaurant, the ideal setting for an intimate evening with discreet personal service and an Italian menu featuring a chef’s selection of delicious antipasti.
There is a wealth of things to do and enjoy and to fill your days on the ship, from sports, yoga and aerobics to cooking or computer classes. You can dance to a live band in the Ocean Bar, play poker, roulette or blackjack in the casino, or join a sing-along with the resident Piano Man in the Martini Bar. At night, the Crow’s Nest turns into a chic nightclub, with late night entertainment including karaoke, the Super Star Singing Competition and DJs playing into the small hours. The Showroom at Sea features a programme of high quality productions with Broadway-experienced singers and dancers. The Queen’s Lounge also features shows by talented dancers, singers, comedians, illusionists and other variety acts.
Mix is the MS Rotterdam’s popular three-in-one bar area. This includes Spirits & Ales, perfect for the lover of single malts and microbrews, where you can also get a live sports update; Martinis, for your favourite cocktails; and Champagne, for upmarket relaxation and celebrations.
The activities programme is organised into four classifications. Explorations, led by the ship’s Travel Guide, includes presentations on different aspects of the various destinations; Culinary Arts includes cooking demonstrations, classes on wine tasting and entertaining, and cooking classes led by one of the ship’s chefs; the Microsoft Digital Workshop covers basic computing, blogging, photo-editing and web page design; and Mind-Body-Spirit includes fitness classes and lectures on various allied subjects. Club HAL® has supervised activities for children aged 3 to 12, and The Loft is a club exclusively for teenagers, a place for them to hang out and socialise away from adults.