Five Things to Know About Holland America's Rotterdam Cruise Ship
Best for: Passengers looking for sophisticated dining and entertainment on a smaller ship and without a sky-high price tag
Sails: The Caribbean, the Mediterranean, New England and Canada, Northern Europe
At a Glance: Built in 2010, this Holland America ship has a more intimate feel than some of the line’s bigger vessels, which seems to suit its passengers just fine. Still, it manages to deliver the same crowd-pleasing restaurants, classic vibe, and adult-centered activities you’d find elsewhere on the line.
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Drinks Are At BB King’s
There’s live music, and then there’s live music. After dinner, passengers only have to walk a few feet to take in the B.B. King's All Stars in the Crow’s Nest, the perfect spot to sit down, sip cocktails, and listen to Motown and jazz. Want to work off that porterhouse? There’s a dance floor for that.
The Staterooms Are Spacious
Cabins on the ship feel larger than they are thanks to their smart floor plans. They range from 140 square feet for the smallest ocean-view cabin to 1,127 square feet for a Pinnacle Suite, which features a living and dining room, Bose sound system, sofa bed, and a private balcony. (Neptune and Pinnacle suite guests get exclusive use of the Neptune Lounge, as well as a 24-hour concierge service.) If you want to be closer to your morning walk, consider booking one of the Lanai Suites—they open directly onto the Promenade Deck.
The Pools Are Cool
The main Lido Pool sits under a retractable roof, so you can take a dip no matter what the weather is like. But the best place to catch some rays may be The Retreat, a chic area out on the aft side of the ship, where sleek lounge chairs sit in inches-deep water just a few steps away from a bar, pizza joint, and huge movie screen.
The Restaurants Impress
There are multiple restaurants on board, ensuring that passengers will never get bored with their options. The dining room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; choose between two set seating times, or simply walk in and ask for a table whenever you wish. But it’s in the for-fee restaurants, like Pinnacle Grill steakhouse and Italian nook Canaletto, where the cuisine really shines. Tip: try to score reservations on a night when Le Cirque takes over Pinnacle Grill, dishing up classic upscale fare like chateaubriand or rack of Colorado lamb.
The Cooking Classes Are Worth It
The ship’s Culinary Arts Center hosts demos and hands-on workshops. Soon, all Culinary Arts Centers fleetwide will be run by America’s Test Kitchen. Sign up to learn how to make homemade pasta, pick up some new cake decorating techniques, and master your brunch game with a class on eggs.