ShipsHolland AmericaFirst Impressions of Holland America Line's Newest Cruise Ship Rotterdam

First Impressions of Holland America Line’s Newest Cruise Ship Rotterdam

I am currently on a five night sailing on Holland America Line’s newest cruise ship Rotterdam. It’s the first sailing for the cruise ship from the U.S. and the cruise includes two days at the cruise line’s private island in the Bahamas, Half Moon Cay.

After spending a few days on board this brand new cruise ship, here are my first impressions of Rotterdam. I will be posting a full review after I get back from my cruise so stay tuned for that.

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Holland America Line has made great improvements to check-in, embarkation, and the muster drill. It was an extremely easy process using the cruise line’s Navigator App on my phone.

Embarkation took 15-20 minutes max from the time the taxi dropped me off at the port until I was walking on the ship.  I couldn’t be happier with their new process.

The muster drill has also completely been revamped. All you have to do is to go to your muster station after boarding and check in.  You then watch the safety video on the TV in your stateroom before the ship leaves port and that is it. It is 1,000 times better than it was before.

The ship is only sailing with 954 passengers for this first cruise out of Port Everglades so it never feels crowded.  Cruises after this will sail at 70% capacity I was told.

The crew on board the ship have been incredible so far. You can tell they are excited about seeing passengers again and the service has been spot on so far. It’s like they haven’t missed a beat, it’s really impressive.

My balcony cabin is on deck 6 midship.  The bathroom is one of the best features in the room as it’s not only roomy, but the shower is awesome with really good water pressure.  Something you don’t often get on a cruise ship.

The balcony is also a good size and overall it’s a great cabin to cruise in. There are plenty of power outlets and the bed is extremely comfortable.

One of the things that has impressed me for the few days on board is the wide variety of entertainment that is offered on the ship.  When it comes to music, there is everything from classical to rock to blues to dueling pianos.  There really is something for everyone.

There is also two different comedians that I’ve seen so far, something that wasn’t on my only other Holland America cruise.  There are also production shows in the main theater that have screens that wrap around 270 degrees of the room.  I will have more about this in my full review after I am able to attend a few shows.

The food and restaurants have been fantastic so far. I will go into more detail on the specialty restaurants in my full review but everything has been delicious. In the buffet, the crew plates the food for you and nothing is self serve.

I’ve been really happy with the WiFi so far, both on my phone and on my laptop. While it’s not great for streaming, it’s fast enough to do work on my laptop without any noticeable page loading waiting times.

Well I’m going to go and explore more of the ship.  You can follow along on my cruise on Cruise Fever’s social media accounts on Twitter and Instagram (both @CruiseFever).

Note: I am a guest of Holland America Line on this sailing but views and opinions in this article are 100% my own.

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Ben Souza
Ben Souza
Ben is a world traveler who has visited 40+ countries, taken over 70 cruises. He is one of USA TODAY's experts for their 10Best Readers' Choice Awards. His writings have appeared and been cited in various media outlets such as Yahoo News, MSN, NPR, CNN, Fox, and ABC News. Ben currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio. Follow Ben on Instagram. Visit Ben Souza on Linkedin. You may email Ben at [email protected].
ShipsHolland AmericaFirst Impressions of Holland America Line's Newest Cruise Ship Rotterdam

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