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Rotterdam Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
465 reviews
4 Awards

Like an old folks’ retirement home

Review for Rotterdam to Europe
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6-10 Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Nov 2015
Cabin: Large Ocean-View Stateroom

The most predominate issue to think about is that the passenger average age is more than 55 on Holland America cruises. But more precisely, on this cruise it seemed like just about everyone was over 60. We think that was because of the time of year – late November. The ship is geared to the pace of the old and decrepit, with few on-board activities that would appeal to any younger than 50. For instance, the theater performances highlights were performers of songs from Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman, and Edith Pilaf. However, all were excellent.

A broader problem arises from being on being on board with these old folk, sleeping and snoring on the lounge chairs in the atrium, clogging up the halls with walkers, and grouchy attitudes. Feels like being in an old folks’ home. However, there were many fine folk from American, Canada and Holland that were friendly and interesting to talk with. We met a few that were world travelers as well, and some that were on the ship for months at a time!

The good:

Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom

Cabin EE

Large - at little large than most others of the same category - and partially obstructed by a stair well. However, that was expected and not an issue. But the large 2 pane window had one pane fogged and that limited the view and amount of natural light that would enter the room. Room is also aft facing, about as far aft as you can get, so you pick up some extra noise from the propellers just below, notably when docking in the morning. Have to get up anyway though.

It's a nice spot on the ship, somewhat isolated with a quiet area just outside. I would definitely book the room again if the window was replaced, as they promised it would be.

Port Reviews

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Not much to do here but a good lunch or dinner can be obtained at the Soro Maria, right near the entrance to the port.

Cartagena (Spain)

Nice town to walk around in. Have to shuttle in from the ship though.


Always lovely and you'll always want to come back. Spend some time in the garden running along the peripheral as you walk into town -- an easy 1 KM walk from the port.


Best to stay on board, or take an excursion.


Cadiz is lovely and you can take a good 5 or 6 KM walk around the downtown area, and then into the main square - and then a short walk back to the ship. Visit the PARQUE GENOVES.

Porto (Leixoes)

Eat there, the food is fantastic. Use your nose. Slightly expensive seafood. Walk and take trams. Mark spots for your return.

La Coruna

Not much here, but an easy walk gets you around. There's a nice park close to the port, to your left as you approach the town.


Eat here, the food is fantastic. Use your nose. Walk and take trams, mark spots for your return trip. We had 2 days, you could easily spend 4 or 5.

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