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Rotterdam Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
489 Reviews

Port changes due to maintenance issues, poor communication, meeting with Captain

Rotterdam Cruise Review by E Bristow

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2019
  • Destination: the Baltic Sea

Note, this May 25, 2019 HA Rotterdam sailing (May 25 to June 8, 2019), was a 14 day Norway cruise, not 21 days.

We booked this to see the fjords, scenery, certain tours, and go beyond the Arctic Circle to the most northerly point in Europe.

There were two key port downgrades due to tender maintenance issues...completely within HA control, and either an example of poor maintenance or an inadequate PM (Preventative Maintenance) Program. Neither of the substitute ports (Skjolden or Hellesylt) offered anything like the originally planned excursions that Flam and Geiranger offered. Flam and Geiranger were prime ports due to their excursions, and losing these ports was a major disappointment, all within HA control.

There was very poor communications issues with port changes. Nothing when checking in, nothing from the room steward when handed the excursion tickets, about the missing ports / excursions. We had to call Guest Services as to why we were missing excursion tickets, and the communication was matter of fact that due to tender issues, had to change the two ports...lack of empathy or apology.

The Captain's approach to dealing with the issue was very negative. I met with the Captain on behalf of a group of 25 Cruise Critics members re the port changes, expressing disappointment and asking for fare reduction, and instead of empathy, the Captain said that he would not tolerate any potential growing unrest, and that if the Cruise Critic group met again, that under Maritime Law I would be put off the ship at the next port. The Cruise Critic group was taking no unrest actions. The Captain's approach was an unbelievably negative experience.

Other ship issues:

Safety concerns associated with the drill and lifeboat changes / positions. When everyone was lined up at their life boat position, there was only about a metre of space to the railing, with people trying to walk by. If everyone was wearing their bulky life jackets, there would have been no space. We view that the life boat drill without wearing life jackets is not realistic and is an inadequate drill.

Frequent toilet not flushing issues.

Frequent Sat TV not working.

General ship condition - rust, some cracked windows.

No laundry room, with excuse of 'hygiene'. If that is real, then every laundry mat in the world should close. We suspect that the real reason is that the washers and dryers break and need regular maintenance.

Food and food service was very good. Room steward service was very good.

We outlined these issues to the HA President, and requested certain financial consideration. While HA indicated that they would follow-up on the issues that we raised, HA only offered a dinner at the Pinnacle Grill, on a next cruise...wholly inadequate.

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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite balcony cabin, mid ship on the 6th level.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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E Bristow
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