Panama Canal transit in January, just the time to be out of the Northeast. Have been on Rotterdam multiple times. Enjoy the size of ship, the fact that it still has an Explorations Cafe and full Promenade deck, making it very comfortable, especially on sea days. Needs some additional activities and entertainment, especially for sea days. The Billboard On Board was great, just not enough seating. Food is very good, although MDR menus seemed disjointed. If you don’t have fixed seating, it’s a long wait for open dining availability. We were lucky to be able to change after 2 nights. Lunch in Pinnacle excellent.
Lido, MDR staff uniformly helpful and attentive. Lido items repetitive, but satisfying, although seemed to be short of fresh berries after first week.
Ship is older, needing some cosmetic updating. Rust visible outside. Fire alarm sounded first evening, but small fire was contained without impact on guests. High winds and seas in Caribbean resulted in cancellation of Aruba port call. No much anyone can do about that.
As always, ships excursions are expensive, but well organized. Felt more comfortable using them this trip due to unfamiliarity with ports in Guatemala and Nicaragua etc. Canal was a bucket list item, so glad we did this trip. If you’ve been on HAL ships of this class, you’ll know what to expect.
Biggest recommendation...add more activities and showings. Often unable to attend shows due to lack of seats.
Issues on day 1. Cabin very cold and thermostat had no impact. Multiple calls to front desk for hours, and then finally, a visit and confirmation that it was 61 degrees. Problem then fixed. Rube Goldberg, but effective. Shower need to be re-cleaned as items from prior guests still there when we arrived. Otherwise plenty of storage, good service from steward.