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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
S Campbell

Age: 60


Number of Cruises: 12

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Rotterdam

Sailing Date: 2009-10-17

Itinerary: Eastern Mediterranean

This cruise came about after many years of planning my "ideal" trip and this itinerary fit beautifully. The ship, the staff and the ports of call did not disappoint. There were a few small glitches which were taken care of professionally and equitably.

The food was great! I chose to eat most meals in the Lido, as I've done a lot of formal dining and enjoyed the more relaxed atmosphere and faster (if you chose) dining experience. Also, most days there were fairly long tours, so by dinner time I was happy to relax in the more informal atmosphere. The few times I did go to the dining room, I found the service to be a bit slow and the food wasn't any better than what was in the Lido.

Also, some of the staff in Lido got to know what I would like to have and would be preparing it for me while I was in the short line.

The room stewards popped in to introduce themselves shortly after embarkation. They were very personable and eager to help in any way. The room was kept spotlessly clean daily yet somehow this was done when I wasn't in the cabin. The stateroom itself was quite spacious and very quiet. The mattress on the bed deserves a special mention-incredibly comfortable!

There was a wide variety of on-board activities, many of which I missed because I chose to spend a lot of time on excursions. However, I did take in a few cooking classes, some yoga classes, several first-rate movies, the odd afternoon tea, a tour of the kitchen and enjoyed the library often. Talking to others, I heard how they had really enjoyed many of the other activities.

There was a glitch with the internet one night and I was charged for time I didn't use. However, I mentioned this to the Internet Supervisor and I was given a credit for that time. Can't get better than that!

The informal talks given by the captain and first officers were most enjoyable-you almost felt like you were on a first name basis with them all!

The excursions were wonderful! The system for moving people on and off the ship is stream-lined and comfortable. The buses were modern and very comfortable. Our guides were all well-informed, some were more personable than others but that is to be expected. However, I wasn't disappointed with any of the tours and what we were able to see. The shore excursion staff bent over backwards to make sure that all went well; They must have had some long, trying days yet were always available and ready to help with a big smile.

My only complaint is that we saw so much, I need to do it again to take it all in! Seriously, after having planned to see this part of the world for so long, I was prepared to be disappointed along the way, but it just didn't happen.

All in all it was a wonderful experience. The ship was clean (there was always crew busy cleaning different areas), the crew were all cheerful and ready to help. All travel ashore was done safely and speedily to remarkably interesting destinations. This cruise was more than just a vacation-it was an adventure of expanding horizons, with the bonus of my own bed at the end of each full day!

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