I sailed on the Rotterdam
in July of 1977 - Round trip cruise from NYC to the Caribbean. Was my first real "cruise" - my prior experience on passenger vessels has been on trans Atlantic crossings (eastbound and westbound respectively on the S.S. France
of the French line in 1965 and T.N Michelangelo
of the Italian Line in 1966).
My memories of the Rotterdam
are general - comfortable ship that clearly had outdoor deck spaces designed for Atlantic crossings, not warm weather cruising (frankly, the Michelangelo
had better pools and lido areas). But there was certainly a different ambience on the Dutch vessel - more relaxed and casual, which was the real differentiator from the Atlantic crossing experience.
I also distinctly recall that seas on the return leg while off the Carolinas were very
rough; perhaps we skimmed the edge of an incoming or outgoing tropical system? Whatever, the Rotterdam
had no problem navigating through them.
And just to give you the proper nostalgia/time warp feel, here's photo I found of a family on formal night on the Rotterdam
during this period (shot is from sometime in 1976). What Daughter and Junior are wearing came straight out of the Partridge Family....