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Stephan 01-17-2006 07:01 AM

Hello everbody!
We are sailing with the Rotterdam on our honeymoon trip from Rio to Lissabon starting on April 1st for 14nights(verandah deck) I guess we are quite young: my wife is 22 and I am 28 years old. It is the first cruise for my wife and my 4th - but the first with HAL.

I have some questions and hope that somebody of the community can help us:

1) I learned different things about the quality of the food and cabins: Is it sometimes not so good as promised? What about the handmade chocolates in explorers lounge?

2)Does some problems arise if I bring a bottle of water or wine aboard when comeing back from a trip?

3) Can somebody recommend a specific cabin to us, which is especially quite and offers a fantastic view from our verandah?

4) Does somebody knows about the ports of Recife, Salvador, and the Cap Verde(Mindelo, Praia), as well as Cadis about their location and if it is possible to do a trip by ourown without a guided tour??

I really apreciate any information or tips&tricks concerning my questions!
Possibly I will have some more questions and bringing them up here into the forum.

Stephan ;-)

Karen Knowlton 01-17-2006 01:51 PM

Welcome to Cruise-chat, Stephan, and congratulations on your upcoming honeymoon! For newlyweds you are not all that young, but you will probably find yourselves among the younger passengers on a cruise from South America to Europe. That's ok - everybody will probably want to "adopt" you!

I don't know what you have been promised as far as the cabin and the food go, but some people find that their expectations are somewhat different than what they experience on a cruise. If you go with the attitude that you are going to enjoy yourselves, and overlook whatever details might not be quite perfect, you are sure to have a good time.

No one can promise a "quiet" cabin, as there is no control over what the neighbors will be like. However, I think it's a great idea for you to be looking at a verandah cabin. If you can, since it's a transatlantic sailing, you might want to consider booking a cabin that is amidships - in other words, about halfway between the front and back of the ship - as you are likely to feel less motion there. I would definitely recommend that you avoid booking a cabin toward the bow, as that's where most sea motion is felt. As long as you do not book one with an "obstructed view," you will have a good view from virtually any verandah cabin.

Unless you are into a specific brand of bottled water, there's no reason to bring one on board, as the water onboard is probably better than most onshore. Besides, bottled water is available for sale onboard ship; like all onboard purchases it will be charged to your shipboard account,which you will establish when you first board at the start of your cruise. Be sure to bring a valid credit card for that purpose.

Stephan 01-18-2006 03:08 AM

Hi Karen,

thank you for welcoming me on this great web-site and your detailed answer!
We already made the reservation - but not for a specific cabin-no. - it is an guarantee cabin cat. (verandah-deck). Thats why I asked for any information concerning "a good or quiet" cabin and therefor I can ask for at the check-in.
Well, we will try to get a cabin mid-ship or at the rear part to have a smooth ride!!

Cruise Fanatic 01-18-2006 06:47 AM

When you book in a guarantee cabin you normally will know when you get your documents what cabin you have been assigned. Now days probably 99% of the time the ship is full, and you would not be able to change at the pier.

Stephan 01-19-2006 04:12 AM

Thanks, that is a new information for me - we will see what will happen. Tomorrow I have to pay the rest amount of the cruise and I do expect to receive the docīs shortly thereafter.
If somebody is interessted about the Rotterdam or HAL I will write a review after the cruise.

Stephan 01-31-2006 03:23 AM

Good Morning everybody,

does anybody of you know about the ports of Salvador de Bahia and Recife in Brasil?
Is it possible to go by ourselfes into downtown of Salvador and/or Recife or is it better to book an excursion by HAL? Is the port far away from each downtown?

Scottish Cruiser 03-04-2006 10:32 PM

We were on the Rotterdam in the Med in October. A nice ship with good cabins. We found it very quiet,as we did on another HAL ship in 2004. I am pretty sure you will be at the lower end of the age scale, particularly as it is a Transatlantic cruise.

Food we found very good, but everyone's taste is different. Don't be afraid to order two main courses if you find one is not enough!

Room service we found to be excellent and does not cost any more.

Take note of a previous post re:guarantees. It is not a good way to go if you want a particular cabin. It is not like an hotel with a different clientele every night. Once you have your cabin, that's it. People do not get off between stops!

Have a great trip and honeymoon.

MikeH 02-22-2007 07:45 AM

We have done 6 HAL cruises including 1 on the Rotterdam last year - it was so god that we're repeating it this year.
We have booked "guaranteed" cabins 3 times and on each occasion no cabin was allocated until check in at the port - and there was no option to change it. "Guaranteed" is slightly cheaper and you MAY get an upgrade (we never have) but you have to accept what they allocate providing it's at least the grade you booked.

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