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Old November 8th, 2017, 05:32 PM
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Default First time on HA

Veterans of many cruises. First time on HA. Our favs are Celebrity and Cunard. Do people still dress for dinner? We will cruise on the Rotterdam, do they have self operated laundry on board? Thanks Jimbo
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Old November 8th, 2017, 06:32 PM
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We've been on Holland America many times, including the Rotterdam. It's actually one of our all-time favorite ships. Reminded us of classic cruise ships. Relatively small by today's standards, which makes it a more intimate experience. Lots of wood and brass. And yes, they do have launderettes onboard.

We've also been on Celebrity many times and while we think the food on Celebrity is it's just a small touch nicer than Holland America, they are otherwise very comparable in quality. We tend to sail more on HAL only because the prices are usually better than Celebrity, so we can do more cruises for the money.

As for dressing for dinner, like most cruise lines, with the exception of Cunard and a few others, they have relaxed their dress code policies. You'll still see men in tuxedos and suits, but it's not unusual to see men in just a shirt and tie or jacket and no tie.

Personally, I've gotten so I almost wear just a shirt and tie, and forego the jacket. For one reason, I usually end up taking off my jacket right after sitting down, because I tend to get uncomfortably warm. The other reason is that if I'm flying, I have to be concerned about how much weight I'm carrying in one suitcase.

So, dressing for dinner on formal night has become less than what it use to be. As for all other nights, golf shirt or Oxford shirt is perfectly acceptable.

But if you like Celebrity, you'll like Holland. Enjoy the wonderful Rotterdam and let us know about your experience when you get back.

Hope this helps.

Pete
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Old January 27th, 2018, 03:50 PM
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We were disappointed with HAL. The food was good, the service was excellent. There is no such thing as a bad cruise.
I really didn't like the way the ship is laid out. The roof closed over the pool. Good for bad weather, but makes for a stuffy too much chlorine in the air experience. Even when the roof is open, it doesn't open much. There are no descent open areas up above the pool deck. One never gets that feeling of being on the open seas. There is only one hot tub left near the pool. People use it to bathe their children. The open area at the stern of the ship was nice, but always crowded. The entertainment was less than spectacular.
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Old January 27th, 2018, 05:47 PM
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Yep, that's the Rotterdam. Smaller older ship that some people love, while others will hate it. If you're use to the larger newer ships, I can see where you'd be disappointed with this ship, especially because they don't have all the amenities and open spaces of the larger ships. But if you prefer a smaller more classic ship, I think this is one of the nicest ones. We actually found the layout to be fine, albeit it more compact, but we appreciated all the wood and brass that you really don't see on the newer ships.

As you said, there's really not a bad cruise and it's alot of fun trying different ships and cruise lines while finding the one you like the most.

Pete
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Old February 7th, 2018, 11:49 PM
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I am currently on Westerdam. My first time on HA and without doubt my last. The food is average at best. The knee jerk reaction to most requests is initially a NO. Service in Caneletto tonight was truly dreadful and on top of that they forgot part of our order. When we asked for ice in our water you would have thought we had requested jewels. The people at the next table got fed up waiting to be offered dessert and left. In addition to this I found dirty slippers in my stateroom on embarkation, bed sheets that didnt fit, wrong breakfast menus, wrong breakfast for that matter. Many of the bars do not have the ingredients for basic cocktails. Entertainment is directed entirely to those over 75. Come 10pm the ship is dead. I have cruised with various lines and HA is by far the most disappointing. If HA think they are a competitor to the likes of Celebrity they should think again. They are not in the same league. ZBD
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