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Rotterdam - Holland America Line - cruise ship review and photos.

It is hard to properly translate the Dutch word 'gezelligheid' into English; it is best described as the kind of cozy togetherness that is so unique to the Dutch culture. And no better place to experience a couple of 'gezellige' hours than in Rotterdam's well-designed bars and lounges.

Queen's Lounge staircase, connecting the two levels of this showroom

You have morning people and you have evening people. With cruise ships, it's really no different. Some ships look their best during the day, when public rooms bathe in natural light. Other ships are definitely evening ships and Rotterdam is one of them. Thanks to ingenious lighting, the ship takes on a different character at night. Suddenly, all the colors

and materials that seemed so odd during the day fall into place and Rotterdam becomes one big living room. During the many stellar jazz performances the two-deck high Queen's Room is packed, but sightlines remain remarkably good. Next door, the party continues in the wonderful Ocean Bar, probably my most favorite room on board. During jam sessions late at night, this room is the hive of activity with an upbeat, joyous atmosphere that I haven't experienced very often on a cruise ship.

Photo of the Rotterdam of 1959

Further aft, the Casino is easily accessible and quite popular during our cruise. With many evenings in port, the shops remain closed most of the time and in all honesty, they are mostly deserted by the time they do open. A zigzag walkway connects several other public rooms on Upper Promenade Deck. There's a fairly non-descript Sports Bar (a popular hangout for the cigarette

aficionados) and the stunningly beautiful, circular Ambassador Lounge with the tiny adjacent Monkey Bar. On regular cruises, the Ambassador Lounge is home to the ship's pianist. On our cruise, the poor man really tries but it completely outplayed by the jazz moguls. Last but not least, the Explorers Lounge further aft is very inviting and looks posh but has no bar and is all but deserted at night.  

Queen's Lounge

Queen's Lounge
Lobby outside Queen's Lounge
Ocean Bar
Ocean Bar
Casino
Explorer's Lounge
Explorer's Lounge

Queen's Lounge

Shopping Arcade
Sports Bar
Ambassador Lounge
Ambassador Lounge
Entering the Explorer's Lounge
Explorer's Lounge
Explorer's Lounge

 

Photos and text: 2007 Bart de Boer - www.ShipParade.com

First published on August 11, 2007

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