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

We join the Rotterdam one day after the official start of her much-heralded North Sea Jazz Cruise. Chartered by Jazz Cruises LLC to coincide with the city of Rotterdam's annual North Sea Jazz Festival, this is a cruise with a twist. For once, there are no formal evenings. And there is none of the regular entertainment. Instead, it's jazz around the clock!  

Hosted by personable jazz legend Marcus Miller, the lineup for this cruise reads like a who's who in jazz land with name entertainers like Herbie Hancock, Kirk Whalum and James Carter. There's jazz at breakfast, gospel concerts mid-morning, lunchtime Q&A sessions with the stars, evening performances and late night 'disco' (jazzy, naturally!) around the pool.

Standard bathroom with tub

The classic, whimsically decorated Rotterdam seems an odd choice for a casual jazz cruise at first, but it soon turns out the organizers couldn't have chosen a better ship. Large, but not too large, Rotterdam carries 1,318 passengers in spacious surroundings. Our stateroom (2635) is a pleasant 'home away from home' with Holland America's new excellent

bedding, huge storage space and a large bathroom with a tub (or actually, three-quarters of a tub). One slight irritation is the condensation in the double glazing that blocks part of the view from our stateroom.

The heart of Rotterdam is the three-deck high Atrium, dominated by a replica of a 17th century Flemish clock tower, a gigantic gilded object that houses 14 clocks and is topped by a statue of Hercules carrying a globe. At the base of the clock tower, the Front Office handles all your questions 24/7. The friendly Philippine staff have the not so enviable task of handling all personal callers and deal with all phone calls, which sometimes results that they pick up the phone and start talking to another guest while they were actually helping you out. 


Atrium lobby on Upper Promenade Deck
Front Office
One of three main stairwells
Stateroom corridor
Stateroom 2635

Atrium and Hercules

The base of the clock tower
The in-your-face clock tower with 40 clocks
Elevator Lobby
Dutch-inspired art collection
Vintage Holland America posters on stairwell landing
Elemis toiletries in the bathroom


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

First published on August 11, 2007

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