MS Rotterdam Cruise Review 2024 [Podcast]

In this podcast episode, Angie recounts her nine-night Caribbean cruise on Holland America’s Rotterdam. She details her journey from Seattle to Florida, touching upon pre-cruise preparations and the efficient embarkation process, which utilized facial recognition technology.

Angie describes her interior stateroom and dining experiences, from the buffet to specialty restaurants. She also shares her enjoyment of the onboard entertainment, including the BB King Blues Club and steelpan performances.

Despite a crowded pool area and underused outdoor movie screen, Angie’s review paints a picture of a delightful cruise getaway.

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rotterdam holland america
Rotterdam (Photo courtesy of Holland America Line)
Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or where you listen to your favorite podcast.


  • Intro (00:01:17) Angie’s recent cruise experience on Holland America’s Rotterdam.
  • Pre-cruise Planning (00:01:49) Angie’s decision to take the nine-night cruise and pre-cruise arrangements.
  • Embarkation Process (00:03:28) Angie’s smooth embarkation experience and wait time.
  • Boarding and Check-in Process (00:04:26) Angie’s experience with online check-in and facial recognition at the terminal.
  • First Impressions of Rotterdam (00:05:46) Angie’s positive first impressions of the ship’s design and artwork.
  • Dining Experience at Lido Marketplace (00:09:24) Angie’s review of the buffet, including the serving system and variety of food.
  • Specialty Dining and Main Dining Room (00:12:26) Angie’s experiences with the main dining room, including the formal dining process and food quality.
  • Entertainment and Activities (00:15:33) Angie’s review of onboard entertainment, including the absence of classical music and the steel pan band.
  • Pool and Crowds (00:18:17) Angie’s observations of crowded pool areas and chair hogging on the ship.
  • The Ocean Bar and Pool Area (00:19:59) Discussion about the layout and amenities of the Ocean Bar and the pool area on the ship, including the crowdedness and smoking sections.
  • Casino and Smoky Areas (00:20:51) Description of the smoky situation in the casino and surrounding areas, including the impact on the cabins and elevators.
  • Aruba Port of Call (00:22:33) Details about the activities and experiences during the port stop in Aruba, including visiting Eagle Beach and a street art tour in San Nicolas.
  • Curacao Port of Call (00:25:51) Discussion about the visit to Mambo Beach, exploring the town, and considerations for future visits to Curacao.
  • Bonaire Snorkeling (00:27:07) Description of the snorkeling experience in Bonaire, including the tour, vessel, and the unspoiled nature of the location.
  • Half Moon Cay (00:28:05) Overview of the visit to Half Moon Cay, including the beach experience, availability of clamshells, and dining options.
  • Departure Process and Tips (00:29:37) Insights on the departure process and tips for first-time cruisers on the Rotterdam or a similar itinerary.
  • Overall Review of the Rotterdam (00:32:31) Final thoughts on the Rotterdam, including positive aspects, limitations, and considerations for future cruises.

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