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Holland America Line's Rotterdam: What's it like inside? We go onboard to find out

Author: Harriet Mallinson

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Holland America Line recently celebrated the maiden voyage of its brand new Pinnacle Class cruise ship Rotterdam. World of Cruising stepped aboard to see it for ourselves.

Rotterdam is the seventh Holland America Line ship to bear the historic name - the very first sailed from the Netherlands to New York in 1872 and led to the founding of the famous cruise line.

Well over a hundred years later, this Rotterdam is every bit the modern ship but still just as exciting.

The ship carries 2,668 guests, measures 99,500 tons and offers five-star high quality.

It boasts classic Holland America Line (HAL) favourites such as the 270-degree surround screen World Stage, Rudi’s Sel de Mer and Grand Dutch Café.

Rotterdam also celebrates live music with an exclusive collection of world-class performances each night - from Lincoln Center Stage and B.B. King’s Blues Club to Rolling Stone Rock Room and Billboard Onboard.

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World of Cruising visited the ship while it was docked in Portland, Dorset, ahead of its voyage over to Miami to see what all the fuss was about...

Rotterdam bars and restaurants

A big perk of sailing with Holland America Line now is the Have It All package which includes a drink package, at least one shore excursion, a speciality dining and Wi-Fi.

This is means you can go hell for leather whether it comes to food and drink - and the restaurants are pretty impressive in their own right too.

The Main Dining Room has an amazing colourful glass lighting fixture adorning the high ceiling designed by Adam Tihany who is well known for creating unique luxury interior design for hotels, restaurants and cruise ships.

- READ MORE: Holland America Line: New ship Rotterdam departs on maiden voyage -

Tihany is also the master behind the amazing vibrant helter-skelter-style structure in the atrium of the ship making for a real eye-catching welcome onboard.

Meanwhile, over at French restaurant Rudi's Sea de Mer, you can savour delicious steak, onion soup, lobster terrine and more, plus you'll find some very friendly faces indeed...on the plates.

Master Chef Rudi Sodamin is famous for his Food Faces - a form of culinary pop art that sees Rudi creating faces out of assorted vegetables, fruit, meats, fish, grains and sweets.

We overhear one person on the cruise say this eatery is their favourite restaurant thanks to its authentic French cuisine so this is definitely not a restaurant to miss.

Other restaurants onboard include Tamarind (Southeast Asia, China and Japan cuisine), Nami Sushi, steakhouse Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto (family-style Italian dining).

The Lido Market - open for breakfast, lunch and dinner - is a good casual option offering everything from pasta and pizza to stir-fries and sushi. Don't miss the cookies at Sweet Spot!

- READ MORE: Cruise dining, food & drink guide -

There's also Club Orange which is exclusively for guests in the Club Orange program. We dine here and tuck into a very tasty tomato salad (who knew such a simple dish could prove so delightful), a succulent steak (top tip - steaks are always good on cruises) and a divine tart, not to mention a fabulous Pinot Noir.

Guests who don't fancy the trek to a restaurant can also opt for room service - it's supposed to be very good!

As for bars onboard, there's Ocean Bar, Notes for all your whisky tasting needs and Half Moon Bar which is new for Rotterdam. Excitingly every cocktail or drink comes with a HAL story or fact behind it here.

Rotterdam cabins

The cruise ship has a range of cabins, 68 percent of which have private balconies.

There are Inside staterooms, Ocean View staterooms, Verandah staterooms, Vista staterooms, Signature staterooms, Neptune staterooms and Pinnacle staterooms.

Check out our video tour to see more...

Rotterdam entertainment

There's lots to do in the afternoons and evening onboard Rotterdam. Music is front and centre and B.B Kings Club boasts the largest dance floor on the ship and plays everything from Bowie to Blues.

Lincoln Centre Stage is in the same venue and offers up afternoon music to full classical concerts.

Cocktails are served here as well as afternoon tea during the day.

Meanwhile, at Billboard Onboard you'll find duelling pianists who you can challenge. We're told there's always a nice atmosphere here and it's the last bar to close.

Alternatively, head to Rolling Stone Rock Room - only on Pinnacle Class ships - where rock bands, well, rock the house!

- READ MORE: Holland America Line announces extraordinary 2023 Alaska holidays -

Over at the World Stage, the giant video panels made for an immersive experience. Holland America has a partnership with BBC Earth and shows Frozen Planet and Planet Earth accompanied by live music. There are also lectures, culinary lessons and more at this venue.

For low-key activities, head to Exploration Central which is a lovely lounge area to relax in - think lots of lovely sofas and brilliant views.

If you fancy a splurging, there's The Retreat where you can rent a cabana and crack open a bottle of bubbly. This experience is at its best in the Caribbean where you can soak up the sun in a lovely private spot.

Rotterdam Wellness

You're highly unlikely to feel stressed on this cruise ship, whether you're relaxing at the Lido Pool (the roof is retractable!) or sipping a glass of wine and admiring the view.

However, for ultimate zen, head to the Greenhouse Spa. The Thermal Suite will cost you a bit extra but boy is it lovely. There's the hydrotherapy pool which looks like it would just bubble away your troubles, heated loungers and even a horizontal shower.

A perk we loved was the glasses holder complete with a fan to ensure they don't mist up in the steam - now that's a cruise line that's thought of everything!


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