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ms Rotterdam Cruise Review

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Rotterdam Lido Restaurant and Sea View Pool

ABOVE: A fisheye view of the Lido Restaurant's outdoor seating on Deck 8 and the Sea View Pool on Deck 7.

ms Rotterdam: the ship

Holland America Line's ms Rotterdam is a ship of Dutch registry, and it was dedicated in December, 1997 by Princess Margriet of the Netherlands. The ship's key dimensions and numbers are:

Although ms Rotterdam is Holland America Line's flagship, it isn't the largest ship in the fleet. HAL's newer Vista and Signature Class ships carry up to 2,106 passengers, a size that's still quite a bit smaller than the 3,000- to 4,200-passenger megaships that some mass-market cruise lines have brought into service over the past few years.

MS RotterdamThanks to a trim white superstructure atop a navy-blue hull, ms Rotterdam's lines have more in common with late 20th Century ocean liners like the SS France and QE2 than with the newest generation of balcony-laden megaships. Rotterdam is clearly a vessel that was designed not only for the Mediterranean and Caribbean, but also for the high seas.

Rotterdam has 10 passenger decks, with most public rooms on Decks 4 through 8.

Lower Promenade DeckDecks 1 to 3 are dedicated to inside and outside staterooms--along with an "outdoor walkaround" on the Lower Promenade Deck.

Higher up, Deck 9 houses the Crow's Nest bar, sports court, and the Club Hal children's facilities. Deck 10, the "Sky Deck," is mostly a sundeck with an "Oasis" area for teenagers.)

Rotterdam atrium clock towerAt the center of the ship, a 3-deck atrium is dominated by an elaborate clock tower that is covered with clock faces, sculptures, astronomical indicators, and other whimsical touches. Throughout the public rooms, you'll find other examples of ms Rotterdam's art collection, which includes pieces that range from replicas of Chinese terra-cotta warriors to an 18th Century ship model carved from bone.

Getting around ms Rotterdam is easy: Most decks run the full length of the passenger quarters and public rooms, and the ship's manageable size means that you can get from Point A to Point B without a time-consuming hike. (If you don't like stairs, you can head for Rotterdam's aft, midship, and forward elevator banks.)

Next page: Staterooms, suites

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