European Travel and the Coronavirus
MSC Preziosa Cruise Photos
Arrival and disembarkation in Rotterdam
BELOW: MSC Preziosa was scheduled to arrive in Rotterdam at 9 a.m., with disembarkation beginning at 9;15 a.m.
We were in no hurry to leave the ship, so we got up at 8 a.m. to discover--via the bridgecam in our cabin--that the ship was already moored at the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal.
BELOW: MSC has the most passenger-friendly disembarkation procedures that we'd ever encountered on an oceangoing ship. Since we didn't have a transfer bus to catch, we could disembark at our convenience.
We didn't even have to vacate our cabin until later in the morning, which meant we could leave our hand luggage in the cabin while we were at breakfast.
BELOW: After breakfast, we enjoyed views from Deck 15. Here, alongside a modern skyscraper, you can see the historic Hotel New York, which is only a minute or two on foot from the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal.
BELOW: From our stateroom, which was on the water side of the ship, we had even better views of the River Nieuwe Maas, the Erasmus Bridge, a Spido sightseeing boat, and central Rotterdam.
BELOW: We finally disembarked around 10 a.m., which would give us plenty of time for a leisurely walk to Centraal Station in Rotterdam.
BELOW: We noticed that MSC Preziosa offered a free "Hand Baggage Deposit" for passengers who'd vacated their cabins but were in no hurry to leave the ship.
BELOW: As we walked the short distance from the Rotterdam Cruise Terminal to the Erasmus Bridge, we passed thestation of Rotterdam's , which we could have used to reach Centraal Station if we'd been in a rush.
BELOW: Our walk to Centraal Station took us over the(a.k.a. ) and through the city center. This photo of MSC Preziosa was taken on the Erasmusbrug.
BELOW: Total walking time from the cruise terminal towas about 45 minutes, mostly because we stopped repeatedly for photos along the way. (If we'd kept moving, we could have made the walk--even with luggage--in 30 minutes or less.)
BELOW: Shortly before the scheduled departure time of 11:56 a.m., our Paris-bound Thalys train pulled into Rotterdam Centraal and we boarded our assigned car.
Destination: Beauvais, France (with a change of trains at Paris Gard du Nord).
Thalys trains have woefully inadequate luggage storage. If you can't board at the beginning or end of the line (e.g., Amsterdam or Paris), you may want to travel first class to minimize competition for storage space--especially if you have large bags that are too heavy to lift comfortably into the high overhead rack above your seat.
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