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This was the second cruise I booked with HAL. I really enjoyed my first cruise which was also on the MS Rotterdam. Besides, this cruise had an overnighter in Stockholm, so when the price dropped a little in november 2017, I made my booking. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, no problems at all for me. My cabin was cabin 2517, a cabin with portholes instead of a window. I had one of the largest porthole cabins that are available. While traveling on my own it was quite large. The room was clean, and well tended to by the hut steward. Although the portholes didn't give a lot of light, it was very cosy and added to the ship-experience. The ship is one of the oldest ships in het HAL fleet, and yes, she's got some wear and tear. We didn't experience a lot of rain, so stories about leaking I cannot confirm. To me the ship is still classy and beautiful. Well furnished, a lot of space and a lot of places to sit if you want peace and quiet, even on sea-days. The entertainment was very good. I hang out in the pianobar for Styker was very entertaining. Theatre shows were good, I enjoyed it a lot and there was a lot of different shows, with dance, music, film and even an acrobatic show. The service was, as the last time, outstanding. I experiences a lot of vibration the first night and because of that I didn't sleep very well. I explained the problem at the frontdesk and they helped me as good as they could, giving me an extra matrass on the bed. The day after, they brought me flowers as an apology for the bad night. I thought that very friendly. Food was very good. Very rich choice at breakfast in the Lido and original meals at night. The food in the main diningroom was very fine. There was a lot of choices, ingredients were fresh and it looked very good on the plate. No complaints at all. I ordered breakfast in my room two times and it came well within the time I ordered it. All was hot and more than enough. The ports of call (Rotterdam on embarkation, Kopenhagen, Warnemünde, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Arhus, Rotterdam for disembarkation) were outstanding! But then again, I looked into that before I booked. In some ports we were at some distance from the city center. It was no problem though, for public transportation (Stockholm) was nearby and easy to access. At Arhus a free shuttlebus was arranged because we docked in a containerport. I did almost everything on foot, but in Kopenhagen I would recommend taking a hop on hop off bus. I lost a lot of precious time by walking and could have made more out of my stay if I had taken the red busses. While having a lot of time in Warnemünde, I took the train to Schwerin, the capital of Meckelenburg-Vorpommern. There's a beautiful castle there and I enjoyed the trainride. I took a taxi with some new-made friends (met them here on the roll-call by the way!) to mt. Toompea and could walk my way into the rest of the old town. Very beautiful city! St. Petersburg was amazing, so amazing that I'm going back to see more and have more time. Helsinki: nice, quite a walk to the town. I ended up in the ho-ho which starts and stops at the very cruise-terminal. I did this because the two days in St. Petersburg exhausted me. Stockholm was great because on the first day I met my cousin who lives there. He took me to all the sites and showed me some things for the next day. Get lost in Gamle Stan, the old town. It is fantastic with some very beautiful churches. The medieval museum holds the only piece of citywall of Stockholm that still exists. Arhus: it was very hot. Transportation to the city was well arranged by Arhus. I went tot the open air museum. One of the best I've ever seen! I would recommend it. I didn't book any excursion with the HAL company because I think they are way to expensive. Cities were easy to explore on my own. And in St. Petersburg I booked a tour with Alla in advance. They provide you with a group visa too! Don't believe the cruise company when they say you can only leave the ship with one of their excursions. Touroperators in Russia are specialized in working with cruise passengers and it is cheaper. All in all I had the cruise of my life. I enjoyed the ship, my fellow passengers, the dining and the entertainment. The crew treated me like a queen!

14 night cruise Jewels of the Baltic

Rotterdam Cruise Review by Josje.van-der-hulst

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2018
  • Destination: Transatlantic
  • Cabin Type: Large Ocean-View Stateroom
This was the second cruise I booked with HAL. I really enjoyed my first cruise which was also on the MS Rotterdam. Besides, this cruise had an overnighter in Stockholm, so when the price dropped a little in november 2017, I made my booking.

Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly, no problems at all for me.

My cabin was cabin 2517, a cabin with portholes instead of a window. I had one of the largest porthole cabins that are available. While traveling on my own it was quite large. The room was clean, and well tended to by the hut steward. Although the portholes didn't give a lot of light, it was very cosy and added to the ship-experience.

The ship is one of the oldest ships in het HAL fleet, and yes, she's got some wear and tear. We didn't experience a lot of rain, so stories about leaking I cannot confirm. To me the ship is still classy and beautiful. Well furnished, a lot of space and a lot of places to sit if you want peace and quiet, even on sea-days.

The entertainment was very good. I hang out in the pianobar for Styker was very entertaining. Theatre shows were good, I enjoyed it a lot and there was a lot of different shows, with dance, music, film and even an acrobatic show.

The service was, as the last time, outstanding. I experiences a lot of vibration the first night and because of that I didn't sleep very well. I explained the problem at the frontdesk and they helped me as good as they could, giving me an extra matrass on the bed. The day after, they brought me flowers as an apology for the bad night. I thought that very friendly.

Food was very good. Very rich choice at breakfast in the Lido and original meals at night. The food in the main diningroom was very fine. There was a lot of choices, ingredients were fresh and it looked very good on the plate. No complaints at all. I ordered breakfast in my room two times and it came well within the time I ordered it. All was hot and more than enough.

The ports of call (Rotterdam on embarkation, Kopenhagen, Warnemünde, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm, Arhus, Rotterdam for disembarkation) were outstanding! But then again, I looked into that before I booked. In some ports we were at some distance from the city center. It was no problem though, for public transportation (Stockholm) was nearby and easy to access. At Arhus a free shuttlebus was arranged because we docked in a containerport.

I did almost everything on foot, but in Kopenhagen I would recommend taking a hop on hop off bus. I lost a lot of precious time by walking and could have made more out of my stay if I had taken the red busses.

While having a lot of time in Warnemünde, I took the train to Schwerin, the capital of Meckelenburg-Vorpommern. There's a beautiful castle there and I enjoyed the trainride.

I took a taxi with some new-made friends (met them here on the roll-call by the way!) to mt. Toompea and could walk my way into the rest of the old town. Very beautiful city!

St. Petersburg was amazing, so amazing that I'm going back to see more and have more time.

Helsinki: nice, quite a walk to the town. I ended up in the ho-ho which starts and stops at the very cruise-terminal. I did this because the two days in St. Petersburg exhausted me.

Stockholm was great because on the first day I met my cousin who lives there. He took me to all the sites and showed me some things for the next day. Get lost in Gamle Stan, the old town. It is fantastic with some very beautiful churches. The medieval museum holds the only piece of citywall of Stockholm that still exists.

Arhus: it was very hot. Transportation to the city was well arranged by Arhus. I went tot the open air museum. One of the best I've ever seen! I would recommend it.

I didn't book any excursion with the HAL company because I think they are way to expensive. Cities were easy to explore on my own. And in St. Petersburg I booked a tour with Alla in advance. They provide you with a group visa too! Don't believe the cruise company when they say you can only leave the ship with one of their excursions. Touroperators in Russia are specialized in working with cruise passengers and it is cheaper.

All in all I had the cruise of my life. I enjoyed the ship, my fellow passengers, the dining and the entertainment. The crew treated me like a queen!
Josje.van-der-hulst’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin G 2517
My cabin had portholes, which added to the whole ship-experience. It was large enough, but I travel alone, so I don't need a lot of space. Enough space to stow away your suitcase (under the bed) and lots of hangers in the closets. Nice bathroom with a bathtub (not very large though, but good enough for me) and shower. Very good light to put on make-up (of shave if you have to). Cabin is in front. This can give some vibration while sailing. Hallway was very quiet, no night- of morning noises.
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