Author Topic: SS Rotterdam V of 1959  (Read 21432 times)

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Offline Mauretania1907

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #30 on: Mar 07, 2010, 11:35 PM »
More power to her, and much more success, her success will make it more viable to do this with QE2 or perhaps other ships, Unfortunately the beaches of Alang have demolished many fine ships, one has only to see the Maritime Matters site to see what has already gone.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #31 on: Mar 08, 2010, 10:29 AM »
her success will make it more viable to do this with QE2 or perhaps other ships,

I fear that the Rotterdam has so far done more harm than good to QE2's prospects by the 4-fold (?) cost overrun on the original budget for her conversion.  But yes, if she is a big success from now on, that could help QE2, but it would have to be raking in the Euros to recoup the conversion costs...

She looks fabulous, and I look forward to a visit sometime.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #32 on: Mar 08, 2010, 10:43 AM »
We could counter that by pointing out that QE2 is currently very well looked after and is also 10 years younger, so should in theory contain fewer unexpected areas of extra work needed, and is therefore more likely to be completed within budget?
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #33 on: Mar 08, 2010, 12:57 PM »
Not sure of the conversion cost, but the highest figure I have heard mentioned was EUR 280 million -- the lower ones were not that much lower.

Much of the extra cost seems to have come from the need to remove asbestos. It seems that this need, or its cost, was somewhat unexpected. In the case of QE2, should it not be possible to budget this fairly accurately?

You are right, Rob, that she really has to earn her keep now. The OLS members have made some suggestions as to how this could be improved. And of course, every visit helps  ;)   !

Offline Twynkle

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #34 on: Mar 14, 2010, 04:07 PM »
Isabelle - Thank you for giving us a really good account of your visit.
Would that it could be made available to the owners of QE2 as a suggestion for their template!
(Please don't alter - just restore! She's not broken - so best to leave her as she is!)

With your knowledge of other ships - is it possible to describe her as that, in 20th Century English terms, might be called 'Continental', in style? 
Apart from the art work on the walls - it would seem that she has more of almost a pre-WWll feel about her.
Post-war, throughout the fifties in the UK and maybe in Holland too, there was a general sense of meeting utility needs, this being reflected in a more utilitarian style as nations began to recover.
Interesting to think of her in terms of the Festival of Britain - Hugh Casson followed his work on this event with his designs of the interiors of the Caronia before he designed HMS Britannia. 
It would be interesting to learn more about her in connection with the time she was designed and built!

I agree with Peter - QE2 is currently very well looked after - from both the perspectives of future costs, and style - this must be all to the good, for her and those who hopefully will continue to invest in her.
Like SS Rotterdam V - she needs to be working, and the sooner the better!
« Last Edit: Mar 14, 2010, 04:09 PM by Twynkle »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #35 on: Mar 15, 2010, 08:11 PM »
We have just returned from 3 days on the SS Rotterdam and am happy to share our experiences there if anyone is interested - it's amazing.  Euro 250M were invested in a ship half the size of QE2.

Alex.

Yes, Alex, very definitely interested!
I have been waiting for you to return so that I could hear / read your story of the visit  :D  !

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #36 on: Mar 21, 2010, 10:05 AM »
Here is a review which our own Malcolm wrote for Liners' List. Because it does not fit into one posting here, I have cut it in two.

Here comes part 1 :

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I wanted to stay on the SS Rotterdam (although to say that Paul, my partner, really wasn't bothered would be an overstatement!). I wanted to spend two nights aboard but the increase in the cost of the ferry was so great that we decided one night would have to be enough.

The ferry to Europort (the port for Rotterdam) was your average crossing. The only noteworthy thing about it was that the crossing was very quiet. At most I would say the ship was sailing about 25% full.

We disembarked at Europort at about 8-20 in the morning and almost immediately caught our coach for the 40 minute transfer to Rotterdam centre. In the end this transfer took just over the hour due to heavy traffic because of an accident.

The coach dropped us at Rotterdam station. This whole area is one big building site. It is far more unpleasant than Potsdamer Platz in Berlin was at the height of the building work there. The station had a tourist information office that was able to give us directions to the SS Rotterdam.

We started by having to catch a tram to the Water Taxi stop. The fare for this journey was €2.50. The fare for the Water Taxi was €16.00 from the Maritime Museum (where the tram dropped us) to the SS Rotterdam.

We reached the SS Rotterdam at about 11-15am and tried to check-in. As other reporters have said the lift to the reception area is broken so we had to climb the stairs with our luggage. To me this lift looks as if it has never worked. There were no rooms available at that time so the receptionist offered to keep our bags until we returned later in the day. This was an offer we accepted and went off to buy the self-guided tours of the ship. It's possible to do three tours: either a tour of the public rooms or a tour of the engine room or a tour that combines both these two tours. We opted for the latter which at €16-00 per person I didn't feel was expensive.

Once we'd collected our audio handsets we went for a coffee in the Ocean Bar. This room has some original features, such as the lobster sculpture on one wall, but strikes me as mostly a modern rebuild. The best you could say about the coffee was that it was warm (not hot!).

Then we started our tour. The first section of the tour takes you along many of the corridors and past many of the areas that have been renovated. These are very impressive. However it is very unfortunate that you can't get to see many of these rooms. A lot of the rooms were in use for conferences but knowing that there were things there that I couldn't see was disappointing. Several of the guides commented that there is an artwork tour on the last Sunday of each month that does go into a lot of these rooms. As we weren’t going to be there on any Sunday I didn’t bother finding out about it. However the guides did say that they thought it was very expensive.

The tour took us out onto the enclosed promenade deck, then the open deck and then up to the Bridge, the Captain's cabin and his senior officers' cabins. These look as if only essential maintenance has been done on them and they are still in almost the same state they were in when the Rembrandt was laid up in the Bahamas.

One thing of interest is the outdoor swimming pool. It appears to be only about 10 cm deep. I assume that this is a modification and is done to make it look as if the pool is still functioning properly. I think that the pool depth was vastly reduced when the area was restored.

I cannot help but compare the SS Rotterdam with the QE2. Although the SS Rotterdam was both built and went out of service ten years before the QE2 they are both still ex-transatlantic liners and were built to ferry passengers from one continent to another. The big advantage that the SS Rotterdam has is that she avoided the disastrous refits that befell the QE2 and so has far more of her original interiors left to restore.

One comparison with the QE2 comes when you get to the Captain's Cabin. His day room is much smaller and less lavish than that on the later ship. I do not believe that you could have fitted the numbers that were invited for cocktails on the QE2 into this cabin or that there could have been the thrill of getting an invite to this cabin. Another comparison comes when you see the Bridge. On the QE2 the equipment appeared very different from that on the Queen Mary; on the SS Rotterdam you can clearly see how items from that first Queen's bridge have influenced the design.

Throughout this review I use the term "restore" very loosely. The SS Rotterdam has not been restored. Most of the work that has been done on her is renovation. Enough of her 1950s interior has been saved to mean that is still an indication of what she was like at her best but a lot has been torn away to provide the workings of a 4* hotel in 2010.

Once we left the officers' quarters we were halfway through the tour so we decided this was a good time to break for lunch (besides the time was now 12-30 and, having been up since 6-00, we were starting to get hungry!). We walked down to The Lido to get some lunch. This room is obviously not original. It is about half the size of the Lido on QE2 and has just about as much atmosphere. The service however was very friendly and the food good. I was pleased to have eaten here but was very glad that we have booked the Club Room for this evening. One thing that is noticeable about both the Lido and the Club Room is that the kitchens (or at least part of them) are in the main dining area as a feature.

The second half of the tour was through the engine room. This also included the indoor swimming pool. Other than the scaffolding tower standing in the pool itself there has been no restoration work done here yet.

As you head further down the ship you come to the engine rooms. These again have been almost totally untouched post Rembrandt and Bahamas. They are far more interesting than the modernised areas of the hotel. Once we'd finished in the engine rooms the tour returned us to the outdoor swimming pool area.

We headed out onto the quayside to see the ship from the land. As we were at the stern of the ship we left via the exit there - the lift for that gangway is working. The SS Rotterdam is nothing like as big or as impressive as I'd imagined her. I am more used to seeing the QE2 and the SS Rotterdam is much smaller both in appearance and in the length of time it takes you to find your way around. The SS Rotterdam is the only tall structure in the area which does help her to stand out.

We returned to the ship by a third gangway. This one leads onto Deck B and the Business Centre. When I asked the woman on the desk there where the lifts to reception were she tried to send me outside and up the stairs and only, when told that we wouldn’t climb the steps, very reluctantly finally let us use the main lifts just round the corner from her desk.

We finally got to reception and checked-in. The receptionist’s English was far better than my Dutch but he still managed to miss most of the vouchers, cards, etc that we needed as part of our package. Check-in took over 15 minutes!

Our cabin is number 2002. This is the farthest forward cabin on Lower Promenade Deck and as such has a porthole at a very shallow angle. This porthole is 1.5 m down a tunnel that is about 60 cm square and gives only the slimmest view of a section of the local car park. It provides very little natural light to the cabin and we needed to have the cabin lights turned on all the time.

The cabin is not itself original. Judging from the corridors all the cabins on this deck were gutted and new rooms built to fit the space. I think the corridors follow the same lines as the original corridors but that is where any originality ends. The cabin does, at first glance, look to contain one "original" feature. This is a wall unit. On the floor are two sets of three draws, above this is a writing desk, a dressing table and the coffee machine. This unit is in incredibly good condition and, having seen similar things on QE2 that are in nothing like the same condition, I suspect that these were made for the refurbishment. [I am adding this note after a night in the cabin. I am now sure that this unit is not original because it matches the bed head and the luggage rack and the occasional table and chair too well. These pieces are all from the same date and are far too good a condition to be anything other than new.]

The bathroom is entirely new. I think they will start to experience problems there in a little while because the shower curtain only just reaches the shower tray causing the floor to get very wet. I think that the tiles will start to lift in the not too distant future.

One other important thing in the cabin is the beds. They are some of the most comfortable I have ever slept in. I think the mattresses are memory foam which probably explains it.

[One other thought following a night's sleep - the floor has a slight bet perceptible slope. This means that every time you get up, be it from the bed, chair, etc, you are slightly off balance – not important in the day when you are wide awake but it you get up in the middle of the night ...]
« Last Edit: Mar 21, 2010, 10:19 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #37 on: Mar 21, 2010, 10:06 AM »
And here is part 2 of Malcolm's review, as well as a link to his photos at the bottom :

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

At about 5-30pm Paul needed to go onto the rear deck for a smoke. I went with him and we took this opportunity to poke around some of the conference rooms that had been in use during the day. Some of the doors were now locked but we did manage to see some of the restored public rooms that were not open to the general public on the tour. We still didn’t get to see the Theatre unfortunately.

One thing we found about this ship is that it is possible to get almost everywhere. If the direct route is blocked - so many stairs (especially those on the outside of the ship) have red tape across them - approach from a different direction and you will find that there is open access.

At about 6-00 we went for a drink in the Ocean Bar. The bar itself was packed and the drinks very expensive. As it was the time most conferences were finishing the bar was full of delegates. We felt that we were forced out of the room fairly quickly. Paul had a Whisky and water, I had a Gin and Tonic; the cost was €18.00. I think that's expensive - particularly as we were charged for an entire bottle of mineral water. When we left the bar we went back to our cabin to get dressed for dinner.

Part of the package we booked included a complimentary drink in the Ocean Bar. At about 7-15 the bar was quieter than it had been at 6-00. We had no problem getting a table and there was still space available for anyone else who came in. We had another round of drinks. I didn’t object to the bottle of mineral water this time as the SS Rotterdam was picking up the tab!

The package I had booked included dinner in the Lido. At the time of booking I had said that I did not want to eat there and had upgraded to the Club Room for a supplement of €12-50 per person. This was for a three course meal.

The Club Room is certainly not the best restaurant I've eaten in, it's not even in the top ten; it does come into the top 100 however. We certainly had a better meal here than we ever had in the Queens Grill on QE2. We decided that the Club Room probable warranted one AA Rosette. There are some things however that make it very difficult to compare with any other restaurant in the UK.

When we got to the restaurant it was not full. By the end of the evening there were still four tables that had not been occupied. Despite this, for a restaurant to be running almost full on a Thursday night, shows that it is quite popular.

We got a nice table for two where we were both facing into the restaurant. The waiter came and asked us if we would like a drink before our dinner; we accepted but that was it. No menus appeared nor was there any indication given as to what was going to happen. I remembered Isabelle Prondzynski’s comments in her review and I had seen that on their website it was possible to book a Club Room dinner of 3, 4, 5 or 6 courses so I asked about extra courses. It turned out that there is no choice at each course but more than the basic three courses are available. For a Supplement of €**-** we were able to have all the courses on offer. Wine is done in a similar way. They don't have a wine list but, for €**-**, you get four glasses of different wines each to complement a course. [I left these spaces to fill in when I found out how much we had been charged unfortunately I never did find the breakdown of prices. All I can say is that we were charged an extra €87.75 to include our drink before the meal, six courses rather than three and the wine]While we had our drinks we were served a bread roll. I think this was homemade and was accompanied by both a plain whipped butter and a whipped butter containing peanuts. Both were delicious. More bread was brought throughout the meal as we finished each roll (they were only very small rolls).

There are almost no other English people on board so details of the meal were not available in English. I can therefore only give what our waiter said we were eating or what the dish looked to be. We started with scallops on a traditional Dutch salad. This was followed by Sea Bass. For the third course we ate a Crayfish consommé served over a cauliflower puree (this was delightful). Our fourth course was foal (as in a young horse). This was two small collops of the meat accompanied by two sections of a leek that had been filled with a rich mashed potato mix. Our main course was Pork (although nearer what would be called ham in the UK) served with lentils. The meal ended with a pear and apple compote with a small scoop of a vanilla ice cream and some kind of mousse. We finished dinner off with coffee.

We saw the problems with the meal as follows: There was no choice. We eat most things but, had they served up something that we couldn't eat we'd have been stuck; all the savoury courses were quite heavily salted. They were so heavily salted that it was to the detriment of the flavour of the meal; I felt that my Sea Bass was not cooked as well as I would have liked whilst Paul felt his foal was underdone. There was no opportunity for personal taste to be taken into account. When the waiter asked if the foal was good Paul commented that he would have liked it slightly better cooked. The waiter replied that it was Paul's personal taste and that it had been cooked properly (I do not think the waiter was being rude nor was any insult implied – any criticism taken by us came from his lack of English and was not meant by him); the service was not particularly speedy.

The entire meal took about 3 1/2 hours. This did not seem too long for the meal however until it was time for the pudding. We seemed to wait a very long time after the main course for the pudding to arrive; when it did it was only because we'd asked for it. After our coffee we asked for the bill. Our waiter said "certainly" and disappeared. Five minutes later we saw him serving another table, a few minutes later still he was in discussion with other members of the restaurant's staff. In the end we gave up trying to get a bill. As our room number was on our reservation we just left.

After another brief trip to the rear deck we returned to the Ocean Bar for a nightcap. The bar was much quieter now with plenty of space. We both had a Lagavulin each that cost €17-00. Again I think that's expensive. (I did manage to persuade the bar tender that a glass of tap water was all we needed not a bottle of mineral water).

The following morning breakfast was served in the Lido. It was a buffet format with five stations. Two of these were similar offering a selection of fruits, yoghurt, jams and assorted toast toppings. The third had a selection of cold meats and cheeses. Between the third and fourth were half a dozen metal containers. Each of these held a different kind of bread (croissants, sliced, etc). The fourth held a range of hot food – pancakes, waffles, bacon, sausage and hard boiled or fried eggs. The final station was on the bar in the Lido and offered a selection of beverages.

Breakfast was good. The two things that stopped it being very good was that the selection of hot food was almost cold and the difficulty in getting a decent cup of tea from the beverage station.

The previous evening we had noticed some steps leading down from behind the swimming pool on the rear deck. We now took them. They lead to an area under the rear deck that I think would have been used by the crew while she was steaming. From ashore you could see that there was a further deck area below this which had bollards, capstans, etc on it but we could not see any way to gain access to this area.

Finally it was time to check out. This was not the simple affair it should have been. The process ended up taking over 15 minutes while they tried to sort out why I had been charged €187.75 supplement for dinner. In the end they worked out that I had been invoiced for eating in both the Club Room and the Lido and therefore reduced my bill by €75.00.

When we visited the Queen Mary in Long Beach I remembered being told to ask to see an original cabin. I thought that it was also worth asking on the SS Rotterdam. The receptionist told me that while they will have “Historic” cabins on offer soon and that he would be delighted to show me one if it was available all the cabins they have at the moment are newly constructed for the hotel – neither the fixtures not the fittings date back to when she was in service. I think this answers my pondering about the originality of some of the furniture in our room.

Part of the package on the ship was a “Rotterdam Welcome Card”. This included a day’s unlimited travel on the busses, trams and the underground. So, rather than taking a taxi to get back into central Rotterdam we decided to use public transport. This is very easy. There is a bus stop almost adjacent to the ship. From there you catch the 77 bus to Rijnhaven underground station. Centraal Station is then only five stops. Although it is very easy going from The SS Rotterdam into the centre I think that it would be very difficult going to the SS Rotterdam from the station, particularly if you do not know where the bus stops at Rijnhaven.

We were left kicking our heels in Rotterdam for a day before we could catch the coach back to the ferry. There is not much in Rotterdam that interests me but one place that deserves a mention is the Engles café near the station itself. This is a café that was fitted out in the 1950s and is still working today. The tourist information office for the station has been built into one side of the cafe but the rest is original. This café struck me as far more original than any of the public rooms on the SS Rotterdam. This café is well worth visiting. It is not that expensive, the service is good and it provides a more comfortable waiting area that anything offered by the station.

To sum up: Am I glad I went? Yes. Did I enjoy it? Yes. Would I recommend the experience to someone else? Yes, as long as I was sure that they know they were only going to be staying in a hotel and that they understood De Rotterdam’s line about “slip away from everyday life and enjoy the style of the past in the atmosphere of today” gives the wrong impression at the moment. Would I go back? No, I’ve seen the ship. My curiosity has been satisfied. If I were to need a hotel in Rotterdam then I could see me staying there again but I think that is very unlikely. I am very glad that I didn’t opt to pay a lot more and stay onboard for two nights – one night was more than enough time to see and experience everything that was available to the independent traveller on that ship.

My stay on the SS Rotterdam was expensive. The cost for two of us for one night was €301.25 (about £273.00 or USD415.00). This does not include the coffee or lunch aboard (although it does include dinner and most drinks), any other refreshments we had in Rotterdam or the cost of getting from York to the ship and back. The total cost for our three nights away was about £600.00 (about USD 900.00).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

His photos are here :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mrkpnh/sets/72157623613679110/detail/

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LinersList/message/121449

Offline Scott Ebersold

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #38 on: Mar 22, 2010, 12:37 AM »
These are all great stories and pictures.  It seems like they have done a great job with her.  ... I happened to walk by her old terminal in New York and there was this great mural.  Thought I'd share it.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #39 on: Apr 24, 2010, 10:34 AM »
I was back on SS Rotterdam for an evening a couple of days ago -- i.e. this time as an external visitor, not staying for the night. It was lovely just to walk on to the ship and be there! There is no charge for simply visiting,. A staff member is on duty in the main lobby in case an arrival wants to ask a question or receive guidance. More detailed questions are treated by the reception, just off the main lobby.

It seemed to me that the ship had now settled down into her new role, that the atmosphere was relaxed, that people felt free to drift in and out. The Ocean Bar was filled with a decent number of pre-dinner drinkers, not over full, just right. The atmosphere reminded me of the pre-dinner Chart Room.

The Maître d' of the Club Room recognised me and welcomed me back -- I must admit that was really nice   :D  .

The dinner -- with a shippy friend whom I was meeting in person for the first time -- was as delicious as the last one. There is now a choice between a menu and the "surprise" dinner. We chose the "surprise" and were very pleased.

Guided tours of the public areas are becoming easier to obtain; the operators of the different sectors of the ship are beginning to co-operate.

What I enjoyed most, is that the ship is beginning to feel familiar, gaining the sort of "homely" feeling which QE2 had. I might just make her my occasional week-end retreat!

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2010, 04:59 PM »
Well... I visited SS Rotterdam not once, but twice over the past week, and it was fascinating, and I had "hotel QE2" in mind the entire time.

Visit 1 - Wednesday 19th May

We drove to the ship from my ferry, and that was fairly easy.  You drive up to the bow of the ship, but you can only see her when you turn the very last corner.  This makes for a theatrical dramatic 'reveal' but from what I can make out, the ship is almost entirely invisible from the city of Rotterdam itself, which is a shame.  The ship looks beautiful, and ready to sail.  First impressions are far better than when arriving at QM in Long Beach.  They have strived to make the ship appear to be 'ready to sail', and have succeeded in my opinion.



We boarded via the aft-most gangway, because we were only making a short visit.  This takes you to the aft-most lido deck with the bizarre shallow, sloping pool.  We walked along the promenade deck, noting the location of the Lido restaurant where we hoped to eat after our tour, and found ourselves accosted - that is the only word - by the tour guide people.  They led us to believe we couldn't go further unless we had a tour ticket and were led briskly down to the main deck reception area to buy one.  I was annoyed, and irritated by this.  We didn't have time to take a tour, we just wanted a quick look around.  I decided to just ignore the tour people and asked at the hotel reception opposite (is this original to the ship - its lovely?) - and they told me I could go wherever I liked unescorted and gave me a deck-plan!  So off we went for a tour of all the closed-off rooms...  So if you only want to visit the ship for a short time, and to self-tour, go straight into the hotel reception and just get a map!  There are also audio tours with handsets, but we also felt we didn't have time for these.  We toured all the areas we could, and I enjoyed getting a feel for the ship.  The public rooms (all empty but closed) looked amazing.  However, I can only say that on a chilly quiet May morning, we felt unwelcome and like we were doing something we shouldn't have been.   My friend & Co-driver for the trip, Paul, was ill with a bad cold, so we cut our wander short after about 90 minutes, and headed to the lido (the only room open to us...) for something to eat.  But there wasn't anything to eat, just coffee and apple cake.  If I had known this, we would not have visited the ship at all as we were meant to be getting some late breakfast before driving North into Holland. 
We left the ship impressed with the conversion, but wondering why anyone would want to visit like we did.  I suspected I would never return to the ship.

Visit 2 - Hotel stay from Thursday 19th May to Friday 20th May

After repeatedly getting stuck in nightmare traffic jams around Rotterdam, one of them lasting for hours, we decided we needed to locate ourselves in the city, because we were meeting friends off the Friday AM ferry.  Amazingly, the 'Cruise Hotel' offered pretty much the best rate, so we decided to return!  When we arrived (after being stuck in traffic for 3 hours+....) we checked into our very nice room 2112 - which was at the extreme aft end of 2 deck.  I was very impressed with it.  The people at Hotel reception had been nice too.  We then headed up to the Lido deck outdoors (it was hot & sunny) hoping for a better experience... and it was SUPERB!  Busy, lively, great food, great cold beer, good friendly service, an amazing view, the ship that evening appeared to be "the place" to be.  Various conferences had been running and people had decided to stay on for drinks while other people were arriving for the evening.  The restaurant was fully booked and unavailable to us, but looked AMAZING when we looked in later.  The Ocean Bar was truly lovely - and I think it was this room that finally tipped me over into a fan of the "Cruise Hotel" Rotterdam.  We had a lovely evening there.  Our cabin, while lovely, had a few problems - (1) no air at all (2) no cups, or means to make tea/coffee (3) 'clanging' sounds from people above on the lido deck, and crossing the gangway to the aftmost entry.  These were OK for one night, but would have been a problem for longer.  The stairs and signage were also poor and confusing.  There is an aft stairway from the hotel rooms up to the lido, but its extremely difficult to find, even if you have already come down it from above!  Breakfast in the Lido was excellent.  Parking was €15 - expensive, but OK for a big city.  You can also come & go with your car, without incurring additional charges, which is good.

So...

Positives
  • Ship looks beautiful and unaltered externally, and the treatment of her attachment to the dockside is well done
  • The 50s retro-modern stuff is brilliantly done.
  • Cabins are nice and sympathetically converted.
  • Ship does not feel "dead".  She feels lively, like any decent hotel.
  • Ship does not feel dated, she feels stylish, cool and modern
  • You do not need to be a ship-geek to enjoy her.

Negatives
  • You can only visit 2 rooms - the Ocean Bar (lovely) and the Lido (strange).  All the most interesting and original spaces are completely unavailable to visit.
  • No sensation of being afloat.
  • Location relative to the city of Rotterdam - OK by car, but there are zero other attractions near the ship.
  • No food available at all during the morning.
  • Felt unwelcome on a day visit
  • Ship is invisible until you get to her
  • Strange staff
  • Shops were mostly shut, hard to find, and could be better
  • Teething problems with the room

More photos to follow... am still recovering from a marathon journey in a very small car, contending with truly awful Dutch driving, and only slightly better German driving in their grey/silver/black cars...
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #41 on: May 26, 2010, 08:35 PM »
I've uploaded my photos here

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lightbody/sets/72157624141098266/

I just wanted to say that, overall, if they did this, or something like it, to QE2, I'd be very happy indeed.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959 (Now the 'Cruise Hotel' in Rotterdam)
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2010, 12:01 PM »

I just wanted to say that, overall, if they did this, or something like it, to QE2, I'd be very happy indeed.

Rob I would second that.  If only we could get the owners of QE2 to see that there are so many options for her other than sitting in a dock.  The prospect of preparing the QE2 in her existing design as a hotel and conference centre must be achievable. The options are endless.  Executive packages are very financially successful at sports events.  The same could be the case for the QE2 with the right marketing.  Dinner then Opera on the QE2.  Cinema then supper on the QE2.  Dine on the QE2. Dinner Bed and Breakfast like your experience on the Rotterdam. 

Loved the photos. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959 (Now the 'Cruise Hotel' in Rotterdam)
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2010, 01:13 PM »
One of the very best things about the Rotterdam, is how she looks like she's preparing to set sail.  They've done this SO well.

The Queen mary's operators really need to take a look to see how to do it properly.

The lift/stairtowers are transparent, temporary looking, and the gangways look like proper retractable walkways, that can be removed to allow the ship to sail.  This is so crucial to the "feel" of the experience.  Also, whatever wires and pipes etc feed utilities to the ship, are completely hidden from view. 

With QM in Long Beach the towers are huge, hiding and "shrinking" the ship.  Also if you look along her side, you see lots and lots of shoreside connections.

I would LOVE to learn more about Rotterdam's conversion, the people involved, the research they did, their backgrounds etc. etc. - can anyone help?.  Its been done so well, they deserve huge congratulations - treading the fine line between keeping ship geeks happy, and also members of the public - I was both during my recent hotel stay.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 40 years and creator of this website.  I have worked in IT for 28 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: SS Rotterdam V of 1959
« Reply #44 on: May 31, 2010, 01:53 PM »
I would LOVE to learn more about Rotterdam's conversion, the people involved, the research they did, their backgrounds etc. etc. - can anyone help?.  Its been done so well, they deserve huge congratulations - treading the fine line between keeping ship geeks happy, and also members of the public - I was both during my recent hotel stay.

I have asked our resident expert to come back and tell us more -- and he has promised to do so some time soonish  :D .

Other insights also welcome, of course!
« Last Edit: Jun 07, 2010, 10:45 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

 

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