Author Topic: Reviews of SS Rotterdam  (Read 13589 times)

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Offline Twynkle

Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« on: Oct 23, 2010, 05:16 PM »
The reviews are inevitably mixed and it would seem that the reasons for going would obviously influence expectations.
It's a shame that the service comes in for criticism.
We were so incredibly fortunate on QE2
On QV the White Star training was continuing round the clock.
Not that this mattered other than they were soon to lose many colleagues and seniors to QE.
http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowUserReviews-g188632-d1448766-r77226212-Cruise_Hotel-Rotterdam_Zuid_Holland.html
 

Online cunardqueen

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #1 on: Oct 23, 2010, 08:32 PM »
I wouldnt take too much interest in trip advisor, l looked at the hotel l stayed in last year in Vegas and didnt recognise it on trip advisor, and anyone thinking of staying on Queen Mary, well after youve stayed have look back and see what you think.
A review is only as good as the person writing it, and sadly a lot of folks have an axe to grind. A travel writer on the other hand can give a more factual reporting.
 Look at dear old QE2, to us she had charm and luxury ;D, to some others she was anything but......
Where l work we recently introduced comment cards, and reading some of them l do wonder if some of these people should ever be allowed out in public.
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

RMS Lozzy

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #2 on: Feb 02, 2011, 09:11 PM »
I stayed on noard the SS Rotterdam not long after it opened last year.  It was an interesting experience and I loved the area, but I hope by now that things on the ship have developed since then.

The ship itself is beautiful, and and the room was suitable enough, but me and my friends did face alot of problems whist staying on board.  The problems we encountered were our rooms not being cleanned each day, only being able to look round the public rooms after begging the museum staff to let us in and not just making us look through windows, and having to eat breakfast and dinners everyday in the same room, which we also had grand meal in one night, the room itself was really only suitable as a breakfast buffet room.As I said above hopefully these problems have been sorted.

I know I sound like Im knocking the ship, and I appriciate that she had only just opened as a museum, a hotel and as a confrence centre.  But I do hope to go back one day and see the SS Rotterdam again and see how it is developed, but I feel this ship is better to visit now, then stay on.

Online Alex Tarry

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #3 on: Feb 05, 2011, 06:52 PM »
The ship is indeed beautiful and a role model for classic liner preservation world-wide, my wife and I have visited 3 times and stayed twice...but there are significant issues which potentially threaten not only the success of the venture but also the ship itself!

I believe the ship has three businesses on board, the hotel operator, conference operator and the restaurants (might be a different mix) and all have been designated a bit of the ship, hence access to the hotel does not mean access to the public rooms and staying in the hotel does not mean you can eat in the restaurant if it's full etc etc...

But the main issue is service and competence...on all three occasions very poor service dented the experience and indifferent respect for the vessel, cleaning, management etc was having an impact on the fittings...We first visited the bar 3 weeks after opening, which then had the original piano and a cream carpet...stains we saw then were still there on the next 2 visits, joined by main others and the piano had been given away because it needed maintenance!

The hotel missed several basics, like having the room serviced, and the air conditioning (no opening windows) did not work at all...I completely get the charm thing mentioned above, but 99% of the work has been done to create a masterpiece and it's being badly let down by the last 1%...

By all means visit, and stay, but there are issues...I just got the impression no one cared and no one was looking after the ship, such a shame...

Alex...

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #4 on: Jun 23, 2011, 07:23 PM »
Me on the SS Rotterdam - having a SUPERB TIME.

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: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #5 on: Jun 23, 2011, 08:21 PM »
What a super atmosphere, Rob!

Great to see you using some of the same techniques on the SS Rotterdam that you so successfully deployed on board QE2. I'd love to see QE2 doing the same sort of thing in a beautiful place, the sooner the better...

Really looking forward to being on board the SS Rotterdam again the day after tomorrow, for Saturday dinner and night and Sunday breakfast  :D  .

Offline luzparis

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #6 on: Jun 27, 2011, 11:09 PM »
Superb video i love the idea...to take time on board.  i hope QE2 have the same destiny ..  ???

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #7 on: Jun 29, 2011, 10:32 PM »
My SS Rotterdam photos are now uploaded to here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/lightbody/sets/72157626953565249/

although I still have some descriptions and titles to add.

It was an amazing return visit.  We arrived after lunch on the Saturday, and once again driving up to the bow of the ship was just awesome - you get such a lovely clear view of her.



Stepping aboard, we felt like we'd come home - that same feeling QE2 gave - even though we only spent one night on board a year before.  Already the place was crowded and busy, with a great atmosphere.  There were various functions going on, tours were taking place, people were checking into the hotel, the Lido was busy serving lunch, the ocean bar already had live music playing and out on deck, people were just enjoying the ship for free.  We saw 2 different reunion parties for older people who had obviously been involved in the ship in some way in the past.



We checked into our really lovely room on the upper promenade deck (if anyone is interested I can give you the number).  It was an inside, but it was HUGE and beautifully decorated.  Very stylish, modern and 50s all at the same time we then headed to the Lido for some really gorgeous soup, and then coffee....



... before deciding to take the "full" tour.  Sadly it wasn't as full as i'd hoped, and missed out all the stunning public rooms, which i have still only seen photos of. I enquired about the 'art tour' mentioned on the audio guide, but it is unavailable therefore there is no way at all into any of these rooms.



Later that evening, when the functions had finished, we looked into one room as they were clearing up, smartly dressed for dinner, camera in hand, and literally only a couple of steps inside -  and were very rudely and abruptly told to leave by a security guard.  Not impressive.

We arrived for dinner - reserved in the Club Room five weeks before - and greatly anticipated ever since - only to be told that they had no record of us, and we must be mistaken, and we should be in the lido.  I also didn't like the attitude shown at this point - patronising.  Fortunately I had a printed copy of our confirmation letter in the pocket, and after a while, and some phonecalls, apologies were being given, and a table immediately found.  I still didn't like his attitude..... HOWEVER.... our waiter was utterly superb, the wine flowed, and a SIX course 'suprise' dinner followed that knocked my socks off!  Quite possibly the best meal of my entire life.  The only thing that could have made it better, would have been if the ship had actually been going somewhere, but that wasn't in our minds at all.  The meal exceeded PG on QE2, my previous best experience.



On to the ocean bar for after-dinner drinks, and it was crowded (it is small, and the only bar on board) however it was also superb, with very good live music from 'Lace'.  We only managed one beer though, because i found it impossible to get served again, or even to get near to the bar.  The bar was also showing signs of wear and tear since last year - some of the paintwork was grubby, and bits of the special roof were missing - BUT extremely enjoyable, and a lovely space.



A lovely stroll on deck, and a sit in the teak steamer chairs on a teak deck looking at the Rotterdam skyline completed our evening.



Breakfast the next morning was AWESOME - absolutely everything imaginable, freshly cooked.  EASILY up to QE2 standard.

Thoughts, for me, were constantly with QE2, visited so recently before.  QE2 empty and, to be honest, looking a bit sorry for herself.  Rotterdam all beautifully renovated and bustling.  

My dream?  For the very clever Rotterdam design team to work their magic on QE2.  Modern, but 60s futuristic style.  Taking the ship back to the original vision, preserving everything they can, and re-injecting that original 'ships have been boring long enough'.  And then - bring her back to the UK, to a suitable port where she can succeed.  Rotterdam was laid up for 10 years, and now is full of magic again.  

SS Rotterdam is one of my very favourite places to visit, anywhere.  Make sure you visit and support her.



« Last Edit: Jun 29, 2011, 10:41 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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 Scott Ebersold

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #8 on: Jun 30, 2011, 04:25 AM »
Lovely, Rob.  I hope the same happens to QE2 very soon.  I agree that bringing her back to her "ships have been boring long enough" glamour with a modern perspective is the key.

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #9 on: Jul 03, 2011, 07:48 PM »
Exactly a week after Rob, I too spent a night on the SS Rotterdam. This time, she served as a hotel ship for me, as I had an early-morning appointment to see another ship altogether, the container vessel Ebba Maersk. And because I had decided to spend the night on the Rotterdam, three other people involved in the same Sunday visit also stayed there.

My friend and I had no trouble booking by e-mail. On arrival, we received the cabins we had requested (original cabins on the Lower Promenade Deck) as well as the dinner booking in the Club Room, exactly as booked several weeks earlier.

Rob's little video had made me look forward to the visit all the more. And indeed, the atmosphere had changed from my previous visits last year. The whole ship was humming, and it seemed on board just as it would have been on a real liner staying in port for a night. There were people enjoying a drink in the Ocean Bar, there were people sitting down for a special meal in the Club Room, there were staff cleaning the public rooms, ready for the next functions, and late at night, there were people of various ages, some walking hand in hand, in their festive clothes, leaving the parties which they had attended and heading for their cabins. There even were dancers and musicians, after their shows, heading for the changing rooms and having a quick natter with their friends. There was the odd person on the open decks in the fairly mellow air of Rotterdam Port, looking out and possibly dreaming of their next sea voyage. And all the staff we met, from the reception desk to the waitress in the Club Room, were friendly and helpful. Well, there was just one exception -- and she was polite but firm...

The photos are all here :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prondis_in_kenya/sets/72157623546400484/

Those towards the bottom of the page are the most recent ones.

Our cabins were 2005 and 2009 -- those of the other couple were one deck lower, not sure which numbers, but they too were happy with their accommodation. We had those wonderful original tables, chairs and stools, straight out of the 1950s, as well as some original cabinets and writing desks, made of honey-coloured wood and in excellent condition.



As we happened to have arrived at a time of day when the afternoon parties had finished and the evening ones not yet started, all the public rooms were being cleaned and prepared, and the staff allowed us into each of them, provided we kept a low profile and did not disturb the busy crew.



Apart from the Queen's Lounge (which we somehow missed), I have now managed to get into each of the original public rooms and love the colour schemes and the bold patterns there. We were not allowed into the brand new Executive Suites though -- these have been created in an "airport lounge" style in those spaces where the officers' cabins used to be located.

Dinner in the Club Room was superb. We ordered the minimum number of courses of the "surprise" menu (i.e. four courses) and ended up with two extra mini-courses thrown in as well. Each of the courses was quite small, so that it was no effort to finish the food which, once again, was among the best I have ever eaten (only seriously competing with the previous meals I have had in the same Club Room!). Service was excellent and unobtrusive, apart from telling us for each course what food we had been given and what wine went to complement it.



After dinner, we went down to see the La Fontaine and Odyssey Rooms, both accessible for taking a look and sufficiently well lit to take pictures. There was a wedding anniversary being celebrated in the Odyssey room, which looked very festive.



And then, I tried the free wifi, which worked best in the main foyer, the less grand equivalent of the Midships Lobby.

Finally, I took another walk, alone, round the decks. The upper decks are out of bounds for hotel guests, but it only takes one "no entry" gate, easily passed, to have almost the whole of the area ahead of you. At night time, nobody seems too strict about keeping hotel guests out. During the day, these areas are in any case open to all who take the audio guided tours. And here, the only criticism I had of the ship's current condition -- the deck planks had not been maintained as well as they would be on a working ship -- water had accumulated here and there, and had not been swept away after the rain. There had been some discolouration, but no damage beyond that.



Breakfast next morning in the Lido was both ample and delicious, and it was lovely to sit by a window and gaze out, as we would have done in the "real" Lido of QE2. We then met up with the couple with whom we were to visit Ebba Maersk, and headed out on our 50-km drive to the Container Port.



At this stage, SS Rotterdam has become like another home from home to me -- I feel really happy when setting foot on her again. And what is best, she is always there, ready to be visited! Just as for Rob, she has become my second favourite ship. I shall be back, and soon. One of these years, we should have a QE2Story Forum get-together there :)  !
« Last Edit: Jul 03, 2011, 08:03 PM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Online cunardqueen

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #10 on: Jul 03, 2011, 08:28 PM »
Probably a very stupid question, BUT are the onboard departments aware of the shippy interest from some of the visitors?
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Hank Hargrove

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #11 on: Apr 17, 2014, 03:50 PM »
I want to visit the Rotterdam someday!  :D
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #12 on: Apr 17, 2015, 10:10 PM »
Peter Knego has written a wonderful article in Maritime Matters, illustrated with plenty of photos, about his recent visit to SS Rotterdam :

http://maritimematters.com/2015/04/reunited-with-rotterdam-part-one/

This is Part 1 -- more to follow. Enjoy the article, and also read the comment below, wishing the same kind of renaissance for QE2...

Offline Brandon Sterkel

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #13 on: Apr 17, 2015, 11:07 PM »
Peter Knego has written a wonderful article in Maritime Matters, illustrated with plenty of photos, about his recent visit to SS Rotterdam :

http://maritimematters.com/2015/04/reunited-with-rotterdam-part-one/

This is Part 1 -- more to follow. Enjoy the article, and also read the comment below, wishing the same kind of renaissance for QE2...
I really enjoyed reading this article on the SS Rotterdam. :) It is definitely a ship that I would want to visit in my lifetime! ;)
Queen Elizabeth 2: A 50 Year Legend!

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #14 on: Apr 18, 2015, 01:48 PM »
Hi Isabelle - Thank you very much for posting Peter's article with all of the fabulous photos.  A wonderful job has been done with SS Rotterdam.  If only the same could take place for our beloved QE2 !  June 
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Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #15 on: Apr 21, 2015, 07:26 AM »
Part two is available now

http://maritimematters.com/2015/04/reunited-with-rotterdam-part-two/

She looks absolutely wonderful and I want to go back for a fourth visit now!
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 Graham Taylor

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #16 on: Apr 21, 2015, 11:15 AM »
As part of my holiday touring Germany and The Netherlands by train I'll be staying onboard from 16-18 June. I'm so looking forward to it.
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Offline Graham Taylor

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #17 on: Jun 16, 2015, 04:03 PM »
Just arrived onboard, dropped bags off in cabin A017 and have headed straight to the open area of the Lido to sit by the pool.
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Offline cameroa

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #18 on: Jun 16, 2015, 04:13 PM »
Looks great Graham, hope you have a nice time on board. I  was just imagining sitting there in his very position, dreaming of a beautiful black topped red funnel...sigh!

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #19 on: Jun 16, 2015, 04:23 PM »
Just arrived onboard, dropped bags off in cabin A017 and have headed straight to the open area of the Lido to sit by the pool.

Makes me feel all nostalgic! Thanks for the photo, Graham :) .

Offline Graham Taylor

Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #20 on: Jun 16, 2015, 04:27 PM »
More will follow once I work out my way around. A bit miffed that the tour has a greater freedom to explore than I have as a hotel guest, considering what I'm paying for two nights stay they could at least allow me a tour gratis. Can't even pop my head round some of the doors for a photo......... "Only on the tour, sir".
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Offline June Ingram

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #21 on: Jun 16, 2015, 05:04 PM »
Thanks, Graham, for the great photo.  I am looking forward to more to come and a description of your time aboard.  Are there deck plans available of Rotterdam as an hotel ?  June   :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Online cunardqueen

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #22 on: Jun 16, 2015, 06:19 PM »
The Hotel Queen Mary include a basic self guided tour if you spend the night.And the only official way to see the swiming pool is on the evening tour
Then again if you pop your head round a door, lord knows what you may find.
I ended up here one time in No 3 boiler room..
Bit like QE2, theres no knowing what might lay behind some of these doors.. ;)
From the moment you first glimpsed the Queen,
 you just knew you were in for a very special time ahead.!

Offline Rob Lightbody

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #23 on: Jun 16, 2015, 06:25 PM »
Welcome aboard Graham, I'm very jealous!

I thought the frustrations in the way they operate her had been resolved, so that's a wee bit sad to hear.  They should allow and welcome, Hotel guests into all areas, as long as an event or function isn't actually underway.

However, do look beyond the way they're operating her and take in the way they've done the ship!  I especially like the way from the quayside she appears ready to sail - it compares starkly to Hotel Queen Mary where you can hardly see the ship, and its quite obvious she won't be sailing due the huge number of attachments, pipes etc!

And don't forget the Ocean Bar later on - which is almost completely original including the fish scales roof!
« Last Edit: Jun 16, 2015, 06:27 PM by Rob Lightbody »
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 Graham Taylor

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #24 on: Jun 18, 2015, 01:03 PM »
Well I had a wonderful two days onboard and must have spent over three hours doing the tour as I took 200 photos of not just the rooms, but artwork, light fittings and furniture I'll go through them and post them up once back on my home broadband.

Took your suggestion, Rob and had afternoon tea at Hotel New York which was really good and excellent value for money.

I'll post up my thoughts about the whole stay once home.
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #25 on: Jun 22, 2015, 10:10 AM »
I'll post up my thoughts about the whole stay once home.

Looking forward to that, Graham!

Meanwhile, an entirely non shippy friend of mine had told me that she would be spending part of last week-end in Rotterdam, so I recommended having a look at the ship. She left without promising to do so.

On her return, she reported that she and her family had spent three hours on the ship, enjoying a walk around the various public rooms (it seems that not many were off limits, but also that the guided tours were not advertised at the entrance, which is a pity).

She and her mother then relaxed on deck in the cool sunshine, while her husband walked around the ship again, taking copious photographs. Big success -- and just shows that a beautiful retired ship can bring in non shippy visitors if it is attractive as a venue and the service is good. Well done, SS Rotterdam!

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #26 on: Jun 22, 2015, 11:17 AM »
Sounds like you enjoyed your stay onboard the ship Graham.  We only had time for a tour of the ship and engine room the last time we were onboard but we would certainly think about staying onboard next time we visit.  Looking forward to seeing the pictures. 
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Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #27 on: Jan 15, 2017, 10:54 PM »
I was recently given the gift of a visit and overnight stay on the SS Rotterdam, and was delighted to take this up. I had not been on the ship since Westcord Hotels took over the management of the entire operation, and I was looking forward to comparing with my previous visits.

Arriving at the bus stop right by the ship, I had the familiar feeling of overwhelming delight and excitement, and I had to stop and take a photo of her, lying in port as though only waiting to sail away.



Even the radar on the mast was turning!

I had deliberately arrived early, so I left my baggage at reception and made my way to the Lido restaurant for a light lunch, which turned out to be delicious.



I have a feeling that the upgrade fairy was at work, as I got this lovely cabin, which in addition to what is shown in the photo contained a little annex with a desk and some coffee making equipment, and a bathroom. There are inside cabins a fair bit smaller than this, and that is probably what my choice of the lowest price should have given me.



I had registered for two tours -- the first of the decks and public rooms (to be taken on the first afternoon), the second of the engine room (booked for the following morning). For both tours, I was given an audio guide, set to talk to me in English, and sent off to follow the route, which was clearly signposted.

The great innovation of the first tour was that there were volunteers stationed in strategic places, and if there were no functions going on, these volunteers were authorised to take the visitors into the spaces that could be visited. The tour was supposed to be finished at 5 pm, presumably so that any functions and events could take place after that time, but visitors would have the chance to look around before then. It worked really well!



I was guided by a lady who clearly loved the ship and knew it very well, into all the public rooms on the Upper Promenade Deck, with plenty of time to have a good look around, take as many photographs as I wished, and ask any questions.

Then, it was back to the audio tour, which took me around all the decks in the biting cold (I very much regretted not having brought a coat and hat) and all the way up to the Bridge and the Wheelhouse, where two volunteers were ready to explain and answer my questions. I was too ignorant to ask very much, but content to take a look at these hallowed realms. Various cabins for the Captain and senior officers were located in this area, with the contents looking much as they probably did when the ship stopped sailing (perfectly tidy and with the bed made, and all the equipment looking very old-fashioned to us now).

It was getting late and was already past 5 pm, so I was asked to finish the rest of the tour a bit faster.

At this stage, however, I met a very kind security man, who asked me what I had already seen and checked with me what I had not. Much of what I had not seen, I had never seen, and so I was very happy to take up the offer of another personal guided tour. The high point of this (literally as well as figuratively) was climbing a back stairs all the way to a central elevation on the ship, located between the double funnels and the mast, from which one could look across the whole of the ship and also get an excellent view of the city of Rotterdam itself. He told me that this was a favourite spot for watching the fireworks at New Year!



The most amazing thing he showed me though was a door in a hotel corridor, which looked like any other cabin door, but behind which was the rest of the swimming pool on the Lido Deck, the part which had been cut off as a result of the swimming pool being converted to a paddling pool. Here it is :



Now used as a storage space and housing some machinery, this is the bottom of the outdoor swimming pool which the passengers of the liner used to enjoy.

I shall continue the story tomorrow. However, here already is the entire album in Flickr, with the latest photos at the top and the earlier photos as you go down.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/prondis_in_kenya/sets/72157623546400484

On my computer, the first three pages of this album contain photos of the present visit, with the last photo at the top of page 1 and the first photo at the bottom of page 3. The other pages are of previous visits, under the pre-Westcord management.


« Last Edit: Jan 16, 2017, 08:00 AM by Isabelle Prondzynski »

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #28 on: Jan 16, 2017, 12:51 AM »
Hi Isabelle - Thank you very much for your narrative of your visit to SS Rotterdam.  It sounds wonderful and the photos are superb !  Thank you very much for sharing and I very much look forward to the next installment !  June  :)
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Malcolm

Re: Reviews of SS Rotterdam
« Reply #29 on: Jan 16, 2017, 07:33 AM »
This sounds very different from my experience of her back in 2010 (?) when I felt I'd seen all there was to see and that one night was more than enough (although I seem to remember the food onboard was good :) ). I wonder if she's due another visit?

 

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