At Sea, April 28, 2017

Today we sail the English Channel, south to north, to our disembarkation port, Rotterdam, Netherlands. The seas are calm again, but the temperature remains in the high 40’s, a bit chilly if your home is in South Carolina. Today will be a packing day, and it will take some effort to replace all our “stuff” into the cases and carry-ons that were so neatly organized when we left home in March. Before we tackle that arduous task there is Mah Jongg to be played and a last walk around the Rotterdam to embed this beautiful ship in our memories.

A co-flagship of the Holland America Line, along with the Amsterdam, Rotterdam has aged gracefully, probably due to the efforts of the crew who take pride in maintaining a representative of a vanishing breed – a smaller, yet very complete cruise ship offering comfort and serenity for longer itineraries at a reasonable fare.

These interior photos are just a small representation of the facilities on board and the art collection that has found a permanent home on the Rotterdam.

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The Explorer’s Lounge is a library/reading room/computer center with picture windows and meant for indoor relaxation anytime. It also serves latte coffees and pastries anytime!

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Mix is the piano bar with separate areas specializing in beer, wine, or champagne. Lively spot at night, especially with Stryker at the keyboard. Great entertainer and super sing-a-longs,

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The dining area extended over two decks aft, again with great views of our wake and architectural beauty of its own.

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In the bow area, the theater, again including 2 decks (a balcony with great sight lines to the stage) provided live evening entertainment. During the day it was the site of lectures about our upcoming ports and guest lecturers with experience on a myriad of topics.

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Forward in the bow and on the top deck is the Crow’s Nest, which provides the best views at sea or in port. The bar with great wine selections is obviously a big PLUS!

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This view of Monte Carlo from the Crow’s Nest is a fine example!

On board art provides a nice background and breaks the monotony of hallways and passages.

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The above atrium area features a three-deck clock with atlas at the top.

The warm weather made the pool area a lively spot. Even though the retractable roof was usually open, it could be closed in case of rain or cold. NICE!!

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Rotterdam was, indeed, a fine replacement home for the 30 days we were on board. We will miss her and miss her crew, like Ari, our dining waiter, who never ceased to smile.

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The birthday song, sung by the crew in Phillipino tagalog (with hand-clapping), was a unique memory which will always be associated with the 38th anniversary of my 39th birthday.

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