Sailing to Norway

Monday August 14th – Sailing the North Atlantic, and the North Sea


The Plan:


Shipboard activities and Iceberg watch.


The Reality:


I know I haven’t written much about life onboard the Rotterdam on this particular cruise, so I will take of that with this post.


Lido Service: 


The service has been above reproach, especially in the Lido restaurant in the mornings. The staff can seem to do enough for us in an effort to serve. I can’t  count the times during breakfast I would be asked  if I want more coffee or juice or water or…… a newspaper.  It never stops,  almost to the point of frustration.


Dining Room Service:


The reassignment of a fixed seating table has not worked out as well as I expected. Being in the same dining room as the “as you wish” diners seems to slow down the service to our table as we have witnessed on a regular basis tables being seated  long after us, being served quicker and leaving the dining room even before we have been served our main course.  If a good show is scheduled in the Showroom at Sea, all the prime seating is taken by these “as you wish” folks. We dine at 5:15 PM and are rarely out before 7 PM. 


A word to the wise future cruisers, book a fixed seating table in the dining reserved for fixed seating only and do not book a table with more than 8 people. This might sound trivial but some people know how to “work the system” especially when there are as many 4 and 5 star mariners as we are sailing with. (900 out of a passenger list of around 1450)


Laundry Service:


With the amount of  seasoned Mariners on board we expected the laundry service to be abysmal – much to the contrary, it has been superb – kudos to the hard working laundry team.  Barbara put out a load of laundry yesterday morning and it was returned last evening – typical service so far.


Stateroom Attendants:


Our attendants are Yimi and Sapto are as usual from the beautiful country of Indonesia and could not do enough for us. When we return from breakfast and dinner the room has been professionally attended too – we are always greeted with a smile and hello.I know this is how they are trained, yet it doesn’t feel stiff nor forced. They continue the standard of excellence that we have always received on Holland America Dam ships.


Daily scheduled activities: 


More than adequate to keep everyone satisfied.  I enjoy Team Trivia and there has been afternoon and evening Team Trivia scheduled practically every day.

There are two or three lectures scheduled on sea days which  cover topics generic to our geographical location and future ports.  I have not attended that many but Barbara has, and she feels they are great.




The main showroom is packed for the 8 PM performance and the performers have been the best, especially the performances put on by the Rotterdam singers and dancers. By the time the other venues; piano bar, the Band, and BB King club start we are usually in bed or in our cabin getting ready to turn in for the night.  Part of the problem has been the advancing of the hours on most days as we are sailing West to East and changing time zones so often. On our return sailing we will enjoy 25 hour instead of 23 hour days.


The Seas and Weather:


There is nothing to compared to sitting in the Lido restaurant having breakfast and observing the changes in the restless seas below, or looking out your cabin window (lower deck) with the waves pounding and splashing just inches from your head.  As I write this from our stateroom on the Dolphin Deck (lowest passenger deck on the ship) the waves are gently reminding us that we are at sea – these things all add up to a wonderful life experience. Yet we must never forget that these were the same treacherous waters for our greatest generation who sailed them so that we can live the life we do today.


And Lastly – The condition of the  MS Rotterdam:


Even though our grand old lady is twenty years old she is in magnificent shape considering the number of miles and the waters she has braved in through the years. She still has at least ten more good years left to ply the oceans of the world.


No Icebergs spotted since leaving the waters off the coast of Greenland.



Jack W Cummings VOV 2017 –  sailing the North Sea

2 thoughts on “Sailing to Norway

  1. Dear Barbara and Jack,
    I enjoy reading Jacks diary of your adventures on the very northern part of the globe, getting nearer to Rotterdam day by day.
    Overhere live is fine, and Rob also sends his greetings.
    I have been busy with the final arrangements ( traintimes, busnumbers, reservations for a small open boattour (3/4 hour ) in the Amersfoort canals.
    Also trying to look for some walks around town with resting spots , like lunchtime and the brewery .
    I am still busy to find the best program for Leiden, to get the feeling of the town, while taking the most efficient and not tiring route .
    May be we also take a boatride , which is on a square 1/2 mile walk from the station (mostly they take one hour). And have an early lunch or coffee/beer stop afterwards , and see how much time left to walk a little ( I am very precise , about returning early for your returning to the ship in time !!) The weather during your stay is good: around 20 degrees C. and half sun with some clouds, but no rain.
    I am more OK with my new cellphone, and you know in Holland( #31)you can reach me if necessary on number (0)6 15114099.
    I also have your number Jack.
    I shall be waiting in the hall of Rotterdam Central Station to meet you both on Sunday around 09:35 AM.
    You can take the Metro D and E from near the Bridge near the Cruiseterminal to the Central Station.
    There is a separate exit/ entrance to the railroadstation , but I think it shows the way itself.

    The train to Amersfoort leaves at 10:05 AM so we shall not be in a hurry.
    I hope that for now I gave you sufficient information.
    If you have any questions do not hesitate to mail them to me.

    In the meantime I wish you a fantastic trip for now!

    Love, Yvonne.

  2. Delighted to hear you are so happy with how HAL is attending to it’s ships and passengers. As you know….so many rumors floating around! Nothing like getting the TRUTH from a good friend and master seaman!

    All is well here. Almost back to 100% normal after the earlier medical dramas.

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