On December 21st 2013, Dream Designs Colchester were welcomed aboard Holland America Line's Rotterdam, whilst the ship was berthed alongside the Cruise Terminal at Harwich International Port.
Harry Cotterill, President & Managing Director, Dream Designs Colchester was joined aboard Rotterdam by Gavin Pamment, Chief Photographer, Dream Designs Colchester.
We were able to arrange this visit aboard Rotterdam thanks to Michael Langley, Cruise Director, Holland America Line.
Harry and Gavin arrived at Harwich International Port just after 08:30. Cruise Director, Michael had arranged a boarding time of approximately 09:00 with the drawing presentation planned to take place on the bridge at 09:30.
Before entering the Cruise Terminal to obtain their boarding passes, Harry and Gavin both took the opportunity to capture some photographs of Rotterdam from the quayside. Unfortunately the weather was very poor on what was the shortest day of the year.
Having collected their boarding passes they made their way along the passenger boarding gangway, where coincidentally they met Cruise Director, Michael Langley who was on his way to meet them. Upon boarding Rotterdam on Deck 2 (Main Deck), Harry and Gavin were escorted to Exploration's Cafe on Deck 5 (Upper Promenade Deck), by Michael where they enjoyed a drink together before the official drawing presentation.
Just before 09:30 Michael took Harry and Gavin to the bridge on Deck 7 where they were introduced to the Master of Rotterdam, Captain Marco Carsjens. Here Harry had the opportunity to officially present his especially assigned drawing of Rotterdam to the Captain and Cruise Director.
Both the Master of Rotterdam, Captain Marco Carsjens and Cruise Director, Michael Langley where very impressed with the drawing and promised to find a suitable place on board to display it.
Whilst on the bridge Harry and Gavin took many photographs of the various navigational equipment on the bridge, as well as the opportunity to have a photograph taken together with Captain Marco Carsjens on the bridge wing.
Following the official drawing presentation, Michael invited Harry and Gavin to tour Rotterdam at their leisure. Michael agreed to meet with them later on during the day, as he had arranged a special tour off limits tour of some of the crew areas on board.
Leaving the bridge on Deck 7 (Navigation Deck), Harry and Gavin made their way up to Deck 9 (Sport's Deck), to begin their self guided tour of Rotterdam, starting in the Crow's Nest. Moving down to Deck 8 (Lido Deck), they explored The Greenhouse Spa & Salon, where they saw the Fitness Centre and Beauty Salon.
Continuing on Deck 8 (Lido Deck) they passed the Lido Pool and Lido Bar, both of which are covered by a large retractable glass roof. Continuing aft they passed through the Lido Restaurant, where they would later enjoy lunch on board.
Arriving at the aft on Deck 8 (Lido Deck) Harry and Gavin viewed The Retreat, one of the new areas which was added to the ship when it was refurbished in late 2009. The Retreat comprises of a shallow pool like area, a whirlpool along with a large television screen. Nearby is also the Bar at the Retreat and Slice a poolside grill.
Having braved the elements outside on Deck 8 (Lido Deck), Harry and Gavin went up to Deck 9 (Sports Deck) to have a photograph taken with the ship's twin funnels behind them. Following this they also briefly viewed The Oasis on Deck 10 (Sky Deck).
Staying outside they found the ship's builders plaque from Fincanteri, the shipyard at which Rotterdam was originally constructed. They also viewed the retractable roof over the Lido Pool on the deck below.
Continuing their self guided tour of Rotterdam, they moved down to Deck 5 (Upper Promenade Deck). Here they began by exploring the two tiered La Fontaine Dining Room at the aft end of the vessel.
Heading forward along Deck 5 (Upper Promenade Deck) Harry and Gavin got to see many more of the amenities aboard Rotterdam, including the Casino, the Atrium and The Showroom At Sea to name but a few.
Whilst continuing their tour, now on Deck 4 (Promenade Deck) Harry and Gavin passed Cruise Director, Michael Langley again. He asked how they were getting on and confirmed that the special off limits tour was going to take place. Michael then stayed with Harry and Gavin taking them to some of the amenities on Deck 4 (Promenade Deck) such as the Wajang Theatre & Culinary Arts Center and the Pinnacle Grill.
Next Michael took Harry and Gavin into some of the off limits areas, including the galleys of the Pinnacle Grill and the La Fontaine Dining Room. Here they got to see many different areas, like the Bakery and also got to watch crew preparing lunch and dinner for embarking passengers.
Next up was the off limits tour of the provisional stores and others areas on the lower decks of the vessel.Michael introduced Harry and Gavin to another crew member, who would escort them around these areas. They began by viewing some of the food stores and the waste and garbage room.
Continuing their off limits tour Harry and Gavin had the chance to see many more stores, most of them used to stored the vast amount of food which is needed to feed all the hungry passengers and of course crew as well!
Lastly on their special tour Harry and Gavin were taken into the laundry room aboard Rotterdam. The laundry room is an essential part of any cruise ship.
Having completed their special off limits tour, Cruise Director Michael guided Harry and Gavin to the Lido Restaurant on Deck 8 (Lido Deck) where he invited them to enjoy lunch aboard Rotterdam with him. Unfortunately we forgot to have a photograph taken together!
After relaxing in the Lido Restaurant and enjoying a delicious buffet lunch with the Cruise Director, Harryand Gavin were given free roam of the ship once again, allowing them to view some of the other passenger amenities which they had not yet had time to take a look at.
Continuing their tour of Rotterdam, Harry and Gavin made their way back down to Deck 5 (Upper Promenade Deck) to view the Ocean Bar and Mix, another new area which was added during the ship's refurbishment in 2009.
Having now toured most of the ship, Harry and Gavin braved the elements again, this time along the outside promenade deck on Deck 3 (Lower Promenade Deck), where they were slightly more sheltered from the relentless rain and wind. Along the promenade deck they got to see some of the doors of the Lanai Staterooms added in 2009, which feature sliding glass doors opening directly out onto the promenade deck.
It was now time to disembark Rotterdam, so Harry and Gavin made their way to the Cruise Director's Office on Deck 3 (Lower Promenade Deck) by The Atrium, where they reported to Michael Langley who escorted them off the ship back to the Passes Office in the Cruise Terminal.