When ms Rotterdam sailed from Fort Lauderdale Wednesday, December 16, guests enjoyed many new Signature of Excellence enhancements and amenities just completed in a 28-day drydock in Freeport, Bahamas. Rotterdam received the trendy Mix lounge, innovative Retreat Pool, classy Showroom at Sea and the addition of the industry’s only Lanai staterooms. Every stateroom now features a fresh new cabin and bathroom design as well.
“Rotterdam looks spectacular,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “The enhancements are going to impress our guests and engage them in exciting, new ways. This continued investment reaffirms our commitment to our fleet of mid-sized ships and our ongoing leadership in the premium category by continually raising the bar in terms of products and services.”
Signature of Excellence upgrades began with new fixtures and soft goods in staterooms and bathrooms. New Lanai accommodations were added along with several additional staterooms on the aft portion of each ship. Additional highlights feature a resort pool called The Retreat, the Showroom at Sea, Canaletto Italian restaurant and the new Mix lounge midship.
Public Spaces Pulse with Latest Innovations
The most visible and engaging alteration is to the aft of Rotterdam, allowing for a new resort-style pool area on Lido deck called The Retreat. With a shallow area where guests may lounge in chairs and dip their toes in the water, the new pool invites guests to relax and enjoy a new pool bar, an upscale pizzeria called Slice, and a giant LED screen for evening movies. A new canopy and wind screens provide additional covered seating for the Lido Restaurant, too.
In the Lido restaurant, Canaletto comes to life for dinner when a section is transformed each evening into the complimentary specialty restaurant with glass partitions and an Italian ambiance. Dishes range from putanesca to penne alla vodka. Although reservations are encouraged for this casual dining venue, walk-ups will be accepted. Canaletto is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
The latest Signature of Excellence enhancements include several other public areas. Notably, the Casino and Piano bars were reconfigured into a multi-themed area called Mix with three separate bars — Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales — serving their namesakes. Next door, the high-energy casino was redesigned and the main show lounge was transformed into the Showroom at Sea with the ambiance of a glamorous nightclub and a new slate of shows. Carpets were replaced in most public areas and an upscale luxury jewelry shop called Merabella also was added midship.
Staterooms Receive New Look and New Lanai Category
All staterooms received new décor, carpeting and soft goods and bathrooms saw an “extreme” makeover with new vanities and cabinetry. Rotterdam now has an additional 44 staterooms with additional verandah, new Lanai and inside availability.
On Rotterdam, 23 staterooms near the spa (on Verandah deck) will become “spa staterooms” featuring a variety of enhanced spa amenities. On Lower Promenade Deck, 39 new Lanai staterooms will be created by replacing existing windows with lanai doors that open directly onto the walk-around promenade, and adding a few additional rooms in this category.
Three Additional Ships Schedule for Enhancements
ms Maasdam, ms Ryndam and ms Statendam will receive Signature of Excellence enhancements beginning in early 2010. ms Veendam received all enhancements last April.
Future enhancements will be completed in two phases. First, in a series of drydocks in 2010 and 2011, the three additional ships will receive the addition of Mix, Showroom at Sea, Canaletto and other public area enhancements, and stateroom upgrades. The second series of drydocks in 2012 and 2013 will add The Retreat and new staterooms on the aft portion of the ships, as well as forward verandah and spa staterooms.
Signature of Excellence tops $525 Million
The industry-leading Signature of Excellence initiative announced nearly five years ago in November 2003 has evolved into an ongoing and comprehensive review of every aspect of the Holland America Line experience and exceeds $525 million. Signature of Excellence features and amenities are evident in every aspect of the Holland America Line cruise experience, offering guests more luxurious accommodations, more enticing destinations, enhanced dining experiences, more creative activities and even higher levels of service.