Sharif and I recently celebrated our first anniversary. We wanted to do something special, but we didn't necessarily have a big budget to travel like we usually do. One day I was watching TV and a commercial for ‘voordeeluitjes.nl’ came on. I decided to take a look to see if they would have something within our budget and behold, we saw a special deal for two days on the SS Rotterdam. We have always been curious about the ship and have been contemplating visiting for a while now. Our anniversary seemed like the perfect opportunity to do so.
The SS Rotterdam used to be a luxurious ocean liner and cruise ship at one point, but has served as a hotel ship since the opening in 2010. The ship has a rich history, which can be explored on one of the many tours this ship has to offer. We took the full tour of the ship, which takes you through the machine rooms, the ball rooms and decks. We had different guides during this tour. Many of these tour guides used to be part of the crew when the ship still operated as a cruise ship. This made for a tour filled with great personal stories and an in depth explanation of the ship’s rich history. The tour guides were also extremely nice and helpful, which made the experience even better.
As a part of our package we got a free snack platter during our stay and a harbour tour on the spido tour boat. From SS Rotterdam, which is located in Katendrecht, we were able to take the water taxi to the Erasmus bridge. There we could continue on our harbour tour with the Spido. Taking the water taxi was extremely simple. We just bought our tickets at the front desk at SS Rotterdam and they arranged for the taxi to come pick us up. The taxi trip was exhilarating! The water taxi speeds right on the Maas and brings you to your desired location in no time. In all my years living in the Netherlands I have never taken a tour of the harbour (crazy right). I would say that this is definitely a MUST for locals and tourists alike.
Now let’s talk about our stay on the ship itself, shall we? I was so impressed with the decor of the ship. The minute you step foot on the ship you feel like you are going back in time. Even after so many years, they have managed to keep almost all of the original furniture and art pieces on the ship, restoring it to its former glory, but with all of the amenities you would expect from a modern day hotel. We had a late lunch at the Lido restaurant on the Promenade Deck of the ship and I must say we were pleasantly surprised with the food and with the cocktails we had at the bar on the Main Deck. Our breakfast was also included and the breakfast buffet was also absolutely delicious. The incredible view you get while having lunch or breakfast is the cherry on the cake!
It may seem as though everything went smoothly, but there were a few misses. We happened to stay at the hotel ship during the heatwave and one of the things we quickly noticed was that the rooms do not have air conditioning. The rooms had a ventilation system in place to keep the room cool, but with it being 37 degrees celsius outside, let’s just say it wasn’t all the pleasant. Luckily for us, the front desk was nice enough to provide us with a fan and I slept like a baby afterwards. With the heatwave being unbearable, I was really looking forward to taking a swim in the pool. When we got there we soon noticed that the pool was only 40cm deep, so it was only for the children. The ship used to have a swimming pool and a spa during its cruise ship days, but because of the insane costs of restoring the ship they simply couldn’t restore it. Despite of these minor hiccups, I truly enjoyed my stay and will be planning another stay soon (hopefully).