We prefer to arrive at the departure port one or more days in advance. You never know what might happen, especially in the winter. As we learned at the end of 2010, even Holland can freeze.
We took the Intercity train from Schiphol to Rotterdam, then a taxi to the Inntel Rotterdam. This hotel is a lovely modern (minimalist) design inside and out. A wonderful dinner (kapsalon and croquettes) in the Brasserie and we were off to bed.
After a rather expensive but very tasty breakfast at the hotel we went for a walk around town. Someone on Cruise Critic had suggested the open air market at De Blaak. While we were looking for some specific things, we covered a lot of territory. Rotterdam is blessed with an extensive area of pedestrian only shopping. Probably 4 sq. km’s, maybe more. Lots of variety as well, esp. for the fast food stalls. Examples are fish (new herring), poffertjes, stroop wafels, sate, loempia (spring rolls) and patat (fries). Along the way from the hotel we also visited the outdoor part of the Harbour Museum. These are all old ship, tug boats, cranes etc. that had some significance or are just good examples.
After dinner we went for a short walk to see the Erasmus Bridge at night. Back to the room to finally get some blog postings done, this will be the last day of free internet for a while!
(Here is the recipe for kapsalon because I know that you want to try it)