My wife & I are departing on the Rotterdam 15 Feb from Adelaide with Ports of Call of Indonesia (Lembar - Lombok, Slawi Bay - Komodo, Semarang - Java), Hong Kong, Shanghai, Nha Trang - Vietnam & Kemaman - Malaysia. Any thoughts of the ship arranged tours & better than doing it yourself. Also any other views on this Grand World Voyage as we can't find any reviews from previous passengers
It is hard to find reviews on world cruises as the people who take them are usually much older and often not very internet savvy.
The question is whether your tours will be good.
The first rule of cruising: "All tours are local" - no matter where your ship calls, the tours are provided essentially by local tour providers subcontracted by the cruise-lines. The places they visit often they have well-established tour connections so quality is better.
Here is the thing about a world cruise - the ports of call are often very unusual, therefore the cruise line may not have an established relationship with the local tour providers. The tours will vary. I suggest you peruse the tour guide carefully and think about what you want to see.
I would stay away from things that sound a little TOO exotic such as a long bus ride to a mountiantop village. Ask the ships excursion staff what a tour will be like - how popular it is, how long it is, bathroom breaks, food, etc.
Most people on cruises to exotic places want to see the highlights of whereever they stop, so if you are in Agra go to the Taj Mahal. Stick to the well-known destinations, but make sure you will have enough time to see everything you want to see.
Avoid shore excursions that take you to tourist traps such as a glass-blowing factory. Often these tours spend hours driving just to get you to a place where you cannot leave, and all you have to do is shop.
I am the editor, but I also speculate, ask questions and play devil's advocate. I reserve the right to change my mind.
There is another very active message board that has World Cruise Reviews for HAL from recent years.
It would be bad form to send you from here to there but I would suggest you google and you will find a very active site where you will get a lot of the information you are seeking.
Rotterdam is a lovely world cruiser........ Flagship (with her sister, Amsterdam) of HAL's fleet. We have cruised her a number of times and think her beautiful though it has been some since our last time aboard.
Enjoy your World Cruise... I gather you are doing a segment; not the whole voyage?