Our cruise ship will be in Rotterdam in the second week in May for the day. I would like to visit the Keukenhof gardens and am wondering what is the best way of getting to Keukenhof from Rotterdam and what time frame I would need to plan the day trip. Any info on costings and what to see and do at the gardens would be much appreciated. I think we will be too late for the floral festival as we will be there on the 10th May.
To get to the gardens you take a train from Rotterdam to Schipol Airport. At the airport there are direct shuttle buses to Keukenhof. At the official site you can purchase a combo ticket which includes entrance to the gardens and the shuttle bus:
Be aware that starting this year the shuttle bus will no longer accept cash. Only the combo-ticket or the OV-chipkaart transit card will be accepted by the driver.
If the ship also calls in Amsterdam, that might be a shorter land transfer. You might be able to squeeze in nearby Aalsmeer Flower Auction on a business morning. Make really sure you can get back in time for the ship's departure, since you'll be traveling on a non-ship excursion. Keukenhof closes 18 May this year, but that's not a reason not to go in the last week. Weather and blooming are unpredictable.
If you are going from Rotterdam to Keukenhof you don't need to go to Schiphol. You can go to Leiden Centraal station and take a shuttle bus there.