The cruise log says we traveled 2040nm from start to finish.
1313 passengers were on board the MS Ryndam the week of March 25- April 1, 2012.
568 people were dedicated to making our cruise special.
A total of 7 days... you plan, you save, you wait... and then finally- it's embarkation day!
The final cruise log includes everything from the mechanical to the day to day tallies.
And in the end--- 1313 guests come away with a different experience and their own opinion.
My parents were very frequently frustrated ... My husband simply shrugged and said... we were on a cruise- no worries.
After disembarkation and a very long travel day home, we went out for Chinese food.
My fortune cookie said:
TO BE MATURE IS TO ACCEPT IMPERFECTIONS.
& Fortunately for the MS Ryndam... I am.
I am a 3 star mariner, & this was my 4th cruise aboard the MS Ryndam over a ten year period. It saddened me to see how much she had aged since 1994... but then again, so have I.
I had a great cruise in spite of her many issues, and in the end that is all that matters.
But- we had some "real" problems aboard, beyond the anticipated bumps & scrapes CC had me prepared for...
Embarkation in Tampa was very well orchestrated. We were on board by noon and headed off to the mariners luncheon. Our luggage was in our suite by the end of our relaxing meal.
We wandered about re familiarizing ourselves with her layout, purchased passes to the thermal suite, & made dinner reservations for later that week. She is a very easy ship to get around. The perfect size in my opinion.
We stayed in Suite 045 on the Navigation Deck. We especially enjoyed the veranda with a table & 4 chairs as well as the 2 lounge chairs. Cabin was very large and accommodated my husbands photography gear spread out all over. Beds are VERY comfortable--- plenty of storage! ... only real cabin negative -it had a sink in "dressing area" that was badly chipped & rusted over, so they had shut down the water and it was not usable. I was surprised they let an eyesore like that just "go", but it certainly did not ruin our suite for us. I just threw a towel over it and ignored it the rest of trip. I love the option and convenience of the neptune lounge, and of course the unlimited laundry & dry cleaning accompanying the suite. Once you have stayed in a suite, it would be very hard to willingly book anything else.
We had fixed dining- early seating. I would rate main dining rooms food somewhere between good and excellent. They have changed the way they serve since our last cruise in August. They now have a different person take the order and oversee the servers who actually present it. At times this seems chaotic--- other times more efficient and allowed food to be served hotter and quicker.
The lido was VERY crowded- but they did a good job serving up a variety of meals and tables were cleaned promptly to aid in availability.
The Pinnacle Grill was excellent.
The Canelletto offered up a nice alternative at no added fee.
I enjoyed the shipboard entertainment, a very talented group of kids! My first time experiencing this format: They had 2 dancers and 6 vocalists. One of the two women sang opera, as did one of the men. One of the men also acted as the "comedian" of the group. The result: productions were fresh and more personal than I had ever experienced on a HAL ship. Loved the piano bar & music by the Hellcats.
I took advantage of a few activities with the party planner (crafts, cooking), played a lot of trivia, and used Thermal suite almost daily. I had a massage, and attended a few "well being" lectures.
OK... now the real issues that cannot be ignored:
Day 2 we visited Key West. After a pleasant day in port, our departure was delayed due to "mechanical engine problems". This would repeat on our last port day when the ship blacked out for an hour or so. A few passengers were in the elevators at the time... & for my parents who could not do stairs, it meant no access to Lido for lunch, where food was further limited by the inability to prepare more due to power failure...
My parents had repeated toilet problems. They were very frustrated and wanted to switch cabins.
The thermal suite had a ceramic lounger that would not heat, and when I stepped into shower the handle fell off. When I tried to use the restroom in the locker room it was out of order. (It remained so all week).
Lastly, the fire alarms were sounded our last evening soon after most had gone to bed. The fire was in the incinerator area and generated a lot of smoke... but was handled quickly.
I love cruising. and I guess one would call me one of those dedicated HAL cheerleaders. The service is excellent, and they make me feel very special. I don't mind the worn out carpets or stains... these ships have thousands of guests weekly.
I will not cruise again on the Ryndam... and will stick to the newer ships in the HAL fleet.