My husband and I boarded the Ryndam in Dover after a fabulous Celebrity Constellation - Transatlantic crossing from Florida. We had stayed overnight in Dover and enjoyed time there, visiting the White Cliffs and the tunnels within. Tho our boarding time was 1p, we took a chance and went at 10:30am. We were allowed to board about 11:30 and it was SUCH a smooth check in ! I had done check in online before arriving, but they were completely ready even though we came early, and within about 20 min we were ON the boat; the cabins were even ready. A smaller ship than some on Holland America...and we like this fact. the Cruise was wonderful...arriving at 3 ports in Norway en route to the Nordkapp and then, 3 on the way, south, en route to dover, once again.
Our Cabin was a verandah and a bit smaller than some, but comfortable. Many shelves and cupboards for storage. Glad we didn't book a smaller cabin though.
Food was excellent and the shore excursions were fair value for the money. The tour people were very helpful in giving information...but at times, I found the offerrings lacking. One example of that was in Dover, when they didn't offer an excursion to the Castle...and many wished to go. I found myself counseling some about how to do this easily.
The entertainment was mediocre...except for the stage shows which were good. I did not find the port lecturer very helpful. The information was cursory, but the pictures and Q & A were helpful.
The food was very good expecially the specialty restaurants.
Despite the faraway regions (arctic...and fjords), the internet reception was MUCH better than I expected. This was a sold out cruise and the cruise booking people were VERY busy booking future cruises...and I salute HAL by having three people to book them. Very effecient...I got my booking information within 12 hours.
Lots of Art auctions; and games, and internet lecutres, but if you want to hear something intelectual during the day ( a history lecture ie)...you will not easily find it.
I would surely recommend this trip and ship...and only hope that in future cruises, the entertainment is a bit better as is the port lecturer.