ONBOARD RYNDAM and not happy!
We boarded Ryndam in Barcelona on 29 August 2012 for 18 nights.
Ryndam is not what is was last year when we sailed on it for 16 nights.
We have sailed with HAL on Rotterdam, Prinsendam and Zaandam over the last 2 years as well as numerous Princess, Cunard, RCL and 2 Silversea cruises. We can see a marked and drastic drop in service on HAL compared with 2011.
1. Boat drill took 45 minutes in the hot sun and no explanation from anyone why the delay. I found out later it was because they were waiting for some passengers who did not come on deck. Why not tell the other passengers what was going on? Or was Captain Mark Rowden blissfully unaware of all his passengers sweating it out on deck while he sat in the air conditioned splendour of the Bridge telling us to keep quiet on 2 occasions.
They were calling out cabin numbers but you could not hear very well.
It did not inspire confidence if there was a real emergency.
2. Anytime dining. An absolute unmitigated disaster. People lining up for 50 mins at 8pm to have to wait a further 20 mins for a table.
There are a lot of Spaniards on who eat late. The Dining room is not big enough to take everyone. HAL knows about 3 months prior to the departure date how many people are booked and should make allowances for Europeans who wish to eat later.
I have spoken to a manager who has looked after us but the other night they put us on a table of 4 Spaniards, nice people but they only spoke Spanish!
We now get a fixed seating time and arrive early to get in without waiting. We meet interesting people on anytime dining but it is not worth the hassle.
3. Loud noise in the bathroom air vent. It took 6 days, 2 notes and 5 phone calls before I got it fixed. I had to ask for the Hotel Manager before I got some action and it was repaired in one hour. Naturally the Hotel Manager was not going to take my call so it fell upon the Guest Relations manager,Yvonne, who had the audacity to tell me not to yell at her during our phone conversation. Who is the customer who waited 6 days and still had not got any action? Who would not yell at the sheer frustration of the situation?
4. TV remote did not work and it took 2 days to fix it.
5. 2 requests to get mini bar removed.
I wrote 2 individual letters one to the Capt about boat drill disaster and one to the Maitre D about Anytime dining. They lost my letter to the captain and the maitre d called me after I spoke to Guest Relations Manager, 6 days after I wrote. Poor communications seems to be endemic in the ship today, not like a year ago.
HAL stands for Hopeless and Lackadaisical
We are cruising with first time cruisers from Sydney, who booked the same cruise unbeknowns to us and they are only 5 cabins away and they are not happy with cruising and cannot understand how we love it. Given the experiences to date we can understand how they feel.
Given that we are 3 star Mariners [75 plus cruise days], doing a back-to-back cruise I am astounded that we are being treated so shabbily. Our first time cruising friends have had better service than us.