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Ryndam Cruise Review by JimBoard

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Member Name: JimBoard
Cruise Date: September 2012
Embarkation: Barcelona
Destination: Western Mediterranean
Cabin Category: EE
Cabin Number: 384
Booking Method: Cruise Line
See More About: Ryndam Cruise Reviews | Western Mediterranean Cruise Reviews | Holland America Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 5.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 3.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness 4.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 5.0
Service 4.0
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Ryndam Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Ryndam Deck Plans
Overall Nice Ship and itinerary
We sailed on the Spanish Serenade voyage which was one half of a 14-day Mediterranean itinerary (we joined in Barcelona at midpoint sailing westward). Overall the ship was clean and in good shape despite it being one of the older vessels. We got bumped up from an obstructed view stateroom to an unobstructed view which we were quite happy about until we found the air conditioner didn't work well and there was a good bit of noise coming from above us (more on that below).

The itinerary included Majorca, Ibiza, Casablanca and Cadiz (positioned as Seville) as well as a sailing day through Gibraltar. The Gibraltar passage was a non-event however as we first sailed thru late in the evening and then later returned very early in the morning where the fog/haze prevented any viewing. In my opinion if one of the sail thrus had been midday we'd have stood a much better chance of viewing the Straits and the Rock.

Another comment on the itinerary is that we wish we'd had more time in Ibiza and less in Casablanca. Casablanca was the longest port stop from early am to 7:30PM whereas on Ibiza it was a short 11:00am to 5:30pm (we docked 1/2 hour late so it was really only 6 hours).

We found the food quite good in the main dining room (Rotterdam) and had 3 meals in the Pinnacle Grill (PG) Dining room which was excellent as well. We like the fact that HAL allows you to bring wine onboard and brought a bottle of wine for 2 of the nights at the PG (note that there is an $18 uncorkage fee per bottle). The staff at the PG was excellent as well, and the staff at the Rotterdam was very friendly too (the majority of whom are from Indonesia).

The casual dining room - the Lido - was slightly disappointing in that it was the least clean and also had water problems each day (dripping from the ceiling) that caused them to close one half of the restaurant on several days. This was the traditional buffet fare but probably a cut above the grade of other cruise line buffets.

In terms of entertainment the piano bar was a great way to kill an hour or two and we had some hits and misses with the club up in the crows nest. The other bars had good service, some with talented musicians and almost all had great views of ocean. I also enjoyed the library and found a great book to read on the trip.

Our room steward was excellent and brought us ice each am and evening and we tipped him extra accordingly.

Overall a great experience for our anniversary and I recommend both HAL and the Ryndam.

Publication Date: 09/26/12
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