Personal Background Information:
We are a retired couple in the mid 50s and early 60s and have cruised on Carnival, Holland America, and Royal Caribbean lines.
Travel To Port of Embarkation:
We drove to the Hampton Inn on Waters St. in Tampa. They had a package deal where they shuttle you to the port. When we checked in, we signed up for a time to go to the port. I’m glad we picked 10am because due to traffic and other stops, we didn’t arrive at the port until 11am which was the perfect time.
Embarkation: It was so smooth and easy. Once we dropped our bags off with the porter, we checked in and went right on to the ship. Our cabins weren’t ready yet but we went to the Lido deck and had lunch. In the middle of eating, it was announced that the cabins were ready.
Stateroom: Our cabin (394) had a porthole and was on Deck 6 with the walking deck. I was afraid it would be noisy outside our cabin but it wasn’t. At night the lights outside were on all of the time and I was afraid it would bother us but it never did. The safe in the cabin didn’t work but once they fixed the battery, it worked perfectly. The bathtub drain plug also didn’t work but eventually it was fixed. The outlet for the dryer was wonky and I had to prop the dryer plug with things to make it stay in the outlet. I didn’t complain about it to anyone though. The size of the cabin was great and we had plenty of room to move around. We liked the cabin and where it was situated too. Our cabin steward kept our cabin clean and neat.
This was a 14 day cruise with stops in Key West, San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Curacao, Aruba, and Grand Cayman.
I loved the size of the ship and the amount of people on it. We were able to see people several times and get to know them.
The food was excellent but the desserts were mediocre. I didn’t like that they had different types of banana pudding on the Lido deck every day. The best one was the original bread pudding.
There were plenty of activities going on around the ship. We attended all of the Digital Workshops which were wonderful. The teacher was extremely patient and helpful. Even though I use the computer a lot, I learned something new in every class. We also went to the afternoon teas, and the culinary art demos which were fun. In the evenings, we went to the movie theater which was interesting. Some of the movies were strange choices to show on a ship: Enough Said (relationship between a man and woman which goes awry), Before Midnight (Couple on Greece vacation argue for 2 hours), Captain Phillips (Pirates attack a ship), Gravity, Hunger Games: Catching Fire (postapocalyptic survival movie Part 2), Last Love (elderly man becomes a widower and is suicidal), and Still Mine (elderly couple dealng with dementia issues).
Staff & Service:
Front Desk service was weak. It took 2 days for them to get the safe repaired. I also bought the 1000 minutes of internet for $250. On the day of disembarkation, I got up around 4:30am so I could get on the internet and use the rest of the minutes that I bought. The “On Location” daily paper said that we would be able to use the internet until we got off the ship. The wifi hadn’t worked in a couple of days so I used their computers but was still unable to get on the internet. When I went to the front desk, the girl told me that the internet was unavailable on the disembarkation day so I asked why they lied in the daily paper. She didn’t have an answer and told me that she would contact the internet manager at 7am. I continually tried to connect using my iPad and again on their computer before 7 but couldn’t do it. The girl called me to tell me that the internet manager said there was no problem with the internet so I asked for him to meet me at the computers. While I was waiting, it still didn’t work and then all of a sudden, it worked so I guess he reset them. By then, it was too late to use the computer because it was time to go eat breakfast. This means that I lost about 200 minutes left on my account. I won’t ever get that many minutes again!
Spa – Staff was not very friendly. When we first arrived and were exploring, the spa had an open house. When we walked around I took some pictures and one of the ladies scolded me for taking photos. Another day when we were walking on the treadmill around 6:30am, one man raised the shades so he could see when the sun began to rise, and the lady came and told him that they had to stay lowered. 30 minutes later, she raised them up anyway. I decided to stay away from the spa because they turned me off by their attitudes so I didn’t sign up for any packages.
Food service was excellent. On the Lido deck, I would be the first one to get an omelet from Billy, one of the chefs. There were also guys (Andi and Rizky) who would keep the juice, tea, and coffee cups filled. In the evening, we had a glass of wine when we arrived and one of the maitre’ds greeting us would always carry them to the table so we could use the hand sanitizer. When we left, Andi would be there to offer us mints, or ginger.
Crew and staff were always friendly when I saw them around the ship. Everyone had a smile and a greeting for us.
The entertainment was okay but I think the dance shows on the Carnival ships are much better with costumes, sets, and overall themes. We did really enjoy the comedian Jeff DeHart and the violinists, Lazlo and Claudia.
Getting off the ship was fast and easy. They called people by the color and number on their tags. We got off the ship about 9am and I called the hotel when we got out of the building about 9:20. They picked us up and we were back at our car by 10:30am.
I would definitely take the cruise on this ship again. We had a great time. There were no major problems for us about anything or anyone. I did write some posts about the cruise on my blog: Successful Teaching and added links to pictures from our trip. They are on http://successfulteaching.blogspot.com/search/label/Ryndam. Feel free to visit there to see the pictures.