We have recently returned to New Zealand after 3 months away visiting Hong Kong, UK (where we spent 8 weeks with family), Europe, Ireland, Canada, Alaska and other USA cities. We chose to travel to Alaska on a cruise ship - the 'Ryndam'.
I (Thelma) have to admit to some apprehension about this ship, having read (after we had booked our cruise) some previous reviews about illness on board, the state of cabins, etc. I am writing this review to reassure anyone who may have any doubts about this ship. It was FIRST CLASS - everything about it - as far as we were concerned.
We had booked a lower deck inside cabin - our reasoning being that we did not intend to spend any time in our cabin other than for sleeping and dressing, etc. We hoped to be able to enjoy as much time as possible on deck. This was indeed possible on the cruise we were on - apparently we enjoyed the best weather that had been experienced on a cruise all summer. We (particularly my husband) were able to spend a great deal of time on deck enjoying the magnificent scenery.
As far as the ship was concerned - we couldn't fault it. Our stateroom was excellent - very comfortable, spacious and beautifully clean - more than we expected for a lower deck, lower price room. The service from staff couldn't be faulted. Everywhere we went, if we met a crew member we were greeted with a smile and a 'hello', 'good morning', etc. The food was out of this world everywhere on the ship - the Lido Restaurant for breakfast and lunch and the Rotterdam Restaurant for dinner. Our wait staff were excellent and after the first night at dinner, we were greeted by name as we arrived. The entertainment was great (I had read many negative comments about this aspect - but we were very satisfied). Both comedians were talented, one in particular, and the dancers and singers gave first class performances, non-stop entertainment with lavish costumes and settings. The cleanliness on this ship could not be questioned and passengers were reminded often to take care with hygiene (hand washing).
We have travelled on passenger liners previously (albeit almost 40 years ago- spending 6 weeks each way travelling to and from NZ to UK) but this was the first cruise we had been on. We both feel we have been spoilt for any future cruise - because of the beautiful ship we travelled on, the quality of service we received, and the destination. (Alaska). We would have no hesitation in travelling on this ship again, or any Holland America ship.
The only negative comment we made in our on board survey sheet was that everything on board was so expensive - as were the shore excursions. Apart from this factor - we would grade this cruise and the 'Ryndam' A+++++!