I would first like to begin by saying that our trip on the Ryndam overall was a good. We had a great time and met some wonderful people. My partner and I took this cruise on the suggestion of friends who wanted us to try HAL. We have taken many cruises in the past on several different cruise lines and are big fans of Celebrity. I really had no expectations as we boarded the ship. I knew the ship was older and would not have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships, but we went on this cruise wanting to give HAL a try.
We booked a suite on the Navigation Deck. Room 24. I was very impressed by the spaciousness of the suite, the abundant storage space and the huge veranda. The cabin however was a bit warm for us and our cabin steward explained the room would cool down once we left the port of Tampa. Okay. We unpacked and went to lunch at the Lido buffet. I got bad vibes just looking at the food. I had a salad and the lettuce was brown (we had just boarded!) and the food overall not at all appetizing. Okay...dinner will be better. It wasn't. We ate in the dining room only twice during the cruise. It was mediocre to say the least. The service was good but because of the food quality, we ended up eating in the Pinnacle Grill for 5 of the 7 nights.
The Pinnacle Grill is the specialty restaurant on board where you pay a service charge of $20 per dinner. I have to say the food and service in the Pinnacle Grill was spectacular! Fine steaks, great seafood, superb wines and I cannot say enough about Anne and her wait staff. They truly made you feel welcome and special. We loved it so much that we ate breakfast there every morning. Truly exceptional. Make reservations immediately upon boarding the ship however, as there is a maximum to the number of guests served per night.
Back to the air conditioning. To make a long story short, our room and the adjacent room where are friends stayed, Cabin 22, did without AC for practically the whole cruise. DO NOT BOOK THESES CABINS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. There is nothing that can be done to remedy the problem. We complained and we were pacified but were never told there was a problem with these rooms until we finally met with the ships hotel manager after being treated very rudely by a supervisor at the front desk. We were told it was an old ship and the way the AC system was built, the cabin was at its maximum comfort level. They supplied us with electric fans but it was still unbearable sleeping and changing for dinner. To make up for the inconvenience, we were given a dinner including wine and drinks, service charged waived. It was a nice gesture but it still did not make up for the sleepless nights.
Spa facilities are excellent. The staff is great and the massage and accupuncture treatments were fantastic. I also worked with a personal trainer at the gym (Meg) who really helped me with my chronic aching back. She was a life saver!
Cabin steward Victor was superb. Very friendly and very attentive. The room was always immaculate.
Room service overall was poor. I ordered room service twice and both times waited 45 minutes to get my food delivered to the room.
We went to the theatre only one night. It was a Broadway review and it really was done well.
So, I had a great time overall but don't think I will book myself on one of the Dam ships again. I've been spoiled by Celebrity.