4 Harwich Cruises for the Disabled Cruise Reviews

A bit like a care home especially the lounge areas. A lot of elderly people with their carers on board and ambulance often waiting at the dockside. Some good points and some bad. It certainly would not suit everyone this ship or the type ... Read More
A bit like a care home especially the lounge areas. A lot of elderly people with their carers on board and ambulance often waiting at the dockside. Some good points and some bad. It certainly would not suit everyone this ship or the type of people. This review in 3 sections. 1. the Good 2. The Bad and 3. Some other general observations GOOD: Classic elegant salons Small ship - easy to get around Good service Uncluttered well designed interior Informative lectures Clear TV screen in cabin Good drinks prices. Good docking locations - due to small ship. Quick and easy to get off Good choice of wines Lovely library Some very interesting Norwegian works of art throughout ship No children Reasonably priced excursions THE BAD Amateurish shows including comedian Bad smells Maintenance work Average food Lack of friendly personable staff - extremely perfunctorily manner. Bored Only Stella lager on tap and Boddingtons beer Extremely unfriendly future sales - some kind of issue here Catastrophic port talks, the worst I've ever experienced Old peoples home atmosphere Very class based - various comments made - I.e. by comedian - reference to 'High Brow’ A Rough old crowd Extremely slow walkers Lack of current and/or forecasted weather conditions on in cabin screen Inaccurate Google Maps weather info on in cabin screen. 2nd restaurant sitting quite late @ 2100 2nd show sitting quite late @ 2230 Library can get very crowded. Strange games being played. Some general Observations: * There was Noise issue during 3 of the lectures which included the game of quoits as general maintenance work. I informed the GS about this in good time but they took a long time to stop the noise. Unacceptable. Even less acceptable was that they repeated the disruption on subsequent lectures and had to go to GS AGAIN to ask them to stop the noise. * Yellow water from taps * Guest Services seemed unable to take decisions or act with efficiency and basically not very happy with their job * Sticky handrails * Coaches not at ship in good time due to security at Casablanca delaying disembarkation. This should have been anticipated. Not good enough. * No current or forecasted weather conditions on TV * Google maps ship locator TV screen showed inaccurate information such as weather * Some girls lack warmth and performed duties with perfunctory boredom. * The port talks extremely poor - the worst I've ever experienced. * Guest Services - somewhat insolent. Not understanding questions. Impatient, tired, unsmiling. * Garden Cafe - matre D very good. But still there's a detectable uneasy malaise * Bookshelf Cafe - surly personal * No apology for maintenance wk * Special mention to staff of Observations bar plus William Rodriguez. Plus Chandra. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Just back from 14 nights cruise to Lerwick, Faroes Islands (best part) all the way round Iceland then to 3 ports in Norway (why always Bergen?). Rough seas for the better part of the cruise and this is the height of summer. The heavy ... Read More
Just back from 14 nights cruise to Lerwick, Faroes Islands (best part) all the way round Iceland then to 3 ports in Norway (why always Bergen?). Rough seas for the better part of the cruise and this is the height of summer. The heavy sky and bad weather was very dramatic in the Faroes. But the rest of the cruise very same. how many times can you see Bergen in a life time? Being a wheelchair user 24/7 I can not recommend HAL ... there wheelchair cabins ..we had 390 on deck 6 is a joke. no gap between end of bed and fixtures, so if you want to use the toilet you have no hope. OK after 6 days Hal changed the bed around but only after writing to the hotel director and having a meeting with him. boy talk about slow. Wheelchair user? forget it, how about disembarkation in a port for Deck 5? boy that is some ramp and steep. Normally Deck 3 is bad enough. Poor planning by HAL. Tolets backed up over and over. Norovirus was on the ship again. It arrived in Harwich for passengers getting on to be given a letter telling them that had just disembarked cases.. now I read that a few weeks back on a cruise review. HAL does not have a handle on it. Wash your hands over and over, But the crew just walk on and off the ship with no hand wash.. I complained, but it carried on. This ship has problems health wise. It is off to P & O soon so it will be there problem then. Good parts? yes the food was very good. the cakes to die for. crew helpful on the whole. But few waiters on the pool area on Ledo deck.. 2 waiters behind bar, but only one coming out to the public... perhaps he does not want to catch anything? The cafe (expensive coffee had the machine down for two days).. but the internet has to be the worse.. worse than Costa or Celebrity.. even had credit when we docked as unable to get connections. Poor tendering in Heimaney in Western Islands, Iceland still issuing tickets at 1.30 in the afternoon for people to get off from arrival at 8 a.m. and everyone back on board by 3.30? some joke. only a limited number of tenders working. Perhaps they do not need that many boats in an evacuation? but at Harwich lifeboat drill you get your cabin number called.. ticked off as present.. but the best bit this is just before sailing and coaches are still rolling up dock side full.. perhaps that is were cabin 666 was? still on the coach. not well organised and did not give me a safe feeling. They will say they were checking those late arrivals off..yep OK if that is what they say. Avoid deck 6 Port side.. noise from rolling trollies in kitchen about all day and up to about midnight... of chipping tiles off the floor on deck 7 for 6 hours solid while in Port. painting everything.. good.. but wondered where the hand rails went when taken off at start of cruise never to come back. lots of rope to stop you looking over the Starboard side. Did I mention the food? yes I did, well worth saying again it was good. expensive drinks on this ship. if you can get one... even in the Rotterdam dining room only one wine waiter? never saw him for the start of the food service, arrived about pudding time. Nice mix of passengers, some from Australia, Israel, Far east and of course the USA and the UK... even heard some South Africans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Visiting Iceland was on my bucket list. Being on a ship under code red for two weeks wasn't. We knew the Ryndam was an older ship and that is was already sold - we did not expect it to be in such disrepair as we found it. We have been ... Read More
Visiting Iceland was on my bucket list. Being on a ship under code red for two weeks wasn't. We knew the Ryndam was an older ship and that is was already sold - we did not expect it to be in such disrepair as we found it. We have been on over 20 cruises and have a lot to compare this to. We have been on several Holland cruises in the past and thoroughly enjoyed those experiences. Embarkation: The check in area was a zoo. In our case, we were able to bypass most of the wait because my husband has a medical issue necessitating that he not stand too long Stateroom: Our stateroom attendants were very nice and hardworking. They had a lot of extra work because of the rampant norovirus on board. It was obvious that the cabins were "tired" - our toilet leaked all over the bathroom and onto the carpet, our carpet was very loose (a trip hazard). General areas: The staff were very focused on wiping everything with disinfectant but they were not focused on general cleanliness - we saw dirt and crumbs in many public areas. We also saw that repairs/replacements were not ongoing, a prime example was a glass table in a bar area that was taped because it was broken. Dining: We ate breakfast in the main dining room almost every morning. Service was spotty at best. One morning my husband got his food a full 30 minutes before me! We only got our food at the same time once. We ate dinner in the dining room the first night and in the Lido every other night, though we usually prefer the dining experience on other ships. We ate in the Lido because we disliked the food so much that we chose to "pick" at the buffet. We found the food way, way, way too spicy for us. I went through a lot of antacids during this trip. Room service with special diet needs was very difficult to obtain - likely due to the sheer numbers of requests. Another disappointing thing was that food was on the menu and, when requested, the staff frequently had to go looking for it. Entertainment: This was a bright spot - we really enjoyed the house entertainers and the visiting entertainers (though several got sick and couldn't perform). We thought the cruise director was a non entity, rarely seen. Computer training was really appreciated and helpful Disembarkation: The ship got back to port a day early because norovirus was not under control. We were to be put up in a hotel for one night and received a letter with the assignment. The day prior to disembarkation, we got letters assigning my husband to one hotel and me to another - which we had to spend time correcting. The day of departure, we were put on a bus and sat there for one hour before someone got on the bus to tell us which hotel we would go to and then we sat for another half hour before the bus started moving. Arrival at the hotel created a line that went out the door - and could have been managed much more efficiently. The dinner meal at the Renaissance hotel was better than anything we had on the ship. Medical staff: They were definitely challenged with the number of noro cases, plus normal medical problems on any ship. They were extremely professional and helpful. The Captain did reinforce hand washing but he should have stressed the numbers of cases every day so the passengers would truly appreciate the incidence level. Ports: The Captain chose to skip two ports and we missed two more because of illness (yes, the bug hit us though we are obsessively compulsive about hand cleaning). The ports that we saw were very nice. I was very impressed with seeing so many snow/ice capped mountains and waterfalls. The scenery was everything we had hoped for. Overall: Holland has offered us discounts on a future cruise and that is tempting - BUT - we will think long and hard about it, and definitely will look for a newer ship. Unfortunately, of the 20+ cruises we have done, this is way down at the bottom of the list. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Well this was our first experience of a Celebrity cruise. We have cruised many times with Princess, RCL, Holland America, P&O (just once) and Scenic Tours. Up until now, our worst cruise was with P&O on the Oriana, but this comes a ... Read More
Well this was our first experience of a Celebrity cruise. We have cruised many times with Princess, RCL, Holland America, P&O (just once) and Scenic Tours. Up until now, our worst cruise was with P&O on the Oriana, but this comes a very close second. It was advertised a an Immersive Wine Cruise. That was of little interest to us, but we needed an accessible cabin with a twin next to it and this was the only option at the time of booking. I was assured that Celebrity was 5 star and we would have a great time. I would firstly like to say what was good about the cruise: Embarkation was speedy and efficient and we were in the buffet with a cup of tea in hand within 45 minutes of arriving at Harwich. We found all of the staff amazing. Without exception, they looked after both my disabled son and daughter and myself and partner. The staff in the buffet couldn't do enough for us and always had time to speak to my son and daughter and ask about their day. The cabins were adequate. We had two inside cabins on deck 3 and the beds were very comfortable, although the cabins were 'tired' and our valance was ripped and stained. I have to say that a plastic shower curtain sticking to your legs did not seem 5 star to me. Our two cabin stewards did their job, just, but we have had much better. On two occasions, the sheet on our bed was not even straightened and we had to pull the bottom of it down and tuck in ourselves before getting into bed. Guest relations were extremely helpful and we have no complaints at all with their friendliness or service. Now onto things that were not good; Firstly, I have never been on a ship where there were so many extremely rude and arrogant guests. There are always a certain number of people with no manners, but I would say 80% were positively Neanderthal! I cannot believe that people could stand at the buffet demanding omelettes, pastas, stir fry's etc without so much as a please or thank you! Shame on you. Unfortunately, I would rate the food in general as poor. We did eat mainly in the buffet as the restaurant did not have suitable choices for my son. The emphasis seems to be an Asian cuisine with and without the grill station, we would have been lost. The grill station was also the only way of getting hot food. The temperature of the food on the general buffet almost cold. The cleanliness of the ship also left a lot to be desired. I ran my finger along some of the chrome work in the buffet area and had to go and wash my hands. There was far less evidence of ongoing cleaning than on any other ship we had travelled on. Entertainment was generally good in the theatre, with the exception of the magician, who we watched pulling things out of his coat. The entertainment around the ship was not so good with the female resident singer being positively out of tune on every song....... not good for the ears and to be avoided at all costs. The shops sold very little that well travelled folks would want, mainly what we refer to in the UK as junk. To top it all, one of our cases was ripped on disembarkation. As we had to wait for our cases to be found, we didn't check them over. My new Antler case now has a two inch rip in the underside and apparently we cannot claim from Celebrity because we did not notice until we arrived home. I have to say that I am now worried as we booked with Celebrity for next year at the same time that we booked this cruise. We are doing 3 b to b's on the Eclipse, a total of 37 days. I hope that someone will tell me that the standard is going to be an awful lot better than the Infinity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013

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