1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Ryndam Review
  4. Ryndam Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: June 2015
This review is to fully endorse, and even ADD TO , the woes described in the review of Barry M,.posted07/12/15 regarding the Iceland cruise of Ryndam, June 20-July 3. I waited to post ,so that HAL could respond to my submitted written ... Read More
This review is to fully endorse, and even ADD TO , the woes described in the review of Barry M,.posted07/12/15 regarding the Iceland cruise of Ryndam, June 20-July 3. I waited to post ,so that HAL could respond to my submitted written criticisms, and , receiving a "form letter" thanking me for my input, it's time to vent ! We were NEVER told the severity of the outbreak of norovirus during our cruise. We got daily tip-offs from a HAL casino employee, and it peaked at 30% of combined passengers plus crew. At embarkation we were issued a form advising us that Ryndam, having just docked 9 hours previous had had an outbreak - no details on WHEN or HOW EXTENSIVE. Given that HAL had all our email addresses, why no prior notice. The (cruise director ?) cancelled the "Dancing With The Stars" after one session, and even that session was below the norm, since none of the ship's pro dancers served as judges, no humorous critiques were given,and eventual winners were chosen by audience applause. There was no knowledgable lecturer aboard who could lecture us on the culture, attractions, cuisine, or art of the people whose ports we were about to visit - instead we got a verbal pitch on the tours which we had already perused at HAL's online site. The cruise director didn't even know the NAME of the first Icelandic port. Stage shows by the song/dance troupe were great, as always, BUT we learned in conversing with them that their company's relationship with HAL was about to be severed at HAL's wish. We usually enjoy the classical string quartets aboard our 5 prior HAL cruises, but Ryndam featur4e only a violinist and accompanying pianist. Cost downsizing? Excursions were cancelle4d, or even interrupted in mid-trip, due to norovirus. Ther crew worked very hard to sanitize public areas during the trip, and even the musicians and dancers jumped in to serve food in Lido. The cruise was cut short by one day, so the July 4 embarkation had an extra 24 hours to sanitize the ship. Maybe the subsequent cruise's passengers got better advance warning, and had a better cruise. Please post your thoughts folks ! Finally, the best laugh of the cruise was garnered at the Piano Bar when the accomplished entertainer swung into Ray Charles's "What'd I Say" and invited the surrounding passengers to throw in spoken couplets , just as Ray did on the original recording. One chimed in "'We scrub our hands with your Purel, as we take this cruise from Hell" Bottom line- it is one thing to sell a ship- as HAL is selling Ryndam to P & O in October-but quite another to let your standards slide while the ship still bears your name. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
We have been cruising since 1990 so are not newbies by any means. We settled on Holland as a more upscale line and in many previous cruises through Europe and all of the Caribbean we have been very happy - but the circumnavigation of ... Read More
We have been cruising since 1990 so are not newbies by any means. We settled on Holland as a more upscale line and in many previous cruises through Europe and all of the Caribbean we have been very happy - but the circumnavigation of Iceland and the trip into the Fjords of Norway was a total unmitigated disaster. This was an example of the most blatant corporate greed we have ever seen on a cruise ship. During the very first few days we learned from several crew that Noro Virus had been on the ship for the past 4 to 6 weeks yet Holland continued to run the Ryndam and continued to make people and staff very very sick. But here is the real kicker, we were told that the option to cancel the cruise had been OK'd well ahead of the sailing BUT Holland did not present this option until all passengers had flown for hours to get to Heathrow, stayed overnight in various hotels and then spent more than 2 hours on a bus to Harwich terminal to board the ship. Our boarding was delayed as we were told the ship was being thoroughly sanitized! It was only then that the cancellation letter was passed around - how cruel can they get? The outbreak got worse and worse and we then received a letter saying they had identified the problem as Noro Virus. This was misleading at best and an outright lie at the worst. They knew full well before we boarded that the ship was badly contaminated and yet they let us board. All passengers had come thousands of miles and who wants to turn around and go home? Why didn't Holland be up front and tell people before they left for the cruise that the ship was badly contaminated with the Noro Virus and they had not been able to get rid of it in the previous 4 to 6 weeks? I wish this was as bad as it got but it isn't. Passengers got food poisoning including my wife who has a Masters’ in Public Health and is a Registered Dietitian and knows what food poisoning looks like versus Noro Virus! Holland cancelled port visits, cancelled port tours and ended the cruise early while refunding only part of our cruise price. Does it get worse yet - oh yes it does - after the cruise is back at Harwich we are loaded on a small bus and driven into downtown London to our temporary hotel; the outside temperature is 28C - a record for London. You would expect to have Air Conditioning in a bus where windows can't be opened but this bus didn't! It was so hot in there passengers had sweat running down their arms and backs and the traffic was horrendous - our 2 hours trip took 3 - bad even for London. Holland America Lines owes everyone a full refund, but don't hold your breath that they will do the right thing. Read Less
Sail Date: June 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 on ... 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
We had signed up for a 14 day cruise around Iceland with several stops continuing to the Norwegian coast. When we arrived for boarding we were told the ship (Ryndam) would not be available for several hours because deep cleaning was being ... Read More
We had signed up for a 14 day cruise around Iceland with several stops continuing to the Norwegian coast. When we arrived for boarding we were told the ship (Ryndam) would not be available for several hours because deep cleaning was being done to deal with previous norovirus issue. This became a problem because there were insufficient seats. My husband has COPD but we literally had to stand for two hours. When our group number was finally called and we had gone through additional security it became apparent that it would be quite a distance to the ship. We were told no assistance could be provided, we would need to go back, through security again, etc. The first few days on the ship seemed to be okay but gradually more and more passengers became ill. My husband and I, who have never had issues on the many other cruises we have taken, became very ill. We were essentially room bound for several days due to illness then weakness. During our room bound time it was very difficult to get room service. I am sure this was because staff were overwhelmed with additional work cleaning up cabins and staff also becoming ill. Eventually the whole ship had a very "down" atmosphere. The direction and coordination to guests regarding the norovirus was inadequate. First you were told one thing, then something different. When the ship's medical officer did send a note to all guests it was clear and understandable. The food on the ship was poor to barely adequate. Many meals the buffet was the only option. The food at the buffet was frequently poor quality. Much soup was eaten as a main course. The cruise was shortened and one additional stop eliminated due to weather. Our cruise ended a day early making it necessary to scramble to make arrangements. The bottom line for us is that the primary purpose of our trip, visiting the Golden Circle, did not happen because we were both too ill to go. Holland America's compensation, a credit of 25% of the fee paid, was really inadequate. A more appropriate response would have been a credit for the cost of the trip to be applied to a future trip. I have contacted Holland America regarding this and have yet to hear back. We are very disappointed with the quality of this experience. We had been looking forward to taking additional cruises with Holland America but now are very leery. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
By the time my review is posted there will be numerous reviews from fellow passengers regarding the outbreak of NoroVirus on this trip and the subsequent impact whilst on board and eventual early curtailment of the cruise. The first ... Read More
By the time my review is posted there will be numerous reviews from fellow passengers regarding the outbreak of NoroVirus on this trip and the subsequent impact whilst on board and eventual early curtailment of the cruise. The first thing to say is “Did this spoil our holiday?” I can categorically say “No” My review may be biased as neither my husband nor I were affected by the virus. We kept to our own cabin bathroom and were meticulous around hand washing and sanitising as instructed. It did of course impact on our holiday as it was a bit painful to have to queue for coffee in the Lido and it was a shame that some of the touches that do make the cruise special to Holland and America (flowers on the tables, chocolates on the pillows) had to be withdrawn. The photo gallery, Library & Card room were all closed and the shops were tightly supervised to prevent contamination. The pools were closed for the first week or so but did reopen during the cruise. I must say that the staff were all tremendous throughout. We had the entertainment department regularly helping serve in the Lido along with the cadet engineers and they all provided a friendly service and greeted us with a smile. I realise that these extra shifts must have taken a toll on all concerned but I never saw one staff member lose their smile or let their personal service slip. I suspect it’s not ideal serving ice cream when you are a casino staff member, but they all chipped in and helped ensure that the trip continued. I have never seen so much sanitation taking place on a cruise – the shuttle buses were done on every return trip, decks and deckchairs were hosed with liquid frequently during the day and every piece of gym equipment was washed down with soapy fluid every 20 minutes. In my opinion, it was clear the staff were doing absolutely all they could to prevent the spread. There was extra pressure on room service and the cleaning teams (especially for the ill guests) but again, we did not see any deterioration in the service we received from our cabin attendants. This cruise did attract a high number of elderly guests who frequently and I am sure, unconsciously, touch the rails, shelves, podiums etc around the ship to help steady themselves, especially if the seas are a little rough and it must be difficult to keep on top of this from a sanitation perspective. In HALs position, they really did try to minimise the spread, kept us well informed and unfortunately had to make a difficult decision to end the trip one day early to deep clean the ship. This meant missing out the last fjord stop in Norway. We had planned a Kayaking trip there so that was a disappointment for us but we have visited the Norwegian fjords before so this was not such a blow to us as to other passengers. We also missed one earlier stop in Iceland, Heimay due to poor weather conditions and the captain wanted to avoid an area of Low pressure. This meant we had an extra overnight stop in Reykjavik. It was a beautiful sunny evening and we enjoyed 3 hours ashore there that evening plus the whole of the following day. I hope that the passengers who are on a back to back trip are honest and declare if they have any symptoms before rejoining the ship. Many guests had travelled a long way and instead of being honest and isolating themselves, they were out and about as they did not want to miss their trip. We witnessed one guest being ill in the Lido one evening and the next day he was on a shuttle bus. Our waiters Yudi, Kaka and Jeremy (on wine) were all superb throughout. Nothing was too much trouble if we wanted roast potatoes instead of rice or extra bread and butter or ice cream as an “extra” They remembered how we liked our meat cooking and how we took our tea and coffee. They were a great trio and we were treated very well every night. If they did not have our wine choice, Jeremy provided alternative options that were often a couple of dollars cheaper. Whilst some of the guest entertainers were also taken ill, we still had an enjoyable show every night and shows were rescheduled. I think there was only one lady jazz pianist and one late night comedy show that did not go ahead as planned but other shows were put on instead. My only slight grumble is that the theatre was very cold at night (some guests had coats on) and I remember it was the same on the old Amsterdam ship when we cruised to Alaska. I suspect the older ships in cold climates are tricky to insulate and moderate. I would recommend taking a wrap or jacket to wear at night. The ship is transferring to P&O Australia in September. Whilst other reviewers have mentioned its age, it is true it is an older ship. Our cabin was very clean, lots of storage space and the bathroom had been modernised recently. The bath did not drain very quickly and could not cope with the new power showers volume of water. If you take the plug out completely problem solved. We had a cabin on deck 5 (outside) and we did hear the trolley taking the deckchairs out on deck each morning (between 6.30-7.00am) it trundles along the deck so you can hear it. We are early risers so this did not impact us and it was the only noise we heard from the promenade deck above us. If you are visiting Iceland in the summer I would also recommend an eye mask as it daylight all night long and it can disturb your sleep. I took an airline one that I had kept and it did the job very well. The worst noise was when a guest played basketball. The court is directly above the Lido and the sound resonates loudly throughout the Lido. Due to our destination and age mix we only noticed this couple of times at lunchtime. The ship is small by comparison to others we have used but there was ample space and it did not feel cramped. There was plenty to do with a cinema, digital workshops and all the usual talks. The restaurant and Lido always had spare seats. There was one morning where a high number of trips were all going at around 7.15am and the Lido opened at 6.30 so it was chaotic. We chose to eat breakfast in the dining room for the latter part of the trip to save having to queue for juice and coffee and it did not take too much more time. We still enjoyed our holiday, had beautiful food, enjoyed the entertainment and seen some fabulous scenery in Iceland in pretty good weather for that part of the world. To top it off, we have been compensated beyond what I would have reasonably expected and have a cruise credit for a future trip. They had made all the necessary arrangements for transfers and accommodation for all guests and even offered to put us up in Harwich for the night if that helped our onward plans. We had our car there so we just came home a day early but had we pre -booked rail tickets we could have stayed and travelled back as planned on Saturday. They did not wait for guests to complain but were on the front foot in their plans. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Embarkation: We arrived at the port at 1:00 pm, and were on the ship by 1:15. We were able to go to our suite immediately to drop off our carry on and then on to Lido for lunch. Luggage arrived by the time we were done with lunch. We ... Read More
Embarkation: We arrived at the port at 1:00 pm, and were on the ship by 1:15. We were able to go to our suite immediately to drop off our carry on and then on to Lido for lunch. Luggage arrived by the time we were done with lunch. We found the public areas nicely decorated and liked the size of the ship. Decided we prefer a smaller ship to the mega ships. Staff was fabulous, always treated us well, and often spoken to by name. Quite impressed. This was a very scenic cruise, had dinner one night on our balcony. Not the best meal. But, the scenery made up for it. We went to three shows, and they were entertaining. Ate at the Pinnacle once and Canaletto twice. These were probably our best meals. Although, one night they had roast beef in the main dining room, and it was delicious. We ordered breakfast in our cabin most mornings, and the veggie cheese omelette was wonderful. Food always came hot. Played in the casino a bit. It's very small. Didn't payout hardly at all. Ports were enjoyable. Mostly scenery, we took several hikes and took lots of pictures. We didn't take any of the HAL excursions, as they were overpriced. There was a visitor information booth in each port, with tour options listed. We booked here. Prior to sailing we were concerned about the fact the Ryndam was being sold to P & O. Thought that it may be in poor condition, and possibly the service not up to HAL standards. That was NOT the case. The ship was in good condition, the public areas nicely decorated. I would sail on the Ryndam again, without hesitation. Sorry to see it leaving the fleet. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
The hardworking Philippine and Indonesian staff were outstanding, they could not do enough for you and always had a smile. They were the saving grace of this cruise. We are experienced cruisers who have done several cruises with ... Read More
The hardworking Philippine and Indonesian staff were outstanding, they could not do enough for you and always had a smile. They were the saving grace of this cruise. We are experienced cruisers who have done several cruises with Holland America and have held them in high esteem. But this cruise was a let down. Work was being done on the ship the whole voyage, and two of the forward elevators were out of service. Every port had the gangway or tender in the forward position which meant that the two elevators struggled to cope. The passengers in general were elderly and did not or could not use the stairs. The noise levels day and night from workmen, and welding machines was unacceptable. Service in the main dining room was very slow, one and a half hours for breakfast! and the food often came to the table on cold plates. The food in an evening too was sometimes barely warm. The menu! some of the items needed a translation note alongside... and the meat was generally of a poor standard. One evening the waiter said "don't order the beef" enough said! The Lido bistro, was a bit of a bunfight to get served and you needed to keep a sense of humour! The passengers of British heritage know how to queue, but for the rest! On the whole the passengers were a friendly bunch and the atmosphere on the ship was good. The food selection at lunch was disappointing too. The weather was cold, and a couple of hearty soups and some crusty bread would have gone down well, but there was only one soup on offer and it was often a watery consommé. The standards have dropped, even plummeted! noticeably fewer staff, except for the Casino where they stood around gazing at the empty tables and machines. The Library was good with some comfortable chairs and good books. The excursions were very expensive so we made our own arrangements onshore and we found the tourist staff very helpful in each port. Finally, the Internet! if you don't desperately need to contact anyone, don't use it. Onboard it is expensive, and slow. Every port there was wi fi and in most ports the local library had very fast wi fi which was secure,free, and warm . Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We had to move cabins after being woken several times during the night by crew working, the second cabin was also noisy day and night but not as bad. Heard many people complaining about noise overnight. Three cabins near ours were flooded ... Read More
We had to move cabins after being woken several times during the night by crew working, the second cabin was also noisy day and night but not as bad. Heard many people complaining about noise overnight. Three cabins near ours were flooded from kitchens above on different nights during the voyage. Most food in the non waiter service restaurant (The Lido) is served by staff and this must help with hygiene and cross contamination. However there is no queuing system it’s whoever shouts loudest gets served, there are barriers to define sections but for example at breakfast if you want toast, poached eggs and bacon you would have to queue at three different places. The four times we saw roast leg of pork on the menu in the Lido it was very rare with blood flowing out of it when carved. The Rotterdam restaurant was superb, we were however on a table for eight people one night and it took nearly three hours before all the food had been served. It seemed the more people at the table the longer the service took. After that we asked for a table for two or if this was not available a table for four and service was very slick. Food overall was superb. Staff in general were wonderful (we found that reception staff seemed to be there to apologize for things but never did anything about them). Entertainment was going on somewhere most days on the ship, the shows were good and several entertainers came on to do their one man/woman shows as well as the ships theatre company. We have found that excursions on cruise ships are very expensive, this was no different. At most ports there were hop on hop off busses, local busses that went to sights (information is available from tourist information offices that are usually on the dockside or nearby), taxis etc that were much cheaper. The ship rarely felt overcrowded although it was almost full, there was nearly always somewhere to sit whichever part of the ship you were in. This cruise to Norway was cold on deck so very few if any people sat outside most days, that made it more surprising that the ship felt uncrowded. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Overall a good cruise with good ports. Room service excellent, food OK for cruise ship. Pinnacle specialty restaurant very good but Le Cirque upgrade menu no better than normal menu but $20 pp more. Problem of noisy room was fixed by the ... Read More
Overall a good cruise with good ports. Room service excellent, food OK for cruise ship. Pinnacle specialty restaurant very good but Le Cirque upgrade menu no better than normal menu but $20 pp more. Problem of noisy room was fixed by the front desk and Mary Anne did everything possible to help. Happy Hour a great idea. One problem is that unlike other cruise lines it is not clear when you have finished your package and you go automatically onto the more expensive per minute rate. A pity this nice smaller ship is going to P&O. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
In spite of being fans of Holland America in the past, the Ryndam was below expectations. The food in the main dining room was often lukewarm, and the description of items on the menu was misleading. Service in the Lido was disorganised ... Read More
In spite of being fans of Holland America in the past, the Ryndam was below expectations. The food in the main dining room was often lukewarm, and the description of items on the menu was misleading. Service in the Lido was disorganised and sometimes only one side of the food servery was open, which caused overcrowding. Maintenance was being performed on two of the forward elevators which was the cause of delays when leaving and boarding the ship when in port, as the gangway and tender point was forward of the ship. There was a lot of noise from welding machinery too. The cabin was comfortable, but we did have a couple of power failures which were fixed quite promptly. The cabin staff were excellent. There have been cutbacks on staffing levels, entertainment, and food standards. The entertainment was OK, a very good juggler, and a saxophonist. The HAL Cats were so so, a lot of arms and legs waving to music! Very Loud! I enjoyed the Microsoft Computer lessons, and the library was very good with comfortable chairs And a good selection of books. We did one shore excursion on the Great Atlantic Road, which was very interesting but very overpriced. We did our own thing in the other ports and had Read Less
Ryndam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

Find a Cruise