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30 Ryndam (Retired) Cruise Reviews

Very recently returned from a 7 day cruise on the Ryndam to the Norwegian Fjords (29 Aug to 5th Sept) Both my partner and I are seasoned cruisers previously with Thomsons, Royal Carribean, and P&O Embarkation at Harwich was ... Read More
Very recently returned from a 7 day cruise on the Ryndam to the Norwegian Fjords (29 Aug to 5th Sept) Both my partner and I are seasoned cruisers previously with Thomsons, Royal Carribean, and P&O Embarkation at Harwich was excellent, luggage was dealt with easily, very little queuing, everyone friendly and helpful, security very efficient without being intrusive, and we boarded the ship within half an hour of pulling into the cruise port. The ship is 21 years old, and in places, looks it. But, everywhere was clean and the crew responsible for this should be commended. Our Cabin, on deck six, was probably the most comfortable we have stayed in and as is the usual custom, the cabin staff were a joy to be around and taking care of our needs with smiling efficiency. Bad points though were, no tea making facilities and no fridge. This meant a treck to the Lido deck every morning (where inevitably there was a queue) and then back to our cabin to enjoy our first cuppa of the day. The entertainment was varied and not all to my taste, but many guests enjoyed the performances that I didn't, so the old adage of "you can't please all the people, all the time" certainly rings true. Personally, special mention should go to the pianist and the solo guitarist in the "mix" bar who, after the first evening, had built up a strong core following. The ships entertainers in the "show lounge" were of a very high standard with singing and dancing to a degree that would not be out of place in the West End. The ports of call (Bergen, Geiranger, Alesund, Eid fjord) were all excellent and we were blessed with really good weather. I will remember sailing through the Fjords to Geiranger for the rest of my life. In trying to write a balanced review unfortunately all the good points have now been covered. We dined in the Rotterdam dining room every evening with two other couples, (both of which, were terrific company, and both couples sampled the fare in the other two restaurants available, and both couples agreed with every other guest I engaged conversation with, that the food and service was grossly over priced and definitely did not offer value for money) and the first two evenings the service was slow and laboured. In fact the second evening we didn't receive our main course until over half an hour after the starter had been cleared, many people dining around us were tucking into their desert before our mains arrived. When at last they were served mine was barely at room temperature (it had obviously been sitting around somewhere for 30 minutes before being delivered to its lucky recipient). We, as a table unanimously complained and the head of the restaurant fully agreed that the service was not up to scratch and we were brought a complimentary bottle of champagne which none of us drank, it was very cheap plonk. It was not among the three bottles of champagne that were advertised on the wine list at over $100 dollars a bottle, but tasted like something bought at Poundland dished out to placate anyone who dared to complain. When the head waiter saw that the 'champagne' was not going to cut it, we were then given complimentary liqueurs with our coffee, neither of which was very nice. I then had a long discussion with the water in which I conveyed to him that complimentary drinks were not what we wanted, all we desired was that for the rest of the cruise we received the same kind of service that was bestowed on our fellow diners. After this unfortunate incident I am happy to say that the service for us and everyone else in the dining room was greatly improved. I wish I could say the same about the food. The first formal night offered the same menu that was available in the Lido, although it was heralded as a Gala dining experience, and the menu for the rest of the week (save for the second formal gala evening, when we dined on brie in filo pastry and lobster tail, excellent.) didn't fare any better. I should point out that none of this was in no way the fault of the waiting staff, who really did do their very best with the tools that were at their disposal. No, the fault lies with Holland America who's penny pinching did not allow there to be enough staff, either in the kitchens or in the dining room or quality ingredients with which to make the food for a dining experience I had expected. We breakfasted once in the dining room, a mistake we didn't repeat, and, judging by the few passengers we saw in there at 9:30am, neither did many others. Activities during the daytime and early evening (save for the quizzes run in the "Crows nest" and "Mix" bars) were geared around "how much can we fleece the guests today" with all sorts of demonstrations involving beers and spirits, wines, jewellery, clothes "Art" (none of which I would give house room) and special offers in the "on board shopping experience", and don't get me started on the never ending stream of over priced spa treatments you could enjoy if you wanted your final on board spending bill to be about double what you paid for the cruise initially. The daylight robbery of the passengers continued with the shoe excursions, around 75% of them being cancelled due to lack of numbers. Wake up Holland America, its not rocket science to see that any passenger with the nasm of a mouse could organize exactly the same trip for a quarter of the price. Example. Kayaking in Eid Fjord to be done in couples $94 per person by Holland America. Walk off ship to tourist information office, hire two person Kayak for one hour, 200 krone, about £16-00. One final thing, I read in another review that the reviewer was upset by the amount of brits refusing to pay the $11-50 per person per day gratuities. If all two thousand passengers were to pay this, Holland America would not have to dip into their gold lined pockets for three quarters of the staff wages bill. As it is, the 15% service charge on all drinks virtually pays the wages of the bar room staff. Please, please Holland America, send a trusted employee on a P & O budget cruise and see how it should be done. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
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
Arrived at embarkation to be given a letter regarding Noro Virus-on "previous" cruise. Reading other reviews an understatement. The embarkation was a shambles-queue to move to another queue and so on. Once on the ship the lido ... Read More
Arrived at embarkation to be given a letter regarding Noro Virus-on "previous" cruise. Reading other reviews an understatement. The embarkation was a shambles-queue to move to another queue and so on. Once on the ship the lido was packed-everything but everything was being "served" at a speed where yet another queue was inevitable. The first night one show for a second rate act. Next day at breakfast it was impossible to have a hot food and a hot drink to go with it. Evening meal had better food but "service" didn't exist. Cabin door kept swinging open all night-4 visits to front desk 2 staff including one officer to see the problem-but no one turned up till the morning to repair it. Things did improve in the second half of the cruise but not to any great extent. To many complaints to list but the main ones-food quality and choice in the lido poor Entertainment 3 out out of 7 reasonable acts-not a great score Limited daytime activities. Despite being happy on past trips with HA . This cruise will the very last on Holland America Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I have a number of issues I want to share with everyone, I have left it late as I complained directly to Holland America as soon as I got back, to this date no one has answered me regarding my concerns. The service actually got worse as ... Read More
I have a number of issues I want to share with everyone, I have left it late as I complained directly to Holland America as soon as I got back, to this date no one has answered me regarding my concerns. The service actually got worse as the week went on, but started off ok. I shall start with the food. I found the food to be poor at best in the main dining room. One evening we had the choice of the Roast beef. Out of 8, 6 had the beef, 6 left the beef. Not once did anyone ask us what was wrong & why we did not eat the food. Who ever choose what went with the beef I question, why would you supply a grilled tomato with roast beef & gravy? If you don't like the food in the main restaurant, forget trying to get anything from the self service, that closes early & you have to wait 10.30pm before it reopens & offers poor pizza, and other rather tasteless items. The entertainment, well it was shocking at best! The main band could not play basic tunes that most wedding bands (yes I play in one) perform week after week. The singer could not sing in tune, the band were playing the wrong chords! They were probably the worst ships band I have ever seen. I even took recordings to play to real professional musicians, they found it highly amusing that these were no better than a UK pub band. In fact, I have seen & heard better. The main shows in the theatre were drab, although we had an excellent magician one night. The ships cast again struggled to sing the correct chords to the song, not good when the backing track, yes backing track, played the correct chords. Now my hearing at 46 is not how it used to be, but far better than theirs clearly. Don't expect any entertainment to be put on if you are not able to get ashore, they provided none when we had a howler of a day with the weather, but they will try to keep selling you things instead. We had an outbreak of novo virus on board, my wife is an insulin dependant diabetic, we had heard rumours that there was an outbreak, but it was finally announced 24hrs later. That didn't stop guests who had it still going out on deck. The staff did not stop them! Back to my wife.....the virus can affect her sugar levels, which is dangerous to her, so she went and asked at reception about the virus. She wanted to know if the outbreak gets worse, could she be informed, if nothing else than for us to stay in our cabin so she would not catch it. They advised her that she would be told along with everyone else, which she responded that could be too late. The following day we had over 24hrs sail back home, so to get ill in the middle of the North Sea is not ideal. The final insult was from a member of staff who mentioned on many occasions that she wished she were somewhere else as Norway is cold. Well sorry, I didn't go for the weather, I went for the spectacular scenery. If I heard her say 'if you seen one Fjord, you seen them all' again, I would go nuts. Sorry if you have to work where I want to go & see, sorry if they don't have the beaches of the Caribbean.....I don't care, I don't like wasting my life sitting on a beach. Im paying to come here, you are being paid, tough! One last thing, never book excursions onboard, they are a rip off....as I felt was being on that ship! Holland America, you should hold your head in shame, just because you have sold this ship, does not mean that I do not deserve the holiday I am paying you for. I feel cheated & know after sailing with other cruise's, that they don't offer value for money. I will not pay to sail with these ever again, especially as they couldn't even be bothered to respond to me....SHOCKING! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
Cruise on MS Ryndam Voyage of the Midnight Sun - July 4th We feel that Holland & America is responsible for this poor cruise.....not the ship. Holland & America were not forthcoming with the truth of how the results of a ... Read More
Cruise on MS Ryndam Voyage of the Midnight Sun - July 4th We feel that Holland & America is responsible for this poor cruise.....not the ship. Holland & America were not forthcoming with the truth of how the results of a 'sick ship', was going to affect the next cruise...ours !! We feel that we paid a full price for half a cruise. Arrived at Harwich after a four hours drive. At the Terminal, we were greeted with a letter informing us of the fact that the MS Ryndam had suffered a 'higher than usual' run of the Norovirus on its last cruise and that the ship was being put through a ‘deep cleanse’. We had received an email a couple of days earlier informing us of the delayed departure of our cruise. Holland and America did not inform us of how the 'deep cleanse' was going to affect the cruise...........the first few days were terrible. Various services were not available, ie.: the library, the video rental, the games….many other services. Conversing with one of your guests, who works in the shipping industry; apparently the MS Ryndam should not have sailed at all, on reasons of health and safety regulations. The Lido restaurant was restricted very heavily. We could not get our own tea, coffee, etc, and were not allowed help ourselves to anything. Long queues for everything. The activities also seemed restricted and there was no activities of any interest on offer. On a general overview of the cruise……not very good at all. We were informed by various people that Holland and America was 'special' and of 5 star excellence...it is not! We were also informed that there would be would be 'life enhancing activities'.....they were not! The activities were not very interesting. There were a few good shows, a couple of good talks and the rest was selling to the passengers most of the time and encouraging us to play in the Casino. Very little to stimulate the brain and entertain. The Lido freedom dining Buffet was not that good. Strange hours and very limited choice of food....not much variety, repeated meals. The roasts were always good. The food in the Rotterdam was excellent....but then again strange hours. There were certain times of the day when one could not get anything to eat or drink at all. (not even tea, coffee, etc). The cinema room was a poor choice for viewing a film. The screen was too low and people's heads got in the way. The television in the staterooms were old, poor picture, poor sound and too small and difficult to find out what was showing. Intermittent satellite coverage. Even when in Harwich the ‘satellite’ was not working for the BBC World News !! The tours were ridiculously expensive and can be arranged locally for nearly half price. The tenders/lifeboats were very tatty looking, disorganised inside and did not give a very good impression of health and safety. We resented the practice of the Spa staff informing us that a “15% gratuity has been added to our invoice for your convenience” !! We should have been asked, not told. We were also informed that to change the percentage of gratuity was very complicated and would take a long time! We not encouraged to pursue a refund. We had to speak to Housekeeping several times ref: shower head kept swivelling. Toilet flush button very hard to push. Neither of these faults were rectified. The TV stopped working, the toilet did not have enough water in it….these two faults were fixed. We also complained about the loud thumping noise above our heads….this did not diminish. We had a couple of power cuts and we had to change rooms on our last night as the air conditioning failed in our Stateroom. The Stateroom was very comfortable and clean; though showing its age…drawers were difficult to open. No fridge and no kettle!! We are used to having a fridge and kettle. The crew and staff have obviously been efficiently trained and knew their jobs well. They all worked very hard and were courteous all the time. We paid the full price for an incomplete cruise. Many of the other guests also thought that the standards of this cruise line have dropped. We will not consider going on another cruise with Holland and America. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
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
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
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
Sail Date May 2015
We Have Cruised with many cruise lines over the past 20 years, more than 50 cruises, but this was our first cruise with Holland America. First, the good. The Cabin, Food, Staff and Ship were all fine. The BAD- We did a ... Read More
We Have Cruised with many cruise lines over the past 20 years, more than 50 cruises, but this was our first cruise with Holland America. First, the good. The Cabin, Food, Staff and Ship were all fine. The BAD- We did a "back to back" Cruise, and were FORCED to do the Safety drill TWICE, being told that it was Maritime law. This is NOT true, and we have NEVER been asked on any other Cruise line to do it twice! We didn't do any Shore Excursions because they were priced way more than other Cruise lines we have been with. The average age of the passengers was about 65 to 70. The Shows by the Team, were all aimed at people in their 30s! We (In our 70s), knew NONE of the songs ! Also they were sung in the Modern style, ie screeching and shouting and caterwauling ! One song that we did know- "My Funny Valentine" was yelled ! Comedy and Magician- ALL the comedians were "Old Style", meaning, they had assembled their material from hackneyed jokes going back as far as world war 1 ! NO original material at all ! I knew every single punch line before it arrived. Game Shows- There were NONE! Quizzes- Sometimes one at 1-15pm , a Music quiz at 9pm , and every night a quiz at 6-30pm when we were eating our evening meal! Crafts and Art- None Lectures- None They did have Many Lessons on Windows 8.1 - OBSOLETE later this year ! They had many Art Auctions, selling "Art" by People like Peter Max ! Who, if you don't know, is unknown apart from on Cruise Ships, where they flog his daubed on Prints for vast amounts of money! Needless to say, but I will anyway, we will not be returning to Holland America ! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Old boat (-around 20 yrs old) makes everything dated and "tired" looking. We had a Veranda Suite that was clean, but old and it showed. Staff must know it too, or perhaps they don't like HALs tipping policy because while ... Read More
Old boat (-around 20 yrs old) makes everything dated and "tired" looking. We had a Veranda Suite that was clean, but old and it showed. Staff must know it too, or perhaps they don't like HALs tipping policy because while they weren't rude, they weren't nearly as service oriented as we had experienced from HAL in past. Food was unremarkable and service was "matter of fact" at best. Pinnacle was great as always. Shows were few at best - two nights if you take the welcome and farewell out. Daily Mass Dias nice though.We are frequent cruisers and chose this cruise because it left Tampa and went to some new ports in Honduras and Guatamala. We learned you cannot base your experience simply on a line...you need to look at boat reviews too. This cruise left us questioning our loyalty to HAL. Last note. We booked transfers and hotels via HAL - worked well going. Coming back we waited on bus for 40 min prior to departure and when we got to hotel (they booked) of course no room so we sit until rooms become available. Seems HAL would discuss this with the Grand Hyatt prior to be sure we had rooms, or at least let the passengers know? Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My wife and I have sailed on cruises from 7 different cruise lines and I can say hands down that this was the worst. The entire experience was flat at best. Yes, there were good experiences but the bad outweighed them by more than just a ... Read More
My wife and I have sailed on cruises from 7 different cruise lines and I can say hands down that this was the worst. The entire experience was flat at best. Yes, there were good experiences but the bad outweighed them by more than just a bit. Where to start? The cabin was OK and our steward was average at best. One easily got the feeling that the entire ship was short staffed. Our steward appeared overworked and it took until the afternoon to have our room made up. All of the staff was well trained but most lacked a command of the English language. It was difficult to converse with anyone except on a very basic level. The food was good but there were some serious shortcomings in this area. The main dining room was slow at best. They were always trying to seat you at a table of 8 or more. Four is OK bit more is not for us. More than once we were sat first only to have to wait 7-8 minutes for another couple to join us before we even got a glass of water. There were long waits for courses. The buffet was lacking in many respects. The salad bar was incomplete, sometimes without croutons, onion, cheese or other basics. Not all at once but enough to annoy us. Not being able to dish out our own scrambled eggs, meats, and other breakfast essentials only caused long lines and bad attitudes. Way too many times the cruise ship staff ate at the buffet during "peak" times again causing non necessary long waits for sandwiches and the like. No one EVER checked or encouraged patrons to the buffet area or dining room to sanitized their hands. I would guess that less than 10% of people entering bothered to sanitize. It would seem they were begging for a flu epidemic. The ship in general is very tired in most areas. We frequently use the exercise facilities and found while the the equipment worked, the electronics were screwed up on most of the bikes, treadmills, and elliptical machines. This really surprised me. I really don't have an axe to grind but my expectations of this cruise line was based on my past experiences from 7 other cruise lines. I have come to a new appreciation of these cruise lines. Holland America was below average at best. I really don't see myself sailing with them again. These folks need to look at their competition and up their game.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was our first cruise on Holand America, and I can say it will be our last. Queuing for thirty minutes each night to get into the restaurant, then waiting another thirty minutes for our order to be taken was realy quite poor. The ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Holand America, and I can say it will be our last. Queuing for thirty minutes each night to get into the restaurant, then waiting another thirty minutes for our order to be taken was realy quite poor. The main restaurant was in serious need for a refurbishment, and I would go as far as to say it was quite embarrassing . The food in the main resturant on most nights was cold, and was below average. On the positive side the buffet resturant was realy nice, hot and tasty. If you are looking for a luxury cruise Ryndam is not it. The staff in bars were very friendly,and worked very hard. The entertainment was quite good,but I think that was because they had one young lady that was exceptionally good. The children's club were very nice,and did their best with what they had. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Just back from a week long cruise to norwegian fjords. Where to start: Cabins stewards and waiters very friendly but could do with a bit more training ie leaning over tables instead of going around, slopping water into the glasses, ... Read More
Just back from a week long cruise to norwegian fjords. Where to start: Cabins stewards and waiters very friendly but could do with a bit more training ie leaning over tables instead of going around, slopping water into the glasses, afternoon tea very rushed (no white gloves like other cruise lines who do afternoon tea). Entertainment hit and miss. Shows in the theatre were excellent especially by the ryndam singers, can't comment about entertainment in other places as they were all on at the same time (usually during dinner).Service was very slow but that was because they had 1438 people (supposed to be 1250max) one of the dining staff let it slip because we had to wait 3/4 of an hour for our main meal after the soup. The kitchen staff couldn't cope, but that is not their fault.  Cabins very spacious but a bit tired like the bathroom black plastic rim around the toilet seat kept falling down no-one came to repair it. There were quite a few people onboard who all said the same about the service. Lido ok but closes at 2pm. If you come back late only deli sandwich bar open. Needless to say we will not be sailing with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Previously, I sailed with Holland-America, on the Veendam in 1999, and the Volendam in 2001. Fine and impeccable was the service of the day, back then. Unfortunately, the service which previously existed, is alas, no more on the Ryndam. ... Read More
Previously, I sailed with Holland-America, on the Veendam in 1999, and the Volendam in 2001. Fine and impeccable was the service of the day, back then. Unfortunately, the service which previously existed, is alas, no more on the Ryndam. No sooner had my wife and I boarded the Ryndam on Dec. 1, 2013, that I noticed that there was a problem with the diverter valve in the shower. I was unable to get the water in the bathtub, to come out of the showerhead. Hence, I summoned the cabin attendant, who also had a problem with that device. In addition, the water was not properly draining out of the bathtub, as it was clogged. Someone had to have known about that problem, prior to Dec. 1, 2013. In any event, I called their main "service" desk, and reported the problem. One would have thought that both the cabin attendant and the main desk, would have contacted the ship's plumber. In fact, the matter was never addressed, until I again complained on Tuesday. I contacted a ship's officer, and also complained to the main desk, in person. This time, I got some action, as a maintenance person was actually sent to diagnose the problem. Afterwards, two plumbers came, and not only attempted to fix the problem, but also repaired a leaking faucet in the bathtub. However, I still had continuous problems with the diverter valve for the rest of the cruise, although I eventually got the water to come out of the shower head. To make matters worse, the toilet stopped flushing several days later. This time, the matter was expeditiously taken care of, and repairs were rendered. In addition to the maintenance problems, there were problems with the Ryndam's security personnel. Some of them, whom we encountered when we disembarked and embarked at the various ports of call, were the lowest of the lowest, pertaining to professionalism, or the lack thereof. They had no training in dealing with customers who had mobility issues. I saw one of their lowlifes, grab the wrist of an older lady, as she was having issues with walking past their security scanner. Another one screamed at a passenger, who inadvertently left his cell phone in the security area, after he successfully passed through screening. I personally complained to the number two man on the ship (the Hotel Manager), and he straightened the security miscreants out. Unfortunately, when we left the Ryndam in Tampa, on Dec. 8, 2013, there was mass pandemonium regarding the expedited disembarkation. It was extremely disorganized, and some of the Holland-America crew, were shouting at the passengers. Again, it was very unprofessional., and could have been handled better. When we asked for assistance with our luggage, in getting off, the Ryndam refused to help us. However, there were plenty of porters in the Tampa terminal, once we exited the ship. Years ago, Holland-America used to have a master baker on board, and he would bake the most delicious pastries. Then, in the evening, those pastries would be displayed for all of the guests to enjoy. Unfortunately, the Ryndam no longer does that, as the type and variety of pastries, left a lot to be desired. Entertainment-The so-called entertainment on the Ryndam, with one exception, was definitely third rate. Years ago, Holland-America had a number of variety acts, singers, dancers, and comedians, similar to the Ed Sullivan Show. Today, the performers are definitely substandard. In addition, the Ryndam employed a violinist who put me to sleep with boring melodies, every night. Also, the bands in the Crow's Nest, and the Ocean Bar area, were not the greatest. Lifeboat drill- I wasn't impressed with the so-called lifeboat drill. Years ago, on the Veendam and the Volendam, we were required to put our life jackets on before coming to the lifeboat station. And, the life jackets were inspected by the crew, to make sure that they were properly placed on the passengers. Now, it is no longer required. Also, there was confusion at the various lifeboat stations, and the deck crew were rude to the passengers. They wanted the door area cleared, but there was no area, for the passengers to stand, since we were crowded on top of each other. I always wondered how everybody would act, and how efficiently the crew would handle the task in a real emergency. Dining Room- I have to compliment our Waiter, and Assistant Waiter, as they worked very hard, and the food was very good. Unfortunately, it appeared that the personnel in the dining room, have been trimmed, Elevators- The elevator service on the Ryndam was atrocious. Not all of the elevators worked. Also, the elevators were not that large. Unfortunately, there were quite a number of overweight people on the cruise. When they enter an elevator, there is very little room left, for less obese people. I make a point of letting several elevators pass, rather than getting on a crowded one. However, there are some selfish individuals, who will opt to make a crowded elevator even worse, by shoving themselves onto it, instead of waiting for the next one. Type of passengers- There were passengers of all ages, including young children. I noticed two instances which made my blood boil, whereby the parents who should have known better, actually endangered the physical well being of their children. In one case, a young Mother, held her small child, over the top of the railing to show him the ocean! In another case, a young Mother got off the elevator, and failed to notice that her child was standing in the area, where the door closes. The Mother was completely oblivious to the danger that she placed her child in, by not exercising better supervision. Captain of the Ryndam- My hat goes off to Captain Werner Timmars, as he continuously kept us informed of the progress of the Ryndam, pertaining to Longitude, Lattitude, Water Temperature, Air Temperature, speed of the ship, etc. In addition, he was a very personable, and friendly individual. I was not impressed with the Cruise Director Rick Barnes, who seemed to be making excuses for the lack of quality entertainment. Internet Service Manager- I was impressed with that individual, as he assisted me with printing my airline boarding passes, while onboard the Ryndam. Once, I came online, it was very easy to use the computer sevices at sea. Overall, on a scale of 1-100, I'd have to regretfully rate the Ryndam at 72% or a C. The Ryndam is nearly twenty years old, and it should be retired. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We sailed in the Ms Ryndam from Tampa on a two week holiday. I talked my sister and Brother in Law into accompany Us in this trip, they had never cruised before; I don't know where to start; I have sailed before in the Holland ... Read More
We sailed in the Ms Ryndam from Tampa on a two week holiday. I talked my sister and Brother in Law into accompany Us in this trip, they had never cruised before; I don't know where to start; I have sailed before in the Holland America Line, so I expected the same service I was accustomed to, instead we experience the worst food ever on a cruise and the service that your used to at Kmart!!. The food at the Lido was terrible as the service. This was a Christmas and New Years cruise, yet I never felt the Holidays. It was more as a funeral home as the ambiance was of a morgue. We had two cabins 718, and 719. 718 had air conditioning on and off during the whole two weeks, in some days there was none, they keep saying that nothing was wrong and although sever technicians went to the room no one was able to keep it going steady. We were assigned open seating; well they were none tables open to eat, even though we could see many tables empty. We went to the Rest. manager and Got a 7:30pm every day reservation that only worked 3 days. The rest of days was always occupied. I'm really sad of was this once great cruise line as become. The very first day of the cruise we reserved next south America 21 day cruise for next December on the Zaandam, we are NOT GOING, I just asked for my deposit Back. Be aware if you want a cruise that resembles a Funeral home...., Then this is your cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Meals were poorly prepared and presented,small portion sizes,stale bread/rolls. Unripe fruit and vegetables served consistently in all salads,buffet and formal dining.The tiniest shrimp and scallops I have ever seen were served as a ... Read More
Meals were poorly prepared and presented,small portion sizes,stale bread/rolls. Unripe fruit and vegetables served consistently in all salads,buffet and formal dining.The tiniest shrimp and scallops I have ever seen were served as a "new take" on shrimp cocktail,bisque, etc. Blankets and towels were old and threadbare,250 ct.sheets,cheap polyblend robes. Juice not served on the Lido deck after 10:30 a.m., no self-serve on the lunch buffet.6 oz.glasses of water were all that were available,even apples were kept behind the buffet. One day they ran out of coffee on the lido deck, there was no more coffer available that day on the buffet line.Crackers were mostly saltines, and only saltines came with the room service cheese tray with very small portions of cheeses. Formal dining room was a wreck, computer went down on day 2, seating for reserved guests was late. Walk-in guests were seated before reserved guests. Meats were served without the fat trimmed, even on the beef wellington. Fish portions were smaller than a deck of cards. Fish and chips consisted of overbreaded fish fingers in the formal dining room lunch,after the first formal lunch we ordered room service, it was the best food onboard. Scraps of fruit were peeled down to the rind and served in the fruit cups. We felt we were being fed out of a food bank soup kitchen, the quality and quantity were so limited. Poolside Taco bar was stocked only once at luunch and then left dirty. Lines for the grill, burger and hot dogs, were 3o minutes long. "Fresh fruit daily in room" was not edible. Pears brought to our room on Sunday, were finally ripe on Saturday. We received one banana, it was green and damaged,rotted before it ripened, never saw another whole banana on the ship. We were told there were no carafes or water pitchers available for the staterooms but water was available for $3 a liter in the room. Hot water for tea in carafes, served by room service,were tainted by the taste of coffee and stained. Canned drinks served by room service without ice or a glass. The elevators were dirty and poorly maintained. There were not enough hand sanitizers on the ship and some of them were empty. Carpets in all common areas were visibly dirty, the mats in the elevators were really dirty. Lido deck pool was out of towels for hours one day. Mold under the bath soap dish even though the tile looked new, "corners" were dusty, dirty, just had not been cleaned to the degree one would expect. The cd player quit 3 times and finally was replaced, flat screen tv is very small and hard to view from the bed, also one of the speakers was busted and there were widely varying volumes on the catv stations,which were really poor as far as variety and content. We were locked out of our room for four hours off and on, first the battery in the door went fead, no one could get in, locksmith came and put in a new battery, then it locked us out not accepting the key cards we had, down to the service desk, back to the room nad then issued new cards that did work with the new battery. Imagine being stuck on a ship with a large group of disgusted, disappointed vacationers, not a pleasant trip. Never, ever would I sail or recommend Holland America again,a miserable trip, never felt rested or comfortable,or satisfied with the food selection. Only Celebrity for me. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We booked a family vacation on the Ryndam for late January 2012. We had read that although it was an older ship (build in mid 90's), it has been refurbished in the last year or so. Once we boarded and walked around the ship, we were ... Read More
We booked a family vacation on the Ryndam for late January 2012. We had read that although it was an older ship (build in mid 90's), it has been refurbished in the last year or so. Once we boarded and walked around the ship, we were extremely disappointed to see that pretty much everything still looked very dated and in desperate need of a refurbish (wait, wasn't the ship just refurbished?). Having been on some of the nicer Celebrity and Princess ships, and considering we had paid similar prices on the Ryndam, our expectations were high. Eventually we "got over it" and made the best of it. We have to say that at least the staterooms were very nice (refurbish more apparent there) and the food was amazing... one of the best food experience on a cruise ship in a long time! Kudos to HAL for that. But the service... where do I begin? We have cruise MANY times and always come across one or two people who don't appear pleased to be there but the majority of the staff are always pleasant and friendly. I don't need anyone to go overboard for me but I do appreciate a smile and a friendly demeanour. We were shocked to find that the friendly smiley staff were the exception and that in all parts of the ship we ran across one person after another who was unfriendly and didn't appear to want to be there. We even met one individual who was a big HAL fan having done over 20 cruises with them and even he said this was the worst cruise he had done. Overall, the experience was not a great one and we would not recommend Ryndam (for more reasons than just the dated ship!). If the service was great, I could understand the preference for this smaller ship. For the price though, you can get a comparable cruise on nicer newer ship! Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
The first time on the Ryndam was to cruise the Mexican Riviera and the Sea of Cortez. It was beautiful, the shows great, excursions wonderful (especially the Copper Canyon) and the dining was great. But this time on the Ryndam was a bit ... Read More
The first time on the Ryndam was to cruise the Mexican Riviera and the Sea of Cortez. It was beautiful, the shows great, excursions wonderful (especially the Copper Canyon) and the dining was great. But this time on the Ryndam was a bit of a disappointment. The openness of the ship has been an improvement in the shopping area and the library, and the bar areas, but the as for the selections in the Rotterdam dining room, they leave much to be desired. The wait staff were very friendly and helpful, but this only being their second cruise, were a bit on the shaky side. NOT UP TO CRUISE STANDARDS. The selection of food each night appeared to me to be the same thing from the last night with a different name. BEEF, BEEF, BEEF,or SCALLOPS, SCALLOPS, SCALLOPS. I also thought the Lido dining left much to be desired and the hours too short. If you took a shore excursion and came back, if you did not go directly to the Lido buffet bar, you were left with the choice of pizza or hamburgers or hot dogs and tacos. New Captain is Dutch and that was good. He was very cautious about Key West because the weather was bad, as we bypassed it and went to Cozumel instead. But with that change there were 4 days back-to back of non stop excursions. By the last day, you were too tired to do anything. It needed a break, i.e. a sea day after two days to give it a rest, but since we missed Key West , that couldn't happen. If you do this cruise, when you get to Roatan, instead of using one of the cruise ship excursions, go on the Internet and find "Victor Borda" Excursions and book your own tour guide for the day @ $25 per person for the entire day. Ask for "Ali" He is the best!!! You can snorkel, fish offshore (cost extra), tour the island, so what every you want. He will know where to take you and it is better than the price on the ship. There were six of us and we had a blast. He is the very best!!! I wouldn't rate this as the best cruise I have ever had and this was my 19th, but is was not the same Ryndam that I knew from before where the food was excellent both on the Lido and in the Rotterdam Dining Room. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
- many crew members were clearly ill which contributed to the very slow and poor service we received especially in the cabins and dining rooms- we were on a 'Code Red' when we boarded the ship due to illness, so many of the ... Read More
- many crew members were clearly ill which contributed to the very slow and poor service we received especially in the cabins and dining rooms- we were on a 'Code Red' when we boarded the ship due to illness, so many of the normal activities such as reading magazines or skimming through books or seasoning your food was unavailable to us and although we requested condiments, we rarely received them or received them when we were finished our main course. - we traveled with another couple and the wife is disabled. There were very few disabled washrooms but even those few were often out of service-two out of the four front bank of elevators was out of service for the entire cruise and most of the time three out of the four elevators were out of service. This is very difficult for anyone who cannot manage stairs as on this ship one needs to climb stairs to go upo stairs, through the ship and down to the rear bank of elevators.- the kitchen was on the floor above our rooms so all four of us were often awakened at 4:00am by loud noises.- there was a terrible sewage-like smell outside our cabins every day and this wasn't just on our floor. Others people on various decks complained of the same smell. We were constantly told by various crew members that 'they were looking into it' however the smell never went away. One female crew member actually stated that our room was over the garbage so that was the smell.- after a day ot two at sea we went to have showers but we had no towels. The front desk advised us that their washing machines had broken down and that they did not know when we would get towels. Later we called the desk again and were advised that they could deliver deck towels but no wash cloths were available.- for the first three days we had to call the desk in the afternoon (as late as 4:40) to have our rooms cleaned.- dining staff were sporatic. Five times a member of our party had food dropped on them without even an apology and waiters actually reached down and took food from your lap with their hands and then placed it back on the plate. - sheets in the cabin were changed once after being on board for a week and then we received clean sheets on the 14th night of the cruise - the night before we were leaving. Given what transpired on the ship in two weeks we wondered not only what the chances were of the sheets being changed again for new people but whose sheets we slept on.- we wrote letters regarding all these concerns but were politely brushed off. They stated they would inform the appropriate staff. - several concerns were brought to the attention of the hotel manager however he was just extremely rude. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
Investor Insights based on passenger observations and personal experiences from the Holland America Ryndam Holiday Cruise from Dec 21st through Sunday Jan 4, 2009 Good riddance was the mantra for the day for many passengers as they ... Read More
Investor Insights based on passenger observations and personal experiences from the Holland America Ryndam Holiday Cruise from Dec 21st through Sunday Jan 4, 2009 Good riddance was the mantra for the day for many passengers as they disembarked from this two week holiday cruise on the Ryndam as we arrived late in San Diego. There was not a tear to be shed or a sob to be found as many seasoned cruisers appeared to be disenchanted at the culmination of this voyage. I was not surprised when disembarkation was at least 90 minutes late to start (we were suppose to be off at 9:45 AM and retrieved our luggage after 10:45 AM-luckily we made our flight as it was delayed) nor that the elevators at both the aft and forward locations had mechanical failed requiring some folks to be taken off in the service elevator. These elevators are in need of dire repair-the elevator buttons would not light in some, while others would flicker. On at least three separate occasions I experienced a brake problem with the elevators and on one occasion had to step up about 10 inches to get off. Knowing that CCL cut their dividend and management was addressing the company's bottom line, I expected some changes, but was disappointed that the signature of excellence was severely compromised in the process. There will always be a few things that go awry on a voyage as we do not live in a perfect world and we usually are just nonchalant about it. I was a little surprised when on day one of the cruise the front counter personnel would not replace my wife's 100 day pin that was broken as they did not have enough supplies and they would send one to our room later if they had enough-it never happened. Okay, but when we went over to the explorer's lounge and requested a deck of cards to play a game-we were turned down as they did not have any supplies. We were told cards were available for purchase in the Casino-hmm. Moving on our Dining Room Table stewards were excellent, however, the Pinnacle Grill folks were less than satisfactory. We always looked forward to this venue and frequent a few times per voyage. Not this time, it took 20 minutes for someone to bring a signature cocktail list to make a selection from. I clearly pointed out to the staff I was highly allergic to both egg and all poultry products. They insisted they would take the utmost care. When the hors d'oeuvres were brought the waiter could not tell me what was in the three brought to me, however, I already knew from many past voyages. In the past I was given a couple of Bruschetta as the others appetizers contained egg. I had questioned the warm bacon dressing in the salad and the salad dressing. I was assured all were safe. After the first bite-I knew something was awry. My son called over the waiter to let him know, that I had an allergic reaction with the salad. The waiter immediately became defensive and told me I was mistaken. I told the person this is for educational purpose that something in the salad had an egg or poultry ingredient. This person insisted I was wrong and was quite terse. He later must have been told to apologize. Should I mention that several of the side's dishes were not brought to our table as ordered until we reminded the servers? I won't mention my brother's tough lobster or the other disappointments. Several days later the chef I had met in Alaska stopped by to visit us on the Lido as he recognized us from the two voyages on the Ryndam in Alaska this past summer. He informed me that the warm bacon dressing is made with turkey bacon and if staff had inquired it would hot have been served to me. The food in the dinning room was better than the Pinnacle, however you have to savor what you can because the pickings were awful slim and the prospects no matter how hard you squint were just plain bleak. Looking at a coupon for Black Angus that I have-I regretfully submit that this chain restaurant would receive higher marks for a better quality of food. Should I mention that the Hot Woks in the local super markets now do a better job with the oriental dishes than the Lido? The pomp and circumstance that use to accompany the Master Chef's dinner was noticeably absent-yes they did the same motions but without the props, for example the parade of the baked Alaska no longer has the sparklers on top. Although the first time cruiser would not know the difference, it was not the case for the many of us who had cruised before and on other Holland America Holiday Cruises. Should I mention that all of us traveling together were not even invited to the mariner's luncheon for the same sitting? We had staff fix the reservation time. The before luncheon cocktails were no longer offered and only wine was served with lunch - but these subtle changes again were an example of the noticeable cut backs. Clearly front office staff was not on top of their game plan. When I question sail away cocktail charges on my bill as someone inadvertently used the wrong room number - I requested that they pull another tag for comparison that did have my 17 year old son's signature for a soda card for the cabin that he was in-they refused and he had to go to the front desk to correct their error. Are the cutbacks the new paradigm for Holland America mariners? Those past perks supplied to former cruisers have succumbed to a vicious bout of vertigo in memory. Apparently across the Holland America line - these changes were implemented November 1st. I wasn't looking for disgruntled passengers on this cruise - but somehow I kept running into them in the dinning room for breakfast when I joined other travelers. What are the likely hoods I would eat breakfast and every time people started complaining? After several encounters with disgruntled passengers I decided to interview a few of the smiling stewards (about 10 percent of the staff) to learn about downsizing and increased workload. The morale has been shattered for many except those with their first contract. Supplies are short and staff does not have the needed tools to do their jobs effectively. We all have had jobs we didn't like, but somehow made the best of them so we could pay the bills-this message somehow is not universal and has resulted in many resignations among the crew. Random Comments: Supply problems-No batteries for remotes (TVs-DVD). One cruise staff mentioned that recently they did not have any Kleenex and were instructed to put five sheets in an empty box. Event staff did not have all the needed supplies to hand out for the dam dollar redemption-travelers were furious. Event staff was told to scrimp at dam dollar events. Cabins weren't that clean-fortunately we had Clorox wipes and cleaned drawers before we put our clothes in. Hand towels put on the floor to be changed were re-hung on a couple of occasions. The bed linens reportedly were not changed on a two week cruise. When Cabin stewards were off, they did not turn down the bed sheets at night as they hurriedly knocked on the door and handed out chocolates along with literature for the next day. Was the laundry equipment working properly as the wash cloths did not have the Clorox removed 100%. Does the ventilation system filters get cleaned or changed? There were a lot of sick passengers. The coffees were hit and miss and sometimes tasted like someone reused the grounds. Observed passengers' complaints in the dining room as orders for both lunch and breakfast were wrong. With deflation on the horizon-gratuities' were raised with less service provided. Chocolate extravaganza has lost the extravagance in contrast to just as recent as last summer. When a passenger told me they wouldn't bother to get off in Manzanillo-I should have listened. Ditto for Puerto Chiapas-the tour bus parked in a poultry yard to get to the Izapa Ruins and the Chocolate City portion was a bust. This was a desperate attempt to offer a tour. I could list more but what is the point. There were many passengers with a chip on their shoulder and I did not believe them for a nanosecond, however many long-time cruisers were disenchanted also. One final note: Two of the passengers that had been on multiple cruises across the spectrum of cruise lines - summed Ryndam stewards and help like this - they thought the Norwegian line cruise Pride of Aloha staff were the worst ever until they went on this cruise. As an investor it is my belief from what we just experienced is that this lack of quality going forward will have severe financial consequences - unless management can attract new passengers that do not know any better. Good day, Kidderman Read Less
Sail Date December 2008
We went on the Ryndam December 13 - 23, 2007 out of San Diego, to the Mexican Riviera. The ship is a little dated, only holds 1250 passengers so it is smaller than we are used to. Even when you come in to the main floor where they usually ... Read More
We went on the Ryndam December 13 - 23, 2007 out of San Diego, to the Mexican Riviera. The ship is a little dated, only holds 1250 passengers so it is smaller than we are used to. Even when you come in to the main floor where they usually have a grand huge main area, the area was small and dim. It even looked small when we pulled up to get on the ship. Getting on the ship was quick, easy and painless. We were on at 11:30 am able to get in the stateroom by 1:00 pm. When we were checking in the told us we were being upgraded to a window room, which was rare due to having 3 passengers, that upgrades don't usually happen. We were excited, waiting on the Lido Deck to see our room. When we did see our new room we said lets hurry and go look at our old room. Our old room was sooo much bigger without a window and we did not really want a window, we preferred the bigger room. So I found the people who got our old room and they said they wanted a window room, we traded at the info desk and all was happy. And if you can believe it, they were from our own town! Loved our room, we were right by the elevator and could not hear a sound outside the hall, but it was great getting off the elevator and going straight to your room. From the first day I noticed little black flecks in our toilet and did not tell anyone, after all it's just a toilet. They reminded me of the size of flecks when my husband shaves and leaves his hair in the sink (not often thankfully!) The second night I was awake at 2 am and went to the bathroom and all of a sudden when I turned on the faucet pure black water started coming out and those same black flecks too. Which told me that the toilet water and faucet water that I had been drinking out of, was possibly the same?! The next morning the black water was gone but still the flecks that were in the toilet was coming out in the faucet. I reported it and they supposedly came and fixed it while we were out that day. I asked them if it was the same water coming out of our toilet and faucet and they said "Of course not" but I told them I was not convinced due to it was the same flecks. Needless to say we did not drink out of our faucet for the next eight days, it was a pain, but we ordered pitchers of water from room service daily. Our room guy was pretty good, he kept leering at my teenage daughter and even tried to hug her once. He probably did not mean anything by it but I told her to stay clear of him anyways. The food was average. Not bad, not excellent. I'm not too picky so I'll eat anything. I did enjoy eating in the dining room and being waited on with the fine china and the excellent service. We loved the cheeseburgers on the Lido Deck, heavenly! Taco bar was great too. I had heard that Holland America was known for having a older crowd, but that since Carnival had bought them that they were trying hard to get the younger crowd too. We took a chance. I'm sorry to report that I will never go on a Holland America cruise again because there were probably 90% senior citizens and us being almost 50, were almost the youngest ones on there. Please don't take offense if you are a senior reading this, as I mean none. We just wanted a little more diversity in people's ages. There were 1250 passengers with only 17 children and 4 of the 17 were infants. My daughter is 12 and could hardly find any kids. There definitely was not enough activities on board either. One night it was 9 pm and there was no one around and nothing to do! Only dancing in the Crow's Nest and only a few people in there. And then what's the other thing you love to do on a cruise? EAT! Well at 9 pm they had a tray of hard cookies sitting out. That was the only thing to eat until the midnight buffet at 11 pm which really was just leftovers. So we are walking around at 9 pm with nothing to do, nothing to eat, so we went and had fun in our cabin and was asleep by 10:00. Probably where everyone else was too. I must say that the dancers were excellent and the most fun had by my daughter. They also gave us a private tour backstage as they had taken a liking to our daughter. She was thrilled. They were very talented. The ports, well what can I say? We tried to save money and do our own thing and that was not good. We would get off at a couple of the ports and did not know where to go and a taxi driver would end up taking us to one of his "friends" place and it would be just okay. The best was Playa los Gatos in Ziwatneo (bad spelling), take a water taxi over and have fun. The water taxi guy tried to take advantage of us and double charge us. We had to tell him no way. We love PV and know our way around the best there. The zip line was 82 bucks, pretty pricey, but daughter loved it! Our overall opinion about the stops in Mexico is that we have been many many times and are disappointed that everywhere we went they were always trying to take advantage of us, money wise. It got really sickening. Do not take the water taxi over to Lovers Beach in Cabo unless you are really in good shape. They throw you off the boat and getting back on when the tide is pushing you in the water is super hard, I was crying, I could not get on and they kept rushing me and then they plummeted me up on the deck like a fish, I am only alittle overweight and was embarrassed and horrified. When I snorkeled there two years ago it was great, it was bad this time, clear but only a few fish. Back to the ship, every single time you passed a employee they spoke to you "Good Morning or Good Evening", very nice touch. Very eager to please in the dining room. We had "as you wish" seating and LOVED it, never had to wait, went when we wanted, loved it. We have been on Carnival Spirit and Carnival Pride and had waaaay more fun on sea days. Holland America is classy but only go on it if you want slow paced and mostly seniors and not a lot to do. Trust me on this one, I would have changed my plans and changed ships before we left had someone told me this. Getting off the ship was super fast and easy too. Email me at tcrab67010@yahoo.com if you have any further questions. Sorry if I sound like I'm complaining, I'm not usually a complainer but I must be honest and maybe someone will be thankful for my honesty. Read Less
Sail Date December 2007
We excitedly booked the Sea of Cortez Cruise for our honeymoon. How disappointing! This was my third cruise, the second with Holland America, and the first for my husband. I hesitate to cruise with Holland America again. The ... Read More
We excitedly booked the Sea of Cortez Cruise for our honeymoon. How disappointing! This was my third cruise, the second with Holland America, and the first for my husband. I hesitate to cruise with Holland America again. The excursions, meals, entertainment, spa, and public areas were excellent. Tremendous attention to avoiding transmission of communicable disease was commendable, and only one passenger came down with a flu like symptom. The BUT and it was a BIGGIE, was the ongoing mechanical and plumbing problems on this trip. We were almost 8 hours late leaving port because the ship had to be towed in to San Diego. Hours later we finally were towed out to sea, after a few false starts. The plumbing problems were ongoing. Many passengers woke up to flooded cabins throughout the trip. Corridors were barricaded constantly, public washrooms closed, and the ship was crawling with plumbers attempting to resolve the ongoing issues.Odour, inconvenience, and stepping around busy workmen became the order of the day. I also question the expertise of the public relations manager on this particular cruise. I caught my pant leg on the bottom ridge of the escalator on day two and wrenched my leg. The medical attention was excellent. The public relations manager was appropriately conciliatory, until she was certain I would not be suing the company. Then her shadow side emerged. At first I was told to purchase an outfit from the onboard store to compensate for the value of the ruined garment, and that the original outfit would be cleaned, repaired and returned to me. I took them at their word and after several phone calls, when I was repeatedly told my outfit would be rehemmed to a much shorter length and returned to me the next day, I found out my outfit would not be returned, and that if I did want it returned I would be charged for the new purchase from their store. This gem of information was provided on the second last day of the cruise, after 7 days of haggling. I was able to negotiate a reasonable solution after a face to face albeit unpleasant meeting, however it left me with a sour taste in my mouth. My subsequent communications to Holland America through email and my travel agent, have not facilitated a response. Thinking about a cruise on the Ryndam? My advice - Don't book! Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
We boarded the ship in San Diego for an eleven day cruise up to Alaska and back to Vancouver for disembarkation. Embarkation was smooth and we went to our cabin, a Verandah Suite. We had taken a "Guaranteed Cabin" which turned ... Read More
We boarded the ship in San Diego for an eleven day cruise up to Alaska and back to Vancouver for disembarkation. Embarkation was smooth and we went to our cabin, a Verandah Suite. We had taken a "Guaranteed Cabin" which turned out to be a big mistake. It was extremely small and in no way could be categorized a suite. We asked for a downgrade, with no refund, to an outside cabin but were turned down. The water pipes were leaking from the ceiling outside our cabin for 3 days and the floor was wet and musty. The food on the ship was good, but not exciting. We had sailed on this ship in November 2006 and there was a noticeable downturn in the food quality and taste. Our dining room steward and assistant at the dinner meal were outstanding. They learned quickly what our desires were and we received excellent service throughout the cruise. After 3 separate instances of lack of attention and poor service in the dining room at breakfast and lunch, we reverted to eating our morning and noon meals at the buffet line on the lido deck. We thought that asking for a glass of milk 5 times and never receiving it was a bit much. Our cabin steward was satisfactory for the most part. We did have a problem with the bathroom ceiling vent being sealed shut by mold and rust. We mentioned it to him several times but it was never taken care of. Because the room was so small, we spent little time in it. We thoroughly enjoyed the shore excursions. We took the seaplane trip to the Taku Lodge in Juneau and it was absolutely outstanding. The aerial view of the glaciers was most beautiful and the salmon bake at the lodge was the best we have ever had. We visited the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau and found it very entertaining. The Yukon and White Pass Railroad trip in Skagway was out of this world. We were on the first trip up in the summer and the snow was above the roof of the rail cars near the summit. Glacier Bay National Park was somewhat disappointing as the US Government would not let the ship near where the seals were birthing so we had to anchor way out and saw very little of anything. The Misty Fjords National Park catamaran trip in Ketchikan was also outstanding. The narrator was extremely interesting and the scenery, especially the bald eagle nesting areas, was just beautiful. After we left Vancouver on the way up we were blessed with beautiful weather of sunny skies and warm days. Entertainment on the ship varied. The best part was the 4 piece combo that played dance music in the bar near the shops before the evening meal. The variety shows were OK and the comedians were good. Service on board the Ryndam also varied. We detected an attitude of indifference from the Hotel Manager and staff and we left the ship feeling very dissatisfied without satisfactory resolution of our problems. The bar staff was very friendly and service was good. The coffee bar was great and we utilized it in lieu of eating desert in the dining room. Public rooms were clean and the library was a great place to relax. Disembarking and embarking the ship at the various ports was easy and quick. The cruise line could easily save many trees by cutting out the flyers and advertisements left in our room each day advertising art auctions and ship's store sales. We felt the cruise was way overpriced for what we got. We are going back to Alaska again but we will take another line instead of Holland America. Read Less
Sail Date April 2007
Ryndam (Retired) 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

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