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.
The cabin was clean and comfortable, but showing its age. Drawers kept getting stuck, bathroom had a few faults which were not fixed. TV terrible...out of focus, very little choice of channels. Air conditioning not that good, finally failed and had to move staterooms.