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As Ryndam is going out of service, I will confine my comments to generalisations which could apply across the line. Boarding and reception at Harwich excellent: pity they will not be using the port any more. Parking easy, and luggage (lots of it) taken out of our hands. Facilities in the Harwich Cruise port fairly basic, but you could get a coffee and a snack, but as you will get fed almost immediately after boarding, does not matter. Boarding very efficient, and was on board 90 minutes ahead of schedule. For an old ship that had been sold on, the ship was in very good condition and could not fault the state of repair. Staff extremely helpful. We had a cabin on the lower promenade deck where the walking circuit is. Thus you need to be aware that people will be walking in circuits past your window from very early in the morning. I can only assume that there are people who are very early risers, and even at 0600, the circuit is live. Cabins very good size with sitting area and enough room to hang clothes and draw space. No problem for a two week jaunt. Nothing much provided in bathroom except wall mounted shower gel, conditioner and shampoo, but Elemis brand. This is quite typical of the low to mid range boats and I always bring my own stuff now. Cabins cleaned and tidied to an excellent standard, and cabin steward excellent. Cabin mostly made up by the time we had returned from breakfast (they clock who is moving around on any deck). Compares favourably with other cruise liners, and we had bought the cheapest cabin available. Passengers mixed, but mostly over 50. Some young couples and family groups. Avoid school holidays if you do not want to travel with other peoples' children, as the ships in the line are geared up to younger passengers. Obviously Americans are dominant which is good news and bad news. Higher general standards, but some of them are reluctant to embrace anything that smacks of foreign-ness. Some peculiar clothes - in fact the ship seemed to have given up on dress code but they did exclude someone who turned up to the main evening restaurant in shorts. Food is excellent, but the open seating dining needs careful thought. Despite what HAL might say, the restaurant will try to shoehorn you in to their convenience. So if you want to dine as a pair, or not to their notional sittings you have to work hard at it. It was achieved after written representation indicating that sitting with diners not of our choice was distressing to us, as was having to wait an unreasonably long length of time. This works, and I would commend others to ensure they get what they want. A moaning minnie at the table is not what you want. Restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful and it is true that you can have pretty much what you want off the menu, so if you want 5 or 6 courses, that is no problem. Like with so many things in life, if you make yourself clear in a pleasant manner, it ensure you get what you want (within reason). Buffet restaurants like a miniature version of what happens on Royal Caribbean. Huge choice at lunch. Seating can be a problem, and food temperature from any buffet is never going to be good. The crew of the ship kept a very low profile, and the captain was only wheeled out for big occasions. No handshaking for fear of contamination. No captains party/reception. In fact the presentation by the captain told me a lot about the business model: everything that happens on the ships is done to show a return on investment. Entertainments very much geared for an American audience, and shows of Las Vegas style, which pleased many. Could not fault the effort put into the entertainment at nights, but not to everyones taste. Beware of Park West Galleries art auctions. I cannot believe that anyone buys their merchandise after reading the terms and conditions and hearing what they say, but what do I know? Excursions were very expensive, so we mostly made our own way, knowing some of the places. Everything is pretty expensive including the restaurant wines, drinks packages, wifi, telephone connections and merchandise. As with many cruise lines, there are special merchandising offers said to be tax and duty free. Caveat Emptor. All in all, it was a good cruise at a fair price, very good hospitality, and I would travel with the line again, but do certain things e.g. dining differently.

Holland America is a good choice for seasoned cruisers.

Ryndam (Retired) Cruise Review by mgoldman666

Trip Details
As Ryndam is going out of service, I will confine my comments to generalisations which could apply across the line.

Boarding and reception at Harwich excellent: pity they will not be using the port any more. Parking easy, and luggage (lots of it) taken out of our hands. Facilities in the Harwich Cruise port fairly basic, but you could get a coffee and a snack, but as you will get fed almost immediately after boarding, does not matter. Boarding very efficient, and was on board 90 minutes ahead of schedule. For an old ship that had been sold on, the ship was in very good condition and could not fault the state of repair. Staff extremely helpful.

We had a cabin on the lower promenade deck where the walking circuit is. Thus you need to be aware that people will be walking in circuits past your window from very early in the morning. I can only assume that there are people who are very early risers, and even at 0600, the circuit is live. Cabins very good size with sitting area and enough room to hang clothes and draw space. No problem for a two week jaunt. Nothing much provided in bathroom except wall mounted shower gel, conditioner and shampoo, but Elemis brand. This is quite typical of the low to mid range boats and I always bring my own stuff now. Cabins cleaned and tidied to an excellent standard, and cabin steward excellent. Cabin mostly made up by the time we had returned from breakfast (they clock who is moving around on any deck). Compares favourably with other cruise liners, and we had bought the cheapest cabin available.

Passengers mixed, but mostly over 50. Some young couples and family groups. Avoid school holidays if you do not want to travel with other peoples' children, as the ships in the line are geared up to younger passengers. Obviously Americans are dominant which is good news and bad news. Higher general standards, but some of them are reluctant to embrace anything that smacks of foreign-ness. Some peculiar clothes - in fact the ship seemed to have given up on dress code but they did exclude someone who turned up to the main evening restaurant in shorts.

Food is excellent, but the open seating dining needs careful thought. Despite what HAL might say, the restaurant will try to shoehorn you in to their convenience. So if you want to dine as a pair, or not to their notional sittings you have to work hard at it. It was achieved after written representation indicating that sitting with diners not of our choice was distressing to us, as was having to wait an unreasonably long length of time. This works, and I would commend others to ensure they get what they want. A moaning minnie at the table is not what you want. Restaurant staff were very friendly and helpful and it is true that you can have pretty much what you want off the menu, so if you want 5 or 6 courses, that is no problem. Like with so many things in life, if you make yourself clear in a pleasant manner, it ensure you get what you want (within reason).

Buffet restaurants like a miniature version of what happens on Royal Caribbean. Huge choice at lunch. Seating can be a problem, and food temperature from any buffet is never going to be good.

The crew of the ship kept a very low profile, and the captain was only wheeled out for big occasions. No handshaking for fear of contamination. No captains party/reception. In fact the presentation by the captain told me a lot about the business model: everything that happens on the ships is done to show a return on investment. Entertainments very much geared for an American audience, and shows of Las Vegas style, which pleased many. Could not fault the effort put into the entertainment at nights, but not to everyones taste.

Beware of Park West Galleries art auctions. I cannot believe that anyone buys their merchandise after reading the terms and conditions and hearing what they say, but what do I know?

Excursions were very expensive, so we mostly made our own way, knowing some of the places. Everything is pretty expensive including the restaurant wines, drinks packages, wifi, telephone connections and merchandise. As with many cruise lines, there are special merchandising offers said to be tax and duty free. Caveat Emptor.

All in all, it was a good cruise at a fair price, very good hospitality, and I would travel with the line again, but do certain things e.g. dining differently.
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