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My wife and I are veterans of seven cruises with four prominent cruise lines. We cruised the Caribbean four times, and this was our third Alaska cruise - the first with HAL. Since we had already visited most of the ports of call on previous cruises we decided to skip the shore excursions, opting to hire a local cab to show us the sites - weather permitting. Unfortunately, late August weather is unpredictable in the Alaskan panhandle, and we had mostly cold rainy weather - the one exception being Seward. The weather got so bad that one of the ports, Haines, had to be skipped because the wind was too high for the ship to safely dock. Too bad, since this was one of two ports we had not visited yet on previous trips. And thus, the horror story of the incompetent cabin steward begins on the embarkation. I will add that the embarkation process went as smooth as advertised until we discovered we were short one bag, a garment bag with our formal evening ware, was a no-show in the cabin. We later discovered the bag near the elevators on our way to the muster station drill. The head steward happened to be there and we pointed out our missing luggage. He assured us that it would be delivered right away and be in our cabin on our return from the drill. When we returned - no garment bag in the cabin or in the hallway. When the head steward re-appeared , we asked him what happened. He said it probably got delivered to the wrong room and that a search would commence, though it appeared to us that this was said in a dis-concerning manner. Anyway, hours passed - still no garment bag. In the morning, still no bag and we were rapidly approaching the first formal night. I went to the front desk to vent my discouragement at the situation. I filled out the claim form, and on their part, they did provide me with a tux, free of charge, which I employed that night. The garment bag appeared the following day - two days into the cruise. During our stay, we had many nights where ice was not replenished (this is kind of important since the room has no fridge). Again, this was pointed out to the steward with no apparent result. One night our bed was not turned for the evening and no next-day activity guides or room service forms delivered. The steward happened to come by at a point when we were headed out the door and we specifically mentioned that we would be away for a few hours and it would a good time to prep the room - in one ear and out the other. Finally, on debarkation day, we were scheduled to be out of the room by 9AM. We planned a leisurely departure by ordering a room service breakfast (a nice touch by HAL). We got a knock on the door around 7:45AM by the steward asking after us. We responded that we were in middle of breakfast. We were in our sleep ware too. We also had the "Privacy Please" card in the card key slot. This did not deter him from using his key and opening the door with obvious embarrassment which ensued. Because of these incidents, we opted to do our own tipping instead of using the standard $11 per day. As for other aspects of the cruise, we were pleased, except for maybe the shows (singers) which we avoided. However, there was one fine comedian who was absolutely a roar - without being crude or vulgar. The Cruise Director could have been a little more enthusiastic and friendly. All the servers, Lido, Dining Room, Casino, Internet Center, were attentive and did a fantastic job. We singled out many for tips. True, there is some normal wear and tear in the public areas - carpeting around stair landings. Some of the elevator buttons are in need of replacement. Nothing a good refurbishment can't fix (scheduled next year). Also, this was the smallest ship we had been on to this point. It was a pleasant break from the super ships where having to go back to the cabin for a forgotten item was a major expedition. I would say the fit was just right for us. And yes, we are planning our next cruise with HAL.

Cabin Steward Nightmares on the Ryndam

Ryndam (Retired) Cruise Review by goforthecruise

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2009
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
My wife and I are veterans of seven cruises with four prominent cruise lines. We cruised the Caribbean four times, and this was our third Alaska cruise - the first with HAL. Since we had already visited most of the ports of call on previous cruises we decided to skip the shore excursions, opting to hire a local cab to show us the sites - weather permitting. Unfortunately, late August weather is unpredictable in the Alaskan panhandle, and we had mostly cold rainy weather - the one exception being Seward. The weather got so bad that one of the ports, Haines, had to be skipped because the wind was too high for the ship to safely dock. Too bad, since this was one of two ports we had not visited yet on previous trips.
And thus, the horror story of the incompetent cabin steward begins on the embarkation. I will add that the embarkation process went as smooth as advertised until we discovered we were short one bag, a garment bag with our formal evening ware, was a no-show in the cabin. We later discovered the bag near the elevators on our way to the muster station drill. The head steward happened to be there and we pointed out our missing luggage. He assured us that it would be delivered right away and be in our cabin on our return from the drill. When we returned - no garment bag in the cabin or in the hallway. When the head steward re-appeared , we asked him what happened. He said it probably got delivered to the wrong room and that a search would commence, though it appeared to us that this was said in a dis-concerning manner. Anyway, hours passed - still no garment bag. In the morning, still no bag and we were rapidly approaching the first formal night. I went to the front desk to vent my discouragement at the situation. I filled out the claim form, and on their part, they did provide me with a tux, free of charge, which I employed that night. The garment bag appeared the following day - two days into the cruise. During our stay, we had many nights where ice was not replenished (this is kind of important since the room has no fridge). Again, this was pointed out to the steward with no apparent result. One night our bed was not turned for the evening and no next-day activity guides or room service forms delivered. The steward happened to come by at a point when we were headed out the door and we specifically mentioned that we would be away for a few hours and it would a good time to prep the room - in one ear and out the other. Finally, on debarkation day, we were scheduled to be out of the room by 9AM. We planned a leisurely departure by ordering a room service breakfast (a nice touch by HAL). We got a knock on the door around 7:45AM by the steward asking after us. We responded that we were in middle of breakfast. We were in our sleep ware too. We also had the "Privacy Please" card in the card key slot. This did not deter him from using his key and opening the door with obvious embarrassment which ensued. Because of these incidents, we opted to do our own tipping instead of using the standard $11 per day.
As for other aspects of the cruise, we were pleased, except for maybe the shows (singers) which we avoided. However, there was one fine comedian who was absolutely a roar - without being crude or vulgar. The Cruise Director could have been a little more enthusiastic and friendly. All the servers, Lido, Dining Room, Casino, Internet Center, were attentive and did a fantastic job. We singled out many for tips. True, there is some normal wear and tear in the public areas - carpeting around stair landings. Some of the elevator buttons are in need of replacement. Nothing a good refurbishment can't fix (scheduled next year). Also, this was the smallest ship we had been on to this point. It was a pleasant break from the super ships where having to go back to the cabin for a forgotten item was a major expedition. I would say the fit was just right for us. And yes, we are planning our next cruise with HAL.
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin K 522
We had an inside cabin - first time. It was roomy with a full sized couch/bed. and the bathroom, particularly the shower stall was spacious. I would recommend a travel alarm. It is easy to lose track of time in an inside cabin.
Main Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews