Alaska In Brilliant Sunshine
Sail Date: May 01, 2007
Reviewed: 10 years ago
Traveled As: Large Group
Room Type: Inside
We arrived and found ourselves soon enough in our staterooms. Luggage arrived soon thereafter. We were able to get seating at two tables, and were happy with our seating and dining room location. In general, having been experienced cruisers, we found the overall experience excellent. We found that many land package options were still available, and that pricing for same was competitive.
Our steward greeted us warmly, and we felt welcomed. He was helpful, and remembered the little things that when other stewards are forgetful, make for a less-than personable experience. Ryndam delivered very well in this capacity.
We especially liked the Lido Dining room (buffet); oversized windows, and views, views, views! There was NOT any detectable "rush" to go anywhere, and so the pace was relaxed and calm. The main pool was nice, with a retractable roof that proved perfect for Alaska cruising. Also, Holland America discourages "lounge chair reserving" where patrons keep towels, etc. on lounge chairs all day. Staff frequently removed abandoned towels and kept lounge chairs arranged neatly. This is not always the case with some other cruise lines. The aft deck adult pool was usually EMPTY! A short swim there was refreshing, private and lovely. Remember, there are 1250 passengers, yet I felt I was in my own private pool. What a treat! Not even remotely possible on many other "super ships".
We found that it wasn't long before we got to know some other passengers. We began to have occasional friendly banter with nearby diners in the main dining room. People were amenable to sharing a table in the Lido when things got a little busy. (We've been on cruises where two people occupy a table for eight and DON'T share!). We got to know the ship quickly; so getting around was easy. Some ships can have "secret" stairways that you need to know about to get into a room or area; Ryndam does have some of this, but the ship was easy to get around in general. My mother uses a wheeled walker; she was able to get around quite well.
In port: egress and access were both excellent. Unlike some other ships, Ryndam had priority docking (NO tenders!) We never waited even one second to reboard. We never waited more than five minutes, if even that, to exit. Final day departure was swift and well coordinated.
The laundry service on our floor was good; laundry soap was provided and we were able to do a mid-cruise laundry (as we do tend to pack light).
The overall experience was 9 out of 10, and the weather was more than cooperative, so that helped also.
Pros: Less Crowded, fewer kids, very good food, excellent service, clean stateroom, good beds.
Cons: A tad crowded (line wait) at Lido Restaurant.
Recommends Ryndam? Yes!
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|Entertainment||Good, with a nice show every night. Ryndam isn't a super ship; yet provided ample entertainment and a very good variety of activities. Gym/Spa spotless, not busy at all, and offered nice additional services fairly priced. Naturalist was well-informed and provided excellent commentary and interesting facts about the geology and wildlife.|
|Children's Programs||Good; but this is not a ship designed for large numbers of children.|
|Service and Staff||Friendly, caring staff who DELIVERED when asked. Helpful, prompt and courteous. Many are from Indonesia, and speak English very well. Our cabin steward remembered the "little things" (such as a bucket of fresh ice at 4:00 PM, or extra bath sheets), and we appreciated that.|
|Ship Quality||Nice sized, not super huge, yet surprisingly intimate. You can begin to recognize other passengers by day three or four. Public rooms amply sized, clean, and EVERYTHING works! Decor very pleasant. Occasional elevator breakdowns, but elevator service acceptable to very good.|
|Food and Dining||
Main dining room double-height with loft that rings around. Windows well-sized and many tables have excellent views. Very good ambience and lighting; no table vibration while cruising. Food quality: at the very least, three stars, mostly four stars. Alaska Salmon entrees (three, four or five nightly) were very good and interesting variation. Service excellent; never a long wait for any special orders. Wait staff excellent and caring; service "punctuated" at times (while you are being served your main course, others dining nearby are finishing up their desserts). Occasional wait for wine steward, a little annoying. Seating occurs rapidly, so things move along well.
Premium Dining room: we were not only able to get a reservation, but didn't have to rush to do so during the first 15 minutes of the cruise. Food and service were outstanding, and we had a windowed view (some ships' premium dining rooms are NOT outside, and can be cramped and without views.)
|Cabin / Stateroom||Good sized (inside cabin this time) at 187 sq feet, very good mattresses, excellent bed linens, good towels, spotless bathroom, well arranged and spacious (for such a cabin class). Excellent storage, more than enough room. Very good lighting, bright (only fluorescent). TV channel selection limited. Only drawback: shower drained slowly, they were unable to effect repair.|