"Bucket List" Experience
Ryndam Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe
Sail Date: July 19, 2014
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Cabin Number: 647
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago
We have always wanted to experience the never-setting sun north of the Arctic Circle, and this cruise provided the opportunity. The scenery in the fjords was spectacular; there were many port days and few sea days; and the service, activities, entertainment and food on board the ship were excellent. We especially enjoyed the North Cape, the Flam train ride up to the hotel, the Stavanger Petroleum Museum, and the breathtaking views from a variety of mountain tops. These are the pros.
The cons: HAL caters to an older, more conservative clientele. If you prefer a casual lifestyle, as we do, then be prepared to suffer through four formal nights during the fourteen night cruise. We observed that gentlemen can gain entry into the dining room wearing a jacket OR tie on formal nights. If you show up with neither of those garments, you'll be offered a waiter's jacket. Of course, casual dressers can eat at the Lido buffet, but dining room fare is always better than the buffet on formal nights.
Another con is the iffy weather in Norway. There's a 50/50 chance of fog and/or rain at any time, so be prepared for compromised views from the ship as well as on shore. The prices in the Norwegian ports were a shock to many of us passengers. Due to a variety of economic conditions in Norway affecting their currency, be prepared to pay double (or more) than what you might expect in shops, restaurants and everywhere else on shore--such as $27 for a bowl of fish chowder at a stand in the Bergen outdoor market. Advice: Prior to the first port, ask the Front Office or the Destination Specialist for specific details on how to get your Global Blue tax refund. This information was never mentioned on the ship during our cruise and, as a result, many clueless passengers with missing requirements lost out on the opportunity to get about 15% of their onshore expenditures returned in cash when the tax agent came aboard on the last day.
In spite of the cons, we loved beautiful Norway and the excellent Ryndam. We would definitely do it again, only smarter next time.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Try the small area with deck chairs on Deck 9 aft for reading or napping. It is quiet with a nice view and not as windy as other locations.