"Bucket List" Experience

Ryndam Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe


Contributor Level: Third Mate
Experience: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 19

Overall Rating:

4.0 out of 5
14 Night Voyage Of The Midnight Sun (Dover Roundtrip)
Sail Date: July 19, 2014
Ship: Ryndam
Cabin Type: Oceanview
Cabin Number: 647
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 3 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

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5

Entertainment

5 out of 5

Children's Programs

Not applicable

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5

Ship Tip

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.

3 out of 5
The castle is nice if you have time. The famous white cliffs are beautiful.
5 out of 5
I loved the Bryggen houses and the tram.
5 out of 5
The scenery from the mountain tops and the road with hairpin turns.

Cruise Geirangerfjord

5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Cruise Trondheimsfjord

5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The cathedral was interesting.
5 out of 5
Climb the stairs up the mountain. It's not as challenging as it looks.
5 out of 5
Book the Flam train to the hotel in advance. It was sold out on shore for those who wanted to book upon arrival.

Cruise Sognefjord

5 out of 5
5 out of 5
The Petroleum Museum was really interesting and many passengers liked it. It it enlightening.
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