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Ryndam Northern Isles Cruise

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We are back from our Ryndam Norther Isles Cruise that sailed from Harwich on June 20.

First, a little background.

My husband and I are 2 star Mariners in our 50s.

For those interested, Captain on this cruise was Frank van der Hoeven, and Hotel Director was Darren David Lewis.

We were in cabin 374, an Obstucted Ocean View cabin - I think we were under one end of the galley and experienced noise once in a while, but it did not bother us.

Now, some comments about the cruise.

I have divided it into THE GOOD, THE BAD and THE UGLY.

 

 

first THE GOOD

 

Of course, the staff was wonderful. Our cabin stewards were Bam and Bobbi. Our dining steward were Indra and Ferry. All were wonderful, greeting us by name and spoiling us. The ladies at the Front Desk were always smiling.

On this cruise we got the Signature Beverage Package as part of the Explore4 - what a wonderful thing! Our room keycard was programmed for the package - up to 15 drinks under $7 per day. And you could order up to 3 drinks at a time. If you upgraded to premium a $1 charge would be added to your onboard account. We didn't come anywhere near 15 drinks a day, but it was nice not having to keep all those little pieces of paper. Needless to say, waiters made sure we were looked after.

The flowers around the ship and in our stateroom were beautiful.

Food is subjective, but we found most of the food in the MDR and Lido, good to very good.

We did not attend any of the shows in the Showroom, but we enjoyed the musicians in the bars especially Eli - guitarist/vocalist who played in the Mix or the Ocean Bar. We also enjoyed listening to the Neptune Band in the Ocean Bar and the Adagio duo in the Explorer's Lounge.

The Explorations Cafe served wonderful coffee and tea (some with an extra flavour enhancer!).

Matt, one of the Third Officers, did a Virtual Bridge Tour in the Showroom one afternoon. It was very interesting and informative. He had a slideshow presentation then answered questions from the audience. A very intelligent, articulate young man.

 

 

Now, THE BAD.

 

Actually not too much.

The Ryndam has unfortunately been allowed to get rundown. It was easy to notice cracked floor tiles. Linens have seen better days, some towels were not as white and fluffy as they should be. I noticed a few chairs in the Lido and MDR that had split or worn seats. There was tape on one section on the banquette in the Crow's Nest.

And the tea served in the Lido and MDR was not very good. There were lots of Brits on the cruise complaining about the quality, some getting 2 tea bags to make 1 cup of tea. Fortunately, the tea from the Explorations Cafe was very good.

 

 

But now, THE UGLY.

 

Noro.

Our embarkation was delayed because they were doing a deep cleaning because Noro was onboard.

We were in Code Red for the entire cruise - musicians and others were serving in the Lido. But people, both passengers and crew, continued to get sick.

We were constantly told to 'wash your hands' and Purell dispensers were everywhere.

Some display cases were emptied in some shops. You could not touch any merchandise.

The Digital Workshop had to drop sessions, because passengers couldn't touch the computers.

Part way through the cruise, night time chocolates stopped being distributed.

The crew washed everything. Tabletops and some chairs were wet with cleaning solution.

We became quite good at walking up and down stairs without touching anything and hitting elevator buttons with our elbows.

But, there was still a lot of people ill, and our cruise was cut short. We returned to Harwich a day early to do further cleaning. I hope it worked.

 

 

It was not the cruise we had hoped for - I would have liked to have seen more of Iceland (we missed one port because of weather) and more of Norway (our last port was sacrificed so we could return to Harwich for cleaning) but we enjoyed what we did see. We had a great tour in Shetland that we found out about on our Roll Call. Iceland was rugged and fascinating. Bergen was beautiful! We took the funicular up the hill and walked down - wonderful. We got back to London a day early, so we made the best of it. The hotel supplied by HAL was near the airport, so we took the underground into the city and did more sightseeing.

 

We are not sure about booking another cruise - I want to book another and replace these not so good memories with better ones, but Hubby is not ready yet.

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Thanks for your review. I'm really sorry that your cruise was cut short due to the need for deep cleaning. And I truly sympathize with you about being in Code Red for the entire cruise after having recently gone through 13 out of 15 days in Code Red. Honestly, I think noro must be passed on through the air or other means than just touching. I know we were vigilant in our handwashing and use of Purell but we still got sick.

 

We will continue to cruise with HAL. Yes, it was a "different" cruise and not quite as good as past cruises but we figure that one cruise out of our 13 cruises was just bad luck. Our next cruise is booked.

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Thanks for your review. That's a wonderful itinerary, and I will miss the Ryndam--such a sweet ship. That Noro situation sounds horrible. We've cruised in Code Red once, and I flipped out badgering my kids about washing their hands and yelling at my family to stop touching their faces. It sounds like you did a great job of keeping a positive attitude (and you as well, Alberta Quilter.)

 

But HAL. C'mon. Would you please just bring back the decent tea bags? It's such a little thing, but the new tea is, in a word, icky. And it certainly won't keep the British passengers happy.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. So tough the outbreak happened during the Ryndam's last season with HAL and during your sailing. She was the first ship on which we ever sailed and we have the fondest memories of our time aboard. I hope the good memories will somehow overcome the bad (& ugly) for you in the days to come, if possible.

 

I'm curious about your statement, "We were in Code Red for the entire cruise - musicians and others were serving in the Lido." Could you elaborate?

 

Thanks again and best wishes.

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Thank you for taking the time to write your review.

Sorry about the Code Red and having your cruise cut short by a day.

Sounds like that since the Ryndam will be moved over to P&O they are letting her go down hill.

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Thanks for sharing your experience. So tough the outbreak happened during the Ryndam's last season with HAL and during your sailing. She was the first ship on which we ever sailed and we have the fondest memories of our time aboard. I hope the good memories will somehow overcome the bad (& ugly) for you in the days to come, if possible.

 

I'm curious about your statement, "We were in Code Red for the entire cruise - musicians and others were serving in the Lido." Could you elaborate?

 

Thanks again and best wishes.

 

 

We have been on many ships when they were in Code Red.

Yes, they use the musicians, dancers, etc. to help serve food in the Lido, etc. You are not allowed to touch anything. They place the food on your plates -- salads, rolls, everything. They pour the coffee and tea, etc. -- you can not touch any of those machines. You won't find any salt and pepper shakers or sugar bowls on the tables. Packets are handed out to you. Thus they need all these extra people to help out to keep the lines moving.

On some ships the flowers were removed from all the tables in the Lido and dining room. We had the pools closed, the library closed. And one time it was so bad the beauty salon was closed. Nearly every activity was cancelled.

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Thank you Krazy Kruizers for elaborating on Code Red.

Passengers could not serve themselves anything in the Lido or MDR. There were long lines at the beverage stations. You could not pour your own milk or cream into your coffee or tea. Sugar was distributed in packets.

At dinner, rolls were served by the waiters, not left in a basket on the table.

It must have been very difficult for the crew, lots of extra work. So, at some stations in the Lido others served. We had musicians, dancers and the Tech Guy serving pre-plated pastries, fruit and beverages.

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Thank you for reviewing your cruise.

Sorry you had to experience Code Red.

 

You mentioned that the ship returned to Harwich a day early, did HAL give On Board Credit as well as the hotel near the airport?

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Thank you for reviewing your cruise.

Sorry you had to experience Code Red.

 

You mentioned that the ship returned to Harwich a day early, did HAL give On Board Credit as well as the hotel near the airport?

 

In addition to the hotel, HAL gave us $250 Onboard credit to help offset extra costs.

Of course, they also refunded taxes and port fees for the missed port, and 'one day net cruise fare' for the day we returned early.

Although the hotel was not convenient for sightseeing in London, it was easy to get to the airport the next day to catch our flight.

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In addition to the hotel, HAL gave us $250 Onboard credit to help offset extra costs.

Of course, they also refunded taxes and port fees for the missed port, and 'one day net cruise fare' for the day we returned early.

Although the hotel was not convenient for sightseeing in London, it was easy to get to the airport the next day to catch our flight.

 

Thanks for your reply.

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