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Rotterdam 12/2 cruise Part 2


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Here is the second part of my review. I will be happy to answer any questions.


The second problem they encountered sealed the deal for our friends travelling with us. One day while many were coming in from shore there was an announcement that all the elevators would be inoperable for the next ½ hour as they were testing their emergency generator system. Those of us that were onboard the Ship heard the announcement but those just reboarding did not. Not knowing of the inoperable elevator, they got into the elevator on "A" deck without any of the staff attempting to stop them or the 5 others that got on, including a man in a wheelchair with serious medical probs. Anyway they get on the elevator, it goes up a bit and stops dead. The people in the elevator attempted to use the phone inside the elevator to call for help and it wasn’t working either.:eek: For over 20 minutes our friends were stuck in the elevator with one man tapping out SOS in morse code with his cane on the door. No one responded. When the elevators resumed service 20 minutes later, no one was there to ask if anyone was okay and when my friend told the Security officers of their traumatic ordeal, they received a curt answer that an announcement had been made and they were "stupid" for not heeding the warning. Miffed, our friend went to the front desk to also report the incident, and was also brushed off my the staff. Unfortunately, that left a lasting impression with my friends, who now vow to never return to HAL. I myself feel terrible as I was the one to rave about the cruise line and they relied on my recommendations and went home with a sour feeling.


After this I can understand how different people have vastly different experiences on a cruise. We had a fabulous time! We found the food in the dining room, the Lido and from room service to be wonderful. We did not find any problems with tough beef and the 4 of us enjoyed every meal. I was thrilled to see that the cold soups were back on the menu, as I didn’t recall seeing them on the Ryndam this last summer.


This Ship and cruise felt more formal than our cruises other HAL ships, including the 17 day South America cruise on the Amsterdam. This surprized me for a Caribbean cruise. The dress code was strictly adhered to by the passengers including no shorts in the dining room. Many of the men wore tuxs and I saw no one "underdressed" in the dining room. This was very different than our experience in Alaska this last summer.


We did have an opportunity to eat at the Pinnacle this time and noted that they still are staffed by the Indonesian waiters. During a cocktail party we were seated with Captain Bos, who stated that he feels that the crew is happier when there isn’t a mixing of staff’s nationalities. I had to wonder if this was why the Pinnacle was not staffed by Eastern Europeans as on other HAL ships.


One thing we did miss was the lack of any Caribbean music on board. In fact one day we were docked next to the Brilliance of the Seas and from our balcony we could hear their steel drum band, it accentuated how sedate our experience was with Frank Sinatra being piped into the Lido. Many commented on the lack of Caribbean music on board.


Despite our friends unfortunate experience, we found this cruise to be very lovely and the service to be top notch in general.:) My fears that I had about a lessening of quality on the Ship were again not proven. I would recommend this cruise and this Ship, but I may shy away from ever inviting friends who’ve not cruised HAL to join us as experiences can differ greatly among passengers on the same cruise!:eek:


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Glad you had a good cruise. We have mixed feelings about asking others to cruise with us for some of the reasons you indicate in your report. People are just so different in their ability to respond to situations which can happen during any travel experience.


Thanks again. I enjoyed reading your report.

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I'll have to say that I find myself agreeing with your friends. The elevator incident was completely avoidable by simply putting a crew member on each to signal when it was empty. To compound that with the rude behavior is inexcusable. I do hope you encouraged them to write to the line.



:) -dave


"You never get a second chance to make a first impression."

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Thanks for your great review. It was good to read that you had a great cruise and enjoyed yourselves.


I totally understand your reluctance to ever recommend to friends or relatives they try cruising for all the reasons you stated. We've made those recommendations in the past and, for the post, part it worked out okay but there was once one couple who never cruised again. Ironically, it was also Rotterdam. And, like you, we had a fabulous cruise and loved every minute aboard. Go figure!!


I'm sorry your friends were stranded in that elevator. I am sure none of us would like that. I am also sure none of us would like the inappropriate response from both Security and the Front Office. Had they responded with more sympathy and understanding, would that have made a difference for your friends? Do you think they would have considered cruising again if there had been a 'kinder' response to their being stuck in the elevator.


Welcome back and thanks for your comments.

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We're also reluctant to rave about our experiences with a certain cruise line or tour because we know how experiences can vary.


In some cases it can be about "expectations." If you tout one line or itinerary too strongly some people, I find, will react with a : "Well, it wasn't that great."


And the reverse is also often true. We went on another line, because of the itinerary, with very low expectations. And our reaction was : "Hey, it wasn't that bad."


I think Human Nature figures into this.


When we are asked for suggestions and recommendations we load them up with caveats - and hope for the best.

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Thank you all for your thoughtful responses.:cool:


Yes, S7S and Dakrewser, I believe the handling of the "elevator" issue was what caused them to decide NOT to cruise HAL again.:( It is a shame because I have to tell you I was so impressed in the stewards and staff I dealt with during the cruise. I believe they will both be writing to HAL regarding their experience, and I hope HAL at the least apologies and puts the correct procedures in effect so this incident NEVER happens to other passengers.

That said, it truly was a lovely cruise. Half Moon Cay was great and the bases of the bushes are beginning to show regrowth after the hurricane. :D The kids park is situated at the end of the beach closest to the tender docks. It was barely noticeable from the middle of the beach and we had rave reviews from the 4 year old twins on board who enjoyed it very much. For older kids there are floaties that are anchored around in the water directly ahead of it. A crab, a sea snake, and other toys are anchored and are very soft plastic to the touch to avoid injuries. The area of the lagoon that the Stingrays are located in has newly built and landscaped areas including bathrooms, a changing area and a nice large covered area for out of the water viewing activities.


I had to chuckle because as DH got home, he started booking excursions for the March Zaandam trip. And he says I'm addicted;)

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So sorry I neglected to mention the Cruise Director....it was Peter Daems. I really enjoyed him and his "stories". He seemed to do a great job and was quite endearing. Have a great cruise:D I sure hope you enjoy it as much as we did. She is decorated to the nines for the holidays!:cool:

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I thought he was wonderful!! Very funny and very friendly. Definitely a people person who really enjoys his job. One thing they did on this ship that I have never seen on another one was offer a program called "Life at sea" where the CD, his assistant, the leader of the Rotterdam Orchestra, and the lighting person did a panel discussion on what it is like to be on the staff of a cruise ship. It was very interesting and informative. A few days later, they had the Rotterdam cast do the same thing (I missed that one). I've never seen that done on a cruise ship before. I thought it was a great idea.


Localady, he said he was from Gouda, Holland. Remember how he pronounced his "g's"?

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