Ships, Planes, Trains and River boats taking us through Asia, Middle East, Africa, Baltic, England, Paris and Amsterdam through to Budapest...

Monday, May 19, 2014

44 Ryndam after 7 days.

We really do like this ship and Holland America has a really good product here ... Garry attended all the Microsoft digital workshops and I all the culinary shows.  The production shows are different to what we are used to.  “On Princess” the shows are created around the songs they sing , where on here, the shows are more like Stage shows with each production telling a story from start to finish. 
The two performers brought on have been very good. John Courtnay was a comedian ,pianist and singer and had us all laughing and wanting more. The second was Jonathon Clark, comedian and impressionist who we have seen before on the Voyager of the Seas out of Sydney.... Same show... entertaining but not as funny as the first time we had seen it...  Over hearing some of the Brits in the lift, they just didn’t get him.....
Our room steward Arie has been great. We haven’t seen him much but if we leave him a note everything gets done promptly.  We love the cabin, and yes, we get towel animals each night.  Being spoilt with our Elite status on princess, we have taken up the offer of unlimited laundry. For the 21 days it is costing us $150..... The fact we don’t have to visit the laundry is benefit enough...
The one thing that is letting HAL down is the Dining Service.  This past week we have been on anytime dining and we really don’t like it.  We have arranged for traditional dining on the next sector of this cruise so I will be able to report if it has improved.
In the dining room each table is assigned a waiter, he takes the orders and brings you your meal.  If you want wine or a drink from the bar you have to wait for the drinks waiter to come to you .. Now I think there are only 2 or 3 of these servicing the whole floor.  It can be up to 15 – 20 minutes before you get your first drink.  Once you sit down you have to wait for him to be called over by your waiter.  Then you order or he goes off and finds your wine from the previous night..... so you wait and wait and wait.... It just doesn’t seem right to be eating your appetiser and still not have a wine in front of you ....  Table waiters also seem scarce as you seem to wait an eternity before they even take your order.  Now normally this wouldn’t be too big an issue but you don’t even have a glass of wine to mellow you out and forget about it....
The funniest thing happened last night... there were eight of us at our table, it was formal night, it was lobster night.... both Garry and I ordered it as did others at the table.  They brought our meals to the table, Garry and I sat there and waited and waited.... Everyone around us started eating... we looked around, not a waiter to be seen anywhere..... We have to remove our own lobster from the shell!!.....  I know I know it sounds fickle, but we are so used to it being done for us.... If you are not going to remove them.... don’t give them to us still attached to the shell...
Anyway we are hoping that once on traditional we will be able to build a rapport with our waiter and our wine will be delivered to our table before we arrive.
Where the service has failed the food has excelled - everything we have ordered has been excellent.  The choices and the layout up in the Lido Buffet are fantastic and waiting around is at a minimum.
We played trivia everyday as it is on at 6pm and we have won once.....  They have a different pin every day.
We even tried our luck at the Black Jack Tournament... after a little prompting from the peanut gallery behind me I managed to finish with the highest score but unfortunately I had used up all my luck and came in third in the final.
So that is the end of the first sector of this cruise.  Tomorrow we get a changeover of passengers and a much more active group of cruise critic members .

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joanne and Garry, yes HAL is different to Princess in a lot of ways especially since they have cut back so much on staff. We were on the Noordam last October after not being on HAL since 2009 and we found so many things missing including the wait in the dining room for the one and only wine waiter and not having your wine until the main course. As it was a 22 day cruise, in the end, we were given our own table each night even though we were on Anytime Dining and from then on our wine was waiting for us each night until we ran out and then we had to wait for the wine waiter. Still being on a ship is better than being at home and the Ryndam is a good size with bigger cabins than the new HAL ships as we found out last year and when ended up after the first leg, upgrading to a suite! Jennie and Peter