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

Saturday, May 31, 2014

55b Ryndam Food

Food  -  It was very good.  In the Lido Buffet the selections were excellent with different stations set up for different things... my only complaint about the food in the Lido was that full breakfast did not start until 7am ( we had some early ports ) and there were times that you could not get anything at all during the day.  When you came back onto the ship after a long port day sometimes a bowl of soup would just hit the spot... nup... you can get sandwiches or salad... or be greasy and have a hamburger from the grill...
The dining room food was excellent and it was very rare that we did not like what we chose.   The selection was not as varied as princess over the 3 weeks, but I would have to say quality far outweighed quantity... Princess might have had a lot of different meals over time but not all were good...  Also top marks for presentation, would rival any top star restaurant.
Service is another issue altogether.   This was more miss than hit...  Holland America seem to have far less staff than princess do..  We have sat in the lido for over an hour and still be surrounded by our dirty plates...  Funny thing was I watched the one steward clean every table around us and with hardly anyone else in the restaurant the plates still stayed.  Eventually after pushing our plates to very end of the table they were collected LOL.
Dining room in general was much better, though once again it was those finishing touches that Princess out shone HAL.  I never forget the first night we sat at our table and once the appetisers were served Garry and I sat back and waited and waited and waited... Everyone else started eating... we looked at each other and we looked around and you know,  the pepper shaker on the table should have been the clue...  they don’t pepper your food!!!!   I know that sounds fickle but we have just spent 50 days of it.... that pepper, that smile, that Bon appetito  is your cue to start eating  LOL......  So, we got used to that ...  Then came Lobster night.... out came the beautiful surf and turf... lobster tail sitting on the shell looking scrumptious..... we waited and waited and waited... we looked around not a waiter to be seen...... What we have to remove our own Lobster .... what will we do with the shells LOL.....  Too spoilt with Princess...  Once we got over these initial shocks of self service our two waiters did really well.
Drink Service – We purchased a wine package for around $230US (includes 15%) for 7 bottles of wine... Now once again HAL do it different and not well.  They have one drink waiter for each section of the dinning room.... basically he ran from table to table, he would take your order then you would wait and wait and wait and eventually during main course you would get your wine.... He also was in charge of re filling your glass, your food waiters didn’t handle drinks at all.  Best service was when you had wine left over and it would be at your table when you arrived.  Lido buffet was worst as I think there was only 1 drink waiter doing that whole area....
Once we learnt how to work the system things ran smoothly (we would take a glass of wine with us to dinner).  Probably the best thing all cruise we did was move off anytime dinning to traditional.  Each night our table would be set up with our wine and our waiters knew exactly how we like things. 

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