Peaches, way to go girl!! Santa fe..... we also were on that cruise and had Sadmono for our steward, wasn`t he great? nothing too much trouble for him. You must have had Elena in the lounges, she made the greatest origami items for us, also the bar tender in the piano lounge made me 4 one evening.....jean
Our first trip on the Ryndam was 27 Sep 1998 to 14 Oct 1998 from Vancouver to Ft Lauderdale. The second one was from Oct 28 2001 to Dec 1 2001 from San Diego to Rio de Janeiro. A few further comments with regard to the condition of the Ryndam. Having sailed on her when she was relatively new it came as a shock to see how much it had deteriorated in only a few years. I have spent many years at sea and am fully aware of how fast a vessel can deteriorate due to poor maintenance procedures. It seems to me HAL, and by inference, the whole of the Carnival group is being run by accountants who have little or no experience with the maintenance of anything larger than a canoe. Everywhere I turned there was evidence of cost cutting. Little things such as the coffee urns in the Lido. One failed two days out od San Diego and in 32 days was never put back in working order. What hurt was that the three others seemed to take turns at giving out. As a coffee hound I suffered terribly. <G>
Probably the most shocking item occured on the day we left the ship in Rio. My wife had been sick with bronchitis and under the ship doctor's care for about six days. I too was sick, it turned out to be pnuemonia, but hadn't reported it as I knew I would be home soon. We were asked to meet in the lounge for debarkation at 7:00 AM. Given our condition I asked our room steward if we could remain in the room until our actual departure was announced. We would sit on the verandah to be out of his way. He agreed and I then had the opportunity to see how the suite was prepared for the next guests. In spite of knowing we were not well the only preparation beyond the normal daily cleaning of the bathroom was a change of sheets on the bed. The same blankets, bedspread and pillows were used. Nothing was disinfected. No wonder they have trouble with sickness on their ships.
None of these problems can be laid at the door of the ship's crew. They are doing the best they can with limited resources. The fault lies at the feet of management. (But that's another story)
I have a friend who worked on the Prinsendam for 3 months (now on vacations) - she's been with HAL for over 20 years - and she loved the ship. She said it is small and intimate. Now this is from someone who, when she first learned that she would be working on the ship was not too excited. She said they had a lot of problems when they first sailed and a lot of the renovations had not been complted, but she said the ship is now in tip-top shape and she looks forward to returning to it.
I am sure you will have a great time.
THANK YOU for your honest opinions. I am trying to compare HAL to the crusieship that I have sailed on over 5 times...DCL and love. So, I am use to good food, awesome service and EXTREMLY clean ships. Not that we haven't had a bad something or other every once in a while...we're all human and have our off days. But, never as much bad luck on service on the same cruise as you experinced. Gee...I would have been extremly offended to be preached at.
Anyway, I want to go to Jamaica and DCL has not yet added this iten. to it's sailings. Plus, HAL is now sailing out of my port in Tampa. Besides, anyone who has cruised knows how much money you save by cruising verses flying and getting a hotel etc.
But, I am very nervous about sailing on another cruiseline as I hated Carnival. Though, it was not one of Carnival's newer ships out of Miami...those maybe more to my taste. I can't comment on those newer ships, I may like those...but I am pretty picky. Anyway, I have been frantically searching these boards for honest and open good and "bad" opinions to their HAL experinces. You sound alot like us in the fact that you enjoy sleeping in on day-at-sea days. We also have enjoyed the service aboard DCL with it's pool side drink service and late night snacks, so it was very interesting to hear about your experince on their lack of this ammenity. By the way, DCL's room service is the greatest! Anyway, if nothing else reading posts like yours even if it doesn't help us make or break a decision on going on the ship, it does however help us to actually set some 'realistic' expectations for the ship.
Thanks again for posting and I am glad to hear you had a good time anyway on the ship!
Just incase anyone was wondering we are big Disney fans...but married w/o kids and still really enjoy DCL!
Sailed on the Statendam to the Sea of Cortez in April. My wife and I have been on many cruises. HAL has a real labor problem with the Filipino staff. The strangest event was an evening show put on by the Filipino crew. In a nutshell the audience was treated to an evening of being told what a horrible cruise ship company Holland America was to work for and that we, the paying customers, should feel really bad that the poor Filipino's have to work for such low wages for such a long time ( a year contract is normal for HAL). This happy evening was then concluded with our Filipino host telling us that Jesus is THE MAN for all Filipino's. Oh did I forget the raised fist by all the crew at the end? So now we all know that Carnival is probably on the verge of some kind of massive Filipino union labor organizing effort. Very unusual for a cruise ship crew.
We were on the Statendam last May in Alaska and the Filipino crew and all the rest were great. The best service we have ever had on cruise. We also saw the crew show and had nothing like you described.
ok i some what agree with your comment about looking for negatives and positives but reading a bible to you about wine come on . i belive if my hard erned money is paying for this trip on a hal ship then i should have certain expectations full filled . i would have had anoth chit chat with that cabin stewart and if that didn,t get it the way we wanted it i would have talked to his boss.
i agree we also tip well . we have been blessed with great cabin stewarts on all our cruises , and we travel with 2 kids ( higher maintenance for the stewart ) and they have all been great and we tip them very well because of it . that said also are kids are very well behaved very, they respect how much work goes into keeping cabins clean and that the stewarare people to.
HAL has no tipping policy because their staff are paid more than other lines due to union rules, so tipping is usually reserved for exceptional service. They do their jobs well because they like to, not because they think a tip is tied to it. I, for one, like that better.
I agree with those that have mentioned the lowering of standards on premium cruises. I think the one mistake the original poster made was to think that Princess is any better now. I hear the same stuff about Princess. Celebrity, no better, mass-market targeting, lowering of standards, inconsistent and frequently poor food. Celebrity ships are maintained well and are clean, I'll give them that. But, I think the mass-market customers wanting a vacation on a "boat" are coming onto the "premium" lines because the price is no different than the "mainstream" lines and that the management, seeing the cruise as just a business and nothing else and having no passion for the product, is cutting cost and catering the product to the mass market cruisers and lowering the higher standards that these lines once had.
I think for those that have had good cruises on any of the premium lines that the lines are inconsistent now. You'll get good cruises from time to time, but you may be surprised at a deeply discounted substandard cruise you may get in the future. We all have different experiences and there are many new ships that are all performing differently. I think quality is all over the map right now and wish cruising went back to small cruising companies instead of one dominant cruise line buying up most of the other lines and its major compeitor trying to compete with it.
Well, my daughter had this up on the computer and could not resist responding.
I have been on over 30 cruises and you do see and hear everything!
We were on the Ryndam 10/01 and the Statendam 12/01 for a total of 25 days.
Please do not shoot the messenger for sharing their experience on that one sailing.
We loved the Ryndam and had excellent service over all. Staff does change, and its the people that make the cruise. Complain, while on the ship and write a letter when you return home and you will probably receive and upgrade or discount on the next cruise.
Document your facts. On the Statendam the dining room was excellent, and our cabin steward was probably the worst ever in all my years of cruising. The pursers desk was so-so! Obnoxious, loud, rude passengers was a greater problem than the cruise staff! The one thing I do not understand is when people praise Celebrity. I was on the Century 3/97
and it did not compare to Princess or Royal Caribbean. We gave them another chance 5/01 on the Infinity for 17 days, and it was the worst food except for the quality of the meat, and service with the exception of our excellent cabin steward, of any ship or cruise line that I have sailed. We are not picky eaters and like most everything and have been fortunate to travel the world, but their food was overall terrible! Some will loudly dispute this, but that was our experience on that cruise and there were many others agreeing with us. My profession has been that of a service evaluator I and have stayed in from one to 5 star hotels, and have dined in many outstanding restaurants around the world. Overall we have loved Princess. Maybe they have changed--who knows. A friend just came off Crystal Harmony, she has sailed them before, and was very disappointed in the food. Everyone faces cut backs, but service must be stressed. We leave Sat. on the Prisendam and the reports have been excellent. Bon Voyage!
I have been looking for some recent reviews of the Prinsendam, especially the San Francisco round-trip Alaska sailing, and I am very much looking forward to your comments about the ship and the itinerary when you return, california native. Since it's Saturday, I guess you are just getting ready to pass under the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. Ah....lucky you.
We leave on June 28th for our first HAL cruise, and 8th cruise overall.
I have high expectations for a ship that charges the same per diem on a inside as other lines are chargung for a Verandah stateroom. We will sail Boston to Montreal. I am 41 and hubby is 47,and we expect to be amongst the youngest. However, contrary to what most might think , we were amongst the youngest on our CCL Legend cruise England to NYC last September, NCL Sun ,Boston to Miami 11/01(lots of walkers, oxygen tanks and wheelchairs on that one) ,ROC VOyager to the Amazon Feb 03. In fact of our 8 cruises only the NCL Majesty to Bermuda and the Destiny , Caribbean itinerary were what I would classify as a younger crowd.
As for the service reported above. If I am ever preached to in the dining room about drinking, I can honestly tell you that I would "hit the roof". Other peoples Religion has no place at my dinner table. If my Cabin steward repeatedly does what I ask him/her not to, they would not be my cabin steward very long.
Neither my husband or I are complainers, however I would not let items like this pass. The best and worst service I have ever recieved on a cruise was from NCL- 2 different ships. If HAL cannot match the wonderful service we experienced on the NCL SUN, when I am paying twice as much for the cruise, I will guarantee that someone besides the members of this board will be hearing about it.
Notwithstanding my remarks above, we always go with an open mind and with a determination to enjoy ourselves. We work very hard for our incomes , often 7 days a week, so I am very careful about the cruises we choose. I had to convince my Husband to try HAL and although it seems things maybe slipping, I am confident we will have a lovely cruise experience.
We took a 10-day cruise on HAL and had much the same experience you did. My husband and I ordered drinks the first night and they were extremely watery. We complained and were told that's the way the drinks were! So much for that.
Our experience with Princess has been so much better - better service, better almost everything!
It's nice to read this and find out we weren't just imagining that HAL's reputation far exceeds the actual experience!
Sorry to disagree with you, but it seems like you enjoy blaming the victim. My husband and I experienced the same mediocre service, etc. on a 10-day cruise on the Zaandam. You may be the most tolerant traveler in the world and the most polite, but our good attitudes and friendliness did not result in better service, food or anything else.
Please start a new thread!!!! This one needs to go to the great anti-HAL cloud in the sky.
By the way, the anti-HAL cloud is right next to the anti-Princess cloud which is next to the anti-Celebrity which is next to the anti NCL which is next to the anti-RCCL which is next to the ........... gotta take a breath!
I was with you until you dropped the Princess is better. Move around the boards. Everyone has a story. If we go by the boards, we all better pack up and quit cruising. Maybe do Greyhound!!