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C. Jennings

Age: 61

Occupation:Financial Advisor

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Ryndam

Sailing Date: July 23th, 2006

Itinerary: Alaska

Boarding the ship on Sunday to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary, we expected a quiet cruise to Vancouver. We had four suites rented for the family P-001,003,008 and 010. Beginning around 11:30 pm on Sunday night our suite began smelling of raw sewage gas. The same problem occurred in suite 008 and 010. We contacted the desk and they sent an engineer to see about the problem. The sewage stench was coming through the air and heat ventilation system of the suites and not from the bathroom. The crew apologized but could not fix the problem and gave us two ozone generators to help relieve the stench. We could not open the veranah doors on the P001 suite because the stench just poured into the living room. The smell was so bad it made my wife and daughter ill and they continued to choke and cough. The situation continued in the P001 suite until Thursday morning. We had to live and sleep in sewage stench for four days, there were no other cabins offered. The captain and everyone else on the crew apologized but nothing was done to solve the problem. The horrible odor continued in suite 008 and 010 throughout the cruise. Our daughter in suite 010 suffers from asthma and had to sleep with her cabin doors open to allow a draft to blow through the cabin. The suites smelled like we were living in a septic tank the whole week. I have written the cruise line a complaint letter and to date they have not responded to our travel agent or to us. They seem to want to forget that this happened. The coast guard inspected the ship in the past two weeks and were told that this problem was due to an "experiment with the waste plant" that went wrong and was stopped. We have since found articles in USA Today dating back over a year where the same problem occurred on this ship. Hence they have known about the problem for over ONE year and have done nothing to resolve the problem of a below deck air vent discharging too near to a fresh air intake resulting with fumes being pumped into these suites. Until this problem is solved no passenger should be subjected to these sewage and engine room fumes. While on board the ship I contacted the Holland main office on Wednesday and they seemed to have solved the problem by Thursday am in suite 001, but not in the other suites. They know how to stop the problem but refuse to permanently fix the air system. I recommend that anyone now booked or plan to book these suites reconsider their plans on this particular ship. Smelling raw sewage all day while on board the ship and trying sleep in that stench does not make for a pleasant cruise. The ship also had a sickness outbreak at the beginning of summer and with poorly designed air ventilation systems it doesn't surprise us. If anyone has questions please contact us via the e-mail.



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