Age: 46 to 55
Number of Cruises: 6 to 10
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: December 13, 1998
After having cruised with Commodore, RCCL, Costa and NCL, we were looking to our first cruise with HAL. We sailed for 10 days on the Ryndam. Since we live in SW Florida, HAL provided a bus to Ft. Lauderdale. This was a good experience for us and the embarkation procedures in Ft. Lauderdale went very smoothly. We were shown to our cabin (outside on the Lower Promenade deck) which was spacious, had a real bathtub and the best shower we have ever had on a ship. There was plenty of storage - so we unpacked and settled in for a wonderful time.
It truly was great - the Lower Promenade deck goes all around the ship (4 laps is a mile) and there were deck chairs there for relaxing during the days at sea as well as leaving ports. The ship was truly lovely and the dining room the prettiest of any ship that we had ever sailed on. Everything was decorated for Christmas and looked wonderful!
The service all over the ship was outstanding - we really felt the warmth - our cabin steward, Budi, was attentive - always replacing the fruit that we ate and seeing to our every need. Our Dining Room Steward and his assistant were exceptional (Gito and Donny) and our table for two overlooking the downstairs part of the dining room was great! The food was very good - some of the seafood entrees not up to par - but overall very good. My husband especially loved the deserts. There was a variety of coffee and lattes during the day at the Java Bar, we sampled the movies in the movie-theater, and the entertainment was very good. The Filipino crew did a crew show that was great! The Emcee - Erwin from the Crows nest lounge - was a natural. Their native song and dance was very much appreciated by the passengers.
HAL does cater to an older group of people. There were 15 children aboard - we only saw them at the movies. The only announcements were for Bingo - once or twice a day - all other activities were listed in the daily program.
The Lido restaurant was excellent - we had most of our breakfasts and lunches there - there were two pools - and the pool on the Lido deck had a roof that could be rolled back.
If you have ever been up at dawn, coming into an island port, with a cup of hot coffee in your hand, you will know what I mean when I say this was heaven! We can recommend the Ryndam highly and would be glad to answer any questions. Please e-mail us.