I went on the Ryndam on May 5, 2005, from San Diego to Vancouver. This was my 23rd cruise and 4th with Holland America.
The Ryndam is a very nice ship and is in great shape for its age. The carpets are new everywhere including the cabins. I really like the Ryndam size. It's small, but doesn't feel that small. You have lots of places to stand and look out from the front to the back. It's perfect for Alaska for viewing the Scenery. I loved how you could go on the bow of the ship. It's really fun to go out on the bow when the ship is at sea. I always find Holland America crew to be the nicest. The crew always has a smile and always seems eager to help you.
Cabins We were up graded from an inside cabin to outside cabin. The cabins are very big compared to Princess cabins. You have a bath tub in your bathroom though, I would find it hard for older passengers to get in and out of it. The cabins were kept up very nice. One of the improvements that Holland America put in the cabins were new beds. They are very confutable. I think it was the sleep therapy beds. Also, you now have new plasma TV's and DVD's in your cabin. You can check out movies from the library for a $3 charge. Or bring your own that's what I did. It was very nice having a dvd in the cabin.
There was a safe in each room but I was not happy how it operated. Usually on a cruise I like to lock my wallet, credit cards, and all valuables in the safe. But to open and close this safe, you had to use a credit card. There was no charge to use the safe, but it read the code on your credit card to work. So it meant you had to carry a credit card around or leave it in your cabin. Food Food in the Lido restaurant: breakfast was regular cafeteria style. They had an Eggs to order service, omelet station, precooked waffles, french toast, and pancakes. The food basically was the same every day. Lunch in my opinion was just fair. They had a nice salad bar and you could get fresh stir fry or pasta. But the buffet line items were tasteless and they did not have much of anything. Not much variety. You did have a choice of turkey or ham sandwich that never changed. Holland America has really gone down hill for food. You use to be to have a ton of choices to make your own sandwich. You can get ice cream but they don't have the good waffle cones anymore and the scoops you get are small. The deserts use to be very big and the last time I was on the Ryndam they had different cakes that you could get. Its not like that anymore. The food was ok, they need more sections.
One thing that I always ate at was the taco bar. You could make your own taco with what ever you wanted on it. You could get a hamburgers and hot dogs but was not that good. The hamburgers were already made and they just heated it up for a min. The taco bar is a must.
In the dinning room I thought the service was great. The food is still pretty good, but they have made the portions a lot smaller since I was on it two years ago. Again, they need more things on the menu.
You could eat dinner in the buffet, but it was only open to 7:30 pm and they had the same things what you would get in the main dinning room. They really need to kept this open to at least to 10pm and again need more items.
Room Service was ok. It use to be a lot better. Though, it was still pretty good for a late night snack.
At 11pm was the late night buffet. Again, they need more to choose from.
The food was ok, its was a lot better two years ago. I think Princess food is better and has a lot more sections.
Before Holland America changed, you were able to get free Espresso, Caffe Latte and Cappuccino with big cookies. Now at the Java Cafe you have to pay for it. It doesn't cost much but its the principle behind it.
The passengers age is older. Mostly from 40-80. I did see a dozen passengers my age. I rather be on a ship with older people rather than young passengers like on Carnival and Royal Caribbean that just want to party and get drunk.
I really liked how you could play basketball and tennis, shuffle board and a few other things. The only bad thing was they always took in the basket balls and tennis balls after 6pm. So if you did not got to the entertainment show, you did not have much to do after 6pm. Everything closes so early including food. The activities were very limited compared to other ships we have been on. The ship was completely dead at night.
With this new change for Holland America, the only big improvement that I see is the TVs and dvds. The food I thought got worse along with the portions. You now have to pay for your Espresso, Caffe Latte. And you don't have people bringing you free drinks on the life boat deck that you use to see. Their is a lot of things that use to be free now you have to pay for. Holland America sure has change since last I sailed with them two years ago. We did have good service beside our cabin attendant not making are room until after 1pm, but now you have to tip $10 a day. Holland America is charging more for their cruises because for the new so called look, The good thing is the beds and TVs, the rest you now have to pay for. I enjoyed myself on this cruise, though I don't think I will take Holland America on a 7 day cruise. I rather go on Princess or celebrity. I really don't think Holland America is a premium line anymore. I really see a big change since the last time I was on Holland America like nicking and dimming. If only I could take Holland America ships with Princess food and Royal Caribbean entertainment. I was not impressed with the signature upgrades. I don't think its wroth paying so much more.