Having sailed with HAL many times, the last two being the Nieuw Amsterdam and the Eurodam, we were not sure how we would feel about a smaller older ship. Well, the Ryndam is just lovely. Yes it is true there is some age showing (our shower had to have a new mixer valve installed just prior to the first formal night) and after a particularly windy and rocky night the glass panel had to be fixed and re-caulked to stop squeaking. But life is not perfect nor am I. What the ship lacks in newness it makes up for in charm, size, intimacy and ease of getting around. Fore and aft stairs/elevators, none at midship. Smaller dining room. We loved it.
We usually take Deluxe Veranda Suite and it doesn't disappoint nor does the Neptune Lounge staffed by Peach and Jhanuary. The Neptune not only provides a club like experience but all ship business can be taken care of there with no need to ever wait in line at the main desk. Cabin stewards are cheerful and take good care. Waiters, busboys and all service staff are kind, caring and just a joy. HAL puts a daily hotel service charge on each bill but I prefer to add extra to each of these service professionals for truly excellent service.
The food in all venues is generally excellent however HAL has begun to scrimp by using low or no butterfat ice cream. It is horrible. The only decent product is the gelato in the Canaletto. Likewise the cake deserts are not very good with the exception of cheesecake. One night two different cheesecake servings were brought to our table...one excellent and one awful. I think the good one came from Pinnacle Grill. Fish, Meat, Fowl, generally cooked right and presented well.
The entertainment is generally just fair. Comedians are good, production number shows are amateurish at best, we skip them. House band Halcats is good. Casino was well run. Did a trivia game it was okay. Spencer the guide who told us all about the ports is a real gem.
Tender service well organized and in fact I think the crew, the staff and the handling of just about anything was excellent. We had a few days of rocky seas with high winds but all in all it was a great trip. Norway and the fjords should not be missed. Such beauty, such clean air and such great sights. Loved it.