I booked this cruise through HAL - originally intending to sail solo but was able to persuade 3 family members to join me.
I had booked our pre-cruise hotel and transfers through HAL. We were very satisfied with the hotel although our transfer to the ship was an hour late.
Check-in was quick and painless and we went straight to our cabins before starting lunch in the Neptune Lounge and finishing it on the Lido.
We took our own tour of the ship to familiarize the 2 first-time cruisers (my 14 yr old nieces) to their home-away-from-home for the next week. We met the friendly Loft (teen hang-out) staff although the girls were disappointed to learn that there were only 3 others in their age group on board (all boys.) This did not stop them from having a great time during the next week and they made sure that I gave the Loft staff the highest rating on the review.
The food was excellent in all 3 of the venues we frequented - Lido, Grill, and main More
dining room. The only unusual wait time was twice at the grill (around 20 minutes.) We had fixed seating for dinner (8pm) and were out in 75 to 90 minutes, never skipping any courses ;o) The dinner service was everything we have had on past cruises and we never had to ask for water refills.
The HAL entertainers were performing new shows with new costumes and sets and they were impressive. The magician and comic were so-so and, for some reason, we had no show on one night. The Cruise Director filled in with a game show but I never heard what should have been presented.
Clean and in good condition. The towels were clean and fluffy and they changed them out even when we hung them up after use.
The beds had the usual comfortable pillow tops and clean, soft sheets.
The only thing I found less than satisfying was our inability to change the room temp. The thermostat ignored any changes we made and the cabin remained chilly during the day, warming up only during the night. But then, I have long maintained that the controls in HAL cabins are for show only.
We had one odd experience with the plumbing when the toilet took 5 minutes to respond to the flush button. It appeared to be related to the trouble another cabin up the line was experiencing (saw Maintenance and wet vacs going in and out of the cabin around the same time.)
The cruise was over way too soon and we had a smooth disembarkation process. We were in no rush since our flights left after 2pm so we were able to enjoy one last breakfast in the Lido before leaving the ship. For the first time, I was able to see what non-US citizens have to go through when I waited for 30 min past the scheduled time (6:30 am) to accompany one niece through the US Customs process.
This was my second cruise on the Ryndam and I would not hesitate to sail her again. Less