I was really disappointed that some people recently slammed the Ryndam cruise ship. My experience from March 3-10 was relaxing, entertaining and satisfying. Boarding the ship was quick and easy. I was especially pleased that my room E675 was ready as I set foot on the Main deck. We left Tampa on time for the 1st stop of Key West which is one of the reasons I chose this cruise line. If you do nothing else in KW, stroll Duval Street.
The first night, cruise director Eric Dowis introduced all the entertainment available on the Ryndam including guitarist/singer Phillipa (who was usually in the Crow's Nest); Adagio ( one woman that played piano and another woman violinist)and they were usually in the Explorer's Lounge; Neptune singers and musicians in the Ocean Bar; and piano bar man Lee who went every night from late to later in the Mix area. But the best was yet to come! The entertainment every night starting on Monday was EXCELLENT. Rock piano man Elio Pace got the week started with his different styles including a Jerry Lee Lewis rendition of Great Balls of Fire. Tuesday the HAL singers and dancers put on a musical Classique. Lead singers Kari Ringer and Matt Roscoe were very professional and blended together a great sound. Other singers Denise and Jess were also excellent and the dancers especially Lewis, James, Jessie and Ali never missed a beat. They performed again on Friday night a new show tabbed Droom where the costumes, singing, and dancing left you breathless. Wednesday night was the #1 comic out of Canada Scott Harris. Funny man. Kari Ringer also did a one-woman performance to a SRO crowd in the Ocean Bar at 5 pm. What a pro singer. Check her out on her web page. And then on Thursday, a virtuoso violinist Kateryna Sychova, 25 years old from the Ukraine got 2 standing ovations after her performance. I am so sad that apparently passengers on the Dec. cruise didn't get this top quality entertainment on the Ryndam.
Food was very good especially lamb night and lobster night. You MUST have a sport coat or tux on formal nights. I didn't pack one because most cruise lines are moving away from this but the staff provided me with a coat to carry in to dinner. I had open dining and met different, wonderful people every night. Went to the casino several nights and had no trouble with the smoke. Also went to the late movie twice (Argo and Trouble with the Curve). Good crowds in the theater both nights. HAL also offers free computer classes on Windows 8 that my wife enjoyed tremendously. She also went to 2 other classes consistently, Tai Chi and Learn to Play the Steel Drums. Disembarkation was a breeze. We were off the ship by 8:30 am. The Ryndam had very few young passengers on board but the ones that were sailing with us seemed to enjoy the pools, ping pong and the shows. Will go again next year, I hope.