We're experienced cruisers who had never been to Europe and thought this was a good way to experience it. This was our 4th cruise with Holland and I selected them for the itinerary. We used Holland America's pre and post cruise hotel packages and transportation which while pricey were excellent. The hotels & transportation were first class. Didn't have to worry about a thing. They had on-site personnel there to assist.
This was the second time for us on the Ryndam and we heard she had just left dry dock. Replaced carpet in public areas and AC upgrades. I think they missed the boat on this one. The cabin treatments and public chairs, lounges all need some TLC. It's the crew that sets it apart and we weren't disappointed. The service is outstanding throughout the ship. I loved the bartenders and wait staff in the bars and lounges and they always remembered your name.
We had the main seating for dinner in the MDR, ate at the Lido for breakfast and lunch and dined in the Pinnacle Grill once. Had room service one morning and the food arrived on time and piping hot. We enjoyed the Mariner's Brunch and the trivet is a nice souvenir. We purchased wine in Barcelona and brought 6 bottle on board with us. The $18 corkage is a bit high, but it beats paying what they want for the wine offered. The entertainment by the Ryndam Group was good, we didn't make the other shows, except for the Dancing with the Stars one which was excellent. Our fellow passengers were quite good. The "movie theater" could be better if they improved the screen and raised it higher. The popcorn was a nice touch. Used the spa and salon and both were nice. I don't like the sales pitch at the end of my massage, but the salon services were pleasant. Pricey. The Explorations area with the internet and library were popular and offered a nice retreat. Didn't gamble or play bingo, nor did we participate in the art auction. The on-board gift shop was nice. This is a smaller ship, so don't expect all of the hoopla of the larger ones. But there is enough to keep you busy or just relax.
The weather was chilly, but the seas for the most part were smooth. We only had one day and night of rocking and rolling. The ship was only 80% full so no long lines or waits for embarkation or disembarkation. Our cabin was waiting for us when we boarded around 11:00.
The shore excursions were wonderful and offered top notch tour guides and transportation. We were not disappointed in any of them and we took once in every port.
All in all a great cruise and we shall continue to return to Holland America.