Insurance: I had anticipated that I would avail myself of the insurance offered by Holland America in which they had a policy including a feature called "cancellation for any reason". Strangely enough, the insurance was denied because my accommodation was too inexpensive. No matter, I could book insurance privately, so I thought. Thus I was launched into insuranceland. By the time it was all over I even considered to walk away from the booking and take the losses.
Basically, contrary to popular belief, Medicare does not cover anyone traveling abroad and so I felt that it is incumbent to take insurance. Holland America offers a policy which suited my personal needs, but it may not apply to everyone. In any event, I could not duplicate "the cancellation for any reason" except as an add-on, which made it unaffordable. The next best thing was insurance which provided a waiver of pre-existing conditions. Policies of this nature typically provide a window of 14 days after initial deposit on the cruise. Surprise, surprise, the 14 day window applies not only for cruise deposits but also airline tickets bought before the cruise departure date.
The airline ticket was purchased pre-dating the cruise ticket and accordingly the 14 day window was lost. I was referred by an agent, Insuremytrip, to Travelex which has a 21 day window. At the very last minute I was able to secure a policy which contained a waiver.
The ship departed Tampa and before passing the Sunshine Bridge the engine failed and the lights went out. Emergency lighting was provided and sufficient, but the cabins were dark. We proceeded to the second sitting at the Rotterdam restaurant which was delayed and subsequently cancelled. However, sandwiches were provided. The ship regained power early in the morning and we awoke at sea. The Captain gave a talk on what had occurred and even bought the wine at dinner. Moreover, the Captain announced that a shipboard credit would be given in the amount of $100.00 per cabin by way of compensation for the missed port of San Juan. This was not received well by some passengers who complained that it was insulting. I personally found it to be otherwise and I told them so. I was taken aback by such vehemence and left in disgust. On the second day the engine and electricity failed again. Now they really had something to complain about. Subsequently the Captain announced that a credit of 25% of the cost of accommodations on any 2007 Holland America cruise would be given. This was greeted by applause and hopefully assuaged all of the complaining passengers, many of which were seniors.
Undeniably there were several things that went awry with this cruise and not only mechanical and electrical failures. Looking back, though, the bad things were balanced by the good especially the credits, cruise discounts and wine (receptions, dinner, etc.). Technically, Holland America was in no way obliged to do anything at all. This was a plus.
Would I sail on the Ryndam again? Yes, if you expect the unexpected and enjoy the company of many seniors. Would I sail on Holland America again? Certainly. The author of this critique is 78.