We are fairly experienced cruisers, on a range of cruise lines, our favourites among the "big names" being Holland America and Celebrity. We have done two transAtlantic crssings and a Med cruise on the Ryndam. She is a nice sized ship - we're not into rock climbing walls and ice rinks,and prefer the smaller vessels. Our last trip on the Ryndam did not disappoint, but we did notice that she is starting to show her age a little, for example with carpets getting scuffed and the binding on the hand rails in the elevators coming apart. Perhaps more significant were a couple of fire alarms due to aging components of the ships innards - a burned out fan belt, and a flexible vent that ceased to flex. Neither was a real fire, and the way in which the crew behaved, and the way in which we were kept informed were exemplary, It does however make one wonder a little about maintenance. (I disagree strongly with one irate passenger who was telling everyone that HAL would be hearing from his lawyer as soon as he got to land, that his trip was ruined and that he wanted a substantial settlement. Rubbish.) Little cost cutting measures were also evident - "happy hour" drinks were no longer two for one - instead the second drink was at a discounted price.
The entertainment was excellent, but there was no longer a "headline act" or a cruise cast show every single night. Dinner service seemed bit slower - I cannot be sure, but I suspect the waiter and assistant had a few more people to look after than in the past. Would I travel on this ship again? Absolutely YES, but I will be watching to ensure that Carnival lines (HAL's parent company) do not let their standards slip further to pay for the sunken Costa ship debacle. (If anyone does not know, Costa is another company in the Carnival family.)
I should mention that we had Captain Timmers again on this cruise. He is friendly, good humoured and somehow gives one confidence. A real asset to HAL.