My husband and I embarked on a 7 night Inside Passage cruise to Alaska from the Vancouver, BC port on May 27, 2007. Boarding presented no problems and we had no problem with finding our cabin. We chose large "inside" for this cruise as we thought we would be taking in the scenery on deck a great deal of the time. The room was comfortable with great beds and terrific bedding. We did not feel closed in with not having a window. Our cabin stewart was wonderful and very attentive always remembering our names. The ship itself was mid-sized. We cruised previously on a Carnival Caribbean five night trip. HAL has a very good reputation having cruised Alaska longer than any other line.
The excursions we chose were all very good and were booked through HAL. We did the Saxman Native Village and Lumberjack Show in Ketchikan. We also chose the Salmon Bake, White Pass/Yukon Railroad and Liarsville Village tour. All the tours went like clock-work. The Piano Bar featuring the Manilla 4 was quite good. We enjoyed their music and watching people dance. The Crows Nest was our favorite for evening views, the piano music, and most of all the reclining chairs.
Now for the negatives: We found the food throughout the ship to be very mediocre. It was quite disappointing for us as the Carnival cruise we previously took had excellent food. The Ryndam food presentation was very good but the taste just wasn't there. We had baby carrots every day during our evening meals. My husband thought they must had gotten a good deal on carrots we had so many.
Though they have antibacterial machines everywhere on the ship, my husband still came down with the dreaded stomach virus. When he went to sick bay, they immediately quarantined him and he was not allowed to go anywhere on the ship. His dinner meal (was the last night of the cruise) was delivered to our cabin. I did not experience any problems with the virus. He, however, was extremely ill.
The cruise itinerary was excellent. The scenery along the Passage is simply magnificent. I must say that I do prefer the larger ships and wish we had considered Princess for our trip of a lifetime. We thoroughly enjoyed Alaska but would have to say that I would not choose the Ryndam again.