To put this review in perspective, I am 85 years old, my wife in her late 70s. We began "cruising" when passenger ships were the primary form of transportation to overseas destinations.
This 23-day cruise from San Diego to Ecuador and return was our second on the Ryndam. Since our previous cruise the Ryndam had been successfully refurbished. She was beautiful inside and out.
This was the first time we reserved an inside cabin realizing that the only time we spent in our cabins was to change clothes or to sleep. When we awoke mornings I was tempted to throw back the drapes and find our what was going on outside the porthole. Instead I switched on the flat screen TV and turned to the channel permanently showing the scene ahead of the ship's bow. Our bed was marvelously comfortable. The room size was more than adequate with plenty of closet space; the bathroom was very large. We had the best room steward (Deno, an Indonesian) that we can remember. In fact, all the crew that we encountered in every part of the ship were friendly and very helpful.
We did not sign up for the spa or gym. Our forced exercise was walking from one end of the ship to the other to reach the various venues. We loved the ship's size. We never encountered a line.
We had requested fixed dining room seating, but somehow ended up with open seating. We decided to try it the first night and in so doing, we met some interesting and entertaining fellow passengers at our table for eight. We stayed with the open seating with the same good results on the remainder of the cruise. The dinner menus were varied and inevitably delicious. The lamb shanks, in particular, were to die for. Because we were seated in various areas each night, I worked with at least three sommeliers all of whom were knowledgeable and efficient. Waiter service was uniformly excellent.
My wife and I like to read. We spent most of our days in the Crow's Nest, reading, looking out at the sea through the big windows, sipping the big, delicious Bloody Marys at midday (sometimes to the exclusion of other lunch).
Every evening we listened to the Filipino singer and her talented piano accompanist in the Ocean Bar before dinner, then the excellent Filipino 4-piece orchestra after dinner when all the smooth, if aged, dancers hit the dance floor.
We had been in many of the itinerary's ports before so we didn't bother going ashore when we stopped at them. We did go ashore in Huatulco and in Manta, Ecuador, where a taxi driver took us to a beachside restaurant for big, succulent shrimp served with unbelievably good french fries, which usually are not part of our regular diet.
Our great experience makes it all the more difficult to comprehend the occasional one- and two-star reviews written by other passengers.