We live in the San Diego area so it was easy for us to take the local COASTER commuter train to Santa Fe Station and to walk to the ship.
Cruising the Sea of Cortez, especially the Baja side eg Loreto and La Paz was gorgeous. A must see. We have cruised mostly on Celebrity and have always been more than pleased. We had a concern about the size of the Ryndam but this was not a big problem.
The embarkation process was the best and fastest we have seen. It certainly helped to be told we had been upgraded from an inside cabin to a one with a window. We as a norm carry our bags on board and although we could not immediately go to our cabin it was a plus to find that the Ryndam provided a checking service for our bags on the Lido deck.
Our daughter shared the room with us and we found the cabin more than adequate for us. From day one our room steward was outstanding and remained so til we left. Our cabin always had its supplies eg., towels,ice etc constantly replenished well done.
The food in the main dining room however hit appogee and epogee levels of quality and service. we tried the Pinnacle Grill and again found it to be unsatisfactory in terms of the overall quality we expected even though the service was excellent. I got a 4 pepper corn sirloin and a salad with a Honey mustard dressing that was fantastic in the main dining room that put it (Pinnacle Grill) to shame.
I highly complimented the head waiter about it because our waiter (a charming young man) had too many tables to give us much attention. The next night I had the most tasteless Escargot ever and since the head waiter showed up at our table I told him about it. We never saw the head waiter again and less of our regular waiter. It seems that the dining room kitchen must be adverse to putting salt in their foodlike the escargot and any pasta dish had pasta boiled in obviously unsalted water. I suppose this was a health step maybe but there should be some moderation. The last night was a disaster with our dinner service setting records in slowness. We waited forever for our baked alaska. Out of curiosity we waited to finally receive three left over dregs slopped onto our plates. We had to laugh so we just walked out. I guess one should never complain.
The shows were very good. The cruise director Rebecca was terrific. Since we have cruised to Mexico many times we do not go ashore very much. There were first run movies and culinary demos we took advantage of, Great ! Question is how come on sea days they schedule movies not during days but at the same time as the evening shows. Hmmm.
The debarkation process was silent with assigned times and was wonderful. KUDOS to HAL. Other than the dining room failure it was a good cruise. However we will be hard put to go on a smaller ship again and will probably return to Celebrity in the future.