To celebrate our 20th anniversary, my husband and I took a cruise on the Ryndam. Major goal was to get away and relax. Having studied and worked extensively in Latin America and Caribbean, neither of us needed to see anything. Our goal was to get away from the demands of life. We chose the more expensive deluxe veranda suite and purchased the optional spa package (the most wonderful option and only sold to 30 people, first come, first serve). It was perfect. The room was large and lovely, the service was excellent. We ate several nights in the Pinnacle Grill (excellent for both food and ambience). The upgraded service was well worth the price. My personal goal was not to worry about children's schedules, pets, work or anything else.
We ate breakfast either in our room on the balcony or in the Pinnacle Grille. Ate dinner three nights in the Pinnacle and the rest of the time in the main dinning room. Every meal was wonderful and the service was without complaint. Our staff was perfect and bent over backwards to ensure that our experience was all it should be. I had one minor problem with something in the room and it was corrected within 24 hours. Being in one of the expensive suites, we were invited to multiple special invitation events.
A couple of disappointments - they said every suite had a flower arrangement. Ours was a pathetic carnation floating in a goldfish bowl. It might be better not to say fresh flowers and then put the single flower in as a surprise. The second was the quality of the appetizer/canapes. Most of them were made with mayo....pretty much a Eurpoean thing. If you don't like mayo stay away from them. Also, on a 7 day cruise, they served the same canapes day after day with little or no variation. Certainly helped with the diet. I found most of the desserts to be so-so (except in the Pinnacle Grill). We avoided the buffet so I cannot tell you what kind of food they served there. Several suites on our floor were without air conditioning (and the ship was fully booked). I would not have wanted to be one of those suites.
Would I sail with HAL again? Yes because it was exactly what I needed. No schedule, no demands just relaxation. We didn't attend most of the onboard events because my husband and I just wanted peace and quiet. If we had booked onto a cruise for the events and wide variety of things to do, we might have booked a different cruise. Perhaps the most disappointing thing was the lack of a good place to dance to anything that wasn't for seniors or loud noisy music - nothing in between.I have nothing but good things to say about the staff. Amazingly positive and friendly attitude for people who work every day they are on the ship. I am in awe that non native English speakers will have memorized your name by the time you have been on the ship less than 24 hours. Ship condition - right after we cruised, the ship was slated for a much needed refurb. While very clean, when something is used 365 days a year, things wear out.