We sailed on the Ryndam in December 2010. This was my first cruise and our baby moon. My wife was 6 months pregnant at the time. We were traveling with our best friends. We left Tampa without a problem. Around 7 PM we were in the Rotterdam Dining Room about to dinner. About 10 minutes after being seated I began feeling sea sick due to the shifting and rocking of the boat. I left the dining room to go get some medicine from our room which was towards the front of the boat, this was no short distance. I was one hall length away from our room when ship began to heel to my right to the point that I could easily put my foot on the wall for balance. All around me things were crashing and people were screaming. Do you remember the scene from the Poseidon Adventure where the boat turned over? Or the scene from Inception where the building was flipping, yeah like that. I made it to our room got my meds and headed back to find my wife and friends who when I got the Rotterdam Dining room which was smashed to say the least, were no where to be found because it had been evacuated. When I left I found them and we were all shaken by our experience. Having grown up sailing I suggested we head for the high side of the boat. While sitting nervously in the library we observed crew members handing out pills telling people they were for sea sickness, if you took one you'll feel better and if you took two you'll go to sleep. The captain came on the loud speaker and informed everyone that he had hit some rough weather and at this point must turn into the storm. As the turn occurred we made our way to the showroom at sea. While there we noticed the room pitching up and then down. We decided to head to our rooms at this point and try to sleep. While we lay there terrified we noticed that all night we were lifted up off of our beds ever so slightly and then gently returned only to be lifted again. This experience was quite a bit like the positive and negative G's you experience on a roller coaster. As I lay there all night waiting for the hull to crack or for the alarm to sound for us to head to the life boats I decided that the second I could I was getting off of the boat. At this point I was figuring that in the morning when we reached Key West I would escape. Wrong, as I lay there in the morning what would turn out to be the chime of doom rang and our captain in a very thick Danish accent came on to explain that last night we experienced a sever roll when disengaging the thumper pilot (Tampa Pilot) and that the seas were to heavy to make port in Key West and that we would be experiencing high seas all day.
Oh, did I mention the throwing up? I did that a lot even with a scopolamine patch on. So at this point I was angry and scared and nauseous. I figured that I would escape the Titanic/Poseidon when we got to Jamaica. Wrong, 48 hours and some easier seas we got to Jamaica. I had then resolved myself to continuing the adventure since we would be getting off and things had improved some. Wrong, as we neared Jamaica and prepared for departure the chime of doom again rang and in a very thick Danish accent our captain from de nabagshin deck ob the ryndam explained that the seas were to rough for tendering. At this point I was part of an angry mob that headed to the front desk to demand off the boat which by the way was quite shabby and old. After some poor customer service we headed to the back of the boat to get some air and to watch the carnival cruise head in to Jamaica. So still trapped on this old ship with a staff could not be bothered to learn any English I began to plot my escape via a life boat or swimming if possible. Since my wife was pregnant I decided that having us jump off or stealing a life boat that I have no idea how to operate would both be terrible ideas I decided that I would behave myself and prepare to be told that when we reached Grand Cayman we would be denied escape unless we mutinied. Good fortune finally smiles although I believe that it was good fortune that the boat survived the first nights events.
We got off the boat at both Grand Cayman and Cozumel. On out last night while at dinner at the Pinnacle Grill (by the way if you are foolish enough to get on this death trap spend the extra few dollars and eat at the Pinnacle Grill. They treat you well and are very friendly and attentive and the portions of high quality food are absurd, the only bargain to be had on this vacation, fantastic food, well run and attentive servers which you will not find in the Rotterdam) so around 6 pm the chime of doom comes on and it out captain explaining that at 8 pm tonight a coast guard helicopter would be hoovering aboove the ship to air life a passenger off. At this point I was convinced that the helicopter would not hoover aboove but crash into and sink the boat. this of course did not happen and I am venting my frustrations but I can assure that when we received a coupon in the mail shortly after our so called vacation, for 15% off of our next Holland America cruise it sealed the deal for me that if I were forced back onto a cruise that there is no way that Holland America would get one red cent from us again. Good luck if you choose to get on the ryndam. I suggest that you look for video of the ship online to get a real idea of what it looks like.