Ryndam for Families
With Holland America's Club HAL youth program, kids are grouped into three age ranges for activities: 3- to 7-year-olds, 8- to 12-year-olds and 13- to 17-year-olds. Typically, activities are supervised by one trained crewmember for each 10 children. The activities are available 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. when the ship is in port, and longer hours when the ship is at sea (usually until 10 p.m.). Baby-sitting is available from 10 p.m. to midnight, at a cost of $5 per child, per hour.
While the kids' facilities on Ryndam can't rival those of ships thrice its size, Club HAL got an overhaul, and it looks fantastic. More importantly, kids seemed to have a good time there. In addition to facilities for arts and crafts, the playrooms include numerous PlayStation consoles and kids-only Internet terminals.
Where Ryndam really stands out is with its teens-only facility. It consists of a two-deck-high indoor/outdoor area, connected by a spiral staircase. On the lower level is The Loft, a nightclub-style room with DVD's and Dance Dance Revolution, one of the hippest and trendiest dance gigs in teendom. What really smokes though is its outdoor Oasis. This area, completely outdoors, feels like it's a shade removed from Gilligan's Island, with hammocks, a fabulous optically lit waterfall and Adirondack-style chairs. The atmosphere is even further developed by the exterior, which is rimmed with wood slats -- not to mention faux pineapples and palm trees (and vending machines for snacks and beverages).