1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Ryndam (Retired) Review
  4. Ryndam (Retired) Cruise Reviews

7 Barcelona to Europe - Western Mediterranean Ryndam (Retired) Cruise Reviews

We took the Ryndam on what as part of their repositioning from the US to Europe. Boarded in Barcelona and stopped in Valencia, Alicante, Motril (for Granada), Gibraltar, Cadiz, Lisbon (Portugal), A Coruna, Bilboa, Portland (England) and ... Read More
We took the Ryndam on what as part of their repositioning from the US to Europe. Boarded in Barcelona and stopped in Valencia, Alicante, Motril (for Granada), Gibraltar, Cadiz, Lisbon (Portugal), A Coruna, Bilboa, Portland (England) and ended in Dover. HAL only has this cruise twice in 2014 and the second time was at the end of August. We decided August would be way too hot--so opted for mid/late April. Weather were generally in the 60's--most days it was great with one or two days being just a little cool. But, the ports were the best--this was exactly what we were looking for--an in-depth view of Spain. It was fun starting in Barcelona and then going virtually all the way around Spain in the ship. To put our comments in perspective, the four of us have cruised extensively--primarily on Princess, but also on Carnival, Celebrity, Norwegian, and Royal Caribbean. (Also two of us have done a number of river cruises with Grand Circle.) We had all wanted to try HAL and this trip fit the bill. The Ryndam is an older ship (built in 1994) that carries about 1280 passengers. It's apparent that it is older when viewed from the outside--and the lack of very many balcony cabins (they are restricted to two levels). But, once you board the Ryndam it does not seen like an older ship at all. Our overall impression of the Ryndam is that it matches, and in many aspects exceeds, the quality of what we have experienced on other ships. What we really liked about the Ryndam. 1. The ease of boarding and leaving the ship. We were on the ship within 10 minutes or so of arriving at the pier. And, when we disembarked we could stay in our cabins until time to disembark. The actual disembarking process was faster than anything we have experienced before. 2. Overall size of the ship. It felt just about right. The ship is big enough to have all the features most cruisers will want, but it never felt crowded. 3. Library--the most extensive we have experienced on any ship. Very good! 4. Shows and auditorium. Very nice. And the shows are as good or better than we have seen on other ships. Also, they had about five nights when they had entertainers other than they regular cast doing the show. The last show the regular cast did matched or exceeded anything we have seen on other ships. Also, one nice feature is that there were three shows most nights--at 7 pm, 8:30 pm and 10 pm. 5. Movies. Every day they showed current movies--generally 4 or 5 showings. The only "odd" thing was that on At Sea Days they only had movies at 6 pm and 9:30 pm. Seemed like they would make more effort to have at least as many—or more--showings on At Sea Days. The venue for watching the movies is adequate—not enough slope so you had to be careful where you sat so someone was not directly in front of you. (And, while we did not use them, they had about 1,000 movies on DVD you could watch in your cabin.) 6. Lounges and bars. There were a number and generally had good entertainment in them at night. (We did not check out any of the late night activities!) 7. We eat at the Pinnacle Restaurant twice. (The fee is about $30). Had filet both times--some of the best filet we have had. Other items about the ship. The cabin (we had a balcony) was as good or better than what we have had on other ships. The overall space allotted to shops, bars, etc. seemed to be (relatively) more than on other ships we have been on. The food in the Lido Restaurant was good--not great. But, I would rate it as good as the best we have had in buffet restaurants on other ships. One thing we could not believe was that on the day we disembarked there were very few individuals in the Lido. Our experience in the past has been that the buffet restaurant on the day we are disembarking are always a mess--not on the Ryndam. Another feature that we did not take advantage of was their Windows/camera classes. If I had needed to find out about Windows 8 I could have taken a number of classes about it on the ship. We did not take any ship shore excursions. Arranged private (or small group) tours in Barcelona (before the cruise), Valencia, Motril (for Granada) and Gibraltar. The tapas tours in Barcelona and Valencia were highlights of our trip. (Both lasted about four hours.) Likewise, you have to tour the Rock at Gibraltar. (We had an extended tour--it lasted about 6 hours. Was well worth it--Gibraltar has so much history!) Our experience was very favorable. The ship was at least as nice as any we have been on, and in many aspects the experience was more pleasant than we have experienced on other cruises. And the ports we called at were just what we wanted. In looking at HAL, they have some of the most interesting trips of any cruise line. Based on this experience it's highly likely our next cruise will be on HAL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We have recently been sailing with Oceania and Seabourn but had wanted to go to Spain and Portugal and this HAL cruise on the Ryndam had a deal that was too good to pass up. In addition, the third person was free so we were able to bring ... Read More
We have recently been sailing with Oceania and Seabourn but had wanted to go to Spain and Portugal and this HAL cruise on the Ryndam had a deal that was too good to pass up. In addition, the third person was free so we were able to bring our 10 year old grandson along at no charge with the exception of his airfare. We have sailed on three previous HAL cruises and were satisfied with all of them so we had good expectations for this cruise. We were very pleasantly surprised with the quality of the cruise and we were most impressed with the wonderful crew. The ship is an older vessel, however, it was kept clean and although I noticed a few nicks here and there, it was fine. The food was very good although there could have been more choices. We are not big foodies so as long as the food is good, we are happy. The dining staff was outstanding and went out of their ways to be of service. We ate in the Pinnacle Grill one night compliments of AMEX Platinum and while it was very good, I wouldn't have paid the extra money for it when the food was just fine in the dining room. The afternoon tea was also very nice. While Oceania and Seabourn offer more extensive and special items in the dining room and the afternoon tea, the HAL items were just fine and I just figured that we got what we paid for and more. This cruise was about 1/4 the cost of a similar Oceania or Seabourn Cruise. The entertainment was also very good and we enjoyed it very much. The afternoon Trivia was fun and entertaining as well. There was a nice variety of activities available on the ship for those that wanted it. We used the gym when we could and it was well equipped and we didn't have any trouble getting on the equipment. My DH took the spinning class and was the only one in the class. We were a little concerned about have a 10 year old on a cruise that was taking place during the school year but we didn't have a thing to worry about. I don't have enough positive words to express what a good job Club HAL does with the kids. He couldn't wait to go there every evening and the staff was absolutely outstanding. They had interesting and fun activities for the kids and made every child feel welcome. We also found that our fellow passengers were very nice to him and we never felt like he was bothering anyone. We had originally booked an oceanview cabin (got a double upgrade by paying with Platinum AMEX). About a week before the cruise we were offered an upsell to a Verandah Spa Suite for $600. Again, I thought it was a good deal. The only thing I would like to say about the Spa Suite is don't pay any extra for the spa features because it is really the same as the other cabins except for two yoga mats, a small water fountain on the desk and a wooden floor mat in the bathroom. We were happy with the cabin but I wouldn't have paid any more for the spa items. The only time I had an issue on this ship was with the excursion and destination managers. The destination manager was not very knowledgable about the ports and certainly wasn't very forthcoming with information. The maps supplied by the ship were pretty useless so I was glad I had my iPhone maps with me. We heard comments from other passengers that they felt the same way. The excursion manager was just plain rude. At one port she was the only HAL rep at the terminal so I asked her if the beach and town were within walking distance. She told me to ask the Terminal Information Person which was problematic since she didn't speak much English. When I asked the destination manager again, she said I should just take the shuttle or a taxi and pretty much blew me off. We decided to try to walk and it was an easy walk and we were able to find our way. It just left a bad taste in our mouths when everyone else on the cruise was so helpful. I met one woman who had booked a ship's excursion in Gibraltar which was a cable car trip to the top of the rock. Unfortunately, the day we went, it was too windy for the cable car so the ship's excursion was cancelled. When I told her that we had just taken a taxi to the top, she said that no one on the ship had told her that was an option so she didn't go. It seems to me that when the excursion was cancelled, they could have given people some other options. Our grandson didn't want to leave the ship at the end of the cruise because he was having such a good time and I attribute a lot of that to the staff at Club HAL. I think the Ryndam is a great ship and that we got a great value. I wouldn't hesitate to sail with HAL in the future Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We have just completed our first cruise with Holland America aboard Ryndam journeying from Barcelona back to Dover. We had never attempted to return to a different port/airport from our original starting point, but we let the train take ... Read More
We have just completed our first cruise with Holland America aboard Ryndam journeying from Barcelona back to Dover. We had never attempted to return to a different port/airport from our original starting point, but we let the train take the strain from Lowestoft to Stansted on the way out and from Dover Priory to Lowestoft on the return. Thanks to British rail for a trouble free journey. Our cruise was great, despite the unseasonally poor weather at most ports of call. We selected this cruise as it visited some ports that were new to us plus a few that we did not mind seeing again. The State room on Deck 4 was very comfortable and kept immaculate by Dan our Cabin Boy. We enjoyed the first dining sitting from 5.45pm sharing a table of four, very well catered for by Herman and his assistant young Dan. There was always a good choice from the daily ever changing menu and we only resorted to the "always available" only once. We really enjoyed the entertainment under the Cruise Directorship of Kieron Buffery. Thanks to the excellent resident singers and dancers, particularly Carrie who gave a brilliant one woman "show" on a sea day. Disembarkation came too quickly but like everything else by Holland America staff was super efficient. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
How wrong we were about Holland America Lines and how much we enjoyed every aspect of our cruise that was actually two legs - Spain, Portugal, then the Norwegian fjords.We love Barcelona so we and our "best friends" started at ... Read More
How wrong we were about Holland America Lines and how much we enjoyed every aspect of our cruise that was actually two legs - Spain, Portugal, then the Norwegian fjords.We love Barcelona so we and our "best friends" started at our favorite hotel, the Hotel 1898 right on the Ramblas, and spent 4 days wallowing in all that Barcelona has to offer. We boarded the Ryndam with the least hassle imaginable - especially since we imagained that we would receive lots of hassle as first-time HAL travellers with no "club" status. Great folks grabbed our bags right out of the cab, we walked right onboard, were escorted immediately to our cabins, and could not believe that our bags were already at our door! What service!! A far cry from our Princess, Celebrity, Discovery, or even Oceania experience.The ship was only 3/4 full on this first leg of our trip, which is quite nice, never crowds anywhere. The food was most impressive, in its variety and quality, including the specialty restaurants which we sampled as well - Canneletto and Pinnacle Grill. We all agreed, however, that our fun table for 8 at the early seating was the best and we didn't really need the extra restaurants. One dinner on the Lido deck, which included one of the best beef Wellingtons we'd ever had, was also impressive!We had a Veranda balcony cabin and our steward was exceptional - any requests were met immediately and he kept our room and bath spotless. As we were ending the 18 days following the cruise with another 4 in London we were away from home almost a month so were counting on the ship's laundry service - we were not disappointed with that service and it was quite reasonable - they had a special price for unlimited amounts of laundry making this "luxury" a good buy considering how much we gave them to do.The shows were great, sea days were delightful whether you wanted to just sit and read or avail oneself of a myriad of activities - we even learned how to fold those wonderful towel animals that we enjoyed every night on our bed - the spa services were lovely, although too expensive - and, in general, the most impressive thing we noted was the very high level of friendly service from almost every one of the staff. How so many in the dining room knew our name was amazing, but even when cutting through a different passageway, maintenance as well as other crew were both friendly and helpful. My only complaint would be the high cost of internet service - unbelieveable to us that in this day and age the cruiselines should be able to gouge customers for what is an essential service. We have learned to read reviews and check out all options re: what we do ashore, so the shore excursions we chose seemed to be of good value and with only one exception, delivered what the write-up promised. The staff refunded part of the cost when we and others complained about the "one exception" which also impressed us. Most of the ports we visited are not listed here for review, however. Overall I would give very high ratings to Holland America and my husband and I, as well as our friends, are looking forward to the Auckland -Sydney cruise next spring! Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Good things first. I really enjoy the small size of this ship since we are able to dock at most ports including Monte Carlo and the closest terminal in Barcelona. The staterooms are to our liking with tub/shower and decent hair dryer. Ice ... Read More
Good things first. I really enjoy the small size of this ship since we are able to dock at most ports including Monte Carlo and the closest terminal in Barcelona. The staterooms are to our liking with tub/shower and decent hair dryer. Ice bucket re-filled every morning and self service laundry facilities onboard was helpful. Most of all we are allowed to bring wine, soft drinks on board as long as we consumed them in our staterooms. Italian alternative dining Canaletto is very good (did not charge extra) The Bad: Food in the dining room was very inconsistant in quality. On half the days it was good and the other half we had some terrible blunders ex. squishy cheesecake, food was either bland or too salty...I have to say food was alot better on the Nieuw Amsterdam. Steak was not offered every night, neither was the prawn cocktail. Lido did not have the same food as the dining room, ex. prawn cocktail served in dining room became small bay shrimps in Lido. It was quite hard to get reservation for Canaletto. Entertainment: Really I'd rather go to bed early...yawn Disappointment on the first part of the cruise because some port time cut by 1 hour. Monte Carlo we were late to arrive by 1hr, Rome we had to leave 1 hr earlier than scheduled, Cadiz we also had less time than scheduled. La Goulette Tunisia was cut all together due to unrest and instead we docked at Cagliari. We were given close to no info about the new port of call and the city is not so exciting. In Ibiza we were originally to tender to the town center but the ship was docked at the remote dock and we had to pay for a transfer to town?! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We sailed on the Spanish Serenade voyage which was one half of a 14-day Mediterranean itinerary (we joined in Barcelona at midpoint sailing westward). Overall the ship was clean and in good shape despite it being one of the older vessels. ... Read More
We sailed on the Spanish Serenade voyage which was one half of a 14-day Mediterranean itinerary (we joined in Barcelona at midpoint sailing westward). Overall the ship was clean and in good shape despite it being one of the older vessels. We got bumped up from an obstructed view stateroom to an unobstructed view which we were quite happy about until we found the air conditioner didn't work well and there was a good bit of noise coming from above us (more on that below). The itinerary included Majorca, Ibiza, Casablanca and Cadiz (positioned as Seville) as well as a sailing day through Gibraltar. The Gibraltar passage was a non-event however as we first sailed thru late in the evening and then later returned very early in the morning where the fog/haze prevented any viewing. In my opinion if one of the sail thrus had been midday we'd have stood a much better chance of viewing the Straits and the Rock. Another comment on the itinerary is that we wish we'd had more time in Ibiza and less in Casablanca. Casablanca was the longest port stop from early am to 7:30PM whereas on Ibiza it was a short 11:00am to 5:30pm (we docked 1/2 hour late so it was really only 6 hours). We found the food quite good in the main dining room (Rotterdam) and had 3 meals in the Pinnacle Grill (PG) Dining room which was excellent as well. We like the fact that HAL allows you to bring wine onboard and brought a bottle of wine for 2 of the nights at the PG (note that there is an $18 uncorkage fee per bottle). The staff at the PG was excellent as well, and the staff at the Rotterdam was very friendly too (the majority of whom are from Indonesia). The casual dining room - the Lido - was slightly disappointing in that it was the least clean and also had water problems each day (dripping from the ceiling) that caused them to close one half of the restaurant on several days. This was the traditional buffet fare but probably a cut above the grade of other cruise line buffets. In terms of entertainment the piano bar was a great way to kill an hour or two and we had some hits and misses with the club up in the crows nest. The other bars had good service, some with talented musicians and almost all had great views of ocean. I also enjoyed the library and found a great book to read on the trip. Our room steward was excellent and brought us ice each am and evening and we tipped him extra accordingly. Overall a great experience for our anniversary and I recommend both HAL and the Ryndam. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Holland America 21day Mediterranean Treasures. We were with a group of 147 adventurers on an inclusive - air, hotel, transfers, some meals group. We flew over the pole from Seattle to Barcelona - only way to go. The ports were mostly ... Read More
Holland America 21day Mediterranean Treasures. We were with a group of 147 adventurers on an inclusive - air, hotel, transfers, some meals group. We flew over the pole from Seattle to Barcelona - only way to go. The ports were mostly islands and all UNESCO or World Heritage Sites. It was intense with a different port every day except two. We took private excursions at each port. My overall impression of the Ryndam was good. It was big, but not too big. The dining experience in the Rotterdam was inconsistent. We tried ordering fish - halibut - didn't look like any we had eaten before - sent it back. The lobster was too mushy for me. The salmon was sometimes overpowered by the sauces. Our stateroom was an outside window on the main or 5th deck. One of my personal favorite places to be. I like the robes provided - the choice of bath or shower. It took me some getting used to the water regulator vs faucets for the shower. Our room steward were attentive and greeted us by name. LIDO Dining experience was very uneven. I like the "eggs Florentine" when the spinach is heated a little bit and the egg is set but not hard. It was hit and miss if it was served this way. We had "any time" dining in the Rotterdam and liked to be at a table for six or less because my husband has difficulty hearing with more. Host was always very friendly and attempted to meet our requests cheerfully. The Captain was able to secure dock space for us at every port which was awesome - even at the ones marked as Tender Required. We liked the port talks the captain shared. Good sense of humor and friendly when he was out and about on the ship. The main disappointment we had was our experience at Canaletto's dining. The food wasn't as special as I had remembered from our previous experience. The wait staff was almost "too friendly". We were disappointed in the variety of entertainment. There were not very many outside entertainers. There were five singers (3 males and two females) and only two female dancers. The performances were good, but nothing spectacular and was repeated. We usually never miss a show, but made an exception on this tripl First port was Tripani, Sicily, Italy- Small port. We took a bus tour to the salt beds. Easy to walk from port to the city - right there. Small but nice port. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Ryndam (Retired) Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 4.3
Dining 4.0 4.1
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 4.1
Rates 4.0 4.1

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click