I have been on the Veendam a number of times. This was my first cruise on the Ryndam. it is the same size but has less people and more public space. We had over 1100 people (full is around 1260) on this crossing and the ship often felt empty. There certainly were never lines or waiting for tables either in the Lido or the open seating for dinner. Many of the crew learned my name. The food was great. I have never been disappointed with the food on HAL but what made the dining experience exceptional on the Ryndam was the service.
I used the ellipticals regularly and appreciated the lockers and showers in their gym space. I also paid for the greenhouse spa for the 16 day crossing. The $150 was well worth it for the crossing. I used it everyday with the heated ceramic beds and mineral hot tub. It was a great treat after my workout. I wouldn't get my moneys worth on a more port intensive cruise.
The entertainment was exceptional. The HAL crew did 5 shows in the 16 day crossing which were all excellent and left you wanting more. I usually don't stay for shows on ships. I sit in back so when I get bored I can slip out. Not on these. The choreography, sets, costumes and general flow were all exceptional and the talent was amazing. These were the first of a new series of shows that are going to be introduced on all HAL ships and I am glad to have been able to see them. On the second part of my cruise i made sure to go see the two that were repeating that week. I wasn't disappointed.
I traveled solo for the first time on a cruise ship. My cabin was more than comfortable. There was tons of storage and everything worked well. I was in cabin 691 which is all the aft on the main deck. I loved that I was able to climb the little stairs straight up to the promenade. I could get outside quickly in this manner and I often used it to get to and from my cabin without walking the long corridors inside. The only problem with this room happened twice in the middle of the night. A metal door was banging just on the other side of the wall aft of my cabin and it took them a while to 1. believe me, and 2. fix it. This meant a sleepless night as it would start banging again about two hours after they said they had fixed it for sure. The second night this happened they fixed it much more quickly. Next time I will seek a room that is at least one room away form a working deck. They gave me a book on appetizers as an apology. I would have rather a ships credit or night at the Pinnacle.