Loved the Ryndam--a classic ship: Ryndam Cruise Review by mountainmare

Ryndam 5
Member Since 2004
3,357 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Loved the Ryndam--a classic ship

Sail Date: January 2010
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Tampa
We are pretty experienced travelers and cruisers, preferring to travel independently. HAL is our favorite cruise line because we prefer the small ships and the traditional feel. We picked this cruise because we had not sailed the Western itinerary and the pricing was right. We usually take longer cruises--this was our first seven day. We flew into Tampa four days early and spent those days on Anna Maria Island--about 45 min south of Tampa. We were blessed with wonderful weather and drove up to Tampa on embarkation day relaxed and rested. The ship had been delayed getting into port and when we arrived at about 1pm there were long lines for every part of the embarkation process. Long lines to give luggage to the porters, long lines to get into the door to get into a long line to get a number so that you could get into line to check -in. The actual check-in was easy, our star status was on our cards and we were welcomed back to HAL.

By the time we got on board (2pm) the cabin More were ready. While a long and somewhat disorganized embarkation can be off putting for the beginning of a cruise--in this case the moment we set foot on the ship we felt at home. Our cabin was spotless and our room steward came right away to introduce himself, several pieces of luggage were already in the room. I had requested that the room be super cleaned to remove any smoke smell (on our last cruise the room smelled very strong of smoke) and housekeeping came by to see if we were happy. The cabin was nice with plenty of storage, the balcony has a lounge chair and regular chair and looked like it had recently been painted. There is a flat screen TV and DVD player plus a fridge. There was also a full size sofa in the room. All in all this is a very nice size cabin.

We were assigned traditional late seating and had a table for four to ourselves with some of the best servers that we have had in over ten cruises. The food was also better than the usual cruise line fare, everything tasted fresh and was prepared as ordered. I had a wine card and the wines were fine with dinner. We found that without exception the crew on this cruise was outstanding. You can tell that the Captain has a good working relationship with his crew because the ship seemed to run very well, without undo drama in spite of the fact that there was a fire in the engine room (first time we heard the alarm on a cruise) and the ship was heading into dry dock as soon as we got off. We like small ships and like the traditional feel of HAL.

The Ryndam checks all the boxes for us--the only exception is that we wish that smoking was not allowed in cabins or on balconies. After having sailed several HAL ships of different sizes the Ryndam is now our favorite. Less

Published 02/16/10

Cabin review: B161 Vista Suite with Verandah

B161 Very nice typical standard veranda cabin. Good location. Once or twice in the early evening we could hear music from below--not a problem after dinner or during the day.

Read All Vista Suite with Verandah (B) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

After much research we decided to do this port on our own. We asked permission to get on an early tender because we were taking the 9am water taxi to Caye Caulker to go snorkeling. Permission was granted (ask very early in the cruise) and we were on the first tender. The San Pedro Express water taxi is right next to the tender dock and easy to find. for $10 each we bought round trip tickets to Caye Caulker. The same taxi continues on to San Pedro. Getting off in Caye Caulker we went to a local dive shop and got a half day snorkel trip to Coral Gardens which is on the reef just a few hundred yards from the cay. There were only four of us on the trip--we have a dive guide lead us through the coral, then we boated over to swim with sting rays and went to yet another coral area for more snorkeling. Fruit and drinks were given out on the boat. After we had time to walk around the town a bit before catching the 1:45 taxi back--we could have waited for the 3pm taxi, but were ready to go back. A wonderful day, the little island is pretty and friendly and the snorkeling was great.

We took a taxi to town and walked along the beautiful beach. You can find anywhere to sit for the price of a beer or reasonable snack. The beach and water are the type of picture you see in a travel ad and the people are friendly. Back at the port complex we walked around the shops and pool a little--but really liked the town better. The port complex is nice but a little to "Disney Caribbean" for us.

Read 1761 Costa Maya Reviews

I have been to Key West before so we decided to just go explore on our own. There is alot of info online and on tripadvisor. It was raining a bit so our first stop was the Little White House where we took a tour, very nice tour and interesting bits of history. Next we walked to the lighthouse and climbed it to take in some beautiful views. We continued the walk to the Southernmost Point, and headed back to the ship on Duval Street. Near the ship I bought a pair of handmade Kino sandals and of course some Key Lime Pie from the Blonde Giraffe. We were only in port from noon to 5:30 so by that time we took our time walking back to the ship--checking out the art on the way. We were docked at Westin Pier so walking from the ship was easy.

Read 1377 Key West Reviews

After two tries the Captain was unable to dock at Mahogany Bay. We had booked a snorkel tour with Upachaya and they had no trouble meeting us at Coxen Hole. There were seven of us on the tour, the snorkeling was very good--but the best part was that we snorkeled over a wall--absolutely amazing. After on the way back to the ship we asked to go shopping for Mahogany items, we were driven to a little shop away from the tourist strip which had very nice wood things and also native pottery.

Read 2443 Roatan Reviews
Read more Ryndam cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Ryndam Review >>
Member Since 2004
3,357 Forum Posts
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Share feedback
Thank you!  Cruise Critic values your feedback.
How can we improve this page?