Holland America's "m.s. Ryndam"

By Kris Krenz, MCC with PAK-N-GO Cruises and Tours

The ms Ryndam in Barbados

Photo by K. Krenz

Maureen and I plus many other agents were given the opportunity to cruise on this beautiful ship. Our cruise was a 10 day Caribbean run as follows: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; 2 Days At Sea; St. Kitts; St. Lucia; Barbados; Dominica; Tortola/Virgin Gorda; 1 Day At Sea; Nassau, Bahamas; Ft. Lauderdale

Christened in October, 1994, She is Holland America's "Grand New Ship." The ms Ryndam at 719.8 feet long, a breadth of 101.6 feet(just fitting through the Panama Canal) and a height above the waterline of 159.4 feet(11 passenger decks).

When we arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale, I figured that the ship would be much smaller since it only holds 1,266 passengers. (We have been on ships that hold many more passengers and are smaller.) This turned out to be a pleasant surprise. The large size of this ship meant more personal space per passenger. During the whole cruise, we never felt like we were in a crowd or had to wait in line.

As we first walked onboard we were greeted by the friendly Indonesian staff dressed in Holland America's traditional Dutch uniforms. One white gloved member of the staff grabbed our carry-ons and lead us to our beautiful stateroom with an ocean view.

Our cabin was quite large at 190 square feet. There was a large window(not a port hole), a queen sized bed, couch, chair and coffee table. There was more than enough drawer and closet space to stow all of our clothing for 10 days. Extras found in the room were a TV, personal safe (that was locked and unlocked using the magnetic strip on one of your personal credit cards) and a bowl with fresh fruit (filled daily).

Spacious Stateroom found onboard the Ryndam - Photo by K. Krenz

I found the bathrooms to be quite large as well. Instead of a shower stall like on most ships, we had a bath tub and shower. The bathrooms also had a portable hair dryer, so we didn't have to pack ours.

Our cabin was one of the average cabins found on the Ryndam. If you wish to upgrade, the Ryndam had two decks with cabins that all contain verandahs. In the verandah cabins, some of the extras included a VCR(in the library onboard there were hundreds of movies old and new from which to choose) and a stocked mini-bar/refrigerator.

The first impression of the Ryndam was a feel of old luxury. Everywhere you looked in the public areas are beautiful antiques, paintings, and ship models. The central focus onboard was the three story (deck) atrium where a large ceiling to floor fountain set the mood of being in a town square.

The Ryndam also has an elegant two story show room (Vermeer Lounge), with a wrap around balcony, decorated in a far eastern theme. This is where we spent our evenings after dinner enjoying great entertainment.

Also spanning two decks is the Rotterdam dining room. This is where we spent our evening dinners here enjoying some of the best cuisine afloat while listening to a harpist, piano player or a string quartet. During the daylight, with ceiling to floor windows, you can watch the world go by while dining.

Other public areas found onboard are the Wajang Movie Theatre, Java Cafe(Holland America proudly serves Starbuck's Coffee at no charge!), Delft Library, Puzzle Corner, Card Room, Casino(With progressive slots that are linked with other Holland American ships. The jackpot when we were onboard was over $600,000.00!), Shopping Arcade (duty free), Piano Bar, Lido Restaurant (alternative dining featuring buffets for breakfast and lunch, full salad bar and ice cream bar), Beauty Salon, Ocean spa Gymnasium and Juice Bar plus eight more bars and lounges. My favorite lounge was the Crows Nest located on the top deck. Again ceiling to floor glass make for a spectacular view when sailing in or out of a port. In the Crows Nest before dinner tasty hot hors d'oeuvres are served.

Aft Pool on the Ryndam - Photo by M. Krenz

Two pool areas are found onboard. At the fan-tail(aft or stern of the ship) is a sunning area and a salt water pool. On the Lido deck there is a large fresh water pool adorned by a large bronze statue of leaping dolphins (this pool also can be enclosed by a large sliding glass dome). Also by the Lido pool are two jacuzzis and a wading pool. Near the pool is the Dolphin Bar and another food buffet. This buffet served hamburgers, hot dogs and Italian sausage. Also located here was a taco bar and an Indonesian cook whipping up a suculant stir fry in his wok. You can see why you will never go hungry on a cruise!

All of the outside decks are done in teak planking. The nicest is the lower promenade deck reminiscent of the old steamships and ocean liners. Here you can walk completely around the ship(4 laps equal 1 mile) or relax in one of the many wooden lounge chairs to watch and listen to the ocean going by.

Holland America Lines does well in recreating the elegance of ships from by gone eras. All of the public areas are very comfortable and decorated in colors that are very soothing.

Holland America is a great line to choose if you want a more relaxing and subdue vacation. The Ryndam was not a party ship and don't expect to be entertained in the dining room like other cruise lines. Maureen and I found this ship to be very enjoyable and highly relaxing. We recommend this ship if your looking for a relaxing and reserved cruise vacation.

The ms Ryndam currently cruises Alaska, Panama Canal and Caribbean itineraries.

The Ryndam is the second of four sister ships in the S-Class or Statendam Class series of builds by Holland America Lines. The other three sisters are the Statendam, Maasdam and Veendam. Similar to these ships but on different size is the Rotterdam, Volendam (new Nov. 99), Zaandam (new 2000) and the Amsterdam (October 2000). If you would like more information about the Ryndam or any other Holland America ship. Please feel free to contact us at 732-477-8798 or toll free 1-888-472-5646. (K. Krenz MCC)

Email us at info-request@cruisepakngo.com

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