Known for mid-size “dam” ships, Holland America Line history dates to an 1873 founding as
the Netherlands-America Steamship Company, later known as Holland America after its
transatlantic service started to the Americas. In addition to Mexican Riviera adventure,
Holland America (a Carnival Corporation premium brand) operates seven-, 10- and 14-day
Caribbean cruises from Fort Lauderdale, Port Canaveral and Tampa along with sailings in
the Panama Canal, Asia/Pacific, Europe, Canada/New England, and Alaska. Vessels, including
flagship Rotterdam VI, carry names of predecessors from Amsterdam to Zaandam. Known for
consistent, attentive service, Holland America ships have more staff members per guest
than any other major cruise line. By 2006 Holland America’s capacity will grow to 15
ships with debut of three more 1,848-passenger Vista Class ships. HAL offers the only
trip cancellation program in the industry offering cash back for canceling for any reason
prior to 24 hours before departure.
Designed to carry fewer passengers than other mid-sized premium class ships, Ryndam is
among the most spacious ships at sea, with an easily navigable deck plan including an
atrium lobby with the shore excursion office, photo gallery, boutiques, Internet center,
and the lively Ocean Bar. The two-tiered Rotterdam Dining Room has a grand sweeping
staircase, and suites have private verandas. As with all Holland America ships, white
gloved staff members greet and escort guests to staterooms, helping create the ambiance
of cruising on history’s great liners. In 2004, HAL’s 500-plus sailings on 13 ships from
23 home ports include 37 voyages to Mexico. Ryndam sails 26 departures to Mexico from
San Diego on 7- and 10-day round-trip itineraries calling at Cabo San Lucas, the Sea of
Cortez, and Mexican Riviera ports of Mazatlán, Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. Ryndam’s
shore excursions are varied, with Cabo San Lucas alone offering beach horseback riding,
sportsfishing and sea kayaking. Puerto Vallarta shore excursions range from off-road
bicycle adventure to Town, Country & Tequila, a shopping excursion stopping at a tequila
factory where horses and ostriches are raised. Ole!
Holland America’s long-standing “tipping not required” policy forbids solicitation.
Guests are welcome to extend tips for outstanding service.
Public spaces and staterooms in various categories accommodate wheel-chair users,
and crew members are particularly attentive to needs of the disabled.
Like all Holland America vessels, Ryndam features priceless antiques and museum-quality
artwork in halls and public spaces, along with bouquets of fresh, fragrant flowers in
restaurants and lounges. Ryndam was among the first Holland America ships debuting the
Pinnacle Grill alternative restaurant and its success has led to fleetwide rollout.
The Pinnacle Grill features warm fabrics complemented by fine wood accents evocative
of the Pacific Northwest, all blending with overall ship décor. The restaurant offers
wines from renowned Pacific Northwest vineyards. Ryndam also has an Internet Center,
and a Concierge Lounge for exclusive use of guests in suites.
Ryndam’s Penthouse Suite (1,126 square feet) has a bedroom with king-sized bed and master
bath including a whirlpool tub, dressing room, living room, dining room, pantry, guest bath,
and private veranda. Deluxe Veranda Suites (563 square feet) have whirlpool baths, sitting
areas and dressing rooms. The 120 Veranda Suites (284 square feet) have whirlpool baths and
sitting areas. Large Outside Staterooms (197 square feet) have convertible queen-sized beds
and tub/shower combinations. Large Inside Staterooms (182 square feet) have baths with showers.
All staterooms have television, telephone and multi-channel music. Not all staterooms
within each category have identical furniture configuration and/or facilities.
Kid & Teen Stuff
Club HAL offers supervised fun for ages 5 and up, including story time, art and crafts,
ice cream sundae parties, and candy bar bingo for up to age 8. For tweens (9 through 12)
and teens to 17, there’s miniature golf, pool and pizza parties, video games, disco,
movies and more.
In time-honored tradition, a uniformed steward strolls the ship, striking the chimes
summoning guests to sumptuous meals in the elegant, candlelit Rotterdam dining room.
In the Lido Restaurant, breakfast can mean made-to-order omelets, berries and pancakes,
and lunch brings Asian stir-fry, pastas, and salads. Burgers, hot dogs and tacos are
prepared poolside Terrace Grill, and the Java Café brews espresso drinks. Pinnacle Grill,
the reservations-only restaurant, offers cuisine of the Pacific Northwest at an additional
charge of $20 per person. Between meals, guests enjoy a complimentary ice cream bar,
pre-dinner hot hors d’oeuvres and late night snacks. There is also 24-hour room service.
Special diets including low- or no salt, low-fat, sugar-free, vegetarian and Kosher
can be accommodated.
Sports / Health / Fitness
Ocean Spa Fitness Center, featuring beauty and spa rituals by Steiner Leisure,
has dual saunas, dual steam rooms, massage rooms, a beauty/barber shop, a juice
bar and two practice tennis courts. There’s a fully equipped gym, a domed,
all-weather pool, and a jogging track circles the ship.
The two-tiered, 600-seat Vermeer Show Lounge hosts sparkling production shows and
other entertainment. At the Wajang Theatre, the hot buttered popcorn is free along
with popular new-release comedies, dramas, and thrillers. For diversion, Ryndam
also has the lovely Delft Library, a 48-seat card room, and chic shops stocked
with duty-free goods from French fragrances and Swiss watches to designer wear.
Talented Indonesian and Filipino crew members also put on crew shows with music
and dance from their native lands.
Guests can try their luck at 116 slot machines, a Sega 5-player blackjack machine,
a 6-player Mega-Cash, 6 blackjack tables, a Caribbean Stud poker table, a roulette
table and a dice table. Mega-Slot tournament action begins after 11 p.m., when
stewards fill glasses with champagne.
From cocktails in the 68-seat Piano Bar to post shore excursion drinks in the
138-seat Ocean Bar just off the lobby, Ryndam has several popular watering holes.
At night, dance music, fox trot and waltzing to disco, emanates from cozy lounges.
After dinner, complimentary espresso and hand-dipped chocolates are served in the
elegant 82-seat Explorer’s Lounge. The late-night crowd also heads to the 366-seat
Crow’s Nest Lounge, which by day is great for enjoying panoramic views.