On 05 September, 2015 I had the opportunity to visit Holland America Line’s Ryndam at Harwich International Port, during one of her last cruises from the United Kingdom. As many of you will be aware, Ryndam and her sister ship Statendam are transferring to the P&O Cruises Australia fleet in November 2015.
Anyhow, I was joined aboard by our Non-Executive Director, Gavin who as always provided assistance during the ship visit and took the photographs. Upon boarding we had a little wait and the security officers weren’t very welcoming, which wasn’t the best first impression. Thankfully we were just visiting and not paying passengers.
Eventually we were met by Show Host, Michael Spears who greeted us and welcomed us on board. He quickly escorted us to the Navigation Deck, just outside the entrance to the bridge where we waited. Before long we were invited in and met with Captain Mark Rowden on the bridge. Here I presented my drawing to him. As the ship would be leaving the fleet, the Captain told me he would be keeping the drawing for himself. So I can only assume it would be going home with him.
After presenting my drawing, Gavin and I were invited to tour the ship with the Show Host, Michael. Exiting the bridge we made our way up to the Lido Deck, where we explored The Greenhouse Spa & Salon. From what we saw of the area we were fairly impressed, although it was perhaps a little dated. The fitness centre was quite large for the size of ship and also featured an aerobics area.
On the Sports Deck, one deck up, we viewed the Crow’s Nest. Located right at the top of the ship, this large lounge features floor to ceiling panoramic windows over the bow of the ship and port and starboard. There’s some pretty neat seating which allows you to look right out over the bow! There is also a large dance floor, used for just that, dancing or presentations and lectures.
We took a quick look on deck, where we saw the sliding dome over the Lido Pool and then heading down one deck to check it out. Even with the dome closed, the area is very bright and there’s still plenty of height. Located nearby is also a bar and Terrace Grill. Continuing towards the stern of the ship we passed through the Lido Resturant, the buffet on board before heading outside to the Lido Terrance which overlooks the Sea View pool on the Navigation Deck below.
Moving up to decks to the Sky Deck we saw The Oasis. Located right at the top of the ship, directly above the children’s facilities, Club Hal and The Loft. The Oasis is a relaxing area just for children and teens to enjoy.
After this we headed down to the Upper Promenade Deck and were taken into the upper level of the Rotterdam Dining Room. Spanning two decks this is the main dining room on board. Moving forward along the Upper Promenade Deck we passed through the Explorations Café, an open plan venue located portside. Adjacent is the Future Cruises desk, whilst on the starboard side the Pinnacle Grill and Explorer’s Lounge are located.
Further forward we walked through Mix which is a somewhat unique venue, featuring three bars in one open space. The shopping arcade is located opposite the bars so you can’t help but check them out. On the other side of the ship is the casino. Forward from the casino is the atrium which spans two decks. At the top of the atrium is the Ocean Bar.
Located at the forward end of the ship is The Showroom At Sea. Like many theatres on ships of this size it spans two decks. I loved the colour scheme in this venue with the bright red seating and snazzy curtains and carpet!
Moving down through the theatre we made our way along the Promenade Deck, passing the Art Gallery, Front Office (otherwise known as reception), Photo Lab and Shore Excursions desk before entering the Culinary Arts Center. There is a wine tasting bar and gourmet shops as we as the Wajang Theatre where culinary arts presentations and shows take place. The Hudson Room and Half Moon are also located in this area of the ship and I believe they are used for similar functions.
We headed back to the atrium and that pretty much concluded our guided tour of Ryndam. Before disembarking we had a photograph taken with Show Host, Michael Spears who did a fantastic job showing us around the ship.
Overall we were very impressed with Ryndam. Although some of the spaces needed updating, we knew just that would be taking place in a matter of months. The ship is a perfect size for those who do not like ships too small or large, it’s just right!