Aboard Holland America’s Ryndam (Part 2 of 3)

What this ship does best is found in her spacious dining room “the Rotterdam” here no expense has been spared. Ornate chandeliers, lush curtains framing the expansive ocean view windows. Elegant glass ware complete with fine china have all the makings for world class dining.

The wait staffs are very accommodating and friendly making each night a pleasure to dine. The meals on offer have been consistently good with a satisfactory variety of choices.

Where the ship disappoints has been the open dining area “the Lido” here we found lackluster choices of food items and there was a lack of overall cleanliness often finding dirty silverware, tables left unattended with leftover plates or tables cleaned but wiped down with haste leaving wet surfaces making us hesitate to sit down.

8 days at sea has been the longest we have ever gone without setting foot on shore and by day 5 we were wondering if we’d made a mistake by not taking the blue pill.

Conversing with couple after couple we were amazed to hear stories of people in love with not only Holland America but this particular ship ‘the Ryndam” many of them were repeat cruisers preferring this ship over any other.

It was apparent from the beginning of the cruise even before ingesting our red pill that we were surrounded by senior citizens or “centurions” as we fondly came to call them.

We would wager most folks have not seen age 67 for quite some time. In all fairness we applaud those still active and young in spirit still enjoying life to the fullest but this cruise has created an anticipation in us that is even hungrier to experience the vigor and excitement in the larger ships we are scheduled for in the months to come.

Day 9 we enjoyed a full day in Ponta Delgado – the Azures which is a lovely little port of Portugal, if the skies had not been overcast the full allure could have been experienced. The chilly morning gave way to a bit of sunshine breaking through the clouds as we took a trolley ride through the charming and winding streets taking in the sights of horse drawn carriages, local townspeople going about their day all to the backdrop of the beautiful Atlantic ocean.

The local language of Portuguese is very melodic sounding like a mixture of French and Italian. We enjoyed a lunch of Peking duck which satiated if not satisfied our hunger. Before heading back to the ship we sat outside at a local café hoping to check email messages but despite the free Wi-Fi sign at two establishments we were unable to secure a connection so beware your free Wi-Fi may mean you spend the cost of a beer or two.

Our second port of call Cadiz, Spain was intoxicating. This is a beautiful city to rival the romance of Rome. We spent an hour on one of the popular red hop on/ hop off busses and being the first passengers the view at the front of the roof top was splendid.

The city is extremely clean with tree lined boulevards and a heady mix of both ancient and modern structures. Again we opted for a Chinese lunch this time enjoying crispy duck with crepe pancakes and fried rice at a reasonable price (despite a somewhat weak American currency to the Euro) which included a couple of Chinese beers.

On day 9 we had the option to take the red pill but again we stuck to our conviction to remain with clear vision to bring you “our blog readers” an unbiased opinion, sadly the day spent at Motril, Spain had us wishing we’d not stuck to our guns.

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