Holland America Line's ms Ryndam recently sailed with several new enhancements on its seven-day western Caribbean cruises sailing from Tampa in Florida. The premium ship just completed a 17-day dry dock in Freeport, Bahamas, and now features the new, stylish lounge called Mix, a sophisticated Showroom at Sea with several new productions, the complimentary Italian eatery Canaletto, and a complete new stateroom and bath design. The upgrades come as a part of the cruise line's Signature of Excellence enhancements program.
During dry dock, Canaletto, an Italian restaurant that was introduced aboard ms Eurodam, has been added and comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido is transformed with glass partitions and an Italian ambiance. Dishes range from putanesca to penne alla vodka. Although there is no charge to dine in the alternative venue, reservations are suggested.
Nightlife on board Ryndam just got more exciting with the reconfiguration of the existing Casino and Piano bars into Mix, a multi-themed area with three separate bars: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales, serving their namesakes. Next door, the high-energy casino was redesigned and the main show lounge was transformed into the Showroom at Sea with the ambience of a nightclub and a new slate of shows. Other public areas around the ship also were refurbished and received new carpeting, and an upscale luxury jewelry shop called Merabella also was added midship to the enhanced main shopping area.
Completing the enhancements, all Ryndam's staterooms received new carpeting, soft goods and completely renovated bathrooms with new vanities and cabinetry. Sixteen staterooms near the spa (on Verandah deck) became "spa staterooms" featuring a variety of enhanced amenities. Each offers exclusive items such as organic cotton bathrobe and slippers, yoga mat, water fountain, special room service menus and treatments, and more.
The Explorations Program— onboard Ryndam and all Holland America Line ships— features a team of specialists with an expanded menu of programs to educate and entertain guests. Each team consists of a Party Planner, LifeStylist, Travel Guide, "Techspert" and Dance Director. On cruises lasting 14 days or more, a book club leader also joins the team.
The Party Planner host events in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, significantly expanding the program which brings more than 70 culinary experts on board each year, in addition to demonstrations and classes held on every sailing. As the destination expert on board, the Travel Guide is the one-stop source for port-of-call information. The "Techspert" leads classes in the Digital Workshop, powered by Windows, teaching guests how to blog, work with digital photos arrange a digital scrapbook, create a slideshow or edit a movie. Other activities range from dance lessons to wine tasting, floral arranging and craft classes. The LifeStylist leads the Mind, Body and Spirit Program. Developed in cooperation with the Greenhouse Spa, the program focuses on many forms of well being.
The Signature of Excellence initiative is an ongoing and comprehensive program that touches every aspect of the Holland America Line experience and the investment now exceeds $525 million. Signature of Excellence features and amenities offer guests more luxurious accommodations, enhanced dining experiences, more enriching activities.