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June 16 & 23 cruise on Statendam

PEB

Captain
Staff member
This cruise was a back to back north south Alaskan cruise on the Statendam. It could be purchased as a 14 day cruise but it was actually cheaper to book it as two 7 day cruises. We had just stepped off the Westerdam a day prior to this and were not happy with that cruise so we were reluctant to board the Statendam. Luckily the Statendam was a much better experience and much better cruise.

We had two different rooms for this trip. Both rooms were outside rooms one with a partially obstructed view. One room was 724 on the A deck with a clear view. It was a very nice room and the only problem for us was that there was no refrigerator. That meant my wife had to store her insulin in the medical center. The second room was 374 on the lower promenade deck. The room was a little smaller because the promenade walking deck was outside our room. The room was still nice but still no refrigerator. Moving from one room to another was easy. We just packed things from the drawers and called the stewards. They brought a luggage trolley and hung all the clothes on the trolley and put the suitcases on the trolley and moved us. All we had to do was unpack back into the drawers the steward hung everything back up in the closets.

The Statendam is considered one of the smaller ships but was a very nice ship. The layout was easy to figure out and the ship was easy to get around on even though two elevators never worked the whole cruise.

The Lido, or buffet, is a lousy layout and it is hard to find where the lines start and finish. The hot food is put on hot plates and you are given a paper towel to try to get your food to a table. There is not enough seating. The food varied from bad to good, nothing great. The service from those working the buffet was very good.

We had traditional dining in the main dining room. We were assigned a great table at the rear of the ship at a window. The table was for 4. As our dinner started, there was only me and my wife, the assistant manager came and asked us if we would move for the rest of the week, because someone else wanted our table. This did not sit well with us so we said we preferred to stay at the table. A little while later the assistant manager again asked us if we would move because others wanted our table. We said they could join us but if he found a table with as good a view we would reluctantly move. The assistant manager came a third time and said he had a table as good on the other side of the room with a nice couple to sit with so we agreed to move but were not happy. The next night we were at our new table and it still had a great view and the new table mates were very nice. I could see our old table from the new table and the people who needed it so bad only sat there twice. There were plenty of open tables in the main dining room an being asked to move because someone else wanted our table never did sit well with us. We did get a good table with nice table mates and we did get to keep this table for the second week so it was not a terrible thing. We just thought it was tacky to ask us to move. The food was not the best. I had to send back several meals and wound up just ordering a steak so I would have something to eat.

The crew on this ship was much more attentive and friendly then we had on the Westerdam. The exterior windows were very dirty but the rest of the ship was well taken care of and very nice to sail on. One day the ship did take a sudden turn to avoid whales and many dishes flew off tables and got broken.

The entertainment was just ok. The only real good entertainment was the piano player and violin player called Adagio. The group that played in the Ocean Bar at night were good musicians, however the singers were terrible and I do mean terrible.

Holland America has very few activities. The only talks that do not push the sale of some product are when the rangers come on the ship for Glacier Bay.

The sales people did not bother you to buy things like we had found on the Westerdam. They were polite and there to help you if you needed it but did not do the hard sell.

We found a few more comfortable places to sit then on the Westerdam. They did not open most bars and lounges until late afternoon. Only the pool bar and the coffee bar opened early for the passengers. This was disappointing to me because I do not drink coffee and did not care for the seating at the pool bar. I only drink soda but I prefer to drink it sitting in comfort.

Overall this was a very pleasant cruise. We enjoyed the ship and the crew was very good. We met a few of the other passengers and enjoyed their company. After having such a bad time on the Westerdam Holland America looked more favorable after cruising on the Statendam. After saying that I must also say that I doubt we will cruise on Holland America again. The only reason I say this is because we just never felt real comfortable on either ship we were on. We just did not feel like we belonged on the ship. I must feel comfortable on Holland America and I must feel comfortable to return to a cruise line. Holland America and the Statendam provide a good cruise it is just not a good fit for us.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Glad to hear the Statendam was better. Should you ever sail HAL again, I'd recommend the Crow's Nest for a pre- dinner drink. This is where there's a piano player and on every HAL ship I've been on, was where people hung out during the day and for pre-dinner drinks. We always find the service is best here.

A terrific site for checking cabins and amenities on any HAL ship is one put together by a HAL cruiser, Joanie Jett. It's a labor of love, and an awesome site.

http://abqreunion2008.com/
 

PEB

Captain
Staff member
Pam I had gone to the Crows Nest and really did not find a comfortable place to sit. The Crows Nest can get busy and seating limited. The windows in the Crows Nest were also extremely dirty which made looking out them distracting. We found on both ships that Holland America keeps the interior side of the windows clean but did not clean the exterior of the windows. Yes I know salt water is hard on windows but this was more then sea water problems. Every cruise line and ship I have been on I always see people cleaning exterior sides of the windows in some type of rotation. Not once did I see anyone trying to clean any exterior side of the windows on either ship.

The Crows Nest just was not for me. Another reason I did not like it was when there are a lot of people in a room I have trouble hearing due to all the conversations going on and the Crows Nest is popular and does get busy and loud.
 

Pam in CA

Captain
Thanks for the info. I know that when we were in Antarctica, and I'm sure it's the same in Alaska, the windows can't be cleaned. Both Antarctica and Alaska have very stringent laws regarding water discharged in any way from the ship. That's why no laundry can be done either. :)
 
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