My elderly mother and I just returned yesterday from a 4-night cruise on HAL's Statendam. As some background, I, by no means, am a seasoned cruiser, though I hope to be one day! This was my second cruise and my mom's first. My first cruise was on RC so I wanted to try another cruise line, as well as introduce my mom to cruising. My mom and I looked forward to this cruise to have some mother/daughter time and it could not have sailed on a better day - Mother's Day!
We embarked in San Diego - I was very impressed with the expedient embarkation process. We were processed and onboard enjoying lunch within 15 minutes upon arrival at the port. Lunch at the Lido Restaurant was good. Our cabin was ready after lunch so we were excited to see it. This particular cruise was one where the cruise line assigned all the cabins so we could not choose. I found out our cabin number a couple of days before we set sail. We were in cabin 162 on Deck 9. I was really concerned because our cabin was right above the casino and having read reviews that this deck may pose significant noise issues from the deck below, I was quite concerned. Well, it was a total non-issue for our particular cabin. We did not hear any noise from below. We were pleased with having a balcony and the room was nicely updated. Afterward we walked around to get familiar with the ship. The ship is smaller but quaint. We ate at all the restaurants except the Terrace Grill - we did care to have a hamburger or hotdog as there was such a greater selection of food elsewhere. Had lunch in the MDR, which was good; really enjoyed the Afternoon Tea in the MDR; Canaletto was also tasty - mom really enjoyed her meal; Lido buffet was decent overall; on our last night we had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill-while the service was wonderful - my mom and I were very surprised at how salty ALL the food was (including our side dishes, now mind you, we had different side dishes too). She ordered broiled lobster tail and I had boneless ribeye steak. Now, dessert was a different story - excellent Baked Alaska. I did attend a couple of the cooking demos but other than that, we did not go to any shows nor the casino or bars. The highlight of the cruise is the Green Spa. My mom could have lived in the mineral spa the entire cruise. The Thermal Suite is so worth the money - a must do. HAL hit the nail on the head with this one. We really did enjoy it. We enjoyed the port stop in Victoria. It is a beautiful city. The only minor issues were that our cabin steward charged us for a soda from the minibar which we did not take. My mom purchased a soda from the Explorations Cafe and brought it back to the cabin, so I guess he thought it was taken from the minibar. Anyway, that was straightened out. And our room service order was incorrect a couple of times. Overall it was a good cruise - my mom really enjoyed it and that is all that mattered to me. Would I cruise the Statendam again? Probably not, as there are many other fish in the sea to explore.