As extremely well-traveled passengers we found the 2/17/12 sailing of Holland America's Statendam to be impressive. We have been to all 50 U.S. States and 100 Countries, so it is getting harder and harder to impress us. The Captain runs a "tight" ship and was extremely personable, forthcoming with what was going on and a delight to listen to with his daily "updates".
Most impressive was Lance, our Port Lecturer, who was the most knowledgeable and comprehensive of any cruise we have enjoyed being on. Lance's preview of the Panama Canal transit was most helpful and educational.
Our Cabin Steward was very responsive and remembered our requests after mentioning them at the beginning of the cruise.
Most passengers on this cruise were well seasoned travelers as well.
Guatamala had friendly people with nice handicrafts.
Panama Canal experience was truly unique and well worth it. We learned so much about how it was built, how ships transit the Canal, costs, etc.
Cartagena, Colombia was very interesting. It has pretty birds, tiny monkeys as well as coffee - home of Juan Valdez.
So long as Holland America keeps that Captain on the Statendam, I would most highly recommend any sailing aboard the Statendam.
We plan to continue cruising on Holland America - in fact, already booked another one for August.