We had cruised Alaska 12 times before this cruise. We had cruised Holland America only once and that was on the Westerdam the week before this cruise. The Westerdam was a bad experience so we were reluctant to get on the Statendam but it was already booked and paid for. The Statendam was a much more positive experience then we had just had on the Westerdam
This cruise could be booked as a 14 day cruise, however we booked it as two back to back cruises because that was cheaper to book that way. We had two different rooms.The first week we had room 724 on A deck. This was a large outside room. It was a very nice room our only problem was no refrigerator so my wife had to store her insulin in the medical center. Our second week was in room 374 on the Lower Promenade deck. This room was a little smaller because the promenade walking deck was outside our room. The room was still nice but still had no refrigerator.
The boarding process was smooth and quick. My wife is handicapped and they made sure things went easy for her and quickly. Our luggage was in our room within minutes of us boarding the ship and getting to our room.
This ship is now considered one of the smaller ships. The layout was very easy to get use to. We felt it was a great ship size for us. One problem was that two elevators never did work on this ship. We enjoyed the decor on the ship, however it was hard to find comfortable seats to sit in.
The Lido, or buffet, is a lousy layout. It is hard to find where lines start and end. They put hot food on very hot plates and give you a paper towel to try to carry your plate to a table. There are not enough places to sit to eat. The food is ok not great. Some of it is just plain bad and some is good but not exceptional.
We had traditional dining in the main dining room at a table for 4. We were assigned to a great table at the rear of the ship looking out on the ocean. As we started to eat the assistant manager came up to us and asked us if we would be willing to move because someone else wanted our table. There were plenty of open tables. We said we would prefer to stay at the table. A little while later the assistant manager came back again and asked us again if we would be willing to move because someone else wanted our table. We said those people could join us if they wanted but we were not going to move unless we had a table with as good a view as we had at this table. The assistant manager came back again and said he found a table with a similar view and a nice couple to sit with. We agreed to move but were not happy. The new table did have a great view and the couple we sat with were very nice. I did look over at our old table and only saw someone sit at it twice. Now we had a good table and good table mates but it did not sit well that we would be asked to move because someone else wanted our table and only sat there twice. We were able to keep the new table for the second week of our cruise which was fine for us.
The crew was very friendly and attentive to the passengers. They really seemed to enjoy their job and put out a great effort to make your cruise a good one.
The entertainment is just ok on this ship with one exception. The piano player and violin player known as Adagio are well worth listening to. The group that played in the Ocean Bar were good musicians, however had terrible singers and I do mean terrible.
There was one point on the cruise where the ship took a sharp turn to avoid some whales. When this happened many dishes went flying and broke. They were picking up dishes for quite a while.
There were very little activities on this ship compared to other cruise lines we had been on. The only talks they had where they did not try to sell you something were when the rangers came on for Glacier Bay.
This ship was well worth taking. It had put a much more positive impression about Holland America then the Westerdam had done. The crew gave us a much better impression of the cruise line.
We met some nice people on this cruise and we are always happy when we cruise Alaska, however Holland America is just not the cruise line for us. The Statendam did a good job but we never really felt comfortable on the ship and that is important to us. There is nothing major wrong with the ship or cruise line it is just not a good fit for us, but I am glad I gave it a try.