Statendam Cruise Review by sonsan1: One of the best cruises we've ever taken
One of the best cruises we've ever taken
Ship is 20 years old. Refurbed in 2010 but still a 20 year old plant.
Check-in was fastest in 20 cruises. 10 minutes. Inside cabin was adequate and clean. Good water pressure and temp. comfortable bed, good storage, good light. Had loveseat, small coffee table. TV adequate. Got off the Freedom of the Seas last fall and now can say I like Statendam size BETTER than the Mega ships. No it doesn't have a boulevard down the middle of the ship with a Morgan sportscar parked next to the wine shop or zip lines or rock climbing walls (after all it is Holland America) but it does have the traditional promenade deck for stolling and leaning against the rail and you can wrap up in a blanket (provided for you),sit in a deck chair and watch God's handywork slide by.........if you can keep your eyes open. I was in nap Heaven.
Food was the best of all cruises (RCCL, Carnival, Princess, Costa, NCL, Disney).
Philipino and Indonesion staff nice as they could be. They try to More remember your name. I mean everybody tries. The Bartenders, wait staff, cabin attendant, etc. Speaking of cabin attendants, Harry and Dodi must have been watching when we came and went because the cabin was serviced before we could get back from a meal.
Entertainment was fine for the size. Had some really talented Kids performing.
Enjoyed wine tastings with Ron. Lyn was everywhere,drinks in hand; except when she was doing a man's job during a lifeboat drill. Yes Holland America unhooks the lifeboats, lowers them into the water and actually checks them out with the crew. I felt veddy veddy safe. This was a wonderful cruise.....UNTIL we got off the boat in Vancouver. The company HAL uses to get you from the cruiseport to the airport is woefully inefficient and inadequate. I tell you no lie. We waited longer in the line to board a bus than we waited during the entire rest of the disembarkation process, including luggage and customs. They had a stressed out little old lady (Nancy) who was trying to board 3 busses at the same time, 2 passengers at a time. I am slow but this was ridiculous. When I said something about the pace she got quite short with me. I didn't appreciate it and will be reporting her to HAL. This incident aside, SAIL THE STATENDAM!!! Less
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Cabin review: N407 Standard Interior Stateroom
407 Deck 6, clean inside cabin. Big enough, very good storage, comfortable, quiet, bathroom big enough, super clean. Cabin is conveniently located a few steps from access to the outside Promenade deck and 1 deck below the main dining room. Also generally disembarked from deck 6 or 5 so it was easy on, easy off all week. When we pulled into a port, got noisy while docking. Didn't bother us too much since we were so tired from playing the day before.
Port and Shore Excursions
Kawasaki Mules provided. Drove up trail to overlook. Stopped at lodge for cookies and cocoa. On the way back stopped at the lodge for meal. BEST HALIBUT in the world. (Also had chicken).
Rained/misted constantly. Did you know that the inside of a cloud can be moist? We were provided rain panchos. Rain forest beautiful, tour staff were fine. Equipment was superior. If the weather had cooperated the views would have been spectacular. I recommend (better on a pretty day). There ain't nothin' they can do about Mother Nature.
"Whale Watching Quest" Big Company, large fleet, custom stainless steel boats,
Naturalist on board. Guaranteed a sighting or refund promised. No need since we saw at least 20 Humpbacks. Highlight of tour was watching a pod of whales "bubble-feeding". Look it up. Evidently pretty rare because the Captain and the Naturalist went berzerk. Also every other tour boat in the area made a B line to the site. Dropped a microphone overboard and we could hear whale song. Pretty incredible.
Flight to Tongass National Forest and hike to viewing stand for Bear sighting.
Saw 1 small black bear way down the stream cross from one side to the other and disappear into the woods. My wife saw 1 small black bear come out of the woods, grab a fish and run back into the woods. Happened so fast I never saw it. A little disppointed. Our guide "Joshua" was very, very good. Lived on the island with the darned bears; a real outdoorsman.
Picked us up at the Seward train station after a wonderful ride from Anchorage.The tour was called "The Real Alaska Tour". Joe Allen was our guide/driver.
Took us to Seavy Iditarod Dog Sled Training camp. Got to play with puppies and learn about dog sleddin'. They have wheeled carts that hold 6 tourists and a musher that a team of dogs pull throuh the trails. Interesting and pretty darned fun. Would recommend for all. The Seavy family has been sledding for several generations and love what they do. Tour included lunch at a local lodge/restaurant. Good food. Alaskan beer is GOOD. Then the tour went to Exit Glacier for walk up to glacier. HOWEVER! There are 2 trails; one easy trail for flatlander, pot-bellied tourists (me) and one trail for the Devil may care, high adventure types. Of course everybody else voted for the high adventure trail so I had to invoke my Manly-man alternate persona and go along. Ended up taking our shoes off, wading thru calf high icy, rushing water, waking along a 6 inch wide rock face holding on to branches and saplings growing out of the rocks to keep from falling into the river. We ended up at the base of the glacier. Actually touched it and got some great tasting glacier water. Nice photo ops. Joe Allen is a hoot. A real outdoorsman, an older Surfer from California. He teared up while talking about how beautiful Alaska was. That's the kind of Guide I want.
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