Statendam Cruise Review by Benbimi: Good but not perfect
Good but not perfect
My wife and I just completed a 14 day cruise from Auckland to Sydney on the Statendam. Here are our observations. (Note - two years ago we did a South America cruise with Celebrity, so I am using that as a comparison point.)
DINING: HAL has an open dining feature on this boat. We liked this feature, it gave us a lot more flexibility. For us the food was over spicy, over salty, and pretentious. After about a week we found that we preferred to eat in the upstairs buffet (the LIDO deck) -- for us the food actually tasted better there than in the main dining room! Note -- we really DID LIKE the fact that they had no-sugar ice cream.
ENTERTAINMENT: We were very pleased with the outside entertainers they brought onto the ship; they were all of high quality. We were less impressed by the ship's singers -- they were only OK in our opinion.
SHIP MAINTENANCE: Our cabin had a number of problems with it (e.g., the thermostat control for the room temperature didn't More work, one of the lights didn't work) and the elevators seemed to break down a few times. One other passenger also told me that his cabin had a number of problems.
STAFF SERVICE: The front desk staff were very responsive to our every request. The dining room staff and the cabin staff were so-so (nothing to write home about).
EXCURSIONS: I felt that they gave us a good selection of excursions. We took a number of excursions and they were we good.
PORTS OF CALL: Good overall. However, I would personally have preferred less ports of call with more time spent in the high-interest ports. For instance, we could easily have spent two days in high interest places like Tauranga, Christchurch, Melbourne, and Sydney instead of stopping at ports like Napier. Also - note that instead of stopping in Christchurch (as originally planned) the ship stopped in Timaru. This made it very difficult for those passengers who wanted to see Christchurch, which was 1.5 hours away. It was fine for us since we went to Mt. Cook.)
ENRICHMENT: OK, but not great. Less
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