MS Statendam came out of refit and should have been scrapped, instead she sucked innocent people into believing that a cruise to the Southern Caribbean was an investment in a vacation. The ports were okay, but the ship did not survive the yard period. Passengers found out that they were on a shakedown cruise too late to pull out. We should have known something was wrong when the hot tubs and pools were not filled. We should have known something was wrong when only 3 of 8 elevators seemed to be working. We really knew something was wrong when it started raining as we left Ft. Lauderdale and the Lido Restaurant was flooded; that's right it rained in the restaurant. Because of the rain, we were allowed to eat in the main dining room in shorts for dinner, heck most of us were still unpacking.
Our first night out, the generators broke down (we were told) and that caused the engines to have to be run slowly. As a result we were late into our first port. The Lido Pool was secured and we could not swim in it for 2 days,. They attempted to fill the Sea View Pool on the third night; I have never seen so much rust come through pipes. While filling the pool, tiles came loose from the side of the pool, 2 more days to repair this problem. Forward Elevators port side were out of commission for over a week lights off, but the shaft was alive and sailor words could be heard if one listened closely. 2 to 3 of the Aft Elevators seemed to be interment, never knew if they worked or even if the lights in the cars would stay on. Various staterooms flooded, some with sewage. When passengers asked to be moved they were told that there were no empty staterooms, until they kept complaining, then an empty one was mysteriously found. One woman slept in the atrium until they moved her family.
As you wandered throughout the ship, vile smells came from many different places, often reminiscent of sewers or sewage, but nothing reeked as much as the Starboard Aft area of the Lido Restaurant. The stench of sewage in this area may never go away. While watching a movie or cooking show in the Culinary Arts Center, there was a constant sound of dripping water. If you looked up, there in the overhead was a bucket, rigged to collect the water dripping form a pipe. This was not fixed for over 12 days.
This was just a smattering of the stupendous problems encountered by the passengers. We were also told that the crew size had been reduced but never told why. In fact, communication form the captain was almost non existent and passengers were left to guess what was going on with the ship. The fire in the incinerator at 0500 one morning was explained away as "just smoke," but no one really believed the explanation.
Food was adequate, but not really up to HAL standards. Cleanliness of the public spaces was not up to HAL standards because of the problems and reduced crew size.
We will never sail on Statendam again, unless HAL can prove that this ship is repaired. As it stands, I feel this ship is a safety and health hazard and should be taken back to a competent yard and repaired before more lives are put in danger - yes I feel that we were put in danger and not just inconvenienced.