All things considered, we had a wonderful month aboard, with only one serious problem: dangerous levels on fumes from the ship's fuel tanks were vented, 3 different times, into our Inside, Main Deck forward cabin, causing serious breathing problems for both my husband and me. A member of the Engineering Dept. told us that this is a recurring problem on all the lower decks near the bow. Holland America put an electric air purifier into our cabin for the duration of the voyage, but refused to even discuss moving us to some other area on the ship.
Visiting ports in Mexico was unnerving. Statendam was escorted into and guarded in every port by machine-gun-armed boats. Guatemala and Panama, on the other hand, seemed very welcoming and fun. Sadly, we suspect that Mexican ports ought to be eliminated from cruise itineraries, at least until Mexico becomes a safer place for all concerned.
On the other hand, Fort Lauderdale is really just not very interesting to tour around. The beaches look very nice, if you are going to do a pre- or post-cruise there and want the ocean beach experience. For the day-tripper, however, there is not much to do that is terribly interesting. Several excursions were offered, but the one we took turned out to be far less interesting than the advertising led us to expect: the boat excursion around the canals and waterways of Fort Lauderdale turned out to be run by a man who seems to care about almost nothing but local wannabe gossip concerning other people's money, houses, and boats. Not our cup of tea at all.