Statendam is the smallest Holland America ship we have cruised on. My husband liked it, because of its smaller size and capacity, better than either Volendam or Zaandam, while I like the larger ships a little better. No matter what, we were treated to the usual standard of Holland America service: the restaurant, bar, beauty salon, and cabin personnel are professional, hard-working, accommodating, and always warmly pleasant; the Front Desk people are unhelpful, abrupt, and frequently unpleasant; the Officers are mostly aloof; and the Entertainment staff is overly loud, pushy, and very full of their Very Show Biz selves. Also as usual, the food was good (not spectacular), with good variety, and with a nice range of dining venue options. Holland America prices shore excursions ridiculously high.
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.