This was our 3rd HAL cruise and the 1st on the Statendam. I had read previous reviews talking about the A/C problem and it was still a problem on this Panama Canal cruise where temperatures reached 32C (90F). We were lucky because our cabin was not impacted but others were making sleep difficult at best.
Embarkation fast and efficient. Luggage delivered quickly and we were able to immediately access our stateroom. Veranda suite was relatively spacious with tons of storage space. Well appointed bathroom with jacuzzi bath, flat screen TV, DVD player (free DVD rental with veranda suite). The balcony furniture was old and in need of replacement (not very appealing). As usual service on HAL was exceptional: stateroom attendant fast efficient and attentive to detail. Dining room steward and bar staff beyond reproach. Food was excellent but breakfast food in the Rotterdam dining room was often lukewarm. We opted for the main dining room as we hate to fight over tables at the Lido.
Entertainment was good but "Stryker" was outstanding. Every night in the Mix bar they had to add chairs because there was "standing room" only. Please bring this great man back to future cruises. He is by far my most memorable entertainment moment.
A word to the wise and this is strictly a personal opinion. This cruise made us realize that "we" prefer "port intensive" cruises. Of the 14 days, 7 were sea days (a few too many for my liking but some may prefer this formula).
The Panama Canal crossing was pure fascination with commentary and historical presentations prior to arrival to the canal. Chris who gave all the port and history presentations was exceptional (an encyclopedia of interesting information), enriching each port of call.
Ports of call on this cruise were few and short (1/2 days at best). On the other hand we did travel more than 8000 km in the 14 days so there are choices to make.
HAL once again lived up to our expectations of a great vacation but the Statendam needs some maintenance and some refurbishing done to it to bring it up to the standards of newer ships.
We paid for the laundry and pressing service. Excellent value and service is 120%.