My husband and I along with three other couples set out from San Diego for a long anticipated cruise. We thoroughly enjoyed San Diego. My husband and I and one other couple had sailed with Holland America previously and had been very pleased so we expected the same high quality overall experience.From our research we knew the Statendam was an older and smaller ship.
The positive points of this cruise would be excellent food in all eateries, wonderful service in the dining room. While we had signed on for open dining since we were a table of 8 we ended up with the same waiters and they were top notch. For previous cruisers on Holland America we were treated to a breakfast brunch, wonderful presentation. A complaint about slow service at breakfast one morning was met with a positive response. Service greatly improved the following mornings. We tended to go into the dining room for breakfast. Entertainment was good.
The negative points included missing two stops, first one was Huatulco, due to a medical emergency we had a tender stop at Acapulco and the second one was Chiapis due to strong swells on the ocean. While we fully understood the need to cancel these stops, nothing truly was offered to make up for these misses, a free glass of champagne( nothing at all offered to those who might not appreciate champagne) and a mexican fiesta night where seating was at a premium. The main upset was being in a room where the toilet was very temperamental almost on a daily basis. The uncertainty of not knowing if you could flush your toilet was unsettling. This situation continued for the entire cruise. What truly surprised us was that on the final day the room was being prepared for new cruisers.It seemed to us that this room should have been shut down and properly repaired. One of the other couples in our group had a similar experience. Now to be fair to Holland America they did compensate us financially in the end but we were disappointed in the standard we expected from Holland America.
The transit through the Panama Canal was truly wonderful, the highlight of the cruise. I do think that more seating could be arranged on board during this transit. It was definitely an older crowd cruising so ample seating is always appreciated.
Another complaint would be the lack of seating in the theatre especially if only one show was occurring in an evening. There was standing room only at the disembarcation presentation, obviously a larger theatre is needed or two presentations need to be offered.
While I would still consider sailing once again with Holland America it would not be on the Statendam unless it has had a major overall, desperately needed.