The 4 of us, 2 adults (early forties) and two girls (ages 7 and 10) boarded the Statendam in Seward for a 7 night Alaskan cruise to Vancouver.
This was our first cruise but will certainly not be our last,
Our first 2 nights were spent in hurricane force winds and 50 foot seas. This was a frightening introduction for us to cruising but the Captain was wonderful in terms of keeping us informed as to what was happening. We found the centre of the ship the best place to be and were glad to have one of the lower cabins.
After this ordeal the cruise was magical.
I found the Statendam to be in excellent condition and well appointed.
The food was fantastic in all restaurants. The quality was very high.
The staff were predominantly of Indonesian and Filipino descent. HAL did not apologise for this but rather celebrated it. We found everyone to be incredibly friendly and helpful. It is worth remembering that these people are away from their families for almost a year at a time. Even with this in mind and having to clean up the ship after a hurricane, they were still smiling and cheerful.
We boarded in Seward - beautiful.
First port was Haines. We did the wildlife park which was fantastic and a great chance to see some of the animal we hadn't seen yet.
Next was Juneau. We took a helicopter onto a glacier and were so glad we did.
Ketchikan - The weather Gods were now smiling on us and it was a warm and sunny day. We did a self-guided hike which we loved.
There weren't many kids on the boat but that just meant that ours were treated like royalty. They loved the 2 girls in Club HAL and all the activities that were organised for them.
All of us had a great time and I now scratch my head when I read some negative reviews of this same vessel. I would go again in a heartbeat.