HAL Panama Canal: Statendam Cruise Review by ORCRUISER

Statendam 4
Member Since 2008
385 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

HAL Panama Canal

Sail Date: October 2012
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We booked this cruise only about 10 days before embarkation. The price was right and the itinerary fit our needs. This was our first HAL cruise and in all fairness the Statendam is an older ship and our last two cruises were on Celebrity cruises during their inaugural year.
Our cabin was on deck 4 and near the forward elevators, a very good location. The storage in the cabin was great. The best of any cabin we have had. The bed was fine. This may have been the first cabin we have had without a refrigerator. I did not like the tub/shower. It was a big step in and for a short gal it wasn't ideal. The bathroom didn't have any of the "extras" I was used to such as cotton balls and swabs. The flat screen TV was small, not well located and the remote didn't work well because of the poor placement.
Our first port was Aruba. We took a local tour and enjoyed the island.
The next big thing was our time through the Panama Canal. The ship did a very good job of having a More guide on board giving information all day.
The biggest disappointment of the cruise was our time in Puerto Caldera Costa Rica. The itinerary said 7 am-4 pm. When we got there the all aboard time had been changed to 1:30. We had made arrangements with a private tour and the plan was from 8 am-2:30 pm. Our guide did a great job but could not fit in everything we were supposed to get. Not his fault at all so we, of course, paid him his full fee plus tip. Even those going on ship's excursions reported being rushed and feeling like they did not get what they were promised.
We had three Mexico ports and we had been to two of them before so we just went off the ship for a bit and right back on.
The cruise itself was fine but the ship is a little bit "tired."
The crew was great and I enjoyed several of the activities including a "Book Club" led by the librarian that met four times.
As far as entertainment...my husband especially loved the string quartet but the timing did not work for us so he didn't get to enjoy them as much as he would have liked to.
For the price this cruise was definitely worth going. VERY relaxing. Less

Published 10/30/12

Cabin review: 730

Port and Shore Excursions

Took a $20 per person tour on a bus we saw at the port.
Read 1288 Aruba Reviews

Took the tender into the port. Walked around a bit, used the internet and then went back to the ship.

Took a cab ride ($20) into town. Went to the Cathedral, the Mercado and the Malecon. It was very hot so we went back to the ship by taxi ($7...$10 with tip)

Would have been 5+ except the ship changed its itinerary and left about 2 hours ahead of the advertised time. Took and independent tour that included a river trip. Saw HUGE crocodiles and enjoyed the day.
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Member Since 2008
385 Forum Posts
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