Sunny STATENDAM Sailing: Statendam Cruise Review by LocoLoco1

Statendam 4
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Sunny STATENDAM Sailing

Sail Date: March 2013
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Our 4some had a fine cruise, got tanned and enjoyed 4 weeks away from snow. So what's NOT to like about that you may ask? Well.. often had nearly no time ashore at some Ports-o-Call. That was the only down-side to an otherwise fine time. The STATENDAM, recently out of Drydock, seemed to be ship-shape and had a very nice shiny coat of paint and mostly new carpets throughout. For those who don't know...the STATENDAM is not new, it is 21 years old, but insofar it is sailing as an 'Upper-end' cruiser it didn't disappoint as regards being a clean and pleasant vessel to spend time on to cruise the tropics.
The food and service nevers disappoints us on HAL ships and STATENDAM was no exception.
Our Inside Cabin 412 on Deck #6 was fresh as a daisy and others who I queried said as much for their cabins as well. One bank of the Rear Elevators was out of service however; but we never experienced any mechanical breakdowns that impacted our cruise that I am aware of. Nary an unpleasant More odor or annoying sound came to my attention.....and I snooped while killing time.
The smallish swimming pools were never crowded, perhaps because the clientele never actually got IN the water, but rather most seemed content to snooze and read poolside rather than swim. The open-air Mahogany walkaround Lower Promenade Deck #6 was very popular with the readers and walkers aboard. I can't say enough about Dining Room and Bar/Lounge service. What a cheerful and efficient bunch!!

As I hinted we weren't happy with our Shore Experiences. I will now explain why. In a Nutshell: We had very limited time at most Ports-o-Call. Period. What in the WORLD was HAL thinking?? 6/pm to 1/am in Panama City?? 5 Hours in another Port? Considering the fact that one would be crazy to not be back within 1/2 hr of Departure time coupled with the fact we were docking in countries with limited Infrastructure and traffic issues made for many grumpy cruisers. We'd been thru Central America before as land HAL's lack of Port time didn't make this cruise a bust for us. I and many others often like to strike off on our own and sample the local cuisine and culture or go for a hike to explore the hinterlands. That was almost impossible with the tight timeframe we had at nearly all Ports. Whyso?? Theories abounded. Perhaps the itinerary was overly optimistic on hitting all our Ports with the sailing times between them?? Perhaps the HAL corporate HQ tried to save fuel by not sailing full-steam?? Maybe they want us to commit to only HAL-sponsored shore excursions? Who the heck knows, but a dark peek at Panama from 7/pm to Midnight didn't cut it for I sayed aboard and vented in the Ocean Bar. We noticed the STATENDAM was sometimes loafing along while a sea, which made $$fuel/money$$ saving the favorite conspiracy theory as to why we hardly had time to buy postcards in some countries. Fellow cruisers intimated they noticed small cutbacks in other areas such as 'Enrichment/Crafts' and some Music Venues....things that escaped me personally, but if so, they didn't impact our shipboard experience. Less

Published 04/29/13

Cabin review: K412 Large Interior Stateroom

Our Inside Cabin 412 on Deck #6 was fresh as a daisy. Very good temp. control and very new bathroom made for a most acceptable abode.

Read All Large Interior Stateroom (K) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Antigua, Guatemala is the destination for the vast majority of those going ashore in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala. Our tour into the Guatemalan highlands gave us a great show of a Volcano blew near the roadway near the Spanish Colonial town of ANTIGUA. It was great. Again, I dared not do a independent trek into the jungle account our limited time to be off the STATENDAM.
Read 1191 Antigua Reviews

Atlantis Submarine

Decending 130 ft down in a submarine to view a sunken ship and lots of fish was a great time. Then back to the ship and off we went. No time to hit any of ARUBA's cantinas or beaches this time.

Cabo San Lucas is a sunny strip of beach Resorts and bars. That's it folks.

We caught a Taxi to take in a Hilltop Monestary and Old Town....then off we hustled to the ship. We'd been here before. This stop was far too short.

Panama Canal is not a here's my impression of the Panama Canal. Stupendous! It is always a highlight of cruising for us. The very fact one is gliding thru the green jungle aboard a luxury ship is quite an experience I could never adequately describe. We never got to go ashore on East End of Panama Canal.....period. On PACIFIC end of Canal the excursion was in the dark from about 7/pm to Midnight.

Outdoor Experience

I and 2 others went on a rigorous hike into the Sierra Madre Mts. on the same ranch some ATV'ers went on. I dared not venture off Independently account the limited time ashore. Puerto Vallarta proper is showing it's age as a 'Beach Destination' resort. The new stuff moved North to Nuevo Vallarta. But, Hey!!..there's a Wal-Mart right at the dock. I'm serious.

Poas Volcano

A race to Poas Volcano by Motorcoach for a peek into it's crater sez it all. Then a race back to ship. That was our Costa Rican experience. If we hadn't been to Costa Rica previously as vacationers we would have been ballistic about the meager time in Costa Rica. Nuff said.
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Member Since 2003
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