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Because my husband and I live in Southern California the 31 day Incan Empires cruise round trip from San Diego appealed to us. This was our 20th cruise with Holland America and first on the Statendam. We drove to San Diego and stayed overnight at the Best Western Yacht Harbor. Through our travel agent we booked a "Cruise Send Off Package" that included the room, shuttle to and from the pier and 14 days of parking. Additional parking days were $5. Parking was in an underground garage. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful. The room, while somewhat dated, was clean, quiet and comfortable. The included breakfast was good. We ate dinner in a restaurant down the street. The appeal of this property was the covered garage for the car during the long cruise. On embarkation day the shuttle drove right onto the pier, our luggage was taken immediately by the longshoremen and we walked right in to the embarkation hall. We had been advised by Holland America that the health form would be more specific due to Ebola concerns, but it was not a problem. We had 4 Star Mariner expedited check in, and were onboard in no time. We dropped our carry-on bags in the room and went to the Lido for lunch. I also filled out the shore excursion paper for shore excursions we had not pre-booked. Ship Internet was dismally slow and a waste of money...20 minutes to send an email. We purchased cellular service for our iPad from ATT and had great service in every port. No service at sea, though we did get service off the coast of Mexico. Our dining choice was Open Seating. We request a table for two, and if we like it we keep it for the duration of the cruise. We had table 120, slightly separated from another table for two in the corner by the aft windows. Our dining stewards Ngakan and his assistant, Ade, were exceptionally competent and kept our dining time to under an hour. As to the cuisine: my husband was not always happy with the choices, I, on the other hand, almost always ordered fish and was very pleased! I love the chilled soups, and overall had no complaints. Most often for dessert we had ice cream, and Ngakan would order it as a "sundae" for us. Twice I tried the gourmet vegetarian entrées and thought they were excellent. I also ordered a wine package. We used room service for breakfast each day, and I have to say it was the best we have had on any ship! The Terrace Grill was a lunch favorite, now transformed into Dive In Burgers and Dogs. It was surprisingly good! Lido lunches were fine as well. Finding a place to sit at lunch around the pool was a challenge, as many passengers took over the tables to play cards. The ship offered the usual activities if you wished to participate: Trivia, Digital Workshop, and deck games. Enrichment lectures were very good and well attended. The shows were varied and some of surprisingly high quality. Rick Barnes, the Cruise Director, was the most dynamic I have ever seen on any ship. I attended a few of his "coffee chats" in the Crows Nest and they were very informative. The captain gave him the opportunity to try different ideas as far as on deck entertainment….all were well received. We enjoyed a King Neptune Ceremony. There was a Catholic Priest on board for daily Mass, as well as a non denominational minister. Jewish services were led by passengers. We had two great Cruise Critic Meet & Greets with ship staff in attendance. Most of our shore excursions were booked through the cruise line. Especially good were Panama: Monkey Watch and Canal Nature Cruise…an opportunity to go through the canal in a speed boat! Also in Panama, there was a City Sightseeing Company offering Hop On Hop Off bus tours. Salaverry, Peru: Archaeological Trujillo, visiting three important archaeological sites, amazing! I took the Tikal, Maya City of Voices excursion and was very pleased. In Lima we used the tour company "Lima Mentor" for two full days of touring. Our guide, Sandra Vargas, was outstanding as was Lucio, the driver. The program Lima Mentor put together for my interests was perfect. I would hesitate to recommend the company, though. Emailed questions were not answered, or I just did not get information I wanted after advance payment. I sent a follow up email to say how exceptional the guide was, and I never got a reply. Shore Ex. offered a shuttle in Salaverry, Peru for $20 round trip; a shuttle to the shopping area at the end of the pier in Manta, Ecuador; a shuttle to shopping at the end of the pier in Puntarenus , Costa Rica…lots of shops there; half and full day trips to the Historical Center of Lima for $29.95 each day, and Lima Shopping Indian Market, 4 hours day 1 for $39.95. There was a Peruvian Handicraft Market & WiFi next to the ship with lots to offer. The ship docks in an industrial area and you must take a shuttle to the main gate. A large shuttle bus and smaller mini vans ran continuously, so getting to the Port Entrance was easy. There were vendors at the gate offering tours as well as taxis. I plan to review our excursions at the HAL website using my cruise critic name. Disembarkation in San Diego was delayed when international passengers failed to show up for customs. When we disembarked (in pouring rain) we decided to take a taxi back to the Best Western Yacht Harbor. Taxis lined up right outside the terminal, and though it appeared chaotic, we were told to line up in several places as cabs pulled up. We were quickly on our way….the cost was about $17 plus tip, and the car started right away! Overall, this was an interesting cruise to very different ports. The Statendam is looking a little worn, but still an elegant lady. I hope I have provided helpful information!  

Sailing to Lima and Back: Incan Empires Cruise

Statendam Cruise Review by Loreto

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: South America
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
Because my husband and I live in Southern California the 31 day Incan Empires cruise round trip from San Diego appealed to us. This was our 20th cruise with Holland America and first on the Statendam.
We drove to San Diego and stayed overnight at the Best Western Yacht Harbor. Through our travel agent we booked a "Cruise Send Off Package" that included the room, shuttle to and from the pier and 14 days of parking. Additional parking days were $5. Parking was in an underground garage. The hotel staff was friendly and helpful. The room, while somewhat dated, was clean, quiet and comfortable. The included breakfast was good. We ate dinner in a restaurant down the street. The appeal of this property was the covered garage for the car during the long cruise. On embarkation day the shuttle drove right onto the pier, our luggage was taken immediately by the longshoremen and we walked right in to the embarkation hall.
We had been advised by Holland America that the health form would be more specific due to Ebola concerns, but it was not a problem. We had 4 Star Mariner expedited check in, and were onboard in no time. We dropped our carry-on bags in the room and went to the Lido for lunch. I also filled out the shore excursion paper for shore excursions we had not pre-booked.
Ship Internet was dismally slow and a waste of money...20 minutes to send an email. We purchased cellular service for our iPad from ATT and had great service in every port. No service at sea, though we did get service off the coast of Mexico.
Our dining choice was Open Seating. We request a table for two, and if we like it we keep it for the duration of the cruise. We had table 120, slightly separated from another table for two in the corner by the aft windows. Our dining stewards Ngakan and his assistant, Ade, were exceptionally competent and kept our dining time to under an hour. As to the cuisine: my husband was not always happy with the choices, I, on the other hand, almost always ordered fish and was very pleased! I love the chilled soups, and overall had no complaints. Most often for dessert we had ice cream, and Ngakan would order it as a "sundae" for us. Twice I tried the gourmet vegetarian entrées and thought they were excellent. I also ordered a wine package. We used room service for breakfast each day, and I have to say it was the best we have had on any ship! The Terrace Grill was a lunch favorite, now transformed into Dive In Burgers and Dogs. It was surprisingly good! Lido lunches were fine as well. Finding a place to sit at lunch around the pool was a challenge, as many passengers took over the tables to play cards.
The ship offered the usual activities if you wished to participate: Trivia, Digital Workshop, and deck games. Enrichment lectures were very good and well attended. The shows were varied and some of surprisingly high quality. Rick Barnes, the Cruise Director, was the most dynamic I have ever seen on any ship. I attended a few of his "coffee chats" in the Crows Nest and they were very informative. The captain gave him the opportunity to try different ideas as far as on deck entertainment….all were well received. We enjoyed a King Neptune Ceremony. There was a Catholic Priest on board for daily Mass, as well as a non denominational minister. Jewish services were led by passengers. We had two great Cruise Critic Meet & Greets with ship staff in attendance.
Most of our shore excursions were booked through the cruise line. Especially good were Panama: Monkey Watch and Canal Nature Cruise…an opportunity to go through the canal in a speed boat! Also in Panama, there was a City Sightseeing Company offering Hop On Hop Off bus tours. Salaverry, Peru: Archaeological Trujillo, visiting three important archaeological sites, amazing! I took the Tikal, Maya City of Voices excursion and was very pleased. In Lima we used the tour company "Lima Mentor" for two full days of touring. Our guide, Sandra Vargas, was outstanding as was Lucio, the driver. The program Lima Mentor put together for my interests was perfect. I would hesitate to recommend the company, though. Emailed questions were not answered, or I just did not get information I wanted after advance payment. I sent a follow up email to say how exceptional the guide was, and I never got a reply. Shore Ex. offered a shuttle in Salaverry, Peru for $20 round trip; a shuttle to the shopping area at the end of the pier in Manta, Ecuador; a shuttle to shopping at the end of the pier in Puntarenus , Costa Rica…lots of shops there; half and full day trips to the Historical Center of Lima for $29.95 each day, and Lima Shopping Indian Market, 4 hours day 1 for $39.95. There was a Peruvian Handicraft Market & WiFi next to the ship with lots to offer. The ship docks in an industrial area and you must take a shuttle to the main gate. A large shuttle bus and smaller mini vans ran continuously, so getting to the Port Entrance was easy. There were vendors at the gate offering tours as well as taxis. I plan to review our excursions at the HAL website using my cruise critic name.
Disembarkation in San Diego was delayed when international passengers failed to show up for customs. When we disembarked (in pouring rain) we decided to take a taxi back to the Best Western Yacht Harbor. Taxis lined up right outside the terminal, and though it appeared chaotic, we were told to line up in several places as cabs pulled up. We were quickly on our way….the cost was about $17 plus tip, and the car started right away!
Overall, this was an interesting cruise to very different ports. The Statendam is looking a little worn, but still an elegant lady. I hope I have provided helpful information!
 
Loreto’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin A 174
The location was great and stewards Marco and assistant Bagus were outstanding. Marco brought a lounger for our verandah (there were just two chairs and a small table initially) and put a top sheet on the bed. The bed had a fitted sheet and duvet….too hot for comfortable sleeping. The room was quiet and we had no smokers on either side of the verandah. The air-conditioning was adequate but could have been better. Storage was plentiful. A state of the art laundry room was down the hall. Laundry packages were available. We had complimentary laundry which was a great help. Our steward would pick it up in the evening and delivered it the next morning. I did use the laundry room to press a few things. The plug for the hairdryer was under the desk and difficult to access. The room had a long sofa, chair, adjustable table, minibar, shelves with additional liquor, water bottles and glassware. There was also a flat screen TV. We brought a power strip as outlets are minimal. The bathroom had two shelves for items and a shelf under the sink. There was also a whirlpool bathtub. We unfortunately experienced major problems with our bathroom and I found the Front Office Staff not very responsive. This was the only flaw in the cruise.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins