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.
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.