First time HAL cruiser: Statendam Cruise Review by arlodog

Statendam 5
Member Since 2007
1,367 Forum Posts

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First time HAL cruiser

Sail Date: February 2009
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We left out of FLL after staying pre-cruise at Embassy Suites on 17th street. Fabulous hotel with a great location next to Publix and Total Wine.

We had stops in Aruba,Costa Rica, Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucus along with a full transit of the Panama Canal. We had rough seas the 2nd day and hurricane force winds of 75mph and 25 foot seas around 3am before Huatulco which woke most of the ship with things being tossed around the rooms, but thankfully they calmed and we did not miss any ports.

The ship itself is well maintained and laid out with an atrium in the center. The escalators were not working for the entire cruise and there were some issues with some of the elevators which were promptly fixed. The ship is showing signs of wear and is scheduled for dry dock next year, and will definitely need to be updated by then. Everything is just a little worn, but is kept sparkling clean.

We asked for a fan for our room and we were able to keep it a More comfortable temperature with this assistance. Without it the inside room felt stuffy. Location was perfect since we were on deck 6 where the wrap around deck is. Inside room just steps away from outside like having an aft balcony without the price!

The service from the crew was exceptional. Since it is a smaller ship many of them learned your name and would always greet you with a smile. We had open seating and never waited for more than 5 minutes for a table. We usually ate around 7pm and would sit with any sized table. Never did we make a reservation. We did eat in the Lido a few times for dinner, but missed the interaction with other guests and the service at the dining room so we usually opted for the dining room.

The activities on board were varied, but not what I have experience on Carnival and RCCL. There was a port talk with history and culture before every port which were wonderful. Culinary arts lessons were available and the chefs were amazing. We were able to do a tour of the kitchens and talks with the staff to find out a little about their life and role at sea were available. This cruise had more sea days than I enjoy, but overall it was a great experience. I was one of the younger passengers (I am mid 40's) since it was a 14 day cruise in February, but really enjoyed meeting all of the people. I would suggest if you are looking for wild fun that probably this type of HAL cruise is not for you, but if you are looking for a relaxed experience with a varied older passenger base it would be well worth considering.

Our only real problem was disembarkation when everyone did not report to immigration and we were delayed getting off the ship by 4 hours. This caused multiple flights to be missed and a headache for the crew trying to turn the ship around for the next cruise. We finally were able to leave around noon so if you are planning on flying home the day of your cruise please believe them when they say not to book a flight before noon, or in our case early afternoon! I paid extra money to have my bags express checked so I could tour San Diego before my 2:30 flight, but only got to see the pier area from the ship. Less

Published 03/15/09

Cabin review: K409 Large Interior Stateroom

Great location just steps away from the wrap around deck which was like having our own private aft balcony.

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Port and Shore Excursions

I was really looking forward to this port, but was surprised at how crowded and congested the city was. We were physically grabbed by the cab drivers right at the pier trying to convince you to take their taxis. A real problem that needs to be addressed. The cliff divers are interesting, but be prepared to stay out in the hot sun while you wait for the show unless you watch from the hotel. Overall I am glad I went, but wouldn't go back to this port if I had a choice.
Read 204 Acapulco Reviews

I loved this port and we went whale watching with Pez Gato which was fabulous. Highly recommend this port and this company!
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Member Since 2007
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