• Large or Standard Interior Staterooms

  • Cabin Amenities Overview

  • In-Room Dining Overview

  • Drinks Overview

  • Lounge and Public Spaces

  • Neptune Lounge

  • Explorer’s Lounge

  • Greenhouse Spa and Salon, Gym

  • Sports Deck

  • Signature Shops

  • Club HAL, The Loft and The Oasis

  • Digital Workshop

  • Wajang Theater and Culinary Arts Center

  • Hudson Room and Half Moon Room

  • Photo Gallery

  • Art Gallery

  • Atrium and Front Office

  • The Showroom at Sea

  • Wajang Theater and Culinary Arts Center

  • Explorer’s Lounge

  • Lido Pool and Lido Bar

  • SeaView Pool and SeaView Bar

  • Sports Deck

  • Lido Pool and Lido Bar

  • SeaView Pool and SeaView Bar

  • Outdoor Walkaround

  • Sky Deck

  • General Health and Safety

  • Overview

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  • Overview

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There are five main cabin types on Statendam—Interior, Ocean-view, Verandah Suites, Deluxe Verandah Suites, and a Penthouse Verandah Suite is located just behind the bridge on Deck 10. Compared to newer cruise ships it’s not a broad range of choices, although there are price variations within each category, mostly based on location and/or view.

Less than a quarter of the cabins on Statendam have balconies—all of them located on decks 9 and 10—and they command a premium. Conversely, almost 60 percent of the cabins are Ocean-view, and these can be affordable—this is what we signed up for. Interior units can be as small as 141 square feet, which we consider pretty snug, but the variety of sizes within each cabin type is enough to make the deck plans worth perusing carefully (thankfully, most cabins have more elbow-room).

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Ah yes, an ocean view—that is, an ocean viewed just beyond the parade of passengers.


We opted for a cabin on Deck 6, also known as the Lower Promenade Deck, and we found the interior to be pleasing. Holland America says this cabin offers a “full ocean view.” However, right outside our window was the broad promenade deck, lined with deck chairs. The view would be more accurately described as a promenade view, or at least as partially obstructed, and we felt that some warning about the window’s lack of full opacity was in order—at night, privacy was not absolute.

Our bed was a plush Sealy Posturpedic mattress, or rather—two mattresses joined together. The seam was not too noticeable, covered by a pillowtop. The TV was a little further than we like for viewing from bed. An overhead fluorescent blub ran parallel with the window above our head, and there were also pillow-level reading lights for each side of the bed—not bright, but still useful. On either side of the bed were small nightstands with drawers, plus a phone.

While not large, our bathroom featured an extra that is uncommon in standard cabins on most major cruise lines—a bathtub. The tub was 45 inches long and 16 inches deep, adequate for proper bath. The showerhead was Grohe model with an adjustable spray. Wall-mounted pump dispensers provided good-quality Elemis body soap, shampoo and conditioner. There was a retractable laundry line in the shower for our wet bathing suits. A bit more storage space for travel kits would have been appreciated.

A sign advised us to protect the environment: “Towels left on the rack will be considered clean. Towels on the floor will be washed.” Our towel was replaced only when we left it on the floor once, just as we wanted.

Our tub was slow to drain while showering the first couple days. When we alerted our attendant to the issue a plumber arrived to the room less than an hour later to fix it.

An illuminated makeup mirror and hair dryer were found at the desk in the bedroom.

Lighting for the cabin was sufficient, with two main overhead systems, plus reading lights by the bed. In the center of the cabin, on either side, was a narrow desk built into the wall and a small sofa with a coffee table; the table height could be adjusted, but it wasn’t large enough for two meals.

Above the desk was an older-model LG 20-inch flat screen TV. The screen was about 11 feet from the bed pillows—a bit of a distance for such a modestly sized picture—and because the TV did not pivot it was at an angle when viewing from the couch

Under the TV and desk were three drawers, each about 21 inches wide, one of which contained a hair dryer that could be plugged in at the desk. There were two outlets at the desk, one 115-volt, one 220-volt, but no others in the room.

The closet space was sufficient and a feature we liked was that some of the shelves could be folded up, allowing space to store luggage upright or additional garments on hangers. In addition to a small (very small) safe, there was a wicker basket where we could leave our shoes for shining—another extra on Holland America. There was a curtain that could be drawn separating the small closet/hallway area from the sleeping area—this might have been useful if we were coordinating breakfast for someone in bed, or to provide dressing privacy for a non-couple that might be sharing the room.

One thing our cabin did not have: Although there were cans of soda on the desk (for purchase), there was no fridge in our room, which we would have appreciated. There was an ice bucket refilled twice daily by our cabin attendant.
We did not stay in the rest of these cabins, but we have summaries here provided by Holland America Line. Note that any photos on this page may be provided directly by the cruise line and not our reviewer.


Large or Standard Interior Staterooms

2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, shower. Approximately 141–226 sq. ft.

Stateroom amenities include:
* Luxurious beds featuring Sealy® Premium Euro-Top mattresses and finely woven cotton linens
* Deluxe waffle weave and terry cloth bathrobes for use during your voyage
* 100% Egyptian cotton towels
* Premium massage showerheads
* 5X magnifying make-up mirrors and salon-quality hair dryers
* Fragrant soaps, lotions, shampoo and other bath amenities from Elemis Aromapure
* Complimentary fresh fruit on request
* Elegant ice bucket and serving tray for in-stateroom beverages
* Flat-panel TV and DVD player
* Ice service, shoeshine service and nightly turndown service


2 lower beds convertible to 1 queen-size bed, whirlpool bath & shower, sitting area, private verandah, mini-bar, refrigerator, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Approximately 283 sq. ft. including verandah.

* Include all the stateroom amenities, plus:
* A variety of firm, medium and soft pillows
* No-host mini-bar for easy entertaining
* Personalized cruise stationery
* Oversized bath towels
* One-touch telephone concierge service
* Fresh flowers
* Complimentary DVD library


2 lower beds convertible to 1 king-size bed, whirlpool bath & shower, large sitting area, dressing room, private verandah, 1 sofa bed for 2 persons, mini-bar, refrigerator, floor-to-ceiling windows. Approximately 575 sq. ft. including verandah.

Suite amenities include:
* Complimentary laundry, pressing and dry cleaning throughout your cruise
* Premium duvet, oversize bath towels and soft, cotton bathrobes and slippers
* Gorgeous corsages and boutonnieres for the first formal night
* Hors d'oeuvres served before dinner each evening on request
* Binoculars and umbrellas for your use on the cruise
* Cocktail party with ship officers
* Priority boarding for tender ports of call
* Special disembarkation service
* Priority dining and seating requests
* Exclusive daily breakfast service for suite guests only
* High tea service in suite on request
* A special Suite guest lunch event on cruises over 7 days in length
* Neptune Lounge: A very special amenity exclusively for guests cruising in a Deluxe
* Verandah Suite or Penthouse Verandah Suite.


Bedroom with 1 king-size bed, oversize whirlpool bath & shower, living room, dining room, dressing room, private verandah, pantry, 1 sofa bed for 2 persons, mini-bar, refrigerator, guest toilet, floor-to-ceiling windows. Approximately 1,273 sq. ft. including verandah. 
Includes all the suite amenities.


There were several nice extras not common on most cruise ships, including DVD player and library, a fruit basket, and a bathtub in most cabins.

Cabin Amenities Overview

Complimentary DVDs loaned to guests is a perk not common on most ships. Nearly 1000 titles ranged from The Wizard of Oz and All About Eve to year-old releases. There was a good collection of offbeat releases, such as Best of Show and the original Girl Who Played With Fire, and a few documentaries and quality TV series (Prime Suspect, Mad Men) were in the bunch as well. The DVDs are available by calling the front desk, and treats can be delivered with the flick—popcorn (free), candies, chips and snacks ($1).

An empty fruit basket was available to be stocked as needed. There was also shoe service, and when we called for an attendant to shine our shoes they were returned less than an hour later.

There was a good array of breakfast options, along with lighter meals through the rest of the day.


In-Room Dining Overview

There are three room service dining menus on Statendam. The 24-hour menu included such basic fare as smoked salmon, mixed green salad, club sandwich, hamburger, omelet, cheese plate, fruit plate and desserts; there were also a few “time-tested” seasickness remedies, including beef broth, boiled chicken breast, and green apples and crackers. An expanded menu is available from 12 noon to 10 p.m. and featured soups, salads, sandwiches, and a couple entrées (seared salmon and penne primavera).

Breakfast was ordered by choosing delivery time, in 30-minute blocks between 6 and 10 a.m., with a door tag, hung outside our cabin door by 2 a.m. the night before. The selection included cold and hot choices: juice, fruit, yogurt with bread and preserves, packaged cold cereals, eggs any style (eggbeaters available), omelets and ham sausage or bacon.

We requested our breakfast order be delivered between 6 and 6:30 a.m.; the knock on the door came at 6:34 a.m. When we ordered lunch we were asked to allow 25 to 30 minutes for delivery; our order arrived 26 minutes later.

Our cabin had room for one person to eat at the desk or two could attempt to share the coffee table.

Breakfast was delivered on a tray with a metal lid over the plate of eggs and bacon. The English muffin was folded into a napkin in a basket, coffee was in a metal carafe accompanied by a pitcher of milk, sealed with plastic. The glass of juice had a paper lid and there was a plate with butter, salt, pepper, sugar (and substitutes) and marmalade in packets. Lunch was similarly delivered on a single tray, with the plate for the sandwich warm.

The English muffin was toasted, but did not arrive hot enough to melt the butter. But the coffee and plate of eggs, bacon and hash browns was hot, helped by a heated heavy metal plate that sat under the ceramic plate—smart plan. Grapefruit juice arrived at room temperature. A card on the plate suggested we call room service to have the tray picked up; we called and the tray was picked up less than an hour later.

At lunch we ordered the grilled tuna melt on rye. The menu said it would come with Swiss cheese, but ours was with a very mild cheddar. Still, the dish was satisfying, though the tuna salad was heavy on the mayo. We also ordered the mixed garden green salad, which was to include tomato, cucumber alfalfa sprouts and blue cheese crumbles; the latter two items were not part of our salad, but a spring of enoki mushrooms was a cheerful substitute, and the greens were crisp and flavorful.

Although our cabin lacked a fridge, we had a minibar that included two cans each of Coke, Sprite and Diet Coke ($1.95 each) and 1-liter bottles of Crystal Geyser and Nativa water ($2.95). The in-room dining menu availed other options, including six-packs of domestic or imported beers ($21-$23), wine packages (starting at $89-$118 for three bottles) and liquor and mixer packages, including a gin and tonic package (one bottle of Beefeater gin and three cans of tonic water), Cutty Sark Scotch and soda, Smirnoff or Stolichnaya vodka and tonic, Jim Beam bourbon and coke, and Bacardi white rum and coke; these were priced $30 to $34 each.
From basic pool grill and well-stocked buffet to an elegant specialty restaurant, we had a variety of meal options aboard Statendam.


Cuisine is a big selling point for Holland America, and although what we experienced on Statendam was better than average for the industry, it could have been a little more consistent. The menu for the main dining room—which changes nightly—is reasonably ambitious, and features a couple appetizer and entrée selections each evening from Holland America’s “Culinary Council,” a quintet of renowned chefs. The ship’s buffet option, the Lido Restaurant, did a surprisingly decent job.

There’s one surcharge restaurant, Pinnacle Grill, and although it wasn’t firing on all burners the night we were there, we still think it merits a visit for what is a not-unreasonable add-on.

Just prior to our cruise Holland America introduced a vegetarian menu for the main dining rooms on its ships. We were intrigued and asked about it on our last night at the Rotterdam Dining Room, but we were disappointed to be told that our selections needed to be made the day prior. Ordering that far in advance seemed to be an inconvenience for vegetarians, but we’ll try this menu on a future cruise with Holland America.

Set seating times for the main dining room were 5:45 and 8 p.m. but passengers may opt for open seating, available between 5:15 and 9:30 p.m.

Editor's Note: After our cruise on Statendam, Holland America Line began charging $10 to dine at Canaletto. The menu was also revised, but otherwise the venue has not changed. We’ll have a review of the new Canaletto experience on a future ship soon.

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There were plenty of drinks to go around, and several venues to enjoy them in.


Drinks Overview

Statendam had seven bars serving at various hours. By day, the busiest spot was the Lido Bar, facing the central pool area. In the evening, the action shifted, with the Crow’s Nest, Ocean Bar and MIX perking up at various times. A 15 percent service charge was added to all drink orders.
The beer list at most of the ship’s bars was short and unimaginative: the usual domestics were available for $4.75, with Corona, Amstel Light, Heineken, Beck’s and Stella Artois for $5.25; Grolsch was offered for $5.95. But MIX had an expended selection of beers, plus a few on draught. Still, Statendam’s list of suds could use some attention.

Wines available by the glass started at $5 for Santa Carolina chardonnay and ranged up to $11 for Labouré roi Pouilly Fuissé on the white side; in between was Chateau Ste. Michelle riesling, Nobilo sauvignon blanc, Rosemount Estate chardonnay. The red wine list included Batasiolo Barbara d’Asti ($7), Meridian pinot noir ($7.50), Wolf Blass cabernet sauvignon ($9) and Les Closiers Châteauneuf-du-Pape ($12). Champagnes included Domaine Chandon Brut ($9.50), Nicolas Feuillatte Epernay Brut ($12) and Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label Brut ($14.50).

Wines by the bottle included a good representation from the Pacific Northwest, where Holland America is based.
The ship’s standard bar menu included mojito, margarita, daiquiris, etc.—all of which could be made with the classic recipe or with mango, strawberry, or banana. Cosmopolitans could be made “Sex in the City” style, or with grapefruit, candy apple or apricot liqueurs. Most other signature cocktails had their own twist—the Royal Manhattan used bourbon, red vermouth and a dash of angostura bitters—but there was a Vintage Collection page that handled the classics without embellishments. All of the above were priced $6.95.

There was a cocktail of the day, offered at most of the ship’s bars—Tuscan Lemon Drop the first day, Red Stag Derby, etc. These were priced $1 less ($5.95), which we took advantage of in an effort to expand our drink repertoire.

Drinks were made with the ship’s house spirits—but call spirits were available for .50 cents extra and “premium spirits” were $1 more. By themselves, call spirits were available for $5.75 and up. The bar MIX used premium spirits, and the cocktails were priced higher.
Wine Navigator packages offered three bottles of wine ranging $89-$118 (depending on whether the premium selection was chosen); five bottles were $149-$199 and seven bottles were $199-$269.

Several packages were available for cabin consumption only. These included a gin and tonic package (one bottle of Beefeater gin and three cans of tonic water), Cutty Sark Scotch and soda, Smirnoff or Stolichnaya vodka and tonic, Jim Beam bourbon and coke, and Bacardi white rum and coke; these were priced $30 to $34 each. There were also beer packages: A six-pack of domestic beers was $21 and imported was $23.

Pre-paid beverage cards could be purchased in $50, $100 and $250 increments. The $50 soda card availed a discount of 50 percent off all sodas; the $100 and $250 cards discounted alcoholic drinks by 5 and 10 percent respectively.
Mocktails were available at most of the ship’s bars, and included Frozen Peach Margarita, Melon Mint No’jito and Cool as a Cucumber; these were priced $4.25. Soft drinks were priced $1.95, while juices by the glass were complimentary at the Lido Restaurant for breakfast, including delicious freshly squeezed OJ (the rest of the day juices were prices $2.75 at the bars).
There was a token array of activities, but the gym was well equipped.


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We didn’t find a climbing wall or even mini golf on Statendam, but there was a decent set of options to keep us from getting too sedentary. On the Sports Deck (deck 12) there were shuffleboard courts, a basketball court and a tennis court (equipment was at the ready). Table tennis was available next to the Lido Pool.

Though walking on Deck 6—the promenade deck wrapping the ship—was encouraged, jogging this route was not. Joggers needed to focus their jaunts on Deck 12 (which was not much of a route) or use the treadmills in the gym.
Classical string quartet and soothing jazz created an inviting ambience each evening.


Lounge and Public Spaces

Statendam’s lounges are concentrated on Deck 8, also home to the ship’s casino, shops and café. The bar MIX was a tasty addition made during the ship’s 2010 makeover—it’s actually three bars in one, though the ambience definitely overlaps from one to the next. Also on this deck was the Ocean Bar, where we found lovely live jazz each evening, and the Explorer’s Lounge, where an excellent string quartet (the Adagio Strings) offered an adventurous set each evening against a backdrop of coffee and cognac. The other venue of note is the Crow’s Nest, a perch above the bridge—this was the ship’s de facto disco, but we found the energy level a bit tone deaf.

Neptune Lounge

Reserved for guests booked into Deluxe Verandah Suites, this is a private lounge tended by a concierge most hours. Nibbles are available throughout the day, along with worktables, an oversize TV, sofas, and computer stations where WiFi is offered at a reduced rate.

Explorer’s Lounge

This lounge, located along a central traffic corridor on Deck 8, was a quiet hangout during the day when it was not staffed. It was also used for some gatherings, such as Bible Study and Friends of Bill W.

In the evening, classical music filled the room, played by a very good string quartet, the Adagio Strings. The set list ventured beyond the traditional standards and the casual ambience was stoked by an informal bar setup that featured coffee drinks, cognac, port, cheese and crackers.

As with many of the spas as sea, Statendam’s is managed by Steiner Leisure, a professional outfit that oversees spa facilities on a majority of cruise ships. The Greenhouse Spa is an appealing facility located on Deck 11 forward and a variety of cosseting treatments are available.

Alas, although Steiner Leisure’s pricing is fairly consistent from ship to ship, their rates are somewhat higher than we find at most quality resorts. Prices were discounted on port days, and other specials became available as the cruise went on, particularly for those booking multiple appointments.

Rates ranged from $119 for a 50-minute Reflexology or Swedish massage to $199 for a 75-minute bamboo massage. The 50-minute couples massage was $269. Facials started at $119 for the 50-minute LaTherapie Hydralift Facial. Manicure and pedicure services started at $45 and $65 respectively. The men’s salon package was $89 and included a cut and style, mini-facial and frangipani scalp massage. The menu of services also included waxing, tooth whitening and acupuncture.

There is also the Greenhouse Retreat, a small, shared facility within the spa featuring dry heat, steam and aromatherapy chambers, heated ceramic loungers and a body temperature mineral pool. A seven-day pass to use the Thermal Suite was $99, a fee that seemed excessive to us (but not to some who signed up for this bit of semi-exclusivity).

A 15-percent gratuity was automatically added to the bill for all treatments.

Active pursuits were pretty basic, but the ship’s gym was kitted out with up-to-date equipment.


Greenhouse Spa and Salon, Gym

As with many of the spas as sea, Statendam’s is managed by Steiner Leisure, a professional outfit that oversees spa facilities on a majority of cruise ships. The Greenhouse Spa is an appealing facility located on Deck 11 forward and a variety of cosseting treatments are available.

Alas, although Steiner Leisure’s pricing is fairly consistent from ship to ship, their rates are somewhat higher than we find at most quality resorts. Prices were discounted on port days, and other specials became available as the cruise went on, particularly for those booking multiple appointments.

Rates ranged from $119 for a 50-minute Reflexology or Swedish massage to $199 for a 75-minute bamboo massage. The 50-minute couples massage was $269. Facials started at $119 for the 50-minute LaTherapie Hydralift Facial. Manicure and pedicure services started at $45 and $65 respectively. The men’s salon package was $89 and included a cut and style, mini-facial and frangipani scalp massage. The menu of services also included waxing, tooth whitening and acupuncture.

There is also the Greenhouse Retreat, a small, shared facility within the spa featuring dry heat, steam and aromatherapy chambers, heated ceramic loungers and a body temperature mineral pool. A seven-day pass to use the Thermal Suite was $99, a fee that seemed excessive to us (but not to some who signed up for this bit of semi-exclusivity).

A 15-percent gratuity was automatically added to the bill for all treatments.

Sports and Fitness

Overlooking the forward panorama, Statendam’s gym is accessed through the entrance to the spa. It was a well-maintained facility and much of the equipment appeared to be the most current models from LifeFitness. Although not large, the gym was not generally crowded, though we waited somewhat for bike during one busy period. The gym was way too warm when late afternoon sun came through, meaning we worked up quite a sweat. Fortunately, cold towels were available in a fridge.

Fitness classes were offered, though some required an additional fee. Tai chi (twice daily), abs conditioning and stretching exercises were complimentary, announced in the daily Explorer newsletter; yoga, pilates and spinning classes were $12 per session.

Sports Deck

This deck extends the length of the ship and provides the bulk of the sports activities (other than the gym): a basketball court, tennis court and shuffleboard court. On our cruise this deck didn’t see a lot of action, but it was a good place for sunning.

Sports and Fitness

A couple basketball games were organized by the crew during our cruise.

We didn’t find much here that diverged from the usual, and the marketing push was excessive.


Signature Shops

A series of shops ran along Deck 8 offering a fairly predictable selection of merchandise.

Retail

Cruise apparel themed to our destination was available, along with Holland America logo merchandize such as T-shirts, caps, beach towels, mugs and Statendam ship models. There was jewelry, watches, fragrances, skin care products and binoculars. Sundries including candy, chips, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine napkins, disposable lighters and razors. Duty free cigarettes and liquor were also available.

There was a decent kids program and varied enrichment opportunities for adults.


Club HAL, The Loft and The Oasis

Holland America’s kids program, which goes under the name Club HAL, has dedicated venues on Deck 12. This Youth Center is divided by age group—one for age 3-7 stocked with board games and a spilled-paint theme; another is for tweens age 8-12 and has a Foosball table and video games. An unsupervised room with Xbox and Wii games was available, but equipment could not be removed from the Youth Center. There’s also a teen venue called The Loft, with a DJ booth, stage and couches for hanging out; the almost-black walls screamed “hideout.”

Just above The Loft, accessed by hidden stairway, is a teens-only outdoor space called The Oasis, which is decked out for a volcano-themed pool party with a splash pool and waterfall, faux palm trees and sun loungers. However, with no teens on our cruise, there wasn’t much going on here. In fact, the waterfall wasn’t operating and we never saw anyone using the space, except for a few adults looking for a quiet place to read.

The basketball and tennis courts are located right outside Club HAL and The Loft.

Digital Workshop

Classes in Microsoft programs were taught using a fleet of Sony laptops, each equipped with a mouse. Subjects are mostly at beginner level, but covered a good array of topics, and some more-advanced subjects were tackled. This room was locked when not being used for classes.

Wajang Theater and Culinary Arts Center

This busy venue holds Statendam’s Culinary Arts Center, a show kitchen used for cooking demonstrations that were scheduled several times daily. On our cruise there were opportunities to learn how to make crêpes Suzettes, cioppino, bananas foster, paella and sangria.

Hudson Room and Half Moon Room

Two side-by-side meeting rooms were available for groups, and they were also used for various events during our cruise. Half Moon hosted Morning Mass; the Hudson Room was used for origami demonstrations, journal crafting, and beginner and intermediate Bridge instruction as well as non-hosted Bridge sessions.

A staff of photographers was on hand to capture guests on the ship. These included informal snaps in front of designated backdrops, as well as more formal portrait sessions. The shots were assembled each day and showcased here for us to buy (informal 8×10s were $19.95; portraits were $39.95).

Statendam’s gallery of art pieces for sale is located opposite the Front Office on Deck 7, with additional pieces hanging on the walls extending down the corridor past the Wajang Theater. With sales managed by Park West Gallery, there were art auctions almost daily, held in the Ocean Bar.

Atrium and Front Office

The three-story central atrium is dominated by a metal sculpture, “Fountain of the Sirens,” rising from Deck 6. No water flows through the fountain, but this is the central axis of the ship, through which passengers pass many times. The open area on Deck 6 was used for informal card and other games. On Deck 7 were the side-by-side Front Office and Shore Excursions desks.

There were talented performers on board Statendam, but some of the routines were quite dated.


The Showroom at Sea

The ship’s main showroom was a very attractive space, with balcony seating in wavy rows. But there were a couple problems we had. The balcony seating was firm and the back only came up a few inches, making it uncomfortable for any extended period; much of the balcony seating did not have clear sightlines to the stage. Further, the sound system—which wasn’t great for the whole venue—was especially poor in the balcony.

Downstairs seating was better, but sightlines were still poor from the rear seats.

Shows and Performances

Though they featured a quartet of good singers we didn’t care much for the two shows we saw here. One was a Vegas-style lounge act that paid tribute to Dino, Sammy, et al, the other was a tribute to Broadway with costumes by Bob Mackie—neither had much appeal to anyone under 50 or 60 years of age. The audio leaned very heavily on reverb effects and the backing band was mostly synthesized sound. It made us feel like we’d been transported to the cheesier days of the 1970s.

This space was also used for screening a movie on one night—presentation quality was decent, and much better than in the Wajang Theater (the usual screening room).

Wajang Theater and Culinary Arts Center

This busy venue holds Statendam’s Culinary Arts Center, a show kitchen used for cooking demonstrations that were scheduled several times daily. On our cruise there were opportunities to learn how to make crêpes Suzettes, cioppino, bananas foster, paella and sangria.

Shows and Performances

The Wajang Theater is also the ship’s rudimentary screening room, and a different film was shown daily (one midday show and two in the evening). Unfortunately, the screen size is too small for the number of seats, but the sound system was decent.

Explorer’s Lounge

This lounge, located along a central traffic corridor on Deck 8, was a quiet hangout during the day when it was not staffed. It was also used for some gatherings, such as Bible Study and Friends of Bill W.

In the evening, classical music filled the room, played by a very good string quartet, the Adagio Strings. The set list ventured beyond the traditional standards and the casual ambience was stoked by an informal bar setup that featured coffee drinks, cognac, port, cheese and crackers.

The venues were attractive but the stage shows were musty.


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Located on Deck 8 at mid-ship, Statendam’s casino is a modest facility, but probably sufficient for a ship of this size. In addition to several dozen slot machines there were tables games, including Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Roulette and Craps. To play slots, players could load cash onto their room key card.

Gaming lessons were held on the first day of the cruise, with Texas Hold’em tournaments scheduled at other points.

The casino is designated as non-smoking, but that term is in conflict with the reality—most slot machines and tables have a sign that says “smoking allowed while gambling,” but cigarette smoke wanders where it will, including a few feet over to the non-smoking slots and tables. That said, overall the facility was usually not too smoky (we actually found the smell sometimes worse just beyond the casino, where stale smoke lingered in a stairwell).

The bar MIX was adjacent to the casino.

Two pools—one below a retractable roof—and good deck space gave us what we needed for outdoor diversions.


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There were two pools to use, including one with a retractable roof—great for days when the weather didn’t cooperate.


Lido Pool and Lido Bar

By day, this is the hub of the action on Statendam, the central pool area with the ship’s two hot tubs at one end. Loungers flanked the pool, along with tables for dining. A retractable roof was open when the weather invited, but was closed when the air cooled.

There was a bandstand that provided a stage to a group at midday—they weren’t announced in the daily ship newsletter. Although talented, we found the bass to be way over-amped, and the overall volume was loud enough to prevent any conversation from taking place around the pool when they were playing.

SeaView Pool and SeaView Bar

This large open area had a decent sized pool and sun deck. There were showers available for rinsing off, and blankets for when the air was nippy. On sunny days this pool got busy, but most people stuck to the protected Lido Pool at mid-ship. Smoking was allowed on the starboard side of the deck.

Stairs lead down to a small aft portion of Deck 9—a more secluded area for catching the rays.

For a smaller ship, there was a surfeit of open decks for us to enjoy, and they were never crowded.


Sports Deck

This deck extends the length of the ship and provides the bulk of the sports activities (other than the gym): a basketball court, tennis court and shuffleboard court. On our cruise this deck didn’t see a lot of action, but it was a good place for sunning.

Lido Pool and Lido Bar

By day, this is the hub of the action on Statendam, the central pool area with the ship’s two hot tubs at one end. Loungers flanked the pool, along with tables for dining. A retractable roof was open when the weather invited, but was closed when the air cooled.

There was a bandstand that provided a stage to a group at midday—they weren’t announced in the daily ship newsletter. Although talented, we found the bass to be way over-amped, and the overall volume was loud enough to prevent any conversation from taking place around the pool when they were playing.

SeaView Pool and SeaView Bar

This large open area had a decent sized pool and sun deck. There were showers available for rinsing off, and blankets for when the air was nippy. On sunny days this pool got busy, but most people stuck to the protected Lido Pool at mid-ship. Smoking was allowed on the starboard side of the deck.

Stairs lead down to a small aft portion of Deck 9—a more secluded area for catching the rays.

Outdoor Walkaround

The promenade deck wraps Deck 6, and loungers are offered for taking in the sun and sea air. Jogging is not allowed on this deck, but walkers are common—four laps equals a mile.

This was also where the Muster Drill took place, beneath the lifeboats.

Sky Deck

Located above the Crow’s Nest, this is the highest public area of the ship. Loungers are stationed here, but this breezy deck got little traffic on our cruise.

Although there were occasional communication issues the crew was eager to please.


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The ship’s daily newsletter, Explorer, appeared at our cabin each evening. The layout and detail was appealing and easy to read.
Statendam had 10 decks for us to explore.


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Service was upbeat, and sometimes refined.


Almost all of the ship’s crew is Philippine and Indonesian, the latter adding a welcome connection to Holland’s colonial history. Service was always friendly, though there were some communication issues with a few staff-members.

We appreciated that there was a basket we could leave our shoes in, to be shined—they were returned to us in under an hour.
A gratuity of $11.50 per day, per guest was charged to our shipboard account (the gratuity is $12 per day for those staying in suites). The gratuity is shared by room stewards and waiters. Additionally, a 15-percent gratuity was automatically added to all bar charges and to wine purchases in dining rooms.
By day, the dress on Statendam is relaxed and casual. Holland America asks that shoes and a cover-up be worn over a bathing suit when passing through public areas inside the ship.

On a typical seven-night cruise there are two formal nights scheduled, with tuxedos, dark suit or jacket and tie required for men, and suit, gown or cocktail dress for women. The rest of the cruise was defined as smart casual—slacks and collared shirts for men, casual dresses, slacks or informal evening wear for women. T-shirts, shorts, etc. were not allowed in public areas after dark.

The drinking age on our cruise was 21. Holland America allows guests to bring wine on board for private consumption; a corkage fee of $18 is applied to the bill for personal wine bottles opened in restaurants or bars. Hard liquor brought on board is stored and delivered to cabins the night before disembarkation.

Guests are automatically enrolled in Mariner Society membership after their first cruise with Holland America. Each day earns Cruise Day Credits which can be accumulated; services purchased on-board—such as spa treatments, dining at specialty restaurants and taking shore excursions—also count. The credits can be used towards a gourmet dinner, massage, shore excursions, etc. on future cruses. The more cruise day credits cruisers accumulate, the higher their “star” level. After 30 cruise days one attains 2-Star Mariner status; 75 days equals 3-Star Marine.; and the highest level—Four-Star Mariner—is attained after 200 cruise days.

Other perks of the Mariner Society, depending on star level, include a 10-15 percent discount on Holland America’s merchandize, a 50-percent discount on cruise fares for the third or fourth guests sharing your stateroom on certain sailings, waiver of air deviation fees; priority disembarkation, tender and check in, etc.

These areas seemed well under control during our cruise.


General Health and Safety

Sanitation was well tended to, and on the first afternoon of our cruise, servers handled plates for us in the buffet (to minimize contamination).

The Muster Drill was efficiently performed just before sail-away.
A medical clinic is located on Deck 4 forward. Hours were 8 a.m. to 12 noon, and 2 to 6 p.m. daily. There is a physician available for more serious issues; consultations are charged to the on-board account.
Smoking is not permitted in guestrooms or inside the ship “with the exception of certain designated areas.” Smoking is permitted on the starboard sides of the Outdoor Walkaround and the SeaView Pool deck, and the port side of the Crow’s Nest bar, as well as on stateroom balconies.

A sign in the casino said that the casino was a non-smoking area but that “smoking is permitted at designated slots and tables while playing only.” Smoking and non-smoking slot machines and tables were located within a few feet of each other.
By and large, we enjoyed our voyage aboard Statendam, a ship that caters nicely to both experienced cruisers and first-timers alike.

By today’s standards the Statendam is modestly sized, even compared to most of Holland America’s vessels, carrying just 1258 passengers (at double occupancy). It’s also an older ship, launched in 1993. In fact, within Holland America’s family, only Prinsendam is smaller and older. A renovation in 2010 brought Statendam in line with the rest of the fleet, décor-wise, revitalizing the showroom, adding new lounges, and spiffing up cabin bathrooms. For the most part, the ship doesn’t feel dated.

The size of the ship didn’t compromise our cabin’s comfort, and we appreciated several extras not typical of the major cruise lines—a DVD player, shoe shine service, and our ocean-view cabin had a bathtub. The one omission was a fridge, but an ice bucket was kept full by our cheerful cabin attendant. The soothing room décor was dominated by chocolate and earth tones, with a few persimmon accents. We didn’t pony up for a cabin with a verandah—owing to their relative scarcity, these can be expensive.

Although our cabin was on Deck 6, mid-ship, a section of Statendam that should be among the calmest, we experienced engine vibration that was incessant at times. The vibration put us on edge—at first we thought we’d had too much coffee. There was also disturbing sound leakage from the hallway—we heard clattering dishes, banging, flushing toilets, and could make out the details of conversations by passersby conducted at a moderate level. Some of this was a function of our cabin being close to a service area, but as these are found throughout the hallways we have no reason to think ours was much noisier than others. Most announcements by the cruise director and captain were made in the halls, not the cabins, but they were loud enough that every word was audible inside our cabin. At night there was no problem with noise in our cabin, but from about 8 a.m. till 10 p.m., all bets were off.

Holland America plays up its environmental commitment, and we were happy that our cabin attendant did not need to replace our towels daily. But every night we received a printed card on our bed with the same message: “The ship’s captain and crew wish you a restful sleep tonight as we look to tomorrow’s horizons.” How transparent (and wasteful) this same message rings by the third night, especially when accompanied by a flood of promotional material from the spa, the shops and the art dealer. We prefer our horizons defined by something other than platitudes and cash registers.

Holland America makes an effort at assembling a comprehensive kids program, but with barely a dozen kids on our cruise it was difficult to evaluate. We did note that the waterfall at the teens-only Oasis was not functional during our entire cruise. But Statendam’s adult enrichment program was noteworthy, if mostly geared to entry-level knowledge. These activities were dominated by cooking seminars and computer classes—yet anyone with moderate cooking or computer skills might find the classes a bit too, well, basic. We appreciated the daily New York Times digest that kept us in touch with goings-on in the world.

Our dining experience was more inconsistent than we would have liked on Statendam. Most of our steak at Pinnacle Grill, the ship’s one surcharge venue, was good, but a portion of the cut was undercooked; our entrée at Canaletto was sugary. But the bulk of what we ate at the main dining room and at Statendam’s buffet, the Lido Restaurant, was just fine. Freshly squeezed orange juice at breakfast along with a variety of other juices—at no surcharge—was noteworthy.

Despite a few caveats with our particular journey, we think most cruisers will find Holland America offers a good compromise between the budget mass-market cruise companies and the pricy premium brands. The meals on Statendam were more ambitious than what we’ve experienced on most of the big cruise lines and offered more variety; the common areas of the ship had attractive, interesting artwork. Explorations Café is a highly appealing epicenter for the ship—we loved snuggling into the comfy leather furniture, when we could find an empty seat.

Boasting a diverse range of interesting itineraries on the schedule, a cruise aboard Statendam could be just the ticket.
The main dining room was mostly good, but one dinner disappointed and service was inconsistent.


Statendam’s two-story main dining room is appointed in red and gold, framed by large decorative lanterns and capped by glass floral fixtures on the ceiling that jiggle in synch with the engines. The upstairs seating area (Deck 8) is for those on the traditional dining plan, with two seatings nightly, while downstairs (Deck 7) is on the open seating plan, which we utilized without a hitch. Breakfast and dinner are served here daily, with lunch on select days. Breakfast here was particularly pleasant and relaxed, against a recorded soundtrack of chirping birds.

Just prior to our cruise Holland America introduced a vegetarian menu for the main dining rooms on its ships. We were intrigued and asked about it on our last night here, but we were told that our food selections needed to be made the day prior. Ordering that far in advance seemed to be an inconvenience for vegetarians.

While we had some servers that were polished we had a couple others that were pretty green, and a couple whose heavily accented English was hard to understand. But all were accommodating.

For our first dinner here we took our waiter’s recommendations and started with the crab cake, a light, tasty dollop of crab meat. There was a minimum of breading to it and slivers of mango served as garnish. But we weren’t impressed with the filet of Beef Wellington; the puff pastry wrapping the meat was a soggy mush, the overcooked asparagus on top was wilted, and the “Duchess potatoes” on the side tasted like reconstituted buttered cardboard. The dish was served lukewarm, and when our dessert—a strawberry sundae—arrived mostly melted, we chalked up our meal to have been victimized by poor timing in the kitchen.

A subsequent dinner was better, starting with a terrific salad, fresh and crisp with olives, fresh orange wedges, big chunks of feta and an Asian sesame-ginger dressing. Our manacoti entrée was good though not special. Everything came out quickly and, in contrast to previous night, it was all hot. Recommended dessert was strawberries in balsamic reduction—tasty, but the white chocolate mousse on top didn’t need to be so sweet.

We perused the vegetarian menu, which looked appealing. Appetizers included vegetable sushi, a timbale of asparagus and vol au vent with artichokes; soups included consommé of vegetables, celery and stilton, and chilled raspberry. Among the six entrées were tofu stroganoff, a “hodge podge” of escarole, and eggplant in chickpea dough. But even if one doesn't order off this menu the day before, there are always several vegetarian appetizers and entrées.

At lunch, the simple Belgian endive and baby spinach salad was terrific, benefiting from fresh crisp greens, with avocado, sliced strawberry and (canned) mandarin segments rounding out the plate. Lime-chipotle dressing was perky, but too much had been spooned onto the greens (a puddle of dressing shouldn't remain on a finished salad plate). For entrée we found the papperdelle with a ragoût of chicken was serviceable, if unexciting. Blueberry pie—served a la mode—could have been warmed; the crust and filling lacked character.

A breakfast of oatmeal was fine, topped with raisins, brown sugar and sliced banana. Our first cup of coffee was delivered lukewarm but quickly replaced on request. The ship’s orange juice is freshly squeezed and hearty, while a variety of other juices were also available.

In addition to the standard bar menu an expanded wine list was available at the Rotterdam Dining Room. Prices on bottles ranged from $22 (Santa Carolina chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon) to $79 (Silverado cabernet sauvignon, Franciscan Magnificat), with several pricier options from the Pacific Northwest (Holland America’s home base) along with a reserve wine list. Champagnes included Domaine Chadon brut ($47), Tattinger Cuvée Prestige rosé ($99) and Cristal Louis Roderer ($244).
There were two seatings for dinner, at 5:45 and 8 p.m. nightly, with the upstairs deck devoted to open seating, between 5:15 and 9 p.m. Breakfast was served 8 to 9:30 a.m., and lunch (on sea days) was from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Afternoon tea was served here each day at 3 p.m. and on one day of each cruise this was a Royal Dutch High Tea or an Indonesian Afternoon Tea (check the Explorer newsletter for schedule).
Statendam’s buffet restaurant had a good variety of food, much of it satisfying.


Located on Deck 11, the Lido Restaurant did not have a large spread, but the variety and quality was better than we’ve seen on some cruise ships. The two buffet lanes served an identical selection, with seating areas running along the windows on each side, an area brightened by the addition of live potted orchids on each table.

Holland America’s usual policy is that, during the first two days of a cruise, crewmembers (rather than guests) serve plates at the buffet, a system designed to minimize spread of communicable diseases. This policy did not appear to be in effect during our first two days on Statendam (though no health issues arose that we were aware of).

On sea days, seating was at a premium between 12:30 and 1:30; tables by the Lido Pool were also available, though when retractable roof was closed, this area became a bit of a sauna.

Breakfast was usually busy, and availed a good range of standards, including various pastries and breads (toasted to order) with an array of packaged preserves to choose from. There was a fair spread of fresh sliced fruit and fruit salad, yogurts, smoked salmon with fixings, packaged cereals, muesli and oatmeal. The griddle offered blueberry pancakes, French toast and waffles topped with whipped cream and stewed fruits. Poached egg dishes included various eggs benedict—Florentine, Messina, Stanley crab, Scottish and Italian—and there was a traditional Omelet station, with assorted meats and veggies, or an omelet of the day.

For lunch there was a sandwich bar with various meats, cheeses and veggies, which could be grilled like Panini. A modest salad bar was augmented with prepared salads that were more interesting, including a Tuscan macaroni and bean, broccoli salad with garlic, ginger and almonds, Thai beef salad, etc. There were two soups daily, including such options as corn chowder, black bean, and tortilla soup with mushrooms. A pasta bar featured a daily baked lasagna or pasta dish, along with several noodles and sauces, and pizzas were available by the slice. In addition to a carving station, entrées available at lunch included pan roasted salmon with Portobello orzo, Yankee beef short ribs, vegetable roulade and blackened mahi mahi. There was also an Asian corner, where we found a satisfying lamb in a curry sauce, Mongolian chicken, chow mein, cashew chicken stir fry (the white rice on one afternoon was dried out).

Our berry cobbler was tasty, but the berry pie suffered from a dry crust and pasty interior. The ice cream station offered both soft serve and scooped, and sundaes are an option, but there was often a line present. Other items available for dessert included tiramisu, pecan pie, chocolate cheesecake, a daily mousse, sliced figs, and cookies; sugar-free desserts were also available.

The dinner agenda was still casual and offered a similar (but different) spread as we found at lunch.

The self-service beverage stations were stocked with coffee, tea, iced tea and lemonade. Other drinks could be ordered from the nearby Lido Bar. At breakfast there was delicious freshly squeezed orange juice available, along with about eight other juices.

The Lido Restaurant was open for breakfast daily from 7 to 10:30 a.m., with a continental selection available for an additional 30 minutes on either side. Lunch was available from 11:30 a.m, to 2 p.m., with lighter meals from 2 to 5 p.m. Dinner was offered 5:30 to 8 p.m., with a themed late night snack from 11 p.m. to midnight.
While there was no surcharge to dine here, our meal particularly didn’t warrant it, either.


Overview

At least the concept works for us: Take an underutilized corner of the Lido Restaurant’s dining area each night and convert it into an intimate Italian venue. There was a real red rose at every table, and a candle as well (though none were lit the night we dined here, presumably an oversight). The Indonesian and Philippine waiters were cutely outfitted in striped gondolier shirts. Certainly fellow passengers were eager to try Canaletto—we asked for a reservation 48 hours after embarkation and the only table remaining was for the last night of our cruise at 9 p.m.

Fortunately, the bustle found at the Lido Restaurant earlier in the day slows to a gentle hum at night, allowing Canaletto to be a fairly distinct dining experience. There’s no surcharge, as is common at most “specialty” restaurants on other ships, but we wish the food were just a bit more special.

Editor's Note: After our cruise on Statendam, Holland America Line began charging $10 to dine at Canaletto. The menu was also revised, but otherwise the venue has not changed. We’ll have a review of the new Canaletto experience on a future ship soon.

Our meal started well, with a basket of various breads meeting up with big bottles of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar on the table. The oil and vinegar was a nice touch, but the vinegar is syrupy sweet, like molasses—which turned out to be a culinary theme at Canaletto.

The minestrone soup was fine, and a plate of antipasti was offered for us to select from. But the main course of chicken marsala scaloppini had little marsala flavor; the overcooked linguine underneath was tossed with a goopy tomato sauce that had been pointlessly sweetened. Even our dessert was sweetened to a fault: the mille-feuille was joined by a few fresh berries on the side, but these were lathered with sugar syrup, as if tart berry flavor was something to be ashamed of.

A beverage attendant offered the ship’s standard drink menu, along with a short list of Italian options from a wine list.

Canaletto was open from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly. With seating for only 54 or so, there’s no way to accommodate all passengers at Canaletto on a typical seven-night cruise. Make your reservation early on (hint: on the first night of our cruise the restaurant was slow).
With attentive service and elegant surroundings, our dinner here was the best meal of the cruise, but it could have been even better.


Overview

Offering Sterling Silver premium beef, the Pinnacle Grill is Statendam’s steakhouse, serving all the classic cuts along with Colorado lamb chops, broiled king salmon, lobster tail, cedar planked black cod and shrimp scampi, plus a selection of skewered dishes. Although we had a couple service hiccups, the staff here was more polished than we experienced in Statendam’s other venues.

Once a week the Pinnacle Grill is transformed into “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill,” a tribute to the famed Le Cirque restaurant in New York, replete with Bvlgari china. On this evening guests will find a set menu with wine pairings, and reservations are necessary; there is a $39 supplement for this meal. On certain days, the Pinnacle Grill also hosts lunch, with a $10 surcharge. Pinnacle Grill is also open for breakfast, but only for guests staying in suites.

You can read about our Le Cirque experience as well as lunch at the Pinnacle Grill aboard Holland America's Veendam here.

The meal was mostly very good, starting with a basket of assorted breads, three flavored butters and three varieties of sea salt (pink, red and black), followed by an amuse-bousch of salmon tartare. We ordered the spicy chicken coconut soup, but a bowl of French onion soup was mistakenly delivered by our waiter, which we rejected. While waiting for the correct soup to arrive, another server brought the same bowl of French onion to us again. In all, between amuse-bousch and receiving the correct soup, more than 20 minutes elapsed. The soup we ordered was a variation on Thai tom yam—a bit short on coconut flavor, but brisk with chili paste. A Caesar salad was prepared tableside with, at our request, a healthy dose of garlic paste and big hunky croutons.

Our porterhouse steak was a large slab of meat, with fatty edges and a good char. But the cooking inside was uneven—most of the meat was deep pink and medium-rare, as ordered, but about one-third was dark red and not warm. The cut was so large we didn’t need the undercooked portion. For sides we chose asparagus and scalloped potatoes but found the latter to be dry—there was little cheese in this muffin-shaped preparation, but some kind of egg mixture seemed to have been used to hold the potatoes together.

After the big meal we opted for a fruit plate—pineapple, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, grapes, watermelon—with a pitcher of sabayon sauce. With our coffee came a tray of chocolates. They weren’t going to let us go away hungry.

The wine list at Pinnacle Grill was almost identical to the one offered at the Rotterdam Dining Room, a decent selection that featured a few very high-end recommendations from France.
Reservations were required for dining at the Pinnacle Grill. Dinner was offered nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. and lunch on select days from 12 noon to 1 p.m.
This pool grill served perfunctory burgers and hot dogs, and a few buffet items with an international bent.


Overview

This is a good fallback when the Lido Restaurant is jammed, but not generally as good (and offered nowhere near as extensive a spread).

Beyond the serviceable burgers and hot dogs, there was a counter with several hot dishes, themed to a different ethnicity each day—Mexican one afternoon, Indian another. If you can catch pizza when it’s fresh from the oven, it’s worth a try—otherwise the pies mostly seemed to sit under heat lamps drying out.

The Lido Bar on the other side of the pool had what we needed.

The Terrace Grill was open from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Overview

Statendam’s coffee emporium also doubles as the ship’s library and internet lounge, and with Scandinavian leather couches and exceedingly comfortable loungers, it’s a great hangout. The New York Times digest (in print) was available, and the electronic version could be accessed on the ship’s computers at no charge. There were board games available, and usually a half-completed jigsaw puzzle.

The only hitch: Those loungers were very popular seats. A sign posted throughout the café says: “Books are electronically monitored to prevent theft”—apparently a problem for travel books covering ports of call (the travel book selection was pretty good). Bookcases were locked up each evening.

The café has a small deli counter with between-meal snacks. We found parfait glasses of fresh sliced fruit, cinnamon rolls, donuts, croissants, small sandwiches and other goodies through the day.
All the standard espresso drinks were available, and the quality was good. Baristas automatically fill orders in to-go cups, but could be requested in ceramic cups. Prices for hot and iced drinks ranged $1.60 for a 12-ounce Americano to $2.55 for the caramello latte; the 16-ounce size were .50 additional. Tazo tea drinks (including chai tea lattes) were also available. Spiked coffee drinks included Irish Coffee (with Bailey’s Irish Cream), Icy Bourbon Mint (bourbon, crème de menthe and chocolate) and coffee nudge (crème de cacao and brandy)—these were $6.25 to $6.50.

There were 11 computer stations available for use. The basic price for internet access is .75 per minute, plus a one-time $3.95 charge for activation; this same fee structure applied to WiFI access for laptops. Various packages were available that brought the price down—100 minutes for $55 (.55/minute), 250 minutes for $100 (.40/minute), etc.

The café serves from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and the bookcases were locked up at night.
This is the ship’s bar with a view—a fine forward-facing panorama positioned just above the bridge. It’s also the ship’s disco, but the lack of enthusiasm was palpable—when the dance music started it was Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop till you Get Enough” (talk about playing it safe) and the DJ left the booth. Smoking was allowed on the port side of the room.

The ship’s standard bar list was available here, while happy hour ran from 4 to 5 p.m. and again from 9 to 10 p.m. Other than these hours, Crow’s Nest could feel a bit like a ghost town, no matter how lovely the sunset.
One of the best additions to the ship following the 2010 renovation, MIX is three bars sharing the same space—one dedicated to martinis, another to Champagne, while the main bar (which also served the casino) had a few beers on draught. Between the Champagne stand and the martini bar was the piano man, who played nightly.

Although martinis are available at several venues on the ship, they’re sold at a premium here, using premium spirits (predominantly Grey Goose vodka and Bombay Sapphire gin). They’re $9.50 each, or a flight of six was available for $19.50.

The ship’s list of sparklers is supplemented here with Tattinger Brut Réserve ($16, or $99 for the bottle), Bollinger Special Cuvée Brut ($14 glass, $89 bottle) and Moët & Chandon Rosé Impérial ($14.50, $99 bottle). A few premium bottles are available including Moët & Chandon Dom Pérignon 1998 ($199), Krug Grand Cuvée ($249) and Impérial Veuve Cliquot La Gran Dame 1998 ($362). Champagne cocktails—including Kir Royale, Champagne Mojito and Royal Fizz are priced $6.95.

The beer list included the ship’s standard complement, plus Bass Pale Ale, Beck’s, Boddington’s and Stella Artois on draught ($4.75), plus several others in can or bottle—Corona, Red Stripe, Newcastle Brown Ale and Guiness Extra Stout (all $5.25).
This pleasant outpost on Deck 8 was our pick for pre-prandial cocktails, when a jazz trio would strike up and take requests. There was a small dance floor, for when the mood struck.

The ship's standard bar menu was available at the Ocean Bar.
The ship’s main showroom was a very attractive space, with balcony seating in wavy rows. But there were a couple problems we had. The balcony seating was firm and the back only came up a few inches, making it uncomfortable for any extended period; much of the balcony seating did not have clear sightlines to the stage. Further, the sound system—which wasn’t great for the whole venue—was especially poor in the balcony.

Downstairs seating was better, but sightlines were still poor from the rear seats.

Though they featured a quartet of good singers we didn’t care much for the two shows we saw here. One was a Vegas-style lounge act that paid tribute to Dino, Sammy, et al, the other was a tribute to Broadway with costumes by Bob Mackie—neither had much appeal to anyone under 50 or 60 years of age. The audio leaned very heavily on reverb effects and the backing band was mostly synthesized sound. It made us feel like we’d been transported to the cheesier days of the 1970s.

This space was also used for screening a movie on one night—presentation quality was decent, and much better than in the Wajang Theater (the usual screening room).
As with many of the spas as sea, Statendam’s is managed by Steiner Leisure, a professional outfit that oversees spa facilities on a majority of cruise ships. The Greenhouse Spa is an appealing facility located on Deck 11 forward and a variety of cosseting treatments are available.

Alas, although Steiner Leisure’s pricing is fairly consistent from ship to ship, their rates are somewhat higher than we find at most quality resorts. Prices were discounted on port days, and other specials became available as the cruise went on, particularly for those booking multiple appointments.

Rates ranged from $119 for a 50-minute Reflexology or Swedish massage to $199 for a 75-minute bamboo massage. The 50-minute couples massage was $269. Facials started at $119 for the 50-minute LaTherapie Hydralift Facial. Manicure and pedicure services started at $45 and $65 respectively. The men’s salon package was $89 and included a cut and style, mini-facial and frangipani scalp massage. The menu of services also included waxing, tooth whitening and acupuncture.

There is also the Greenhouse Retreat, a small, shared facility within the spa featuring dry heat, steam and aromatherapy chambers, heated ceramic loungers and a body temperature mineral pool. A seven-day pass to use the Thermal Suite was $99, a fee that seemed excessive to us (but not to some who signed up for this bit of semi-exclusivity).

A 15-percent gratuity was automatically added to the bill for all treatments.

Overlooking the forward panorama, Statendam’s gym is accessed through the entrance to the spa. It was a well-maintained facility and much of the equipment appeared to be the most current models from LifeFitness. Although not large, the gym was not generally crowded, though we waited somewhat for bike during one busy period. The gym was way too warm when late afternoon sun came through, meaning we worked up quite a sweat. Fortunately, cold towels were available in a fridge.

Fitness classes were offered, though some required an additional fee. Tai chi (twice daily), abs conditioning and stretching exercises were complimentary, announced in the daily Explorer newsletter; yoga, pilates and spinning classes were $12 per session.

This deck extends the length of the ship and provides the bulk of the sports activities (other than the gym): a basketball court, tennis court and shuffleboard court. On our cruise this deck didn’t see a lot of action, but it was a good place for sunning.

A couple basketball games were organized by the crew during our cruise.

By day, this is the hub of the action on Statendam, the central pool area with the ship’s two hot tubs at one end. Loungers flanked the pool, along with tables for dining. A retractable roof was open when the weather invited, but was closed when the air cooled.

There was a bandstand that provided a stage to a group at midday—they weren’t announced in the daily ship newsletter. Although talented, we found the bass to be way over-amped, and the overall volume was loud enough to prevent any conversation from taking place around the pool when they were playing.

The Lido Bar offered the ship’s standard drink menu.

This large open area had a decent sized pool and sun deck. There were showers available for rinsing off, and blankets for when the air was nippy. On sunny days this pool got busy, but most people stuck to the protected Lido Pool at mid-ship. Smoking was allowed on the starboard side of the deck.

Stairs lead down to a small aft portion of Deck 9—a more secluded area for catching the rays.

A small bar here served a selection of drinks. In the evening this transformed into a cigar bar, with port and cognac available. Cigar prices ranged $3.25 for Hoya Demi Tasse to $11.50 for a large Cubana Torpedo #1.

The promenade deck wraps Deck 6, and loungers are offered for taking in the sun and sea air. Jogging is not allowed on this deck, but walkers are common—four laps equals a mile.

This was also where the Muster Drill took place, beneath the lifeboats.

Located above the Crow’s Nest, this is the highest public area of the ship. Loungers are stationed here, but this breezy deck got little traffic on our cruise.

Overview

Holland America’s kids program, which goes under the name Club HAL, has dedicated venues on Deck 12. This Youth Center is divided by age group—one for age 3-7 stocked with board games and a spilled-paint theme; another is for tweens age 8-12 and has a Foosball table and video games. An unsupervised room with Xbox and Wii games was available, but equipment could not be removed from the Youth Center. There’s also a teen venue called The Loft, with a DJ booth, stage and couches for hanging out; the almost-black walls screamed “hideout.”

Just above The Loft, accessed by hidden stairway, is a teens-only outdoor space called The Oasis, which is decked out for a volcano-themed pool party with a splash pool and waterfall, faux palm trees and sun loungers. However, with no teens on our cruise, there wasn’t much going on here. In fact, the waterfall wasn’t operating and we never saw anyone using the space, except for a few adults looking for a quiet place to read.

The basketball and tennis courts are located right outside Club HAL and The Loft.

Overview

Reserved for guests booked into Deluxe Verandah Suites, this is a private lounge tended by a concierge most hours. Nibbles are available throughout the day, along with worktables, an oversize TV, sofas, and computer stations where WiFi is offered at a reduced rate.

Overview

Classes in Microsoft programs were taught using a fleet of Sony laptops, each equipped with a mouse. Subjects are mostly at beginner level, but covered a good array of topics, and some more-advanced subjects were tackled. This room was locked when not being used for classes.

Overview

A series of shops ran along Deck 8 offering a fairly predictable selection of merchandize.

Cruise apparel themed to our destination was available, along with Holland America logo merchandize such as T-shirts, caps, beach towels, mugs and Statendam ship models. There was jewelry, watches, fragrances, skin care products and binoculars. Sundries including candy, chips, toothpaste, deodorant, feminine napkins, disposable lighters and razors. Duty free cigarettes and liquor were also available.

Overview

This busy venue holds Statendam’s Culinary Arts Center, a show kitchen used for cooking demonstrations that were scheduled several times daily. On our cruise there were opportunities to learn how to make crêpes Suzettes, cioppino, bananas foster, paella and sangria.

The Wajang Theater is also the ship’s rudimentary screening room, and a different film was shown daily (one midday show and two in the evening). Unfortunately, the screen size is too small for the number of seats, but the sound system was decent.

Overview

Two side-by-side meeting rooms were available for groups, and they were also used for various events during our cruise. Half Moon hosted Morning Mass; the Hudson Room was used for origami demonstrations, journal crafting, and beginner and intermediate Bridge instruction as well as non-hosted Bridge sessions.

Overview

A staff of photographers was on hand to capture guests on the ship. These included informal snaps in front of designated backdrops, as well as more formal portrait sessions. The shots were assembled each day and showcased here for us to buy (informal 8x10s were $19.95; portraits were $39.95).

Overview

Statendam’s gallery of art pieces for sale is located opposite the Front Office on Deck 7, with additional pieces hanging on the walls extending down the corridor past the Wajang Theater. With sales managed by Park West Gallery, there were art auctions almost daily, held in the Ocean Bar.

Overview

The three-story central atrium is dominated by a metal sculpture, “Fountain of the Sirens,” rising from Deck 6. No water flows through the fountain, but this is the central axis of the ship, through which passengers pass many times. The open area on Deck 6 was used for informal card and other games. On Deck 7 were the side-by-side Front Office and Shore Excursions desks.

Overview

Located on Deck 8 at mid-ship, Statendam’s casino is a modest facility, but probably sufficient for a ship of this size. In addition to several dozen slot machines there were tables games, including Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Roulette and Craps. To play slots, players could load cash onto their room key card.

Gaming lessons were held on the first day of the cruise, with Texas Hold’em tournaments scheduled at other points.

The casino is designated as non-smoking, but that term is in conflict with the reality—most slot machines and tables have a sign that says “smoking allowed while gambling,” but cigarette smoke wanders where it will, including a few feet over to the non-smoking slots and tables. That said, overall the facility was usually not too smoky (we actually found the smell sometimes worse just beyond the casino, where stale smoke lingered in a stairwell).

The bar MIX was adjacent to the casino.

Overview

This lounge, located along a central traffic corridor on Deck 8, was a quiet hangout during the day when it was not staffed. It was also used for some gatherings, such as Bible Study and Friends of Bill W.

In the evening, classical music filled the room, played by a very good string quartet, the Adagio Strings. The set list ventured beyond the traditional standards and the casual ambience was stoked by an informal bar setup that featured coffee drinks, cognac, port, cheese and crackers.

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