Statendam - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)


★★★ +

Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 349 out of 500

Accommodation: 142 out of 200

Food: 247 out of 400

Service: 279 out of 400

Entertainment: 68 out of 100

Cruise: 264 out of 400

Overall Score: 1349 out of 2000

Statendam Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 55,819

Lifestyle: Premium

Cruise Line: Holland America Line

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 8919245

Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)

Original Cost: $215 million

Entered Service: Jan 1993

Registry: The Netherlands

Length (ft/m): 719.4/219.3

Beam (ft/m): 101.0/30.8

Draft (ft/m): 24.6/7.5

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (34,560kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 10

Total Crew: 557

Passengers (lower beds): 1,266

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 44.0

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.2

Cabins (total): 633

Size Range (sq ft/m): 186.2-1,124.8/17.3-104.5

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 150

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 6

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 8

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2 (1 w/sliding glass dome)

Hot Tubs (on deck): 2

Self-Service Launderette: Yes

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/249

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


Dutch decor and artefacts for senior-age cruisers

Overview. This ship has fairly decent interior fit and finish. Holland America Line (HAL) constantly fine-tunes its performance as a cruise operator and regular passengers, almost all North American, find its ships comfortable and well run.

The Ship. Statendam was the first of a series of four almost identical ships, the others being Maasdam, Ryndam, and Veendam. The exterior styling is rather angular, although it is softened and balanced somewhat by the fact that the hull is painted black. There is a full walk-around teakwood Promenade Deck outdoors - excellent for strolling, and, thankfully, there’s no sign of synthetic turf. The sunloungers on the exterior Promenade Deck are wood, and come with comfortable cushioned pads, while those at the swimming pool on Lido Deck are of white plastic.

In the interiors of this S-class ship, an asymmetrical layout helps to reduce bottlenecks and congestion. Most public rooms are concentrated on two decks, Promenade Deck, and Upper Promenade Deck, which creates a spacious feel to the ship’s interiors. There’s a restrained approach to interior styling, mixing contemporary materials with traditional woods and ceramics.

What is outstanding is the array of artworks, costing about $2 million, assembled and nicely displayed to represent the fine Dutch heritage of HAL.

Atop the ship, with forward-facing views that wrap around the sides, is the Crow’s Nest Lounge. By day it’s a fine observation lounge with large ocean-view windows; by night it turns into a nightclub with extremely variable lighting. The atrium foyer is three decks high, although its sculptured centerpiece - Fountain of the Sirens, a late 17th-century bronze piece by Willem de Groat - makes it look a little crowded, and leaves little room in front of the front office. A hydraulic glass roof covers the reasonably sized swimming pool and whirlpools and central Lido area, whose focal point is a large dolphin sculpture, so that this can be used in fine or poor weather.

The ship has a large, relaxing library. There’s also a room for card games, an Explorer’s Lounge (good for relaxing in, for afternoon tea, and after-dinner coffees), an intimate Piano Bar, and, of course, a casino. The casino features gaming tables and slot machines. However, note that part of the Casino is open, and can be full of cigarette smoke (yes, smoking is still permitted here), so passers-by should hold their breath.

As part of HAL’s Signature of Excellence program, the ships have received a new ‘Mix’ lifestyle area. The trendy, upbeat space combines three specialty theme bars: Champagne (serving Champagne and sparkling wines), Martinis (in individual shakers), and Spirits & Ales (a sports bar - beer and baseball/basketball). Microsoft Surface touch-screen technology is available for playing checkers and chess, air hockey, and other sports games.

Statendam is a fairly well-built ship, and has reasonably decent interior fit and finish. HAL continues its strong maritime traditions, although the present food and service components let down the rest of the cruise experience.

An escalator travels between two of the lower decks, one of which was originally planned to be the embarkation point, but it is about as worthless as a glass hammer! The charge to use the washing machines and dryers in the self-service launderette is petty, particularly for occupants of expensive suites. The urinals in the men’s public restrooms are unusually high.

Accommodation. There are 17 cabin price grades. Cabins range from small interior cabins to a large Penthouse Suite with ocean views. All cabin televisions carry CNN.

The interior and outside-view standard cabins have twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, and there is a separate living space with sofa and coffee table. Although the drawer space is generally good, the closet space is very tight, particularly for long cruises - although more than adequate for a seven-night cruise. The tiled bathrooms are compact but practical. Bathrobes are provided for all suites/cabins, as are hairdryers, and a small range of toiletries. The bathrooms are quite well laid-out, but the tubs are small units better described as shower tubs.

On Navigation Deck, 28 suites have accommodation for up to four people. These also have in-suite dining as an alternative to the dining room. These are very spacious, tastefully decorated and well laid-out, and have a separate living room, bedroom with two lower beds (convertible to a king-size bed), a good size living area, dressing room, plenty of closet and drawer space, and a marble bathroom.

The largest accommodation is a Penthouse Suite, located on the starboard side of Navigation Deck at the forward staircase. It has a king-size bed, television and video player, and vanity desk. A large walk-in closet has superb drawer space. There’s an oversize whirlpool bath that could seat four, a separate shower enclosure, and a separate washroom with toilet, bidet, and washbasin. The living room has a writing desk, a large TV set and a full set of audio equipment. The dressing room has a large private balcony with teak lounge chairs and drinks tables, dining table, and four chairs. The pantry has a large refrigerator, toaster unit, full coffee/tea-making facilities and food preparation area, and a separate entrance from the hallway.

There’s a minibar/refrigerator, a guest toilet, and floor-to-ceiling windows. There is no bell push.

Passengers in accommodation designated as suites and mini-suites have the use of a private concierge club called the Neptune Lounge, where light breakfast and snacks throughout the day can be taken.

Dining. The Rotterdam Dining Room spans two decks at the stern of the ship, and is quite dramatic. It has two grand staircases to connect the two levels, panoramic views on three sides, and a music balcony. Both open seating and fixed (assigned tables and times) seating are available, while breakfast and lunch are open seating - you’ll be seated by restaurant staff when you enter. There are tables for two, four, six, or eight, but the waiter stations are very noisy for anyone seated adjacent to them. Fine Rosenthal china and cutlery are used.

Other dining options. A small restaurant, the 66-seat Pinnacle Grill, is located just forward of the balcony level of the main dining room on the starboard side. It has Pacific Northwest cuisine such as Alaska salmon, halibut, and other regional specialties, plus a selection of premium steaks. Reservations are necessary, and there’s a cover charge. A Bulgari show plate, Rosenthal china, Riedel wine glasses, and Frette table linen are used. The Pinnacle Grill is a better dining experience than in the Rotterdam (main) Dining Room, and worth it for that special celebration.

For more casual evening eating, the Lido Buffet is open for dinners on all except the last night of each cruise, in an open-seating arrangement. Tables are set with crisp linens, flatware, and stemware. A set menu includes a choice of four entrées. Breakfasts and lunches are also served here. There is much use of canned fruits and packets of items, although there are several commercial low-calorie salad dressings. Each night, a section of the venue morphs into Canaletto using glass screens; the cuisine is Italian-flavored, but the Italian wine list is poor. There’s no additional charge, although reservations are requested. Passengers will need to eat in the Lido Buffet on days when the dining room is closed for lunch - typically once or twice per cruise, depending on the itinerary. Also, a Lido Deck poolside ‘Dive-In at the Terrace Grill’ features signature burgers, hot dogs and fries, and, on certain days, barbecues and other culinary treats may be featured.

Entertainment. The Showlounge at Sea, at the forward part of the ship, spans two decks, with banquette seating on both main and upper levels. It is basically a well-designed room, but the ceiling is low and the sight lines from the balcony level are quite poor.

Spa/Fitness. The Ocean Spa is one deck below the navigation bridge at the very forward part of the ship. It includes a gymnasium with all the latest muscle-pumping exercise machines, including an abundance of treadmills. It has ocean views, an aerobics exercise area, a large beauty salon, several treatment rooms, and men’s and women’s sauna, steam room, and changing areas.