Statendam to Pacific Eden what has gone so wrong?

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#1
Maroubra Beach Sydney
136 Posts
Joined May 2010
This is probably NOT the place to write this but we don't know where else to express our extreme sadness about Pacific Eden. We have not sailed on her as Pacific Eden but read the CC reviews after hearing of her two latest somewhat negative cruises on Sydney media

We sailed in Sept/oct 2015 on the last voyage on this ship, 22 days, when she was MS Statendam, under Holland America, from Hawaii to her final destination Singapore where she went into dry dock to be "turned into" Pacific Eden. We have cruised 8 times on a number of different cruiselines and MS Statendam was one of our two favourites.

Why? Excellent staff in every part of the ship / excellent food in main dining room (it was two stories high so minimal waiting time) and the buffet / cabins had flatscreen TVs with DVD player with 100s of DVDs available free anytime / cooking demonstrations / daily movies screened twice or three times 3-6-9pm / best Reception staff we have encountered / fantastic huge library with librarian, New releases section, magazine bar, jigsaw room, cards room / flowering orchids on each table in the buffet, floral displays, great works of art, sculptures, etc throughout..we could go on.....

We did note quite a number of P&O staff onboard the closer we got to Singapore

So in dry dock in Singapore, 700 odd workers, 24 hours a day... What has gone so horribly wrong?
#2
Orewa , Auckland , N.Z.
19,554 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
I find the reports hard to understand as well. We sailed on Statendam when she was here for the Au/NZ run and we had a wonderful cruise.

Were P&O , or perhaps their spin doctors, expecting too much?
Serving 4 restaurants from the 1 galley?
Were the dining room changes necessary?
Should they indeed be branded P&O ships.?

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#3
Melbourne, Australia
5,292 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
I think its because PO Australia over hyped them. People had the perception that they were "new" ships. Not 25 year old ships that have had a little bit of work done on it.

Its sad about the noro as that can happen on any line. But add that into the equation with the over-hyped ships and some maintenance issues then the problems magnify.

Also PO Australia were asking high prices for these cruises.
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#4
Sydney, Australia
14,620 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Quite appropriate to raise it here :-)

One thing I note is you mention your memories of her. However, being under a new brand, many of those things would likely no longer apply e.g. I would not expect 100s of free DVDs, and the library and reading room would not operate the same as the supply and priorities are different.

As for what's wrong, I don't see a lot so far aside from new/transition cruises, which is a common issue. Looking at the pictures there are a few oddities that don't appear acceptable but which would seem to have lingered from HAL rather than being new, i.e. degraded window panels and rust from bath fittings. Neither of those things arises in the space of a couple of months (unless the rust was being continually patched up...?). The rest is just wear and tear, and I have the impression some people were on a mission to find stuff they could document to boost their complaints.
#5
Brisbane
41 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by dollyhouse
Why? Excellent staff in every part of the ship / excellent food in main dining room (it was two stories high so minimal waiting time) and the buffet / cabins had flatscreen TVs with DVD player with 100s of DVDs available free anytime / cooking demonstrations / daily movies screened twice or three times 3-6-9pm / best Reception staff we have encountered / fantastic huge library with librarian, New releases section, magazine bar, jigsaw room, cards room / flowering orchids on each table in the buffet, floral displays, great works of art, sculptures, etc throughout..we could go on.....

We did note quite a number of P&O staff onboard the closer we got to Singapore

So in dry dock in Singapore, 700 odd workers, 24 hours a day... What has gone so horribly wrong?
Hi Dollyhouse,

I am an experienced cruiser (36th cruise next week) and have sailed on Aria (Sister ship) in November (second sailing of Aria under P&O), in fact I am back on her in a few days. Allot of what you are talking about has been removed by P&O. To comment on some of your remarks:

- Excellent staff: all staff replaced by P&O staff with about 50% new cruise staff (or inexperienced), which meant lots of disorganisation
- Excellent food in main dining room: MDR has been cut into three restaurants, two fee paying with MDR only seating 400 (ship hold 1,600 pax - its a no brainer to realise this is not going to work). You can not book for dinner and must wait, up to 2 hours !
- buffet: Buffet replaced by 'the pantry', some like it, some don't
- cabins had flatscreen TVs with DVD player: This is no Big deal, all cruise ships in AU have flat screen TV's
- 100s of DVDs available free anytime: removed by P&O
- Cooking demonstrations: not done by P&O
- Daily movies screened twice or three times 3-6-9pm: Not done by P&O
- Reception staff we have encountered: all replaced by P&O who are still learning the ship
- Fantastic huge library with librarian: Removed by P&O
- jigsaw room, cards room: removed by P&O
- Flowering orchids on each table in the buffet, floral displays, great works of art: removed by P&O

I could go on. My experience was that the ship is fine although I think the MDR is too small. P&O need to focus on fixing the operational matters, most of which are about having experienced staff that know how to run the ship correctly.

I was told that P&O AU is managed by a person who came from the marketing department of a Bank. So P&O are really good with flashy marketing brochures and website, but lack in operational management.

P&O cruises only had three ships and limited experience of launching new ships but tried to launch two new ships (166% increase) and whilst doing so have also have tried to change a formula that worked. I really hope they can realise the mistakes, focus on operations and get back on track.
#6
Maroubra Beach Sydney
136 Posts
Joined May 2010
I spoke to new friends we made while onboard the statendam. They were on the lowest passenger deck and reminded me 1) their toilet overflowed 2) for the first 3 days of the cruise from Seattle to Alaska (prior to our shorter sector) for three days their air con was stuck on very cold and they were very uncomfortable. Interestingly, for both inconveniences they were reimbursed $150 each time quickly with apologies. They reminded me that on the couple of rainy days we had, buckets had to be placed in various areas under the closed retractable pool area deck. We had a crack in our bathroom basin. The ship itself wasn't by any means perfect.

It is unfortunate that the two ships were so over hyped, as they are certainly not new.

We missed a port due to an engine failure, so I wonder whether this will be Eden's next drama? The saddest part were the final days, where the magnificent library had all its books packed away (some given away to passengers, most packed in boxes to other HAL ships), the terrific art including sculptures, antique furniture, paintings etc, which were all removed, and a real bunfight when all the ports visited plaques were auctioned off. In Singapore while we waited to disembark workers swarmed on, dismantling outdoor lights etc.
#7
Maroubra Beach Sydney
136 Posts
Joined May 2010
We also had a rumour that the captain and chief engineer of the Statendam were going to hold the same positions on Eden! Not sure if that is the case. BTW our first cruise was on the Pacific Sun, not perfect by any means, and we had a blast, hooking us on cruising!
#8
Brisbane
41 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by dollyhouse
I spoke to new friends we made while onboard the statendam. They were on the lowest passenger deck and reminded me 1) their toilet overflowed 2) for the first 3 days of the cruise from Seattle to Alaska (prior to our shorter sector) for three days their air con was stuck on very cold and they were very uncomfortable. Interestingly, for both inconveniences they were reimbursed $150 each time quickly with apologies. They reminded me that on the couple of rainy days we had, buckets had to be placed in various areas under the closed retractable pool area deck. We had a crack in our bathroom basin. The ship itself wasn't by any means perfect.

It is unfortunate that the two ships were so over hyped, as they are certainly not new.

We missed a port due to an engine failure, so I wonder whether this will be Eden's next drama? The saddest part were the final days, where the magnificent library had all its books packed away (some given away to passengers, most packed in boxes to other HAL ships), the terrific art including sculptures, antique furniture, paintings etc, which were all removed, and a real bunfight when all the ports visited plaques were auctioned off. In Singapore while we waited to disembark workers swarmed on, dismantling outdoor lights etc.
My opinion is that when the ship came from HAL, it was in very poor condition.

This is evident in things like heaving lines (ropes to tie the ship up) which were very old and worn, P&O do not let their lines get old and replace them at six months. Why do I focus on lines - thats about the only operational thing that I as a passenger can see, if that has not been maintained, goodness knows the maintenance on what I can not see.
#9
Sunshine Coast Queensland Australia
640 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
I was also on the last voyage with dollyhouse & I agree with them.

As an ex merchant mariner with over 40 years at sea & 15 as master - I was very pleased to see what an excellent condition Statendam was in when I joined for the 30 day cruise in Seattle. The only rust in evidence was around the anchor housing & is only to be expected when the ship is 2 years out of docking & uses its anchors quite often.
I did not hear of any cabin problems re AC or toilets. Maybe because over 90% of passengers were repeat HAL mariners. Most toilet problems are caused by passengers.
The generator failure was caused by a blown turbo charger & was fixed in Guam when a new one arrived with a Sulzer engineer.
Mooring ropes are renewed as required - on the experience of the staff Capt. & Bosun.
The HAL hotel staff were excellent & as a whole are one of the best in the business. Replacing them with 60% newbies, some of which may have come straight from their villages with only basic safety training, & others from the bottom of the barrel, will take months to work through.
The pictures we have seen - indicate that 1 cabin steward is not doing his job correctly & nor is his supervisor. Salt around windows, rust stains from plumbing & mould should all be attended to on a daily basis by the steward & if bad sorted by the tradesmen onboard.
HAL Capt. Christopher Norman & staff Capt. Ryan Whitaker are on loan to P&O Aust. for 2 years - as are 2 from Ryndam. The staff Chief Engineer onboard Statendam was promoted to Chief Engineer & transferred to P&O Aust. Both vessels are now registered in London & certificated officers have to have a UK or Commonwealth qualification to serve onboard.
The hotel staff & crew will take some time to improve efficiency & there are no doubt problems ,but with so many new crew it is to be expected.
The media - the less said the better - but in any marine matter they have not a clue & ALWAYS get things wrong. So it's best to just ignore what they say.
These two ships are well built & lovely little ladies. Just sort out the crew problems & they will make great Australian cruise SHIPS.
#10
Palm Cove/ Cairns, Australia
21 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
The biggest problem is that P&O are running these as budget ships but marketing them as luxury with prices to match. The number of staff is just too small and they are not experienced. The refurbishments were only in public areas and even some of that work looks cheap and rushed. P&Os currently marketing these cruises with free premium drinks packages which will win over the hoards, if they can get served ☺
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#11
sydney, australia
785 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
well, Ive read all the comments as we will be on Eden in 9 days. I booked this short intro to her just to check her out, thinking even an old HAL ship should be reasonable but am now not feeling optimistic. I hope I am pleasantly surprised. Well see!
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#12
Sydney, Australia
14,620 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by mezza
well, Ive read all the comments as we will be on Eden in 9 days. I booked this short intro to her just to check her out, thinking even an old HAL ship should be reasonable but am now not feeling optimistic. I hope I am pleasantly surprised. Well see!
Many did enjoy the cruise as well. Here's a recent weblog post from one:
http://cruisingwithhoney.blogspot.com.au/
#13
Brisbane
41 Posts
Joined May 2013
Originally posted by The_Big_M
Many did enjoy the cruise as well. Here's a recent weblog post from one:
http://cruisingwithhoney.blogspot.com.au/
I have a feeling that this person is paid by P&O, at the very least, she is friends with a staff member; however having said that, her post is mostly similar to my experiences.
#14
1,533 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
I sailed on Pacific Eden and loved it! Some people look for negatives and it seems negativity breeds more negativity.
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#15
3,803 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Hi all,

I am considering a three night sampler cruise for March. My cruise lines of choice are RCI & Celeb however after having sailed numerous times with P&O I'm happy to book this cruise for what it is - a cheaper cruise with a lower standard.

Is the food really as terrible as I'm reading?! Is it edible in the main dining room?

I am quite optimistic and am happy to go onboard and appreciate a mini break but am worried that the reviews are only the tip of the iceberg.

Are there any any cruise reviews with photos floating around?

Thanks
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#16
New Zealand
1,113 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
Originally posted by PacificBear
Hi Dollyhouse,

I am an experienced cruiser (36th cruise next week) and have sailed on Aria (Sister ship) in November (second sailing of Aria under P&O), in fact I am back on her in a few days. Allot of what you are talking about has been removed by P&O. To comment on some of your remarks:

- Excellent staff: all staff replaced by P&O staff with about 50% new cruise staff (or inexperienced), which meant lots of disorganisation
- Excellent food in main dining room: MDR has been cut into three restaurants, two fee paying with MDR only seating 400 (ship hold 1,600 pax - its a no brainer to realise this is not going to work). You can not book for dinner and must wait, up to 2 hours !
- buffet: Buffet replaced by 'the pantry', some like it, some don't
- cabins had flatscreen TVs with DVD player: This is no Big deal, all cruise ships in AU have flat screen TV's
- 100s of DVDs available free anytime: removed by P&O
- Cooking demonstrations: not done by P&O
- Daily movies screened twice or three times 3-6-9pm: Not done by P&O
- Reception staff we have encountered: all replaced by P&O who are still learning the ship
- Fantastic huge library with librarian: Removed by P&O
- jigsaw room, cards room: removed by P&O
- Flowering orchids on each table in the buffet, floral displays, great works of art: removed by P&O

I could go on. My experience was that the ship is fine although I think the MDR is too small. P&O need to focus on fixing the operational matters, most of which are about having experienced staff that know how to run the ship correctly.

I was told that P&O AU is managed by a person who came from the marketing department of a Bank. So P&O are really good with flashy marketing brochures and website, but lack in operational management.

P&O cruises only had three ships and limited experience of launching new ships but tried to launch two new ships (166% increase) and whilst doing so have also have tried to change a formula that worked. I really hope they can realise the mistakes, focus on operations and get back on track.

Very interesting - can you tell me what the library/card room etc were changed into?

Can't understand why the DVD collection was removed at all.
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#17
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
193 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Haoie, the library is now the Blue Room and is a rather pleasant space. It is a money making item as it includes a bar and cafe. Through the day it is a great and quiet place for a drink and to read. At night it becomes a dimly lit rather intimate night club, which is also pleasant. Something to be aware of if the music is a bit loud, on the Eden I suggested to the waitress that the music was too loud and the volume dropped significantly, by magic!

Steve.
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#18
3,803 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Originally posted by Gnomey
Haoie, the library is now the Blue Room and is a rather pleasant space. It is a money making item as it includes a bar and cafe. Through the day it is a great and quiet place for a drink and to read. At night it becomes a dimly lit rather intimate night club, which is also pleasant. Something to be aware of if the music is a bit loud, on the Eden I suggested to the waitress that the music was too loud and the volume dropped significantly, by magic!

Steve.
Hi Steve just wondering if you by any chance have copies of any of the specialty restaurant or bar menus?

Did you find it easy to get a dinner table in the specialty restaurants or were they very popular? How did you book onboard? Was it by calling a special dining line from your room? Thanks so much!
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*South Pacific Port Summary
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*P&O Pacific Eden 2016 - Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2327093
*Celebrity Solstice November 2015 - Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2298377
*Celebrity Solstice March 2015 - Review http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2192606
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#19
New Zealand
1,113 Posts
Joined Oct 2010
I read recently that the DVD 'rentals' are back to a limited extent?
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#20
1 Posts
Joined Jun 2018
I cruised on this ship as statendam and also as pacific eden. I loved both. I was not disappointed with pacific eden at all, although i may have just been lucky to be on it when they had great entertainment. The soloist guitar player was amazing and theatre productions were brilliant. Also, the 2 new specialty restaurants (italian and japanese cuisines) were free and the food was first class. Maybe i was just lucky but it was one of my best cruises. But anyway, i believe it's about to have it's final cruise before it's retired.