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Beehive

Back from Statendam, CruiseTour16

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We had a WONDERFUL cruisetour on the Statendam, but we packed all the wrong clothes! Our land tour was during a most unexpected "heat wave" so Fairbanks, Denali, and Anchorage were between 80-90 degrees!

 

Anyone taking this tour will absolutely love it! Yes, there were some minor problems, but no one seemed to let these little things ruin their tours!

 

The land accomodations were excellent, the tour guides were informative and fun, and the cruise was so relaxing after the land portion!

 

A highlight on the land tour that I would recommend is flightseeing in Denali with Talkeetna Aero. You can call them and book a flight almost anytime all day long, and they are excellent...just tell Gerri I sent you. They are not the Holland America excursion! The mountain was "out" when we were there, and it was magnificent!

 

Don't bother with the Blue Diamond wagon tour at Denali...too expensive for what is offered...and everyone who went river rafting loved it!

 

Also, five stars for the "Captains Choice Tour" in Sitka. It is a small group of twelve, landing on an island, doing some fantastic beach combing, visiting a bird sanctuary and the otters, and then we followed three different whales in the bay. The naturalist, Jenny, was wonderful!

 

Be sure to do at least one night at the Pinnacle Grill on board the Statendam...the food is superior! We also did the wine lunch, and that was also great!

 

The food in the Rotterdam dining room is very good, but the service was a little lacking...I liked cruising better when you had one attentive waiter who knew his tip was dependent on his service. We did find one young barmaid in the Ocean Lounge, Felidez (?) who knew whay "personal service" really means and she was delightful!

 

Lots more comments about our wonderful tour could be written, but I'd be happy to answer questions rather than bore everyone! I would certainly recommend this package for "seeing" Alaska for the first time.

 

One thing we really enjoyed was doing the land portion FIRST, and meeting lots of different people on our excursions and train and bus rides... it made it very comfortable on ship to be able to say "hi" to people, and sit with them for a drink or lunch...

 

More clother to wash, so I'll sign off for now!

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Glad you had a good cruise!

 

I am most interested in knowing the condition of the Statendam itself---we have not been on this ship since 1998, and would like to hear your comments. We thought her beautiful in 1998, our first of many cruises on HAL.

 

Is she in super condition? Or showing a bit of wear and tear? Or?? We will be on this ship for a month (01/05), and wonder if we have been spoiled by the Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Oosterdam and little sister Prinsendam.

 

We will enjoy regardless, but would look forward to any comments you'd care to make.

 

Janet

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So glad that you had a good cruise on the Statendam.

 

My question is similar to Janet's about the condition of the ship itself. We haven't sailed her for 5 years, and are wondering about how the new signature of excellence items have improved her.

 

Also, what type of cabin did you have, and how did it work for you?

 

I know the laundry is piled up, but would appreciate any reply you might have concerning the condition of the ship.

 

Thanks.

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We did back to back Alaska cruise May and June of this year on Statendam and also did the Hawaii cruise on her in February. We loved the ship and staff. Ship shows a little wear but definitely not that much. They were replacing the carpeting on the stairs during our port days when we were in Alaska and had implemented many of the symbols of excellence between our two cruises. The bedding, pillows and robes were very nice. Not sure the lighted make-up mirror makes much of a difference. We always book inside cabins and are very happy :) :) with them. Makes us feel like we can take more frequent cruises or more excursions (they are key in Alaska). We have sailed on newer ships on Carnival and Celebrity if the last few years but would pick the friendly Philipino and Indonesian cruise any day. I think the new tipping policy has some positive sides and negative sides like most things. It has helped some of the crew while reducing tips for some other members of the crew.

 

I would do Statendam again anyday if the itinerary was right but instead have booked the Ryndam for November of this year as we wanted a Mexico trip to celebrate our anniversary.

 

Can't remember ever having a really bad day at sea and definitely not on the Statendam.

 

Have great cruise

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Would agree with above regarding the Statendam...what we enjoyed most was the size of the ship and the smaller number of guests. The Statendam was in good shape, and seemed well taken care of (we had not been on this ship before).

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Greetings Beehive.

 

We enjoyed meeting you last week. I'll have to agree with you, the trip was great. But, we must have been really lucky, because we had great service from from our waiter and ass't waiter, Ambara and Eri in the Rotterdam Dining Room, along with a great wine stewart, Ramie. We also loved the service from Charisma and Rhoel and Apolonnio (the Bartender) in the Ocean Bar.

 

We would definately sail the Statendam and HAL again. Infact we're thinking about the 15 day Hawaii trip for the winter of 2006.

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In regards to your booking Talkeetna Aero Taxi in Denali National Park...

Have you checked their insurance level? The main reason many times Holland America Line does not book optional tours with many vendors is due to them not carrying enough insurance. (Keep that in mind when booking outside of HAL)

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