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LAFFNVEGAS

The LAFFNVEGAS LIVE From the Statendam Panama Canal Cruise

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Friday April 17th, 2009

 

Greetings from aboard the MS Statendam,

WOW lots of first impressions, I know it has been a while since we have been on a S Class ship but as much as it being familiar because it is HAL it feels a bit strange.

 

The first thing is we were late boarding, if I would have checked the web cam earlier I would have found that the Statendam did not get in till almost 10 AM they had some bad winds and seas last night causing them to come in late. Another good reason not to book a flight that is too early. We got to the pier at about 11:30 we checked out bags with the stevedore and the a red vested lady told gave us a boarding number of 5 and had us go wait with all the others in building 24 because they were still disembarking passengers. When we got over to the other building to wait they told us it would be about 1 PM before check in would start and they gave us water and a granola bar. We sad by some interesting people, one lady was actually in-transit (b2b) and waiting to reboard with her husband that had gone out shopping. So she talked about the last 2 weeks.

 

About 1 PM they called our number 5 to go back to the other building to check in. The line went amazingly fast and we then headed upstairs where we immediately did our Embarkation photo and walked the gangway to board the ship. OK I have to a say that at first we were a bit confused and alarmed that on our ship card in had that we had 5:45 dining table 54 but it said level 8...... :eek:OMG are they placing us in the Lido because we booked this cruise so late. It was not till we boarded on to Main Deck that we realized that the Deck numbers are very different. I honestly do not remember this on the 3 previous S Class ships. So our cabin is on Deck 10, and Lido is Deck 11. The next thing that really seemed strange was the size of the Lido Buffet, after the Oosterdam numerous times and the Eurodam this Lido seems very small but the selection was still good and the food tasty. The bar guy was right there to take our order and the even had Henkel of which Tom and I had and toasted to a great cruise. Although we are positive that once they serve it there is a crack in the class because the is gone far too quickly.

 

OK we also must congratulate HAL on who ever takes care of the Pool and Spa tempatures because it is ALWAYS consist ant and always has a temp of 80.1 on every single HAL ship we have been on in recent times:D.

 

During the time we were eating they announced that the cabins were ready which is quick due to the late debark/embark so after a great lunch we walked down the aft stairs to find our cabin. We immediately saw our 3 pieces of luggage by the elevators so while there were not many there Tom grabbed ours so we could unpack. We are now totally unpacked and ready for a great 14 days. Cantur our cabin steward came by and introduced himself and gave us a card with his name and his assistants name who is Gus. I always like when they do that.

 

We are quite pleased with our cabin and you can really feel the difference in size between a VA on the Vista Class and this A category. Definitely a lot more room and more room on the verandah. I was impressed that we even had Telephone Concierge service. No word if we will have late Sail Away and I am guessing that Life Boat Drill will be happening very soon so I will quit writing for now.

 

Signing off from the Beautiful MS Statendam.

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Here's hoping for a fabulous Sail Away and calm seas! Allen went to Tokyo and found out the hotel we'll be in for the month uses Elemis products!! It will be as close to being on the ship as I can get for awhile! LOL:D

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As they so frequently say when you're boarding: Welcome Back! :)

 

Doncha just hate it that the deck numbers are different between the S- and R-ships! :mad: Someone says "Deck 8", and I don't have a clue what they mean; say Upper Promenade, and I've got it---Deck 5. :rolleyes:

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Lisa and Tom ... we hope you have a wonderful cruise on the msSTATENDAM. We have sailed on her 3 times and have enjoyed each trip. We just got off her on March 6th after a 28 day round trip San Diego to Florida (Panama Canal) trip. You are going to have a fantastic trip and don't forget to eat those delicious Panama Rolls!

 

If you have a chance say Hi to Amy (the Librarian) for us. She is a wonderful lady and runs the library to perfection. Tell her Barbara and Dan from NY send there greetings and hope to sail with her again on another "dam" ship. And, if Bekka is still on board, don't miss any of her culinary classes. She is adorable and her favorite line is "OH MAN!". Tell her also that we said hello.

 

BON VOYAGE with great weather and calm seas.

 

I can't wait each day to check the Cruise Critic site to read your updates.

 

ENJOY!!!!!

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Lisa and Tom:

 

Have a great cruise. I sailed the Statendam to Alaska in May of 1997, To places like Bonarie and Curacao in Fall of 1997, the Mexican Rivera in 2000 and Hawaii in 2005. I have always liked this ship. I like everything about it. I would say it my favorite "S" class ship.

I must also say the The AMSTERDAM is my favorite R Class ship with the ZAANDAM and VOLENDAM not far behind. Have fun in the Canal.

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The Statendam hs a passanger deck below deck one(Main Deck) called A deck. That throws off all the deck numbers.

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The Statendam hs a passanger deck below deck one(Main Deck) called A deck. That throws off all the deck numbers.

That's not really it, Carol, as the R-ships also have a passenger deck below Main Deck---only it's called Dolphin Deck on that class.

The big difference is that the deck numbers start lower, in non-passenger areas, on the S-class ships. On the R-class ships Main Deck is deck 2; on the S-class it's deck 5.

I find it so much easier to refer to the decks by name, as those identities are consistent across all eight ships.

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I thought the Deck below the Main Deck on the "S" Class was called the "A" Deck. I know that on the "R" Class that deck is called the Doufin deck.

 

I do agree we should use the name of the Decks and not the number of the deck.

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Friday April 17th, 2009 Evening

Good Evening from the Beautiful and Elegant MS Statendam,

Where I last left off we were about to head out for the Life Boat Drill which was held promptly at 4:15, just the usual Life Boat drill but with the booming voice of Captain Frans Consen throwing out a few rolling “r’s” It was good to hear his voice again. As I mentioned the ship got in about 10 AM and they were still disembarking passengers at noon. The amazing part was cabins were ready before 2 PM, life boat drill was on time and the most amazing of all is not only did we not leave late which has been a tradition for us sailing out of Port Everglades but the thrusters were pushing us away from the pier at 4:40 a whole 20 minutes early. I honestly would never have dreamed they could get the ship turned around and leave on time let alone leave 20 minutes early. So a BIG Congratulations to Captain Consen and his crew!!!!!

OK a couple of things I wanted to mention…..

For those that are a fan of the trays in the Lido they are alive and being used here on the Statendam but it is true that May 1st when we arrive in San Diego they will be going away. Iggy gives out the trays on the Starboard side and I told him I heard he was going to be out of a job on May 1st and he started to laugh and wanted to know how I knew that. J

The next thing is the Officer Uniforms HAVE NOT changed yet on the Statendam, the Officers are still wearing the summer white safari tops. I am guessing they will change May 1st when they start to head up North to Alaska.

Before dinner we stopped in the Explorations Café and spoke with Shannon because I had a question about the internet minutes, when I first signed up they did not offer the bigger packages just what they offer the last couple of days so I had signed up for the 30 minute one and I wanted to make sure it carried over with no problems.

Valerie I asked if Amy was there and she was out to dinner so we will stop back, but I told Shannon that I had a friend that knew Amy and that you had lunch with her this past time they were in San Diego and she said “Oh that has to be Valerie” I started laughing and she said “Everyone knows Valerie” so you are famous here on the Statendam. :D

We have a great table for 2 which is table 54 near the aft windows, so we have a great view and we think we will have a great cruise with our waiters and wine steward. All seem great and service was excellent tonight. We are still walking around a bit amazed with the size, everything seems so much smaller and condensed with many things different compared to the other S Class ships we have been on and especially the Vista Class. As was told to me on CC the Explorers Lounge is all closed in and more private, that seems very strange to us. We plan to return a bit later so I can go have a Spanish Coffee, we saw they had all the makings for it on a cart so know they make them ;-) But I think the tempeture was at least 15 degrees colder in there so when I return I plan to bring a sweater jacket. But then the Ocean Bar and Crow’s Nest were also very cold brrrrrrrr.

There is only one show tonight at 9:30 and they are doing “Let Us Entertain You” which we have seen a few times on other ships so plan to pass but we did walk into the theater to take a peak. I love the stain glass tiffany lamps on the side tables and all the blue coloring it is all very pretty in a older styling sort of way.

We also checked out the Crow’s Nest and walked around outside on the Sports Deck, then went down and did a brief tour of the spa and checked out the thermal suite and sauna. I cannot wait to go there tomorrow. I am definitely hoping there are not a lot of people that have signed up for it for this cruise. I would love to have it all to myself ;)

I think it is time to quit writing because I hear a Flaming Spanish Coffee calling my name, then the bed is starting wo whisper my name as well.

Signing off from the Beautiful and Elegant MS Statendam.:)

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What fun! Glad your trip started off well.

 

I have a question that I suppose anyone can answer, what is this about the Lido trays going away? What will be the substitute?

 

Thanks.

 

 

P.S. LaffnVegas....I like it that you left your countdown clock up, we can tell how long you have been on the ship and follow your itinerary, unless most of you are like me and have the cruise planner out at all times.

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That's not really it, Carol, as the R-ships also have a passenger deck below Main Deck---only it's called Dolphin Deck on that class.

 

The big difference is that the deck numbers start lower, in non-passenger areas, on the S-class ships. On the R-class ships Main Deck is deck 2; on the S-class it's deck 5.

I find it so much easier to refer to the decks by name, as those identities are consistent across all eight ships.

 

Now that I'm very confused, I' ll meet you on the Lido deck....whatever number that might be.:D

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It is always good when you can see that your ship has come in :)

 

Checked one of the web cams and found she is definitely there :D

 

StatendaminFLL4-17.jpg?t=1239976526

 

 

Yeah, that was from InletCam after she came in this morning. I took this pic on your way out. Didn't know where you were but thought you might like this. I took a few other pix, maybe you're in one.

 

statendam.jpg

 

Have fun.

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Lisa-

Glad to hear you are both safely aboard and sailing. :D

I might speculate that the interior of the ship is a bit cool, because it is going to get very warm ( and humid) when you arrive in Panama. Not too many places where I have a problem with my glasses steaming up.....but I sure did there.:eek:

Glad to hear you are in a VA, they are a great size on the 'S' ships. ;)

Needless to say, have fun!!:D

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Friday April 17th, 2009 Evening

 

Good Evening from the Beautiful and Elegant MS Statendam,

 

Valerie I asked if Amy was there and she was out to dinner so we will stop back, but I told Shannon that I had a friend that knew Amy and that you had lunch with her this past time they were in San Diego and she said “Oh that has to be Valerie” I started laughing and she said “Everyone knows Valerie” so you are famous here on the Statendam. :D

 

Okay, in my own defense I have to say that I did know quite a lot of the staff from previous cruises on various ships - then, because of my dear friend Amy, I got to meet and truly enjoy the Cruise Director and all of his staff - and, you know me Lisa: I make friends really easily so yes, I guess that a lot of people on the ship either knew me or knew of me. Now - ask Amy and Shannon about Cheryl (Parker) and they will probably say the same about her. She, like me, makes friends easily and she is a ton of fun to be around (don't know if I fit that category though). One of these days you have to meet Cheryl - you will really like her a whole lot.

 

I hope that you are adjusting to the different deck numbers. I had spent so much time aboard the Amsterdam where Main Deck is 2 and got aboard the Statendam on Deck 5 only to be amazed that that was Main Deck, where my cabin was located. Got in the elevator ready to push 8 for Lido Deck only to discover that Lido was Deck 11 (Deck 11 - on the Amsterdam that's waaaay high up isn't it;):D).

 

Now that you have had a few hours to adjust I hope that you are having a sensational time and when you do find Amy (took me 2 days to find her last cruise - we always kept missing each other) tell her I say "Hi and luv ya".

 

I'm staying tuned for next installment.

 

Love to you both,

 

Valerie:)

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Yeah, that was from InletCam after she came in this morning. I took this pic on your way out. Didn't know where you were but thought you might like this. I took a few other pix, maybe you're in one.

 

statendam.jpg

 

Have fun.

 

Beautiful! I missed sail away, I was hoping someone got some pics. Is LaffnVegas on the Port side Navigation Aft?

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Go to Hyatt Pier 66. Much better IMO and you can go to one of the travel sites to get a decent rate. Very nice property very near Embassy Suites and front of hotel has full view of Port Everglades. jFun to see 'your ship come in.'

 

Sail does the Hyatt offer a shuttle to Port Everglades or do you need to grab a cab?

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Now I'm really confused! On the Hal website--the Statendam's deck plans show her as having 10 decks with Lido being on deck 8!!

Anyway, hope you're having a great time!

Marge

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Sail does the Hyatt offer a shuttle to Port Everglades or do you need to grab a cab?

 

No shuttle. A taxi costs less than $10. Pier 66 is right across from Port Everglades. Front facing rooms see all the ships come in and leave.

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I might speculate that the interior of the ship is a bit cool, because it is going to get very warm ( and humid) when you arrive in Panama.

I was on the Statendam from Nov 10 - Dec 6/08 (I think those were the dates:o) and found the A/C to work VERY WELL on the ship. It was always on the cold side. It was fine by me because I would rather be cold then too hot.

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Yeah, that was from InletCam after she came in this morning. I took this pic on your way out. Didn't know where you were but thought you might like this. I took a few other pix, maybe you're in one.

 

 

Have fun.

 

Yesterday morning when the Statendam came in through the intlet, someone was standing next to your InletCam.com sign taking a picture. Was it you? Anyway my wife and I waved at you, we were on the outside lower promenade deck.

 

Jim

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Thank you for taking the time to post, if I can't be on a ship, reading about someone's cruise is the next best thing. We agree with you on that hotel, we won't stay there again.

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Lisa:

 

On the Statendam the Explorers Lounge has always been enclosed. I forgot about until you mentioned it. My first "S" class cruise was on the "Statendam" and when I went on the Masdam and Veendam with the open areas, i thought it a bit strange.

 

I have not been on a cruise with your Captain in a long time but I can still hear the "r's" rolling. You might notice that if he comes on with an announcement when your are in the dining room, the Stewards and assistant stewards will pick up on it and try and roll the "R's"

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Friday April 17th, 2009 Evening

Good Evening from the Beautiful and Elegant MS Statendam,

Where I last left off we were about to head out for the Life Boat Drill which was held promptly at 4:15, just the usual Life Boat drill but with the booming voice of Captain Frans Consen throwing out a few rolling “r’s” It was good to hear his voice again. As I mentioned the ship got in about 10 AM and they were still disembarking passengers at noon. The amazing part was cabins were ready before 2 PM, life boat drill was on time and the most amazing of all is not only did we not leave late which has been a tradition for us sailing out of Port Everglades but the thrusters were pushing us away from the pier at 4:40 a whole 20 minutes early. I honestly would never have dreamed they could get the ship turned around and leave on time let alone leave 20 minutes early. So a BIG Congratulations to Captain Consen and his crew!!!!!

OK a couple of things I wanted to mention…..

For those that are a fan of the trays in the Lido they are alive and being used here on the Statendam but it is true that May 1st when we arrive in San Diego they will be going away. Iggy gives out the trays on the Starboard side and I told him I heard he was going to be out of a job on May 1st and he started to laugh and wanted to know how I knew that. J

The next thing is the Officer Uniforms HAVE NOT changed yet on the Statendam, the Officers are still wearing the summer white safari tops. I am guessing they will change May 1st when they start to head up North to Alaska.

Before dinner we stopped in the Explorations Café and spoke with Shannon because I had a question about the internet minutes, when I first signed up they did not offer the bigger packages just what they offer the last couple of days so I had signed up for the 30 minute one and I wanted to make sure it carried over with no problems.

Valerie I asked if Amy was there and she was out to dinner so we will stop back, but I told Shannon that I had a friend that knew Amy and that you had lunch with her this past time they were in San Diego and she said “Oh that has to be Valerie” I started laughing and she said “Everyone knows Valerie” so you are famous here on the Statendam. :D

We have a great table for 2 which is table 54 near the aft windows, so we have a great view and we think we will have a great cruise with our waiters and wine steward. All seem great and service was excellent tonight. We are still walking around a bit amazed with the size, everything seems so much smaller and condensed with many things different compared to the other S Class ships we have been on and especially the Vista Class. As was told to me on CC the Explorers Lounge is all closed in and more private, that seems very strange to us. We plan to return a bit later so I can go have a Spanish Coffee, we saw they had all the makings for it on a cart so know they make them ;-) But I think the tempeture was at least 15 degrees colder in there so when I return I plan to bring a sweater jacket. But then the Ocean Bar and Crow’s Nest were also very cold brrrrrrrr.

There is only one show tonight at 9:30 and they are doing “Let Us Entertain You” which we have seen a few times on other ships so plan to pass but we did walk into the theater to take a peak. I love the stain glass tiffany lamps on the side tables and all the blue coloring it is all very pretty in a older styling sort of way.

We also checked out the Crow’s Nest and walked around outside on the Sports Deck, then went down and did a brief tour of the spa and checked out the thermal suite and sauna. I cannot wait to go there tomorrow. I am definitely hoping there are not a lot of people that have signed up for it for this cruise. I would love to have it all to myself ;)

I think it is time to quit writing because I hear a Flaming Spanish Coffee calling my name, then the bed is starting wo whisper my name as well.

Signing off from the Beautiful and Elegant MS Statendam.:)

 

Hi Lisa,

Glad you made it off so quickly. We finally disembarked the Statendam at 11:25am yesterday, thankfully we had a 1:45pm flight, however many passengers had to do some last minute schedule changes!!!. The Captain may have forgotten to mention the fact that we lost propulsion of the ship just outside of Cartagena and floated around for 1hr.

We encountered high seas after leaving Cartagena which was some of the cause for the delay, but we never reached 21knts until Thursday at 12pm, many passengers had speculated that there were some engine trouble, especially since most of Thursday we spent cruising at just 16knts. There was also a noticeable smell in the Wajung Theatre after the ship lost propulsion.

The captain announced during his daily briefing on Thursday that we would be docking at 10am not 6am as previously planned. I realize this wasn't a planned delay, but giving passengers more time to make alternate arrangements would have been appreciated.

It was a wonderful cruise and I LOVE the crew!s

Bruce

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