The recently upgraded MS Statendam was built in 1993, the first of a new class of beautiful, luxurious cruise ships. It offers its guests a travel experience of space and comfort, conforming to the Holland America Line’s latest standards of excellence. The ship’s extensive makeover ensured that all staterooms, public areas, amenities and services are up-to-date, showing to great effect the company’s policy of blending the modern with the best of traditional cruise ships. Changes include a complete remodelling of the lounges and entertainment venues. The ship has an overall theme celebrating traditional Dutch life and its history of exploration. Beautifully displayed around the public areas are many valuable works of art and artefacts.
The ships makeover extends to all the staterooms, which are decorated in contemporary style with every care taken for the guests’ comfort, and those little touches of luxury such as complimentary stationery, fresh fruit and flowers, shoeshine, nightly turndown and complimentary laundry services. From the standard-sized interior staterooms to the deluxe Neptune and Pinnacle Suites, space is generous and the rooms well-designed. The Verandah and Neptune Suites have floor-to-ceiling windows to take full advantage of the sea views, and all have private verandahs. The Pinnacle Suites are the most spacious on the ship, with an extra level of luxury in their interior design and facilities, including a spacious dining area. Guests in the Neptune and Pinnacle Suites also have access to the Neptune Lounge, where they can relax, socialize, enjoy the personal concierge service, and have access to large screen TV, a library and wi-fi.
From the striking main two-level Rotterdam Dining Room with its high ceilings, sumptuous decoration and five course menu, including its Greenhouse Spa healthy options, to the more intimate and relaxed atmosphere of the Lido restaurant, which serves a variety of fresh food cooked to order from breakfast onwards, the stress is on quality of ingredients and excellent service.
Late at night, the Lido serves a range of themed snacks—Dutch, All American, Italian, Indonesian, etc. For a great steak or seafood dish with a Pacific Northwest theme, reserve a table at the Pinnacle Grill.
To dine out Italian style, drop into the Lido after 5.30pm, when one section becomes the Canaletto Restaurant, the perfect setting for a romantic meal.
Near to the swimming pool, the Terrace Grill serves hamburgers, hotdogs and grilled chicken, and at the poolside there are stations offering Indonesian, Mexican and Italian food. Alternatively, the Slice pizzeria is great for a lunch on the go.
On deck 8, the centre of entertainment on the ship, you’ll find a variety of venues to suit all tastes. Drink in the Ocean Bar, listen to live bands and dance the night away, or taste the range of spirits and micro-brewery ales in the Spirits and Ales bar, to the accompaniment of an acoustic guitarist. The Martini Bar has a resident pianist, while the Champagne Bar offers elegant relaxation and a venue for private celebrations. The Explorer’s Lounge is the perfect place to settle for drinks to the accompaniment of a classical quartet, or for cocktails before diner in the nearby Pinnacle Grill. This is also a great place to relax during the day, while the Crow’s Nest is a magnet for guests looking for a lively late night disco and to join in with the games, competitions and karaoke singing.
The ship’s extensive programme of activities has something for everyone, from cookery and computer classes and various fitness activities in the gym to a range of spa treatments in the Greenhouse Spa and Salon. There’s Club HAL® for the kids, and The Oasis and The Loft for teenagers. There is also a jogging track, tennis and basketball courts, and beside the main pool, which has a retractable roof, there are table-tennis tables and hot-tubs.
In the Van Gogh Show Lounge, entertainment is provided by a host of talented singers, dancers, comedians and variety acts. The Wajang Theatre shows a new film every day with free popcorn, and the Showroom at Sea presents high quality stage productions in an intimate setting that includes cabaret-style seating.