I have done many cruises, mainly with Royal Caribbean and celebrity and generally have had a great time and few complaints. As I live in Canada, the 28 day cruise on the Statendam from Vancouver to Aukland NZ looks very attractive and yesterday I made a provisional booking.
Having never travelled on HAL or on a ship as small as 55,000tons, I would be interested to hear from those who have travelled on this ship. Your views on its cleanliness and upkeep (older ship), food, service, cabins and entertainment would be very welcome. I am a single male 62 travelling alone who is NOT a party animal so a quiet environment would be fine for me.
You will enjoy a smaller ship. While I haven't had the pleasure of sailing the Statendam yet, we have sailed the Prinsendam twice ... and she's even smaller! The atmosphere is really different than on a huge vessel.
You will enjoy what HAL has to offer. Decor that's warm and inviting, with fresh flowers and fine artwork throughout. A crew that is eager to please.
I'm sure someone will be along shortly who has been on this ship and can give you some details about her.
Mikey, you'll absolutely love the smaller ships, and particularly HAL's version of them. Nice, cozy, understated elegance is the way I prefer to look at them. On a longer voyage like you are contemplating, you'll get to know many of your fellow passengers, not to mention crew members.
The problem, as I see it, with lines like RCCL is that the ships are just too big. You lose a lot of the comradrie that you get when you sail the smaller ships. This forces you more and more to stick within your own traveling group.
I don't know about you, but when I go on cruises I like to meet some new friends ... not just rehash good times with old friends. On HAL's smaller ships I have yet to fail to do that. In fact, I actually keep in touch ... on a frequent basis ... with people I've cruised with on HAL. I doubt I'd have the opportunity to form those kind of relationships on a large ship.
You should really try to turn that "provisional" booking into a real one. I think you'll enjoy the HAL experience.
Mikey: The Statendam is our favorite ship. We have been on her something like 8 times in the last 4 years. She is an elegant and beautiful lady. Intimate, yet packed with exquisite antiques and wonderful people. She has one of the best staffs on HAL and that is saying alot as HAL has the best staff on the high seas, bar none. At least IMHO.
Once you sail HAL you will find how easy it is for HAL to become a way of life.