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With Reuben Goossens

Cruise’n’Ship Reviewer, Cruise‘n’Travel Journalist, Maritime Historian Author & Lecturer

 

Please Note: Cruise-Australia and its associated pages are 100% non-commercial and privately owned cruise sites and are NOT associated with any cruise company or travel company! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and is currently semi-retired, but continues to write cruise and ship reviews and articles in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and provide information for those intending a cruise in the future. Photographs: on these ms Statendam pages are mostly provided by Holland America Line and are used with permission, but they are all under HAL © Copyright and thus must not be copied! Other photos are by those as marked.

Photograph provided by & © Holland America Line

 

Page One

 

ms Statendam the First of a Kind!

The Superb S-Class Ships!

 

This Page covers Decks 4 to 10

Introduction to Statendam IV & V:

The Holland America Line (HAL) ms Statendam is the fifth ship to proudly carry this fine name on her bow for the “Netherland’s America Steamship Company” or in Dutch, “Nederlandsch Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij” (NASM), today’s “Holland America Line”, which is one of the most awarded Cruise Companies on the planet!

The previous SS Statendam IV commenced her maiden voyage on February 6, 1957. For a Trans Atlantic liner she had to have two classes, but she was built for just 84 very privileged passengers in a relatively compact, but luxurious First Class. Whilst the 867 Tourist class passengers had the vast majority of the ship to them, which was a first! In addition her Tourist facilities were as good as most First Class on all other ships at the time! In the 1960s she commenced more cruising and operated around the world cruises and visited Australia and New Zealand a number of times! Her first visit to Sydney was in 1967.

This visit by the SS Statendam IV to Sydney was to be very special indeed it was the very first time ever that two Holland America Line passenger ships were in Sydney at the very same time so far from home. Thus, on November 7, 1967 both the SS Maasdam that had had sailed from the Netherlands via the UK, and SS Statendam on her grand cruise, were in port proudly showing off their spotless livery of grey hulls, gleaming white superstructure, their proud buff/yellow funnels with those green and white HAL bands on them. Such an sight would never happen again, well not quite, until the 21st.century when two HAL cruise ships are stationed in Sydney, being the now dark blue hulled and white funnelled with the HAL Logo, ms Volendam and ms Zaandam in 2011/12 and again in 2012/13 when the ms Volendam and ms Oosterdam where in port!

Building a New Class of Ship:

When Holland America Line decided to build a new series of cruise ships their maritime architects made and finalised their plans, according to their wishes. When these plans had been completed HAL knew that they had done a superb job for their architects had come up with a perfect new class of ship that became known as the S-Class, named after the first ship that would soon be built.

S-Class stands for, motor ship Statendam.” But personally, I always felt that “S” should have stood for “Superb” for the ms Statendam and her three sisters that followed where absolutely magnificent sips and passengers keep on telling me that they “… had a superb time on board” one of these four excellent and popular cruise ships!

The interior layout as far as their public rooms are concerned, these were very much based on the very successful earlier ships, the ms Nieuw Amsterdam and Noordam from 1984/83, for this layout worked perfectly. It brought about the now popular public venues, such as such the superb Explorers Lounge, Crow's Nest and the superbly arranged Lido Restaurant, which has been hailed as one of the best Buffet’s on the seven seas!

Thus HAL decided to place an order for the new ship that would be named Statendam on March 1, 1989 and she would be built by the Fincantieri Shipyards in Italy together with two of her sisters, the ms Maasdam and ms Ryndam. The Statendam was launched on April 3, 1992 and commenced her maiden voyage in January 1993, being a Panama Canal cruise.

The ms Statendam was built at a cost of U$180 million, she was 55,451 GRT (Gross Registered Tons) and she has a length of 219m - 719ft, a width of 30.8m - 101ft and a draught of 7.5m - 25ft. She and accommodates just 1,258 passengers in superb accommodations, with a crew of around 557. she has a speed 22 knots

ms Statendam seen in Sydney, Australia

Photograph with thanks by & © Fred Claessen

She was soon followed by her two sisters, the ms Maasdam in 1993 and ms Ryndam in 1994, whilst the fourth in the S-Class the ms Veendam was completed in 1996.

Welcome aboard the Statendam:

The grandly proportioned and somewhat enhanced, ms Statendam offers an onboard experience that is defined by spacious comfort, and the very latest “Signature of Excellence” features and amenities. Upgrades begin with new fixtures as well as soft goods in staterooms and bathrooms. The majority of the Statendam’s Staterooms offer a generous amount of personal space and commanding ocean views and many have a private Verandah.

The more recent enhancements to the ship include new carpeting and upholstery or new furnishings, as well as remodelled public spaces, updated lounges and an exciting destination called “Mix”. Together they provide the ultimate place to socialize and to be entertained! In addition all staterooms and suites have been greatly upgraded with new enhancements, including with flat screen TV and CD/DVD players, etc, and more!

Exhibiting a theme of historical Dutch life and exploration, ms Statendam features well over a million worth of fine art and rare artefacts that are so superbly displayed throughout the ship.

She has so many fine public venues, thus you can relax in one of the comfortable lounges and Bars, such as the popular Ocean Bar, which has entertainment at night. Then there is the relaxing and luxurious Explorers Lounge that is popular in the evening as “Adagio” will play beautiful Classic Music and this is very popular indeed!

The luxuriously appointed and uniquely refined ship, I know that the Holland America Line’s ms Statendam ensures you the ultimate onboard experience with her graceful combination of classic cruise ship features, state-of-the-art amenities, and intimate and sophisticated ambiance.

Let us now go and discover the ship’s public venues deck by deck! Please note: On each deck, I will always commence forward of the ship and then head aft.

A Deck (4) & Main Deck (5):

A Deck is an accommodation deck, with both inside and outside staterooms. The vast majority of the outside staterooms have large windows but there are some staterooms located in the forward section that have portholes. In addition there are several “Special needs” Staterooms on this deck. Also located on this deck in the forward section is the Medical Centre as well as a laundrette. In fact there is a laundrette on each accommodation deck, except Navigation deck (10) where all the deluxe Suites are located.

Main Deck only has accommodations, such as inside and outside staterooms and like on A deck outside rooms have windows, but some of the forward ones do have portholes.

Staterooms and Suites are fully described on the “Accommodation” page.

Lower Promenade Deck (6):

This deck is mostly occupied with accommodations, but it does have one rather spectacular public venue and that located in what is called the “Heart of the ms Statendam” where you will discover the delightful three-story Atrium that showcases an elaborate 26-foot-high sculpture titled “Fountain of the Siren.”

On this level there is seating along the wall on comfortable sofas and there is a grand piano and the ships pianist will play the keyboards and the delicate sounds will gently flow up the atrium and entertain the guests on all levels during the afternoon!

 

Above & below: The Atrium and the spectacular26-foot-high sculpture named - “Fountain of the Siren

 

 

 

 

Above & below: The stairs going up and part of the sculpture and below the Baby Grand Piano

 

From the Atrium and other parts of this deck you can walk out onto the full “Walk around Promenade Deck” that is ideal for those early morning walkers (not joggers as there are cabins below) and walk around the entire superstructure. Of course on all HAL ships, whilst at certain placed the bow section is open to passengers, which is one of the pleasures when you sail with Holland America Line! Recently we cruised around New Zealand and whilst cruising the most sublime Milford Sounds as well as Doubtful Sound on the West Coast of the South Island, the Bow was open, and from there the ship headed close to the towering waterfalls, it was simply staggering. The scenery just had to be seen to be believed. Even though it was summer, but looking high up into the mountains there the glaciers remained pure white covered with ice! Yet below it was as lush and green, with dolphins as we entered the Sounds and seals lazing on the shores.

Promenade Deck (deck 6) port side looking forward

Promenade Deck (7):

Far forward is the delightful “Showroom at Sea”, what is so different about this venue is that the forward section near the stage has a feel of a mote intimate nightclub feel, as tables with tablecloths and chairs are freely placed around. Whereas the rest of the large two level Showroom has theatre style seating. The ships company present their production shows here, as do the guest artists from around the world, as I have personally witnessed on my own cruises with HAL, the vast majority are simply superb, I recall even giving one of then a 10 out of 10 rating, for he was that good, and quite a few even a 9. My ratings are from 1 to 10. In addition Port lectures are held here as are other lectures, etc.

Although the stage and its surrounding arte quite dramatic with its dark blue and its timber floor in front, yet high above the stage has a sculptured finish in blue with a sky with glowing backlit stars twinkling. The carpets pull though the blue scheme, but the seating is in a lighter shade of a very pale blue. The balcony has a trim of black and gold, with a curved clear plastic banister.

 

Above & below: The Showroom at Sea

 

As we head aft, portside we pass the Photo Gallery and shop into the Atrium, where on the starboard side is the Front Office (Pursers Office) and the Shore Excursions Deck. Port aft of the Atrium is the Art Gallery, which then leads to a hallway and the “Wine Tasting Bar & Gourmet Shop.” This is where guests can order fine wines to be sent home at duty free prices as well as unique Gourmet specialties.

The Wine Tasting Bar & Gourmet Shop 

On the Starboard side is the “Wajang Theatre & Culinary Arts Centre”. This is the place to see movies, lectures and presentations, but it is also the venue for the famed HAL “Culinary Arts Centre” where the ships Master Chef and other chefs will come and cook dishes which passengers will taste at the conclusion. But for food genuine food lovers sailing on the Statendam, I highly recommend that you attend the “Culinary Arts Center” and actually join one of the classes for it is great fun to learn new recipes from a one of the ships great chefs! These courses are highly recommended!

 

Above & below: The entrance to the Wajang Cinema/Theatre & the Culinary Arts Centre

 

 

 

The ships Culinary Arts Centre is seen ready for her Chefs and those who love great food!

Directly aft of the Wajang Theatre are the “Hudson” and “Half Moon” Rooms. These side-by-side meeting rooms are available for groups, and they are used for various events during any cruise. The Half Moon Room will host “Morning Mass.” The Hudson Room will be used for arts and crafts, such as origami demonstrations, journal crafting, and beginner and also intermediate Bridge instruction as well as non-hosted Bridge sessions.

The Hudson Room

 

And the Half Moon Room

The “Rotterdam Dining Room”. This is the ships third multi level venue, 1; the Showroom, 2; Atrium and 3; the Dining Room.

This spacious and beautiful venue has two levels, one level is reserved for first and second sittings, whilst the other is for “Dine as you wish” and unlike some cruise lines there is no charge for this service!

Holland America Line is world renowned for their sublime cuisine and works under the “Culinary Council,” which is made up of six renowned Chefs. More on this subject later!

You will not find food as good as this on 99% of non HAL cruise ship around the world, for HAL offers simply the very finest and the freshest products and it is prepared and presented to perfection! My personal experiences on Holland America has always had me raving about my dining experience, and when I speak to other passengers onboard, most of whom will have cruised many times, they all say the very same thing, “You will be hard pressed to find any other company that offers anything that is as close as Holland America when it comes to perfect service and such wonderful quality of food.”

 

Above & below: Three views of this wonderful venue that has superb views on three sides of the room 

 

 

But better still, it is the sublime cuisine that is on offer here combined with the very best of service!

 

Upper Promenade Deck (8):

Once again, far forward is the balcony of the “Showroom at Sea,” however we have already covered this venue in detail on Promenade Deck.

Here we see the balcony level of the “Showroom at Sea”

Upon exiting on the portside you will discover the shopping arcade, whilst on the starboard side you arrive at one of the most popular venues!

The “Ocean Bar”, will have passengers enjoying themselves there day and at night for it is one of the most inviting of places. At night a band plays popular music! The bar is on the aft wall and as this venue is located alongside the Atrium it flows into one as the seating goes right up to the railing.

 

Above & below: The wonderful and comfortable Ocean Bar

 

As you walk aft from the Atrium on the portside you will enter the large Casino, and let’s face it, a Casino is a Casino no matter where you are onshore or on a ship!

If a Casino is your style, well here it is!

On the starboard side the first place you will discover just aft of the Ocean Bar is a large “Shopping Arcade.” ms Statendam has everything you may be looking for, as there is a vast range of shops onboard, both here and on the portside along the Atrium. You will fins anything from luxury goods such as fine jewellery, watches, a good range of clothing to duty free spirits, souvenirs and every day items that you may need during the voyage from the ships general shop.

The Signature Shops

MIX” This is one of the new additions to the ship and it has been well received. At first it is located in between the casino and the shopping arcade, but as it heads aft it slowly widens.

More about the “MIX” - This is an innovative meeting place that features three specialty venues that have been closely located together called the “MIX”

1.    “MIX” Champagne Bar - for mid-day mimosas or anytime celebrations.

2.    “MIX” Martinis Bar - for Grey Goose cocktails and martini flights.

3.    “MIX” Spirits & Ales Bar - for microbrews, single malts and sports updates.

Welcome to the “MIX

 

1 - The Mix – Champagne Bar

 

2 - The MIX – Martinis Bar

 

3 - The MIX – Spirits & Ales Bar. Note the electronic games tables!

We now head further aft and on the portside we arrive at one of Holland America’s wonderful innovations the amazing “Explorers Café”. This café is “Powered by the New York Times” and it is very much a multi purpose venue, for it is a Coffee Lounge, a superb and a very large Library, and a spacious Reading Room. However, the Explorer’s Café is also is the ships Internet-cafe and you can go online here with ample computers available! It is a very large venue and it is simply an amazing venue.

The Coffee Bar offers a variety of Coffees and Teas with either regular milk, light or soy milk. In addition there are an excellent variety of pastries and other delicacies available. The price for a coffee is from just $1.05, thus it is very inexpensive indeed and on top of that it is great coffee, especially when you are reading a book, or working on your emails!

 

Above & below: the superb Explorations Café is certainly a delightful and a comfortable place to be

 

Directly opposite on the starboard side is the elegant “Explorer’s Lounge”. This Lounge is a feature lounge on all HAL ships and it is a lounge that has a very special ambiance with elegant furnishings, stunning table lamps and a number of fine works of art on the wall that highlight old Dutch artists from days long gone! Then there are the big Globes and the fresh flowers, which is featured all around the ship.

The delightful Explorers Lounge is loved by all regular HAL cruisers for the Explorers Lounge is what Holland America is all about

The nightly classical recitals and the fine wines and drinks that are on offered here, it is all so delightfully special!

The next venue offers without doubt one of the greatest dining experiences to be found at sea and it is one not to be missed, even though it comes at an reasonable optional cost, but believe me, it is a very small price for the grandiose feast that you will experience here!

Pinnacle Grill”. This is one of the ships alternative Restaurants, which is open for Lunch and Diner. It is vital that an appointment is made very early for this is without a doubt one of the most popular restaurants on the seven seas. From personal experience, I noticed very early that the evening meal is usually booked out within the first 24 hours or two days of departure. You may ask, “But why?”

Well this is very easy to answer; for once you have discovered the sublime cuisine on offer at the Pinnacle Grill, and its amazing presentation that just takes your breath away, and all this is combined with the ultimate service that you can possibly imagine, you would want to come back again and again as well, for I certainly do!

Just imagine, at the Pinnacle Grill you dine in the grandest of style for your delicious meal will come served on the most ultimate of plates, nothing less than, “BVLGARIChina, and you will drink your wine, or drink of choice from fine “Riedel” stemware or glasses, and the table is  laid with the finest “FretteLinens. Thus at the Pinnacle Grill you will be assured that receive nothing but the worlds best, that is why it is the “Pinnacle of Dining!”

 

Above & below:

The Pinnacle Grill is without a doubt the ultimate in dinning. The image above and those below give you an idea of the ambience here!

 

 

 

 It is sheer simplicity combined with warm colours, fine art and service supreme and cuisine that just has no match!

 

Nothing but the finest China at the Pinnacle Grill – “BVLGARI” thus go and spoil yourself!

This Image is © Holland America Line

Far aft of this deck you will arrive at the upper level of the “Rotterdam Dining Room, but as we have already covered the dining room, I will just discuss more about the special dining experience onboard the Statendam and all of Holland America Line ships!

Dinning Experience:

As I have already stated quite clearly, the dinning experience onboard the ms Statendam is typically Holland America and from personal experience it can just not be faulted! To be honest if anyone complains, they have either made the wrong choice from the menu or they just are not used to cuisine of this high standard, which is presented in the most superior manner and dishes! Holland America Line has its very own “Culinary Council,” which comprises not of just one Head Chef, like you will find on all other cruise companies, but non HAL’s “Culinary Council” there are six world renowned and celebrated Master Chefs who have created recipes to be featured in all the dining ventures on all of the 15 HAL ships!

Chef Rudi Sodamin Master Chef & Chairman of the “Culinary Council”

This Image is © Holland America Line

You may ask, well who is on the “Culinary Council”? The members include the council chairman and Holland America’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin, along with renowned international chefs Jonnie Boer, David Burke, Markus Samuelson, Jacques Torres and Charlie Trotter. I could write a great deal about each of these chefs remarkable achievements as each of them are artists in creative culinary and operators of some of the some of the finest top restaurants in the world, as well as one of the globes to pastry chefs and specialists in handmade chocolates and a renowned baker who has won 10 top awards!

“Bringing these icons and their diverse backgrounds to our guests, places Holland America Line at the forefront of culinary incentives within the industry,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, Marketing, Sales and Guest Programs. “The Council’s expertise and innovative guidance will touch every aspect of our shipboard food service, from the Lido Restaurant breakfast buffet to the dinner menu and all culinary offerings.”

Master Chef Rudi Sodamin (left) and Chef John Mulvaney pose with a freshly made dessert consisting of

a chocolate cylinder filled with hazelnut mousse and surrounded by smaller fanciful confections

 

This is another of the countless deserts on offer

Thus this give all HAL guests a guarantee of superb food no matter how and where it is obtained, be it in the Rotterdam Dining Room, the Terrace Grill and the Lido Restaurant (Buffet) or the two optional Restaurants, Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto Italian Restaurant. In addition to all that, there is also a 24 hour free room service that offers in room dinning, with two menus, 1 for the day time and evening, and one that commences late evening and goes through the night to early morning, but before breakfast. Breakfast must be ordered prior retiring.

Verandah Deck (9) & Navigation Deck (10):

Verandah Deck is fully occupied by accommodations, most of which being Verandah Suites, as well as five inside and six outside staterooms. Aft of the deck is a delightful open deck space perfect for viewing the wake (wash) of the ship!

Navigation Deck is very different indeed, for this is the deck that contains many of the luxury Suites. Although amidships to aft there are four inside staterooms as well as twenty Verandah Suites. Forward of these are twenty eight Neptune Suites and forward on the starboard side is the grandiose Pinnacle (Penthouse) Suite.

Both the Pinnacle and Neptune Suites have excess to the exclusive Neptune Lounge that is located on this deck amidships.

This lounge has an attendant and there is always snacks and drinks available. A good library is also available as is a large screen LED TV, and space for you to do some work in a quiet place, catch up on some of your emails on one of the computers. It is a comfortable venue and a great place to meet with others residing in suites.

 

Above & below: the exclusive Neptune Lounge a comfortable place to meet friends

 

Far aft of this deck is the spacious open air “adult onlySea-View deck and Swimming Pool and Bar. There is ample seating with tables as well as sun-lounges. The bar here is small but it works. The service is just wonderful and it is not the type of bar you would want to sit at, but rather enjoy and sit comfortably at one of the tables and chat with one of your friends or read a good book! Smoking is permitted on the starboard side.

The Sea-View Pool and spacious deck 

 

 A delightful aerial view of a wonderful ship seen just after completion

 

This completes Page One, which has taken us up to Navigation Deck (10). Page Two commences with Lido Deck (11) and concludes with Sky Deck (13), being part of the HAL-Club the young peoples and teenagers centre, which is better that comprehensive. Use the index below!

ms Statendam INDEX:

 

Page One:         A Deck to Navigation Deck – This page.

Page Two:        Verandah Deck to Sky Deck & Additional passenger reviews.

Page Three:        Accommodations.

Page Four:        Deck Plan.

For a Holland America Line cruise brochure or for more information on their superb cruises from Australia or throughout the world, consult a cruise specialist, who is a travel professional or in Australia call Holland America Line at 1300 987 322 or visit www.hollandamerica.com.au.

Holland America Line hopes to welcome you onboard very soon!

-Also visit my other Holland America Pages-

Page One The History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1872 to 2000

Page TwoThe History of Holland America Line and Today’s Modern Fleet

1993 to 2015

-Holland America Line Ships featured on Cruise-Australia-

ms Rotterdam - ms Volendam - ms Zaandam - ms Oosterdam & ms Nieuw Amsterdam

ms Prinsendamms Statendam

-Cruise and Ship Reviews by the Author-

NEW - ms Oosterdam 2013 Cruise’n’Ship Review

ms Volendam Cruise Review - ms Amsterdam Ship Review

Also read our Holland America Line - Cruise News Updates - Page

***************************************************

Who is the Author of Cruise-Australia & ssMaritime?

Commenced in the Passenger Shipping Industry in May 1960

 

Or go directly to the - Cruise-Australia.com - INDEX

 

Please Note: Cruise-Australia and its associated pages are 100% non-commercial and privately owned cruise sites and are NOT associated with any cruise company or travel agency! Although the author has been in the passenger shipping industry since 1960 and is currently semi-retired, but continues to write cruise and ship reviews and articles in order to better to inform cruise and ship enthusiasts and provide information for those intending a cruise in the future.

 

Reuben Goossens.

 

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