Holland America Line
by Mike Marano
Statndam 10 Day Southern Caribbean Cruise
My family and I just finished a 10 day Caribbean cruise (Feb 11-21) on the Statendam (of the Holland America Line) and it was excellent. Of the 8 HAL cruises I've been on, it was the best. Everything was superb. The only snag was that we got to St. Thomas a few hours late because of engine troubles (a rare occurance on HAL ships), but everyone got $50 extra shipboard credit to compensate for it.
I'm 21, and although lots of people say that there are only elderly people on HAL cruises (there are some, sure) I found there to be more than enough people my own age, INCLUDING the cruise staff, who were excellent in every conceivable way a cruise staff could be. They were more than just the folks who set up atrium mini-golf -- they became friends of mine. Don't know who's reading this, but if anyone's been on or is going on the Statendam, Janelle, Mike, and Erika are the best Cruise Staff you'll ever see.
Our initial Cruise Director, Edwin Rojas, had to leave the ship, but his replacement, "Jazzy" Jeff Davis, the Assistant CD, passed a trial of fire with flying colours. If you were on that ship, Jeff talked to you. I'll be darned if he didn't know everyone on the Statendam
All the activities and ports of call (Half Moon Cay, St. Thomas, Domenica, Trinidad, Martinique, St. Kitts) were top-notch, as was the quality of the cruise overall. The food was fantastic. I didn't want to get off the boat at the end. The shows were good, and you could hang out with the performers in the Crow's Nest Nightclub and get to know them, too. Jeff Bradley, the Magician/mime/comic did a great job, and I'm not just saying that 'cause he's from my hometown of Toronto.
All in all, a terrific cruise. So much so that I had to write somewhere, anywhere about it. Just had to say it.
Mike Marano is a student and writer from Toronto, Canada and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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