Travel blog of Holland America Nieuw Statendam – August 2023 by Warren Paul Harris
We sailed on the Nieuw Statendam in cabin 5023 during July and August 2023. This stateroom was thoroughly comfortable and we really liked the proximity to the bow. Being on the starboard side is always our favorite location. The shower is big enough for two reasonable sized adults. 5 feet long by 2 feet wide. So if y’all shower together, you will like the arrangement. The lighted mirrors are excellent. The foot of the bed has two large drawers that you can co-op for extra storage. Don’t forget to check these before packing up to disembark.
Click to download the latest deck plan. The red arrow on the Deck 5 image below is the location of cabin 5023. It is a short walk to the bow and 3 decks below the bridge.
The veranda has plenty of room for two people. As you will see in the slideshow, looking down from the veranda, you find deck 4 verandas are much larger and protrude out around six to eight feet past the deck 5 veranda.
The cabin has a baby refrigerator, safe and way more hangers than even we could use. The bed easily fits all your luggage underneath, unlike some other ships we have been on. I did like the necktie hangers in the closet, as we always dress up for Dress evenings. Civility does actually exist in small pockets.
The ship is very musical-themed art almost everywhere. The slideshow highlights a lot of the art / decor showcasing music themes. The deck names reflect this as well. Deck 5 is Gershwin, etc. The downloadable deck plan will give you the full information on deck names. There is an especially cool reflecting piano on Deck 9 that I feature with a short video in the slideshow. The elevator rugs tell you what day it is. The staff changes them all every night, of course. An entertainment director on a different cruise shared a funny anecdote on this topic: He was at an elevator junction with a very confused guest pressing the elevator button, waiting for the elevator to open and then shaking her head. The trying a different elevator with the same results. He asked if he could help her. She said she had to take the Wednesday elevator and couldn’t find it. — This was on a Thursday.
Continue reading below for my review of the ship overall.
I give this ship Four Stars.
The reasons it doesn’t get Five Stars are:
- Smoking in the casino
- Rolling Stone band
- New York Pizza staff
(see full explanation below)
Otherwise everything else is really very good.
- Holland America, listen up! Stop allowing people to SMOKE in the casino. They are a captive audience fer chrissake. Where else are they going to go? Smokers who gamble literally have no other place to gamble. By allowing them to smoke in the casino, you are poisoning 3,000 people to appease the addicts. Stop it.
- We have been on sister ships to this one with the same entertainment configuration that ROCKED. In previous sailings the Rolling Stone venue was amazing. The dancefloor was packed until closing time.
On this ship, there was almost no one on the dance floor. The band was passable, Barely. The lead guitarist should NEVER sing. Awful voice. The keyboard player needs to up her game. She has a very nice voice, but misses a LOT of notes. This may be due to a monitor problem. I don’t know, but it was painful. Also…
If you’re going to play TOTO anything you had better really be on fire. Those are virtuoso musicians. The BEST in the business. When these guys did Africa, they butchered both the keyboard and guitar solos badly. Anyone who knows this song, knows the keyboard solo note for note. The girl on keyboards nailed the first two bars and promptly went right off the rails. The guitar solo was just a smear of 32nd notes.
The BB King band ROCKED by comparison and the dancefloor there was packed for the most part.
- The New York Pizza is generally good. Not great, but who expects GREAT pizza on a cruise ship, right? However… When you go up looking for some cheese pizza and there is nothing available… Then ask when it will be ready. The girl at the counter asks the guy making pizzas and he looks like he is preparing one for the oven. So she says 10 minutes. I came back 14 minutes later and no pizza. All the pizza prep guys were in the back room shooting craps or something. It takes another 10 minutes too get someone to come out and START making a pizza. Meanwhile, several sandwiches are in the oven, burning. So the counter girl takes some of them out, but misses one. By the time the prep guy arrives having crapped out, he has to try and salvage burned buns / bread. And it still takes another 10 minutes to get a pizza. Every other food venue on the ship has their act together. These people need some serious retraining.
This is the cabin slideshow:
I am a vegetarian. Most cruise ships have a separate vegetarian menu. All you have to do is ask. The vegetarian menu on Holland America is the best I have ever seen. Regularly. They go out of their way to be accommodating to dietary restrictions. Dining on this ship overall was excellent.
There are two areas of the ship for walking / running. Deck 3 has an unobstructed walkway all the way around the exterior of the ship. 3 laps is a mile. This is great for walking. Deck 12 has a much shorter jogging track. 12 laps is a mile. Also on deck 12 is a basketball / pickleball court.
See my YouTube channel for slideshows and videos from this trip, the ship and our cabin.
Click the image below for the full YouTube playlist for the ship:
Not every trip goes as planned.
3 days before disembarkation, my wife tested positive for Covid.
I tested negative
We did not opt for treatment with Paxlovid for two reasons
- Her symptoms started more than 72 hours previous
- The price was $750.00
Their procedure for dealing with us was exactly what it should have been.
- We were escorted back to our cabin by security after being told my wife had to isolate in our cabin until disembarkation. I was allowed free reign of the ship as long as I wore a mask. I don’t have a problem with this.
- We were given access to ship WiFi (we had not paid for the package)
- We were given room service from any food source on the ship.
- All room maintenance was cancelled. We had to request replacement towels / bedding when we wanted it.
- Room service was prompt. Anything we wanted arrived in short order.
Disembarkation was special as well.
- Room service brought the breakfast we prerecorded at 6:15 AM
- At 7 AM promptly (well ahead of all other disembarkation groups), security isolated an elevator for only Covid guests and arrived to escort us down to Deck A, where there were about 10 or 12 chairs lined up between the elevators for Covid infected travelers.
- No one was allowed to enter the area without a mask.
- No one was allowed to venture out of the holding area.
- When all the COVID guests had arrived, we were all disembarked in a group off the ship where our luggage was staged.
- We all left for our respective destinations via whatever transportation we had arranged.
I think the ship did a really good job of handling this annoying situation.
Kudos to Holland America for this.
Most of the port locations on this cruise were close to – or directly adjacent to the city itself.
One of the highlights was Geiranger Norway. The collapsible dock is quite remarkable to watch in action. And ingenious for the city itself. Instead of spending a fortune to sink pilings and months of construction, a scissor-action floating dock is anchored to the shore and programmed.It is called a SeaWalk. If you want to learn more about this brilliant technology, this is their website.