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Joan L. Wilner

Age: 70

Occupation:Retired Teacher

Number of Cruises: 21 to 49

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Statendam

Sailing Date: December 8, 2000

Itinerary: Mexican Riviera

Although she is aging, the Statendam is still one of my favorite ships.  The reason--service, service, service!  The food is excellent--as good on the Lido deck as it is in the dining room.  And on what other ship does the Lido offer a seafood buffet, a sandwich bar, a salad bar, regular buffet, and dessert buffet, as well as the usual outdoor food offerings, i.e. hamburgers, tacos, etc.

The entertainment could be improved upon.  The guest performers were very good, but the cast shows are old hat.  Thank goodness there is a movie theater, with free popcorn no less.

There is also the Java Cafe which offers free espresso, cappuccino, etc. during the daytime along with cookies.

At night, free espresso is served in the Explorer's Lounge along with a mouth-watering chocolate buffet nightly.

There are ample public rooms for lounging aboard ship and a wonderful wrap-around deck for strolling or stretching out in a deck chair away from the noisy Lido pool area.  Incidentally, there is a quiet pool aft where you can get away from the crowds.

The itinerary for this cruise was excellent, covering Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Acapulco, Zihuatanejo, and Puerto Vallarta.  In general the shore excursions were good, with one notable exception as far as we were concerned.  We thought the Puerto Vallarta Discovery Tour was a rip off.  We did not see what we expected and wasted a lot of time in a tequila factory.  The best tour was a ride in a catamaran at Cabo San Lucos.

We shall continue our relationship with HAL when we sail 11/17/01 on the Rotterdam VI.

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