Holland America Line’s ms Statendam departed Fort Lauderdale, Fla., April 11 for a 14-day southern Caribbean voyage, fresh from a stem-to-stern, multi-million dollar Signature of Excellence dry dock at Freeport, Bahamas. The 1,260-guest ship received a host of new facilities and features including new stateroom furnishings and bathroom upgrades; Canaletto, a complimentary Italian eatery; the sophisticated Showroom at Sea; and the stylish lounge called Mix, which combines three distinct bars into one area. The refurbishment enhances Holland America Line’s premium vacation experience for guests as part of the company’s $525 million Signature of Excellence fleet-wide program.
“With Statendam completed, we now have four ships sailing with these exciting enhancements,” said Richard D. Meadows, CTC, executive vice president, marketing, sales and guest programs. “Our on-going commitment through Signature of Excellence means that our guests enjoy the finest amenities and the latest in programming, technology, activities and trends that premium cruisers seek today.”
Statendam is the fourth ship in a series of five to receive extensive Signature of Excellence upgrades; the ms Veendam, ms Rotterdam and ms Ryndam refits are now complete. Maasdam is scheduled to receive upgrades in April 2011.
Public Areas Feature Latest Innovations During the Dry Dock
Canaletto, a complimentary, casual Italian restaurant, was added to ms Statendam and comes to life for dinner when a section of the Lido is transformed with glass partitions and an Italian ambiance with dishes such as putanesca and penne alla vodka. Although there is no charge to dine in the alternative venue, reservations are suggested. To create a more open, engaging environment for guests during evenings, Statendam underwent the reconfiguration of the existing Casino and Piano bars into Mix, a multi-themed area with three separate bars: Martinis, Champagne and Spirits & Ales, serving their namesakes. The high-energy Casino was redesigned and the main show lounge was transformed into the Showroom at Sea with the ambiance of a glamorous nightclub and several new shows. An upscale luxury jewelry shop called Merabella was added mid-ship to the completely renovated main shopping area with its Signature jewelry and watch boutiques. Other public areas around the ship also were refurbished and received new carpeting.
Staterooms Receive New Look and New Spa Category Added
Completing the enhancements, Statendam’s staterooms received new carpeting, soft goods and completely renovated bathrooms with new vanities and cabinetry. Sixteen staterooms near the Greenhouse Spa (on Verandah Deck) became “spa staterooms” featuring a variety of enhanced amenities. Each offers exclusive items such as organic cotton bathrobes and slippers, a yoga mat, a soothing water feature, special room service menus and treatments, and more.
Explorations Team Expands the Exclusive Activities
Today’s premium cruiser seeks enriching experiences and engaging activities. Ever responsive to guests’ needs, Holland America Line broadened its onboard programming aboard Statendam and all ships with the Explorations Team — staff with specific, niche expertise ranging from technology to travel, who offer guests a range of programs to educate and entertain guests. The onboard Party Planner will host Explore Food & Entertaining events in the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine Magazine, significantly expanding the innovative program which brings more than 70 culinary experts on board each year in addition to classes and demonstrations on every sailing. As the destination expert on board under Explore Our World, the Travel Guide will give dynamic multimedia presentations about the ship’s itinerary and be a one-stop source for port-of-call information. The Techspert will offer Explore Technology classes and Digital Workshops powered by Windows, where guests can learn how to blog, work with digital photos, arrange a digital scrapbook, create a slideshow or edit a movie. Leading Explore Wellbeing, the LifeStylist will offer new entertainment, fitness and sport activities. On cruises lasting 14 days or more, the Librarian also leads a book club.
Signature of Excellence tops $525 Million
\The industry-leading Signature of Excellence initiative is an on-going and comprehensive program that touches every aspect of the Holland America Line experience and the investment now exceeds $525 million. Signature of Excellence features and amenities offer guests more luxurious accommodations, enhanced dining experiences, more enriching activities and exceptional levels of service.