This review is written by Amy Blume.

On October 4th, 2006, drawn by the strange occurance of something other than Carnival Paradise docking in Long Beach, Jason and I found ourselves driving the hour down the 5 and 710 freeways from Glendale to Long Beach after we'd finished work.  It took us just over an hour and we arrived at four minutes till five when Holland America Line's Statendam was due to sail.  Statendam was the first of the new class.  Coming in at 55,451grt, her maiden voyage was in 1992.  I'd never seen a ship sail from the port of Long Beach before and it was nice to see that they had built a little park just west of the old Spruce Goose Dome (which is now the Long Beach Cruise Ship Terminal) for people to sit and watch the ships leaving.  My relief that we had made it and found our way past the pretty Queen Mary to the right place was soon replaced by boredom as nothing happened for nearly an hour.  Finally a fuel ship pulled out where we could see it, and the reason for the delay became obvious.

Finally they started their engines with a belch of smoke and she started moving.  There was disappointingly no blast from her whistle as she pulled out and away in front of us and left Long Beach via Queen's Gate.

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© Amy Blume 4th October 2006
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