12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Liked a smaller ship.They had good reviews. Staff was top notch and very helpful.Room service was good. Had breakfast in our room a lot.Had a balcony room and enjoyed it very much.Dining room food was good and the Dive Inn had the best ... Read More
Liked a smaller ship.They had good reviews. Staff was top notch and very helpful.Room service was good. Had breakfast in our room a lot.Had a balcony room and enjoyed it very much.Dining room food was good and the Dive Inn had the best hamburgers. Half Moon Cay their private beach was wonderful.Had a barbeque and the cleanest beaches .Enjoyed all our stops. Bahamas took a tour and saw the Atlantis resort.Shopped . San Jaun took a tour and saw the capital and fort. Shopped some more. St Thomas everything was closed due to the carnival and was raining hard so shopped some more. Then went to Half Moon Cay. Probably our favorite stop. Swam in the ocean and enjoyed the barbeque and music.Embarking was very fast. Disembarkation was smooth. You wait in your room till your number and color called to go home.Getting through customs was not smooth only 2 agents. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2016
It fit our budget and were offered and received several extra perks, this is my 7th trip on Holland America just love the attention crew gives to their guests. Food was excellent, explorations Cafe, great service and great coffees, ... Read More
It fit our budget and were offered and received several extra perks, this is my 7th trip on Holland America just love the attention crew gives to their guests. Food was excellent, explorations Cafe, great service and great coffees, Pinnacle Grill is exceptional and the Canoletta Italian is pretty good as well. Main dining The Rotterdam has great atmosphere and good choices from menu. Looking forward to my next cruise Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise because it had 2 stos we had not been to before. We always cruise with HAL because we have earned the perks of 4 star status. We always have excellent service. We have good food too. The ship has changed the lido ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had 2 stos we had not been to before. We always cruise with HAL because we have earned the perks of 4 star status. We always have excellent service. We have good food too. The ship has changed the lido cafeteria a little so improvements from old. We were allowed to embark immediately and disembark when wanted to. A good perk. we have been on 13 HAL trips with different ships. Always love to cruise. Overall we love HAL. Excursions are getting more expensive so love the Tram tours to get an overview of Islands. There were many children aboard(350 I think they said) we saw VERY few. Kudos to HAL. We love being able to get a table for two! Enjoy the excellent dining room service and waiters are very helpful with suggesting a choice. It is so nice to see some familiar faces with the crew after a lot of sailings. Read Less
33 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose this cruise as the dates fitted well onto the end of a holiday in the USA. We have cruised about seven times before but never on Holland America. The Maasdam is an older ship but to us seemed well maintained and we liked the ... Read More
We chose this cruise as the dates fitted well onto the end of a holiday in the USA. We have cruised about seven times before but never on Holland America. The Maasdam is an older ship but to us seemed well maintained and we liked the public rooms. Embarkation went smoothly, our luggage arrived fairly quickly and we were happy enough with our cabin (deck 9 spa verandah suite). The crew were good and did their jobs well, especially our cabin steward who kept everything spotless. Most evenings we ate in the main dining room but were very disappointed in the quality of the food which was never very warm either. The waiters were ok but it was hard to find a wine waiter (who never seemed impressed that we were on the drinks package) and we always felt that the staff wanted us to eat and go. One waiter admitted they were expected to sell bottled water. Watch out for being charged $3.75 every day for bottled water in your cabin unless you ask them not to leave it. Bottled water ashore is around a dollar and you can bring it onboard or refill your bottle from the jugs in the restaurants. One night we ate in the Lido but couldn't even cut the meat! Another evening we ate in Canaletto where the food was better but just ok and were served white wine in tumblers! We spoke to the maitre'd who agreed with us but said it was instructions from above but we could always bring stemmed glasses with us from elsewhere! We had two nights at the Pinnacle Grille and both service and food were excellent there. There were slow queues at breakfast and getting tea was a mission involving getting cups from a corner dangerously close to hot water, collecting teabags from a different shelf, finding a spoon, then looking for a surface to put cups on while putting in milk- meanwhile your breakfast is getting cold! On deck at lunchtime there was a counter where burgers were freshly made to order and this was, for us, the best food on the ship as it was HOT and fresh and good quality meat! We had the drinks package which allowed you up to seven drinks a day and to the value of $8 a drink. HAL own an island called Half Moon Cay where we stopped and a BBQ was organised. As we had the drinks package we ordered from the bar set up by the crew only to be told drinks on the island were not included and they would have to go on our account. We spoke to the beverages manager who told us that this was because there were no computers on the island. We had signed for the drinks and these receipts would have to go back on ship do why couldn't they be entered into the onboard computer system later? We only had one other HAL tour apart from this one as they are pricey and we prefer to take local trips, get a taxi or do our own thing. The shows were good and we enjoyed the quizzes and activities arranged by John and Mario. Disembarkation was well organised - we could leave our luggage outside our cabin until around midnight and wait in our cabins the following morning until being called to disembark. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I chose this cruise as I have been on the Maasdam before and really like this size of ship. It is large enough for good entertainment but small enough to get to know fellow cruisers. I took my 80 year old father with me for his first ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I have been on the Maasdam before and really like this size of ship. It is large enough for good entertainment but small enough to get to know fellow cruisers. I took my 80 year old father with me for his first cruise. Unfortunately I suspect that it will be his last cruise. The movement of the ship was too much for him and he spent a fair amount of time in the room sick. As for the ship itself, I've heard that the Maasdam is on the market as HAL it replacing smaller ships with larger ships. That is very disappointing for me as in think HAL is missing their nitch in the market. Nonetheless, I suspect that the Maasdam is not being cared for at the normal levels understanding that it is phasing out. The motor was incredibly noisy and shook a lot, so much so that regularly things were falling off my nightstand and table. I'm not a mechanic so I don' t know the details but clearly something was wrong mechanically. There were two things that stood out to support my thoughts beyond the constant tremors. First, my room flooded, along with five others. We were told that a pipe broke. I suspect that the constant heavy vibration may have had something to do with that. Second, one the second night of the cruise, the alarms went off and the captain came over the intercom. I opened my door to see crew running down the halls in full firefighter turnout gear. We learned that the fire alarms went off in the engine room due to smoke but all was under control in about 20 minutes. I was very happy the captain was responsible and awoke everyone. He takes our safety seriously. I love the Maasdam and the crew. Service in the dining room was top notch. She is showing her age though and age without upkeep can be challenging. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
First time on the Maasdam but our 8th trip on HAL. First time on this class ship. We had no problems with our stateroom (a larger ocean view) but did hear from other passengers that some leaking had occurred. I noticed a large fan at the ... Read More
First time on the Maasdam but our 8th trip on HAL. First time on this class ship. We had no problems with our stateroom (a larger ocean view) but did hear from other passengers that some leaking had occurred. I noticed a large fan at the adult pool end of the Lido that stayed on pretty much the entire cruise drying the floor in the hall going to the restrooms. This ship is an older not as elegant as others we were on but I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The ship was booked up but we didn't have to wait for anything no lines and always plenty of deck chairs to choose from. Dining room was superb from the service to the food and wine list. The Vegas style show was terrible (Droom) I believed was doomed. But the other entertainers were good. One extremely talented man running the piano bar kept us enthralled several nights, David Anthony I believe. Embarkation and Disembarkation was flawless. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as there were 2 islands we had not visited. We have sailed multiple times with Holland and the Carribean. When we arrived at the terminal there was a bit of a line for check in. We completed this step ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary as there were 2 islands we had not visited. We have sailed multiple times with Holland and the Carribean. When we arrived at the terminal there was a bit of a line for check in. We completed this step and were given a group number for boarding. We sat down to wait for boarding to begin. Once onboard we were able to go straight to our cabin. We had booked 047 on deck 10 in the aft section of the ship. We prefer this location. Our air conditioning didn't seem to be working at its best but we assumed the doors were open and all the coming and going it just needed time to catch up. We would find out a few days later that repairs would be needed. As we left port we sailed into some heavy thunderstorms and heavy rain that lasted several hours. As we took a stroll after dinner we realized that parts of the ship had actually flooded. We were thankful that our cabin had not been affected. On this itinerary we had two sea days before reaching our first port. On the night of our second sea day we were awakened about 2:00 am by the fire alarm sounding. Quite scary In the middle of the night from a sound sleep. There was a report of smoke in the engine room and the engine had been shut down while they investigated. The all clear was finally given about 2 hours later. We made it to our first port of St. Maarten successfully. That night we received a note that the AC would be down for repairs the next day from 9 til 6. We left for our shore excursion thinking that it would be fixed shortly after we returned. Unfortunately repairs were not made until almost 11:30 which made for a very hot night. Once we made it through this rough patch things seemed to even out. We made all of our scheduled ports as planned. We did enjoy this itinerary and each of the islands. We were disappointed in the food on board. The MDR often times didn't seem to have a great selection. We did eat in the Lido buffet frequently. They had a great salad bar which was a plus. The ice cream was great too. Sometimes the selection of foods was strange but we could usually find something. We did eat more frequently on this cruise in Cannallato twice and The Pinnacle Grill twice. The food in both these restaraunts was great every time. The wait staff in the Cannallato were wonderful! We did miss the glass front on our balcony. The balconies had metal across the front with minimal views below the rail. Storage was tight as we were unable to store our suitcases under the bed. Had to move them around the room. The ship did seem to roll more than usual when the waves were rough. I could see that that could bother those with motion sickness. The ship is old and we did hear that it has been sold and will be decommissioned in February. It really was not up to the standards we are accustomed to when cruising with Holland. One cruiser stated that there had been a "Carnivalization" of Holland. It had been awhile since we had sailed with Holand, but we certainly hope that's not true. Shore excursions: St. Maarten - took a Holland excursion around the island, then walked the boardwalk St. Kitts - took a Holland excursion to Nevis, beautiful island Barbados - took a private excursion with Calabaza sailing cruises which was great St. Vincent - took a Holland excursion to Montreal Gardens in the rain forest which was beautiful Martinique - took a private excursion with Karambole tours which was wonderful St.Croix - took a Holland excursion to Whim plantation and Cruz rum factory Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We took the 10 day Caribbean Cruise on MS Maasdam on April 7, 2015. This was our first cruise on Holland America. I researched Holland America and knew it would be an older crowd. There were many things I liked about the cruise: 1. Not ... Read More
We took the 10 day Caribbean Cruise on MS Maasdam on April 7, 2015. This was our first cruise on Holland America. I researched Holland America and knew it would be an older crowd. There were many things I liked about the cruise: 1. Not being hassled by photographers and bar people were two great advantages. 2. Service was excellent. The crew was wonderful. They could remember your name almost immediately. 3. Our room was in a very convenient location room 551. Only drawback to this room is when they let the gangway down the cable that holds it is right outside the window. Things I did not like: 1. The entertainment was very snoozie. At one point my husband leaned over to me and asked if we were watching a Lawrence Welk show??? 2. The majority of live music was not lively enough for me. If you just want to relax, relax, and relax then this is the cruise for you. You won't get your pulse above 80 on this one. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Everything on this cruise FAR exceeded our expectations, with a very few minor exceptions: 1. Lido deck dining constant and substantial vibration on upper floors 2. A/C was marginal but not uncomfortable 3. Disembark for Half Moon ... Read More
Everything on this cruise FAR exceeded our expectations, with a very few minor exceptions: 1. Lido deck dining constant and substantial vibration on upper floors 2. A/C was marginal but not uncomfortable 3. Disembark for Half Moon and Final destination was unmonitored by HAL staff and some select people worked hard to break line. Overall found HAL Cruisers friendly and polite, based on median age of group. Evening entertainment was also based on that median age group, but still first quality and fun. Staff was exceptional! We arranged many of our own private excursions so unable to give a fair rating in that area. Email me at wilkinsnc@aol.com if you want suggestions for affordable semi private excursions we found for St. Kitts, St. Maarten, Barbados, St. Vincent and St Croix. Spend the extra $15 for the clam shell at Half Moon Cay ( Shade or shelter ) depending if you get hit with a 10 minute rain shower like we did. Bring #70 SUNSCREEN. Don't get sunburned and let it ruin your vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
My wife and I just returned from 10 days on the Maasdam. Embarkation was fast and efficient. Arrived at the port around 10:30 am and we were in our cabin at 11:45. We were in cabin 657 on the Main deck. Perfect location and very quiet. ... Read More
My wife and I just returned from 10 days on the Maasdam. Embarkation was fast and efficient. Arrived at the port around 10:30 am and we were in our cabin at 11:45. We were in cabin 657 on the Main deck. Perfect location and very quiet. Robbie our cabin steward was perfect. We chose anytime dining. The food was great, service was very good. We enjoyed a nice meal in the Pinnacle Grill. Doddy was very nice. The food on the Lido was good but wish they had extended hours. The Internet didn't work for the first part of the cruise. Entertainer Brett Cave was incredible. The front desk staff were perfect. I highly recommend Holland America Line and the Maasdam.   Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
Our experience on the Maasdam was less then positive. My partner and I cruise a lot and this was our first and last time sailing with Holland America. The experience started off on a negative note with lunch at the buffet. Lines were ... Read More
Our experience on the Maasdam was less then positive. My partner and I cruise a lot and this was our first and last time sailing with Holland America. The experience started off on a negative note with lunch at the buffet. Lines were confusing people did not know where to line up, the plates that were handed to us with our food were so hot they burned your hands, the staff did not listen to you and just tossed whatever they thought you said on your plate. Next came the muster drill. This lasted more than 40 minutes. Most of which was spent standing packed together waiting for other passengers and the long drawn out instructions presented over the P.A. system. Our first dinner was spent in opening seating because due to the ship not giving us early seating as requested. This was corrected on the second night and our server Andrei was excellent and the menu in the main Rotterdam restaurant was excellent. Beyond that food in the other venue options was mediocre. Entertainment on the ship for us was mixed. The Broadway night was great as was the comedian and the Elton John impersonator. Due to an unfortunate event on a dive excursion and my assistance in saving a gentleman’s life the Captain provided us with a dinner for two at the Pinnacle restaurant. We thought it a nice gesture and unexpected. We made our reservations for the last night. The dinner turned out to be a two and a half hour drawn out mess. It took forever for the wait staff to get us menus, take our orders and serve our food sometimes with as much as 40 minutes in between courses after 2.5 hours we finally decided to leave without having dessert. Our cabin was 363 on the lower Promenade. The room was worn with paint chipping from the door wells and old carpeting. The ship defiantly needs to be restored. If you are taking children expect to entertain them. There were not many activities for young people. Music at the pool was by a one man pan drum that reminded me of a high school band member. So if you don’t mind a ship full of older passengers with a mean age of 60, mediocre service and poor entertainment options the Maasdam is your ship. But first you might want to check out some of the other cruise line options before you commit. Just because the cruise is a good price is not a tradeoff for spending seven days unhappy with your decision.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2014
I can understand others saying they "loved" this ship and the cruise. Public rooms were lovely. Crew was fantastic. Ports were interesting. Our room was well situated and we liked it, EXCEPT....as others have stated, there were ... Read More
I can understand others saying they "loved" this ship and the cruise. Public rooms were lovely. Crew was fantastic. Ports were interesting. Our room was well situated and we liked it, EXCEPT....as others have stated, there were ongoing issues with temperature. Our thermostat in the cabin was useless. The vents blasted frigid air. We had it "fixed" 4 times. Each time the temperature would be ok for a couple days. Then we'd freeze again. Except for the one time when it began to blast extremely hot air. Finally, the last week of the cruise, we reached a bearable temperature. Lest you think we're just picky, the cabin steward said he hated to come in to clean, it was so cold. And the people who came to check the temperature the third fix (a "new policy") showed that the temperature was too cold for what they deemed "the normal range"...Others may well "hate" this cruise. Besides the temperature problems experienced by so many of us, there were shipwide plumbing problems. People down the hall from us had to be moved out due to flooding. Others reported overflowing toilets. Other cabins had extremely loud noises during the night. In short, she is a grand old lady with attractive cosmetic surgery, but her infrastructure needs so much work, it may be time to retire her. Glad we took the cruise. Would we choose the Maasdam again? Probably not. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2014
Another great cruise. The April 21 2014 Eastern Caribbean cruise was my 13th Holland cruise. My wife and I were on the Massdam back in Dec 2012 in cabin 368 which is one of the Lanai cabins. We loved it so much we booked it again. Two new ... Read More
Another great cruise. The April 21 2014 Eastern Caribbean cruise was my 13th Holland cruise. My wife and I were on the Massdam back in Dec 2012 in cabin 368 which is one of the Lanai cabins. We loved it so much we booked it again. Two new islands for us were Antigua and Tortola. Although I had been to Dominica many years ago, this was a first time visit for my wife. We took an excursion in Dominica and really enjoyed it. All the other ports we just did our own thing in town. The last few cruises has made us realize that what we really enjoy about cruising is the Ships. On the last several cruises most of our meals were up on the Lido. This year we ate our evening meals in the MDR. In the past, meals in the MDR were just so so. Like wise with the service. This year however the food and service were both very very good. In the past entertainment on most of the ships was fair to great. This year it was just ok. Feel short on the big production shows. The special guest entertainers they had were really good.We really enjoyed Tony Pace. Best way to describe his show would be '"Pure Entertainer"! I have to say that the people that really make our cruises really great are the Ft. Desk folks. If it wasn't for their efforts, situations in the past that could have had a negative impact on the cruise turn out to not be as bad as they could have. We had a leak from the AC unit towards the end of the cruise. Offered to move us but we wanted to stay in the Lanai cabin. We had to put up with a floor dryer for a day - so what did HAL do? Gave us a very GENEROUS shipboard credit! We really love cruising and the smaller ships of Holland American Line. You might say we are hooked on HAL.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Wife and I and our usual cruising companions drove to the port from North Carolina. We parked our car at Park and Go and were promptly delivered to the pier in a clean van with a very helpful driver. Our check in was efficient and we were ... Read More
Wife and I and our usual cruising companions drove to the port from North Carolina. We parked our car at Park and Go and were promptly delivered to the pier in a clean van with a very helpful driver. Our check in was efficient and we were on the ship within 30 minutes of arrival at the pier. Our cabins were accessible upon boarding (before noon). We visited the Lido Deck luncheon and our luggage was on our bed when we returned to our statement at 2 pm. We choose the ship on the basis of its size. We were not disappointed. With approximately 1200 passengers, there are no lines and embarkation and disembarkation processes went very smoothly. The pathways on the most heavily used decks were never crowded. We are just tired of the waves of humanity and crowds that are becoming common on so many ships. The entertainment venue is undersized. One is well advised to arrive early for a seat. Late arrivals and not so late arrivals often endured a long search for seats. We were very pleased with the professionalism of the entertainers and the diversity of the entertainment. The "ship show band" was excellent as well as the dancers. Several of the voices were very good. The "Broadway productions" were very well executed. The comedians delivered entertainment without resorting to four letter words and humor at someone's expense. Deck 8 contains most of the retail and entertainment venues. We loved the numerous alcoves for pre or post dinner drinks. The photographers were not aggressive unlike those on our last 6 celebrity cruises. This was a welcomed respite. Beverage service also met the same standard of available when needed but not "harassing" to push your onboard expenses higher. We could always find one location before dinner that was offering "buy one drink, second drink for $1". The drinks are more reasonable on the Maasdam than on our recent Celebrity cruises. We choose open seating and obtained a reservation for the entire cruise on the first night for table 129. Our foursome joined a lovely couple from Canada to complete the table of six. The table is placed against the rear window of the dining room right amidships. Great company and a great location. Our wait staff duo and wine steward were outstanding. No request was unreasonable. Once the wait staff knew your beverage or special requests, you need not ask again! We were very appreciative of their efforts especially given the serious cutbacks in staffing and the introduction of a new food service system by HAL. One must be concerned that the enthusiasm of the wait staff may eventually be eroded by HAL's reductions in staff. The menu itself is not up to Celebrity standards. Presentation was fine, tableware very acceptable. We were repeatedly told by HAL regulars that the diversity and quality of the food has become a casualty of corporate's cost control efforts. On a cruise one of course walks the hallways of several decks. All too often we observed electricians and plumbers working at their trades. These were not upgrading but solving problems activities. We were told by many fellow cruisers that at times entire decks were without hot water and at times electricity. Fellow cruise mates on deck 3 endured most of the 10 days without hot water showers and/or hot water for shaving. Several of the public bathrooms were not functioning even as we boarded the ship. This voyage was the first cruise of the ship after a dry dock in the Bahamas. The infrastructure of the ship appears to be failing. The interior of the ship in the public areas is well maintained and attractive. The pool areas, both indoor and outdoor are well appointed and nicely maintained. But, the mechanics appear to be becoming problematic. The pool area with the retractable roof was a center of activity but not at a deafening decibel so common on many ships. There was a "Mexican" self service bar that was very good and a hot dog, hamburg, French fry venue within three feet of the Mexican bar. The retractable roof was used once or twice during adverse weather and much appreciated. The number of lounge chairs was adequate and always clean. Tables surrounded the area and many cruisers choose to eat breakfast and or lunch in this area. The front desk staff was always responsive and courteous. However, mechanical issues needing systemic analysis and alterations can't be overcome by the greatest of front desk staff. I felt sorry for the staff at times as passengers voiced their disappointments with plumbing and electrical issues. In summary, the size of the ship and the wonderful and helpful staff are the greatest assets of the Maasdam. Our concern is that the aging of the ship is compromising the quality of the cruise experience. Similarly, the downsizing of personnel in the dining room and stateroom arenas will eventually compromise the quality of the interpersonal experiences with the ship's staff. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
Our first day on the ship many bathroom stalls were “out of service”. There are only two toilets in the ladies room by the fixed dining room and one toilet was out of service and one sink was “out of service” with standing water in ... Read More
Our first day on the ship many bathroom stalls were “out of service”. There are only two toilets in the ladies room by the fixed dining room and one toilet was out of service and one sink was “out of service” with standing water in the sink! My husband went to 3 bathrooms in the Lido before finding one that was operable. Elevators were often out of service. Not a problem for us but- The first evening the power was lost in the dining room. The second day, the show lounge had to be evacuated due to smoke, which turned out to be a faulty air conditioner that was smoking. The ship did not seem to be well maintained. We enjoy small ships and had spent a month on the Prinsendam last fall. We spent 21 days on the Ryndam several summers ago and expected a similar experience on the Maasdam being it is the same S class ship. While the Maasdam is a wonderful size, it was underwhelming. We’ve also enjoyed the Azamara Quest (small ship). WE are seasoned cruisers with about 25 cruises on various lines.We’ve also done HAL’s Noordam – very good and the Zuiderdam – fair. Fellow passengers – Interesting and well traveled. Saw familiar faces from previous HAL cruises and Cruise Critic’s Meet and Greets. Always great to hear others experiences and suggestions. Friendly and helpful crowd. On a small ship you run into acquaintances and it was a genuine pleasure. Entertainment – We only needed to leave one show due to being too loud of volume with flashing lights. The singers and dancers were impressive and talented. The shows were brand new to the Maasdam as it came out of dry dock. We had already seen some of the same newer shows on the Prinsendam but we still enjoyed them with different performers in a different venue. The MIX piano bar was good. Mix Guitarist was good. Adagio Strings were just okay, and we usually love the strings on the various ships. The Strings were not nearly as good as Prinsendam in September, but that more experience pair has moved on to one of HAL’s large ships. Hubby liked his 2 lessons on the steel drum. He said the steel drum player Eldon, is an excellent and patient teacher. It would be nice to have two steel drum players insead of just the one drum and electronic accompaniment (especially on Caribbean cruise.) We’d gladly sacrifice the Hell Cats for more steel drums! Dress – Passengers dressed up nicely for formal nights. Guys in tuxes & suits, ladies in sequins. It gave the dining room a special ambiance. Non-formal nights were quite casual though. Mediterranean cruises seem to be dressier, We were fixed seating. Photographers – very available if you wanted photos. They were not obnoxious if you declined the photo opportunities. Cabin – Our cabin was pleasant and well laid out. We had an outside cabin with two portholes, which is basically the same configuration as the standard outside cabins with windows. The amount of storage in this cabin was more than adequate; we had 3 empty drawers and just enough room on the closet rods for all our clothes. Our cabin steward was efficient and kept our cabin clean and made nice towel animals. While the cabin stewards are friendly on the Maasdam, they were not as engaging as those on the Prinsendam. The first night the hot water was cold but I thought maybe the tanks were shut off during dry dock so we took our cold showers and didn’t complain about it. At least our toilet always flushed and water drained out of the sink and shower. The next night we enjoyed the mini bathtub with warmer water. We had a couple nights where the water was actually hot like it was on the Ryndam, where we really enjoyed having a bathtub in a standard sized cabin. Food Lido – breakfast If food trays became empty they were not refilled. Example: Bananas sliced in orange juice, once they were gone staff claimed there weren’t any more. My opinion is that they were so short of help that no one had time to replenish the bins on the food line. Short staffed. Lido – Lunch The wraps are tasty. Example: Veggie wrap, Cobb salad wrap, and chicken with pesto wraps are all good choices. Lines could become long in the Lido. Snacks – Something is wrong with either the ice cream or the freezers. The ice cream had the consistency of an Arby’s milkshake. We substituted the chips and salsa by the pool for our afternoon snacks. The salsa and pico de gallo were good, very fresh. Hubby liked the guacamole too. Pinnacle Grille – Soups and desserts were good. The shrimp that accompanied the planked halibut were quite undercooked. The manager of the Pinnacle Grille noticed that we weren’t eating our shrimp and I wasn’t eating my fish. I told him that my fish was not hot, even though my husband had the same entrée and his fish was fine. My fish was heated up and was then good but the shrimp were not cooked any further. Before all this, my husband explained that the shrimp were not properly cooked or they would not still be translucent. The manager’s response was that this is how they serve their shrimp! Except for a small taste of one shrimp, which my husband declared as raw, the shrimp were left behind. We cook steamed shrimp once a week at home but they are never translucent and we do not like to overcook our shrimp. The plates were pretty and the quiet atmosphere was pleasant. Main Dining Room – The waiters have so many tables that it’s impossible to give good service. I don’t blame the waiter, or assistant, for any shortcomings. They were doing the best that they could considering all the people. Was this good service – no. But still better service than the Pinnacle Grille, at least our waiter noticed when something was wrong and tried to correct it. At times it was difficult to get a water glass refilled. You actually receive better service at a Denny’s chain restaurant. Gone are the days of pleasantries and follow up service. Example: We were done with dessert and leaving the dining room when the waiter finally had the chance to ask why we didn’t drink our tea. (The water for the tea bag wasn’t hot.) after that, he always made sure our coffee or tea was actually hot. Sad that it has come to this, that waiters are so pressed that we don’t have chances to set these little things right. Food Quality – I used to love the chilled soups on HAL. However, they are now served at room temperature. Not refreshing. (We didn’t have any ice in our ice water to be able to put into our “chilled” soup either.) The food was edible but nothing to rave about as it used to be in years gone by… I can’t say we looked forward to dinner. All in all, the Maasdam fell short of our expectations and WAY below the Prinsendam.   Read Less
Sail Date: January 2014
The Maasdam is a ship built back in 1993 which accommodates up to 1,258 passengers. When initially built and christened it was probably was shining star in the Holland America fleet. Even though, it has been operation for now going on 21 ... Read More
The Maasdam is a ship built back in 1993 which accommodates up to 1,258 passengers. When initially built and christened it was probably was shining star in the Holland America fleet. Even though, it has been operation for now going on 21 years and has undergone several refurbishments, the years have taken a toll on this ship. I embarked on my 21 day journey to many of the magnificent islands located in the Eastern Caribbean on January 17th, just a little late to fully escape the bitter temps of the polar vortex. Embarkation, in Ft. Lauderdale went very smoothly, from the time HAL representative met me in baggage claim at FLL until I boarded the ship. I was able to avoid the elevator lines as my stateroom was on the same floor. The ship offers 5 locations for dining, the Lido (cafeteria style dining), The Rotterdam Dining Room, The Cantelleto (Italian dining at $10), The Pinnacle Grill (Steaks and Seafood at $29) and now the newly established Dive-in (Hamburgers and Hotdogs), First I will address the Rotterdam, where I only ate 4 times in 21 days. In the beginning of my cruise, the dining room was appointed with smelly canvas drapery, filthy windows, burned out lights, and our table was accented with a dead flower arrangement, that I asked to be removed. The dining room steward and his assistant was very sociable, and very apologetic, as it took almost 2 hrs to complete my meal, as they were consistently waiting on the kitchen staff. The meal was presented uniquely, the vegetables were luke warm and the meat selection was sub par. I tried 3 more times through out the 21 day cruise, and eventually the outside windows finally got washed and the light bulbs were replaced. Now the Lido, a different style of dining. The food selection was adequate only if you like chicken, beef or pork a lot. Almost all the side dishes were luke warm. The real treat for the Lido was the late night menu selection. For 21 days, the menu never changed, same old french bread style pizza (cheese never melted), a satay beef dish, almost like shoe leather, chocolate cake, the usual lunch meat, sliced fruit and a couple other things not worth mentioning. I guess to change the menu may have been to stressful for the chef. Another issue with the Lido is staffing and cleanliness. Tables weren't being bused during prime periods, the kitchen staff were disorganized consistently running out of supplies. The Pinnacle Grill was a disappointment and not up to par as other HAL ships I have been on. The new Dive-in was a great place to get semi cooked hamburgers or dried out hotdogs. Miss the old days of brats, chicken burgers, veggie burgerss, salmon burgers, lamb burgers, accompanied with sweet potato fries. Cleanliness and maintenance of the ship appeared to be a work in progress. They were always wiping down the hand rails etc. but seemed to forget to check replace empty hand sanitizers, or refill the soap dispensers in the public restrooms. Many of the sinks in the public restrooms are cracked and need replaced. In addition, the restrooms were not being serviced well as they were in short supply of hand towels, kleenex and needed to be deodorized. Elevators always seemed to be out of service. In the Lido dining area, the air vents above the table are filthy with mold, or whatever. I would not sit along the windows, In the Ocean bar many lights were burned out and in need of replacement. And finally for the last night of the cruise, a letter was sent out to everyone the main water lines were to be shut off for repair, so no water from 11 pm to 5 am. Activities on board the ship were dismal at best, unless your into jewelry seminars, spa treatment seminars, or towel animals. No games shows, limited cooking demos, bingo only a couple of times, no Wii tournaments, no scavenger hunts, no water aerobics, very little in daily entertainment. Only one guest speaker and it was only about wine. Boring!!!! Guitarist , piano player and steel drum player were excellent. HALCATS, virtually non-existent. The ship should be named the Morguedam based on activities, as it was dead. Overall, the ship needs much work and should go back into dry dock for an extensive overhaul to fix all rust areas, remove excess paint build up, and to repair all plumbing, elevator and ventilation issues. In addition staffing needs to be reviewed so simple maintenance and cleaning can be preformed, without having the clients, (us cruisers) raise the issues or be forced to relocate to another cabin. However, if you want to go on a old ship with problems, poor food, with little to no activities, then this ship may fulfill your needs. Personally I rather spend more money and get a ship well staffed, clean and one that has activities that will keep me busy all day. Shame on Carnival for destroying a good product line as Holland America.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2014
We chose this cruise as we had previously excellent experiences on HAL's Noordam. On this trip the Maasdam called at different islands that we had not visited.Our check-in at the terminal went very soothly and we met several ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had previously excellent experiences on HAL's Noordam. On this trip the Maasdam called at different islands that we had not visited.Our check-in at the terminal went very soothly and we met several acquaintances from previous trips. On entering the ship and making our way to our cabin we were immediately assailed by a disagreeable odor of mustiness.. We had read about this in old reviews but had assumed that this was solved during the last refit. Afterwards we again noticed whenever we walked by public washrooms a sewage odor met us when the doors were opened. It seemed more predominant by the ladies washrooms. Also a stale odor was noticed by the curtains in the lower dining room. During the cruise there were often portable fans in the hallways. After putting our belongings away we headed to the Lido. Immediately we noticed a major problem with cleanliness. The light grills above the Lido's windows, that also doubled as a ventilation grill, were black with airborne dirt, a condition not acceptable. We made it a practice not to sit in this location.The mens washrooms that I came to use often had run out of towels and numerous sinks were cracked and gilt paint was flaking off trim. Hand sanitizers were often empty.On the Lido deck the metal floor grates were loose an when stepped upon were a tripping hazard. Window frames were covered in rust and the windows were extremely dirty.The Lido pool metal framework under the tiled rim was completely rusted out. Throughout the ship rust streaks were coming through the numerous coats of paint . On the promenade deck the piping, water or sewage was dripping in places and it was not a good idea to sit underneath. One looks forward on cruises for the food and dining options. Bluntly put it was TERRIBLE on this ship.We compared the meals with the previous superior ones on the Noordam. This is what we found. The sushi (3 selections) consisted of what I would describe as a tastless paste in gooey rice. I mentioned it to the culnary director and the response I received was basically that they were not able to do it properly! On one of our shore visits to 1/2 Moon Cay we attended the BBQ. The hamburger was cooked on the outside but the interior was raw and bloody. There are numerous signs advising about not eating raw foods on the ship.The Lido deserts were okay but nothing to rave about. The icecream was not kept frozen and in my opinion was of poor quality. The bread pudding quality semed to have slipped. It now is more egg than bread. Fruit had either seen it's day or was unripe. Strawberries were overripe and spoiled a few days in and still served. Other fruit consisted of bruised apples or overripe bananas. When roast beef was on the menu at the Lido the knife used to carve it was so dull we received a mangled mess, Same for the turkey. We ate several times at the dining room. It did seem an excessive time to receive our meals and chaotic. Although they were attractively presented they were not much to rave about in taste. Some of the deserts were said to contain alcohol but we found virtually no trace. I have eaten in many countries and one evening ordered the schnitzel. It was touted as veal, which I cannot believe. It was not properly breaded, extremely greasy, tasteless and would never have been served in any restaurant in Europe. There were sliced potatoes served with it and they also were the same as the meat portion, greasy. Roast beef au jus was sliced 1/4 in thick.Thai spring rolls were served by the slice probably to make ends meet. All of the Kolribi beef was tastless and tough. The major dissapointment was the midnight snack, the worst experience of all. On the first 10 days that we went for it the menu was identical. On the Noordam each evening the selection was different. Now it was always the same, chicken, chicken, chicken, battered fish and shoe leather beef. We survived on cheese cubes and bread and gave up completely for the second 1/2. We missed the almost 24 hour pizza selection on the Noordam. The complete snack and dessert selection was closed between supper and midnight. The once good cookies were tastless.Several times I ordered coffee in the dining room and when cream was added, it curdled. We noticed the food was placed out in the Lido almost 1/2 hour befor the drapes were opened. Of course it was cold by then.There is a standard temperature it must by held and the temperature was just barely warm. We received cold toast, likewarm tea water, cold vegetables numerous times. Resorted to a lot of salads. When we returned to the ship from shore excursions only a cold towell awaited us, no cold drinks as before. The iced tea on ship was basically colored water and the "fresh" squeezed orange juice was watered down. There was no evidence of a juice squeezer or orange peels as on the Noordam. One evening I went to the Casino. This is what I observed. At one blackjack table the dealer was suffering from a massive cold or whatever and constantly was coughing while dealing cards. Nearby the pitboss was watching and did not pull her from the table. I did not stop to play. Now to the entertainment. The ships cast was extremely good and we did not miss an evening. Also the guest entertainers were in the same class. On the other side the activities arranged by the cruise director were almost non existant as compared with the Noordam. There were hardly any games that the guests could participate in. Of course there was trivia, learn to dance, computer workshop, friends of Bill? tongue analysis, play the steel drums but where was the liars club, scavenger hunts, or the cruise classic newly wed game? We began to rename the Maasdam the Morguedam amoung ourselves. At last we cornered the cruise director and questioned him and I guess we shamed him as the next night, last night of the cruise he managed to fit it in. The shuffle board equipment was either broken or the discs were missing. We rated the "entertainment" for the ships cast and the guest entertainers as a 5 however the "daily things to do" were a flop, a negative.We may be on older generation but were not dead. We were planning a long cruise to Hawaii and Tahiti and noticed that the "S" class ships are scheduled to be used. I think now we will have to reconsider as it would be a life sentence to be on such a ship for that duration. The Maasdam is not up to the star rating it has any more. HAL should be thinking about replacing it as it's day has gone and not sink any more money on "refits" . Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
My wife and I have taken many Holland America cruises, and HAL is still #1 in our minds. However, the Maasdam is showing signs of age that I will describe later. Below is a recap of our cruise experience. EMBARKATION: We arrived at ... Read More
My wife and I have taken many Holland America cruises, and HAL is still #1 in our minds. However, the Maasdam is showing signs of age that I will describe later. Below is a recap of our cruise experience. EMBARKATION: We arrived at Port Everglades at 11:00. It took less than 5 minutes for us to be checked in. HAL was very efficient with the check-in process. We then sat in the holding area and waited for embarkation which took place at 12:00 noon. After we got on to the ship, we proceeded to the Rotterdam dining room where HAL hosts a Mariners lunch. This eliminates the hassle of going to the Lido restaurant for the buffet. STATEROOM: We did something we haven't done in over 20 years. We booked an interior cabin. We were looking at the "lanai suite" but decided the up charge of $300 per person was not worth it. The lanai suite is the same size as the interior cabin, and the fact that there are two reserved lounges was not enough of a reason for us to upgrade. The other downside to the lanai suite is the fact that at night, in order for people not to see into your stateroom, you must keep the curtains closed. Otherwise the light inside the cabin is enough for people on deck to see in. Our cabin (705) was a pleasant surprise. It was 182 square feet, large enough for two people. It had 3 closets to hang clothes in and 10 drawers for storage. Again, for the limited amount of time we spent in the cabin, this was good enough. The cabin stewards could not have been better, attending to your every request with a smile on their face. CONS: THE TOWELS ARE YELLOW AND NEED TO BE REPLACED OR BLEACHED. RESTAURANTS LIDO: Great buffet for breakfast and lunch, unless you're a vegetarian. For breakfast, there are eggs of many kinds, salmon, meats, cheeses and baked goods. For lunch, there are salads and stations that have Italian and Asian foods as well as sandwiches and hot entrees, something for every taste CONS: If you're a vegetarian, you may have a bit of a problem finding enough veggies to satisfy you. ROTTERDAM DINING ROOM: Available for lunch on most days and dinner every night. For some reason, there always seems to be problems on the first night. The restaurant opened 15 minutes late and the service is unusually slow. The food is comparable to a 5 star restaurant, perfectly prepared and presented (except for the steaks or prime rib). One thing that has remained constant over the years is the quality of the food. Some menu notables were the escargot and Beef Wellington. Each night, there are at least 4 choices in each category (appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert). Although there has been a 30% reduction in the staff, the service is still impeccable. CONS: It seems as though HAL cannot prepare a steak as ordered. I asked for medium N.Y. strips and Prime Rib and got well done. So, I started ordering medium rare and got something resembling medium, but still too well done. Also, on two nights, the table linens were soiled and on one formal night, the chair covers were soiled as well. SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS (PINNACLE GRILL AND CANALETTO): We did not eat at any of these restaurants. The surcharge for the Pinnacle is between $25 and $59 per person, depending on the night and the Canaletto is $10 per person. CROW'S NEST BAR: Great place to go for happy hour and watch the sea go by and possibly see a pod of dolphins. ENTERTAINMENT: Each night there are 2 shows in the Rembrandt Lounge with standard production numbers. However, there were two singers (Joshua and Candace) that were by far, the best singers HAL has ever had on a ship. On other nights there were two violinists (Lazlo and Claudia), a juggler, pianist, solo guitarist, a mentalist and a Dancing with the Stars show. All quite good, but show featuring Joshua and Candace was the best. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We do not book any shore excursions through HAL as they are much too costly; in some cases 2-3 times as high. We typically book with a local at the pier. One example was at St. Kitts. HAL had a 2 hour tour for $40 per person. I found a wonderful woman, Beulah, from Welcome Tours. (www.tourstkittsandvevis.com). Here the same tour is $20 per person for a 3 hour island tour. An optional stop at the beach can be added for an additional $10 per person. PORTS OF CALL: We took this cruise because it stopped at four islands we have never been to: St. Kitts, St. Vincent, Martinique and St. Croix. All beautiful in their own right, but there isn't much of a difference from one island to the next. By far, the best port is still Half Moon Cay with a white powder beach and pristine water. One word of advice, get a clamshell for $16. The sun is intense and there is little available shade. MAASDAM: The ship is 20 years old and is beginning to show signs of wear. Here are some things that come to mind: Ø Piece of molding missing by the couch in our cabin. Ø Shattered window in the Rotterdam Dining Room Ø Separated carpeting in the Crow's Nest lounge Ø On two days, there were problems with the water in the dining room Ø One night, we had a problem with the propeller shaft and had to shut down the engines to reset the system. Ø One afternoon, the fire alarm went off. It turned out to be a false alarm in the engine compartment. CLOSING: Although there are some cons, we will continue to sail HAL as in our opinion, it's still the best line at that price point. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
Maasdam review 4/11 11 day eastern Caribbean, this is my 56th cruise and 4th in a row on HAL Pre-cruise flew in night before start at FLL Embassy suite again, picked up 15 bottles at wine at total wine, Embassy suite was trying to ... Read More
Maasdam review 4/11 11 day eastern Caribbean, this is my 56th cruise and 4th in a row on HAL Pre-cruise flew in night before start at FLL Embassy suite again, picked up 15 bottles at wine at total wine, Embassy suite was trying to sell us a 8 dollar per person shuttle to ship. Taxi fare was under 10 for the both of us. Check in: was about 15 mins from when taxi drops us off at 12:30 to when we arrived in cabin,suite Cabin: we had a guarantee BB suite and was given a A suite a few feet from sea view pool, great location, Verandah Suite (292 square feet) seemed a little small, bathroom was very small with odd shape ( for a suite). Only issue were almost yellow in color. MDR: This was one of the best MDR for food and service , way better than last several cruises , we were not that happy with service on previous Hal cruises in MDR but this was exceptional , we had table for 2 in main seating at 8pm. We always ordered a appetizer and salad and coffee and desert after dinner and had no didn't even need to ask for water or coffee refills. With all that we were done at 9:30 every night. Food was exceptional , one night my wife asked waiter which night escargot would be served and he wasn't sure but just wanted to know how many orders we wanted for the next night. We both like wine and brought on a nice selections of Merlot and Cabernets , we had mentioned to our wine steward that we wished wine glasses were as nice at Pinnacles and was very surprised when next night we had 2 of the Pinnacles wine glasses on out table ( she had checked with Pinnacle manager and said we had reservations for several nights there and he allowed her to have the glasses ) , Sommelier on ship stopped to talk to us about our wine selection one night. Pinnacle: this was a little of a disappointment , meals were ok but not as good as our dinners last year on Veendam which were exceptional. Le Circe at Pinnacle: Entrees were cooked perfectly this is our 3rd time at Le Circe but 1st time where it was better than Pinnacle normal menu. Lido: this was fine for breakfast but a major disappointment for lunch, my wife likes the Italian section and never had a problem with it in past, one day special was some dish with "Italian sausage " and they just used cut up hot dogs!!!!, another day she wanted paste with garlic and oil, they added it to plate but didn't understand you were supposed to add it to frying pan for a minute or so. Hamburger grill was almost as bad he would cook them till they were totally dry , another day my wife ordered salmon from grill and was told in would be 15 mins, I checked on in 10 mins later and he forgot to but it on the grill. I can understand if it was crowded but it was not. Ship: Ship was in great shape in general for a 20 year old ship, we did have issues with a/c in room and other parts of the ship, loved the sea view pool never problem getting a chair, most days it was very quiet and relaxing, big exception was they had steel drum training were they had about 7 tone deaf passengers bang on these drums for about 30 mins each day, who in their right mind came up with that idea., Entertainment: WE really enjoyed the guitar player Glen Pearson, also excellent jazz trio in Queens lounge every night. We just saw 3 of the show and they were all very good, Rich Pupura was great he has been playing on cruise ships for 30 years. Ports: St marten /St Vincent/St Croix/St Kitts/ Barbados/ Martinique/ Half Moon Cay, I woukd hav eperfered more sea days, did like the fact we never had to change clocks. Only tour we took was in St Vincents were we went to see where some of the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed- thought it was a waste of money Departure: got off about 8:40 and to airport by 9am, American was able to put us on plane leaving at 9:30 so we got home 5 hours early Had almost perfect weather a little rain at Half moon cay, let me know if there are any questions Read Less
Sail Date: April 2013
We chose this cruise for several reasons. We liked the idea of returning to Holland America, we liked the idea of a smaller ship and we would get to see 5 islands that we had never been to yet. We tend to be easy going travellers who ... Read More
We chose this cruise for several reasons. We liked the idea of returning to Holland America, we liked the idea of a smaller ship and we would get to see 5 islands that we had never been to yet. We tend to be easy going travellers who don't expect everything to be perfect and we believe that a holiday is what you make of it. We try to go with flow and have a positive outlook. We sailed out of Port Everglades on April 1. Embarkation was easy and quick. Two sea days followed, then one port each day: St. Martin, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Martinique and St. Croix. Next was a sea day and then our last stop was Half-Moon Cay in the Bahamas. We liked all the ports but our favourite was St. Vincent. We did an awesome tour there, through the Mesopatamia Valley, up into the rain forest and to the Montreal Gardens, which is like visiting the Garden of Eden. It is a must-see. We had cabin 500 which was on the Main deck. The cabin itself is very nice, quite large. Has comfortable bed, a sofa, and the bathroom is nice - shower, no tub. It was kept spotless by our steward Agus. One word of advice though: this cabin is NOISY on port days. It is right at the front of the ship and when the ship is docking there is alot of noise, I think from the machines (winches) that are used to drop the ropes and then tighten them. In each port we heard the noise for about an hour (no exaggeration). It is loud and irritating and then the bow thrusters start. They are loud and the cabin shakes like crazy. Oh well,we survived, but I wouldn't be quick to book this cabin again. We loved the size of this ship. It is easy to navigate and you don't have to walk for miles to get anywhere. It never felt crowded. There are lots of areas to sit quietly if you wanted, and lots of activities if you wanted things to do. The staff is great. Welcoming, smiling,friendly. No complaints about the staff whatsoever. The entertainment was decent, some things better than others. We especially liked the Adagio Duo - a violinist and a Pianist who played every night in a quiet lounge. They were excellent. Food overall was very good. Lots of choice both in Lido and main dining room. We had anytime dining and most nights shared a table with other diners. A few nights we requested a table for two, and 3 times we ate in the Pinnacle grill, which was very good. The service was great and the food excellent. Overall we had a great time, have no complaints (other than noisy room)and would recommend Holland America and the Maasdam to anyone who wants a quiet, elegant cruise experience. This ship is not for you if you want a noisy party atmosphere. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2013
On going up the gangway upon embarkation I noticed a large black trailer parked next to the beautiful dark hulled ship with a decal sporting "Miami Dive Team".I wondered back on this as we had a constant irritating vibration for ... Read More
On going up the gangway upon embarkation I noticed a large black trailer parked next to the beautiful dark hulled ship with a decal sporting "Miami Dive Team".I wondered back on this as we had a constant irritating vibration for the first two days that made me think something with the propulsion units was out of sync. The front desk offered no explanation. The jiggling stopped after the first 2 days. We docked with the port side facing the towns of Philipsburg, Kingstown, Bridgetown, Basseterre and the glorious beach of HMC. Frederiksted, St. Croix we were escorted to the dock which faced town by a manned machine gun RHIB!! In picturesque Philipsburg, St. Maarten we were dwarfed by the Allure Of The Sea, the Nieuw Amsterdam and the GEM. We were two of 15,000 passengers who swarmed the port that day. Wifi was available at the end of the dock in Philipsburg for $4/15 min, $6/30 min., $10/60 min. wine in the duty free area was $8.00 and up. Basseterre's wifi in the duty free area was $1.00, the cost of a bottle of water. Wine was $10.00 and up. I always ask a crew member where the wifi is they always know the best spot in each port. In Kingston it costs $1.50 (a coffee) at the end of the dock. Wine was $13.00 and up. Bridgetown was free signal in the terminal building. Wine was $10.00 and up. Fort De France was uptown at the Centre Commercial Mall upstairs at the Burger Joint.(buy a coffee) downstairs is a grocery store where wine is 2.50 euros and up. Take it from me don't buy the cheap wine here.(bring euros for sure)Room 160 was port side on deck 9. It had 13 drawers and two hanging cupboards with twenty plus hangers. Our room steward Win and Darma, who did an excellent job with us, supplied extra hangers. We had robes and got slippers on day two. The washroom was single sink and a jacuzzi tub my BH described as an over sized bread pan!! The balcony has a padded chair and chaise lounger. The table was small. The edge of the balcony was 18 inches of solid steel topped by a round bar topped by the wooden hand rail. There was a lock on that door. We ate mostly in the lido (burp) but sat through 2 slow dinners in the MDR on formal nights. The paying Lido passengers eat dinners on the starboard side under a basketball court while the ship's staff eat quietly on the blocked off port side!!?? Hal should be embarrassed at this faux pas as the pounding above the diners head is enough to raise eyes to the ceiling. As this ship hosts mostly octogenarians and septuagenarians why a basketball court is present rather than a serenity area or a relaxing sport's bar is beyond me. The bean counters in Seattle, who are always trying to part you with your wallet missed out badly with this debacle. On day 6 we awoke to brown water pouring from taps or from the commode when they were used. A pipe burst on deck C in the crew area at 3 AM. By 5 Am it was fixed but we were asked to run our taps til the water ran clear. This took 30 min. Michael Harvey our cruise Director came on the tannoy and advised the water was OK to drink even when it was brown??!! Our hot water tap in the bathtub failed that day and a plumber showed up at 11:30 PM to fix it. Points to Ponder There are week day floor mats in the elevator Lanyards are for sale in the signature shops starting at $5.95 The laundry mat on deck 9 costs 4 quarters for wash and 4 quarters for the dryer On the final survey HAL asks for the total of your household income!! Apparently we ate 23,000 eggs and 450 gallons of creamy ice cream Secret door in the gym took you out to balconies in front of ship We cruised 2970 nm They still publish the Canadian and Times Digest daily Maasdam is 20 years old as her keel was laid in 1993 Hairdryer supplied but it plugs in under a dark desk. Not fun Counted 8 kids amongst 1,232 passengers Ship off to dry dock Oct. 19 til 24 Capt. was Ane Jan Smit Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Note: This review was written by a HAL fan and returning client but ... a first timer on this "small Maasdam ship". Embarcation: Straight forward, fairly quick. Luggages in room by 16:00 Sail away by 17:00 as plan. ... Read More
Note: This review was written by a HAL fan and returning client but ... a first timer on this "small Maasdam ship". Embarcation: Straight forward, fairly quick. Luggages in room by 16:00 Sail away by 17:00 as plan. Stateroom: Small ship but large room, huge balcony.Great! Ship ergonomy: Terrible! Stateroom # start at the bottom of the ship and does not correspond to the deck level,ex: 122 on level 9! Some decks are not accessible from bow to aft. Have to go up before getting down to another deck ... akward! (Learning curve:trail and error). Atrium on 3 levels but the first level is almost empty and useless. Decoration: Very good taste, not flashy. Most exterior spaces are small but never crowded, not even with staff! Cleanliness: A1+++ Well maintained interior but exterior areas show their age. Staff: Getting sparser comparing to previous sailings and that means slowww service; wait time in Lido and on outside decks,mainly for bar service,is looong. Wine stewarts in the main dinning room are almost absent. If you order a white wine it will be kept away from your table in an ice bucket by the steward's working area and if you want a refill, good luck !!! So get red wine and poor it yourself. Stateroom service and in room service are still excellents. Crew members are friendly but the officers didn't learn to smile and at the main desk they have a don't bother me attitude. Shows were OK. Food Lido: good but less choice than on HAL's mid and large ships. Quality:good but lukewarm because the wait time is long because the oldies keep changing their choices and it takes them "hours" to choose something. Main dinning room:Good food but menu not as elaborate as it use to be.But desserts are something else ... watch your waist line! (Pretty sure they want to see you more often in the Pinnacle Grill/Le Cirque $). Tours were well organized and interesting with rare "tourists'traps. All arrivals in ports of call were on time. Most departure from port of calls were 15 to 40 minutes before time! Fellow passengers: HAL has a reputation for older clientele but this one was something else. At 60 we were the kids on the block! And it feels like this ship is the private propriety of oldies returning passengers and that the " younger crowd" is out of place. They should rename the Maasdam the DAM90PlusPrivateYatch... 2 hours after sailing away, we had to return to Fort Lauderdale to disembark 2 sick passengers. A non-plan stop over in Grand Turk to airlift another sick person. Ambulance on pier in Roseau Dominica. Ambulance in St-Thomas. Another airlift on Half Moon Cay In a few words: Still one of the best cruise line but the Maasdam will be off our list forever. Too small hence less stable in rough water and the crowd is more than senior! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
This was a back to back cruise. Mar 8-18 was the Eastern Caribbean and Mar 18-Apr 1 was the Southern Caribbean. We didn't have a drop of rain, the weather was glorious and the ports outstanding! However, this is the first Holland ... Read More
This was a back to back cruise. Mar 8-18 was the Eastern Caribbean and Mar 18-Apr 1 was the Southern Caribbean. We didn't have a drop of rain, the weather was glorious and the ports outstanding! However, this is the first Holland America Cruise that had some major flaws: Solo Gatherings: Every cruise line and especially Holland America has always accommodated solo passengers with a solo lunch on the first sea day. This has been a wonderful function to meet other solo travelers, possibly dining with them and taking excursions. The Maasdam had the solo meeting on the first evening of embarkation at 7:30 pm. It was poorly attended and I spoke with several people stating that many people might be tired from traveling, unpacking or eating dinner. On the first 10 days no lunch was ever scheduled. I wrote the new cruise director getting on and the event manager so the second half would go better. Again, the meeting was scheduled on the night of embarkation. We were told that a solo lunch would be the next day and to meet at the Mix. The Daily Explorer stated to meet at the Explorer's Lounge. Some of us went to the dining room and the staff had no idea what we were talking about. Fortunately, about 6 of us ate lunch and discussed possibly getting together on a formal night. Many solos just wandered around searching for the solo lunch. Finally after many comments, etc. they scheduled solo cocktail hours during port days and sometimes during the hours at port. I have never seen such disorganization. I even commented that the Friends Of Bill and the LGBT have a meeting time every single day...what happened to the solos? Band: The Hal Cats were absolutely fabulous on the first leg Mar 8-18. Sail away parties had people dancing on the deck. However, they changed band leaders on the 18th. The Hal Cat's sail away parties were not upbeat and many passengers commented that they thought The Neptunes were playing. A sail away party should not open with three instrumental jazz songs. Darelle was the singer for the entire 24 days and she is probably the best singer I and many others have every experienced. Her talents were not utilized on the last 14 days. DJ Brett was the most personable and charismatic individual I have ever encountered on any ship. He made the cruise memorable for so many people. He is a huge asset to Holland America. The food, cabin, service, entertainment and all 15 ports were all exceptional!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2013
Review of Maasdam cruise beginning March 8, 2013 We took a ten day cruise of the Eastern Caribbean on HAL Maasdam out of Fort Lauderdale. We have used HAL twelve times in the past and were quite familiar with the demographics and ... Read More
Review of Maasdam cruise beginning March 8, 2013 We took a ten day cruise of the Eastern Caribbean on HAL Maasdam out of Fort Lauderdale. We have used HAL twelve times in the past and were quite familiar with the demographics and level of activities on this cruise line so no surprises there. We were surprised and disappointed when we discovered after the fact that Canaletto restaurant is an upcharge venue now. There was no sign there nor were we told when making reservations, that there is a $10 per person charge nor was our key card scanned. When it appeared on our charges I approached the front office and was told the change to an upcharge was made over one and one half years ago. The front desk person said he would speak to the restaurant manager but the charge was not removed. Like customer service everywhere these days the representative never says "no", but proposes an appeal to someone else who just doesn't respond at all. We took this same ship ten months ago and the restaurant was free but regardless of the timing please be aware that passengers will be charged. We had noticed that Canaletto's was just about deserted most nights with wait staff working in other areas and the reason for this is clear now. Most evenings half of Lido was open to passengers for dinner with the other side reserved for staff. Lido wasn't crowded though although some of the food items offered for staff, like baked potatoes were not available for passengers when we asked. As usual for HAL, food in the MDR was very good for dinner but service has become extremely slow and we left before ordering dessert twice so that we could attend the show. My suitcase had not appeared in my cabin by eight PM the day of departure so I called the front office and was informed that a suitcase matching its description was being held but there was no HAL luggage tag. I went there and it was my suitcase alright and it had been opened. The cheap paper luggage tag provided by HAL was missing but my identification information was on it as airlines require so the detective work by the front office was lax. There was no contraband (booze) in the roller so I don't know why it was opened. I did make the mistake of not tipping the luggage handler at Port Everglades because I just rolled it myself to the pile that was building and the handler did no work. I usually tell people that the tip to these workers is merely a bribe to prevent sabotage and this may have been why my luggage tag was torn off, maybe not though. The ship had to divert twice to evacuate passengers with life threatening medical conditions and I saw a total of eight people being taken off the ship on gurneys and placed into local ambulances. At Half Moon Cay a seaplane had to land to fly someone to a hospital. The ship's doctor and medical staff did a very professional and compassionate job of caring for these passengers. The room steward did not clean our room until late in the afternoon the first two days and not at all on day three. I called the front desk and still the room wasn't cleaned. My wife tried to be a peace maker and spoke directly with the steward in the hall and was told that since I was in the room taking a nap between noon and two which was the time he was in the area the room would not be cleaned that day. I couldn't believe my ears and I went to the front office where I expected the issue to be resolved easily but was surprised when the room steward's position was defended. I had to raise the level of the discussion to the borderline unpleasant range before there was a reaction. The room was still cleaned late, about one to three PM each day but at least it was cleaned. This was an uncomfortable situation and very unusual for a cruise line. Remember when the CD would joke about getting up at three AM and returning to bed to find it made already? Not anymore! HAL is still a very good cruise line but encountering three unpleasant experiences caused by Massdam policy and staff was unwelcome. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2012
My BF and your author are in our early sixties and fairly fit. we like HA for their relaxed elegance. this trip was over Easter so there were more teens and their siblings than on our 2 previous trips on the Noordam. This trip we docked ... Read More
My BF and your author are in our early sixties and fairly fit. we like HA for their relaxed elegance. this trip was over Easter so there were more teens and their siblings than on our 2 previous trips on the Noordam. This trip we docked at Nassau (starboard side faced town), St. Barts (tendered in and port side faced the island), docked San Juan (both sides faced the town), docked Roseau, Dominica (starboard side faced land), docked St.John's, Antigua (both sides faced the town), docked St Thomas, Crown Bay (both sides faced land), tendered at Half moon Cay, (port side faced the beautiful beach). Nassau was a walkabout on urine smelling streets and a visit to 450 vendors in the Straw Market all selling the same thirty items!! Free wifi at Macdonalds about 500 yards to the right of the docks St. Barts was small and contained 7000 cars for 9000 inhabitants. Gas was $9.00 a liter.Ship tour was $69 each for 1 hour in a van. Much better price on the dock.Wifi free at the dock. San Juan, Puerto Rico was good just to walk around. Streets are cobblestone and narrow. reminds one of Europe. Wifi at Starbucks straight ahead off ship. Next was mountainous Roseau, Dominica. If you can find a tube ride on the Layou gorge go for it. You will enjoy it!! At St. John's Antigua we land rover-ed around the outback. Beaches are very white and the water is warm. Free wifi 200 yds from ship at Redcliffe Quay on second floor. Crown's Bay in St. Thomas is way to commercial. Wifi was $4.00 a day just off ship Our veranda suite on the Maasdam (built 1993)had 18 hangers, 1 umbrella and 13 drawers. We were supplied with a stocked mini fridge, bathrobes and slippers. The bathtub is half length and is a Jacuzzi. Bath gel, shampoo and conditioner are mounted on the tub side. A hair dryer is in a cloth bag somewhere in the suite!! A single sink with a shelf underneath completed the washroom. Veranda has solid steel sides for the bottom two feet unlike the glass sides on the Noordam. Out there is a chaise lounge and a rattan chair. The low circular table would be hard pressed to hold 2 wine glasses. Room safe fits a net book, small purse, wallet and passports. There are new chaise loungers on the aft deck. As food is personal all I will say is we both are dieting now!! HA's "signature of Excellence" motto might be developing cracks in it's facade. We found out from our room steward that they now clean 29 rooms instead of the old 14. We remarked they were always around from early morn to late in the eve. The smiles from their compatriots weren't as freely given as they were last year too. Read Less
Maasdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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