Both HAL and the Maasdam came highly recommended. We wanted a 14 night cruise that went to more ports than the previous Alaskan cruise we took in 1999. I read up on the Maasdam reviews and liked what I read. After booking we heard it had been rated the best mid sized ship in 2015. We had sailed HAL twice before but the last time was in 1977 so we relied on our research and travel advisor. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the itinerary. Service was fine and the food better than expected. We took a small suite (really just a slightly bigger room) because my wife and I were traveling with her recently widowed cousin and we needed a little more room. Everything was a little tight but we managed just fine. The ship was just big enough (55,000 tons) and the number of passengers on our cruise (~1,050) such that we never felt crowded and seldom had long lines. Embarkation and arrival were handled smoothly and getting off and on the ship at every port was simple and quick. The entertainment was OK....we hadn't really come for that so OK was just fine. We all enjoyed the daily Happy Hours where one could get two drinks for the price of one plus $1. Drink prices were not cheap but not outrageous either. The 9-10 PM Happy Hours up on the top front lounge watching whale pods go by was plenty enough entertainment for me. My wife enjoyed a couple spa visits and her cousin was ecstatic about the frequent whale sightings. We also sampled most of the alternative dining opportunities which were reasonably priced and fun. We chose an open sitting option so we could go pretty much when we wanted. Since there were numerous dining choices and only a moderate number of people the dining room was seldom crowded and this option worked beautifully. I don't think we ever waited more than five minutes. All in all, I'd highly recommend both the Maasdam and HAL. The Maasdam has gracefully aged and at 23 years is still a very attractive and comfortable but not flashy matron. In addition HAL probably been cruising in Alaska for longer than anyone and seems to have it just right. We were also happy that they had a bridge instructor and ran duplicate games on all at sea days. Not every ship does so we appreciated this.

The HAL Massdam offers a comfortable and Relaxing Alaskan Experience

Maasdam Cruise Review by NCJJCPJC2013

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
Both HAL and the Maasdam came highly recommended. We wanted a 14 night cruise that went to more ports than the previous Alaskan cruise we took in 1999. I read up on the Maasdam reviews and liked what I read. After booking we heard it had been rated the best mid sized ship in 2015.

We had sailed HAL twice before but the last time was in 1977 so we relied on our research and travel advisor. We thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and the itinerary. Service was fine and the food better than expected. We took a small suite (really just a slightly bigger room) because my wife and I were traveling with her recently widowed cousin and we needed a little more room. Everything was a little tight but we managed just fine. The ship was just big enough (55,000 tons) and the number of passengers on our cruise (~1,050) such that we never felt crowded and seldom had long lines. Embarkation and arrival were handled smoothly and getting off and on the ship at every port was simple and quick.

The entertainment was OK....we hadn't really come for that so OK was just fine. We all enjoyed the daily Happy Hours where one could get two drinks for the price of one plus $1. Drink prices were not cheap but not outrageous either. The 9-10 PM Happy Hours up on the top front lounge watching whale pods go by was plenty enough entertainment for me. My wife enjoyed a couple spa visits and her cousin was ecstatic about the frequent whale sightings. We also sampled most of the alternative dining opportunities which were reasonably priced and fun. We chose an open sitting option so we could go pretty much when we wanted. Since there were numerous dining choices and only a moderate number of people the dining room was seldom crowded and this option worked beautifully. I don't think we ever waited more than five minutes.

All in all, I'd highly recommend both the Maasdam and HAL. The Maasdam has gracefully aged and at 23 years is still a very attractive and comfortable but not flashy matron. In addition HAL probably been cruising in Alaska for longer than anyone and seems to have it just right.

We were also happy that they had a bridge instructor and ran duplicate games on all at sea days. Not every ship does so we appreciated this.
NCJJCPJC2013’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin B
Not overly large but well designed and comfortable with a nice sized verandah and good cabin service. Closet and drawer space was a little tight for three but plenty large for two people.

Nothing was lavish but all was super comfortable and morning coffee and breakfast service was always timely and almost always as ordered.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews