Maasdam Cruise Review by NCJJCPJC2013
- Sail Date: June 2016
- Destination: Alaska
- Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
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.
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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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