We chose this cruise for the different ports it stopped at. This was our 4th Alaskan cruise and our first with HAL. We probably won't go on anther HAL cruise as we were not impressed. Everything was average at best. The food in the dining room was ok most of the time, but there were 3 nights where we wished we had gone to the Lido buffet instead. I understand that the ship is being sold and they did their best to make it presentable, but again - nothing special... We upgraded to a Vista Suite with a Veranda and that made a big difference. We were able to open the door when the AC didn't cool down the room, we could eat breakfast and stare at the sea...we even saw humpback whales a few mornings while we were sailing. The cabin stewards were great, making sure that we had ice and that the room was ready for us each day and evening. The waiters in the main dining room were great too. The brought my tea after dinner without me having to ask which was nice. Rex, the dining room manager was awesome. He helped us make changes to our dinner reservation and found us a table by the window which was really nice. He always greeted us at the door by name and asked how things were going. I wish they offered more fish choices - Alaskan Halibut more than once would have been nice. We did have a nice dinner in the Pinnacle Grill. We had a blast at the Pub Trivia with Johan. He made it fun and we learned things along the way. We even skipped desert to make it by 7... The entertainment was ok - the backround music is too loud and the singers have to strain their voices to be heard. This sometimes makes the voices sound shrill or sharp. Some had excellent voices but much of the time, they were forced to sing too loud. The dancers were great. We enjoyed listening to the guitar player in the Mix lounge - he was awesome. The piano guy, on the other hand, was terrible. He didn't sing all of the words and changed up some very well known songs so much that you couldn't tell what he was playing. His Beattles tribute night was a total joke. HAL does get points for their embarkation and disembarkation. It was the best we've ever experienced. We boarded at 12:00 and our room was ready. Luggage arrived shortly after lunch and we were able to unpack and settle in before the lifeboat drill. We worked on a puzzle after breakfast in the Exploration lounge until we were called to disembark which was right on time. We rented a car in Juneau for the morning and went to the Shrine of St Therese which was beautiful. We saw whales spouting across the bay. We then went to Mendenhall Glacier and spent some time walking on the trails to watch the salmon run. We did a whale watching cruise in the afternoon. We saw humpbacks bubble feeding right by the boat. It was really cool. We also went up the Mt Roberts tram and then had halibut dinner at Twisted Fish. Favorite day of the trip!! We chose the Grandview Train excursion in Anchorage - BIG MISTAKE... We were trapped on a train for 8 1/2 hours and then bused back to the ship as the train wouldn't have us back in time to leave. We didn't see much and could only get off the train in Whittier for 20 minutes and then a quick walk at the Grandview stop. It seems the trip is mostly for passengers going on the rafting trip or the hike at the Glacier.

Just so so...

Maasdam Cruise Review by lakeforestCA

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
We chose this cruise for the different ports it stopped at. This was our 4th Alaskan cruise and our first with HAL. We probably won't go on anther HAL cruise as we were not impressed. Everything was average at best. The food in the dining room was ok most of the time, but there were 3 nights where we wished we had gone to the Lido buffet instead.

I understand that the ship is being sold and they did their best to make it presentable, but again - nothing special...

We upgraded to a Vista Suite with a Veranda and that made a big difference. We were able to open the door when the AC didn't cool down the room, we could eat breakfast and stare at the sea...we even saw humpback whales a few mornings while we were sailing.

The cabin stewards were great, making sure that we had ice and that the room was ready for us each day and evening. The waiters in the main dining room were great too. The brought my tea after dinner without me having to ask which was nice. Rex, the dining room manager was awesome. He helped us make changes to our dinner reservation and found us a table by the window which was really nice. He always greeted us at the door by name and asked how things were going. I wish they offered more fish choices - Alaskan Halibut more than once would have been nice. We did have a nice dinner in the Pinnacle Grill.

We had a blast at the Pub Trivia with Johan. He made it fun and we learned things along the way. We even skipped desert to make it by 7...

The entertainment was ok - the backround music is too loud and the singers have to strain their voices to be heard. This sometimes makes the voices sound shrill or sharp. Some had excellent voices but much of the time, they were forced to sing too loud.

The dancers were great.

We enjoyed listening to the guitar player in the Mix lounge - he was awesome.

The piano guy, on the other hand, was terrible. He didn't sing all of the words and changed up some very well known songs so much that you couldn't tell what he was playing. His Beattles tribute night was a total joke.

HAL does get points for their embarkation and disembarkation. It was the best we've ever experienced. We boarded at 12:00 and our room was ready. Luggage arrived shortly after lunch and we were able to unpack and settle in before the lifeboat drill. We worked on a puzzle after breakfast in the Exploration lounge until we were called to disembark which was right on time.

We rented a car in Juneau for the morning and went to the Shrine of St Therese which was beautiful. We saw whales spouting across the bay. We then went to Mendenhall Glacier and spent some time walking on the trails to watch the salmon run. We did a whale watching cruise in the afternoon. We saw humpbacks bubble feeding right by the boat. It was really cool. We also went up the Mt Roberts tram and then had halibut dinner at Twisted Fish. Favorite day of the trip!!

We chose the Grandview Train excursion in Anchorage - BIG MISTAKE... We were trapped on a train for 8 1/2 hours and then bused back to the ship as the train wouldn't have us back in time to leave. We didn't see much and could only get off the train in Whittier for 20 minutes and then a quick walk at the Grandview stop. It seems the trip is mostly for passengers going on the rafting trip or the hike at the Glacier.
lakeforestCA’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Vista Suite with Verandah
Cabin A 176
The cabin was ok - it's a bit worn and there was rust around the shower, The toilet had some areas that were worn so it always looked dirty. There was ample space to unpack and put everything away. Drawers in the desk and night stands were very helpful. There was a fridge in the room, but it was overstocked which made it hard to use for our personal stuff. It was nice to be able to grab a soda or water during the day while we sat on the veranda... Thankfully, we had been warned to bring an extension cord as there is only one usable plug in the room.
Verandah Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews