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.