The cruise was good because the ports were good. No credit can be given to HAL staff or the ship. The crew;however, is the true Signature of Excellence. They are the Third World people exploited by a big company and forced to do the impossible.
The ship Maasdam is a worn-out tug. Constantly being repaired while you cruise. The rooms are Motel 6-shabby and in bad need of repair. My bed had some type of bugs.
Food is about par with a high school cafeteria in the Lido. No vegetables to be found. There were no onions at the pool hamburger/taco/pizza stand. One day they ran out of spaghetti and the other day they ran out of sauces. The attendant tried to give me more toppings instead of sauce which he di not have. The stations are not set up so the attendant can make it all at teh spot without running around. The sauceless spaghetti was stone cold when I got a table.
The Main Dining Room is also a fiasco. Forget eating lamb or beef. Wait until you get home and then you can get a good piece of meat. We were seated at a table usually set for 6; but, it was set for 7 people (crowded!!!!!).We had actually 5 people ever coming to dinner. HAL never figured out you could take a setting away instead of adding a setting for a single diner.
HAL staff is notoriously surly. There is a window in the Main Dining Room cracked in 100,000 pieces. I asked the manager when he came around what happened. He said," Just a decoration". Another night I asked him why the dinnertime had been changed to 5:30 instead of the usual 5:45 and not opened until 5:45. He replied with some nonsense about an elevator. That was not pertinent because we had used the elevator.
When the rooms and food are not that good,the cruise is not that good and not worth spending vacation time and money on.