Maasdam review 4/22 11 day eastern Caribbean, this is my 56th cruise and 4th in a row on HAL
Pre-cruise flew in night before start at FLL Embassy suite again, picked up 15 bottles at wine at total wine, Embassy suite was trying to sell us a 8 dollar per person shuttle to ship. Taxi fare was under 10 for the both of us.
Check in: was about 15 mins from when taxi drops us off at 12:30 to when we arrived in cabin,suite
Cabin: we had a guarantee BB suite and was given a A suite a few feet from sea view pool, great location, Verandah Suite (292 square feet) seemed a little small, bathroom was very small with odd shape ( for a suite). Only issue were almost yellow in color.
MDR: This was one of the best MDR for food and service , way better than last several cruises , we were not that happy with service on previous Hal cruises in MDR but this was exceptional , we had table for 2 in main seating at 8pm. We always ordered a appetizer and salad and coffee and desert after dinner and had no didn't even need to ask for water or coffee refills. With all that we were done at 9:30 every night. Food was exceptional , one night my wife asked waiter which night escargot would be served and he wasn't sure but just wanted to know how many orders we wanted for the next night. We both like wine and brought on a nice selections of Merlot and Cabernets , we had mentioned to our wine steward that we wished wine glasses were as nice at Pinnacles and was very surprised when next night we had 2 of the Pinnacles wine glasses on out table ( she had checked with Pinnacle manager and said we had reservations for several nights there and he allowed her to have the glasses ) , Sommelier on ship stopped to talk to us about our wine selection one night.
Pinnacle: this was a little of a disappointment , meals were ok but not as good as our dinners last year on Veendam which were exceptional.
Le Circe at Pinnacle: Entrees were cooked perfectly this is our 3rd time at Le Circe but 1st time where it was better than Pinnacle normal menu.
Lido: this was fine for breakfast but a major disappointment for lunch, my wife likes the Italian section and never had a problem with it in past, one day special was some dish with "Italian sausage " and they just used cut up hot dogs!!!!, another day she wanted paste with garlic and oil, they added it to plate but didn't understand you were supposed to add it to frying pan for a minute or so. Hamburger grill was almost as bad he would cook them till they were totally dry , another day my wife ordered salmon from grill and was told in would be 15 mins, I checked on in 10 mins later and he forgot to but it on the grill. I can understand if it was crowded but it was not.
Ship: Ship was in great shape in general for a 20 year old ship, we did have issues with a/c in room and other parts of the ship, loved the sea view pool never problem getting a chair, most days it was very quiet and relaxing, big exception was they had steel drum training were they had about 7 tone deaf passengers bang on these drums for about 30 mins each day, who in their right mind came up with that idea.,
Entertainment: WE really enjoyed the guitar player Glen Pearson, also excellent jazz trio in Queens lounge every night. We just saw 3 of the show and they were all very good, Rich Pupura was great he has been playing on cruise ships for 30 years. Hal is getting very cheap with triva prizes giving away Hal pins
Ports: St marten /St Vincent/St Croix/St Kitts/ Barbados/ Martinique/ Half Moon Cay, I woukd hav eperfered more sea days, did like the fact we never had to change clocks. Only tour we took was in St Vincents were we went to see where some of the Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed- thought it was a waste of money
Departure: got off about 8:40 and to airport by 9am, American was able to put us on plane leaving at 9:30 so we got home 5 hours early
Had almost perfect weather a little rain at Half moon cay, let me know if there are any questions