We do not consider ourselves an experienced cruisers, but this cruise exceeded our best expectations. It was our best vacation ever, this is how we liked it. Maasdam is not a brand new ship but she was recently repaired and is very well maintained. You can see dozens of people relentlessly cleaning washing and shining.
Our cabin was much larger than the one of the same class we had at our last cruise with Carnival. The stuff was maintaining it in perfect order. We did not have a balcony but window was large and it was sufficient space for three people. Our teenage daughter slept on a couch turned into a single bed. Travelling with a teenager we were a little concerned about her being bored since Holland America is considered a cruise line for older crowd but teen club was packed with activities so she made friends really fast.
Food was really good. We tried lido buffet, restaurants which are included with the price and one restaurant were we paid extra. Buffet has fresh fruits and vegetables, a choice of salads, different kinds of bacon and all kinds of eggs including made to your order, freshly squeezed juice, freshly baked pastry etc. Sitting restaurant food has adequate choice. We tried lobster and steak, rack of lamb. Everything was perfectly cooked and presented. We used buffet mostly for breakfast and sitting restaurants for dinner. Lunch we usually on the shore but if we returned to the ship early enough it was always something to eat either sandwich or hamburger.
Entertainment is truly professional. There were a couple of musical shows with singing, dancing and life band,a comedy show and a magic show. All of them very entertaining. There is a jazz trio playing till 11:30 pm, a pianist doing sing-along and violin-piano duo for popular classics. A band is playing on lido deck and at Craw's nest bar.
Drinks are really good and reasonably priced.
Stuff is well trained and polite.
We did not take any excursions but rather rented car at every port and explored ourselves. It took more planning but was much cheaper and gave us more flexibility.
And Eastern Canada is really beautiful. It was the first and second day we liked the most because wile at st Lawrence river you can see shore all the time.
I would definitely recommend this tour to a friend. God job, Holland America!