This was our second cruise on the Maasdam, the first being a 10 night cruise in April 2013. We had enjoyed that one and were happy to cruise on the Maasdam again.
We like the size of the Maasdam very much. We find it easy to navigate around and you don't have to walk for miles to get everywhere. We were happy with our cabin - an inside cabin on the main deck, midship. It was small but adequate size, the bed was very comfortable,the room had very good air conditioning, and was kept in great shape by our steward Lili. He filled our ice bucket every day and most days left us a towel animal.
The ship is scheduled to go into drydock after it's holiday cruise, and I think it needs some TLC. Overall she is in good shape, but a little worn around the edges. One thing that needs looking at is the toilet system. Our toilet worked fine for the first 10 days then all of a sudden it would flush only intermittently. Also, toilets around the ship would have an out of order sign for days at a time.
The entertainment on the ship was quite good we thought. The singers and dancers, magician, ventriloquist, musicians - all were good. We also enjoyed the Adagio musicians in the explorer's lounge - we listened to them most nights after dinner, before going to the 10 pm show in the main showroom. I thought the ships band the HAL cats were great - they accompanied most of the acts in the showroom at sea.
The food in all venues was very good. We especially liked the Pinncale Grill - we dined there twice, as well as when it was the Le Cirque night. This was our first time in 4 HAL cruises that we tried the Canaletto and we really enjoyed it. Actually, we liked it so much we dined there 3 times. My advice to anyone is don't let negative reviews keep you from trying something. Go into it with an open mind. We had never tried the Canaletto before because we kept reading reviews by people who disliked it. This cruise we tried it and loved it.
The crew of the Maasdam is great. Friendly, professional and eager to please. We always felt we were in good hands. One night around 9 pm the fire alarm went off. The officer of the watch came on and said it wasn't a drill and all firecrews were to go to their stations. A few minutes later the captain came on and told us that there was indeed a fire in a garbage silo but the crew was on top of it. He kept us updated several times and everything turned out fine. We felt the crew responded quickly and professionally and we appreciated being told what was going on by the captain.
Embarkation and disembarkation were both okay.