I could have kept this review very short and said it all in one word: exceptional. But there seem to have been so many negative reviews that something needs to be said to straighten things out.
The ship itself: well let's face it it's brand new so it's exceptionally clean and modern. It is well maintained and well planned.
The food: After reading so many bad reviews I was ready for anything. I have to ask the question of the people who say that the food is not good; what the hell do you eat at home. There wasn't a single meal that wasn't prepared extremely well. It was cooked to perfection, even the rack of lamb, which is difficult to prepare well in large quantities.
The service: OK, so sometimes there's a bit of a language problem, but that is more than made up for by the willingness of the wait staff to correct any minor problem. And hey!, they speak better English that a lot of Americans; we ended up using a taxi after the cruise with a Haitian driver who spoke very little English, and my French was just enough to get us by.
The entertainment: absolutely spectacular. The entertainment on this ship by far surpasses anything I have experienced so far. I'm taking a 7 week cruise on Holland America in February and I'm going to have to bite my tongue and try not to criticize the on-board entertainment on the Maasdam.