I am now officially, seriously, forever spoiled!
Pos: Ship-The Maasdam gleamed with fresh paint, varnish, and loving care.
Cabin-In my admittedly somewhat impoverished and limited experience, Lanai 361 was the most beautiful cabin I have sailed in, elegant, subdued colors and luxurious textures throughout. The cabin was spotlessly clean and showed no signs of wear, except a slightly frayed seam on the bed skirt. (Shantung, even polyester shantung, is probably not a good fabric choice for an item receiving much wear).
Lanai-I loved, loved, LOVED the lanai. I had not expected the absence of balcony partitions to make such a difference in providing a panoramic view . The location was convenient to both fore and aft elevators. Also unexpected was the camaraderie with fellow lanai dwellers and dedicated deck deck walkers, great fun for a solo traveler such as myself.
Service-The service was nearly impeccable (see below) from the moment cabin steward Asep appeared, notebook in hand, to inquire how I wished to be addressed and whether I had special needs or requests. Room service breakfast appeared on time and piping hot. Trays magically disappeared and ice likewise appeared.
Food-The food in the Lido was above average and the coffee was the best EVER!
Neg: Embarkation-After the obligatory wait at terminal entrance for a wheelchair (I usually bring a book to read), check-in proceeded quickly. However, I was then dumped into a small, bus station-like room to await transport aboard. Some pax had been waiting well over an hour. Finally, a similarly frustrated terminal official appeared to ask who could walk short distances. He led us like so many maimed goslings about 25 ft., through a previously locked door, et voila! We were aboard.
Smoke-Smoke from the casino renders the entirety of deck 8 untenable. Likewise, the aft elevators were unpleasant. However, the former was avoidable, and the latter transitory.
Toilet-Toilet functioned perfectly for 10 days, then apparently suffered a blockage in the line for starboard lanai cabins. For 2 days they functioned erratically as technicians chased the blockage.
No problems after that. Fortunately, the Atrium Ladies always worked, inconvenient, but survivable.
Lanai Door-Door was nearly impossible for even my steward to open more than 6 inches, and it closed with enough force to amputate a limb. This seemed to be unique to my cabin. However, I was only one door away from an exit, so I exited/entered that way.
Lido-The Lido had limited choices for those returning cold, tired, and sometimes wet from shore excursion after regular hours. The options looked and tasted past their "sell by" date, and the service was indifferent or nonexistent.
Tenders-Heaven help us all if we ever needed to put to sea in an emergency The condition of the tenders was downright scary!