On the first day, when we boarded, the mood was happy because, well, it's the start of a perfect vacation. When I walked over the gangplank, friendly crew members were there to greet me and welcome me to a 14 day cruise aboard the Maasdam.
We headed up to the Lido like we always do to get lunch. On the first couple days, crew members had to serve everyone in the Lido to stop germs from spreading. The food in the Lido is great, and the deserts are delicious. We usually eat dinner in the dining room all the time, but this cruise, we went to the Canaletto Restaurant, and one time the Pinnacle Grill for lunch. Dinner was always great, with friedly waiters and waitresses. The food on the four formal nights that we had was especially good, from duck to lobster for main courses. Breakfast was also great, if you eat in the dining room or the Lido. We did both. Another nice thing that would fall under dining would be afternoon tea. The Maasdam had 3 special ones: The Royal Dutch Tea, The Indonesian Tea, and the Cupcake Tea. I went to all three, and a lot of the regular ones. One thing I really liked about these teas were the really special foods. For instance, the Dutch tea had little pastry swans, which I love. The Indonesian tea had plaintains and Indonesian coffees. It was nice to go to tea after a long day in the sun.
The ports of call we went to we fun and exciting. In Barbados, we did a private sailboat ride, that stopped three times, once to swim with turtles and fish. In Curasou, we just walked around and enjoyed the beauty of the island. When we went to Tortola, we did something very similar to what we did in Barbados, except we booked it through the ship. We went snorkeling in a couple of water nooks. In Aruba, we enjoyed a simple day at the beach. We also went to St. Barts, where we walked around the town of Gustavia and went to Shell Beach. Martinique was a bit of a dissapointment, but that's only because it rained. Fort-De-France was still a nice town. Bonaire was nice, again we walked around town. In Grenada, we took a water taxi to the beach. Half Moon Cay, Holland America's private island, and also my favorite port of call, was the best port in my opinion, though it's hard to compare against Barbados. We got spots on chairs right next to the water, and I jumped on the trampolines with my sister. I spent the whole day going back and forth from the trampolines to my chair, where I ordered a virgin pina colada. Tip: bring a lot of sunscreen. By the time you get back on the Maasdam, you will closely resemble a lobster, which I had for dinner that formal night.
Club HAL and the Loft: after dinner, my sister and I would go to the Loft and stay until closing. On this vacation, there was only one other teen who came, and he always left soon. I played Wii Sports Resort, Rock Band, and DDR. The Loft has a lot of things to choose from. When I was a kid, I liked to go to Club HAL. I actually took a Maasdam cruise a couple years ago, and I remember running around the ship with some friends I grew really close to.
The public rooms were beautiful, and really open, too. One of my favorites is the Piano Bar, so it's realyl a shame they're getting rid of it. Every night before dinner, I would join my mom and sister for a virgin drink in a bar, then we would head to the show, because we had late seating. The Explorations Cafe was a great place to get a coffee, or some hot chocolate and listen to music.
The entertainment onboard the Maasdam was excellent, especially the comedian. This comedian was really great, I laughed nonstop the entire show. The other shows were great, too. There were always waiters to take your drink order, and I got a really great view from my seat.
The service on the Maasdam is always great. I love how you and the rest of your table get to know the waiter. My sister is a vegan, and when she was sick one night, our waiter remembered what she liked and ordered it off the vegetarian menu for her. When I was sick, he also ordered the egg rolls I got every night. The crew is always very helpfull.
My inside cabin was nice, even though I didn't spend all that much time in it. The beds are so soft, and it was nice to know that the ocean is beneath you.
The decks were always clean. If you wanted to spend the afternoon of a sea day relaxing, you can go to the Promenade deck and read in a deck chair. On the Lido deck by the pool, you can lay in a deck chair next to the pool and hot tubs. The pool is large, it was a little cold when I was there, but the 3 hot tubs provide a welcome change if you get too chilled, and vice versa. The Lido restaurant is right next to the pool, as is the bar and the taco bar, so if you wanted an ice cream, or a cold drink or some nachos, it's right there.
Overall, I love the Maasdam, and give it about a million stars. I've been on this ship twice, and in two weeks exactly, I'm going for an 11-day Carribean trip. All in all, we had a wonderful cruise of the beautiful Maasdam.