The Maasdam was wonderful. We sailed May 7, 2011. Our cabin looked brand new. Before booking, I researched and found that it was almost totally refurbished right before our sailing and will be totally renovated before too long. I was very impressed that Holland is using very natural products to clean with (read it in a brochure in the room) and that the staff was constantly cleaning -- even the handrails. A very clean ship. I did not have to deal with nasty, toxic cleaning smells! Every single staff member was pleasant too. I had to call the front desk about a gas-like smell that had awakened me in the middle of the night, twice. Weirdly, it didn't smell all the time. I kept forgetting about it the next day, but one day I smelled it in the hall. Once I told the front desk, they called me back within 10-15 minutes to report that a tech had found a leak in the a/c and that it would be fixed immediately. They even offered to have an ozone machine brought to our cabin. I never smelled it again and was very impressed with how they got it on it right away. The entertainment was excellent. One comedian, was Julie Barr, and she was extremely funny. We missed the other comedian, but heard from others, that he was a riot. Also, the singers and dancers were exceptional. Two of the singers had opera quality voices. Honestly, they were all so talented. Got to see their new show, called ROADHOUSE. Another treat, no really an honor, was to listen to Justin Miller playing his own custom made classical guitar and mandolin. He played rock, classical, Irish, bluegrass -- such a variety and with his own spin and twist. His Pachelbel's Canon was incredible. What a talented man! I think everyone was mesmerized. Plus, in between his music, he threw out some great, seldom heard, true stories about other musicians.
The food was better than most cruise ships I have been on. I was surprised when reading another Cruise Critic member's complaint (on the same sailing), about meat being cold and things undercooked in the Lido. I found everything excellent and the staff always smiling and moving fast. Never saw any unclean tables. Also, it wasn't a typical buffet. The food was in front of you to pick, but mostly served by the staff and always fresh. Made in small batches in order to do this.
Have only have one complaint.... and it is that we smelled cigarette smoke in the halls off and on, in the top lounge (the Crow's Nest, which has one side for smoking only-- but of course that doesn't matter) and in the casino. We couldn't stay in those places long. I had the impression from somewhere, before I booked, that only one floor was for smokers, and was dismayed to know that someone could be smoking next to our cabin. Even though we loved this ship and trip, if we had smelled smoke in the furniture or seeping into our cabin from another cabin, we would never consider taking a cruise with Holland again. I am happy that didn't happen and we are already thinking of picking Holland cruise next year. They gave everyone a survey to fill out and asked if we would consider sailing on a ship that was smoke free. Of course! So, I am guessing they are tossing this notion around. Would love if the ships were smoke free! We went on one particular cruise line several years ago that did not allow smoking, even outside. I think that lasted for only a couple of years, as I heard they lost money. Sad! Would be a shame to smell up those newly renovated cabins on the Maasdam.
We missed a lot of Montreal, because of high water --- so had to be bused to the first port of call to meet the ship, which Holland did for us very promptly and comfortably. Actually worked out well, because we adored Quebec and had more time there. Two ports of call were very cold for this time of year, and that was disappointing, but not Holland's fault. Bar Harbor was a great surprise and I highly recommend going to the Acadia National Park and Cadillac Mountain for the views. If you are 50 plus years, this ship is for you, because it was quiet in the middle of the night (no drunkenness or loud people in the halls) and very relaxing, with few kids on board. No teens loudly taking over the pool either. There were teens there, but not in large groups. I imagine that during the summer, there are a lot more kids. Nothing was rushed, which we really liked. We met many people our own age and younger on board and we enjoyed them completely.
Anyway, the cruise director was fantastic and everyone so welcoming, I highly recommend this ship and itinerary.