Maasdam compared with Crown Princess: Maasdam Cruise Review by cbhimself
Overall Member Rating
Maasdam compared with Crown Princess
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
This smaller ship (1200 passengers) was easier to find our way around, and we almost never had to wait in lines (except for boarding), though the older clientele means more walkers, canes, and scooters. This is an observation, not a complaint (I'm getting there myself, age 84). Dining room staff and cabin stewards were excellent. The Maasdam, built in 1993, has had more than average problems with infections, which involve various restrictions and constant cleaning. Understandable and necessary, but annoying. We found the food very good, though we had the usual problem with getting small. They insist on large servings, leading to the waste of food and adding to our waists and the epidemic of obesity.
HAL gets a plus for a large, excellent library, with open shelves, a real librarian available most days 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and magazines. The Princess library is small, with shelves often locked, and a crew member there part time. HAL also has a selection of over 1000 DVDs with a player in every room. It publishes a daily NY Times summary, in various languages, of news of the world, and has both CNN and Fox news channels. Princess has no DVD's and a repetitive CNN.
The HAL evening entertainment included some of the usual too loud Broadway type of song and dance, but also a variety: a wild odd juggler named Barnaby, a crew show, a non-raunchy family comedian, other odd acts, and the incomparable Adagio string quartet. A bonus on this cruise was the presence of over four hundred musicians and dancers celebrating an annual Jazz at Sea convention. Every day from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. there was wonderful New Orleans jazz, with some talented dancing. We could hear the "Saints go marching in," and this was a saintly cruise: St. Croix, St. Kitts, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, plus Barbados.
We usually find our own activities in the ports. The maps provided by HAL focus on the fancy expensive stores found almost everywhere, the International Diamonds, Emeralds, Tanzanite, and such (employing cheap local labor and exporting profits). These maps are not much help in finding interesting local places. The decor here is OK, but inferior to that of the newer HAL ships.
The disembarkation (we travel with carry-on only, and can do an early walk-off) was fast and easy. The next day, Jan. 13, we boarded the Crown Princess for a two-week back to back sailing, described in a separate review. All things considered, I probably prefer HAL, though I rate both lines above most of the others in that price level, and especially appreciate the perks of Princess. Less
Cabin review: EEC325 Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Adequate, but lacked mini fridge. Rented one for $2 per day. Good location, near atrium, elevators, stairs, but not noisy. Window looked out on promenade. OK during day, since we could look out but walkers could not see in. At night, with our lights on, it was possible to see in, so we had to be careful to keep curtains closed. Comfortable and adequate, but nothing special.Read All Large Ocean-View Stateroom (EE) Reviews >>