We very much enjoyed our second cruise on the Maasdam. (The flights to get there and get home...well that's another story.) We have always intended to do reviews before, but have not done so.
Stayed at Cambria Suites the night before (free with hotel points). Free shuttle to port. We were on the first one. HAL onshore staff was great, but they were struggling with some computer issues.
A Deck outside cabin near forward elevator, first cabin behind port side gangway was ready when we boarded. Cabin does not have fridge, so more drawers for storage where fridge would be. Cabin stewards were great, but we made no special requests of them. Luggage was in room before we needed to get ready for dinner. Cabin was across from a "pantry" where staff returned room service dishes. Occasional noise did not bother us, but it might bother some. Cabin is very convenient when returning from excursions. Last year our cabin was the equally convenient #731 on the starboard side.
Food was great, as always. Great tablemates at late dinner seating. Sometimes the service was a little slow in the MDR as on our Zuiderdam cruise last fall, but we attribute that to the number of tables assigned to the server. Our server, Heri, was very personable. Patricia in the Lido was so pleasant. Rollie in the Crow's Nest was great. Daily happy hours in Crow's Nest and Ocean Bars.
Went to most of the shows. Talented singers. Walked out of the comedy/magic show. Did not go to the R-rated late comedy show. Enjoyed Paul Pappas, bought his CD. HALCats were very good. Adagio Strings mostly played the same numbers each night at dinner--selections from the Nutcracker Suite.
Nassau: Walked to Junkaroo beach and back, shopped straw market, watched other ships dock.
San Juan--Did ship's El Yunque rainforest tour. Very good! Bought Diet Coke at CVS across from pier to take back to ship.
St. Barts--Walked to beautiful Shell Beach.
Dominica--Docked at freight dock due to larger ship docked downtown. Did ship's tour of island highlights. OK.
Antigua--Went to a hotel beach for the day-glorious! Taxi charged $20 to there, $15 back.
St. Thomas-- Docked at Crown Bay. Ships excursion to St. John. Hiked to Solomon and Honeymoon beaches. Beautiful!
Half Moon Cay--Glorious!
All aboard time for St. Thomas and HMC were 1.5 hrs earlier than times given on itinerary we printed from HAL website. Disappointing.
On Deck for the Cure event was done well, but not too many participants.
Master Chef's Dinner consisted of special menu, song before Baked Alaska parade by a couple of the dining room staff.
Self-disembarkation very smooth/easy. Taxi to airport, $20 with tip.
We had been on the last cruise before drydock last year. It was nice to see the updates to the cabins and other areas around the ship.
There seemed to be more motion than on our cruise last year, but nothing major.
Purchased Future Cruise Credits before ship even left port. Are booked for Veendam to Bermuda in May, considering Ryndam in Dec.
Two Carnival and one ____ Of The Seas ships docked in Nassau after us. Glad we beat them there. We will be sticking with the smaller HAL ships(although we are considering the NCL cruise around Hawaii next year rather than have to sail to there and back).