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Maasdam Review

Editor Rating: 4.0
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Editor Rating
4.0
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Why Choose Maasdam?
  • Classic atmosphere with charming service
  • Partnership with fine dining brand Le Cirque
  • 2011 refit added new restaurant, cabins, bars

Maasdam Overview

With its mid-sized capacity and classic styling, Holland America's stately Maasdam is a manageable and pleasant ship. After eighteen years in service, it has succeeded in retaining its youth -- with a major sweep of contemporary updates in both 2006 and the spring of 2011 -- but has resisted the impulse to act like a teenager. As such, the 1,258-passenger Maasdam has retained some of the traditional sensibilities that appeal to its older audience base -- high tea, formal nights, ballroom dancing and displays of antiques -- while adding elements to appeal to younger audiences. Such newer features include two contemporary alternative restaurants, wireless hotspots, three new hip specialty bars and an iPod tour of the aforementioned antiques.

Indeed, there are some who say hats off to Maasdam for resisting some of the more radical trends of the behemoth ships (no surfing wave simulators or rock-climbing walls here), while stepping ahead on other fronts. Case in point is the ship's state-of-the-art, New York Times-branded Explorations Cafe, a combination library and digital fun room for the over 50 set (think touch-screen interactive maps, over-sized crossword puzzles).

Its latest refurbishment, in April 2011, was part of HAL's $560 million Signature of Excellence initiative focused on modernizing its oldest ships. Along with new carpets, upholstery and soft goods, Maasdam gained three major features: a dinner-only Italian restaurant, two new kinds of cabins, and the Mix Lounge, a three-in-one bar central with each venue offering a specific type of drink and each flowing into the others. The new additions -- especially the alternative restaurant and bar area -- help up Maasdam's "hip factor" without detracting from any of the ship's classic charm.

Maasdam Fellow Passengers

While Holland America is working to move beyond its reputation as a seniors' line, and Maasdam is one of the fleet's designated family friendly vessels, the average age on the cruise line's 15 vessels is about 57. Shorter itineraries and cruises during school holiday periods tend to attract a higher percentage of younger passengers and families. On Maasdam's non-summer and longer sailings, expect a more typical Holland America devotee -- a more senior crowd that appreciates the line's nod toward cruise traditions.

Maasdam Dress Code

Two nights in seven are designated as formal nights in the dining room. For the majority of men, this translates as dark suits (there are some tuxes), and for women, the range was from the little black dress to larger, longer, more colorful affairs.

Editor's Note: You can order "formal night" options from the ship in advance, or even buy them from the shops. (They're cheaply made "mother of the bride" looks, but they'll do in a pinch.)

Dress codes apply to kids, too. On formal nights, the girls were adorable in their "fancy" dresses; most boys wore, if not suits, than at least shirts with ties. The rest of the evenings are "smart casual," that conundrum of a description that tends to create more questions than answers but in general means slacks or skirts for women and khakis and polo shirts or button-downs for men. Jeans, tank tops and pool attire are discouraged from public areas.

Maasdam Gratuity

The automatic tip for passengers staying in interior, oceanview and verandah cabins is $12.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $13.50 per person, per day.
Next:  Maasdam Cabins
Updated by Robert N. Jenkins, Cruise Critic Contributor

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Maasdam Editor Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    4.1
    3.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.4
    4.0
  • Cabins
    4.0
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.8
    3.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    3.8
    3.0
  • Family & Children
    2.9
    3.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.8
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.7
    4.0
  • Service
    4.5
    4.0
  • Value-for-Money
    4.0
    4.0

Ship Facts

Ship Stats
Crew:  580
Launched:  1994/2011
Decks:  10
Tonnage:  55,451
Passengers:  1,258
Registry:  Netherlands
CDC Score:  100
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386 Maasdam Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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nw gardener
Member Since 2014
3 reviews
171 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
This was our second HAL cruise, and our first 2 week cruise, and the Maasdam is the smallest ship to date for us. We [hubby and myself], loved the size of the ship, and although it is an older ship, thought it was well maintained. ... Read more
California Desert Rat
Member Since 2014
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
We picked this cruise due to the many ports that other ships can't reach. Anchorage, Homer & Kodiak. And a new stop, "Icy Strait Point". We have sailed on Holland America before, and to Alaska. Were disappointed at the ... Read more
seniorcruiser1956
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
5 helpful votes
All of my friends told me the wonders of Holland America and how great they were...we were excited. Paid a lot of money for a room in the bowels of the ship, lots of noise from the engines but we figured, how much time do you spend in ... Read more

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