37 Holland America Line Maasdam Alaska Cruise Reviews

We like Holland America. And we selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We were on the ship for 8 weeks starting in San Francisco on June 18. The Maasdam went to a lot of ports in the first 3 weeks. Namely Ketchikan, Sitka, ... Read More
We like Holland America. And we selected this cruise because of the itinerary. We were on the ship for 8 weeks starting in San Francisco on June 18. The Maasdam went to a lot of ports in the first 3 weeks. Namely Ketchikan, Sitka, Anchorage, Kodiak, Valdez, Homer, Haines, Juneau (where we did a helicopter flight to 2 glaciers), Wrangell. We saw Hubbard Glacier up close and also College Fjord. Then we did the Inside Passage and went south to Vancouver (the only rainy day) and on to Port Alberni and Astoria before returning to San Francisco. This was the end of 3 weeks. We then started north again and went to Seattle, Victoria BC, Ketchikan, Sitka, Dutch Harbour (and Unalaska), and then on to Nome. This port even the captain hadn't been to and he still hasn't because the seas were too choppy for a safe tender journey. So we missed it unfortunately. Then we went on to Petropavlovsk in Russia and from there to Kushiro in Japan. All brilliant places. Our second 3 weeks ended in Yokohama, Japan. And so the last 2 weeks of our cruise started. Yokohama is a very modern city and it is quite easy to get around. Our next port was Shimizu, then Kobe, Takamatsu and Kochi where it was market day. Very hot in Japan in August though. Kanazawa was lovely. Then we went back to Russia to see Vladivostok and Korsakov. From there back to Japan. Otaru is a lovely town with great shopping. Our last port before returning to Yokohama was Hakodate. Also really nice. So all in all a great cruise with lots of very different ports to visit. We really enjoyed it and we met great people on this cruise. We would certainly do this cruise again if we could. We did not use the ship's shore excursions as they are too expensive. We went on independent tours with local touring companies and they were great. Some were booked by us (and listed on the relevant Cruise Critic Roll Call pages)and some by other Cruise Critic members Embarkation went very smoothly, disembarkation was also great as long as you waited until the last moment and most people were gone. The Maasdam is an EXC ship and therefore hasn't got the production shows that other ships in the fleet have. There were lots of lectures relating to the areas we sailed through. But we enjoyed that. We especially enjoyed Naturalist Gloetta, she is a marvel and so enthusiastic. Everyone loved her and at the end there was standing room only. But still, every night there was some show, either singer(s), piano players, violinist, even a rock and roll band and a hip hop group. Plenty of things to do We especially liked Lee the piano man. We sat most nights around the piano and sang our hearts out. Really great fun. Dining was hit or miss. Some meals were absolutely fabulous and others so so. Breakfast and lunch were mostly good. The crew is fantastic, from cabin stewards to bar staff to Lido staff and also the dining room. Laundry was done perfectly. Were there any hiccups? Sure, there always are small problems, but they were overcome and we all learned from it. Would we sail Holland America again? Absolutely. Our next cruise will in December, again on the Maasdam. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Maasdam cruise to Alaska 2019 Positive Experience: Our Holland American Line (HAL) cruise consultant, Amy, was a great help to us in managing our cruise including a cabin upgrade. The ship is beautiful, very clean and in excellent ... Read More
Maasdam cruise to Alaska 2019 Positive Experience: Our Holland American Line (HAL) cruise consultant, Amy, was a great help to us in managing our cruise including a cabin upgrade. The ship is beautiful, very clean and in excellent condition. The HAL staff in all areas was very friendly, competent, and professional. Our cabin stewards UGIH and Deni were the best we have had on any cruise we have taken. For a pleasant change, the internet, while expensive, was the fastest we have ever experienced on a cruse by a factor of ten. Boarding and disembarking was fast and efficient. Negative Experience: The TV news stations, CNN, BBC, Fox were not available most of the time and on an unpredictable schedule. The “no signal available” message was even on all day while moored in locations like Anchorage & Juno AK and Vancouver & Astoria OR. With all the electronics that is on that ship, they can’t find a satellite signal?. On a Maasdam cruise two years ago they found a signal in places like Pago-Pago, New Caledonia and Vanuatu. The food in the main dining room deteriorated since our last Maasdam cruise in 2017. I ordered prime rib that was so tough that cutting it with a table knife was difficult and I could not chew it enough to swallow. I doubt that it was even prime rib. My wife had strip steak that was very tough and four others at our table had similar problems with their strip steak. My wife and I are not “meat and potatoes” people but it appeared to us that the chief tried to outdo himself with mostly “gourmet” offerings every night. An example of some choices in one meal: Foie Gras with Apple Tarte Tatin, Sunchoke Soup, Lemon Grass Coconut Tofu Curry, Pan-Seared Cobia. Additionally, at least four times per day we would be approached by a staff member trying to sell us on the pay restaurant Canaletto. We had dinner there one evening and the food was good but not as good as our two previous Maasdam cruises or our neighborhood Italian restaurants. The laundry service was poor. Anything that we sent that required pressing had to be sent back because it was wrinkled. My wife and I are both retired corporate executives and strongly suspect that there was a change of management or operating budget on the Maasdam since our last cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We love Alaska. This cruise showed up with a three week itinerary hitting ports we had not seen before, as well as several of our favorites and terrific glacier cruising days. We noticed it was booked as an “In-Depth” cruise, but ... Read More
We love Alaska. This cruise showed up with a three week itinerary hitting ports we had not seen before, as well as several of our favorites and terrific glacier cruising days. We noticed it was booked as an “In-Depth” cruise, but didn’t really know what that meant. This cruise turned out to be our favorite and totally unique. This is not for everyone. I noticed several reviews complaining of the cruises on Maasdam being “boring” with lack of “entertainment” and poor food. Those cruisers are possibly looking for Broadway shows and five course dinners in a floating luxury hotel?? What the Maasdam offers is exactly what we love: On board were nine “experts” in various fields who provided infirmative educational and entertaining presentations throughout the three week cruise. Sea days and port days had a variety of fantastic lectures. Instead of ten offerings of trivia, bingo, and EXC tour sales pitches, we had geology, oceanography, culture of the Tlingkat people, tales of the Iditarod, Yukon river canoe stories, lectures on bears, whales, professional nature photography, art and craft demonstrations of the Alaskan Native cultures, and detailed information about each port including history and how to get about the port area on your own. And much more. Music, poetry, story-telling, all related to the Alaskan areas we were visiting. Besides all of these great offerings, we found the presenters to be very accessible for in depth personal conversations at meals and between programed activities. We eagerly grabbed our When and Where activities schedule for each day and made decisions about what to attend. For folks who enjoy education, information, and an in-depth look at the culture, history, and environment of places you are visiting, the Maasdam is a gem! As for the ship, it is older, but we found it to be clean and in great order. Stylish, comfortable, and plenty of outside areas for viewing. Our cabin on Main Deck, ocean-view, was very comfortable, clean, and functional. A with all older ships, you can find discolored grout or patched rust spots, on the Maasdam older TV system. But, as stated, she was clean and everything worked well. She even still has a great library (lacking on the newer ships!), and a self-serve laundry room! Food worked just fine for us. We are not up-scale diners. We love grazing the Lido buffet, hitting the Dive-In or pizza stations for a change. I am a pescatarian with a milk allergy, and I was able to find good food options for every meal. Plenty of fresh salad material, great fish dishes (mostly incredible salmon options), a variety of dinner side dishes including multiple presentations of rice dishes. Dessert station made sure to have a non-dairy sorbet available most days. Breakfasts included traditional options (eggs, meats, breads, hot cereals, etc) plus rice congee, miso soup, and plenty of fruit. You will not find Broadway productions, but there were multiple excellent entertainment options including magicians, comedians, singers, musicians. You will not find waterslides, rock climbing walls, outdoor movie screens, or other theme-park type experiences. You will find a solid comfortable ship, great outdoor areas for viewing the majesty of nature, and a wealth of intelligent in-depth education. Perfect for us! We’re booked on another Maasdam adventure, coming up soon. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We picked this 21 day cruise, longer than most Alaska cruises, because we love Alaska and the ship went to ports not often visited by cruise ships. The Maasdam is a relatively small ship that has a great variety of decks to view glaciers, ... Read More
We picked this 21 day cruise, longer than most Alaska cruises, because we love Alaska and the ship went to ports not often visited by cruise ships. The Maasdam is a relatively small ship that has a great variety of decks to view glaciers, etc. Cabin was standard but we loved that the bathroom door had a magnet that would hold door open so you don't have to turn on a light at night to use the bathroom. We only ate at Lido - Food was OK, but "hot" food was almost always cold. According to the crew, the salmon served were pink salmon - the second least flavorful of the 5 species of Alaska salmon - I expect a premium cruise ship to serve quality salmon - at least they were Alaska salmon, not farm raised. This cruise was an Exc In-Depth cruise - the program was basically in disarray; only Kent Syverson, a glacier geologist, was excellent; others provided little of value. The evening entertainment was mostly very good - there were no ship singers and dancers - a good move. The sound system/speakers in the showroom were excellent - much better almost distortion free sound than on the other 3 Holland America ships we have been on. Housekeeping service was very good. Lido service was friendly but seemed to be understaffed - most of the time we got our own coffee, tea, and refills. The ship had some problems with managing tendering - it was such a long time to get ashore (about 2 hours) in Juneau that we decided not to even go ashore. In the crew's defense, they did better on some later tenderings. Cruise director Lance did a credible job of providing Port information. The woman in charge of Shore Excursions gave a couple of briefings on available excursions that showed she knew nothing about Alaska or what a National Park was - after the 1st week she didn't give more briefings. Weather was wet much of the trip but that's the chance you take in Alaska. We would go again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. As with most HAL cruises, it was port intensive. On board were a geologist, naturalist, a chief of the Tlingit people, an indigenous wood carver and a couple who shared their music, stories ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. As with most HAL cruises, it was port intensive. On board were a geologist, naturalist, a chief of the Tlingit people, an indigenous wood carver and a couple who shared their music, stories and experiences living in Alaska. We were able to learn from these presenters and interact with them daily. In addition, there was evening entertainment, including, singers, comedians and magicians. This cruise was an opportunity to visit small ports that were more authentic, without the multitude of jewelry shops lining the sidewalks. We were able to support local businesses and speak with the people who lived in these communities. Of particular interest and enjoyment was Port Alberni, British Columbia. We sailed up the Alberni Inlet and were received with the warmest welcome that we have ever had in another port. To begin with, a group of indigenous people canoed to our ship (which was tendered) and sang a welcome song. On shore, the local people were there to greet us and assist us in any way. The Book Club participants dressed in period costumes, the indigenous peoples did a welcoming dance, volunteers offered rides to see local attractions. As it was a Saturday, there was a wonderful Craft Market on the Quay. There were offers of free local tours. When we admired the restored logging trucks at the Quay, we were personally driven to the Industrial Heritage Centre, where they have restored numerous vehicles and machinery from the logging hey days of the area. There were vintage trucks and antique machines that have been restored over the past 35 years by a group of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers. The volunteers showed us around the various vehicles, giving a history of each one. Unfortunately, their steam train is currently out of service. When it is running, it goes from the original train station to the Historic R B McLean Lumber Co. site. If this attraction is restored, it would be a wonderful addition for cruise visitors. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had been to Alaska on a one week guy;s fishing trip on the Kenai Peninsula, and a one week family, adventure small ship cruise in SE Alaska. The itinerary for this cruise caught my attention, as well as the smaller size ship, and EXC ... Read More
I had been to Alaska on a one week guy;s fishing trip on the Kenai Peninsula, and a one week family, adventure small ship cruise in SE Alaska. The itinerary for this cruise caught my attention, as well as the smaller size ship, and EXC In-Depth program. I was not disappointed. Indeed, in many ways, my overall experience exceeded my expectation. True, the zodiac excursions did not come about, and the SE Alaska weather was rainy and cold, But, the quality of the In-Depth programs and presenters, the less frequented ports of call, the scenic cruising (especially Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord), and the on-board entertaintainment and activities made for an exceptional cruise. In the dining room, food quality was good, presentation excellent. The Pinnacle Grill dinners were excellent in both quality and presentation, though the service was slow at times, due, I believe, to understaffing. Overall, however, HAL's signature service was in evidence throughout the ship. The Maasdam is an older ship, but has been well-maintained, and the tasteful refurbishment of the public areas last year makes for a pleasing environment. Though very comfortable and well-serviced by our fantastic cabin stewards, our cabin could use some updating, and the bathtub replaced by a walk-in shower. Neither, however, got in the way of our enjoying a memorable time in Alaskan and Pacific Northwest waters. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise to see several ports we had not visited before. Kodiak, Homer and Sitka. My husband was looking forward to fishing for Halibut for 6 hours in Homer. We had a private tour in Kodiak. It was a dream cruise. ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see several ports we had not visited before. Kodiak, Homer and Sitka. My husband was looking forward to fishing for Halibut for 6 hours in Homer. We had a private tour in Kodiak. It was a dream cruise. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and a storm apparently "suddenly" appeared and we did not make port in Homer, Kodiak, Sitka nor did we cruise the Hubbard Glacier. We were told about the storm after we asked a security person when we were getting on board after an excursion in Anchorage. We asked because we had heard another guest talking on her cell about the itinerary being changed. There was no mention of an itinerary change before we left the ship for our day in Anchorage. The ports of Homer, Kodiak, Sitka and cruising the Hubbard Glacier were eliminated . We had two extra days at sea trying to get away from the storm. We never did have noticeable impact from the storm, just some rain. So we ended up in Skagway for a day. Then "cruised the inside passage" for another day. Then stopped in Victoria B.C. from 8 am to 11:30 pm on our last day with no new excursions added just excursion time changes (much too much time in Victoria). I appreciate the "fact" that the Captain was getting the ship out of harm's way but cannot believe he knew nothing of this storm before this and believe we should have been told earlier that there may be a storm coming in and our itinerary might have to be changed. (We did hear rumors of a possible storm from shop keepers in Gridwood and even in Icy Strait several days before Anchorage!) I did see that some ports and cities in Alaska did have high winds and power outages, but do not know the extent of the storm at sea. Did they really have 25ft waves at sea? Our compensation for this cruise was a $50 per person credit to our account and "Future cruise Credit equal to 10% of the base fare paid for this 14-day voyage" to be used within one year. The condition of the poor Maasdam was not good. Several leaks in the Lido and Crow's nest when it rained. Cracked window in the Lido. Other minor issues noted. Several elevators out of service for days. I know she is being sold and therefore it seemed she was not being maintained very well. At least the staff were excellent whether in the dining areas, rooms and front office. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was our ninth Alaskan cruise and in many ways our best. It is no secret that the staff are truly who makes a cruise a special event. The Maasdam staff was beyond exceptional. The wait crew in the Ocean bar, Val, Jerome and Angela went ... Read More
This was our ninth Alaskan cruise and in many ways our best. It is no secret that the staff are truly who makes a cruise a special event. The Maasdam staff was beyond exceptional. The wait crew in the Ocean bar, Val, Jerome and Angela went way beyond expectation. The dining room crew was always on top of the service. My wife and I looked forward to our wine stewardess, Princess, greeting us with a heartfelt "good evening." The dining room manager Rex, who we had sailed with in Australia, always was helpful and did so with a smile on his face. Regarding the condition of the ship, I believe the Maasdam to have been the best maintained ship of HAL that we have ever sailed upon. The crew was constantly active washing windows or chipping paint. The Captain was informative yet the announcements were held to a minimum for which I am eternally grateful. I can read a daily schedule myself without having to hear it announced every time a bingo game is starting up. Carlos, our cruise director, was always energetic and up beat. I believe the dance team was the finest I have ever witnessed on a ship. Sasha was a joy to watch as he and his partner "stole the show." The one complaint I have about the entertainment was the cast show "Droom". While executed well, the show just didn't make sense to me. This was my first stop in Kodiak and we thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly the Fish and Wildlife visitors center. Hubbard Glacier as always is the best stop on the voyage. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose the cruise for the itinerary - Hubbard and Tracy Arm glaciers, Icy Strait, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau, Homer, Anchorage, Kodiak. What a great itinerary. This was our first 14 day cruise and the ship activities during sea days were ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary - Hubbard and Tracy Arm glaciers, Icy Strait, Sitka, Ketchikan, Juneau, Homer, Anchorage, Kodiak. What a great itinerary. This was our first 14 day cruise and the ship activities during sea days were varied, but also lots of regular stuff, e.g. Bingo, so you could try different things or go to your old "stand by". Crew was fantastic. We had about 36 hours of very rough seas and the Captain made regular announcements keeping us all informed of what to expect and not to worry, we were safe. The Maasdam is an older ship but beautifully maintained. Smaller ship app 1200 passengers? Our cabin location on Navigation aft was excellent - steps away from the back open deck and bar, one floor down from the buffet. The best shore excursion ever was the Kodiak Harbor Tour with Marion and Marty Owen (his name might be wrong). Highly recommended. 6 passengers on their private boat. The wildlife was amazing. Rafts of sea otters (the most I've seen at one time), sea lions, puffins, Eagles and one whale -no kidding, in the harbor! The food was at times spotty - some dishes very good, others not so much. All around service was excellent every where from the stateroom to the bars, to the casino to the dining options. I highly recommend this cruise but hear that the Maasdam is going to be sold next year. Look for this itinerary on the Maasdam or another HAL ship. You will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We wanted to see as much of the Alaska coastal cities as we could, so we choose the 14 day Great Land Explorer cruise with Holland America. The Land word in the title is a little misleading. You are seeing the coastal area mostly. And ... Read More
We wanted to see as much of the Alaska coastal cities as we could, so we choose the 14 day Great Land Explorer cruise with Holland America. The Land word in the title is a little misleading. You are seeing the coastal area mostly. And it was good! While the excursions are repetitive - Whale watching, bear viewing, flight seeing glaciers, kayaking/and or fishing with a few ATV tours, salmon bakes and a few short hikes thrown in, they give you an idea of what the coastal area is all about. Unfortunately, commercialism has hit Ketchikan and Juneau in that you are bombarded with the Jewelry sales, Bamboo sheets and the like that you get when you go on a Carribean cruise. Those are the only two cities that are set up for that which is good. Holland America Maasdam exceeded our expectations. After reading other reviews of the ship condition, stateroom problems, so-so food, we were second guessing ourselves. HOWEVER, we found the Maasdam to be a wonderful ship. It was small enough that you could get around with ease. No it did not have water slides and rock walls, but it had a wonderful library where you could check out books, play chess, checks and many board games, read current magazines and daily Times highlights, use the computer and have a fresh brewed Latte while sitting in comfortable chairs gazing out over the mountains and waters. The movie theater played current movies in a theater - not sitting around the pool smelling clorine. Our balcony room seemed more spacious than what we've had on other ships. Nice leather sofa, comfy bed, lots of closets space and drawers. One caution - the tub. It's a little high to get in but even higher when you step out as you are stepping down a few extra inches. They have wonderful handle grips to help. We ate breakfast in the Lido and my husband enjoyed the fresh made egg dishes. We ate dinner in the main dining room. Our servers were attentive and pleasant and friendly. Lots of seafood but Lamb, beef and pasta also. Great soups and salads. I really enjoyed the Chili Relleno. It was outstanding. So much more on board the ship - classes in Windows 10, Photography classes, exercise, a small but fun casino and the terrific spa. Well, you get the picture. We loved the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
On August 15th we sailed from Seattle on the Maasdam heading for Alaska and back. This was a special Prairie Home Companion cruise and the difference from typical cruises became very apparent at the musical events when additional seating ... Read More
On August 15th we sailed from Seattle on the Maasdam heading for Alaska and back. This was a special Prairie Home Companion cruise and the difference from typical cruises became very apparent at the musical events when additional seating would be required at the Explorers Lounge, The Mix and at the Ocean Bar. Our cabin was 729 on deck 4 (A Deck), which is a quiet and convenient location. No problems with the toilet or the air conditioning but we did hear some complaints from passengers on Deck 9 and saw fans in the corridors. The Maasdam was commissioned in 1993 and although the vessel had recently been in dry dock the only update appeared to be an emergency generator installed on the top deck to avoid a complete a power failure. The Maasdam is showing signs of wear and tear. The elevator doors have scratches and some loose handrails. One half of the swing doors was missing between the Lido and the pool on deck 11. There were many cracked windows including in the dining room on 7 and our cabin. The chairs in the Lido and Library were all showing signs of wear. “Water is precious. Please conserve it.” In spite of this message in the bathroom it was impossible to avoid running a lot of water when trying to achieve a suitable water temperature. The fixtures are Hansgrohe and scolding hot water was often dispensed with the lever in the cold position. Much water could be conserved it there were separate hot and cold fixtures. One good point was the deck above the Crows Nest did not have the Plexiglas barriers present on other HAL ships that make photography a challenge. Another good feature was that the Maasdam still has three passenger laundry rooms. The fresh orchids everywhere were also appreciated. The Virtual engine room tour was appreciated and well attended. Elevator names and numbers are always confusing. Inside the lift the deck numbers are displayed while outside only letters are used that give no idea of the direction the lifts are moving. The lift/elevator computer voice gave a funny “Addek” instead of “A Deck”. The Times Digest in rooms was distributed to the Cabins rather than being available in the Library. This change effectively removed the option of reading the news from other regions of the world. Cabin and dining staff were always helpful even though we kept moving between three different tables at dinner. Evening meals in general were light on vegetables and this was overcome by ordering an extra plate of steam vegetables. Many of our group felt that the food quality has deteriorated in recent years. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Both embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. I was traveling with someone who has modest mobility issues and the HAL staff and crew made travel so easy. This was A Prairie Home Companion cruise, so the entertainment and activities were ... Read More
Both embarkation and disembarkation were smooth. I was traveling with someone who has modest mobility issues and the HAL staff and crew made travel so easy. This was A Prairie Home Companion cruise, so the entertainment and activities were constant and splendid. Service was fine, ports were lovely. It was especially wonderful to be able to stop in Hoonah, Kodiak, and Sitka. Although we were not able to go up Tracey Arm Strait due to ice, the stops we made were spectacular. We were three tables of six at the second seating and had a great deal of fun. The dining staff and the sommelier managed to keep up with all our seating changes and helped us throw a big birthday party on the last night. Our cabin, on the walking deck, was very nice, pleasantly appointed and well watched over by our lovely steward. It was a grand experience, one that I would certainly do again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Without going into horrible detail, it was the worst ship, accommodations and food I have ever experienced on a cruise. However, the itinerary was wonderful, most of the crew was very good except, they continually spoke to one another in ... Read More
Without going into horrible detail, it was the worst ship, accommodations and food I have ever experienced on a cruise. However, the itinerary was wonderful, most of the crew was very good except, they continually spoke to one another in their native language in the dining room and buffet so you never knew if they were laughing/talking about you or their night last night. They did have Windows 10 classes that I attended and very much enjoyed PLUS, the Alaskan talks were wonderful. The cabin was pathetic! NO refrigerator, NO drawers in the desk/makeup area, the carpet was VERY worn.A broken window in the dining room, chairs in the media center that were worn to the wood, curtains that looked like they had NEVER been replaced since 1993! The food was tasteless, a filet mignon that was as big and thick as a silver dollar, fish that was cooked and left in a warming oven for an hour at least, "fresh salsa" right out of the jar in the dinning room even though in the buffet it was always fresh made and on an Alaska cruise NO CRAB! ON and ON and ON. I will never sail on Holland American again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We decided to go on this cruise for a number of reasons .We had never been to Alaska before and wanted to see this majestic place ,as we have heard the views were fantastic . and this turned out to be very true .I truly enjoyed the ... Read More
We decided to go on this cruise for a number of reasons .We had never been to Alaska before and wanted to see this majestic place ,as we have heard the views were fantastic . and this turned out to be very true .I truly enjoyed the mountain's and the emerald and turquoise waters, That was really a surprise to us as we did not imagine those colors of water were in that part of the world .It was a 14 day as we like longer cruises .We have been on a few Grand cruises as long as 89 days .We are four star and enjoy that status. We also wanted a relaxed atmosphere as we were told Alaska cruise was .For us it was different as we usually travel to warm places ,or very exotic ports where there is a lot to see and do .Most of the ports we did on our own as the excursions were a bit pricey .We had a good time over all .We were able to see animals and Eagles' at various places in the ports and also the salmon swimming upstream is a site to see .The weather was good for the most part some sun some rain and clouds . The ship was nice we have been on the Maasdam before to other destinations. Our cabin was an ocean view on the fourth level mid ship and was just fine with us. Our cabin man was fantastic and kept it very clean and enjoyable .We ate breakfast either in the lido or by room service and both were very good .The food overall was satisfactory not the best or the worst. The singers and dancers were wonderful and were very enjoyable. We went to every show .The other entertainment was good also .I found the service good as well .I don't think we would go again as once was enough for us but we are planning another long Asia cruise with HAL next October 2017 on the Amsterdam . We love to cruise and will continue to travel until we are not able to .God willing that will be a long time from now .Hope to see you cruising sometime . Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Itinerary was interesting, took us to parts of Alaska most cruise ships avoid. In fact, except for Ketchikan and Juneau, we were the only ship in port. We like Holland America because they include a locations guide, in this case a native ... Read More
Itinerary was interesting, took us to parts of Alaska most cruise ships avoid. In fact, except for Ketchikan and Juneau, we were the only ship in port. We like Holland America because they include a locations guide, in this case a native Alaskan, which enhances the trip experience. Also find enjoyable and beneficial are the digital workshops that Holland America does in conjunction with Microsoft and teaches not only Windows 10 but how to use your digital camera to best effect and how to edit pictures. The crew over all is outstanding and does everything possible to make it an enjoyable cruise experience. Nearly all of the excursions were first rate. And having previously been in Ketchikan, Juneau and Sitka, over a decade ago, we were amazed by how many additional excursions were offered. (And most of them were not prohibitive.) We highly recommend this wonderful 2 week Alaskan cruise during which time we saw many glaciers, bald eagles, otters, sea lions, whales and harbor seals.. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise for the different ports it stopped at. This was our 4th Alaskan cruise and our first with HAL. We probably won't go on anther HAL cruise as we were not impressed. Everything was average at best. The food in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the different ports it stopped at. This was our 4th Alaskan cruise and our first with HAL. We probably won't go on anther HAL cruise as we were not impressed. Everything was average at best. The food in the dining room was ok most of the time, but there were 3 nights where we wished we had gone to the Lido buffet instead. I understand that the ship is being sold and they did their best to make it presentable, but again - nothing special... We upgraded to a Vista Suite with a Veranda and that made a big difference. We were able to open the door when the AC didn't cool down the room, we could eat breakfast and stare at the sea...we even saw humpback whales a few mornings while we were sailing. The cabin stewards were great, making sure that we had ice and that the room was ready for us each day and evening. The waiters in the main dining room were great too. The brought my tea after dinner without me having to ask which was nice. Rex, the dining room manager was awesome. He helped us make changes to our dinner reservation and found us a table by the window which was really nice. He always greeted us at the door by name and asked how things were going. I wish they offered more fish choices - Alaskan Halibut more than once would have been nice. We did have a nice dinner in the Pinnacle Grill. We had a blast at the Pub Trivia with Johan. He made it fun and we learned things along the way. We even skipped desert to make it by 7... The entertainment was ok - the backround music is too loud and the singers have to strain their voices to be heard. This sometimes makes the voices sound shrill or sharp. Some had excellent voices but much of the time, they were forced to sing too loud. The dancers were great. We enjoyed listening to the guitar player in the Mix lounge - he was awesome. The piano guy, on the other hand, was terrible. He didn't sing all of the words and changed up some very well known songs so much that you couldn't tell what he was playing. His Beattles tribute night was a total joke. HAL does get points for their embarkation and disembarkation. It was the best we've ever experienced. We boarded at 12:00 and our room was ready. Luggage arrived shortly after lunch and we were able to unpack and settle in before the lifeboat drill. We worked on a puzzle after breakfast in the Exploration lounge until we were called to disembark which was right on time. We rented a car in Juneau for the morning and went to the Shrine of St Therese which was beautiful. We saw whales spouting across the bay. We then went to Mendenhall Glacier and spent some time walking on the trails to watch the salmon run. We did a whale watching cruise in the afternoon. We saw humpbacks bubble feeding right by the boat. It was really cool. We also went up the Mt Roberts tram and then had halibut dinner at Twisted Fish. Favorite day of the trip!! We chose the Grandview Train excursion in Anchorage - BIG MISTAKE... We were trapped on a train for 8 1/2 hours and then bused back to the ship as the train wouldn't have us back in time to leave. We didn't see much and could only get off the train in Whittier for 20 minutes and then a quick walk at the Grandview stop. It seems the trip is mostly for passengers going on the rafting trip or the hike at the Glacier. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise for the great ports, reasonable price & that it is a Holland America cruise which happens to be our favorite. I'm surprised by all the complaints that have been published by passengers about this cruise. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the great ports, reasonable price & that it is a Holland America cruise which happens to be our favorite. I'm surprised by all the complaints that have been published by passengers about this cruise. The ports were great, crew was friendly, food was very good, service was excellent, the entertainment was very good, Carlos was an excellent cruise director & even the weather was more than decent. We had more than our share of rain-less, sunny days. Most of the passengers were kind, friendly & usually smiling. We always have found Holland America to have the best itineraries & classic ships. They always give us great value for our travel dollar. We enjoyed the Maasdam & would gladly sail on her again. Ok, we did have some minor problems with the toilet not flushing, but a call to the front desk & the problem was solved. We are already booked on the October Atlantic Adventure on the Rotterdam & hope to join the Amsterdam for the world cruise in January. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise to Alaska because of the 14 day itinerary. Many of the other cruises offer 7 day back to back however go to the same ports on the northern route as the southern route. We were very pleasantly surprised with the ... Read More
We chose this cruise to Alaska because of the 14 day itinerary. Many of the other cruises offer 7 day back to back however go to the same ports on the northern route as the southern route. We were very pleasantly surprised with the ship, it is one of the best run Holland America ships that we have been on. Waiters remembered out names and preferences, greeted us everyday with a smile and made sure we had everything we needed. We only ate in the dining room so can not comment on the buffet, we did have a couple of lunches in the Pinnacle which were a real treat and reasonably priced. Our stateroom staff were wonderful, there was no refrigerator in our cabin and we brought our own soda (Dr Pepper and diet ginger ale, not available on the ship). The first day we asked if our ice bucket could be filled and if we could have an extra bucket. We never had to ask again and our ice was refilled twice a day. Our room was kept very clean and was cleaned while we were out. The guys seemed to know when we went for breakfast and dinner and were right in there to service our room. We love to do some ballroom dancing and the band in the Ocean View bar were excellent. We missed a lot of the shows because we didn't want to go 45 minutes early to get a seat, and even going 10 to 15 minutes early was too late to get a seat at the 8 o clock show. By 10 pm we were just too tired out to go ha ha. A wonderful cruise on a lovely ship. The only upsetting thing that happened was that I took off my ring in the dining room because it was feeling tight and I put it in my little carry case with my glasses. By the time I got to the Ocean view lounge it was gone. I retraced my steps directly back to the dining room and the staff there even shook out napkins and table cloths from the table we were at but the ring was no where to be found. I checked at the desk several times and it was never handed in. I can't help thinking someone must have picked it up and kept it. I should have been more careful with it and while it was not super valuable it had a lot of sentimental value to me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to embark and disembark. They have it down pat. We took advantage of their luggage service that checked us, and our bags in with the airlines. About 2 days before disembarkation, they ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to embark and disembark. They have it down pat. We took advantage of their luggage service that checked us, and our bags in with the airlines. About 2 days before disembarkation, they provided us with our airline luggage tags and boarding passes. It was so nice not having to wait in line to check in at the airlines. We were also able to enjoy several hours in Seattle without lugging around our suitcases prior to our flight back home. We have been on other Alaskan cruises on other cruise lines. This was our first with HAL, and Ms Maasdam is the smallest ship we have sailed. We chose it because it allowed us to visit Homer, Sitka and Kodiak for the first time. I don't know if it's the norm for Ms Maasdam, but we never tendered at any of the smaller ports. Though the weather was cold and wet, we still enjoyed going ashore. We chose an inside cabin, mid ship, and it was very comfortable. Actually, just slightly larger than inside cabins on other cruise lines we have sailed before. We appreciated that the public announcements were of useful information, and not of the "for sale" type. Overall, they do not push sales. Even the wine steward was very pleasant. Although food stations are not open 24 hours, they made up for it with room service. I do admit, that I missed having a 24 hour coffee/salad/pastry station that we had on Princess. The music venues in the lounges were excellent. We could choose from jazz, classical, folk, etc. Overall, we found the cruise very relaxing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Chose this cruise as it sailed RT Seattle and offered our first glimpse of Alaska. We will have to go back some day to do a land tour. Really enjoyed the small towns we stopped in. Hi-lights were: Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour ... Read More
Chose this cruise as it sailed RT Seattle and offered our first glimpse of Alaska. We will have to go back some day to do a land tour. Really enjoyed the small towns we stopped in. Hi-lights were: Bering Sea Crab Fisherman's Tour in Ketchikan. 26 Glacier Cruise would have been outstanding had the weather cooperated. We still enjoyed it, but got very wet and could not see all that we could have had the skies been clear. Hoonah Tribal Show. Victoria, BC pedi-cab tour to see the castle & gardens. The Maasdam is an older ship and is showing signs of wear. It could use a major sprucing up to make it more attractive. We had a Lanai Suite which we really enjoyed. It is a tad on the small size, but did include a very small seating area with a desk. We use the desk to collect junk. It was great to be able to walk onto the Lower Promenade deck. I think it allowed us to be more social, than had we had a balcony cabin. Open Dining was a problem in that we had to wait 45 minutes the first two nights. After that we went earlier, so that we could try to catch the 8 PM show. Food was mostly very good. Wine stewards did not attend to us frequently enough, resulting in us not buying as much wine at dinner. We starting getting a glass before dinner and taking it in with us. The service was superb!! Really enjoyed the staff, especially at the Explorers Cafe. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Rather mediocre quality food and entertainment for the most part. Food was overly sauced and fancy but the end result was "strange tasting food" that reflected the Filipino and Indonesian influences of the chef. Maybe 2 -3 ... Read More
Rather mediocre quality food and entertainment for the most part. Food was overly sauced and fancy but the end result was "strange tasting food" that reflected the Filipino and Indonesian influences of the chef. Maybe 2 -3 nights of decent entertainment acts unfortunately. The ship is very old and in a bad state of repair. I understand it is being sold to another country, good luck! Loud repairs were virtually a daily occurrence sometimes as early as 6:00 AM! I don't know about you but when I go on a cruise I want to sleeop a bit later than that. Nothing special at all. Crew still does not understand basic American English regardless of how the cruise line says different. Some helpful staff but Front Desk Personeel were notorious for giving you half-answers about things and many times just acted difficult when the hotel operations fell short. We would probably not go on Holland America again. The crowd they typically draw is the geriatric wing of a hospital it seems. Very quiet Casino and virtually no activity after 10:00 PM. Recommended for the over 80 crowd I guess! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were "cruise virgins" up until July 2016 when we embarked on our First Cruise Ever. Holland America's 14 day Alaskan cruise wins my vote for the best first cruise anyone could ever wish for. The embarkation process was a ... Read More
We were "cruise virgins" up until July 2016 when we embarked on our First Cruise Ever. Holland America's 14 day Alaskan cruise wins my vote for the best first cruise anyone could ever wish for. The embarkation process was a cinch and the MS Maasdam quickly became our home away from home for two glorious weeks. Our cabin was comfortable, with ample room to stow all our clothes and belongings with room to spare. Having never been on a ship before, I had a bit of trouble on the first night, trying to take a shower. I thought the faucet was broken and so I called the front desk. That's when this cruise virgin learned of a clever thing called a "marine shower" which regulates the flow and temperature of the water separately. After I got the knack of it, there was no further trouble. The next couple days, we sailed through the clear waters of the Inland Passage to Alaska, passing impossibly blue ice floes along the way. There were seals basking on the floes; we even watched a seal giving birth on one! But because of the floes, the ship's captain wisely chose not to go through Tracey Arm, but took another route to see Dawes Glacier. That thunderous sound of ice cracking was thrilling and I got a lump in my throat from seeing the majesty of it all. The little towns of Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point (Hoonah) and Juneau were our favorite stops, mostly because of their picturesque ambiance, but also because none of these stops required a shuttle to get into the town. The ship docked right there at the town, making it an easy walk to see all the sights, shops, museums and landmarks. This is not to say that a shuttle was a big problem; most of the towns offered free shuttles which would take you to the tourist district where there were interesting shops, galleries, historical churches, and beautiful visitor centers where the admission was always free. Being retired and on a budget, that was a very nice way to see the villages without having to shell out for an on-shore excursion. What was so nice about Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Juneau, was that the ship docked right there at the town, making it an easy walk to see all the sights, shops, museums and landmarks. In Ketchikan, we enjoyed the historic Creek Street district, home of the infamous Dolly's House "where men and salmon came upstream to spawn." We walked to the Totem Heritage Center, a short distance up a hill and enjoyed the museum of old totems. The entrance price was inexpensive, under $5. We learned that Ketchikan has a free city shuttle which makes a circuit about every 15 minutes, so we hopped on that for a ride back down the hill to the main part of town where we went to the interesting little Tongass Historical Museum ($3 admission.) In Juneau we had the time of our lives! We rented a car beforehand from Rent-a-Wreck (less than $50 a day) and shared the cost with some nice folks we met at the cruise terminal in Seattle while waiting to board the ship. We took a cab to the car rental, though it was only about a mile away, and began a fantastic adventure. We first went to the Mendenhall Glacier. It requires entrance fee, but we got in free because my husband is a disabled American veteran. After a walk to a scenic waterfall near the glacier, we drove to the Fish Hatchery/Ladder where we walked onto a fishing dock to watch some anglers landing some enormous salmon; there were also bald eagles swooping salmon right out of the water. For a lunch break, we parked in a free parking lot directly across from the dock and returned to the Maasdam for a fabulous lunch (Lobster Alfredo!) After freshening up a bit in our cabins, we drove to Gold Creek and trekked up a long gravel path to the Last Chance Mining Museum. It was a steep walk to the Mining Museum, but well worth it when the museum curator told us that we did not need a permit to pan gold along Gold Creek. We'd brought our pans, in hopes of finding a place to pan for gold, and when we got a few flecks in our pans, we were jumping up and down like lunatics . . . nothing to make us rich, but enough to give us a thrill. Because we shared the car rental with another couple, the cost for an entire day of extraordinary fun was a mere fraction of what we would have paid to take the on-shore excursions. While on our cruise, we took only one official HAL excursion, the tour of the Anchorage Museum which included a great lunch at the Musée café and a stop at the Wild Berries Candy Factory afterwards. It was definitely well-worth it. The tour guide was enthusiastic and helpful and was never in a hurry to move on. In fact, she stopped to the Bluffs to show us damage done by the 1964 earthquake and allowed us get out for a photo op. She even slowed the bus at one point so we could catch a glimpse of a mama moose and her calf. We loved the Maasdam's nightly entertainment! The variety was good, and the guest performers were top-notch. "Classique" and "Heat" were our favorite dance shows, and we even got to know some of the amazingly talented show crew who would often go to the Crow's Nest for dancing after the 10:00 performance. All the crew members that we encountered--from the Show Host to the sweet lady at the Front Desk--were helpful and friendly, making it a pleasure to know them. Now onto the topic of food: the quality and variety of food in the Rotterdam and the Lido dining rooms was wonderful. The portions were small, but we could order as much as we wished, even if we wanted to try out two appetizers and two entrees! The best dinners we had were on Gala Nights. The fillet mignon and lobster dinner was superb. My all-time-favorite dessert was the chocolate ganache. The Baked Alaska was not that impressive, but everything else was delicious. We did not go to the Pinnacle because of the extra cost, and because the menu didn't really seem that much different from the fabulous food in the Rotterdam Dining Room. We chose "Anytime Seating" which worked out well for us. Even though we did not have assigned seating, we rarely had much of a wait. The friendly wait staff and maître di were always there with a smile and friendly greeting, making every meal enjoyable. My only complaints for this cruise are these: Near the end of the two weeks, there started to be a stagnant smell coming from the elevator shafts near the Rotterdam Dining room. It smelled like bilge water and was unappetizing as we made our way to the Rotterdam for our dinner. Another complaint was that the onboard activities were a bit repetitive. The Show Host did his best to have fun activities, like scavenger hunts, champagne bottle bowling and trivia games, but the rest of the schedule included far too much emphasis on the Art Auctions and the Windows 10 computer workshops. All in all, though, this cruise convinced us that Holland America is definitely the way to go for us. We've already booked another cruise and we are counting the days! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
this is the second time we have done this 14 day cruise. although this time we did have rain at every port, it did not stop us from having a great time. we most enjoyed our visit to Icy Strait Point and Hoonah. the best shopping in the ... Read More
this is the second time we have done this 14 day cruise. although this time we did have rain at every port, it did not stop us from having a great time. we most enjoyed our visit to Icy Strait Point and Hoonah. the best shopping in the cannery, especially in the Native American shop, of the entire trip. We were 3 generations and the children ages 12, 9 and 7 had a great time in their Hal Kids groups and never wanted to leave or go ashore! Also i will say that the ships dancers and singers on this cruise were the best i have ever seen on any ship. just outstanding in their voice ranges and the dancers, especially the russian trained men were amazing. overall we enjoyed the ship but do think that the lido choices for lunch were a bit slim with the new Homestead dining...we all missed being able to scoop out pineapple, bananas, etc and not just have fresh whole fruit and a bowl of mixed, mostely melon fruit as an option. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We do this cruise every year. 14 day Alaska. This year the weather was the worst.. rain and cold every day. ( Not Holland America's fault) Great people both staff and guests. 5 main gripes.. 1. Food in Lido unappealing ... Read More
We do this cruise every year. 14 day Alaska. This year the weather was the worst.. rain and cold every day. ( Not Holland America's fault) Great people both staff and guests. 5 main gripes.. 1. Food in Lido unappealing looking and never hot. 2. The Lido pool area was never kept clean.. ashtrays overflowing.. drink bottles and cups all over the place. 3. Blankets used by people sitting up there.. were refolded and put back.. not sent for washing! 4.We were still in our cabin waiting to disembark, when the cabin stewards came in to change the bed. They LEFT THE MATTRESS PAD ON THE BED! I EXPECTED THAT THE ONE WE HAD SLEPT ON FOR 2 WEEKS WOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN OFF AND A NEW CLEAN ONE PUT BACK ON! This really freaked me out. 5. Room service got our morning breakfast order right.. 1 out of 14 times! No matter how I wrote on the menu what we wanted.. ie: 2 hard boiled eggs.. I got 4! I wrote it and circled it daily! Other than these things.. all was well. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Very smooth check-in, arrived at 11:30 and were onboard by noon. Luggage arrived promptly. Room was in excellent shape. Our itinerary was fantastic, stopping in unusual Alaskan ports of Kodiak Island, Homer and Downtown ... Read More
Very smooth check-in, arrived at 11:30 and were onboard by noon. Luggage arrived promptly. Room was in excellent shape. Our itinerary was fantastic, stopping in unusual Alaskan ports of Kodiak Island, Homer and Downtown Anchorage. The food was very good to excellent in both the Rotterdam Dining Room and the Lido. Wait lines were short everywhere except minor lines at two spots in the Lido. The entertainment was excellent - great entertainers in the Showroom and the Singers, Dancers and HALCats were wonderful. The shows were very well received! Service was outstanding everywhere we went and all employees. We loved the Maasdam and will certainly cruise on her again if possible. Our only disappointment was they discontinued the salad bar in the Lido and you had to wait for the server to get to you. It caused a line there that I think is not necessary! Also, why so many special orders for breakfast? There should be a self-serve line available, no need to wait for common items. That is the only criticism I have of the entire trip! It was truly EXCELLENT and a FABULOUS value for the money. GREAT JOB HAL! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Maasdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 3.0 N/A
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.5
Value for Money 4.0 N/A

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