3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We had a lovely time with the ship being clean and having a very friendly staff. If there were 1258 on board we maybe saw 300. I was alone most mornings walking up to the gym and we rarely waited in line to get food at the Lido. I think ... Read More
We had a lovely time with the ship being clean and having a very friendly staff. If there were 1258 on board we maybe saw 300. I was alone most mornings walking up to the gym and we rarely waited in line to get food at the Lido. I think the longest line was for omelets for breakfast and getting off the ship one day because we arrived an hour later than planned. This was our first time on HAL (3 prior RC cruises) and we were pleased with the size of our ocean view stateroom. We saved a lot of money by choosing that vs veranda room. It was cold out (for us who live in CA) and other than opening the doors for a breeze, it would have been too cold (or rainly a couple days) to even sit out there. There was more than enough closet and drawer space in the bathroom and throughout the cabin. Two large drawers next to each side of the bed, big six drawer one at the main dresser/desk area and one next to the sofa with two drawers. There are two large ones when you walk in with lots of hangars and one with shelves. HOTTEST WATER EVER in the bathroom sink so be careful there. Seriously, boiling if you don’t watch it. We are not big foodies and thought the food was decent. It wasn’t the greatest variety but of course, had the basics and you won’t go hungry. We only ate at the Lido and main dining room—I wore black slacks and a sweater, my husband, cords and button-down plaid shirt and we were fine. I saw one man in a tux the entire time and a few suits but other than that rather casual. No one cares…I’m all about comfort but to each their own. There was also a daily taco bar next to the Dive In burger place—we never tried a burger but the tacos were self-serve and ok. I did not expect us to go to the entertainment 4 out of the 7 nights---they were just that, entertaining, and the best part only 45 minutes long. You can only see so many dance routines and songs without getting bored. The sound, quality, and talent were great. There was a comedian one night which was great to escape and laugh. We went to the casino a couple nights for fun but the cigar smoke was awful. The lounges were throughout and never crowded. I also did the Slot Tournament and somehow won! It truly was a game of luck and how fast you can click the buttons---think Whack-A-Mole, ha! $20 buy in and I won $320 so never expected to take money OFF the ship. There was art work and jewelry to purchase but not my thing… We did out laundry after four days which was perfect—no lines--$2.00 to wash and $1.00 to dry and they even provided liquid soap. There was also an iron and board there. (Photo attached) Regarding the ports: Bar Harbor was fun to walk around the downtown and the shoreline path, but due to weather, we didn’t even go to Acadia –which was unfortunate. Halifax was probably my favorite, we walked but if you aren’t into walking then I’d take a cab to the Citadel and see it and the Tower Clock, then walk over a few blocks to the beautiful Public Gardens. Lovely! Think mini Central Park! We then walked back to the ship, ate a quick lunch and went on a 1:30 tour to Peggy’s Cove which I loved! BRING A JACKET---I thankfully did and my gloves (again I’m always cold from CA) but it’s one of the best lighthouse views I’ve seen. The Titanic Gravesites were also worth visiting. Very humbling. Not much to do in Sydney, but the big Fiddle and waterfront boardwalk was nice. We walked to see some of the historical landmarks, all within walking distance and there’s an easy map that you’d see. Prince Edward Island –again, we walked but if I did again, I’d take a taxi to City Hall (we didn’t do the tour but the gal was nice enough to let us go to the second floor to see the chambers—where the Confederation was signed/happened) which was cool. We then thought we’d walk to the nearby Lighthouse—nice boardwalk but it was A LOT further than what the map depicted so we turned around (due to time as well). We went on the lighthouse and cellar excursion and that was great—saw two lighthouses and ended with a stop at a winery. It was a perfect afternoon off the ship. The best part is that you could buy a bottle of wine and bring it back on board without the $18 corkage fee. The wine is nice, not the greatest, but worth it ---I think the most expensive bottle was $23. Quebec was delightful! If you haven’t been to Paris then I recommend Quebec! A small French town that is like a mini Paris. Gotta run but hope this has been helpful to you. Enjoy, the Maasdam! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have never seen the new england, eastern canadian coasts and thought this cruise would be a good starting point, and it was. We enjoyed the ports so much we would like to eventually plan a land trip to this area so we had more time to ... Read More
We have never seen the new england, eastern canadian coasts and thought this cruise would be a good starting point, and it was. We enjoyed the ports so much we would like to eventually plan a land trip to this area so we had more time to explore. The Maasdam does show some signs of its age, but for us the small size and outstanding service trumped the age. We had no plumbing or other mechanical issues during our one week stay. This was our 8th cruise, our first with Holland, and this was the smallest ship we have traveled on. We did love the convenience of being close to everything - decks, library, dining room, casino, gym, spa, etc. We also enjoyed the other passengers, and felt like we belonged (ages 60 & 65). The entertainment was as good as any we have had, we especially love the trio who performed nightly in the island bar, and the nightly shows in the auditorium were outstanding because of the talented performers. We had a significant snafu with our booking, we booked with another couple through a local travel agent. On the day we booked the travel agent confirmed that the 2 rooms we selected, 124 & 126 had a balcony "wall" that could be removed so that the 4 of us could be together on one shared balcony. Unfortunately the petitions separating our 2 balconies was permanent, and we were sorely disappointed. We were offered a "free" dinner at the italian restaurant which we declined as we felt we had paid for eating in the dining room, and were pleased with our table, wait staff, food selection, etc. If some type of room credit had been offered we would be booking another Holland America cruise for the fall, but it is hard to wrap our head around the company's unwillingness to compensate us for their mistake. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our third Holland America cruise, and the first that disappointed us. The Maasdam is one of the fleet's older ships, and sister ship to the Veendam. The public areas appear to have been updated in previous years; however, our ... Read More
This was our third Holland America cruise, and the first that disappointed us. The Maasdam is one of the fleet's older ships, and sister ship to the Veendam. The public areas appear to have been updated in previous years; however, our stateroom needed work. The sink was cracked, and there was rust and chipped paint in the bathroom. The dining chairs in the upper deck Lido were worn, and need to be replaced. The food quality in the main dining room was not up to standard compared to our two previous Holland America cruises, the most recent being during Christmas 2015. It appears that budget restrictions are having an effect on food quality and presentation. This was a Maine cruise, and no whole Maine lobster was available, even in the upscale restaurant. Disappointing. Cruises are meant to be a quality travel experience. This Holland America one was mediocre at best. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
Although we enjoyed this particular SMALL HA ship, several things we did not. TV's have not been updated, our cabin attendants were below the typical standards of HA. Forgot to do our room 1 night, until we returned to cabin at 9:30, ... Read More
Although we enjoyed this particular SMALL HA ship, several things we did not. TV's have not been updated, our cabin attendants were below the typical standards of HA. Forgot to do our room 1 night, until we returned to cabin at 9:30, called housekeeping to remind them. Toilet had to be flushed many times after each use, which we reported early in the week, black soot kept puffing from the air vent in the cabin, shower gel continue to empty each night and when told it was broken, they just kept refilling and it kept emptying overnight. We ask that ice bucket be filled each night, we got it 2 times, the night we ask and 1 other. Dining room service, 45 minutes or long 1 hr 15 min, no consistency, & had to continually ask for drinks to be refilled, NEVER happened on a HA cruise in the past. Tender taking us to short had not been cleaned for months and months. the windows were so covered with salt spray you could not see out, like riding in a tank. Also paint chips and dust over all seating, hated to even sit during the ride. POSITIVES - Gordon, Asst Mgr F & B, was always visible in the Lido, checking on satisfaction and overall presence was greatly appreciated. I do wish they would bring back sugar free jello, asked for it 4 times but it never happened. Angie, Lido food serer, was friendly and a joy each time I heard hear say hello to myself or my husband, delightful young women. Our cabin was inside, had not had one in years, but at 170 sq ft, my claustrophobia was not affected at all. Entertainment was excellent but for the BBC show night, I can watch similar at home on TV. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
We wanted to do the panama from West to East. We were worried that it might be too hot at this time of year. Yes it was hot but it didn't seem to bother us. We met some people who had air condition problems in their room but ours was ... Read More
We wanted to do the panama from West to East. We were worried that it might be too hot at this time of year. Yes it was hot but it didn't seem to bother us. We met some people who had air condition problems in their room but ours was great. We have been on several cruises before , I know that I would pick this size ship again. You just seemed to get to know people better even though there was still 1100 people on board. We loved the open seating plan in the Dinning Room. Enjoyed the Thermal suite. My husband went to many of the Computer classes and I enjoyed several Test Kitchen shows. The shows every night in the theater were not as good as many we have seen. Although I loved the shows by the Maasdam Singers and Dancers most.. The guitar player Louis S... had problems with his sound so it want that great. I didn't enjoy the Skinny German Juggler. The Ventriloquist with Matilda was very good. the Library ( Explorers Lounge) was my favorite place to hang out on sea days. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
This ship is a wreck! (bad pun) Seriously, the cabin air conditioning is basically not functioning. While in the port in San Diego (embarkation port), we could not get our assigned cabin cooled below 78 degrees. Knowing we were headed ... Read More
This ship is a wreck! (bad pun) Seriously, the cabin air conditioning is basically not functioning. While in the port in San Diego (embarkation port), we could not get our assigned cabin cooled below 78 degrees. Knowing we were headed for the equator and much hotter climates, we complained that it was not acceptable. In fairness, they did move us to a cooler cabin, but when we got to the South Pacific areas, even this cabin would not cool below 74 degrees, even with the drapes closed and most of the lights out. Most cabins received fans to help blow hot air around. The carpets, drapes, and loveseat were all dirty and gross. The loveseat was broken down in the middle. The bathtub and sink all had dirty cracks in them. Food was generally bad, with a few really good meals. America's Test Kitchen presentations were great, but they only had presentations for half the length of the cruise. I will not take a Holland America cruise in the future. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary and price. This is the longest we have ever cruised. The crew were fantastic.From the cabin stewards to the dining room staff, they were all courteous, respectful and bent over backward to ... Read More
We chose the cruise because of the itinerary and price. This is the longest we have ever cruised. The crew were fantastic.From the cabin stewards to the dining room staff, they were all courteous, respectful and bent over backward to see we were happy. The food almost always was outstanding. The dining room is where we ate mostly but occasionally we had a hamburger on the pool deck. They were hand made and delicious. If I had any complaints it was all the activities we wanted happened at the same time of day so we had to choose. We took advantage of the bridge lessons, the bar hop (that was fun!), all the trivia games, the pools, the casino tournaments, the guest lectures and the library. I would have attended more of the computer skills classes but they were a little early for me or else they conflicted with something else I wanted to do.. Andrew in the piano bar was amazing and we saw some movies in the little theater. We were sad to leave them. Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our 29th cruise, the 9th on Holland America and the 3rd on Maasdam. The cruise line has really cut back on staff, food quality, activities as well as maintenance of the ship. We had soot coming out of the air conditioning vents in ... Read More
This was our 29th cruise, the 9th on Holland America and the 3rd on Maasdam. The cruise line has really cut back on staff, food quality, activities as well as maintenance of the ship. We had soot coming out of the air conditioning vents in our cabin the entire 28 day cruise. Both my wife and I became ill because of this and gerenally we are very heathy people. Walking down the hall ways one can smell strange things. We also had “stuff” backing up out of the bathtub/shower drain. We had four visits to see the doctors who are very good and very busy and very expensive. The internet was very slow. Internet service in 2018 should not be slow. On one of our visits to the doctor the doctor had to look one of my wife’s medications. He had very fast internet service. The ship and the passengers apparently have different internet service speed. The excursions were ok to good but keep in mind that the person writing the descriptions of the excursions should get a job writing fairly tales. That is true on all cruise lines. We did receive credits for the slow internet and a nice critic for the other issues as well as a free dinner at the Pennicle Grille. We were on another cruise 2 months prior to this cruise on another cruise line and did not have one complaint. It’s a shame that Holland America and Maasdam have declined so much. Hopefully they will find there way back. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Incan Empires, 25 February - 25 March 2018 Route: 28 day voyage: San Diego – Cabo San Lucas – Huatulco – Puerto Chiapas – Panama City – Trujillo, Peru – Lima – Manta, Ecuador - Puntarenas, ... Read More
Incan Empires, 25 February - 25 March 2018 Route: 28 day voyage: San Diego – Cabo San Lucas – Huatulco – Puerto Chiapas – Panama City – Trujillo, Peru – Lima – Manta, Ecuador - Puntarenas, Costa Rica – Corinto, Nicaragua – Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala – Manzanillo – Puerto Vallarta – San Diego 1. General Comments: We are regular cruisers, and the focus of this cruise was to see “something different.” We spent 13 days on land and had 14 sea days. Seven stops were new to us. Only two stops (Cabo and Panama) required tendering. All the other stops were in ports that had varying degrees of support for cruise ships. This is not a “regular” cruise and is only done once a year. We were a full ship; due to the length of the entire cruise, most passengers were of older age. There was only one child (pre-school) on board. More than 100 passengers got off in Peru to visit Machu Picchu; they were replaced by the same number of new passengers who had had done their own pre-cruise travelling and then took the shorter, 2-week, cruise back to San Diego. This resulted in an influx of younger passengers. We had a Neptune Suite on the 9th deck that made for a comfortable month’s cruise. 2. Travel to San Diego and Embarking: While we made our own plane arrangements, we did use the HAL hotel (Sheraton Marina) and shuttle to the pier. This is a comfortable hotel on the yacht harbor; it was a bit crowded, though, with overnight guests for two HAL ships, plus attendees at some conferences. The HAL service, from greeting at the airport to delivery the next day at the pier, worked well. Having checked in on-line, we got on the ship quickly (once we got through the port security check). Our cabin was ready, and luggage appeared later in the afternoon. 3. The Maasdam: An attractive ship, partly because of its small size (1,300 passengers). It is a bit tired; it is going into dry dock around August –September before it moves to the Pacific for 2019. However, the facility was still in good shape and the crew was topnotch. Our cabin was comfortable with all the space and storage drawers/closets. Details can be seen in the cabin descriptions on the HAL website. The bathroom had a tub shower. There was a small safe and a small refrigerator. The flat screen TV (set up for DVD movies) received the usual news, movies, music, etc. You get a daily planner in your cabin the night prior. You need to read it carefully as there are few announcements on the PA system. The Captain does a daily report from the bridge, and the Cruise Director may make a daily announcement on activities. There is also a daily newspaper based on the New York Times. Air conditioning on board is an issue. Unless you love cold temperatures, bring a sweater. The thermostat in the cabin did not adjust to any temperature. Thus, near cool San Diego, it was very cold. As we approached the 80 – 90 degree countries with high humidity, the cold a/c actually felt pretty good. This not only applies to the cabin as temperatures fluctuated in the different public areas. 4. Meals: We had pretty good results with HAL’s “As You Wish Dining” policy. We could not make our desired reservation (7PM table for two) on-line before boarding. We asked out Neptune Lounge Concierge to see what she could do, and the best she could get was a “possible.” Actually, it turned out that we had our table for 2 at 7PM right from the first night; we were shifted around a bit for 2 or 3 nights, but then we were settled in with the same table – and the same staff – for the entire cruise. We should note that no matter what ship or line you are on, including the Maasdam, the first night’s dinner is disorganized as diners and staff sort out who sits where and when. The entire ship dining room is on two levels, and it’s noisy. Quality of food was very good, but not exceptional. There were times when we or fellow guests would have liked something simple and not all “gussied up,” but it was not available. New for us, was the offer of smaller portions (“half” or “small”) when we were not hungry. On the other hand, if a guest wanted more of a dish or cut of meat, it was quickly provided. Lido Buffet: We used it for lunch and a couple times when we wanted just a bite for dinner. There was quite a variety of good food, whether you wanted a meal, sandwich, or salad. The dessert area was equally varied. Specialty Restaurants: We only had lunch once in the Pinnacle Grill. The dishes, presentation, and staff were excellent. There are plenty of bars and food outlets on board. You cannot go hungry or thirsty. We settled into the Ocean Bar for after dinner drinks. The music there was pleasant for listening or dancing. 5. HAL dress code: There were four “gala” nights; the rest were all “smart casual.” “Gala” for men meant anything from tuxedo to jacket with no tie. Maybe one day HAL will eliminate this “gala” or “formal” business and accept that passengers are on vacation and want to relax and be comfortable. Like to dress up? Sail with Cunard; we have, and my tuxedo got a workout. 6. Shore Excursions: Make your shore excursion reservations online! This saves you standing in line at the ship’s tour desk. It will also save you some money as we noticed some excursions cost more in the onboard reservation forms compared to the website. If you know the ports of call and want to travel by yourself, then, of course, you don’t need the ship’s tour office. Tour prices are not cheap; you are paying for the convenience of having the ship organize the tour rather than you doing it after you get ashore. Also, if you obtain your tour through the ship’s staff, you have support when there is a problem. In Cabo we had a whale watching tour cancelled due to the weather and seas. As we had no interest in a different tour, our refunds were entered in our shipboard account. Our Puntarenas tour was cancelled as the only road we were to take into the mountains was closed for repairs. We did opt for a different tour; the refunds and new costs were all entered in our account. Travellers with any mobility issues should do their homework in studying shore excursions on this cruise. Can they deal with cobblestones? Also high humidity and heat up to 100 degrees? Can they walk in gravel and sand? Besides stairs in buildings, can they handle stairs in buses? In many of the modern 40+ passenger buses it takes 6 narrow steps from curb level to step on the bus and get up to the aisle leading to the seats. In some countries, 20-passenger mini-buses are used due to narrow streets. However, they are totally inconvenient for passengers who are around 6ft. Further, there are two seats toward the back where the rear wheel covers protrude above the floor. It is impossible for anyone over 5’1” to sit in these seats, especially since the tours using these mini-buses average about 3 hours driving time. Telling a 6 footer to “find another seat” is NOT a solution, nor is telling a 5 footer stuck on the wheel cover to do the same. A possible solution is to not fill these small vehicles to capacity. Travellers, and their agents, need to research – beyond the cruise line shore excursion descriptions – to learn if they will be able to participate in, and enjoy, the excursions on this cruise. 7. Shipboard entertainment: We saw a few shows of the review type and the guest artists. They were pleasant and entertaining. The combos playing in the lounges and bars were fine. There were different guest lecturers on board. Of note was Michael Chriss, an astronomy professor from the University of Arizona. His “sea day lectures” on the heavens, related to history and the arts, were entertaining and educational, The ship has a daily schedule full of activities for all tastes: lectures, bingo, exercising, movies, etc, etc. The library was so-so; we recommend you load up your Kindle or iPad with books before boarding. The art auctions were ever present, but were relatively low key. The casino seemed to have good business. The selection of duty-free liquor on board was not great, but adequate; you order your liquor and it is delivered to your cabin before disembarking. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to have your picture taken by the ship’s photographers--pricey, but a good souvenir. Early in the cruise, passengers were notified that HAL was changing the shops on all its ships with different/new vendors. The changeover on the Maasdam began on this cruise; by 21 March all the shops were closed, and personnel were busy packing up all their merchandise. It was rather pleasant to have NO stores on board for three days! 8. Tipping: Not a problem if you sign up for the recommended amounts. The amounts are charged to each person’s shipboard account. You have nothing more to do. You only need to tip separately (cash) the person who brings your room service. Your bar and wine bill automatically adds 15 percent. If you want to tip anyone for exemplary service, you can give him cash in an envelope. 9. Settling of Accounts: During your voyage, anything you purchase on board (drinks, souvenirs, tours, duty free items, photos, etc) is punched into a computer. You receive a receipt for everything. If you keep the receipts, it is easy to check them with your account. You can access your account with your key card, and get a printout, at a machine (looks like an ATM machine) next to the Front Desk. If you have a computer or phone, you can access your account through the ship’s WiFi. There is NO charge for this service; you just have to register. You should be able to settle any bill questions beforehand and not spend departure morning in line at the Front Office sorting it out. We did receive a final paper bill the morning of our disembarkation. 10. Disembarkation: Not bad. We could remain in our cabins until called. We were even called ahead of schedule! It was smooth going in the terminal getting our luggage and passing through Customs and Immigration. As we had hours to kill before our late afternoon flight, we took the city tour/airport drop off trip. There were personnel outside the terminal pointing us at the correct buses, and we were on our way. 11. Conclusion: This was a fascinating trip; despite the little glitches, we were happy to have taken it. This is the kind of trip you do once. We would not repeat the exact trip, but we would not object if some of the stops appeared on another – different – cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
I chose this cruise because it had several ports that I have never visited.Embarkation was the easiest I've ever experienced. We boarded before noon and our OV cabin was ready. We were on the main deck which just under the promenade. We ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it had several ports that I have never visited.Embarkation was the easiest I've ever experienced. We boarded before noon and our OV cabin was ready. We were on the main deck which just under the promenade. We were midship and equidistant from the elevator banks. We had the late seating in the MDR. Our dining waiter and his assistant were great and we were happy with all our meals in the evening. The service during breakfast and lunch was less satisfying. We were seated promptly, but then there were long waits for everything, -for coffee, for our orders to be taken, for the meals to arrive, etc. One day, our order was lost and after 55 minutes our first plate arrived. No one apologized although they admitted that our order had gone astray. Again, the food was tasty, albeit too salty for my taste. If you are wondering why we didn't eat in the LIDO it is because of a food allergy that is best accommodated by preordering and eating in the MDR. We enjoyed the frequent lectures focused on Latin America history and politics given by Tommie Sue Montgomery. They were well informative, organized, interesting, and well-presented. We didn't miss a single one of hers. The most interesting port for us was Salaverry in Perú. The nearest city was Trujillo. (We were advised to not visit Trujillo.)The ship had several excursions that visited sites from the Moche Culture. We were blown away by the extensive archeological sites. Amazing! Do NOT miss this opportunity to see this. Another favorite port was Puerto Quetzal in Guatemala. Again, we took a group tour from the ship to the City of La Antigua. It was a Holy Festival Sunday and the town was full of Guatemalans participating in making flower carpets on the cobbled streets. We visited a true Jade Museum. Don't miss it! We didn't buy anything, but it was truly a museum. A arqueologist who had found Jade in Guatemala and who had been featured on the cover of National Geographic back in the 1970's talked to us about Jade for 10-15 minutes. There were free clean restrooms there and it felt like an oasis of peace. The vendors on the street were aggressively trying to push their wares. However, there is an artisan market not far from the park in front of the cathedral. The street vendors were not allowed in the artisan market and it was much easier to look at the wares and bargain there. The last port I will mention is Puerto Vallarta. I mention it because we moored some distance from the Malecon where we are used to mooring. To get to the usual area, we would have had to catch a taxi to get there and another one to return. Across the street from where the ship was moored, was a huge Walmart and Sam's Club. I'm sure this location was picked for the benefit of the crew. I believe HAL should have arranged to have buses to transfer passengers to the Downtown/Old Town/Malecon area. I would have paid for a bus ride. The last couple of days of our cruise we had the great pleasure of seeing porpoises, dolphins, and whales breeching while walking on the promenade deck. We watched them over an hour on both of our final sea days! Exhilarating! Read Less
Maasdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 4.1
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 3.0 3.7
Family 3.0 3.7
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.6
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.1

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