7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Here is our secret for a great cruise. Prior to embarkation and having read all the wonderful marketing material, we discount the hype by 20 per cent. Now let's be honest. Have you ever had a burger or sandwich that looked as good as ... Read More
Here is our secret for a great cruise. Prior to embarkation and having read all the wonderful marketing material, we discount the hype by 20 per cent. Now let's be honest. Have you ever had a burger or sandwich that looked as good as the one on the T.V advertisement? Of course not. The Maasdam is now the oldest ship in the fleet but all public spaces are well maintained. In fact we believe the Rotterdam dining room and the Theatre/Showroom are beautiful. The size of the ship is a plus as there are plenty of seating in quiet places. We never waited more than a a couple of minutes for the elevator. During this 24 day crossing from Auckland to San Francisco there were about 11 sea days and this was when the library was appreciated. It is a great place to read about the American founding fathers American politicians and presidents, American sportspeople, and well known American authors. I particularly appreciated the stories of the American heroes of the integration of black Americans. Well, we must understand this is an American owned company. For the same reason we gave up on Trivia. Our cabin 140 on deck 9 was a disappointment. It was past being tired, it was exhausted and it was dominated by a four seater settee in dark brown vinyl that most likely could fold out into a bed. It looked like a refugee from a Salvation Army charity shop. But get this. Its unwanted presence in our tiny space now placed us in a Vista Suite which raised our gratuities to $16.00 U.S per day per person. The redeeming feature was the large covered balcony. Our total gratuity bill was around the equivalent of $1,100 Australian dollars. To the rest of the world that pays a livable wage to all workers this is a hangover from the days of the 18th century English Poorhouse where the poor were dependent on charity to survive. Meals in the Rotterdam dining room were very good, and while we avoid the rugby scrum of the buffet we were forced there when the dining room was closed. The food was surprisingly good. staff were better than good, they were wonderful. Entertainment was soloists such as a guy playing the flute while jumping all over the stage, a magician, a girl playing the piano accordion etc etc. And get this one. One evenings entertainment was a nature movie with the ship's talented musicians playing mood music. There were lots of complaints when usually the best nights entertainment is the crew, was relegated to 11.00pm. the Cruise Director known as K.K was the best we have ever seen. So here is the bottom line. We enjoyed this cruise and we love so much about HAL. Our 20 per cent discounting of the marketing hype was about right for the ship in general, but we should have discounted the cabin by 30 per cent. ps The guest lecturers saved us from being bored to death. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
When we booked last year we didn't know it would be an EXC cruise. We thought we'd give the new product a go but it seems to be a cost cutting venture. We went to the major ports of Noumea, Port Vila and Auckland on sundays when ... Read More
When we booked last year we didn't know it would be an EXC cruise. We thought we'd give the new product a go but it seems to be a cost cutting venture. We went to the major ports of Noumea, Port Vila and Auckland on sundays when everything is closed and the other days to beaches where it didn't matter. The cruise hopped around with no order or reason to be in these ports on sunday....maybe cheaper docking charges? Entertainment was very poor with nothing organised for sea days other than lectures on photo, computers and upcoming ports given with no enthusiasm. The were lots of BBC wildlife documentaries on both the main stage and on the Tv in cabin. We have yet to find what the cruise director KK did other than make introductions on stage. Entertainers were " more classical than fun" and their appearance times were hard to fit in with dinner in the dining room. There were no fun activities and you felt you were in an old folks home although they have more organised for them! Everything was dead after 11pm. Food was plentiful but tasteless. One night after a drinks get together at 7 and then going to the show until 8.45 we found the restaurants were closed and we were told to order room service to get anything. The Explorations coffee shop closed at 9pm and you could only get tea or coffee from the Lido if you were lucky enough to find some milk. The whole cruise lacked atmosphere, not what you want on a long awaited holiday! The ship is old but spotlessly clean. The cabins are large and well equipped. The crew are amazing, always helpful and smiling. They made the trip worthwhile! The ports visited were Ok but as I said some would have been more enjoyable if they were open. The beaches and snorkeling were wonderful. HAL excursions were over priced and much cheaper and better bought on shore run by the locals. Come on Holland America pick up your game and give us back what we came to expect from you. There were a lot of us complaining about this voyage and we hope all cruises will not become EXC. We will be watching as we have booked South America and Antartica for next year and if it's an EXC we will be cancelling. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Because of the ports of call around the Pacific and previous cruises with HAL had been quite good. Embarkation at Brisbane was fine. Our Neptune suite felt like the same as previous on the other HAL cruise, very comfortable and ... Read More
Because of the ports of call around the Pacific and previous cruises with HAL had been quite good. Embarkation at Brisbane was fine. Our Neptune suite felt like the same as previous on the other HAL cruise, very comfortable and immaculately clean. How ever, the joy seemed to stop there! It appeared that the staffing levels had been reduced and things just took that little longer for serviceand attention. Prices have certainly increased and being in US$ for an Australian NZ Pacific cruise was a bit of a pocket hit when the service charge was then added. As we're the tours. This resulted in many of the passengers taking local tours upon going ashore. Including several US passengers. I will blame ourselves for not realising that it was an exploratory cruise with lectures mainly for entertainment. The result was a very dull and boring onboard cruise. At least during the day there could have been some life around the pool area. Nothing! People sat around bored looking at each other, looking at each other. If it wasn't so sad, it could have been funny. Then there's the food!! Oh dear!! The food was the worst I've had on the past 23 years of cruising. I am sure they constitute left overs in an attempt to make a curry. The curries were so bad, twice I attempted and had to bring to the attention of the food manager. The lunchtime pizza's were so heavy with grease, they were stuck to the pizza pan! I think the cheese was not pizza cheeses? Dining room food was OK, but the standard certainly has dropped. OXTAILS! My Lord, my mother served that on tight money days and it is now served as cruise cuisine. No more veggies served on the side, all piled under the meat selection and often not hot as the over run servers can't get it to you in an acceptable time. I do not fault the servers, they are marvellous, just not enough of them. As for the food quality and selection, again no fault of the kitchen hands, this come from above them. Being mainly Indonesian or Indian in the kitchen, they know how to make a good curry or Indonesian food, but cook what they are told to. The evening entertainment in the bars mostly were over before evening dinner was finished and the crows nest entertainment was a recording DJ when there was some passengers to try and entertain. The passengers were an older interesting mix but they were still alive and they were also disappointed in the lack of entertainment Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific so jumped at it. Booked a ... Read More
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific so jumped at it. Booked a outside cabin and a few days before we left we’re given a free upgrade to a balcony suite.woopee. Embarkation was as smooth as we had come to expect,this was our 6th HAL cruise and we were on board and enjoying lunch by 1.30pm. Cabin was great,level 9 forward. Nice size plenty of space and storage. HAL might want to upgrade the tv as the sets are getting a bit old. Quickly slipped into a routine. Cabin stewards introduced themselves that day and as usual greeted us by name thereafter. A few sea days in the cruise but days went quickly between talks workshops trivia etc. Blessed by good seas and weather throughout. The 3 excursions we went on ran like clockwork. The islands we visited were interesting and in most part beautiful. The colour of the water wow. Friendly locals. No complaints at all. Really appreciated the Mariners presentation and lunch. It’s just one of the things that HAL do that puts them above others in my opinion. It was only a 14 day cruise but we covered nearly 4000 nautical miles. Would recommend to anyone especially those thinking about doing a long voyage to test their ability to manage sea days. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The exotic itinerary and smaller port destinations made this voyage our choice. Papua New Guinea, 3 stops including the Trobriand Islands and Conflict Islands; Timor Leste, 2 stops on Borneo. Palawan in the Philippines to see the ... Read More
The exotic itinerary and smaller port destinations made this voyage our choice. Papua New Guinea, 3 stops including the Trobriand Islands and Conflict Islands; Timor Leste, 2 stops on Borneo. Palawan in the Philippines to see the underground river. Starting from Singapore, a favorite city of ours, allowed us to take a few days before leaving to explore the wonderful Gardens by the Bay and delicious multicultural city, on to the night zoo and Jurong Bird Park. We also enjoyed staying on in Brisbane at the end. Outstanding! What made this cruise truly exceptional (besides our most excellent large cabin) was that it is on the Maasdam which is now an EXC ship. That means in depth destination lectures and shore excursions. Every sea day there were multiple experts giving interesting lectures on South-East Asia, history, culture, ecology, coral reefs and the danger they are in, sea life, photography, local cooking demonstrations. For once there were more enrichment lectures than I could manage to get to, because sometimes you just want some quiet time to enjoy the sea and the ship. Now I can say I know something about this area and it's extraordinarily diverse marine life, and the ancient cultures that still live a natural life. This is really different and I hope Holland America keeps up EXC cruises! I can't wait to go on another one. There were also more traditional fun events like a St. Patrick's day bar crawl with silly games for those who aren't interested in more in-depth destination knowledge. Also the association of BBC with Holland America had BBC specials shown, such as about Birds of Paradise and those who chase after them, behind the scenes specials and more. Plus a live-orchestra showing of BBC Earth. Very special. It was rather awe-inspiring to see the 5 tribes of Kitava Island sail away at the end of the day in their hand hewn ships after lining up to sell us carvings and other crafts. We also rode in one of their craft from the beach to a small island, Nuratu, where we snorkeled a bit despite a bit of rain. A view of another life that you don't often see. How often do you get to islands with no banks or hotels? Also the Conflict Islands, owned by an Australian and now a center of research on reefs and marine life. Excellent snorkeling there. A real paradise. I do wish the shore excursions were more reasonably priced. But we were able to get together with others on cruise critic for some tours ahead of time, also I arranged private tours for the 4 of us in our party at some stops. Plus taxi tours and local parks make good destinations. As for onboard experience, the food was very good, better than some other cruise lines I've been on. Is there the occasional miss? Sure, but also dishes that were creative and delicious. (I didn't think the French Onion soup was good for example.) But overall, good menus with a number of choices including vegetarian, excellent service from the staff throughout the ship, and always something I wanted to eat. I rather looked forward to ordering the steak on the always available menu in the dining room, very tasty with good sides. The buffet had the staff dishing up the food which sometimes created lines, but usually waiting a little bit would see a lull where you could walk right up and get what you wanted. The salads were delish for lunch, and again, if there's a line, just wait a little while or try the other side - ready made sandwiches were easy to pick up. The pool side grill had great Chicago style hot dogs (other styles available), yummy crispy fries, and good burgers too. And a taco bar. Enjoyed that! Room stewards are very good and I enjoyed the towel animals every night, and the big display they did on the last day around the pool, hundreds of towel creatures, some life sized and fully dressed. Another nice touch: the presentation of the next day schedule along with a card with a different travel quote, and other communications such as time changes placed in a nice folio on the bed. So I high recommend Maasdam especially for the EXC expert lectures. Best daily schedule of any ship I've ever been on for my taste. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. What we didn’t know was the cruise was not only an EXC voyage but an In Depth sailing as well ( Holland America needs to do a better job marketing this product). Every sea day was packed ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. What we didn’t know was the cruise was not only an EXC voyage but an In Depth sailing as well ( Holland America needs to do a better job marketing this product). Every sea day was packed with guest speakers and specialists in history, culture, science and nature, art, photography, food and vine for the regions and countries we would be visiting. Plus the EXC ship staff prepared us for each port visit with practical information to get out on your own or to take an organized ship tour. The staff on the Maasdam were outstanding. We found everyone to be warm, friendly, professional, and service oriented. To mention several exceptional staff, Florin, the Hotel Director, John and Frances from Guest Services, Best, Evi, Christopher, Sara Jane, Nutdawana and Robert provided an excellent experience in the Lido as well. Because of our wonderful experience, we are now Holland America loyalists!! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
WE took this cruise because we were interested in the ports of call. If we had known in advance that HAL was only interested in the passengers going of EXC tours we wouldn't have taken this cruise. Most of the stops we out of the way ... Read More
WE took this cruise because we were interested in the ports of call. If we had known in advance that HAL was only interested in the passengers going of EXC tours we wouldn't have taken this cruise. Most of the stops we out of the way at some large container port. The cruise director failed to inform us in advance about possible shuttles our of the port. At some of the ports they offered no free shuttle and you could only get out by expensive taxi. As 5 star mariners we have known better cruises with HAL. When in Hongkong they forgot to inform their staff that ONLY the people who went to Macau were not allowed to get off the ship after returning from Macau. We still had half a day left to explore. After a big row with the staff the cruise direction eventually gave out a message that we could leave the ship again. Bad work!!! The entertainment was not exsistent or poor except for the Chinese lady playing the accordeon.On seadays there was NO entertainment except talks for the EXC people. There was no music band on the deck and elevator music played the same music every day. Our cabin was good and spacious as it was a suite and the staff their usual friendly self. Everything was clean. As there were many people with bad cold including me we expected staff to make sure people didn't touch the food or fill their water bottles at the macine themselves.This did not happen. What happened to the coctail party for the past mariners? We didn't get one invitation although we are 5 star.All in all I would say this was not the best cuise we have been on. We will think twice about booking HAL again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, particularly Sri Lanka. We had a wonderful time. The Maasdam is a beautiful, elegant ship. My husband and I like the size, even though the ship doesn't offer all of the variety of a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary, particularly Sri Lanka. We had a wonderful time. The Maasdam is a beautiful, elegant ship. My husband and I like the size, even though the ship doesn't offer all of the variety of a larger one. We stayed in a Neptune suite, which was very nice with exceptional cabin stewards. We did develop a periodic leak close to the door. The staff was very concerned, but never could seem to solve the problem. Eunice in the Neptune Lounge was excellent. As always, the food on the cruise was very good; my husband and I could always fine a delicious choice. We chose the later fixed seating as always, in part because we enjoy going to a bar before dinner to listen to music but also because we enjoy getting to know the dining room and wine stewards. Speaking of music, we mainly went to the Ocean Bar where the ship had an excellent band from South America that performed a wide range of music. Otherwise for entertainment, we didn't mind the shift from entertainers to informative lectures. We did attend a few of the 10 o'clock performances in the showroom, but mainly we caught many of the historical/scientific/cultural presentations as part of the EXC program. They were very interesting and helped us better appreciate the cultures and environment of the stops along the cruise. The gym had a great variety (and good numbers) of equipment and programs, and the spa is always wonderful! We only went on three shore excursion from the ship, but they were great. We typically find our own local guides, but since several of the sites we wanted to see were some distance from the ship, I elected to stick to the safe side and go with the ship. The excursion to see elephants in the national park was exceptional. We saw scores of elephants, water buffalo, crocodiles, birds in the wild. The lunch spots were excellent too. On two of the excursions we stopped at gorgeous resorts with 5 star buffets for lunch. I do think that the information about the ports that is posted on the website could be improved. In many of the ports, there was nothing to see or do immediately off the ship; it would be disappointing if you planned to get off the ship and just walk around. There were stops at industrial ports, where it was a bit of a trick to even find the street with all of the taxis. These were minor problems for experienced travelers, but it would be nice to be forewarned. Overall the service, the food, the ship, and the activities were terrific. We are already looking at our next cruise on HAL. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary. I always wanted to see the Maldives and we hadn't ever dreamed of seeing many of the ports. The Maasdam is a partially refurbished old lady but the crew are always great and we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we loved the itinerary. I always wanted to see the Maldives and we hadn't ever dreamed of seeing many of the ports. The Maasdam is a partially refurbished old lady but the crew are always great and we prefer the smaller ships. We don'r like arriving in ports and waiting in huge line ups. The cabin was a pretty basic twin porthole outside cabin on deck at the front. Unfortunately it was right above the thrusters so it got noisy when the ship was docking. A small enough problem when taken in context with a 40 night voyage. The other issue is the ancient TV set in the room. I know the whole point of travel is to get out and do things but some days you want to watch TV. We thought the food was great overall. We had any time dining but ate three quarters of our meals in the Lido where the selection was great and the staff friendly. A big shout out for the delicious burgers and fries at the Dive In Bar. The best on the ship. The speakers they had on this cruise were some of the best we have seen on a cruise ship. Terry Greenberg was thought provoking and entertaining and that goes for a few others as well. He gave talks on Asian history and culture in various countries and helped us to see the world through a different perspective. The evening entertainment was hit or miss. The band on the ship is consistently great and we enjoyed the BBC Earth series. We did not suffer from a lack of entertainment though a couple of the entertainers were definitely a miss. I found the service top notch. The crew on this ship seem genuinely happy to see you. From the room stewards to the dining room staff to the Lido deck staff they were all friendly and helpful. The only misstep they made was putting a strange menu on for the Mariner's Loyalty luncheon. I can't understand why they thought providing a two entree menu of stew or pollock would be considered a special lunch by loyal Mariners. We actually walked out on the lunch and went to the Lido for better food. We did not participate in the shore excursions so are not able to judge that but a couple of ports could have been better arranged. Two ports in Sri Lanka had a shuttle to the gate and then nothing but overpriced Tuk Tuks and taxis at the gate. Another port in Malaysia had a shuttle to the gate and then there were no taxis or anything else. The police at the port gate started phoning private cars for passengers but a lot of cruisers just got back on the shuttle and went back to the ship. They got a lot of complaints and by the time we got off the ship they had made better arrangements at the industrial ports. We embarked and disembarked in Singapore. What a great place. Other than their need for additional landing cards the port itself is attached to a mall and we even took the MRT from the airport. It was a breeze. We didn't stay there because the first night the ship stayed in port. If we go back there we would definitely spend a few days. It is a spectacular place. We would go and do another one on this ship any time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2019
Chose this cruise for the time of year and itinerary. Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more and combined 2 back to backs for a total of 40 days. Love the ship, hated lack of good entertainment and better ship activities other then ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the time of year and itinerary. Malaysia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and more and combined 2 back to backs for a total of 40 days. Love the ship, hated lack of good entertainment and better ship activities other then lectures 3 and 4 times a day. Zodiac expensive tours part of this new program. Would not do another. Ship is our favorite, were on it last year. Stewards and waitstaff best ever. Hope this program doesn't make it and we go back to normal with dancers and singers and craft classes, pool acitvities. Change is not always good. We are 4 star and hope this does not happen to all Hollands ships, as we only cruise on the small 1800 and below. Not a fan of floating Malls. Food has gotten better at least more vegetables at dinner. Always ate in dining room and very happy with meals and services, ever wine steward was great. Pinnacle grill was very good, we ate there twice. Tendering sometimes too long having waited for 1 hour and 20 minutes at one stop. Made tendering a lot quicker and more efficient when they hired local boats to help out. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Cabin BA201- Can’t get the cabin temp below 72F. Have asked four times with no luck. Never accomplished. Cabin temp in direct line of AC flow did get to 70 at times if kept the balcony store closed and curtains pulled ... Read More
Cabin BA201- Can’t get the cabin temp below 72F. Have asked four times with no luck. Never accomplished. Cabin temp in direct line of AC flow did get to 70 at times if kept the balcony store closed and curtains pulled - Aussie sized (half size) whirl pool bathtub with high sides. Tub has rusted water drain, marked, and needs to be replaced. If you are 6 ft 2 in height and want to lie in the bathtub your feet will be on the wall. - Good shower - Marked toilet seat and needs to be replaced - Felt engine vibration, but not a problem for sleeping except when docking. Will wake you up if light sleeper - Counter space tight in bathroom but workable - No hot water during the night after 11:00 or 12:00 (last few days of cruise this problem was corrected) - Clothes Closet with safe tight but got everything in. Suitcases store under the bed - very nice decor - Otherwise good cabin which we enjoyed and would use again if they solve the AC problem and make required replacements Food- Reservation mistake. Ended up early fixed but was easy to change to open, deck 7. Staff very accommodating i.e. Hery main dining room, open sitting excellent, allowing us to change each night seating 2, 4, & 6 seat table. Met many interesting enjoyable passengers - Room service is excellent but coffee table for eating is tight - Mainly using dining room for dinner and lunch. Lido for breakfast and each time go on tour have breakfast in cabin. Food very good - Main dining room choice in menu is limited, often going off menu to french onion soup and salmon, both of which very good. - Had two dinners and one lunch in the Pinnacle Grill. Excellent food and service - Had one dinner in the Italian restaurant. Good service but not my preference in food. Cancelled our second reservation - Service in dining room ranged from very good to excellent Wine- I could not believe it. Limited Aussie wines and continually running out of wines. We are lucky and enjoy the New Zealand Kim Crawford, our favorite at home. Some of wine stewards attentive/ excellent. One or two were not and needed prodding $$$ - Ship nickels and dimes you i.e. purchase bottle water, purchase coffee lattes, extra charge for lobster even in Pinnacle Grill, expensive internet but is unlimited usage= did not have to worry about time spent, a huge feature for me since I needed to keep in touch with family company Reception staff- needs better training. Are pleasant but often without answers. Exception is Vanessa Digital Workshop- Unable to connect my laptop to the web. Written instructions provided by ship do not work for my Dell. Had to use Vanessa to set up computer. Good instructor on first leg but did not have the desired depth of knowledge i.e. could not set up my laptop for internet. Second leg instructor more knowledgeable and was great Entertainment- Ship has moved emphasis from shows to lectures, many of which were good to excellent - Piano man in piano bar was very good. Had several enjoyable evenings - Entertainment in Crows Nest Good - Good shows- i) Chinese lady playing special accordion was excellent. ii) Jersey Boys had good voices but needed a program manager. iii) Comedian good iv) musician playing several instruments was very good v) Magicians not to our liking Wake up call- always have a backup. One time did not work. One day unable to make wake up call. Line just ring busy. Staff who made a difference • Vanessa Christopher- Supervisor front desk • Rinato- Person in charge of room service • Adhy & Sigit- Persons who looked after cabin - Gym- fully equipped. Excellent. Had an air conditioning problem and had to use an industrial fan to attempt to lower temperature. 360 degree promenade for fast walking exercise or just casual walking at sea. 4 times around is a mile Rain water penetration- encountered a couple evenings of heavy rain, resulting in water getting into several cabins (rumored 35?) Sanitation- for both legs of the trip many passengers including myself came down with a heavy cold. I had to go to ship doctor for medication but still took 1.5 weeks to fully recover. When a ship has such an attack, normal experience is that procedure in buffet restaurant is changed from self serve to staff behind the counter serving you while you are in line for food. Not the case on the Maasdam. Only concern. Ship, which is old, was clean at all times Ship air conditioning- needs to be upgraded if they plan to use this ship in hot climates Ship decor- well done Ship layout- no problems except when coming out from deck 7 main dining room you have to either go down one deck or up one deck to walk to theater at front of ship Embarkation & Disembarkation- good Ports- we are on board because of the itinerary and tied in with our two months in Perth escaping Toronto winter - getting off the ship when ship tendered was backed up; but not a problem. We never missed our many private tours - many times docked at an industrial port and only a few times were there a ship shuttle into city/ town. Was never a problem since we were always on private tours Cruise Critic- there was approx 100 of us on the first leg. HAL missed an excellent opportunity to have officers attend the Meet & Greet, which was often our experience on other ships. Ruth did an excellent job in running the Meet and Greet, and web site on Cruise Critic allowing us to arrange private tours in almost all of the ports, with more tailored itinerary than Hal excursions and saved money. Great memories and wonderful passengers met Conclusion- good very interesting cruise notwithstanding the high temperatures. If you can take high temperatures would recommend, assuming ship solves the noted problems. Many sea days in itinerary were great for sleeping in and relaxing. Still looking for a holiday cruise where ship arrival is 9- 10 AM and departure early evening allowing me to be on holidays, not having to get up early for excursions Further info- drop me a note at deangayle@rogers.com and will try to provide i.e. private tours Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
I have sailed on Maasdam 4 times over the years, the last time just before she was refurbished in 2016 on a Caribbean cruise. Selected this cruise for its ports along the Western Australian coast and Indonesia and initially good value, ... Read More
I have sailed on Maasdam 4 times over the years, the last time just before she was refurbished in 2016 on a Caribbean cruise. Selected this cruise for its ports along the Western Australian coast and Indonesia and initially good value, bought this cruise at last minute. Writing from the value for an Australian (myself) and Canadian (wife) passenger costing point of view passengers. As a last minute booking we only had the choice of an inside cabin “guarantee” this was not a problem as usually that is what is usually offered and although we prefer a balcony or non obstructed outside cabin which are rarely available last minute. Always looking for different Voyages. Over last couple of years on last minute on MSC Divina as her ports of call of overnight in New York City, overnight in Bermuda (due to bad weather was missed and replaced with Madeira) overnight Ponta Delgada and overnight in Lisbon plus day stops in 4 Mediterranean ports to Genoa and TUI/Marella from Tilbury via Brugge,Amsterdam, Cherbourg, Lisbon and Corona Portugal, Gibraltar to Malaga. The ship is secondary to us. The ship was sparkling clean, cabin and servicing staff of Indonesian and Filipino were faultless, always greating you while passing you in hallways, always a smile on their face, especially if you developed connectionl with them, asking where they are from and thanking them for their service. Food overall very good, could not fault it for the choices selection. Ships deck staff and officers also greeting you, Captain very personable, as commented in other posts surprised that the shipping line now degrading his position by advising linking him to onboard sales. Come to the shops and meet the Captain on a jewellery sale. Entertainment was different from my last cruises, no cabaret dancing girls and boys, what a blessing. Overall it was very good. The Cruise Director on this cruise (believe she was the assistant who was filling in at that time for the actual cruise director), she didn’t have the finesse of cruise directors compared on past cruise such as introducing acts, her accent was hard to understand over the public address, and her comments over the public address and in person were sometimes cut and dry. Example at Komodo Island some persons were throwing objects into the water for the children in boats, her comment was “It was not allowed (or forbidden)to throw things in the water”, no mention of why ie we were in a national park, did not wish to encourage children begging, wanted to keep the oceans clean etc. Another occasion my wife asked a question regarding a matter not connected to the entertainment onboard, her answer was that was not her department, gave no other advise such as go to the front office, just not my department. Also her uniform was always a monotone colour, the same for every occasion and did not reflect her important position overall satisfaction with passengers on the cruise. Port visits wer a highlight of this cruise. Shore excursion were overall very expensive on this cruise not only for Australian, Canadian’s US and other nationalities. Example of a couple which for the Australian and Canadian are very expensive in equivalent AU$ and C$. Geraldton the lowest price excursion was “City Highlights and Maritime Museum” at US$79.95 or approximately AU$112.00/CA$105.45 while a city hop-on-hop off bus operated by city from the terminal was offered at AU$10.00 plus entry into the Marine Mureum AU$ 20.00 = AU30.00 would be appropriate US$21.45/Ca$28.25. Komodo Island Lowest shore excursion was US$104.95 onboard equivalent to AU$146.90/CA$ 138.44 on an upcoming cruise with P&O Australia on a exactly same excursion onboard was AU$104.00 or US$65.45/CA$97.70. This was the same pattern forall the shore excursion, some like Kuri Bay where one could only take a shore excursion or stay onboard. Celukan Bawang Bali where the port was on the north end of the island where their was no town highlights the e lowest price shore excursion Was called Munduk Highlights was a whopping US$229.95 equivalent to AU$321.50/CA$303.05. The only other option is doing things on ones own. Such as in this port a close by beach resort some 2-3 hours away. The next cruise by the ship to Sri Lanka and the Maldives the shore excursions offered by the ship were also excessively prices. My point is if you are an non US or EU passenger such as Australian and Canadians be careful selecting a cruise such as this one make sure that the cost of excursions are taken into account of the overall cost of the cruise or that you can do your own thing in port with the allotted time. Unlike Europe, Mediterranean and Caribbean where it is easy to hour on ones own. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th ... Read More
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th cruise and 4th on Holland America. We loved our previous HAL cruises (Zuiderdam and Prinsendam X 2). Sadly, this trip did not meet our expectations from HAL. The question is whether it is this particular ship or a new marketing model. Overall, the first impression is nickel-dime’ing. Quarters to use the laundry washers and dryers? Second impression, max effort to ‘sell’ something/profit incentive (I’ve never seen a captain appear and host a jewelry store sale event, speaking to shoppers - more so than at various Mariner events and meet-the-captain galas). This begins with surprisingly high excursion fees, often over double the cost for the same excursion online. Particularly galling is contracting with a local operator to sell ONLY through HAL excursions, i.e. blocking independent online or walk-up bookings; example - Dili East Timor: Hop On Hop Off is advertised at $45, with a stop at the cruise port. HAL contracted to do the booking for $79.95. They were not allowed to sell tickets to anyone not on a HAL excursion. Entertainment: cruise director was brand new (reportedly third in recent months). There were no “shows/productions”. There were individual entertainers, some quite decent, but not every night. Some ‘science/wildlife’ lectures were informative for those interested. Event scheduling seemed haphazard, e.g. captain’s reception and festivity at 7:55 PM, show start at 8:00 is only one example. There were many. Seems they are trying to appeal to a ‘younger’ clientele (average age still appears to be 70, with lots of older folks with walkers/canes/wheelchairs). The introduction of Zodiac inflatable excursions is new, and from reports (can not verify), some were disasters, acknowledged by the zodiac drivers that a monetary adjustment should be expected. Selections of cruise stops - sounded off the beaten track, and they were, not necessarily all bad but certainly raise some questions. Geraldton, Exmouth, Broome? Interesting introduction to relatively barren Western Australia (Exmouth often the hottest spot in the world - we saw 113* F). Komodo Island was a highlight and a big factor in selecting this cruise. It was worth the effort. Assumed (wrongly) that th Bali stop was the ‘known tourist destination. Actual stop was at a North Coast port, out of reach of any better known or advertised sites (e.g. Ubud). Probolinggo? Surabaya? O.K. Expensive, long excursions to Mt. Bromo were highlights available, but not sure how many took advantage. We did not, arranging our own private tours. An advertised 10 hour excursion from Semarang to the ancient temple of Borobudur was offered, and many booked it. They arrived back at the ship almost an hour late. Mixed reports,some loved the visit, but all mentioned huge crowds and difficulty getting pictures (including a professional photographer). The ship: getting OLD. Our vista suite had numerous wooden shims in the sliding glass door, presumably to stop it from creaking/rattling. They did work, if looking a little flakey. No complaints about our cabin/Port side. starboard side Vista suites had water (strong rains puddled on verandas) seep under sliding doors, wetting carpeting and personal items/luggage on the cabin floor. Food: no issues, and generally decent. Some local/Indonesian offerings were excellent. Very little local fruit offered - small plates purportedly put out at 11:30 were gone by 11:45, too bad if you weren’t there. Almost none in the evenings. We are not picky or demanding foodies, and more often than not eat at the Lido/buffet. Surf and turf (one night) in the dining room was very good. Overall, mixed emotions. May or may not give HAL another try (not on Maasdam). A little disappointed with this cruise, being a HAL fan. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
For fellow Aussies If you get in this cruise ship: - make sure you got with you a travel adaptor for Australian and New Zealand appliances for use in Europe. You are not going to find any of them on the ship and you will not be able ... Read More
For fellow Aussies If you get in this cruise ship: - make sure you got with you a travel adaptor for Australian and New Zealand appliances for use in Europe. You are not going to find any of them on the ship and you will not be able to use or charge any of your electrical or electronic devices. - bring a calculator with you mate. The dollars you pay and see on the receipts, everytime you fancy a drink or purchase an item, are american not australian. - in case you missed that, there is a "hotel service charge" $15 US for every day and every passenger. Are you still got the calculator with you mate? - dreaming about the buffet? Sorry mate, but there is not much difference between the ship buffet and your local takeway. At least the ship crew is serving your food in small portions so you will not get fat during the cruise. - at nights, there are a few singers and a music band who are going to entertain you, especially at the show room. What do you expect? Moulin Rouge? In your dreams mate. - the tv in our cabin was small. I had to stay close to watch a movie during some boring days and nights. - it was so exciting to get out of the ship in every port. - the shower shampoo in the cabin smell nice. - a few exciting nights playing with puzzles and readings books. - some magnificent sunsets. - sometimes I had a feeling that I was in a retirement village. That's all for the moment. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose the cruise for a couple of reasons. Firstly it covered Christmas and New Year. secondly we live in Fremantle so only had to fly one way then cruise back to our home port. We enjoyed the ports although most of them we had ... Read More
We chose the cruise for a couple of reasons. Firstly it covered Christmas and New Year. secondly we live in Fremantle so only had to fly one way then cruise back to our home port. We enjoyed the ports although most of them we had visited previously. The one big disappointment on this cruise was the dire entertainment programme. There wasn’t a single production show. On 2 evenings a film was shown in the theatre. Most of the entertainers were not what I would call top class - second rate mainly. We were not the only people who were surprised at the standard of the shows. It would certainly put us off choosing Holland America again without doing some serious research into the on board schedule. Overall the food was good and varied. Wine prices, like most cruise ships, are too high. Drinks packages are not an option for us as we don’t drink enough to make it worth it financially. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we wanted a quiet restful trip. We did our research and discovered that Holland America are aimed at an older age group with not so many families/children on board. We found the Maasdam suited us perfectly. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a quiet restful trip. We did our research and discovered that Holland America are aimed at an older age group with not so many families/children on board. We found the Maasdam suited us perfectly. The Service and quality of food on this ship was excellent!! We didn't make use of the Casino as that's not our thing. There were plenty of bars and areas to sit and read or just relax. We mostly ate in the Main Dining room or had room service. We sat in the open dining on Deck 7 on the Port side and our waiter Imam & Wine Steward Iyvette were both lovely and looked after us very well. We enjoyed the Burgers at the Dive In Burger Bar on the Lido Deck.We did our sums and decided to take our own Wine on board as we weren't prepared to pay $827Usd each for a drinks package and we are so glad we didn't. We bought 13 bottles of Wine and 1 of Champagne on board and paid the $18Usd Corkage on 12 of them and it was still much cheaper to do this than get 2 drinks packages. We only had a couple of beers during the day from time to time and drank wine with our dinner each evening and occasionally in our room and had a cocktail/beer after dinner a few times plus the odd coffee - with the cost of our Alcohol purchased before boarding and all other drinks we still only spent about $650Usd. We made use of the free water refill at the Lido bar. The Itinerary was fabulous as we got to see parts of Australia we had never visited before and the parts we loved we will visit again. We haven't cruised a lot before and found the continuous up selling a bit annoying but you can always say no. The entertainment was just ok. We spoke to some people who said it was average and others who thought it was ok. We didn't do any shore excursions as we have been to some of the places and hired a car and did our own thing in other places so I cant comment other then to say we thought they were expensive. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
Many lovely happy and pleasant dining and cabin crew. Food was really excellent. We tend to use the Lido more but the dining room was good too. Enrichment programs did not meet standard of previous cruises with HAL either in subject ... Read More
Many lovely happy and pleasant dining and cabin crew. Food was really excellent. We tend to use the Lido more but the dining room was good too. Enrichment programs did not meet standard of previous cruises with HAL either in subject matter or knowledge and standard of some presenters. Nor did the port presentations by HAL staff or the evening entertainment (with one exception) meet our previous experiences. Many very elderly passengers on board which did slow shore excursions down. Idea of having cooking demonstrations by Australian chefs was excellent although only one class by each of two chefs wasn't enough when you consider America's Test Kitchen is on most days on other ships. Chefs included interesting recipes using Australian produce. Some port tours were very good but tours which simply go to the shopping area in Margaret River WA and to quite uninteresting sites on Eyre Peninsular need reviewing. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise as we wanted to start in Sydney, spend Christmas and New Years on the ship and visit the west side of Austalia; get to see ports off the beaten track. The staff is amazing and go above and beyond to be friendly and ... Read More
I chose this cruise as we wanted to start in Sydney, spend Christmas and New Years on the ship and visit the west side of Austalia; get to see ports off the beaten track. The staff is amazing and go above and beyond to be friendly and helpful. The excursions are very expensive and we always book privately or rent cars, join other cruise critic members on smaller and less expensive (by far) excursions. The one excursion we booked with HAL was a zodiac boat tour of Kuri Bay and was so disastrous, we were given our money back. The food is good, but not exceptional. I find it greedy that there is already a helfty surcharge at The Pinnacle (considering the cruise has already been paid for), but you have to pay extra to upgrade to lobster or have an extra main. The entertainment was inconsistent - either good, only a couple were exceptional, nonexistent or really bad. The onboard naturalists and historian were very interesting and I really enjoyed the EXC portion of the cruise. I found tendering good and exiting the ship at ports efficient. Overall we found the cruise very enjoyable but HAL has certainly cut corners in places perhaps they shouldn't. It should be noted that the Maasdam is clearly 3* not 4* rating, so if you pay for 3* you're getting you're money's worth. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
We choose this cruise ship because of its very interesting itinerary. It stops at all ports in New Zealand and most of the Sothern/western Australia. We booked both segments, one 13 days from Auckland to Sidney and thence 16 days to Perth. ... Read More
We choose this cruise ship because of its very interesting itinerary. It stops at all ports in New Zealand and most of the Sothern/western Australia. We booked both segments, one 13 days from Auckland to Sidney and thence 16 days to Perth. But we made an error to book into a 29 days journey on a 25 years old boat, a small ocean liner by today's standard. In my mind, the age and the size by themselves is not a problem, giving HAL is known for its great service and food. Well, how wrong we are. Our ordeal started immediately upon boarding. On the surface, the ship had a cosmetic makeover and our stateroom is pretty updated and we do not have a complaint about it, even it is an inside cabin, room 744, on the lowest passenger deck, deck 4. However, the devil is in the details. My major complaint, and it is real, is that I got locked in a toilet in the Ledo Deck men's public. That bathroom is divided into two sections, the toilet and the uraine stall plus the washing sink. between them there is a sliding pocket door, that public bathroom has no emergency alarm bottom as the other public bathrooms do. HAL did not bother to install a new sliding pocket door when they renovate the ship most likely it is expensive and involves opening up the structure which may affect integrity. So, not only it will not latch, but when I got into the toilet side, the door got stuck and I could not open the door after using the toilet. I am physically a very fit person, I tried everything I could to either open the door or tried to signal my wife who was reading a book only 20 feet away out side on a lounge chair. Because the structure of the door and the bathroom, my phone could not receive any wifi signal and my bang on the wall or door was not heard. Finally, after struggled for 15 minutes, some one came in to use the bathroom and was able to call a crew member to release the door. I was saved. I did report the incident to the front desk immediately. The lady at the desk was kind enough to accompany me to the bathroom the examine the pocket door, Of course, by that time, the crew had "repair" the door so it opens and close properly. I know it will fail again, if it is not replaced or disabled. In the few days after the incident, no warning sing was posted on the door. Only after a week or 10 days after, I saw the door had been disabled by the management. Apparently, there are enough incidents in that bathroom similar to my experience. My bad experiences on this ship did not stop with the incident. Bad management shows every where in my 29 days with the cruise. Here are a few major ones that I can echo most of the problems from the people I have talked to and my own obersercation. 1. The quality of the cooking. Please note that I am NOT complaining about the food ingrediances, but the cooking. With few exceptions, the food are very well overcooked. That includes, almost all the fish, sea food, vegitable and meat. My wife incidentally met the chef and compalint about the over cooked fish, so it did improve after 10 days of hard "rock fish" meals.She failed to mention that "rubber band" asperigus knife cannot cut through, so we stopped to order any thing that has asperigus in it. You get the same thing over and over every day in Ledo buffet, the main dining room has more veriety, but because of the cooking, most of the time, it is not a very enjoyable dining. I've heard rave reviews for the hamburger joint next to the pool, but we are not a fan in hambergers and those high salt conent greesy french fries. 2. Lack of entertainment. From MANY four-five HAL stars(over 200 days on HAL) curisers including the lady at the future cruise desk who represented HAL told me that this cruise had cut back entertainment and replaced it with EXC or enrichment talks. It was such a boring ship, there is no music on the ship during the day, lots lots of "talks" or EXC presentations and movies. Its like a dead ship. After 6pm, some "entertainment" is provided, but everything is like from the stone ages. Music is from the 70's or older, good singers on stage are few and far in between, "Avita" was provided three times. Piano bar is handled by only the same person for the entire 29 days from 8-close, he is over worked and ran out of voice. The lone comedian gave the same "jokes" night after night, even after "new material" was announced one night. However, people flock into the theater 1/2 hour before the show starts because there is nothing eles to do on the ship. The Library has the most crowd because it has the most game and book to kill time. 3. Over priced excursions. You can find the same excursion from other providers at half or third of whats offered. I am so sorry that we did not know that the members of the cruise critic have organized excursions on this ship, but you live and learn. All in all, I will not join HAL again given the knowledge that HAL and Carnival, its parent company, had severly cutting corners in recent years. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Enjoyed H.A.L some time ago and decided to join friends on this 12 night cruise around New Zealand and to Norfolk Island. Most of the cruise en counted bad weather for the time of yearn around New Zealand. Well we never got to land on ... Read More
Enjoyed H.A.L some time ago and decided to join friends on this 12 night cruise around New Zealand and to Norfolk Island. Most of the cruise en counted bad weather for the time of yearn around New Zealand. Well we never got to land on Norfolk Island , the swells too big, a shame but nothing you can do to change that. The ship has H.A.L. new E.X.C. ,we were not a fan of this as it cuts done the amount of entertainment on the ship. Staff told us this is the only ship in the fleet with EXC and it appeals to limited folk from what we heard from others. The ship had only 972 on board this cruise and as it takes 1250 , tender times were good for the most part. Entertainment was very limited and some sub standard.The Cruise Director seemed to do everything with no helpers. The ship is old , but staff excellent in all departments. Our first cabin 545 had so many noises (sounded like steel on steel in the outside wall) we could not sleep.We were moved to 555 , this also had unacceptable noise ! We were then shifted to 556 which was fine apart from the shower control. Dining Room and Buffet both had cheerful and excellent staff as was the cabin staff.. Not 5 star by any mean,s , not even a fridge in the cabin, however the ship is kept clean and tidy by the crew at all times (with a smile) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We wanted to go to Norfolk and it was on the itinerary so chose this cruise over others because of that mainly. It also went to other places we were interested in and so we saved our money and booked it. We traveled to Norfolk but ... Read More
We wanted to go to Norfolk and it was on the itinerary so chose this cruise over others because of that mainly. It also went to other places we were interested in and so we saved our money and booked it. We traveled to Norfolk but couldn't disembark as it was too rough. Talking with others was interesting as apparently the chances of getting onto Norfolk are about 2/7. We felt totally cheated and believe strongly this port should come with a warning so people can make an informed decision before paying. From the very start we were disappointed in things and by the time the cruise was half over all we wanted to do was go home. Having been on two other cruises with two different companies we had scope to compare our experiences and expectations with. There was no welcome aboard drink or even a welcome aboard except from the cabin stewards who were wonderful. Our cabin, 640, was really noisy and while part of this was vents in the passage that we were told were needing some adjusting (but it wasn't ever done) no-one could explain what caused the loud humming which seemed to come from the outside of the ship. After complaining four times over six days we were finally moved to 643 which was on the other side of the ship and it was blissfully quiet. The entertainment was really poor when it happened at all. Far too little to do on this ship and what there was really had limited appeal. The food in the Lido buffet was boring and the same things over and over again and the one time there were fresh stir fry veges they were gone in a flash. The waste was huge and you would think someone would start to question why this was happening. Excursions were way over priced and one we went on was triple the price Joe Public would pay. We learned to find our own on shore excursions and to be paying what it was actually worth. The price for bottled water was prohibitive as was the alcohol and then there was the 15% extra on top. The shops and casino were empty a huge amount of the time and that wasn't surprising when the cost of shop items was looked at. The staff stood around and looked totally bored which they probably were. There were some pluses though. Disembarkation was smooth and fast. It was a real plus. The Cabin Stewards were totally fabulous and the other crew were great as well.Cabin stewards always spoke to us as if they really cared and they knew our names. They couldn't be faulted. The Room Service was fabulous and the bowl of fruit in the room was really appreciated. When we chose a time for our morning coffee it was delivered on time and by such friendly crew. Absolutely fabulous service. Even with the positive things we would never travel with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We cannot travel far from home at the moment due to family commitments so the 12 day around NZ was ideal. The boarding in Auckland was the easiest I have ever done and basically we just walked onboard with a few ID checks and the key card ... Read More
We cannot travel far from home at the moment due to family commitments so the 12 day around NZ was ideal. The boarding in Auckland was the easiest I have ever done and basically we just walked onboard with a few ID checks and the key card issuance. The ship was not full, about 900 passengers when she will take 1200, so there was a real feeling of space. We stayed in the Neptune 043 suite and loved it - heaps of room, a balcony to die for and nicely appointed throughout. This also gave us access to the Neptune Lounge, which I initially doubted we would use much, but as it turned out we became addicted to our quiet time in there with a decent cup of coffee and some nice snacks. It also came in handy when work intruded on the holiday and I needed something printed out and then scanned - this was the easiest I have ever managed to do this at sea. The food was of good standard - although a bit cold at times in the LIdo, service was faultless throughout and the activities were all well organised. The only criticism is that they seemed to be 'short' an act or two; there was no main production troupe so no dance shows and a couple of the entertainers they had were asked to do two or more shows, and quite frankly their material was not strong enough for this. Despite this, we felt entertained (mostly) and there was a really happy, friendly feel to the cruise, all the passengers were smiling and always ready for a chat over food, and the trivia teams were always happy to let others join in when they didn't have a full quota. Jonathon, the cruise director did an excellent job running these and just about any other entertainment. John in the piano bar was fabulous and the stools around his piano were always filled with people who had drunk enough to think they could sing (including us). Great fun there at night. We missed one port (Norfolk Island) due to rough weather and questions were asked as to whether ships should even go there as the success rate is not good apparently, but the captain circumnavigated it and took us off to see another island (no landing), and the tour charges were quickly refunded in full with no fuss. I would travel again on the Maasdam, she is probably not the newest ship out there but we enjoyed the layout and found everything we wanted. The shopping was a bit limited compared to others - not everyone wants high end jewellery, but this is minor and probably saved us some money. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary and the supposed reputation of Holland America being a classy cruise line. It was to be a continuation of a seven night cruise that we took on the Paul Gauguin. We were looking forward to the ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary and the supposed reputation of Holland America being a classy cruise line. It was to be a continuation of a seven night cruise that we took on the Paul Gauguin. We were looking forward to the stops at Rarotonga, Cook Islands - Alofi, Niue - Vava u, Tonga - Savusavu, Vanua Levi, Fiji - Suva, Viti Levu, Fiji - Dravuni, Fiji - Nuku alofa, Tonga. To set the stage for the tender rides to shore we need to say that prior to our cruise a woman was killed while getting on the tender at a stop. Of course like the military Holland America made a decision to screw all of it's passengers due to the actions of one unfortunate soul. They cancelled the first two stops stating the sea state was to high to go a shore. They must not have realized there were many passengers that had a great deal of experience with boating and knew that the sea state was not as bad as they were saying. Real big disappointment to all aboard. All of the remaining stops we did go ashore. Shore excursions were totally overpriced. We went ashore an picked up tours at far cheaper prices than Holland America offered. For a cruise line that is supposed to be classy Holland America made it far from that. Everytime you turned around they were trying to up sale you. From the over price bottled water and canned sodas in the state rooms, to the over priced additional restaurants, to the drastically overpriced cocktails and wine. Add to this the upscale jewelry stores which I very seldom saw passengers present. The casino that was almost as empty as the jewelry stores. Really do they really need to send out daily sales brochures trying to temp you with the 20% off sale which they raised the price on items 20% prior to the sale. It seems they could have used this space for more over priced restaurants or even heaven forbid a better stocked sundry store. Now let us talk about a dead ship. Even though we are 59 and 62 we seemed to have more life than the typical passenger that appeared to be above the age of 70 and no young 70s for sure. You would think that there would be South Pacific Island music playing all over the ship. You know to set the mood. But, no, Holland America plays elevator music when they play it at all. You would get more exciting music in a mortuary or morgue. Who knows maybe that is what the old folks really want. The musical entertainers actually play Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak tree, Really? The ship seemed to be in less than stealer condition. There was rust everywhere. The cover over the midship pool broke during the cruise and it didn't seem like the crew had the capability to fix it. The covers on the lifeboats seemed faded and strained. In fact on a couple of them they seemed to be torn or caved in. The tenders were filthy and unkempt. To think that the elderly passengers could have to use these boats in an emergency was disappointing and scary. The average crew member did a good job. Even when they were forced to sell things which they looked embarrassed and not comfortable doing. Our cabin steward was great. The dining room staff was great. Can't really say anything bad about the basic crew member on the Maasdam. The front desk personnel did a great job. There was a strange noise that kept happening in our first stateroom. We complained and they moved us to a new stateroom very quickly. Our stateroom was very clean and comfortable. We purchased the laundry service for the entire cruise. We felt it was a good value and the staff did a great job. The internet service was slow and expensive for what you received. We realize the signal has to travel many thousands of mile but really that slow? The food on the ship was good. However, no better than any other cruise ship we had been on. Holland America really needs to step it up to live up to a reputation that seems like it had gotten many years ago. Stop selling and make it a classy ship again or close the line down and save not only themselves but the passengers from a poor experience. Many folks that we had spoke to that had cruised Holland America in the passed said that this would be their last cruise on the line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Maasdam from Tahiti to Auckland via Fiji, Samoa and other Pacific Islands. Two of us in our 60's had a Neptune Suite midships (010) which was quiet, roomy, in excellent condition and fabulous. The staff were great, nothing was too ... Read More
Maasdam from Tahiti to Auckland via Fiji, Samoa and other Pacific Islands. Two of us in our 60's had a Neptune Suite midships (010) which was quiet, roomy, in excellent condition and fabulous. The staff were great, nothing was too much trouble, smiles and greetings everywhere, loved them. Food was the best of several cruises we have done (home made burgers were to die for), excellent range of food options all well presented, hygienicly handled and delicious. Evening entertainment was top class, especially "The Unexpected Boys" (similar to The Jersey Boys) who put on 4 different shows during the cruise. My only suggestion would be to improve the range of films and shows on ship TV - very limited range of boring news channels, and two movie channels (which repeated the same film for a day each) - fortunately we found the onboard video range and overdosed on Netflix shows. We have previously cruised with P&O, Carnival and Princess, and this ship was better than all of them. Would definitely cruise with Holland America again. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Having been to a few of the ports before we were excited about the prospect of visiting Norfolk Island. However we were not able tho stop at Norfolk Island and two other ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. Having been to a few of the ports before we were excited about the prospect of visiting Norfolk Island. However we were not able tho stop at Norfolk Island and two other ports. Out is believed only very few shops actually get their passengers onto Norfolk Island and so many had booked this trip with the promise of visiting Norfolk Island. In my opinion this port should be deleted from their itinerary as I believe it is only used as a lure tho get passengers to book the cruise with the company knowing it is very unlikely to ever happen. Feels like a bit of a con. Our major concern though on this cruise was the lack of first aid knowledge by the first responders. It was alarming to find the first responders to a heart attack didn't know how to take a pulse, didn't effectively know CPR or how to use the defibrillator. We feel these first responders should have better first aid training and at a minimum know how to take a pulse, do effective CPR and use the defib. It was discovered from this incident that the defib machines on the ship were the very old non speaking type. Please note this is not shipboard rumour but first hand experience at the incident. We were very impressed with the standard of food in the dining room. It was a huge step up from our last Holland America cruise. Most of the onboard entertainment was excellent however there were two acts on the second part of our cruise that were appalling. The ship had been recently very tastefully refurbished. Our cabin was very comfortable. The poor condition and incompleteness of some of the board games onboard needs immediate attention. It was very frustrating trying to find complete games to play. We were also very disappointed that a gym instructor was not immediately replaced during shore leave of the original instructor. This caused some gym activities to cease because of the absence of an instructor. Read Less
Maasdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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