4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Experiencing a smaller ship for the first time proved to be advantageous.More space,more intimate venues, and interacting regularly with the same guests proved to be a plus. Was especially impressed on this Holland Cruise -unlike all ... Read More
Experiencing a smaller ship for the first time proved to be advantageous.More space,more intimate venues, and interacting regularly with the same guests proved to be a plus. Was especially impressed on this Holland Cruise -unlike all ships of any cruiseline that I have been a guest by THE Interaction of the Officers and Captain with the guests.This innovative feature on this ship propelled by the Hotel Manager gave a wonderful atmosphere on the sailing. The Captain Arna Jutten eating in the buffet, the Officers mingling in the bars and public areas,the Hotel Manger Florin Dragomir and Cellar Master Zoltan Fodor frequently visible in public areas gave this voyage a welcomed transparency. The entertainment was fabulous with the onboard troupe of singers and dancers absolutely memorable.The ports were beautiful combining the wonders of Eastern Canada, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces with the beautiful US ports of the eastern seaboard. The ship itself even though it was older and going into dry dock in Ft. Lauderdale was so well maintained and clean.The service was always performed by the crew in the most pleasing and friendly manner. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I booked this cruise because it was the most convenient time of the year to travel being from Florida and taking into consideration the hurricane season. I was not told that this ship was very old, and did not have modern conveniences, ... Read More
I booked this cruise because it was the most convenient time of the year to travel being from Florida and taking into consideration the hurricane season. I was not told that this ship was very old, and did not have modern conveniences, such as multiple outlets for electronic devices or updated WIFI or even digital television! I paid additional to have access to the Lanai area, told it was a deck style area outside my sliding glass doors to sit outside my cabin. Instead I got a communal area outside my cabin, that was constantly under construction by the crew with hammering and banging that began at 6:30 AM! The ship was under construction everywhere! The entertainment was old fashioned, shows with songs from years past and there was very little in the way of activities. The one activity I tried, a tour of the kitchen was poorly organized and there were too many people. on deck. The food quality was poor especially in the Lido buffet area. The shore tours were expensive and boring and the ports were repetitive and boring too. I would not recommend this ship or this tour. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
After a year in planning and 8 days before departure, our Viking river cruise on the Elba River was cancelled. With a party of 10 to accommodate and a desire to see ports similar to Europe, we happened upon the Maasdam's final Canada ... Read More
After a year in planning and 8 days before departure, our Viking river cruise on the Elba River was cancelled. With a party of 10 to accommodate and a desire to see ports similar to Europe, we happened upon the Maasdam's final Canada & New England cruise. While not perfect, we did have plumbing issues on day 1, which were quickly resolved, I will take the liberty in speaking for all of us unanimously when I say we were beyond thrilled with most everything about this cruise, its' staff and its' ports of call. Yes it is an older ship. Yes its' entertainment is geared toward more mature audiences. Yes it would be nice to have another venue or 2 offering alternative entertainment but looking on the positive side we found the entire staff, Entertainment director Ryan, Assistant Director Johnathan, cabin stewards Johan and Roan, dining room wait staff Jonny & Zion and wine steward Renan and many others whose names I do not recall, display themselves with professionalism, enthusiasm and a genuine desire to please. We all felt that the food provided was more than adequate and quite delicious and I speak for all of us when I say that we would not hesitate to travel again with Holland America. We were all sad to see it end and say our goodbyes to many of the staff and the ship goes to dry dock and then off to the Pacific. FYI our ages range from 57-70 Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
I choose this specific cruise line because it was the only one I could find that was offering the New England/Canada tour during the month of August. Being from Florida and also a teacher I needed something during the month of August, ... Read More
I choose this specific cruise line because it was the only one I could find that was offering the New England/Canada tour during the month of August. Being from Florida and also a teacher I needed something during the month of August, avoiding both the hurricane season and being back for the start of the school year. The ship departed from Boston and I spent two days exploring this wonderful city and stayed at the W Hotel, downtown Boston, which was a fabulous hotel and would highly recommend it. Boston is a great city, with so much to do and so much to see. The embarkation to the ship was simple and easy and this being my first impression I was hoping for good things. However, that did not last long. The ship was smaller than I thought it would be and much older than I also imagined. I spend the extra amount of money and booked a Lanai stateroom, because I wanted the availability of having an outside area to sit and enjoy the water and the sites. But, during the entire length of the cruise there was constant work going on outside my cabin and the outside area was blocked or closed. There was the constant smell of paint and hammering and banging all day, beginning early in the morning (6AM). There were two wooden and very old lounge chairs with only a small fabric that said Reserved on it but nothing indicating that it belonged to the stateroom so the small amount of time I could have used this area someone else was there! On previous cruises I also booked a balcony as I like to sit outside and I was told this would just like it! Wrong! This was a public walkway, people were walking past constantly and there was no privacy or quiet. The cabin condition was old! The television set up was from the early 80"s with a DVD player and remote control that did not work. You needed to go to the front desk to get any DVD to watch in the room! There was only one electric outlet in the room which did not work for all the devices that needed to be plugged in. And the WIFI on the ship, which was advertised to be helpful did not work and no one was able to help, as I inquired at the front desk. The entertainment each evening was so sad! The singers and dancers were using such old songs and materials, I felt like I was back in the days of the Catskill mountains! The theatre for the shows was a dangerous place. There were several levels and steps and when the lights went out there was no way to see the steps and someone fell on top of me, spilled her drink, but thankfully either of us got hurt. The on ship activities were a joke! They only gave talks on Windows or the use of digital cameras, or health and wellness. Since I am an Apple user, oh well! I did try to go on a tour of the kitchen on the one day we were cruising, but it was so disorganized and so many people tried to do it, it became a mob scene. The food was not good at all especially on the Lido Cafe deck. Each day it was exactly the same, overly spicy, overly dry, overly soggy. I was not able to eat or finish anything. They also closed it down well before the time it should have been closed. They seemed to want to get people out. The food in the dining room was a bit better, but I was refused admittance on both of the Gala nights because I had on jeans and this was considered "dressy" attire only! What century is this? I was also refused admittance to the stand alone restaurants where I would have paid extra for the meal! For breakfast I never got any milk for my coffee. The ports and shore excursions were terrible. Each port was exactly the same. This was billed as New England and Canada but the only port in New England was Bar Harbor, Maine otherwise the ship stopped in Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, and Quebec. Each town was exactly the same, small tourist traps. I had 2 shore tours cancelled on me and was offered ones that were worse, even though I was told they were the same. One tour was the same as the others. The tour to a winery, which I hoped would be nice, consisted of walking through a small yard with a wine canister and into a store to buy the wine! There was no tour just a small cup of wine and a cracker! When I complained to the front desk about the noise outside my cabin and the blocked access to the outside area I was told this work was being done to the lifeboats for my safety! She shrugged her shoulders and had nothing more to say. The service people were not rude, bu they were not helpful either. Everyone seemed to just doing their jobs! I would never book another cruise on Holland America again and certainly will not recommend this ship or this specific destination. I was very disappointed in this whole experience, and it was not a cheap cruise. I have been on other cruises, and this was by far the worst. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the date and route. While some cruises might have more bells and whistles, this cruise was perfect for what we wanted, quality family time. We were treated so well. Our 5 year old daughter was treated like a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the date and route. While some cruises might have more bells and whistles, this cruise was perfect for what we wanted, quality family time. We were treated so well. Our 5 year old daughter was treated like a princess. When we renewed our vows, they staff made a special bouquet of yellow roses. The ceremony was special for us and our guests. The food was pretty good. The first night wasn’t that good. But it got progressively better. The gala nights were amazing. As part of our wedding vows package we had dinner one night at the Pinnacle Grill. It’s worth the price. The quality of the lobster and steak was amazing. The route stops are all wonderful (except Sidney.) I can’t say which one was our favorite, because they all had spectacular places to see. Québec is wonderful, but make sure to make it out to the Falls. PEI was my favorite! My husband loved Halifax. I do wish we could’ve spent more time in the places. The worst downfall was that customs took place in Bar Harbor, and it cut part of the time we could’ve spend on land. Overall, we loved the cruise and would do it again. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Embarkation Embarkation in Boston smooth and fairly quick. Boat was full so no upgrades were available. No welcoming drinks. I think you can get lunch in the Lido buffet. Some bars open at 1pm. Lifeboat muster at 3 pm was hot and muggy ... Read More
Embarkation Embarkation in Boston smooth and fairly quick. Boat was full so no upgrades were available. No welcoming drinks. I think you can get lunch in the Lido buffet. Some bars open at 1pm. Lifeboat muster at 3 pm was hot and muggy and lasted more than 1/2 hour. Ugh. If you start in Boston, be sure to go up on deck when the boat leaves the dock as it is right off the end of the runway and planes go about 200' overhead as They land at Logan. They did not push drinks on us then or any other time. Cruisers Passengers were younger than I thought they would be. Maybe because it was 4th Of July week. Many were 40-60s and more than a few kids. Only 1/3 to 1/2 were geezers like us. Boat did not seem crowded or have long lines ever even when tendering at Bar Harbor. Maasdam The boat is 25 years old, but is well maintained, but if you look, you can find nicks, dents, rust, etc. and the decorating seems a bit dated. If you expect state of the art and perfect condition and anything less is going to irritate you, you should not book this boat. In contrast to what other reviewers have said, the info I got from the crew was that Maasdam will be refurbished after August. It has been sold by HAL, but they will lease it back next year as they already have cruises booked on it. This was our first cruise on HAL after several on Celebrity. We cruised on an old Celebrity boat several years ago and I would rate HAL a bit lower in most categories. The Explorers Lounge is a great place to hang out if you are not into bars or pools. It has a large library, games, Internet, etc. and a coffee bar. Food The Lido buffet is a mosh pit at peak times like other boats of this vintage. The food is ok. Very little self serve. You have to wait in lines for everything. Also, there are no trays, so you are juggling plates or making multiple trips to the mosh pit. The food in the main dining room was good, but not great or noteworthy. Just not real tasty. Portions varied, but could be very tiny. For example, the flatiron steak was about 4 slices the size of your thumb and about 1/4" thick. Wine is not included and will add about $10 per glass to your bill. The Pinnacle grill was definitely worth the $25 up charge. Quiet and much tastier food. I think it is the only place you can get your baked Alaska fix. It can get booked so make your reservations early. If you have open seating, call and make reservations or you may have to wait to get a table even though the dining room was never full. You can reserve multiple nights at once. If you can stand to eat at 5:15-5:30, you can get a great table with a window and watch as the boat sails from the dock. Lobster is ONLY available in Pinnacle grill except for ONE night (2nd gala night) as a surf and turf entree in the Rotterdam DR. On "Gala" nights, most men had a sport coat and maybe a tie. Virtually no suits or tuxes. No baked Alaska parade, but there is a chocolate "surprise " the second gala night. The surprise was that it was just some waiters wandering around with trays of bite sized stuff. No buffet. What is the point of cruising if not to participate in these archaic exercises and wallow in wretched excesses of years past? Staff The staff was friendly, but somewhat reserved. On Celebrity and Viking, EVERY staff member would greet you EVERY time you walked past. Not on this boat. Especially in the dining room. To be fair, the Cabin attendants and wine stewards were very friendly and thorough, but not intrusive. Entertainment The Adagio duo (piano and violin) in the Explorer lounge were very good and played classical hits which was relaxing. They played a wide range of music from opera to tango. The Ocean trio in the Ocean bar played jazz and swing and was good. The main show singers and dancers were capable and energetic, but at times suffered from uninspired choreography. The 5 piece backup band was fine, but The canned music was out of date. Had low expectations for Bendt Washburn the comic, but he "wasn't half bad". His words, not mine. He was pretty good. The BBC Planet Earth II concert was just that, Highlights from PE II on a big screen with the musicians playing a special soundtrack. This is what passes for main stage entertainment these days? The magician, Alexander the Great, was just ok. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because I work for a school district and this was the perfect time. Departure from Boston allowed me to go a few days early which was great. Also stayed post cruise in Montreal which would suggest. All the ports ... Read More
We chose this cruise because I work for a school district and this was the perfect time. Departure from Boston allowed me to go a few days early which was great. Also stayed post cruise in Montreal which would suggest. All the ports were clean and residents and vendors very friendly. Traveled with another single mature gal who is a seasoned traveler. The ship is the perfect size. Even though it was sold out, never felt crowded and never a issue for having a table in the dining room for 'anytime dining'. Service was excellent as well as the food. Enjoyed the movies, the cooking demos, and entertainment was very good. Ports were perfect and tender was easy. Would definitely recommend and would do it again. HAL is my go to cruise line. I organized a "Meet and Greet" the first afternoon after the sail away and posted it on the Roll Call. About 6 were expected and several more came. We ended up sharing a rental car with one couple in Montreal. Suggest you reply to a Roll Call or host a Meet and Greet. It was great! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We traveled on the Holland Americal Line (HAL) Maasdam during the week of July 1 from Boston to Montreal, me, my wife, and our seven-year old daughter. It was our first cruise with Holland America. Reading prior reviews gave me some ... Read More
We traveled on the Holland Americal Line (HAL) Maasdam during the week of July 1 from Boston to Montreal, me, my wife, and our seven-year old daughter. It was our first cruise with Holland America. Reading prior reviews gave me some concern about the age/condition of the ship, as did my fear of having enough too few families on board for my daughter to interact with, since HAL has the reputation of catering to older cruisers. PROs: Our room steward was outstanding, and did a great job every day, despite our creating disarray in our room virtually every day. As for bar service and dining room service, there were certainly many that were excellent as well. We were really pleasantly surprised to see a very nice number of families, including many girls our daughter’s age to interact with, and she made many good friends over the course of the week, to the point where a few of her friend’s parents exchanged information with us, intending to connect after the cruise. In short, the distribution of ages and families on this cruise was very accommodating to our interests, such as having plenty of swim time in the pool, without a huge crowd, no drunkenness/offensive behavior, or any unruly bunch of kids. There was also no difficulties in getting a lounge chair at any time, and with the retractable roof over the pool, any weather did not preclude swimming. The food was up to the standards I experienced on prior Royal Carribbean Cruises, with plenty of good offerings in the buffet (Lido) and main dining room. There was pasta bars, salad bars, and omelet stations every day, cooked/made to order in each case. In most instances (exception below), the HAL Kids club provided a very nice setting for our daughter to interact with her peers, and she very much looked forward to the “club” time, which also offered my wife and I a chance to relax a bit. We found the size and layout of the ship very accommodating. With about 1200 or so passengers, it was easy enough to get your bearings anywhere on the ship. We also never felt lost or crowded. I’m sure it’s size is a main reason that it can cruise down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec and Montreal. The thought of the new ships, with their 5.000 passengers seems a bit intimidating. While you will see we have a few concerns noted below, I will say that we very much enjoyed the trip, as cruising in general has so many upsides. I’m sure our daughter will forever remember many elements of the trip. CONs: Our biggest anguish of the trip was the final night when the HAL Kids club staff decided that playing the movie Jumanji would be good entertainment for all the kids, including those as young as 4. We would NEVER have our daughter watching a movie like that at 7. Many kids were totally scared off and asked staff to have parents come get them. When this concern was voiced to the Cruise Director, he seemed to have no anguish or even interest in hearing our concern, clearly someone who doesn’t have any children, who I guess are an afterthought occasionally on board. Having our daughter with us in the dining room always resulted in a worse seat placing. There was also one night when her dinner was very cold which didn’t seem to distress the waitstaff, who simply microwaved it a few seconds and brought it back. HAL certainly caters to older cruisers, but as noted above, this was an asset at times as there was little competition for the recreational pursuits (swimming, basketball, ping-pong, etc.), and there were no instances that I saw of any drunkenness or lewd behavior. Rooms are small, even if bigger than other cruise lines, and our small family still were bumping into each other regularly in our space. TIPs: • Have coffee and a fresh pitcher of water delivered to your room each day, along with fruit if you like – no further charges for this; • We were on the fence about purchasing the alcohol plan, as it was presented that you if drink 5 drinks a day, you will benefit. I suggest forgoing the plan, as there are happy hours (second drink for $2) every day at 4 and 9 PM…………and there are many days you are off the boat for long stretches. Unless you want a drink in your hand round the clock, pass on the plan; • If you have kids, I’d suggest staying away from the excursions, which seem to be developed more for the older “tour” type excursions, think a few photo ops, and plenty of craft/gift shop stops. • If you have a stop in Bar Harbor, and are reasonably fit, go for the bike rental. There is a free shuttle to nearby Acadia National Park, which is really set up nicely for biking, with beautiful views. • If you have kids and have a stop like we did in Halifax, the Children’s Discovery Center, just a five minute walk from the Port, was really interesting and fun, and good for hours of entertainment. • We reside in the Boston area, and needed to rent a car in Montreal to drive home. If we do this cruise again, I would definitely do the driving on the front end, i.e. rent a car in Boston and drive to Montreal, maybe a day ahead of the cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
After nine Caribbean and one Mediterranean cruise, we were ready for something completely different. As Canadians, we were eager to explore the ports of call along the St. Lawrence, and delighted to be able to use our mobile phones and ... Read More
After nine Caribbean and one Mediterranean cruise, we were ready for something completely different. As Canadians, we were eager to explore the ports of call along the St. Lawrence, and delighted to be able to use our mobile phones and data plans without penalty for most of the trip. Since this cruise was a last-minute decision to celebrate a milestone anniversary, there were very few ocean-view cabins remaining; we managed to secure a category HH (obstructed view) on deck 6 and were happy with the discounted price as well as the location. As others have noted, the Maasdam is an older ship, and she is showing her age - especially in some of the public venues, including the washrooms. That said, the boat never felt crowded, at no time were we made to wait for an elevator, and there was never a problem finding a lounger at the pool. A few observations: As culinary impressions are subjective, I will refrain from commenting on the food selection, save to say that the meals in the dining room were varied and for the most part quite acceptable. We were not quite as impressed with the Lido buffet, however, as it was sometimes difficult to ascertain exactly what was on offer. We dined in the Pinnacle restaurant on embarkation night (lured by a 25% discount) ; we were somewhat disappointed with the experience and did not feel that it was worth the extra expense. The Dive In the covered pool area provided a daily "snack" buffet which often consisted of nachos, tacos, and some very tasty guacamole. The small casino has a limited number of slot machines, but it is possible to find a seat adjacent to a window so at least one can watch the scenery while feeding the one-arm bandits...The few on board shops are not browse-worthy - mostly full of perfume, jewelry and pricey garments. During the only sea day we were treated to some dutch pea soup in the Atrium (a rather dead space in the middle of deck six that appears to serve no useful purpose). There was also an opportunity to meet and chat with the ship's cast members (singers and dancers), backstage and kitchen tours, as well as an interesting "Ask the Captain" session that allowed passengers to question Captain Whittaker on just about everything relating to his job. The cruise directory, Ryan, although affable enough, seemed to have a rather light work-load consisting of making a few daily announcements and introducing the evening's performer(s). His second-in-command ran the trivial games which were well attended. There were no organized activities on the pool deck, and no afternoon musical entertainment by the pool. An enjoyable and informative nightly music trivia session delivered by piano man Jeff was very popular. One POSITIVE note: the ship provides a Pickleball court along with wooden paddles and two balls, and actually sets aside a scheduled time for play (although my husband and I were usually the only ones to avail ourselves of the opportunity, we were joined by three other enthusiasts on our last day). 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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