5 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
6 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
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
Sail Date: June 2018
We have discussed going on this cruise for a few years, and finally booked it this summer. We live in South Florida, so it was a great break from the summer heat. We flew into Montreal on Friday, got an uber to the Embassy Suites in Old ... Read More
We have discussed going on this cruise for a few years, and finally booked it this summer. We live in South Florida, so it was a great break from the summer heat. We flew into Montreal on Friday, got an uber to the Embassy Suites in Old Town (great location and nice hotel). That gave us time to explore the wonderful old city and port/waterfront on Friday night and Saturday morning. Embarkation was very smooth. We actually walked with our luggage from the hotel to the pier within about 12 minutes and were able to get on the ship around 11 or 11:30. After eating lunch, we went back out into town for a while, which was a plus. Other than an Alaskan Cunard cruise I took years ago, this is the smallest ship I've ever gone on in my 20 cruises. The public areas are very clean and well maintained. Our favorite spot was floor 6 outdoor promenade. After spending a day in port, we walked around there several times before the ship left and as it departed ports. We got great pictures and met lots of very friendly people while out there. The ship is not flashy or super fancy with spectacular public areas, but that was ok for us. I would suggest that they add some more chaise lounges on the 6th floor because many are reserved for the sliding glass doors rooms. We had cabin 655, on floor 5, interior. It was better than I expected. Based on some review I had read, I was nervous. But, it was very clean, and really comfortable. The shower was tiny, but it worked and we had enough room for 3 of us to rest and sleep. The sofa becomes a twin bed. Our son is 6'4", so is was a tad short, but he just slept at a tiny angle. There was only 1 electric socket, and we had 3 phones, but our steward immediately got us a power strip, so he solved that issue. Compared to other cruises, there weren't a lot of activities on the ship. However, since we were in port all but one day, it didn't matter to us. It was somewhat frustrating for our son, who is 17, but he met kids and hung out with them. He did say that most of the entertainers were very good. I overheard them singing, but didn't go to any of it. Service was, overall, great. Our room stewards were excellent. Dining room service was very good, with the exception of one night, when it was terribly slow and our water didn't even get filled. But, overall, we were pleased. Front desk people were always helpful. Lido service was good as well. HAL has delicious food, in my opinion, especially in the dining room. They have a nice variety of things to choose from each night. The Lido was very good. We had breakfast there most mornings, as well as lunch all but two days. The only food I ate on the ship that I didn't like was the pizza in the Lido. It was very odd, which was strange, since the pizza on another HAL ship was so delicious. Our son complained that there wasn't enough to choose from in the Lido, which I thought was CRAZY. He also complained that it wasn't always open, and that the water stations were closed at 11:30 p.m. Remember, this is a teenager who eats all the time. But also, it is Holland America, and things shut down early, which I don't mind. They have Club HAL for kids up to 17. Our son went to a few things and met several kids. Of the 1200 or so passengers, there were about 60 teens on board, apparently. He didn't do much in Club HAL, but they did have a nice list of activities for each afternoon and evening. The ports were wonderful! Sydney was our least favorite, but we enjoyed walking around. I LOVED Quebec CITY and we really enjoyed all other ports. Even our son admitted that he liked all of the ports on a couple of occassions. We did not pay for any excursions. Instead, I researched each port and found the walking tours and we walked for MILES every day we were in port. Our son did travel with us, but our younger girls did not. He loved the ports and enjoyed the dining room food. He met several teenagers who seemed to be nice kids and with the size of the ship, we were very comfortable with him being out and about in the evening. He was unhappy when the basketballs were put away because the court was directly above the Lido - not a wise placement. But, he had a great time playing quite a bit. And, with hours being limited on things, he was a little frustrated. However, he had a choice of coming with us or going to another place, so his complaints pretty much fell on deaf ears of his parents. HAL ships tend to be quiet, and this ship was the quietest I can recall travelling on. Things were hardly ever crowded and we rarely had lines to contend with. Most people we met were really nice. A lot of them enjoy visiting and talking. The clientele tends to be older, and we were one of the younger families on the ship compared to the average. Things moved a bit slower, but it was so relaxing. And, we were only on the Montreal to Boston leg, just 7 nights, not 14. Disembarkation was pretty quick. There was some confusion because things were not announced at first, but we were able to get off in good time and to the airport quickly. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
On the Maasdam, we had a great cruise. However, the Maasdam has somewhat declined among other HAL (Holland America Line) ships.Though the Maasdam is a smaller ship among the fleet, it could've been appointed better such as more live ... Read More
On the Maasdam, we had a great cruise. However, the Maasdam has somewhat declined among other HAL (Holland America Line) ships.Though the Maasdam is a smaller ship among the fleet, it could've been appointed better such as more live entertainment, game shows, and enrichment activities. In fact, there were no enrichment activities on the Maasdam. Cruise lines like PCL had enrichment activities. Otherwise, the Maasdam is a great ship for the size. It was well renovated; as apparent through the staterooms and many of the public spaces. However, you could tell that the ship was older and needed to be renovated in a few places. Throughout the ship, there weren't a lot of people. There were never wait times, and after nine you would pretty much have the entire ship to yourself. I mentioned that the ship was nicely renovated, but there is still some things that HAL should've considered about the dining room. For one, one of the large picture windows had a large crack in it. The next thing that should've been considered is the fact that when we were eating in the main dining room (around the middle of the cruise) water started trickling down on me from the ceiling. The crew assured us that it was raining outside. I moved my seat to a dry side of the table. On future visits to the dining room, they were repairing the ceiling. About the cabin, it was a great size and renovated nicely. The bathroom was among one of the best we have seen on a cruise (sailing inside cabins), and the stateroom was a nice size. Also, another thing to note is that there is only one razor plug (in the bathroom, on the top light,) one European plug, and one American plug. When in our cabin, 506, we sometimes heard really loud noises, we think it was from the anchor. If you're a light sleeper, a cabin near the lower front of the ship probably isn't for you. As for the entertainment onboard, the shows were a bit above average. Compared to the other cruise lines it had better entertainment than RCL, CCL, and PCL; but NCL has better stage shows. I am nitpicking here, but throughout a majority of the cruise, one of the dancers was out of sync compared to the other dancers. Other than that, the dancers were decent and the singers were very good. I enjoyed the BBC Earth show, lots of thanks to the thousand hours put into it. And the dance/ singing numbers also seem to have lots of hours put into them. However, I would've like to have seen more shows onboard. Another thing to note is the "Indonesian Crew Show." The show was great and I loved the fact that HAL thanked the crew in a production about their background. The dining on the Maasdam was alright. The main dining room had very good food. Back to the dining, the food was very great; the filet mignon was the best I'd ever had, and the lobster was great, though it would've been better if served with lemon. About the service in the main dining room, on the second formal night (the only one we attended) the service was slow. Two people in our party asked for tea when they ordered their appetizers and main courses, yet they had to ask again. They ended up receiving the tea a little before the desert menu was handed out. We didn't mind the slow service, it was expected, especially with the dining room packed. As for the buffet, the food always tasted very good, there was a decent amount of variety. There was always an option for a type of beef, potatoes, greens, cheese, salads, etc. We ate in the buffet during peak times so we ended up sitting outside for breakfast. There were more seats available during lunch. Furthermore, tea time was amazing. The finger sandwiches and treats/ tarts were tasty. They gave us the same tea to drink each day so I would've liked some more variety. I would recommend tea time to everyone. On our itinerary, our ports of call were Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, and Bar Harbor. This cruise was a one way from Montreal to Boston (seven days). Quebec city was a very beautiful city, the old town area was very pleasant to walk around. We mainly just walked around the downtown and went into the Chateau de Frontenac. It was a very beautiful hotel, but bathrooms needed a key card. Free wifi in the hotel is a plus though. In Charlottetown, there wasn't much. You would have to go far to see anything worth noting. In this city we just took a bus to Cow's Creamery and took the free tour. I wish it was longer but I can't complain because it was free. Sydney once again wasn't anything special. We mainly just walked around the downtown. Some of us in the group went to see one of the historic house tours that were scattered close to the terminal, the admission was two CAD per person. I had a great time in Halifax. It was the biggest city on the trip. We visited a nice church, went to the Maritime Museum (sorry I don't remember admission), and went to the Spring Garden. The Spring Garden was one of my favorite places to go, would highly recommend. I just wish the hop on hop off tour was cheaper. $50 just to ride around on a bus with no admission to any of the attractions is a little steep. And finally, we went to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor was a nice quaint town. We took a tour around the island. The tour was Oli's Trolley and admission was forty USD for adults and twenty USD for children under twelve. Our tour was the two and a half hour Acadia National Park tour. The tour stopped for fifteen minutes at the top of Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan's Pond. We would've liked longer stay times at each of the stops, but that is reserved for the four hour tour. We loved the Oli's Trolley Tour, once again would highly recommend. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I will have to say that all of our time off the ship was very enjoyable. We loved every port and the excursions were nice. We rented a car on PEI and I would definitely recommend that. It is ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. I will have to say that all of our time off the ship was very enjoyable. We loved every port and the excursions were nice. We rented a car on PEI and I would definitely recommend that. It is short cab ride to the airport from the dock and this was much less expensive than the excursions and allowed us to see a lot of the coast. The shipboard part of the trip was just not enjoyable. The AC in our room was not operating the entire trip. This was particularly disappointing since we chose this cruise to get away from the summer heat. I have always thought that CC reviews are a little too critical of food service. I found my new low on the Maasdam. The exception was the pinnacle but the MDR food was not very good about half the time and most of the time a good deal of the menu was the same food on the list. I would not sail on this ship again and am pretty well done with.all Carnival owned lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
I'm actually writing with a small tip for seeing Prince Edward Island when docked at Charlottetown, PEI. We rented a 2018 car at the PEI Car Rental agency at 18 Queen St in the Delta Hotel. The price was reasonable, the service quick, ... Read More
I'm actually writing with a small tip for seeing Prince Edward Island when docked at Charlottetown, PEI. We rented a 2018 car at the PEI Car Rental agency at 18 Queen St in the Delta Hotel. The price was reasonable, the service quick, the car just fine. I recommend them. We were given a free map and directions. They take credit cards. The island is small and in an hour you can be at PEI National Park on the north coast. The dunes and beaches are beautiful. The cruise itself was lovely and relaxing. We boarded in Montreal, having flown from BOS and left the car in a park, sleep & fly. Taxi from Montreal airport to the cruise dock was easy. There is a flat fee -- make sure you're getting that rate. Holland American takes good care of you. They do not overbook their ship and therefore there was never any waiting for meals (even though we hadn't reserved a table) or for elevators. There was room in the hot tubs. There were plenty of deck chairs available. There were never any lines for getting on or off the ship. Things are handled very well. We needed a getaway and this was wonderful! Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We had a lovely time with the ship being clean and having a very friendly staff. If there were 1258 on board we maybe saw 300. I was alone most mornings walking up to the gym and we rarely waited in line to get food at the Lido. I think ... Read More
We had a lovely time with the ship being clean and having a very friendly staff. If there were 1258 on board we maybe saw 300. I was alone most mornings walking up to the gym and we rarely waited in line to get food at the Lido. I think the longest line was for omelets for breakfast and getting off the ship one day because we arrived an hour later than planned. This was our first time on HAL (3 prior RC cruises) and we were pleased with the size of our ocean view stateroom. We saved a lot of money by choosing that vs veranda room. It was cold out (for us who live in CA) and other than opening the doors for a breeze, it would have been too cold (or rainly a couple days) to even sit out there. There was more than enough closet and drawer space in the bathroom and throughout the cabin. Two large drawers next to each side of the bed, big six drawer one at the main dresser/desk area and one next to the sofa with two drawers. There are two large ones when you walk in with lots of hangars and one with shelves. HOTTEST WATER EVER in the bathroom sink so be careful there. Seriously, boiling if you don’t watch it. We are not big foodies and thought the food was decent. It wasn’t the greatest variety but of course, had the basics and you won’t go hungry. We only ate at the Lido and main dining room—I wore black slacks and a sweater, my husband, cords and button-down plaid shirt and we were fine. I saw one man in a tux the entire time and a few suits but other than that rather casual. No one cares…I’m all about comfort but to each their own. There was also a daily taco bar next to the Dive In burger place—we never tried a burger but the tacos were self-serve and ok. I did not expect us to go to the entertainment 4 out of the 7 nights---they were just that, entertaining, and the best part only 45 minutes long. You can only see so many dance routines and songs without getting bored. The sound, quality, and talent were great. There was a comedian one night which was great to escape and laugh. We went to the casino a couple nights for fun but the cigar smoke was awful. The lounges were throughout and never crowded. I also did the Slot Tournament and somehow won! It truly was a game of luck and how fast you can click the buttons---think Whack-A-Mole, ha! $20 buy in and I won $320 so never expected to take money OFF the ship. There was art work and jewelry to purchase but not my thing… We did out laundry after four days which was perfect—no lines--$2.00 to wash and $1.00 to dry and they even provided liquid soap. There was also an iron and board there. (Photo attached) Regarding the ports: Bar Harbor was fun to walk around the downtown and the shoreline path, but due to weather, we didn’t even go to Acadia –which was unfortunate. Halifax was probably my favorite, we walked but if you aren’t into walking then I’d take a cab to the Citadel and see it and the Tower Clock, then walk over a few blocks to the beautiful Public Gardens. Lovely! Think mini Central Park! We then walked back to the ship, ate a quick lunch and went on a 1:30 tour to Peggy’s Cove which I loved! BRING A JACKET---I thankfully did and my gloves (again I’m always cold from CA) but it’s one of the best lighthouse views I’ve seen. The Titanic Gravesites were also worth visiting. Very humbling. Not much to do in Sydney, but the big Fiddle and waterfront boardwalk was nice. We walked to see some of the historical landmarks, all within walking distance and there’s an easy map that you’d see. Prince Edward Island –again, we walked but if I did again, I’d take a taxi to City Hall (we didn’t do the tour but the gal was nice enough to let us go to the second floor to see the chambers—where the Confederation was signed/happened) which was cool. We then thought we’d walk to the nearby Lighthouse—nice boardwalk but it was A LOT further than what the map depicted so we turned around (due to time as well). We went on the lighthouse and cellar excursion and that was great—saw two lighthouses and ended with a stop at a winery. It was a perfect afternoon off the ship. The best part is that you could buy a bottle of wine and bring it back on board without the $18 corkage fee. The wine is nice, not the greatest, but worth it ---I think the most expensive bottle was $23. Quebec was delightful! If you haven’t been to Paris then I recommend Quebec! A small French town that is like a mini Paris. Gotta run but hope this has been helpful to you. Enjoy, the Maasdam! Read Less
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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