We are not "Career Cruises." Age, for both; mid 60's. Both in reasonable shape with no physical problems. Flew into Montreal from Raleigh, NC, (RDU) the night before and stayed at the Lord Berri Hotel, close to the terminal. Hotel was functional, somewhat like a Holiday Inn. I would recommend it. Cab fare from airport was $40.00 CAD. Embarkation was quick and easy. Had cabin #523 on main deck. Wife liked the tub/shower. Those with mobility issues may not be able to negotiate the 23" step up over the side of the tub. Yes, I measured it. The cabin was fine; clean and a full size ocean view. Bring a power strip or multi-outlet extension cord(s) if you have chargers, CPAP or other appliances. Hair dryer in the cabin. One minor complaint: The TV was set back from the edge of the shelf and secured, making the use of the remote a chore since you had to raise it up high to clear the edge of the shelf. Service was great and the stewards took care of everything. Had a minor plumbing leak around the sink faucet. A call to the front desk brought rapid repair and a "sorry" letter. This ship is 22 years old, older than most but in amazingly fine condition. The maintenance is ongoing and it is clean, bright and shining. Deck 5 was quiet all the time. Unlike the other "Fun Ships," there were no drunks or kids running up and down the passageways at all hours. Even though you were allowed to smoke in the cabins, I did not smell any tobacco smoke inside the ship. THAT WAS GREAT!!! This includes the Casino, which I did go to every night. Now if you are searching for fun and excitement on board, this cruise is not for you! As our sons would say, "Mom and Dad, you are cruising with the Blue Hairs." That's OK with us. I am aware that Carnival owns Holland America, but this is not a Carnival type ship. More class and less noise! Food was great. The last night, I did not see anything that interested me and asked if I could have a steak. No problem; got it RARE the way I like it. All staff were helpful, courteous and smiling. I did not meet one sourpuss. Entertainment was average for a cruise ship. There was 2 "dress up" nights which is a pain to pack a suit, but I did. The second night, I wore the suit with a black t-shirt under. Looked fine and passed the test. The rest of the time it was smart casual. Translation: No holy jeans and no t-shirts. Sport shirt and slacks are fine. Lido deck for quick dining if you have a shore excursion. Food is fine there too. Lots of choices, Asian, Italian, sandwiches, salads, even scooped ice cream with waffle cones! MONEY-SAVING TIPS: Book your shore excursions on line at least a week before you leave. You will save at least half over the ship booked excursions. Use a travel service like Trip Adviser and read the reviews. It does not guarantee a perfect experience but it will be at least as good as the ship trips for a lot less money. Use Cruise Critic to hook up with other passengers to fill out a tour. That's what we did and had a lot of fun and made new friends. Buy a couple of six packs of sodas B4 you board if you are a soda drinker. We drank mostly iced tea (you have to ask for it) and a few sodas we brought aboard. The beer is not that costly and that is what I drink. Cocktails are pretty pricey. Disembarkation: Pretty simple and efficient. Made the mistake of buying 2- $30.00 (US) transfer tickets from the ship to Logan airport in Boston. Could have done a cab for less but did not know how far the airport was from the terminal. Another Cruise ship "excursion gotchas." SUMMARY: You go on this cruise to relax and see the sights, not to party. This is an older, retired group of cruisers. I have seen some who rate this ship as only average. I don't agree. The Maasdam is indeed older but it has class. No rock climbing walls or water slides. A nice indoor/outdoor pool and hot tubs were just fine with us. The ship is clean, efficient and comfortable. A final note: We missed Bar Harbor. This is one port you have to go in by tender. The Maasdam was just starting to ready the tenders when the Captain came on the PA to cancel our call to Bar Harbor due to deteriorating weather conditions. We looked outside and it was sunny with high clouds, very calm. In a matter of 20 minutes, that changed. The wind came up and so did the seas. Sun went in and it got very cool It was a good chance we may not have been able to get back to the ship. The Captain made the right call. And I respect him and Holland America for that decision. I am ex Coast Guard and have seen this happen before with fatal results.

Best of Seven Cruises We Have Taken

Maasdam Cruise Review by corvetteatthelake

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We are not "Career Cruises." Age, for both; mid 60's. Both in reasonable shape with no physical problems. Flew into Montreal from Raleigh, NC, (RDU) the night before and stayed at the Lord Berri Hotel, close to the terminal. Hotel was functional, somewhat like a Holiday Inn. I would recommend it. Cab fare from airport was $40.00 CAD. Embarkation was quick and easy. Had cabin #523 on main deck. Wife liked the tub/shower. Those with mobility issues may not be able to negotiate the 23" step up over the side of the tub. Yes, I measured it. The cabin was fine; clean and a full size ocean view. Bring a power strip or multi-outlet extension cord(s) if you have chargers, CPAP or other appliances. Hair dryer in the cabin. One minor complaint: The TV was set back from the edge of the shelf and secured, making the use of the remote a chore since you had to raise it up high to clear the edge of the shelf. Service was great and the stewards took care of everything. Had a minor plumbing leak around the sink faucet. A call to the front desk brought rapid repair and a "sorry" letter.

This ship is 22 years old, older than most but in amazingly fine condition. The maintenance is ongoing and it is clean, bright and shining. Deck 5 was quiet all the time. Unlike the other "Fun Ships," there were no drunks or kids running up and down the passageways at all hours. Even though you were allowed to smoke in the cabins, I did not smell any tobacco smoke inside the ship. THAT WAS GREAT!!! This includes the Casino, which I did go to every night. Now if you are searching for fun and excitement on board, this cruise is not for you! As our sons would say, "Mom and Dad, you are cruising with the Blue Hairs." That's OK with us. I am aware that Carnival owns Holland America, but this is not a Carnival type ship. More class and less noise!

Food was great. The last night, I did not see anything that interested me and asked if I could have a steak. No problem; got it RARE the way I like it. All staff were helpful, courteous and smiling. I did not meet one sourpuss. Entertainment was average for a cruise ship. There was 2 "dress up" nights which is a pain to pack a suit, but I did. The second night, I wore the suit with a black t-shirt under. Looked fine and passed the test. The rest of the time it was smart casual. Translation: No holy jeans and no t-shirts. Sport shirt and slacks are fine. Lido deck for quick dining if you have a shore excursion. Food is fine there too. Lots of choices, Asian, Italian, sandwiches, salads, even scooped ice cream with waffle cones!

MONEY-SAVING TIPS: Book your shore excursions on line at least a week before you leave. You will save at least half over the ship booked excursions. Use a travel service like Trip Adviser and read the reviews. It does not guarantee a perfect experience but it will be at least as good as the ship trips for a lot less money. Use Cruise Critic to hook up with other passengers to fill out a tour. That's what we did and had a lot of fun and made new friends. Buy a couple of six packs of sodas B4 you board if you are a soda drinker. We drank mostly iced tea (you have to ask for it) and a few sodas we brought aboard. The beer is not that costly and that is what I drink. Cocktails are pretty pricey.

Disembarkation: Pretty simple and efficient. Made the mistake of buying 2- $30.00 (US) transfer tickets from the ship to Logan airport in Boston. Could have done a cab for less but did not know how far the airport was from the terminal. Another Cruise ship "excursion gotchas."

SUMMARY: You go on this cruise to relax and see the sights, not to party. This is an older, retired group of cruisers. I have seen some who rate this ship as only average. I don't agree. The Maasdam is indeed older but it has class. No rock climbing walls or water slides. A nice indoor/outdoor pool and hot tubs were just fine with us. The ship is clean, efficient and comfortable. A final note: We missed Bar Harbor. This is one port you have to go in by tender. The Maasdam was just starting to ready the tenders when the Captain came on the PA to cancel our call to Bar Harbor due to deteriorating weather conditions. We looked outside and it was sunny with high clouds, very calm. In a matter of 20 minutes, that changed. The wind came up and so did the seas. Sun went in and it got very cool It was a good chance we may not have been able to get back to the ship. The Captain made the right call. And I respect him and Holland America for that decision. I am ex Coast Guard and have seen this happen before with fatal results.
corvetteatthelake’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Large Ocean-View Stateroom
Cabin E 523
Perfectly adequate if you have unpacked and stowed your suitcases. Kind of cramped if packing or unpacking. Good mood lighting, not enough outlets for chargers, CPAP, etc. Nice size twin his and her closets. 6 wide drawers in dresser and 2 small drawers in each nightstand. OK couch, TV was a pain to use with remote due to height of shelf and set back of TV did not give a clear path for remote signal unless you raised the remote above your head. Bathroom was fine except for a 23" step to get in the tub. Great bath towels, absorbent. EXCELLENT STEWARD SERVICE. THESE GUYS ARE FANTASTIC!! No complaints.
Lower Promenade Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Historical Tour
    Six passenger with driver mini van. We had six and it was a little cramped but manageable. Wonda was great. We rotated seats to give everyone some relief. When sitting in the back, it was hard to hear Wonda. I have a hearing imparment so it was not his fault. Other tour operators use an amplification system. We saw all of the sights we wanted to see and the tour ran over the 5 hour time frame but he did not charge extra. $300 CAD total for a 5+ hour tour for 6 people. It was a good value
    View All 24 Historical Tour Reviews
  • Historic Tour
    This was a 10 passenger van and originally had a full bus. Two of the passengers got sick at the last minute and then there were eight. Paul really knew his way around as he was from Dartmouth. Did the Citadel noon gun, town sights, fort, lunch at an out of the way fishing village with fresh caught Haddock (Great and not expensive) with a private upstairs room. Saw the explosion site and history and Titanic cemetery. Paul was a true professional, had amplification system and instant climate control in the van. Learned a lot on this tour. Recommend Paul.
    View All 19 Historic Tour Reviews
  • City Tour
    Ok tour but QC was Crowded and traffic was dense. Made the mistake of drinking too much coffee beforehand then got on the bus. After making it to the back of the bus to the"restroom," the driver informed the passengers that the facility was not operational. Oh, well. Too late. Other than that, the tour was fine.
    View All 46 City Tour Reviews
  • Sydney (Nova Scotia)
    All I can say is the town was nice and had a gigantic fiddle at the dock. I had to go ashore to change over some money. Did that and came back to the ship. Nothing to see/do here, folks.
    View All 176 Sydney (Nova Scotia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Sydney (Nova Scotia) Cruise Port Review