Totally unexpected!!!!!: Maasdam Cruise Review by sunnydazebc

Maasdam 5
Member Since 2008

Overall Member Rating

Totally unexpected!!!!!

Sail Date: February 2009
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
At ages 45 and 46, my boyfriend and I did not expect a whole lot from an old smaller cruise ship. We had previously cruised with Sunquest, Royal Caribbean, NCL, and Carnival cruiselines. However, the 14 day Eastern Caribbean itinerary offered by HAL seemed fabulous. As well, we were traveling with my folks who we thought would appreciate the older clientele aboard the Maasdam. We simply anticipated a mediocre hotel stopping at 11 great ports. We couldn't have been more pleasantly surprised!!!!!

What stood out the most - was the service.

We were constantly greeted by the friendly staff. The eye contact and bright smiles were welcoming.

Unlike other cruise experiences, there was never a feeling of intrusiveness. Bar staff were readily available, but never "pushing" for sales. Cabin stewards were friendly and efficient - but seemed to respect and honor privacy. Waiters were prompt, friendly and fun, but refrained from interrupting conversations.

Prior More to the Maasdam, I had never gained weight on any of my previous cruises. But this time, despite the gym, swimming, and fabulous excursions, the food won. Between the savory beef-wellington, prime rib dinners, filet-mignon and steak and seafood dinners, (let alone the desserts), it was tough!!!!

In their defense, the Maasdam did cater to those who may have had more self-discipline. From Cream-of-Wheat or Oatmeal, - to waffles, french toast, and personalized eggs - to boxed cereals - to fruit - to toast, baked goods and pastries - it was all there. And like everything else, consistently served with smiles. And that was just breakfast.

Congruent with the tone throughout all aspect of the experience, there is no "pressure" to be either formal, or casual. Traditional dining opportunities were available in the formal dining room with 4 formal nights throughout the 14 days. However, there was no pressure to use the formal dining room and we opted for the wonderful buffet in the lido deck about as often as not.

As a health-care professional, the Maasdam's commitment to health was outstanding. The dedication to prevention of illness was noticeable throughout the ship - in fact even before boarding. Hand-gel was always readily available. Everything - everywhere (despite the dam's age) was meticulous.

We would not hesitate to sail HAL again. Only next time, we may bring some friends our age along. We were "junior" on the Maasdam - but that's not a bad thing!!! Less

Published 03/16/09

Cabin review: MM Large Interior Stateroom

Great square footage. Lots of cabin space. Clean bathroom. We love the inside dark rooms (great for sleeping). So we hope they never get rid of the inner cabins. And - being on the lower decks allows me to get a little exercise by "doing" the stairs. (Helps counter-act all the amazing food). Incredible value!!!!!

Read All Large Interior Stateroom (MM) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

We definitely would recommend the 5-star catamaran excursion. The price almost stopped us. In fact initially we did prebook on a different excursion, but changed our minds at the last minute and switched. NO regrets!!!!

Fun guides!!!

Great stops!!! The water was divine (swim or snorkel).

Amazing food! Have no idea how they could provide such yummy food aboard the catamaran - but they did!

Worth every bit of the pricey excursion.

Read 1223 Barbados Reviews

The sand at HAL's private beach is unbelievable. And the warmth and color of the water is equally breath-taking. Our only issue was that we had to leave so soon.

Next time we wouldn't bother with booking excursions on this port - but would rather enjoy the water - and maybe rent some water toys.

Read 5024 Nassau Reviews

Beautiful City. Great history! Wondrous old forts!
Read 2952 San Juan Reviews

Beautiful catamaran experience along the coastlines. Didn't get to snorkel due to the weather, but we appreciated the dedication to safety. Great catamaran experience anyway!!

Read 1134 St. Lucia Reviews

We did the beach on the French side of the island. Absolutely divine experience!!!

Beaches are SO beautiful. And - no tan lines. Can it be any better?

Again, fabulous catamaran/snorkeling/swimming. Highly recommend it. The private bar and cabana that we had all to ourselves was a wonderful way to relax after swimming/snorkeling on prior.

Read 1239 Tortola Reviews

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Member Since 2008
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