Maasdam Cruise Review by MOLLY&CHARLIE
- Sail Date: September 2017
- Destination: South Pacific
- Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
Embarkation and disembarkation:
We arrived at the dock at around 11.30 a.m. and we were in our cabin within 20 minutes which was just incredible. Everything was so smooth and organised thanks to completion of all documentation on line prior to the cruise. Service was smooth and efficient and we were not entitled to any priority boarding. Disembarkation was equally smooth – we expected a bun fight to get off the ship, but again this was extremely well organised and we were through customs and immigration and onto our coach to the Airport for transfers within 30 minutes. Could not fault any of it.
We were in Stateroom 063 a vista suite on the Navigation deck. The cabin was clean and comfortable and had lots of storage in two double sized wardrobes with dozens of hangers, 13 good sized drawers (including two each side of the bed) and two shelves as well as a dressing table and fridge which was set up as a mini-bar. The balcony was a good size and the stateroom felt spacious and we did not feel crowded at any time. We do not usually have room service for breakfast or any other meals so cannot comment on that but our steward was one of the best we have ever had. We were just to the rear of the Aft elevators and we had no noise whatsoever from any quarter. The cabin was very convenient for the Seaview pool and deck and just one flight of stairs from the Lido deck so very close to most things. Our bathroom was cosy with just one vanity with two small shelves on the wall and a large shelf underneath that ran all the way along so plenty of space for all your toiletries. The bath was quite deep with a good shower overhead and there were plenty of grab rails and a non-slip mat for inside the bath so there is little chance of slipping if you take usual care. Toiletries were Elemis in dispenser bottles. Shampoo, Shower Gel and Condition in the bath area and body lotion and tissues on the vanity.
We took the unlimited laundry package at just $7.00 per day and found it to be excellent value and great service. I put the laundry on the bed each evening as we went out to dinner and it was all back freshly laundered (and nicely folded or on hangers depending on the garment) by lunch time the next day. We had no problems with anything being damaged or buttons missing etc. Just great service
We just loved this grand old lady. Yes, she is showing signs of age around the outside with some rust spots in places, but she is extremely well maintained and the interior is just beautiful understated elegance. We saw no evidence of leaks or problems at all and would not hesitate to sail on her again.
We tool the Signature Beverage package and by pre-cooking prior to boarding this cost us $45.00 per day for each of us. This package now included all the “Quench” package items as well so all soft drinks, bottled waters, Pellegrino sparkling water, mocktails, Explorations Café Coffees etc as well as 15 alcoholic drinks so superb value. We didn’t do anything like the 15 but still felt we had value for money. A couple of beers in the afternoon, cocktail before dinner, wine with dinner and a few drinks in the Piano Bar after the show and it soon mounts up. We got our water, sparkling water and any other soft drinks in the Lido Bar before going back to our cabin to shower and change for dinner. (We asked our steward to arrange for our mini bar fridge to be emptied so we had lots of space for everything we took back – you need to be organised and make the most of y our package) The limit on drinks is up to $9.00 which covered just about everything, including a good choice of wines by the glass and brandies and good quality spirits. Unless you want 5 star cognac and obscure single malts it is more than adequate and certainly covered our needs without any problems. If you don’t want to take the beverage package there are lots of Happy Hours to take advantage of (these are not included on the package). There is Happy Hour each afternoon from 4 until 5 in the Ocean Bar and also the Crow’s Nest. You buy one drink at standard price and get a second of the same drink for just $2.00. This deal is offered again in the Crow’s Nest each evening from 9 p.m. until 10.00 p.m. At 5 p.m. each afternoon there is also Sip and Savour which includes the appetisers of the day and a glass of wine for just $4.00 and then at 6 p.m.in the Mix Martini Bar there are $4.00 Martinis until 7 p.m. In addition there are often drinks of the day around the Lido Pool at discounted prices from 2 until 5 in the afternoons. We thought that in general the drinks prices were very reasonable whether you chose to take a package or not.
The food in general was excellent and some of the best we have had on any cruise. We had breakfast in the Lido Market each morning and if you time it right (might need to check it out over a couple of days) you can avoid any queues an get your eggs fresh without a wait. We usually just snack at lunch time so always had plenty of choice in the Lido with their wide range of sandwiches, cheeses, sushi etc as well as a fully cooked lunch. Great desserts and ice creams too. My husband had a couple of burgers from the Dive-In and he said they were really good – they were certainly fresh and looked appetising as he brought them to the table.
We ate in the MDR each evening on Any Time dining rather than fixed sittings. We usually went to dinner around 8 p.m. and there was never a wait. Sometimes we had a table for two and at other times we chose to share with others. The service was always excellent with an average dining time of around 1 hour 15 minutes. The food was hot and fresh, the menus varied and interesting with a different one each night of the 23 nights on board. There were 4 Gala Evenings during our cruise and the Gala Dinners were great. Some individual items were repeated throughout the cruise but no two menus were the same so always lots of choice. Usually we eat in the Pinnacle Grill and Canaletto a couple of times during a cruise but we just didn’t feel we needed to. We had great steaks, beautifully cooked fish, Alaskan Crab and Lobster tails on top of a filet mignon in the MDR so didn’t feel we needed to pay extra for anything. There were two Cellar Master’s Dinners and two Evenings of Le Cirque in the Pinnacle on this cruise and all seemed to be well attended.
Bars & Nightclub
There are a few bars to choose from with the Ocean Bar and the Mix being the most popular. The Ocean Trio were great and played good music for dancing each evening. The Mix hosted Trivia from 7 until 7.30 and was always busy following on from the $4 Martini Specials. The Piano Bar usually got lively after 9 p.m. and played on until around midnight of just after. Always good entertainment.
The Crow’s Nest was really good when the Band were playing and Karen, the vocalist, was exceptional and took the time to wander around during their break between 10 and 10.30 to ask for any requests etc. Unfortunately on our cruise no-one seems to stay around up in the Crow’s Nest much after 11.00 or so which was a shame considering how good the group were.
Shows & Presentations
The shows were excellent and offered a great variety. From very interesting talks and presentations in the afternoons to full on shows in the evenings. The Maasdam Singers & Dancers were really good and their shows were always very entertaining. Others included singers, musicians, comedians, impressionists etc. so lots of variety to suit all tastes. We are not into classical music but the musicians in Adagio each evening were always well supported and the area was mostly full as we passed by each evening. Those we talked to who loved their music said how good they were.
We absolutely loved our cruise – we loved all the sea days especially which is why we chose this particular one. Our port days, though few, were very enjoyable. Particularly Samoa and Dravuni Island in Fiji. We thought it was a very good itinerary overall and we will most certainly consider this cruise again. Just hope HAL doesn’t go into building big cruise ships. The Maasdam was wonderful and very easy to get around. Everything was convenient, it never felt crowded and there was always a comfy chair or a sun lounger available whenever you wanted one. Excellent service, great value for money, wonderful cruise. Nothing more to be said.
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