Maasdam Cruise Review by CruisingMommyT
- Sail Date: June 2018
- Destination: Canada & New England
- Cabin Type: Large Interior Stateroom
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.
Port & Shore Excursion Reviews
Bar HarborMy husband's favorite port. The Ocean Path is a must do in Bar Harbor. There is a church with Tiffany stained glass windows. I had a lady say she did a tour and was disppointed because they drove BY the church but couldn't go in. We went in and spent some time there. We got such wonderful pictures from the ocean path and from the promenade on floor 6. Be sure to be outside as the ship leaves, too, for even more views and pictures.View All 385 Bar Harbor Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Bar Harbor Cruise Port Review
Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)Charlottetown was a lovely town and we enjoyed walking around here. A lot of the things people do are away from town, but you can spend most of your time in the town. I noticed that lots of people were wearing PEI shirts afterward.View All 156 Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island) Cruise Port Review
HalifaxThe waterfront was incredible and we walked the whole boardwalk. The Public Gardens are beautiful. It's a really neat town with lots to see as you walk.View All 648 Halifax Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Halifax Cruise Port Review
MontrealOld Town was beautiful. We stayed in the Embassy Suites in Old Town. Great location close to the basilica. Took a self guided walking tour and explored for several hours at night, in the morning and afternoon after checking in at the ship. There's lot of history and beautiful architecture. People speak French but everyone I talked to spoke English, too. The waterfront is a great place to go, too. I could have spent several days here.View All 62 Montreal Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Montreal Cruise Port Review
Quebec CityQuebec City was incredible! Be prepared to walk, A LOT! And, be prepared for hundreds and hundreds of stairs! I love to walk, and wow, did I walk a lot - like 14 miles! It's a lovely town, reminding me of a place in Europe. There's lot of interesting history, and are many churches and old buildings to see. I had found a self guided walking tour in Frommer's, and did that, twice - once with my husband and once with my son. If you have to choose between the two, I'd choose upper town over lower, but did get to see both.View All 231 Quebec City Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Quebec City Cruise Port Review
Sydney (Nova Scotia)We did enjoy Sydney, but it was our least favorite. People there were very friendly.View All 108 Sydney (Nova Scotia) Cruise Port Reviews
View Cruise Critic's Sydney (Nova Scotia) Cruise Port Review