Maasdam Review

2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Service

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4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Intimate atmosphere pairs well with unique itineraries


Shows signs of age in some areas

Bottom Line

Excellent value for those who prefer a mid-sized ship


Passengers 1,258
Crew 580
Passenger to Crew 2.17:1
Launched 1994/2011
Shore Excursions 725
Robert Jenkins
Cruise Critic Contributor

Maasdam Overview

With its mid-sized capacity and classic styling, Holland America's stately Maasdam is a manageable and pleasant ship. After eighteen years in service, it has succeeded in retaining its youth -- with a major sweep of contemporary updates in both 2006 and the spring of 2011 -- but has resisted the impulse to act like a teenager. As such, the 1,258-passenger Maasdam has retained some of the traditional sensibilities that appeal to its older audience base -- high tea, formal nights, ballroom dancing and displays of antiques -- while adding elements to appeal to younger audiences. Such newer features include two contemporary alternative restaurants, wireless hotspots, three new hip specialty bars and an iPod tour of the aforementioned antiques.

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Indeed, there are some who say hats off to Maasdam for resisting some of the more radical trends of the behemoth ships (no surfing wave simulators or rock-climbing walls here), while stepping ahead on other fronts. Case in point is the ship's state-of-the-art, New York Times-branded Explorations Cafe, a combination library and digital fun room for the over 50 set (think touch-screen interactive maps, over-sized crossword puzzles).

Its latest refurbishment, in April 2011, was part of HAL's $560 million Signature of Excellence initiative focused on modernizing its oldest ships. Along with new carpets, upholstery and soft goods, Maasdam gained three major features: a dinner-only Italian restaurant, two new kinds of cabins, and the Mix Lounge, a three-in-one bar central with each venue offering a specific type of drink and each flowing into the others. The new additions -- especially the alternative restaurant and bar area -- help up Maasdam's "hip factor" without detracting from any of the ship's classic charm.

Fellow Passengers

While Holland America is working to move beyond its reputation as a seniors' line, and Maasdam is one of the fleet's designated family friendly vessels, the average age on the cruise line's 15 vessels is about 57. Shorter itineraries and cruises during school holiday periods tend to attract a higher percentage of younger passengers and families. On Maasdam's non-summer and longer sailings, expect a more typical Holland America devotee -- a more senior crowd that appreciates the line's nod toward cruise traditions.

Holland America Maasdam Dress Code

Two nights in seven are designated as formal nights in the dining room. For the majority of men, this translates as dark suits (there are some tuxes), and for women, the range was from the little black dress to larger, longer, more colorful affairs.

Editor's Note: You can order "formal night" options from the ship in advance, or even buy them from the shops. (They're cheaply made "mother of the bride" looks, but they'll do in a pinch.)

Dress codes apply to kids, too. On formal nights, the girls were adorable in their "fancy" dresses; most boys wore, if not suits, than at least shirts with ties. The rest of the evenings are "smart casual," that conundrum of a description that tends to create more questions than answers but in general means slacks or skirts for women and khakis and polo shirts or button-downs for men. Jeans, tank tops and pool attire are discouraged from public areas.

Holland America Maasdam Gratuity

The automatic tip for passengers staying in interior, oceanview and verandah cabins is $14.50 per person, per day. Passengers in suites will be charged $16 per person, per day.

Holland America Maasdam Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2019 Best for Embarkation
2019 Best for Service
2018 Best for Embarkation
2018 Best for Service
2017 Best Overall
2017 Best for Embarkation
2017 Best for Entertainment
2017 Best for Public Rooms
2017 Best for Service
2017 Best for Shore Excursions
2017 Best for Value
2016 Best Overall
2016 Best for Cabins
2016 Best for Dining
2016 Best for Embarkation
2016 Best for Entertainment
2016 Best for Public Rooms
2016 Best for Service
2016 Best for Value
2015 Best Overall

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A Deck
Main Deck
Lower Promenade Deck
Promenade Deck
Upper Promenade Deck
Verandah Deck
Navigation Deck
Lido Deck
Sports Deck

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Holland America Maasdam Member Reviews

High Range Steve
Sail Date: Jun 2019
Maasdam cruise to Alaska 2019 Positive Experience: Our Holland American Line (HAL) cruise consultant, Amy, was a great help to us in managing our cruise including a cabin upgrade. The ship is...Read More
Sail Date: Jun 2019
because of the itinerary. We were on the ship for 8 weeks starting in San Francisco on June 18. The Maasdam went to a lot of ports in the first 3 weeks. Namely Ketchikan, Sitka, Anchorage, Kodiak, Valdez...Read More
Sail Date: May 2019
understaffing. Overall, however, HAL's signature service was in evidence throughout the ship. The Maasdam is an older ship, but has been well-maintained, and the tasteful refurbishment of the public areas...Read More
Sail Date: Mar 2019
We did a Auckland to Sydney cruise on the Maasdam just prior to Christmas last year. Needed to go to sea again(yes I am getting hooked) and found a great deal for a Brisbane to Auckland via South Pacific...Read More

Holland America Line Fleet