- Pro: Intimate atmosphere pairs well with unique itineraries
- Con: Shows signs of age in some areas
- Bottom Line: Excellent value for those who prefer a mid-sized ship
HAL has a reputation for relatively spacious cabins, and Maasdam bears this out. There are efficiently arranged and relatively spacious standard cabins at 197 square feet (outside) and 182 square feet (inside). For a touch more space, a typical Verandah Suite (292 square feet) is plenty roomy for a family of three, with ample closet space. Closets hold extra blankets, some wood and a few satin-wrapped hangers, and a personal safe (along with life jackets).
The Deluxe Verandah Suites clock in at 556 square feet. And then there's the ultra-deluxe Penthouse Verandah Suite, at 1,159 square feet. A half dozen cabins can accommodate passengers with disabilities.
While the spring 2011 multi-week drydock updates included new carpeting, premium Sealy mattresses, bed linens, towels, and new vanities and cabinets in the bathrooms for all cabins, HAL also created two new kinds of cabins on the Maasdam:
Sixteen cabins -- in the previous Verandah Suite, Outside and Inside categories and located near the Greenhouse Spa -- were converted into Spa Staterooms. Touches include a yoga mat, a small, trickling water fountain on the counter near the bed, special room-service menus and even up-market bathrobes.
And 29 197-square-foot Lanai cabins were added to Maasdam during the re-fit. These cabins are on the Lower Promenade deck and feature sliding glass doors onto that (public) round-the-ship walkway. (The doors feature a mirrored coating that preserves the cabins' privacy.) Deck chairs outside these cabins are reserved for their occupants.
Cabin decor throughout the ship is understated: framed nautical maps, light wood and neutral color schemes, variable lighting. Inside cabins have a trompe l'oeil lighting effect -- a light behind a curtain where there might otherwise be a window -- a nice try.
Beds in non-suite accommodations configure to two twins or one queen. Suites have king beds and a convertible sofa bed that makes a comfortable additional single. There are DVD players and flat-screen televisions running movies, vintage sitcoms (Green Acres, Gilligan's Island), documentaries, navigational stats and endless re-runs of shows of the cruise ship videos.
In-room fridges are filled with a variety of beverages -- you take it, you buy it. Alas, the complimentary in-cabin fruit basket has given way to a card on which to mark your order for the fruit you might like to have.
Verandahs have a padded chaise, a faux rattan chair, and a table just large enough for a drink or a magazine, but probably not both. Deluxe Verandah Suites on Deck 10 have double-wide verandahs (two chaise lounges plus a table with four chairs), and the rooms themselves feature modern curved sofas, glass-topped coffee tables, a bathroom with a separate vanity area, granite bars and marble floors. Guests in Deluxe Verandah Suites and the Penthouse Suite enjoy use of the exclusive Neptune Lounge, featuring a coffee/cappuccino machine and cold beverages, hors d'oeuvres and sweets throughout the day, as well as wing chairs, a substantial table for dining or game playing, a large fresh flower arrangement, and its own library of premium art.
Bathrooms in all cabins have tubs with showers, except inside cabins, which have showers only. Toiletries include shampoo, conditioner, two kinds of soap, shower gel and body lotion. The brand is "Elementi," the same citrusy/herbal line used in the ship's spa. There are retractable clotheslines in the bathtubs (handy for drying swimsuits) and in-bathroom hair dryer, plus a second hair dryer near the desk/vanity in the suites.
Dry cleaning and laundry service are available for a fee (complimentary for guests in Deluxe Verandah Suites), and there are two onboard laundry facilities (with irons/ironing boards) if you decide you need to do a small load or two to get you through.
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