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Gene Schenkel

Age: 40


Number of Cruises: 29

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Maasdam

Sailing Date: June 2nd, 2002

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Now onto the Maasdam. We arrived at the port and sailed thru the embarkation process. Since we were traveling with our baby, I asked one of the HAL reps. if we could board the ship earlier which they graciously did. We were greeted as usual on the ship and escorted to our cabin. We had chosen a large oceanview cabin on the Main deck. Like usual on the other HAL ships we sailed the cabin was large, a queen bed, plenty of closet space and storage, nice picture window and a bath tub, which is great with kids. We really enjoy our cabins on HAL. The Maasdam is not a large ship by today’s standards. Only about 55,000 tons. Since the ship is smaller and has fewer passengers there are virtually no lines encountered and no noise from herds of people. We had plenty of breathing room. The pools and public areas were never crowded. The food in the Dining room was excellent with plenty of choices. The children’s menu was very good. In fact it looked so good with the fried chicken that I even ordered from it. During the day we ate our breakfast and lunch at the Lido which served up a nice buffet. The service in the dining room was very good as usual. The Lido service tended to be a bit rushed but still good. Our cabin steward was excellent and always kept our cabin very clean and tidy. One note to parents with infants. On HAL if your cabin does not come with a refrigerator you can rent one for $2.00 per day. We rented one and it fit nicely on the desk and was out of the way. Although our toddler did not participate in the children’s activities we did talk to other parents and kids that raved about how good the activities were. The kids program is NOT a drop off day care with hundreds of kids. These are well thought out activities and the kids can choose which ones they want to go to. Babysitting is available and arranged with the wonderful Filipino ladies at that front desk. They are they ones who do the actual babysitting which many families utilized and raved about. Although we did not use this service I expect we will use it the next time we cruise on HAL.

The shows on the Maasdam were so so. HAL needs to beef up the entertainment variety. Although what they had was good, they just needed more variety. Plus the shows were family shows without the nudity and foul language that we experienced on CCL.

Our overall cruise experience was great as usual as we have come to expect from HAL and the reason we keep going back. This cruise line is great for passengers who have the ability to appreciate good quality with out all of the glitz and hoopla of the mega ships. Even though we didn't have a climbing wall and ice skating rink and a shopping mall on board. We are creative enough to make our own fun. How nice it was to see kids just playing and having fun. And adults playing cards and games or a game of basketball or volleyball. And believe me...they were having a great time.

Those who think a Holland America cruise is for old people.....think again! Holland has a wide age range on its ships....and all have a great time.

There are two areas that need improvement besides the nightly entertainment. 1. The Lido pool area is very slippery when it get wet and people did slip and be careful. 2. The ships stops in Nassau for only 4 hours. A better time would be had if we had another day at sea instead.

If you want more information or want to comment please email us.

Gene Schenkel

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