Number of Cruises: n/a
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: n/a
Ship Review: Maasdam (Holland America)
My husband and I have sailed on the HAL Maasdam twice in the past 2 years and have plans to take it again next April ('98) (Panama Canal).
It is one of my favorite ships. Very elegant with magnificent artwork and antiques. The furnishings and decor are of fine taste - not garish as some ships are.
The help are Indonesians and Filipinos and are the most charming and helpful and cheerful people. One young man in particular who gave out the trays at the Lido buffet would memorize the names of every passenger and greet you by your first name as you approached. One time I was looking for my husband and when I got to the buffet, Sonny announced to me that Harold was sitting with Judy & Milton and looking for me.
The cabins on the Maasdam are unusually large - whether inside or outside. They have two beds which can be put together for a King size if necessary. Each cabin has lots of closet space and a curtain can be drawn between the sleeping area and the sitting area. There is a sofa and a desk and each day the bowl of fruit is replenished. There are hairdryers in the bathroom and there are laundromats on each deck.
The dining room is exquisite with beautiful chandeliers and it is bi-level with staircase coming down on each side. No matter where you sit there is a good view of the windows. The food is excellent and the servers are most charming and humorous.
The staff gives a wonderful performance in the lounge one night with native dances and songs which are great. If you are too tired to stay up you can watch it on the TV in your cabin. Also, one station is a view of the prow so that even in an inside cabin you can see what is doing outside.
Every spot on the ship is exceedingly clean. There is a lovely movie theatre (also used for lectures and religious services) very comfortable seats and a popcorn machine outside. Fairly recent movies are shown.
The entertainment is probably one of the best professional shows I have encountered in 25 years of cruising. Always a wonderful group of singers and dancers and then comedians, jugglers, various types of musicians, etc. The of course one night is the passenger talent show (in which I always participate)
There are many activities all the time. Quiz games, Pictionary, Scrabble, bridge, golf, Trivial Pursuit, etc. with prizes for all.
The ports chosen are of great interest and some of the tours are excellent. On our trip to the Black Sea we went to Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Greece, etc. and it was fascinating.
This year we took the Trans-Atlantic and only made one stop (Bermuda) and just had a wonderful sail to Lisbon - where we were given a 3 hour tour (wonderful place) and then a one day stay at the Meridien Park Atlantic Hotel. It made us want to visit Lisbon some time again.
There are about 4 gift shops aboard with the usual ship-type products. This year, because they eliminated one port (Azores) we were given $200 shipboard credit per person so we had a ball, as did all the passengers, buying things we would never have bought if we had to pay REAL money.
There is a nice gambling casino for those who indulge.
They have one lounge where chamber music is played every evening by a wonderful Philippine group.
In general, I believe it is a wonderful ship. Most of the passengers are in the above 60 age group and there are facilities for the handicapped which draws handicapped people to sail.
However, there were some young families and children which of course livened up the activities. The outdoor pool has a retractable dome so that it can be used in bad weather. Also, on that same Lido deck, they have "stir fry" and "hot dog" stations so that if you want to have this instead of the buffet or dining room, you can really have great variety.
Before I forget - there is also an ice-cream bar where you add your own "fixings" which is just devastating!!!
There is no pressure to order drinks but for those who like it, there are many bars.
Hope this gives you a good picture of one of my favorite ships.