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James Sheen

Age: 57

Occupation:Aircraft Technician

Number of Cruises: n/a

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Maasdam

Sailing Date: September 30th, 2001

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was our honeymoon cruise. We chose Holland America because we had heard many good things about their staff and service. On these points we were not disappointed. The service and food were truly excellent. We had been upgraded from a mini suite to a suite and were stunned by the space in the suite. The room was spotless and despite rarely seeing our room steward things were kept neat and tidy at all times. One thing we did not like was having to telephone the front desk when we needed our steward, There should have been a room buzzer. We had pre-ordered the "just for us" honeymoon package but it had been delivered to the wrong stateroom. Within 2 hours we had champagne, roses and chocolates delivered by smiling attendants. The Maasdam is lacking in the following areas: Poor sight lines in the Rembrandt theatre, regardless where one sat. Either our sight was hampered by the person in front or guard rails. Forgettable shows and ordinary acts. Most singers had difficulty finding the right notes. There was little in the way of stage props or theatre sets. The shopping promenade was rather limited in choice. One shop did not carry more than suntan lotion SPF 15.which is not strong enough to combat the Caribbean sun! Apart from those quibbles the Maasdam is a lovely ship. Well kept, flowers everywhere attractive lounges, pleasant personnel and terrific value for money. Now we come to the excursions! At Grand Cayman we were ripped off in one of the main souvenir shops. For example there are two prices on goods. One in Cayman dollars and one in American. The Cayman prices were far less than the American and yet we were charged the U.S prices which indicated to me that the Cayman dollar was more valuable than the U.S. dollar!! In Ocho Rios the endless pushing for tips by the guides was so very annoying. Surely Holland America could say something about this to the people in charge of excursions. I'll never go there again. Still those irritations did not take away our enjoyment. The weather was simply perfect throughout our trip We are greatly looking forward to our next cruise.

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