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Age: 55

Occupation:business professional

Number of Cruises: 13

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Maasdam

Sailing Date: 2009-07-24

Itinerary: Boston - Boston

Holland America did a good job on this cruise. The stops were excellent with two exceptions. Two of them were villages of only a few hundred people and there were no tours, cars, buses to get out to see anything. In Edenborough Scottland the boat was docked about 20 miles from town and the boat furnished a free shuttle back and forth to town. That service was appreciated and I would like to see more lines do this when they are parked a long way from the main attractions.

The staff were friendly and very helpful. They went out of their way to make sure that things were satisfactory for us passengers. We had a group of early risers that met in the crows nest to watch the sunrise each morning. When we asked for them to provide some hot coffee they did it without question and each morning there was a dispenser full of hot java.

The entertainment was hit or miss. 3 of the 4 commedians were not worth watching (very poor and I am surprised they can make a living at this). I thought one of them was going to walk off stage because of the poor reaction from the audience. The stage shows were very good (singers and dancers). The rest of the performers were just OK for the most part. They did have 4 male singers that brought the house down the two nights they were on. The theater seating is very poor; small benches behind taller chairs. I can't beleve they built a theater like that (on one level with differing size seating). The chairs were very uncomfortable also. By the end of an hour performance you were happy to get up and move on.

The ship is somewhat worn in places but made a plesant atmosphere.

The food was overall very good. The dining room always had something that made us happy at night. If the regular menu didn't fit your needs they always had a steak, chicken or salmon that could be ordered. The Lido Buffet always had a wide variety of food both hot and cold. The fruit was exceptional (based on other cruise experience). My only complaint was the people working on the food line were sometimes understaffed and they often gave you different food than you asked for (you could not get your own food, they put it on the plates). They had two older guys working the food line that had been doing this job for too long and their desire to do a good job has long sence gone away.

The stateroom was very adequate. The shower was larger than most boats have. Mostly standard stuff. My only complaint was that we had to ask the steward to change the bedding after about a week. They claimed they changed it every 3 days but put a mark on the side of the sheet and after a week the same one was there. The guys put on a good face but did the minimum they could get by with. That being said, I think the cruise line has them working more cabins now than in the past and I think the workers are finding ways to cut corners.

The onboard activities were very poor! They often put on lectures or activities that everyone wanted to attend at times when it was impossible to be there. As an example, they had a great film on Icebergs but it started 30 minutes before the first seating for dinner. We only got to watch 15 minutes before we had to leave. Music around the ship was lacking. The piano player was stuck in a very small lounge and was seen only by a small number of heavy drinkers that made the nightly sing along. The stringed group was very good and had good visability.

On days at sea the movie theater sat empty much of the day. It would have been nice to have a movie playing. The movies they played were usually recent productions and they had a good variety in the theater and on TV (Better than on any other cruise I have been on).

Overall, I have seen much better activities on other cruises.

Excursions were high priced but generally had good things to do and see.

Overall a good cruise! The croud was older than most cruises we have been on. We had one 98 Year Old Lady who was traveling on her own and got around better than many in their 70's. The ports wer fantastic. The staff generally did their best to make sure we had a good time. The Captain made extra effort to get us close to things we wanted to see and do and was often available to talk with the passengers. During the voyage, when the Captain could, he slowed down and gave everyone time to enjoy sites as we passed them.

My biggest complaint about the ship was the Theater which had very poor views from uncomfortable chairs.

The second complaint I would offer, is about smoking. They allowed people to smoke in one section of the "Crows Nest". You all know the problem and have experienced the smoke drifting around the room for everyone to inhale. This was discusting and left the room smelling even when people were not smoking. If given the option I will always choose a cruise which makes people smoke in places that will not be shared by anyone who choses not to join in. There is no reason for everyone to have to be exposed to smoke in a very public room such as the Crows Nest!!!!!

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