Find a Cruise

GARRY ASHBY

Age: 69

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: >24

Cruise Line: Holland America

Ship: Maasdam

Sailing Date: 2014-04-7

Itinerary: Brazil

We joined a 49 day cruise mid-way in Rio for its remaining 26 days. We experienced great food, an interesting itinerary, and outstanding service. We have been on more than a dozen HAL cruises and the quality of the CREWS is what brings us back, time and again. We enjoyed all our other cruise line experiences (except Norweigan) but there seems to be a special attitude aboard HAL ships. Overall our cruise was most enjoyable with the highlight being the 1149 mile journey up the Amazon to Manaus.

We dined most evenings in the main dining room. The food was well prepared, presented nicely, and served hot. The wine selection was very good, widely varied, and reasonable. The menu offered good variety and our Vegan companion was able to fine suitable selections.

The Lido buffet was well organized and gave both appealing food and prompt service.

We always select a veranda stateroom. It would seem that they are mostly all the same. Serviceable, clean, and extremely well maintained. Our veranda was a bit of a disappointment due to a considerable amount of rust and corrosion. This was a first for us in that all previous ships had been impeccably maintained both in and out. This small bit of annoyance did not detract from our ability to spend many enjoyable hours on the veranda, drinks in hand, enjoying the Amazon shoreline.

I commented that the Maasdam what a little like an aging star (on the outside) with a run in her stocking and a flaw in her make-up here and there. Inside, the ship was flawless, fully upholding HAL's fine tradition.

We enjoyed many activities such as Bingo, Culinary Center presentations, and "Mixology" classes. The cruise staff, under the direction of Carlos, was excellent. Stephanae ran many of the events we attended and was simply a delight.

Evening entertainment was very good with a wide variety of talented performers. We, and many others, were particularly impressed with Michael, the director and pianist of the ship's orchestra. He was the absolute foundation of all performances.

Whatever South American itinerary you may choose, do not miss the Amazon ! The entire 8 day river sojourn was remarkable.

Our 26 day cruise was relaxing, most interesting, and very enjoyable. About two-thirds of the passengers were about halfway though their cruise of 49 days when we joined the ship in Rio. This seemed to "dull" the beginning-of-cruise excitement we usually experience. In deed, most of those we encountered were somewhat subdued by their journey thus far. I plan to avoid joining subsequent cruises mid-way in the future.

Overall we were very pleased with the service levels, attention to detail, and great value of this cruise.

Was this review helpful?

Yes No Email this review to a friend
 

Ask questions and get advice from other cruisers on our popular discussion board,