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  Cruise Ship Reviews : Holland America Line (HAL) Reviews

HAL Maasdam reviews

HAL Maasdam reviews

Average customer rating:
     4.05 / 5

Average Rating based on 8 Reviews:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 4.004.00
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 4.504.50
EntertainmentEntertainment = 3.883.88
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 4.504.50
Food QualityFood Quality = 3.883.88
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 3.753.75
SpaSpa = 3.673.67
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 4.504.50
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 4.134.13

HAL Maasdam itineraries and information

fcristiani saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 33
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 22
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Ship is a little "worn", but it was still a good cruise., October 9, 2014
Reviewer: fcristiani

Pros: Entertainment. Cabin attendant service.

Cons: Breakfast room service, embarkation mariner's lunch, Sydney port.

Date of cruise: September 27, 2014

Departure port: Boston

Region visited: Canada/New England

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 147

Good ship, but a little "worn"-- needs updating. In-room food quality was unacceptable -- cold. Coffee was really poor -- weak and lukewarm.

Entertainment was great. Room attendant service was excellent. Internet is a joke -- very slow and extremely expensive.

Ports were good, except for Sydney, what a waste. Food in the main dining room and the Lido was good, except for the embarkation luncheon for return guests -- poor food quality and even worse service. Rest of the trip was fine.

robuz3 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 33
First HAL cruise since 1978 -- I can wait another 34 years., August 19, 2012
Reviewer: robuz3

Pros: Ship very polished and clean, Lido staff friendly and helpful, ship size great!

Cons: Wait staff in D.R. overworked so dinner became a 2+ hour affair.

Departure port: Boston, Massachusetts

Region visited: Transoceanic

Cabin category: Inside

Cabin number: 784

We took the 35-day Voyage of the Vikings that HAL does once a year, sailing RT Boston to Newfoundland and Labrador, Iceland, Greenland, Holland, Ireland, England, Norway, Faroe Islands. We chose this sailing for the ports and were not disappointed.

The ship is immaculate, captain the most personable and competent of any of our almost 40 cruises. Liked the size of the ship, the string quartet, the Halcats Orchestra, the wonderful singers onboard, the entertainers brought on for several shows were great, food was good.

Service was just okay -- maitre d's helped by serving and clearing during dinner, front desk not too helpful regarding services in upcoming ports, i.e. internet, public transit, banking and the like. I felt that if HA couldn't sell you their product (excursion, money exchange, internet plans, they told you that they did not know what was available. I have never had that poor service on other cruise lines and feel that it is a corporate decision and not that all were ignorant of what was available, even allowing for the once yearly itinerary. The Explorations speakers were very interesting and informative.

Was not too happy with the repeat of several shows...would have been okay with that if it were advertised as a 17- or 18-day back-to-back cruise experience, but it is sold as a 35-day package.

I would cruise with HA again if the itinerary were to my liking, but would no longer consider the cruise line as superb in service, dining, entertainment, etc. The young people who worked the Lido were exceptionally friendly and always smiling and helpful. The split of tips 70-30 is, I think, unfair to those who actually serve the guests. It was explained that 70 percent of the gratuity charge goes to the room stewards, dining staff, etc. and the remaing 30 percent is given to the behind the scenes workers in the laundry, kitchen staff, etc. When I eat at a restaurant, my tip goes to the server -- the management pays the salaries of the others. I do not know if this is the policy industry wide.

lellislcsw saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 33
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Best cruise ever! Lovely ship, service and ports of call., June 10, 2012
Reviewer: lellislcsw

Pros: The Maasdam is small enough to feel cozy, large enough to feel private.

Cons: Better onboard activities would have been nice.

Departure port: Montreal

Region visited: Canada/New England

Cabin category: Balcony

Good for teenagers: No

I sailed on the Maasdam to Alaska in 2006 and was unimpressed to say the least. It (she) has been refurbished since then. We sailed on her again in May-June 2012 to Canada and New England and the difference is remarkable! It is a nice-sized cruise ship - not so large you feel like you're spending most of your time walking from your room to the dining rooms. We never felt smothered by crowds. We had a verandah stateroom on the starboard side and were delighted by it. The views on the Montreal-Boston itinerary were wonderful! Always something lovely to see! Quebec City and P.E.I. were our favorites.

I must admit, as age 60 soon approaches, I found myself enjoying the "speed" of the Holland America cruise: many folks with graying hair! Not a lot of children. NO steel drums or waiters dancing with trays of margaritas on their heads! The food was very good, both in the dining room and on the Lido. The service for the most part was terrific, though a few crew members (the woman who talks about where to shop at the ports, the guy in charge of tai chi, some of the folks in the shops and at the front desk) were haughty, bored or snippy. Mostly though, we found the staff to be warm, smiling, friendly, and really wanting to make our experience special. Special kudos to the restaurant staff and managers, to our cabin crew, and to the Cruise Director, Anthony. Shore excursions were great.

Excessive doling out of anti-bacterial hand cleaner;) Muster practice on the first day was one of the worst I've ever experienced. Not organized well. A lot of standing around calling out the name of one passenger who didn't show for it.

Entertainment in the showroom was pretty bad. String quartet was lovely. The HalCats' music was actually just our speed. They have a great female singer. Most of the other music, singers, dancers, piano bar singers, comedian were just okay, and after the first night, though we tried, we couldn't sit through an entire show in the showroom. Watched a few good movies. On-board activities programming on the cruise was not great.

Still and all, the ship, the staff, and the trip itself were so wonderful, relaxing, gorgeous, the food so good, fellow travelers so nice, we consider it a huge success. We'll definitely recommend it and hope to sail with HAL again soon.

Wellgo saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 11
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 11
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 11
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Never again!!!!!!!!!!!, June 30, 2011
Reviewer: Wellgo

Pros: Service very good

Cons: Most everything....had to leave our cabin twice because of diesel fumes

Departure port: Montreal

Region visited: Canada/New England

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: B167

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

Mr. Stein Kruse
President and Chief Executive Officer,
Holland America Line Inc.
300 Elliott Ave. West
Seattle, WA 98119
Dear Sir:
re: Reservation N8KDV

Ship: Maasdam

Category: Deck B; Stateroom 167

New England/Canada cruise May 7 to May 14, 2011

Please find enclosed the Guest Satisfaction Survey which I would normally fill out and leave on the ship however, in this case, I felt it necessary to send directly to your attention.

Saying that, I must state up front that our cruise on the Maasdam was utterly the worst cruising experience that my wife and I have ever had. We were celebrating our 47th wedding anniversary and Holland America ruined that.

On May 7, 2011, my wife and I flew from Detroit to Montreal to meet the ship. However, upon arrival at the Montreal airport, we were greeted by your representative who informed us that because of the high water level on the St. Lawrence River, it was impossible for the ship to reach Montreal. We were then shuttled onto buses for a three-hour trip to Quebec City.

I know that you had no other recourse but to start the cruise in Quebec City, but I feel that Holland America treated it's 1,250 some cruisers in a most inappropriate manner. My wife and I began our day, as did many others, having breakfast at 6:30 a.m. in Detroit so I requested that the bus driver allow us to stop so we might get some food for our trip to Quebec City. This was refused.

Holland America offered us either a cookie, an apple or some peanuts...and water...period. Since my wife is a celiac, she had no food from 6:30 a.m. that morning to 6 p.m. when we dined on the Maasdam. Me...I got a cookie!! Totally disgusting service!

The following morning, we dined in the main dining room and when my wife inquired if the hash browns were gluten/wheat free, we were told they had no idea since the potatoes were shipped in plain unmarked bags therefore they were unable to determine. We finally got our breakfast ...stone cold. Another morning, my wife ordered gluten free waffles....that didn't happen!!

Prior to the cruise, my wife filled out and returned the Holland America gluten/wheat free products form listing those foods you offered to her on the cruise. When we met with our dining room staff, they had no knowledge of this situation so we had to explain everything about the gluten free diet that my wife is restricted to. Ordered gluten free bread for the second day. Didn't get it.

I must say however, that the dining room staff went out of their way to accommodate my wife thereafter and she did receive some of these foods on five of the seven days of dining on the ship.

The dining experience was a disappointment in both the main dining room and the Lido. The menu, in our opinion, was substandard compared to the other cruise ships that we have been on. And one was never sure what was going to be served. For example, the one night I selected Banana crisp....I got blueberry!! Another night, I ordered peach crisp...I got strawberry. No explanation. I then gave up as I was afraid of ordering the other nights. God knows what I would have got!

Monday May 9 - We had to vacate our balcony room as it filled up with diesel fumes and both of us became nauseated. After four or five hours, the fumes dissipated. This happened again on Thursday May 12. No apology. We couldn't even go out on our balcony as it was too cold. DISGUSTING.

On Tuesday May 10, we experienced high turbulence when leaving Sidney, Nova Scotia. It was so bad that the majority of those in the main dining room left prior to eating. Glasses were tossed about along with the cruisers. Again, no blame on the part of Holland America, however, I would suggest that the captain failed to deploy the stabilizers as quickly as needed. Might have had a lot less sick people!!

Tried to use the washrooms on the main deck....both were closed. Had to go back to our cabin at the other end of the ship.

We have cruised with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity and this was our first experience with Holland America. I have always heard that Holland America was like a 7-star cruise line compared to 5-star for the others. Our experience rates you at a 1-star...and I am being overly generous at that.

We spoke to numerous people on this cruise, many who had sailed with Holland America in the past, and ALL without exception, were disgusted with the Maasdam.

We had so looked forward to cruising with your company after hearing all the great things about your service but I can honestly say we will never cruise with Holland America ever again.

Yours truly

angiebunch saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 55
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Wonderful food, dancing, entertainment., January 26, 2011
Reviewer: angiebunch

Pros: The entertainment was exceptional

Cons: Nothing

Departure port: Ft. Lauderdale

Region visited: Caribbean - Eastern

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: 746

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: No

The 10-day cruise was wonderful. The service was always wonderful and the room stewards fantastic. The food was always very good. The Italian restaurant was also very good.

The entertainment and costumes were extremely good. We love Holland America. They also do not put too much salt in their food. A good cruise for senior citizens.

pstoli2 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
One of the best vacations/cruises we have ever taken!, January 8, 2011
Reviewer: pstoli2

Pros: Itinerary, fellow passengers, ship size

Cons: Staff knowledge of the ports of call

Departure port: Port Everglades

Region visited: Caribbean - Southern

Cabin category: Suite

Cabin number: B 171

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: No

This is the perfect size ship - big enough to have all the amenities, yet small enough that you do not feel crowded.
Nice passengers, fun BBQ on deck the first night of the cruise, delicious fresh orange juice, and love the movie theatre and the fresh popcorn.

Dining room staff was professional and attentive. Love the wrap-around Promenade deck with the teak chairs.
This is a wonderful itinerary, with great snorkeling opportunities in Curacao, Bonaire, Aruba.

This was a wonderful cruise, everything was perfect and above average. We upgraded to a balcony, which is actually a small suite. It was well worth the extra $ for two weeks. The cabin was large with a large balcony, we also had a small refrigerator.

Seekandsavor saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 55
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 22
Dining room service was slow and inferior to other HAL experiences, September 2, 2010
Reviewer: Seekandsavor

Pros: Food was excellent and artfully presented

Cons: Stateroom linens were old and torn; bedding was not up to HAL standards

Date of cruise: August 21, 2010

Departure port: Boston

Region visited: Canada/New England

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: 728

Good for children: No

Good for teenagers: No

Having sailed on the Eurodam and the Westerdam previously, the Maasdam was disappointing. While the smaller size was appealing, we found it more difficult to get around because of design. We noticed no real difference in the lines on the Lido deck on this ship versus those on the much larger other ships mentioned above.

Food in both the dining room and on the Lido was excellent, but there was little or no service to compare with what we experienced on other Holland ships. We would place our drink orders in the dining room and they would arrive, or NOT, halfway through the meal.

Our stateroom was an outside unobstructed which we took because they were sold out of balconies. The room design was comfortable. The linens were old, dingy and torn. The pillows were flat and had seen better days. Similarly the mattress was ready to be tossed. The accommodations didn't compare to the duvets and fluffy pillows on the other Holland ships. Our stewards were polite but we never got a complete set of Elemis toiletries, and when we exhausted the shampoo, shower gel and such it was not replaced despite requests.

Enterrtainment was similar to other HAL experiences. It always amazes me how they are able to produce the shows with Bob Mackie costumes, etc.The e vening shows were typical Las Vegas style revues. The performers were good, not exceptional. The cruise director was verbose and we found her evening introductions to be tiring and unnecessary.

The evening dance combo in the Crow's Nest was good, but the place folded up by about 10:30 or 11 p.m. on most nights.

Embarkation and disembarkation went beautifully. HAL does a phenomenal job moving large numbers of people on and off the ship and organizing luggage so that it is easily identified and claimed.

The average passenger age on the Maasdam was definitely older than the other HAL cruises we took. I will say that HAL generally does a great job of accommodating an older crowd with mobility issues. However, our disembarkation in Quebec was an exception. The gangplank was SO STEEP that we carefully inched down, holding the rail carefully. My sisters and I had to position ourselves both in front and behind our 80-year-old parents to negotiate the steep incline. It was really quite treacherous for an older group of passengers. When we returned to the ship for all aboard, the gangplank had been lowered 12 feet because of the tide receding.

All in all, if this had been my first HAL experience, it would probably be my last.

Marzerk saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
SpaSpa = 22
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Excellent value for cost of cruise, August 28, 2010
Reviewer: Marzerk

Pros: Food was excellent and itinerary was perfect! Staff are great

Cons: Tendering into a couple of ports required looonnnngg waits

Departure port: Boston

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: 702

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Embarkation was slow, hot and smooth. Luggage was delivered to staterooms very quickly.

Ship is older but in okay condition. Staterooms all have a couch as well as beds Plenty of closet and drawer space. TV position isn't the best.

If there are huge waves and you have a cabin in the front of the ship you will hear and feel the slap of the waves, as I expect you will on all ships.

Appreciated the special grill luncheons out by the pool. Food only got better as the cruise progressed. Excellent food and a variety at every meal -- don't miss the waffles for breakfast with fresh berries! I preferred dining in the Lido -- you could sample each of the entrees, appetizers, etc., without having a million plates in front of you.

Also, presentation is important with HAL and if another diner at your table ordered an additional entree after completing the first, then the whole table had to wait until that person was finished to get dessert and coffee.

HAL offers soda drink cards for fountain beverages -- you save about $1 per soda. The Coffee Bar in the Explorers Lounge also offers coffee cards -- these are only a good value when one can use the card for a large daily special (this changed when the staff person changed).

Spa is small -- offers warm tile loungers, steam bath and hot tub. Last two weeks the smaller steam bath didn't work every day. There is a free sauna. I purchased the spa pass and was generally one of two using the facilities at a variety of times during this cruise. There are only six tile loungers, so with a younger group of passengers it may get crowded.

Others reported enjoying the nightly shows. There was also a different movie offered each day/night at different times to accommodate passenger schedules.

The Captain kept passengers informed daily and advised when approaching views that passengers would enjoy. This was something I wasn't use to hearing and really appreciated during this cruise.

Interesting lectures were provided and then televised. Cooking classes were also offered. Not many "active" planned activities on this cruise. "Golf" was it besides "Trivia" everyday. The Explorer's Lounge has a variety of board games to borrow/use and offered a sign-up to find fellow players.

There is a teen center and daycare available on board.

Staff are friendly and respectful. They work very hard to ensure passengers are comfortable and enjoying themselves.

Ports that required tendering were painful. If you weren't on a ship's excursion the wait was very long. The staff that managed the "tickets" weren't forthcoming with the truth. One female staff member, in particular, was quite condescending when speaking with passengers. We passengers restrained ourselves and didn't slap her! Recommend that you avoid cruises that require a number of tender ports.

Smoking is only allowed in staterooms, outside and in the casino.

The casino slot machines just ate money --o ne jackpot in 35 days! If you are a gambler, stick to the tables. It is a blatant lie that "the payouts are the same as Las Vegas"...and the casino staff kept repeating it like a mantra.

Disembarkation was orderly and smooth without any incidents.

The Maasdam offered me all I expected and more.

It was a great cruise on the Maasdam.

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