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thyme2go

Maasdam questions--current info

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Considering the Maasdam for next year but have never been on her.   We've seen AC issues, questionable food quality, etc. from the past.   Am looking at Promenade forward for cabins--actually the little sets of three cabins between doors to promenade deck.   Can someone with recent experience tell us what is the current condition/experience on the Maasdam?  Or what we need to be aware of with this ship?  Thx!

Edited by thyme2go
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Just spent 38 days on her from Singapore-Auckland. Had nor heard of any AC/plumbing issues. Be aware that she is currently doing EXC in-depth cruises. So more lectures in the theatre...no production shows. Food is subjective we never had a problem finding a good meal or snack.

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Thanks....... I'm naive about EXC cruises.    Does the ship provide more info about the area's visited?   Is there any limitation on independent tours at ports vs HAL excursions?   

Food wise we just don't want heavily salted or processed foods......fresh foods keeps us very happy!

 

Do they still have music on board?

Edited by thyme2go
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Music was still on board with 3 piece violin, piano, standup base. Also we had 5 shows that featured singers. There is not a BB King Blues Club. We did not find the food choices we picked to be salty. HAL website will explain the Maasdam EXC as well as a search here on Maasdam. We find her a great ship but travel for the itinerary not “on ship entertainment”. 

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Yes, much much more information about the areas visited. No limitations on independent tours.

We enjoyed the first Masdam EXC In Depth voyage last fall and are going on another one this July, which has a huge Roll Call.

HAL's website about EXC In Depth badly needs updating but might give you some ideas.

https://www.hollandamerica.com/en_US/cruise-ships/ms-maasdam/exc-in-depth-voyages.html?camp=CME:20190403_HET1918I&rmid=20190403_HET1918I&rrid=459149062&lid=primarycta&XID=HEMV19045391

 

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You can ask for a low sodium option in your profile prior to sailing. Then follow up in the MDR the first time you go. The soups tend to be salty in my experience as does some of the other foods. I’m used to a low sodium diet.

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Some version of this question comes up on the board pretty regularly. Maasdam is a fine, fairly traditional ship in excellent condition for her age (she will be the oldest dam ship once Prinsendam leaves) and I've seen quite a few folks on the board mention her as a favorite ship. I was most recently on her one year ago and she has been in drydock since then, with all new carpeting and furnishings in some public areas. See this from the HAL blog:

 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/ships/ms-maasdam/maasdams-new-interiors-give-the-ship-a-chic-update/

 

Now don't go on this ship expecting all of the amenities that the newer ships have. The only specialty restaurants are PG and Canaletto, there's no BB King or rock room, no New York Pizza or anything like that. No cabanas. As for the cabins, I can't speak for the suite life, but down on the main deck it's non-flat screen, non-interactive TV with a DVD player for example and two U.S. outlets and one European at the desk with no USB ports. For us, this is not an issue at all. We've spent 34 days on the ship without any plumbing or AC issues, although on our last cruise people here on the board did say they had AC issues and I do not discount their experiences. I'm sure it happens occasionally. But she is not the old rustbucket that some folks here portray her as. I'm on her again in a month for a three week cruise and I'm really looking forward to seeing the updates. She has a really nice promenade deck and a lot of open space out on the decks and plenty of public spaces inside too with nice views of the ocean. She still has a full library, just no librarian. Her small by modern standards size is to me an advantage because for example you're not competing with 5000 people to get off the ship at the same time and she can get to places that the big boys can't. The food is no better or worse than any other HAL ship IMO. I've always thought it was good to really good. I did have one really bad meal on her, which happened to be my very first HAL dinner with some seriously undercooked salmon. Definitely the exception, not the rule. Our waitstaff and beverage server on our Maasdam cruise last year were by far the best we've had. 

 

She's also the designated ship for the fairly new EXC In-Depth program, which a few folks have discussed since its debut in September. The emphasis is supposed to be on fairly unique itineraries with shipboard talks and activities focused on six general themes (if I remember correctly photography, history, food/drink, arts/culture, nature, and action/adventure). So no production shows, no Club HAL, no America's Test Kitchen. They've added zodiacs for use on special excursions. And there's supposed to be lots of guest speakers and and entertainers who are thematically appropriate for your cruise destination. 

 

If not having the latest bells and whistles on a ship is a deal breaker for you, then don't sail on Maasdam as you will likely be disappointed. If you're there for the itinerary and the learning experience and are less concerned with being entertained, then do consider this ship. I would expect that if something were to go wrong on this or any other HAL ship that the problem would be addressed promptly and professionally.  

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Thanks All for the updated info.   I should have explained we are small ship fans and have done mostly independent travel while cruising---definitely not looking for an experience where we are entertained with a monster ship and thousands of guests~  Glad to hear that EXC will not 'limit' us or our adventures in any way.......and may provide an enhancement opportunity.   We'll see.....we have spent time in some of the itinerary ports and have off-the-beaten path familiarity, but there are also a few new ports as well.      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!!

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It sounds like you will appreciate the good ship Maasdam.

On our recent cruise, I was pleased that the EXC port guides were more independent from the shore excursion people than has often been the case.  You will have port guides available to give you good information for independent port exploration.

Barbara

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If she is truly identical to her sisters then she has a lovely Pinnacle Grill with windows.

 

I’m really wanting to get on her. 

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13 hours ago, joekerstef said:

Some version of this question comes up on the board pretty regularly. Maasdam is a fine, fairly traditional ship in excellent condition for her age (she will be the oldest dam ship once Prinsendam leaves) and I've seen quite a few folks on the board mention her as a favorite ship. I was most recently on her one year ago and she has been in drydock since then, with all new carpeting and furnishings in some public areas. See this from the HAL blog:

 

https://www.hollandamerica.com/blog/ships/ms-maasdam/maasdams-new-interiors-give-the-ship-a-chic-update/

 

Now don't go on this ship expecting all of the amenities that the newer ships have. The only specialty restaurants are PG and Canaletto, there's no BB King or rock room, no New York Pizza or anything like that. No cabanas. As for the cabins, I can't speak for the suite life, but down on the main deck it's non-flat screen, non-interactive TV with a DVD player for example and two U.S. outlets and one European at the desk with no USB ports. For us, this is not an issue at all. We've spent 34 days on the ship without any plumbing or AC issues, although on our last cruise people here on the board did say they had AC issues and I do not discount their experiences. I'm sure it happens occasionally. But she is not the old rustbucket that some folks here portray her as. I'm on her again in a month for a three week cruise and I'm really looking forward to seeing the updates. She has a really nice promenade deck and a lot of open space out on the decks and plenty of public spaces inside too with nice views of the ocean. She still has a full library, just no librarian. Her small by modern standards size is to me an advantage because for example you're not competing with 5000 people to get off the ship at the same time and she can get to places that the big boys can't. The food is no better or worse than any other HAL ship IMO. I've always thought it was good to really good. I did have one really bad meal on her, which happened to be my very first HAL dinner with some seriously undercooked salmon. Definitely the exception, not the rule. Our waitstaff and beverage server on our Maasdam cruise last year were by far the best we've had. 

 

She's also the designated ship for the fairly new EXC In-Depth program, which a few folks have discussed since its debut in September. The emphasis is supposed to be on fairly unique itineraries with shipboard talks and activities focused on six general themes (if I remember correctly photography, history, food/drink, arts/culture, nature, and action/adventure). So no production shows, no Club HAL, no America's Test Kitchen. They've added zodiacs for use on special excursions. And there's supposed to be lots of guest speakers and and entertainers who are thematically appropriate for your cruise destination. 

 

If not having the latest bells and whistles on a ship is a deal breaker for you, then don't sail on Maasdam as you will likely be disappointed. If you're there for the itinerary and the learning experience and are less concerned with being entertained, then do consider this ship. I would expect that if something were to go wrong on this or any other HAL ship that the problem would be addressed promptly and professionally.  

Thank you for your write up! I was ready to give my thoughts from our SA cruise last March and you summed it up perfectly!

we loved her and would not hesitate to take her again.

Denise😊

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On board Westerdam, our Captain is Mark Rowden. He was master of the Ryndam for quite a few years, and when he showed pictures of it and glowed about it as his favorite, I had a lump in my throat as well. The S class were  and are still Special!

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On 4/27/2019 at 1:46 PM, freestyling said:

Music was still on board with 3 piece violin, piano, standup base. Also we had 5 shows that featured singers. There is not a BB King Blues Club. We did not find the food choices we picked to be salty. HAL website will explain the Maasdam EXC as well as a search here on Maasdam. We find her a great ship but travel for the itinerary not “on ship entertainment”. 

 

On 4/27/2019 at 1:46 PM, freestyling said:

Music was still on board with 3 piece violin, piano, standup base. Also we had 5 shows that featured singers. There is not a BB King Blues Club. We did not find the food choices we picked to be salty. HAL website will explain the Maasdam EXC as well as a search here on Maasdam. We find her a great ship but travel for the itinerary not “on ship entertainment”. 

Is there still a piano bar

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2 minutes ago, JMAUST said:

 

Is there still a piano bar

Yes.

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We were on the Maasdam last August and loved it!  The room stewards were there whenever you

needed them, but not to the point of feeling you were spending the whole cruise with them. 😉  We

are informal people so virtually never eat in the MDR; however, the head of dining called our room to

encourage us to come eat there.  We received a huge bouquet of flowers when our laundry might have

been a couple hours late being returned?  And they went out of their way to get us on a private kayaking

tour when we were apparently the only people on ship who wanted to kayak in Maine.  The ship was 

smaller & I don't think sold out which made it feel a much friendlier setting to us.  I'd be glad to sail on

the Maasdam on any cruise.  

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2 hours ago, JeanieCM said:

We were on the Maasdam last August and loved it!  The room stewards were there whenever you

needed them, but not to the point of feeling you were spending the whole cruise with them. 😉  We

are informal people so virtually never eat in the MDR; however, the head of dining called our room to

encourage us to come eat there.  We received a huge bouquet of flowers when our laundry might have

been a couple hours late being returned?  And they went out of their way to get us on a private kayaking

tour when we were apparently the only people on ship who wanted to kayak in Maine.  The ship was 

smaller & I don't think sold out which made it feel a much friendlier setting to us.  I'd be glad to sail on

the Maasdam on any cruise.  

 

Thank you for your comments about the Maasdam.  We are sailing on her to Alaska on May 18, 2020.  You mentioned that you never ate in the MDR, I assume you ate in the buffet?  We are also low-key eaters.  I was wondering if the buffet offers lots of choices like the Nieuw Amsterdam or Zuiderdam?  Or, are the choices limited?  Thanks in advance for your comments.  Also, if you or anyone reading this post has a picture of the buffet I would love to see it.

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13 minutes ago, Italy52 said:

 

Thank you for your comments about the Maasdam.  We are sailing on her to Alaska on May 18, 2020.  You mentioned that you never ate in the MDR, I assume you ate in the buffet?  We are also low-key eaters.  I was wondering if the buffet offers lots of choices like the Nieuw Amsterdam or Zuiderdam?  Or, are the choices limited?  Thanks in advance for your comments.  Also, if you or anyone reading this post has a picture of the buffet I would love to see it.

We got off Maasdam (reluctantly!!) two weeks ago. There are plenty of choices in the Lido including most of what is also on offer in the MDR. You will not starve 😀😋.

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7 minutes ago, colbe said:

We got off Maasdam (reluctantly!!) two weeks ago. There are plenty of choices in the Lido including most of what is also on offer in the MDR. You will not starve 😀😋.

 

Thank you for your response, I appreciate it.  How is the layout of the Lido --- lots of stations or one big long one?

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Two long serving areas, one on each side of the ship. These serving areas are then devided into smaller areas serving different kinds of food eg; the salad bar.

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Italy 52, we did eat lunch & dinner in Lido most days.  The buffet is extensive, to say the least.  Besides

the different entrees for the day, there is always pizza, made-to-order salads, etc.  And the desserts are

many, varied, and always delectable.  We often ordered room service breakfast, but also did the Lido

breakfasts many mornings--I was especially a fan of omelets with goat cheese & mushrooms while my

husband ate way too many sweet rolls.  Because our travel agency had given us gift cards, we also ate

dinner at Pinnacle Grill which was scrumptious (filet, sauteed mushrooms, and fantastic Baked Alaska)

and twice at Canaletto (chicken cacciatore & tiramisu)  

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13 hours ago, colbe said:

Two long serving areas, one on each side of the ship. These serving areas are then devided into smaller areas serving different kinds of food eg; the salad bar.

 

Thank you.

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54 minutes ago, JeanieCM said:

Italy 52, we did eat lunch & dinner in Lido most days.  The buffet is extensive, to say the least.  Besides

the different entrees for the day, there is always pizza, made-to-order salads, etc.  And the desserts are

many, varied, and always delectable.  We often ordered room service breakfast, but also did the Lido

breakfasts many mornings--I was especially a fan of omelets with goat cheese & mushrooms while my

husband ate way too many sweet rolls.  Because our travel agency had given us gift cards, we also ate

dinner at Pinnacle Grill which was scrumptious (filet, sauteed mushrooms, and fantastic Baked Alaska)

and twice at Canaletto (chicken cacciatore & tiramisu)  

Thank you!

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We fully agree with the enthusiastic reports above on the m.s. Maasdam. DH and me left her in March in Singapore after a 3 weeks trip. We were in cabin E329, quite near the 3 you mentioned. The only comment we have on that cabin is that the key of the upper drawer of one of the pedestal cupboards did not work, 🙂but who will ever use it? 🙂  Perfect location during embarkation and disembarkation and assembling for private excursions. And near the stairs to the Mainstage.  Do not forget to reserve the Pinnacle Grill during sunset (if you travel in the right direction of course...…). 

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Thanks for the cabin info........always helpful to have and we've gone from the quick decision to book during the one buck deposit......to greatly looking forward to this trip and all the activities we can muster!

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