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KirkNC

Maasdam 97/80 day misadventure

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Hmmmm.Okay.  The entire post by the OP is 95% negative. Not saying that any of it is untrue, but on a 80+ day cruise tell us what you  DID like on the cruise OP....or was it  mostly  negative?

 

I am sure we could find passengers. that,  for the most part, had a positive experience. Some people are just very demanding and hard to please.

 

OP, I am sure you will never sail HAL again. I mean seriously, after THAT  experience one would need one's head examined to spend money on ANOTHER mostly negative cruise experience!

Edited by cruisetheworld67
wording

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We had a awful cruise on the Massdam we disembarked from San Francisco on June 18th 2019 on a 21 day Alaska cruise. We had 4 travelers and we both had spa suites, our cabin carpet was filthy dirty we would not even go barefoot in our cabin. We also smelled sewage all the time except when it was masked by the smell of fresh paint from someplace. Now the food, on the menu in Lido we were offered PORK BELLY as a entree 5 times who eats roasted pig fat. Some of the captains staff were very rude when asked any question. We had a large picture window in our suites that was so old plexiglass you could not see out at all. HAL Navagator was seldom updated so communications were sparce. Between 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm you could not find a bite to eat ANYPLACE on the ship, noplace not even able to have a coffee and cookie between these times. Now to the Crows Nest observation deck this place is absolutely amazing except if you wanted to relax up there in the morning as you slowly glide up through Glacier bay and other majestic glaciers to the sound of deafening rock and roll. Also wouldn't it have been nice if they had coffee and pastry for the cruisers, and I suggested this also.  Long story short we will never cruise on HAL again. 

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I didn't perceive the OPs review as being 95% negative.  KirkNC mentioned that the Pinnacle Grill experience was one of the best he has experienced.  More important, KirkNC mentioned that "...The crew in general was as great as ever."

 

I don't think KirkNC needs any support from me, but he was trying to giving reasons for his decision to leave the ship (and thousands of dollars) behind.  The issues, documented by Kirk, are very serious, and I'm grateful that he took time to share his experiences with us.  Most important to my wife and I, it provides us with information that is helpful in choosing future cruises.

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As others have said, WOW! I am so sorry to hear you had such a bad cruise, especially after spending so much money on a special itinerary.

 

I'm disappointed to hear that Maasdam has become Dontgivadam. You were willing to eat the cost of 17 days you wouldn't spend on the ship and got a shrug in response. If I were the guest services person you said that to, I'd be calling the hotel manager to talk to you asap. Even if he couldn't change your mind, at least he could listen.  As another poster said, I expected this ship to be something special to live up to  its in-depth itineraries.

 

All those food issues tell me supervision in that area is sadly lacking. How could rotten or moldy food make it out to a passenger's table or to the Lido? How could it be that nobody noticed??? That's beyond sloppy, and they should be ashamed of themselves.

 

Kirk, thank you for posting this with a moderate title. We see "CRUISE FROM HELL!!!!" threads about a few hours of toilets not flushing, but your experience really does sound like cruise from hell to me. 

 

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51 minutes ago, cruisetheworld67 said:

Hmmmm.Okay.  The entire post by the OP is 95% negative. Not saying that any of it is untrue, but on a 80+ day cruise tell us what you  DID like on the cruise OP....or was it  mostly  negative?

 

I am sure we could find passengers. that,  for the most part, had a positive experience. Some people are just very demanding and hard to please.

 

OP, I am sure you will never sail HAL again. I mean seriously, after THAT  experience one would need one's head examined to spend money on ANOTHER mostly negative cruise experience!

I’m not seeing 95% negative. OP gave several examples of positive things from their cruise. 

 

Let’s put this thread in context for newer members of the community. It’s quite likely you are missing the fact that OP has been a long standing contributor on this forum and experienced cruiser on HAL and does not come here to complain. He has a history of balanced and sensible posts.

Edited by TiogaCruiser

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Thank you , Kirk, for your candid post about the Maasdam cruise.  I have followed,your posts  for a long time have appreciated your insight .  Was sorry when you cancelled the  June 2020 Veendam cruise.  Was hoping to meet you in person!  Keep posting and stay in touch with your future cruises and experiences no matter what line you choose .  Safe travels .

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Thank you , Kirk, for your candid post about the Maasdam cruise.  I have followed,your posts  for a long time have appreciated your insight .  Was sorry when you cancelled the  June 2020 Veendam cruise.  Was hoping to meet you in person!  Keep posting and stay in touch with your future cruises and experiences no matter what line you choose .  Safe travels .

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I was once served a raw pork chop on a HAL cruise.  Raw chicken - gag! 🤮

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😱 WOW!! We were on her March 2018 30 day SA cruise in a Neptune and it was the best!! 
Everything you said sounded like a old Carnival Cruise we took too long ago to remember!!

Denise😊

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3 hours ago, englert52 said:

We had a awful cruise on the Massdam we disembarked from San Francisco on June 18th 2019 on a 21 day Alaska cruise. We had 4 travelers and we both had spa suites, our cabin carpet was filthy dirty we would not even go barefoot in our cabin. We also smelled sewage all the time except when it was masked by the smell of fresh paint from someplace. Now the food, on the menu in Lido we were offered PORK BELLY as a entree 5 times who eats roasted pig fat. Some of the captains staff were very rude when asked any question. We had a large picture window in our suites that was so old plexiglass you could not see out at all. HAL Navagator was seldom updated so communications were sparce. Between 8:30 pm and 10:30 pm you could not find a bite to eat ANYPLACE on the ship, noplace not even able to have a coffee and cookie between these times. Now to the Crows Nest observation deck this place is absolutely amazing except if you wanted to relax up there in the morning as you slowly glide up through Glacier bay and other majestic glaciers to the sound of deafening rock and roll. Also wouldn't it have been nice if they had coffee and pastry for the cruisers, and I suggested this also.  Long story short we will never cruise on HAL again. 

We were on this cruise and I am surprised that you had so many issues.  Glacier Bay was not on the itinerary.  Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord were.  During glacier days the pea soup and seafood chowder were served in the atrium rather than the traditional “on deck” location which I prefer.  It did give us a chance to meet the officers for a short chat which was nice,

 

The cultural and other shipboard discussion  programs were outstanding and we found that we were so busy we missed some that we would like to have attended.  A lot of people enjoy the view from the Crows Nest.  We like to be out and about.

 

The food was fine.  We prefer the dining room to the Lido and it helps if you can arrange to have the same waitstaff so that they can help you choose if you are finding the options less than exciting.  I always take some cookies from the Lido back  to the room for a quick snack.  The young man who scooped the ice cream and did his best to keep the cookies available was very charming, always smiling.  I consider that the most challenging job in the Lido!

 

As far as your dirty carpet goes, you should  have written it up on a comment form and submitted it to housekeeping.  I’m sure they would have shampooed it.  My major issue was the lack of blackout drapes in my stateroom.  I put up with waking up at   4:00 a.m. for about 6 days and finally wrote a rather angry note to the hotel director that every hotel in Alaska and every other ship I had been on had blackout drapes.  That evening our stewards showed me the dark sheer that the ships seamstress had made to go behind the drape.  It worked. I wondered if ours was the only cabin without blackout drapes!

 

I was concerned that the Maasdam was doing such a long cruise in Australia.  The ship is not for those who are looking for a luxury experience.  We just got off a 7 day Eurodam cruise to the Mexican Riviera....a totally different experience (loved it)!

 

 

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So what your saying then is everything I said was true. I shouldn't have to take cookies back to my room for a snack. We did complain about the carpet and nothing was done. We are glad you enjoyed your cruise aboard the Massbam. We saved for 3 years to go on this cruise for our 30th anniversary and choose HAL because we had heard many good things. Guess we were wrong, never again on Holland American line. 

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7 hours ago, KirkNC said:

 

I was concerned about the raw chicken as I ate a bite before I realized it was not cooked (more like rare as opposed to raw).  I had the front desk asked the ships doctor to call me as I was wondering if I should take some of the Cipro we carry as a preventive.  The conversation with her was almost funny.  First she asked why did I order rare chicken, I assured her I did not.  Then she asked how long since I had ingested it and I said about 30 minutes, her response was that if I was not sick in that time I should be fine 🥺.  I told I did not believe that was the case as food poisoning and/or Salmonella can take 12-24 hours or more.   

I got something bad in Amsterdam, and was really sick two days later.  As for medical, I had a rather bad experience on the Zuiderdam.  I had paid $95 for an epipen, only to find the doctor's prescription would not  be accepted at a US port.    I think medical should have carried it. and the doctor should be able to get something filled while in port.  If nothing else, he should have been able to call headquarters and get a US doctor to call in  a prescription for pick up.  This isn't the first time, I think medical has failed me.

 

Back to the horrible service, who was the hotel director?

 

BTW, while newbies tend to get dumped on sometimes, Kirk has over 20,000 posts.  And people don't cruise 90+ days on their first ship.

Edited by knittinggirl

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1 minute ago, knittinggirl said:

I got something bad in Amsterdam, and was really sick two days later. 

 

Herring?

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Just now, Roz said:

 

Herring?

No hot dog from a cart.   My doctor said she'd never eat from a cart in a foreign country.

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Oh dear. Hope things improve soon on this ship as we are scheduled to sail on her for 19 days from Tahiti to,San Diego. Many are sea days so will be eating all meals on board. 

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3 hours ago, oaktreerb said:

We were on this cruise and I am surprised that you had so many issues.  Glacier Bay was not on the itinerary.  Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord were.  During glacier days the pea soup and seafood chowder were served in the atrium rather than the traditional “on deck” location which I prefer.  It did give us a chance to meet the officers for a short chat which was nice,

 

The cultural and other shipboard discussion  programs were outstanding and we found that we were so busy we missed some that we would like to have attended.  A lot of people enjoy the view from the Crows Nest.  We like to be out and about.

 

The food was fine.  We prefer the dining room to the Lido and it helps if you can arrange to have the same waitstaff so that they can help you choose if you are finding the options less than exciting.  I always take some cookies from the Lido back  to the room for a quick snack.  The young man who scooped the ice cream and did his best to keep the cookies available was very charming, always smiling.  I consider that the most challenging job in the Lido!

 

As far as your dirty carpet goes, you should  have written it up on a comment form and submitted it to housekeeping.  I’m sure they would have shampooed it.  My major issue was the lack of blackout drapes in my stateroom.  I put up with waking up at   4:00 a.m. for about 6 days and finally wrote a rather angry note to the hotel director that every hotel in Alaska and every other ship I had been on had blackout drapes.  That evening our stewards showed me the dark sheer that the ships seamstress had made to go behind the drape.  It worked. I wondered if ours was the only cabin without blackout drapes!

 

I was concerned that the Maasdam was doing such a long cruise in Australia.  The ship is not for those who are looking for a luxury experience.  We just got off a 7 day Eurodam cruise to the Mexican Riviera....a totally different experience (loved it)!

 

 

 

''I was concerned that the Maasdam was doing such a long cruise in Australia.  The ship is not for those who are looking for a luxury experience.  We just got off a 7 day Eurodam cruise to the Mexican Riviera....a totally different experience (loved it)!"

[emphasis added]

 

We fly out tomorrow for our first HAL cruise, which begins in a few days, on Noordam.

 

It is more than a bit surprising to read the terminology used, about Maasdam *not* being for "those looking for a luxury experience", while Eurodam was "a totally different experience".

 

Obviously, some ships - and some cruise lines - are "luxury", and some... not so much...

But are the HAL ships supposed to be in such different categories?  (If so, we were not aware of that.)

 

We realize that there can be "bad experiences" - and genuinely bad experiences! - at any time.

And the fact that OP has been a serious contributor here on CC for so long... that does make a difference, too, in terms of credibility of the description of their cruise.

 

Somewhat separately, how does a commercial/restaurant kitchen serve RAW chicken or pork, on a ship or on land??

 

We are assuming (hoping?) that our Noordam cruise will be satisfactory or better, and realize that there will be aspects we thoroughly enjoy, and then perhaps some... not so much...

But raw chicken/pork?  Rotten food?  It ALL must have truly been bad, or OP would not have left so many days early!

 

We sure hope that HAL is reading here and USES this info to do some serious investigating about what is happening on Massdam (and perhaps other ships?), even if it is only "sporadic".

Some 'issues' are just not okay, period.

 

Thanks to OP and a few others who shared their experiences here.

We feel that it is always better to have more information than less...  and we hope that we have a wonderful "first HAL cruise"!

 

GC

 

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3 hours ago, oaktreerb said:

We were on this cruise and I am surprised that you had so many issues.  Glacier Bay was not on the itinerary.  Hubbard Glacier and College Fjord were.  During glacier days the pea soup and seafood chowder were served in the atrium rather than the traditional “on deck” location which I prefer.  It did give us a chance to meet the officers for a short chat which was nice,

 

The cultural and other shipboard discussion  programs were outstanding and we found that we were so busy we missed some that we would like to have attended.  A lot of people enjoy the view from the Crows Nest.  We like to be out and about.

 

The food was fine.  We prefer the dining room to the Lido and it helps if you can arrange to have the same waitstaff so that they can help you choose if you are finding the options less than exciting.  I always take some cookies from the Lido back  to the room for a quick snack.  The young man who scooped the ice cream and did his best to keep the cookies available was very charming, always smiling.  I consider that the most challenging job in the Lido!

 

As far as your dirty carpet goes, you should  have written it up on a comment form and submitted it to housekeeping.  I’m sure they would have shampooed it.  My major issue was the lack of blackout drapes in my stateroom.  I put up with waking up at   4:00 a.m. for about 6 days and finally wrote a rather angry note to the hotel director that every hotel in Alaska and every other ship I had been on had blackout drapes.  That evening our stewards showed me the dark sheer that the ships seamstress had made to go behind the drape.  It worked. I wondered if ours was the only cabin without blackout drapes!

 

I was concerned that the Maasdam was doing such a long cruise in Australia.  The ship is not for those who are looking for a luxury experience.  We just got off a 7 day Eurodam cruise to the Mexican Riviera....a totally different experience (loved it)!

 

 

We were also on this cruise & I guess fortunate to not have any issues.  

Have never had black out curtains on any ship that I remember, however, I enjoy the "midnight sun".  Something we don't get to experience way down here in southern California.  I did get up early in the AM & overlapped the curtains to keep the sun off my DH who is an early riser anyway.  Just a tip.  We carry small clothes pins for hanging clothes on the line over the tub but could be used to pin the curtains closed.  

Loud music seems to be everywhere now days.  Quiet in the Crow's Nest would be nice during the day.  We like to sit there to enjoy the views.  

@englert52 re:  the pork belly.  I seem to recall seeing a lot of it mentioned on cooking shows etc & high end restaurants.  I think it must be a trend.  Kind of like bacon.  Too much fat for me but lots of flavor.  

Btw we were in cabin 624 & did not experience the odor you encountered.  😧 

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I too am reluctant to book the smaller HAL ships (due to age).  One exception is the Amsterdam, which is in good condition IMO (we sailed on her twice in the past year, both on 14 day sailings.

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Well, shoot. We have a Sea of Cortez booked on her in April; now that our beloved Prinsendam has left the fleet, the Maasdam is picking up those itineraries. Love HAL, sailing the NS next month, etc. We really want that April itinerary (otherwise it's Princess that visits those ports). But this is worrying. We have until Jan 15 to fish or cut bait; will have to keep a close eye on the reviews until then. Thanks for your report.

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1 hour ago, GeezerCouple said:

 

''I was concerned that the Maasdam was doing such a long cruise in Australia.  The ship is not for those who are looking for a luxury experience.  We just got off a 7 day Eurodam cruise to the Mexican Riviera....a totally different experience (loved it)!"

[emphasis added]

 

We fly out tomorrow for our first HAL cruise, which begins in a few days, on Noordam.

 

It is more than a bit surprising to read the terminology used, about Maasdam *not* being for "those looking for a luxury experience", while Eurodam was "a totally different experience".

 

Obviously, some ships - and some cruise lines - are "luxury", and some... not so much...

But are the HAL ships supposed to be in such different categories?  (If so, we were not aware of that.)

 

         * * * * * *

 

Thanks to OP and a few others who shared their experiences here.

We feel that it is always better to have more information than less...  and we hope that we have a wonderful "first HAL cruise"!

 

 

From your 5000+ posts I see that you are far more a regular on CC than I am, and so I infer that you have cruised often on lines other than HAL. DW and I have grown accustomed to HAL; we've just reached 3* Mariner status, and have sailed on R-class, Vista class, and Pinnacle-class ships.  Each ship and each class of ships have their own personality and individuality, but I can't say that I've noticed differences in standards that can't be attributed to the vagaries of different climates. For instance, our experience on board the Rotterdam in the Baltic Sea was much different from what we experienced on the Koningsdam in the Caribbean, but a ship grappling with the inclement weather of northern Europe gets stressed in ways that island-hopping in the Caribbean doesn't come close to approaching. But we've always found HAL to be HAL, and never encountered anything like the horrors OP has reported. I trust OP and will think twice (or more) before planning a voyage on the Maasdam, but I'm not deterred or apprehensive about our upcoming PC transit.

 

Just keep an open mind about the Noordam. Don't expect a Rolls-Royce or a Bentley. HAL is not in that business. Can you travel comfortably in a Buick? If so, chances are that your expectations will be met and maybe even exceeded. I genuinely wish you all the best.

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46 minutes ago, Sir PMP said:

That's what you get with Orlando in charge, terrible..

Sir PMP, I so agree with you on that!

I am dishearten with how HAL has changed over the last 10 plus years, especially to all who are Star Mariners with the loyalty program. That is another thread🙄!  Thank you for saying what you did.

Denise😊

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Pork Belly is a very popular dish with Asians.  I've seen it on a lot of HAL menus in the past year, so something new to try and, for me, to dislike.  I'm quite OK with that, though.

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