Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
KirkNC

Maasdam 97/80 day misadventure

Recommended Posts

OP, sorry your cruise was so terrible that you felt the need to cut it short and leave $$ in addition to ports that you didn't get the opportunity to explore.  In your place, I would have been extremely upset, furious enough, in fact, to write a letter to corporate.  I sincerely hope you take the time and effort to alert them to these problems.  Of course, at the first point of contact, the ship's personnel, no one seemed to address your concerns or even to inquire about your reasons for leaving the cruise early.  I hope you receive a better response from corporate although nothing can compensate for enduring the problems you encountered or for making the decision to return home early.

 

It is disappointing to hear reliable CC members voice these complaints, which I find credible, because HAL is our preferred cruise line.  However, if I were to experience a cruise similar to the one mentioned here, I would reevaluate future cruise decisions. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, englert52 said:

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. 

I’m not questioning your experience other than we didn’t go to Glacier Bay.  We did enjoy the cruise but there were issues that we had to deal with, too.  It’s an older ship and was working out a new cruising concept (expedition cruising).   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had exactly the same experience with the chicken parmesan at the Caneletto on the Volendam.  After waiting an hour and a half for our dinner, we were served raw chicken.  I couldn't believe it.  They offered to fix it but after waiting so long I couldn't stand anymore.  Also, I was very upset because I had eaten a couple of bites before I realized why it tasted so weird.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Hobcat said:

 

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 curtain.  

In 15 years of land and sea in Alaska and the Yukon with HAL we have always had drapes that would shut out the midnight sun!  I always bring the clothespins or clips to close the gap.   On the Eurodam last week we had white sheers behind  the curtains which were of a pleated light weight dark fabric that stayed overlapped.  I didn’t even need the clip.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours 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.)

 

 

 

 

 

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...

 

 

The Noordam is a very good ship and has just gone through a dry dock.  It’s one of my favorite.

 

The Maasdam has been chosen for the “expedition” cruising experience which is different from the other ships....more of an in-depth locations experience.  Not everyone will enjoy the concept.  It will be doing the highly regarded 14 day Great Alaskan Explorer itinerary in 2020 which goes to some less visited Alaska ports.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, oaktreerb said:

The Noordam is a very good ship and has just gone through a dry dock.  It’s one of my favorite.

 

The Maasdam has been chosen for the “expedition” cruising experience which is different from the other ships....more of an in-depth locations experience.  Not everyone will enjoy the concept.  It will be doing the highly regarded 14 day Great Alaskan Explorer itinerary in 2020 which goes to some less visited Alaska ports.  

 

Thanks for a bit of explanation about the difference!

 

GC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Hell!

 

We are due to sail on Maasdam on 3rd December for 20 Nights...This is a damming review  spoilt food is not good but the lack of concern as to why you left 17 days early is unbelievable...

 

Should we reconsider at this late stage??  has there been any reaction from HAL management ...has the captain been shown your complaints ??

 

Regards

John  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off thanks for the many kind comments.  I was concerned this topic could devolve  into something else as sometimes happens on CC.

 

To answer a few questions.  The guest relations Asst. Mgr did come see us about a week after we had notified the front desk of our intention to leave, however he stated in his initial phone message that it was because Denise (the Pinnacle Mgr) had urged him to.  We had enjoyed several great meals in Pinnacle and gotten to know Denise somewhat and told her of our intent to depart early.  She was horrified that no one had seemed to care.  Our conversation with the Asst. Mgr was cordial but he seemed more interested in documenting the facts for “his report”.  

 

We had also shared our experiences with our TA who was furious and she forwarded them on to her HAL rep.  This led to an email back to us from HAL (Asst to the President  was the author).  This email apologized for our experiences and said that the items had been shared with ship management.  In addition it offers us some FCC as “compensation”.  Time will tell if we use it or not.

 

Someone had asked about the hotel mgr - it was Florian (not sure of the last name).  

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We got turned off eating at the Canaletto -- thanks to the Maasdam.  I ordered the Veal.  When it finally arrived -- poor service -- Water squirted out when I cut into it.  It was frozen!!  And this was back in 2012.  The best on this ship -- for us -- was in the Pinnacle which we ended up eating there nearly every night.

 

We were on the ship for 21 days and service was not up to par.  Something is definitely wrong on this ship.  

 

For Happy Hour -- there were only 2 servers working in the Ocean Bar -- we waited nearly the entire hour for someone to come and take our order.  When the person got to us we were informed that Happy Hour was over.  We left.

 

You would think that this being an EXC cruise things would be good.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Kirk for your time and effort to alert consumers to the declining value of the HAL product and Maas in particular.

 

This is evidence of corporate arrogance - which is being aided by consumers who keep booking cruises while the cruise product is cheapened over and over.

 

This is on all cruise lines.

 

I find the cruise lines the most anti-consumer segment in the travel sector.

 

Fortunately there are other travel options to see the world. 

 

HAL could not care less about any of us.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think, sometimes, that issues tend to pile up until it starts to feel like a barrage.  97 days is a very long time to be on a ship when you can’t overcome the negatives.  We will never know what it’s like to be in the OP’s situation.  Some will have a completely different experience than another on the same ship.  Some will care about certain issues while others won’t.  

 

As for the posts negating the OP’s experience.... diminishing someone else’s experience by inserting your own storyline may have been the type of response which contributed to the early departure.  Judgement is never a productive way to manage a problem.  

 

Likewise, anticipating that someone else’s experience will be your own is probably a good way of ensuring that you get what you are looking for.  Don’t cancel your cruise @VK3DQ!  Go in with open heart and see what happens.  Maybe the OP sucked up all the negatives and you’ll have a great time!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moldy and raw  food is totally unacceptable in any situation.  I certainly will look at the food I'm being served more closely, especially if it is covered with sauce.  Thank you Kirk for your insightful review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, summer slope said:

Moldy and raw  food is totally unacceptable in any situation.  I certainly will look at the food I'm being served more closely, especially if it is covered with sauce.  Thank you Kirk for your insightful review.

 

(bold is mine) This thought keeps cropping up in my mind. If food that was spoiled to the point that mold was visible was set out at the Lido, what sort of things are hidden in soups and sauces? 

 

Stuff can go wrong on any vacation. "Ship happens." How the company deals with issues is often more important than the original issues. Onboard management's lack of concern is unacceptable. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This sounds like a typical Holland America cruise to me. Boring food/small portions/soot/non-working air conditioning/sewer smell/repeated menu items/tender delays/non-working toilets/broken windows/under cooked food/past its prime produce/bespoke equipment that is broken for months, I have seen it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry Kirk!  I enjoyed meeting you and Barbara.   You two are fantastic at music trivia!

I have to confess we were ready to get off after thirty days.   We do not get seasick but when the rough seas started, the good times did not roll so much as the ship did.    Missing two ports was disappointing but probably not as much as the major loss of the sounds in New Zealand due to the medical emergency on the segment before we boarded.  I couldn't talk DH into the eleven days of the preceding itinerary even though it was a great deal and people raved about what they'd done.....while I mourned not going there.

However, we did not encounter so many problems.   There was a gap at the door where the light from the hall came in.   We considered it our night light to help prevent falls on middle of the night bathroom trips, lol.

No complaints about the MDR food.  I got one meal I did not care for but that was it.  Beef I ordered was of good quality.  I noticed the menu repeated once during the thirty day itinerary so imagine it was more for you

Agree about the stewards.   They work so hard and do a great job with so many cabins to service.

Raw chicken is totally unacceptable.   I need all poultry well done which leads my adult sons to complain about dry Thanksgiving turkey.    Fortunately the chicken and turkey I had in the MDR was well cooked.

Hope you had a good trip home in spite of its length and that you were able to get the flight changed with no problems.

Thanks for sharing your experience.   People who read my review when it's published (already submitted) might think we were on different cruises.   I did conclude that thirty days is probably long enough for us these days although we enjoyed 35 and 48 day itineraries on Voyage of the Vikings and Amazon Explorer.   Only one missed port (Iceland) on both of those voyages put together.   It was the two missed ports and ensuing rough sea days that made the cruise seem long to us I think.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The soot came from a repair project outside the Crow's Nest on deck 12.   They were using some welding or other power tool that sent black particles flying.  At the time I said this was going to land in the pool below.  I guess no one noticed and emptied the pool as it should have been.  Did see the other one emptied but didn't know why at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, VK3DQ said:

Oh Hell!

 

We are due to sail on Maasdam on 3rd December for 20 Nights...This is a damming review  spoilt food is not good but the lack of concern as to why you left 17 days early is unbelievable...

 

Should we reconsider at this late stage??  has there been any reaction from HAL management ...has the captain been shown your complaints ??

 

Regards

John  

Definitely do not cancel.   You are past final payment, right?   Kirk is a credible person but his experience was not our experience.  I did notice only one piece of greenery in the Greek Salad but it was tasty.  I ate it anyway and didn't give it another thought.    The cruise did get long and I imagine the little things added up after a while.  We were "only" on for thirty days with the majority it seemed on for the longer itineraries.   The missed ports had us with several sea days in a row twice all with rough seas.   This was a negative for us but other than the weather and missed ports, the experience was not that different from other HAL cruises.    I loved the lectures but thirty days was enough.  Your twenty days should be just the right length.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Been There, Planning That said:

 

Unfortunately I fear that Kirk's review is quite valid.  We've booked the 14 day Alaskan Discovery for August to celebrate our 55th anniversary.  The itinerary is a special one for us and it's an exe cruise with the promise of good lectures.  And we've booked a modest window cabin with probably a greater likelihood of problems.

 

We have plenty of time to reconsider, but at this point are quite undecided.

 

Ruth

 

I was also feeling some trepidation about the 14 day Alaska cruise in 2020 (we are booked).  But in reality, 80 days is a long time, with lots of opportunities for failures.  So, I'm now thinking that 14 days won't present NEARLY as many opportunities for failure.  Wwe are keeping our booking. The itinerary and it being an EXC are big draws.  It's 14 days, not 80.   After a fair amount of consideration, I think it is worth any risk involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While some of the bad things may partially be explained by logistical issues, like provisioning ship stores is more difficult in the far reaches of the Pacific, it also points to severely lacking leadership on board the ship and above.

 

At this point, I'm not going to sail on any HAL ship smaller than a Vista class, since it seems HAL isn't devoting enough leadership talent and money to operate the smaller ships like the Maasdam or Veendam. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is no excuse for Kirk's ruined Maasdam cruise.

I think that Holland America's relentless cutbacks caught up with them on what was supposed to be a showcase "In-Depth" voyage for a respected and knowledgeable couple.

Florin Dragomir was our good Hotel Director last winter on ms Maasdam.  Something undermined his ability to do his job.  We all know that the dining room stewards are understaffed.  Maybe that is also a kitchen problem?

"Cruise happens" and we have all lived with minor problems, but HAL really needs to change direction now.

I would hope that future passengers could expect far better.

Destination Guide Kay sounds like the staff heroine.  And a good Cruise Director has recently joined the ship.

Barbara

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Florian is an excellent HD, so this thread concerns me.  The Guest Services Manager would/should have had a lot to do with the response to the OP's problems and especially his notes to the Front Desk.  I would be interested in knowing who the GSM was.

Edited by SilvertoGold

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/17/2019 at 5:25 PM, GeezerCouple said:

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


I suspect that it may not have been raw at all, but simply cooked via sous vide. I do a lot of that (sous vide) and chicken and pork cooked that way can remain pretty pink and still be thoroughly cooked and perfectly safe. My husband was a bit put off by pink chicken (near the bones, especially) at first, but he's gotten used to it.

Here's a blog article talking about it, complete with photos.  (It would be nice if I included the link.  LOL)  https://thatothercookingblog.com/2017/03/07/cooking-chicken-sous-vide-pink-juices/

If you've never tried sous vide for meat, you are missing a treat.  It's the best thing ever invented. It is the only way I know to take a cheap chuck roast and turn it into prime rib. It's magic.

Edited by cowmilker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, cowmilker said:


I suspect that it may not have been raw at all, but simply cooked via sous vide. I do a lot of that (sous vide) and chicken and pork cooked that way can remain pretty pink and still be thoroughly cooked and perfectly safe. My husband was a bit put off by pink chicken (near the bones, especially) at first, but he's gotten used to it.

Here's a blog article talking about it, complete with photos.

If you've never tried sous vide for meat, you are missing a treat.  It's the best thing ever invented. It is the only way I know to take a cheap chuck roast and turn it into prime rib. It's magic.

 

Or it was frozen and they didn't tham/heat it properly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

Or it was frozen and they didn't tham/heat it properly.



Perhaps. I was just offering what I think might be a reasonable explanation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, vicd1969 said:

While some of the bad things may partially be explained by logistical issues, like provisioning ship stores is more difficult in the far reaches of the Pacific, it also points to severely lacking leadership on board the ship and above.

 

At this point, I'm not going to sail on any HAL ship smaller than a Vista class, since it seems HAL isn't devoting enough leadership talent and money to operate the smaller ships like the Maasdam or Veendam. 

Have things changed on the Veendam in regard to leadership?  That captain is my absolute favorite of any cruise line.   We sailed with him on Voyage of the Vikings and Amazon Explorer....83 days total.   I know the Veendam has had various issues over the course of its long service.  People were concerned in 2007 before we first sailed a seven day itinerary   We had no problems but that isn't to say they don't happen.    I just don't think it's the captain's fault.

I think you are on to something with "above"....I submitted a suggestion via Feedback on Navigator and the answer was that Seattle dictates the schedule.  Seattle also has made the daily publication much less useful than it used to be.   I spoke with someone onboard who was also on the very first EXE cruise.   In that case a number of changes were made for the better given the input.   Our surveys came this week and everyone has a chance to be heard one way or the other.

I

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...