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Schlepporello

Everything Maasdam

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We're considering switching to a cruise on the Maasdam, but I'm hearing that it is small and one of the oldest ships in the HAL fleet. If we cruise, will we be disappointed with this ship? When was the last time it had a refurb?

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Yes, Maasdam is small compared to most cruise ships. And yes, it wasn't built in the last few years. 

 

To help us answer your question, what amenities do you look for in a ship?

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Agree...not sure how we are going to know if you will be disappointed, as we don't know you. MANY people like the smaller ships. We spent 14 days on Amsterdam (similar size ship) last June, and it was great. And we are generally fans of HAL's larger ships. 

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I’ve sailed on her sister ship Veendam and it’s my favorite of the 3 HAL ships I’ve sailed so far. The small ships really have a special atmosphere aboard; there is an intimacy you could never achieve with 2000+ people.  That said, it will definitely have far fewer bells and whistles and will not be perfectly shiny and new in every corner.  The inside staterooms are MUCH bigger than the newer ships so that’s a plus if you book insides. 

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We had two cruises on her before she started EXC cruises. She is a lovely smaller ship, classic, very comfortable, easy to get around. She doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the newer ships but that wasn't a hardship for us as we enjoy the smaller ship atmosphere. And from my understanding with the new EXC programing, she has a separate identity from the other ships in the fleet so definitely research what those EXC cruises mean in terms of entertainment and educational opportunities. But the ship herself... we adore her. A very special ship in our opinion.  

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We were on her many years ago when she was relatively new. No issues and had a nice time. 

 

We were back on her a few years ago and had issues. A/C and toilets were out for a period of time. Some posters on this forum don't get bothered by these issues. We do. Others have posted all is good with the ship. Sorry but the ship is over 20 years old and HAL maintenance isn't the best. (Search the forum). So unless the cruise the ship is on is spectacular, and worth putting up with these issues,  we will pass on sailing on her.  We work hard for our money and there are many other ships out there to choose from. 

 

No A/C, no crapper, no sail. 

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I spent three weeks on the Maasdam this summer, and had a lovely time. The ship was in fine condition, service was excellent. The EXC program had started and was very, very good. We had several interesting lectures a day, by people who knew their topics, and knew how to present. 
If I could repeat that cruise (it isn't being offered this year), I would do so in a heartbeat. 

If you want the latest features on a ship, filled with all sorts of glitz, the Maasdam isn't for you. But if you want interesting itineraries, a ship that is comfortable, with larger cabins than newer ships, and great service, then you might enjoy a cruise on her. 

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I’m booked on her in April for a cruise to Mexico. I’ve already done part of that trip twice, so it will be interesting to see what differences there are now with the EXC program. So far, there is no advertising it as a specialty cruise and no ships zodiac shorex are offered. It just looks like a typical Sea of Cortez itinerary.

 

Adding- I love Veendam.

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I was just on the 34 day cruise from 3rd December to 6th January and I can tell you that I heard of no problems with A/C or toilets etc. during the cruise. The ship was in very good condition and the crew were as friendly and efficient as usual.

The EXC problem provided a lot of interesting talks and the entertainment was also very good.

The only complaint I would have with the Maasdam is that it does not have the middle set of stairs/elevators that the newer ships do, so I just did a bit more exercise than I expected. 

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We spent 40 days on her from Perth to Singapore to Sri Lanka return to Singapore.  Had a wonderful time.  We have only sailed on this class of ship or the Vista class from HAL and like the smaller ships a lot.  No big problems.  My favourite thing to do on the sea days is to sit on a lounge chair on the promenade deck, read, and watch the ocean go by.

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As others have stated, the ship is smaller than the current average size.  It's also currently the oldest ship in the fleet.  That said, we have over half of our days at sea with HAL on the Maasdam, as she seems to go where we want to when we want to. We are about to leave on a long trip (basically 3 legs back-to-back) departing from Sydney mid-February on her.  She is a quiet ship, so if you want a really active evening it probably isn't for you.  The HAL evening entertainment isn't what it used to be, either. 

 

OTOH, if you want an intimate feel to a ship with excellent staff service, I don't think you can beat her on any other ship in the fleet.  We did the 21-day Alaska on her last summer and had no issues with our room.  I recall a South American cruise where people in the aft portion of our deck had issues with the A/C and it was HOT and humid in the Amazon.  Ships are machines and stuff happens, but it put us off booking aft for good, and we weren't even in the rooms that were so miserable.

 

We already have planned that if/when the Maasdam is retired from the fleet, we will be on her for the final voyage.  Too many wonderful memories are attached to that ship for us to miss saying goodbye when the time comes.

Edited by Nanner

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One website shows that the ship was refurbished in 2018.   Were the cabins updated at all?   On our last cruise on HAL on the Volendam, we liked most things about the ship, but our cabin was actually pretty depressing:  rather scary bird prints on the wall opposite the bed, a tiny TV that barely worked at all, desk drawers/makeup mirror broken, uncomfortable loveseat.    Any hope the Maasdam would be better?    

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We just got off her on Monday after doing a 2 week cruise from Sydney to Auckland.  I love this ship, yes it is small and an older ship but she is lovely and the staff are wonderful.  This is our second time on her and we have just booked again for 30 days in October.  First time we had a lanai which we loved, this time we had cabin 418 right at the back on deck 6.  We loved the access to the promenade right outside our door, but beware the ship plan doesn't show it but there is an air conditioning unit right next door and the noise bothered my husband.  We had issues with the air con, guest services gave us a fan and that helped, my parents were in 420 and their air con was fine.  We have booked 420 for our next cruise.  Not a ship with huge amounts of entertainment but we love the little nooks and crannies that seem to exist more on older ships makes it very cosy,  it is like what I imagine the old days of cruising are.  The food is amazing!!!

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Sailed 24 days on her last spring from Auckland to San Francisco. Booked for 82 days on her next January which will be our six cruise on her. She’s a classic with great crew.

 

Few scruffs here and there but fantastic itineraries.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, 3rdGenCunarder said:

Yes, Maasdam is small compared to most cruise ships. And yes, it wasn't built in the last few years. 

 

To help us answer your question, what amenities do you look for in a ship?

My wife is looking for sugar-free ice cream. I'm much easier to satisfy. I just want lots of food. I'd say it's a safe bet that there won't be a rock climbing wall. But at my age, I've learned the value of forgoing certain activities. We're considering a 14-day Alaskan cruise on this ship. I'm not concerned with shipboard activities. I'd be happy being on whale watch.

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We did a round trip on the Maasdam from Sydney up the Queensland coast and islands of PNG prior to Christmas and loved it.  We had not been on this ship before and were very pleasantly surprised.  Yes, it's an old ship by today's standards but just as comfortable and well maintained as any of the other HAL ships (the newest ship we have been on is the Eurodam).  About 1200 passengers I think but it was a good number.  Depends on what evening entertainment you are looking for as there isn't a lot but there are plenty of EXC lectures and there is the opportunity for zodiac boat excursions which we loved (we are 70ish).  I'd do another cruise on the Maasdam any day.

 

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As far as entertainment is concerned, I traditionally never do shows. Maybe this will change, maybe not. But I can take them or leave them unless they need a tuba player and just happen to have a horn I can borrow. if we venture into the ship, it's usually to hit the shops (which we seldom ever buy anything), spend $20 at the casino or eat. I love watching the ocean go by especially if there;s a chance of seeing a whale.

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We were on the Maasdam in Alaska a few years ago. She is the perfect size ship for that itinerary and for Alaska's small ports. And, with Alaska's daylight extending well into the night, you will find yourself on deck many evenings. A tip: when in your cabin keep your TV tuned to the bow camera. Then you can dash out on deck whenever something interesting comes into view.

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What about internet? I'm sure it's available for a price, but my wife thinks I'll die if I can't get on Facebook.

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4 minutes ago, Schlepporello said:

What about internet? I'm sure it's available for a price, but my wife thinks I'll die if I can't get on Facebook.

 

Sorry, others will need to answer. When I go to sea, I disconnect...

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39 minutes ago, Schlepporello said:

What about internet? I'm sure it's available for a price, but my wife thinks I'll die if I can't get on Facebook.

If you look around the board,  you will find many threads on internet plans. The plans are the same fleet wide. 

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10 minutes ago, CruiserBruce said:

If you look around the board,  you will find many threads on internet plans. The plans are the same fleet wide. 

Yeah, I thought as much. She's concerned about my sanity on the ship. I lost that a long time ago though, so I ain't worried.

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I've sailed on her 8 years ago from Fort Lauderdale to Montreal and I had a great cruise. Thinking to book her for a cruise to Mexixo on March 2021.

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10 hours ago, Schlepporello said:

My wife is looking for sugar-free ice cream. I'm much easier to satisfy. I just want lots of food. I'd say it's a safe bet that there won't be a rock climbing wall. But at my age, I've learned the value of forgoing certain activities. We're considering a 14-day Alaskan cruise on this ship. I'm not concerned with shipboard activities. I'd be happy being on whale watch.

 

HAL is pretty good about providing sugar-free desserts, so there's probably sugar-free ice cream. I am pleased to say that HAL has never had climbing walls, ziplines, ice rinks, bumper cars, or water slides. So no temptation to do something that you probably should forgo (as should I).

 

HAL does Alaska well. The 14-day itinerary usually offers good options for whale watching tours. Do some research and see if you can find small-boat excursions. The "deluxe" ships have bathrooms, which the little boats won't, but they've also got a zillion people jostling for space at the rail. Lots of info is available at the Alaska port of call board.

 

HAL's internet plans are unlimited, not by the minute. They sell three tiers. The least expensive is "social," which gets you to facebook, etc. The next is "surf," which lets you surf the net so you can use email and other websites. The third is "stream" (I think) and it gives you access to streaming sites. You can buy just a day here and there, but it's cheaper to buy the package for the whole cruise. Also remember that your ports will mostly be in the US, so your cell should work without being on roaming charges.

 

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