What made the Maasdam so miserable was the lack of hot water and AC. I spoke with a number of other pax and was stunned to learn that those who had verandas had no problems. Those pax that I talked to that had ocean views, including on the promenade deck , and inside cabins had the same problems we had. It just seems oddly coincidental that the upper decks (more expensive) had no problems, while the lower 'steerage' decks/cabins did.
I actually prefer an ocean view cabin. The wife and I no longer smoke, so a balcony isn't as important as it once was. I happily noticed, however, that there was more closet space in the Maasdam's ocean view than there was in the Zuiderdam's veranda.
I guess there's no definitive answer. It seems like one pays their money and takes their chances (like everything else in life).
I'm still hoping for more opinions, etc.