It was wonderful to hear that you had an excellent time aboard the Maasdam. I too was aboard the Maasdam in early March and had an excellent time as well. I have seen DanCruisers report on the Maasdam along with your replies to him on Cruise Critic - I appreciated your candor with him regarding the ship and your experience during the same sailing. As a travel agent I know and have worked with Mr. Burger who is the hotel manager aboard the Maasdam on a few occasions with personal clients sailing aboard the Maasdam. I also know that both he and his staff work very hard to please as well as accomodate all the passengers during each sailing. With regard to the passenger surveys -- they are each read personally by him and I can only imagine what an overwhelming task that must be. I think that in far too many instances the staff aboard any of the HAL ships hears more about the negative aspects of a sailing than the positive from the passengers. Your suggestion to everyone to complete the survey even in those instances where passengers had an excellent experience and also reference the names of those who went above and beyond their normal call of "duty" to ensure a passengers satisfaction was an excellent one as I personally do so myself.
I for one will continue to cruise with HAL and so will my parents and other family members. Many times I think that the crew's interaction and demeanor with the passengers depends very much on that of the passengers demeanor and attitude toward the crew. I have seen some "sullen" individuals boarding cruise ships and the Almighty himself could not please them. For some reason there are those passengers who view the crew as indentured servants and when met with such attitudes I am certain that I too as a crew member would find it hard not to be somewhat sullen myself in such circumstances.
Again, I only wanted to applaud your candor and positive feedback with regard to the Maasdam. I did not mean to write a book in the process. I love cruising and by far HAL is my favorite - I have been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Premier (many years ago) but again by far HAL is my favorite. While my cruise experience is not as vast as yours is -- I know excellent service when I experience it and did so aboard both the Maasdam and Zaandam. As a result, HAL will continue to secure my personal business when cruising and they are my recommended cruise line when selling to an over 35 client.
"Karen Ford": Thank you for your reply to my post. I feel very strongly that as an extremely happy passenger, I wish to inform those persons with future cruises already booked and those considering making a booking on Maasdam, that most of us had a fabulous cruise and adored the crew aboard the Maasdam.
The service we experienced on that ship simply could not have been more efficient, correct or friendly. They didn't just serve us cocktails or dinner; they also served up their infamous, beautiful smiles. They just about knew what we wanted before we knew!
Our society often lets the complainers make all the noise and those who are well-pleased just "avoid the fray". IMO It isn't fair to those crew members (including Mr. Burger with whom we, too, are acquainted) who break their backs to please all passengers, for me to sit back and not respond when I see comments with which I cannot and do not agree. The other poster to whom you referred certainly has a right to his opinion and I respect that, but it is hard for me to imagine he was on the same ship at the same time as us.
Maasdam is my opinion of what I want when I cruise.....and having spoken with many other passengers while aboard (I'm a talker...), the vast majority had a great time and hope to return at their earliest opportunity.
Thank you for such a positive posting. Thinking of booking the Maasdam next summer with my wife and (2) daughters. This will be our 4th cruise and the experinces both you and every cruise review I have found over many,many, many websites sounds like exactly what we are looking for (no more neon mega-ships! for us). What I am trying to find more information on is the children's program from anyone who has had children in it as well as "what is up with the mini-suite" that will only accomodate (3).
Thanks - Bob
We returned from the Maasdam on August 5 and there were over 200 children aboard, but you would never know it. They were engaged by a skilled staff in meaningful activities. We had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat.
We were on the Maasdam this summer and would recommend it.
We also had a mini-suite that was plenty big enough for the three of us (wife, son, and me). In addition to the two beds there was
a sleeper sofa for my 11 year old son who seems to grow a foot a day. However, there was no bunk for a fourth person. You might
want to check into a quad room instead. A full suite is another
possibility but that will cost a good deal more.
Thanks for the info-
Was there a separate "kids" area for the activities?
What about dining in the Lido. Did they serve alternative dining there eery night and if so, starting at what time? This year we fed our children first at the alternative dining on carnival then they went to camp and my wife and I ate late seating. It worked out great!
Any info feedback on the children's program would be great
I know the Maasdam built a new children's activity area, called HAL Kidszone on Promenade deck near the Jave Cafe, but I don't think they run the children's camp after dinner hours. I will ask my friend who used to run this activity when she returns from vacation - may be a few weeks before I get the answer.
The Lido is open every night except the last one.
We are considering the Maasdam for next summer for a large group. However, I read some past passenger reviews who indicated that it had a foul smell, the food was poor, and there was a lot of dirty china on tables. The rates I've been quoted for next year make a Cat B mini suite possible for me and my family. Will I be disappointed? I've sailed on Celebrity, Royal Carib, and Carnival in the past.