Holland America Maasdam Ship Review 2019

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The expression, “What’s old is new again” popped into my head as I boarded Holland America’s Maasdam for an prolonged Alaska cruise.  My final expertise aboard the smallest ship of their fleet was approach again in 2012 on a 10-night Canada New England voyage.

Since then, Maasdam underwent an enormous refurbishment in 2016.  I was excited and curious to see what adjustments have been made and take a look at the upgraded furnishings.

Maasdam Cruise Ship Review and Photos

Maasdam ship review - docked in Homer, AlaskaHolland America Maasdam docked in Homer, Alaska.

Fast Facts – Holland America Maasdam

Inaugural: 1993
Refurbished:  2016
Passengers: 1,258
Crew:  569
Dining Options:  Six, plus ice cream bar and complimentary room service
Self-serve laundromat:  Yes, three on varied decks.
Wrap-around promenade: Yes. Four occasions round is a mile.

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Welcome Aboard Holland America’s Maasdam

Maasdam Front Office staff Front Office workers all the time greeted me with a honest smile and correct recommendation.

My First Impressions


If you ever have an opportunity to cruise from San Francisco (and I hope everybody does) arrive a day or two earlier than.  That stated, understand that San Francisco is super-expensive.  I was in a position to get a very good lodge deal throughout the bay in Emeryville at the Courtyard by Marriott for underneath $160 on the LodgeToevening app. From the Courtyard to the historic port was a few 35-minute Uber journey of $40 or so plus tip.

One of the joys of small(er) ship cruising is the ease and velocity of embarkation.  Today was no exception.  The port workers was useful and really pleasant as I made my approach by way of the sunlit terminal.  No wait to scan my baggage and possibly a one minute wait in line to check-in.  I was on board the ship and in my stateroom inside 20 minutes from when I arrived.
Maasdam turquoise glass sculptureMaasdam doesn’t have your typical “Atrium” or Centrum space. Instead, there’s this lovely, illuminated glass sculpture tower.
Maasdam is a much-loved older ship with very devoted previous passengers.  Part of the purpose may very well be as a result of the ship imparts a sense of spaciousness and luxury but nonetheless has all the options that seasoned cruisers anticipate.  You’ll discover that Maasdam has an uncomplicated deck plan, a large wraparound promenade and loads of elevators so there’s hardly ever a wait.

The Filipino and Indonesian workers are useful and pleasant. All kinds of night leisure contains magicians, comedians, singers and dancers, and two large manufacturing reveals.  Often, famous entertainers board the ship in a single port for a one-night-only efficiency and depart the ship in the subsequent port.

There’s supervised care at Club Hal, for ages 3-17 years previous. Separate age-appropriate actions and youth facilities have pirate treasure hunts and humanities and crafts for the youthful children to sports activities competitions, Wii and a teen evening membership for teenagers, all with supervision.

As on many older ships, aboard Maasdam you received’t discover 1,000,000 balcony staterooms. In reality, solely suites have balconies.  There’s an odd little class of staterooms known as, Lanai saterooms.  Each stateroom has a sliding glass door that leads onto the Promenade Deck as a substitute of a balcony.
Maasdam Lanai stateroom and lounge chairEvery Lanai stateroom has two “Reserved” lounge chairs outdoors the sliding glass doorways.
Luckily, the glass sliding doorways are well-tinted so passersby can’t see inside…throughout the day.  At evening, it’s a good suggestion to maintain the drapes closed.

Maasdam Review: My Oceanview Stateroom

Located on A Deck (the lowest deck), my stateroom was absolute midship, port aspect # 774.  Great location, particularly for going ashore.  The deck for the gangway was just under.  We’d have loads of shore days on this lengthy cruise and it’s good to have easy accessibility again to your stateroom after a day ashore.

Review of Maasdam oceanview stateroom on Deck AJust as I remembered it from just a few years in the past…besides spruced up since then.
There’s that previous saying, “once you’ve had a balcony stateroom, you’re spoiled forever.” Well, it’s partially true.  But if you end up on a ship the place solely suites have a balcony, all of the sudden you don’t really feel so not noted.  I assume practically daily I curled up in the curve of the massive image window and simply watched the spectacular Alaskan surroundings.

Every stateroom has a DVD/CD participant and you may borrow from an enormous collection of DVDs and CDs at the Front Desk.  Every stateroom has a protected, too.

Another perk of being on this low deck, particularly in Alaska, I was practically at eye-level with passing sea otters, Stellar seals and oh…an occasional whale.  Great stateroom location.
I had about three seconds from the time I noticed a fin to seize my digital camera and catch this humpback whale breach.
Another good characteristic about any customary Maasdam lodging is the lengthy desk/vainness space.  Plenty of storage and countertop area. If you have been sharing this room, the divider curtain to the closet and toilet supply privateness.
Another good characteristic…discover that the air vent is approach throughout the room from the mattress. It was quiet and didn’t blow gusts of wind in my face whereas attempting to sleep.
Ah…a bath.  At one time, all staterooms on Holland America ships had bathtubs.  Sadly, until you will have a collection, they’ve disappeared on the newer ships.
Another fantastic characteristic, a handheld bathe head. It’s a lot simpler to clean your hair.
It took me a few minutes after which I remembered.  On Maasdam, as on different Holland America ships, too, the hair dryer is in the dresser drawer.  Also, one other make-up mirror.

Dining on Maasdam

On the first evening, I signed up for late eating with assigned tables at 8pm.  Over the years, I’ve made up a sport.  I name it First Night Main Dining Room Roulette.

Basically, I observe the waiter as I’m led to the desk, passing by different tables with folks seated whom I assume can be good tablemates.  It virtually by no means fails that when I attain my assigned desk for 10, there are solely 4 or 5 different passengers seated.  At a desk that dimension, even once you scooch collectively, dialog reverts to virtually yelling to be heard over eating room clatter.

The first evening right here was no completely different than earlier ventures.  As the waiter sidled as much as the desk and reached for my chair, I stated, “Excuse me,” and gently pivoted for a fast exit to the Lido Buffet. The others at the desk for 10 have been a household of three and I can be the odd one out.  I’d strive once more one other evening.
Holland America Maasdam Main Dining RoomTwo-level major eating room. There’s fastened seating occasions in addition to a dine once you need possibility.

Where to Eat

You’ll discover six sit-down eating places on Maasdam:

  • The Dining Room (Main Dining Room) – Included
  • Lido Buffet – Included
  • Pinnacle Grill – $39pp
  • Rudi’s Sel de Mer Pop-up – $49pp
  • Canaletto Italian – $19pp
  • Dive-In – Included
  • 24-Hour Room Service – Included
  • Explorations Cafe – $ for Specialty Coffee & Tea; complimentary snacks
  • Pizza Bar – Included
  • Ice Cream – Included

If you wish to go the conventional route in The Dining Room, fastened seatings are at 5:45pm and eight:00pm.  I like that there’s loads of time for the of us in first seating to take pleasure in their dinner and never really feel rushed.

For those that desire their very own schedule, Flexible Open Dining is out there between 5:15pm and 9:00pm.   With a non-fixed eating time, merely name eating reservations on board or head to The Dining Room throughout eating hours.

READ NEXT:  How to pack for an Alaska cruise

Here are just a few of my favourite meals from Maasdam in July 2019…
Maasdam Canaletto linguine with clam sauceOne of my favorites at Canaletto; Linguine with white clam sauce.
Salmon Caddy GantyAn odd identify, Salmon Caddy Ganty, considered one of the greatest salmon dinners for the whole cruise. Panko-crusted Sockeye salmon with corn and spinach.
sauteed halibut with leeks and onions on a bed of lemon couscous. I reap the benefits of another person cooking the fish for me. This was sauteed halibut with leeks and onions on a mattress of lemon couscous.
Dining on Maasdam PizzaWorth on the lookout for, the Pizza counter is positioned at the Solarium. Gluten-free accessible, too.
Holland America chocolate souffleHolland America’s Culinary Council member Jacques Torres created this heat chocolate Soufflé with creamy vanilla sauce.
And lastly, salmon, salmon and extra salmon.  We have been in Alaska, in any case.
Holland America Pinnacle Grill SalmonYou’d must go to the Pinnacle Grill specialty restaurant for this one; Alaskan King Salmon honey-lemon glaze, dill butter. Worth each penny.

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Maasdam Review: Available Accommodation Choices

With a modest collection of seven varieties of staterooms, selecting your lodging isn’t too difficult.  Reminiscent from ships of yore, as I talked about earlier, the distinctive Lanai staterooms have a sliding door that opens proper onto the outside deck of the Lower Promenade. Included are two teak reclining chairs reserved just for the Lanai friends.  Tinted glass prevents passersby from seeing inside the stateroom throughout the day. 

  • INSIDE:  Standard Inside and Spa Inside
  • OCEANVIEW:  Standard Oceanview, Spa Oceanview, Porthole, Partial Oceanview and Fully Obstructed
  • VISTA SUITE:  Standard Vista Suite, Spa Vista Suite

High above on Deck 10 you’ll discover the Vista, Neptune and Pinnacle Veranda Suites plus the spectacular 1,273 sq. ft. Presidential Suite.  The Concierge-staffed Neptune Lounge is a secluded retreat serving complimentary drinks and lightweight fare, accessible solely to the higher degree Suite friends.

Following the 2016 refurbishment, Maasdam now has Spa suites and staterooms with a alternative of inside, oceanview or balcony. Spa lodging facilities embrace an iPod docking station, yoga mats and a particular countertop water carafe.

Interior staterooms are comfy with good lighting and loads of closet and space for storing.  The bogs aren’t monumental, however undoubtedly properly designed with ample countertop space.

Also included in the ship-wide refurbishment are these fantastic Signature Dream Beds, delicate Egyptian cotton sheets, flat panel TVs and DVD/CD gamers.  DVD and CD leases are free and accessible at the Front Desk.

READ NEXT:  Holland America Nieuw Statendam Balcony Stateroom Review

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Public Rooms

Just as a result of Maasdam is small, doesn’t imply the ship lacks actions or public areas.  With six bars and lounges, a devoted movie show, full spa and health areas and even a library, in 21-days, I nonetheless didn’t get to spend time in each place throughout the cruise.
Maasdam Ocean Bar. The aptly-named Ocean Bar. Nice place to loosen up, hearken to close by dwell music and watch the sea.
Maasdam computer area near Explorations Cafe. If you journey with out a laptop computer, there are a number of to make use of often with out a wait.
Maasdam LibraryThere’s nonetheless a library aboard Maasdam. And unlocked, too.
Of course there’s the ordinary glitzy on line casino that didn’t appear to ever have too many individuals at the tables or machines.  On these longer, port intensive/cultural itineraries, that’s often the case.  

Maasdam is considered one of the few ships wherever, and considered one of six in Holland America’s fleet, that also has a devoted movie show.  On this cruise, not solely have been there films on each port and sea days, however the enrichment lectures have been additionally held there.
Maasdam movie theaterComfy chairs and popcorn for films. One of my favourite pastimes for sea days.
Maasdam Martini BarEvery ship has a Martini Bar, proper? On Maasdam, it’s positioned close to dwell music from the actually in style sing-along piano bar.

Greenhouse Spa and Salon

Maasdam Greenhouse SpaLove these heated tile loungers.
The Greenhouse Spa whirlpool appeared so inviting…however I by no means stepped into it.


This specific Maasdam cruise was considered one of Holland America’s In-Depth Cruises.  These voyages have a spotlight and theme…this considered one of course being Alaska.  From whales and sea life to Native tradition and tales of exploration and the Gold Rush, lectures have been wonderful and ultimately, standing room solely.
Jeff Budd presents enrichment lecture on MaasdamJeff Budd presents an enrichment lecture about his adventures canoeing the Yukon River.
Tlingit Master Carver gave demonstrations in the Atrium all through the cruise.
MainStage / World Stage Theater had manufacturing reveals all through the cruise.  Performers would be part of the ship at one port and depart at the subsequent.  One evening can be a live performance pianist and violinist, one other can be a comic, then a Holland America musical manufacturing, and so forth.

Two highlights stand out in my thoughts and undoubtedly value a point out on this ship overview.  The first, and all the time my favourite, is the BBC Earth Experience.  In a partnership with BBC Earth, Holland America showcases excellent nature-themed movies accompanied by dwell on-stage orchestration.  It’s one present you merely don’t wish to miss.  And it’s often a once-a-cruise occasion.

READ NEXT:  Holland America Eurodam Review 2019
Holland America Maasdam BBC Earth Experience in the World Stage TheaterAbsolutely my favourite Holland America major stage manufacturing; BBC Earth Experience.
Maasdam Four Tenors singing Jersey BoysOkay, I’ll admit it. Whenever there’s a “Jersey Boys” tribute to the Four Seasons, I’m ready for my namesake track. Maasdam had two nights of the Four Tenors performances, considered one of which was a brief “Jersey Boys” recap.

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Outdoor Areas and Pools

You received’t discover breakneck-speed water slides or a brightly coloured aqua park right here.  Instead, it doesn’t matter what the climate, you may loosen up in a lounge chair underneath the sliding dome-covered pool.

Munch on a Dive-In burger and fries or convey your Lido meal and sit by the pool.
Aft pool, overlooking San Francisco’s Transamerica Tower
Maasdam Pickle Ball CourtYes, there’s even a Pickle Ball Court!

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Cruise Maven Loves:

  • Museum-quality art work all through the ship.
  • Filipino and Indonesian workers are all the time useful, pleasant and able to help mobility-impaired friends.
  • Neptune Lounge for the Deluxe Veranda Suite and Presidential Suite friends.
  • The Filipino or Indonesian Talent Show, scheduled for as soon as each cruise.
  • Holland America’s signature bread pudding and vanilla sauce, at the Lido lunch buffet. Yum!
  • Canaletto, the Italian specialty restaurant in the Lido Buffet.
  • The Pub Crawl!  Even should you don’t drink rather a lot, simply to tag alongside is value the charge.
  • Self-service launderettes.
  • A moveable dome over the Lido pool so you may swim and loosen up even in Alaska!
  • Onboard Zodiacs (to be used in hotter climates)Small ship content divider

What’s Onboard for Kids

I don’t assume there have been even 5 children on this cruise.  The EXC In-Depth voyages are geared for adults and so Club Hal wasn’t in operation.  But for different “regular” cruises, right here’s what you may anticipate.

Club HAL actions preserve children and teenagers, from Three to 17 years previous, busy at sea and port days. To take part, the little ones have to be potty educated.  On port days, Club HAL is open from 8am – 4pm. Group lunch is supplied with advance sign-up.

Club HAL After Hours, 10pm – 12am, is $5.00 per baby per hour.  On sea days outdoors of Club HAL hours, in-cabin babysitting could also be attainable. Enquire at the entrance desk. Special wants kids are with different children in the similar chronological age.

The HAL Kids Culinary Workshop presents hands-on cooking classes. Located in the Culinary Arts Center, cooking methods and meals security are emphasised. No further charge to take part on this hour-long exercise.

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Maasdam Ship Review – Bottom Line

I’d have to finish my Maasdam ship overview by saying that for individuals who desire a memorable cruise with out a number of blaring bulletins, drink-hawking and moist t-shirt contests, Maasdam suits the invoice. If you select considered one of the EXC In-Depth cruises, shoreside actions cowl a wider vary and embrace a number of extra energetic/strenous excursions.

The Main Dining Room remains to be very talked-about with its conventional major and second seatings.  Holland America’s “As You Wish” eating was good to have on longer port days.  At least as soon as each crusing, the Pinnacle Grill transforms into Rudi Sodamin’s Sel de Mer, a signature Holland America restaurant.

You’ll love this ship (and an EXC In-Depth cruise) if:

  • You like smaller ships with a retro really feel
  • You’re most all in favour of an actual cruise expertise as a substitute of belly-flop contests at the pool
  • Traveling with older, well-traveled and unpretentious passengers
  • Having solely a half-dozen eating choices isn’t a giant deal
  • You like to stroll – the wraparound promenade is large and has directional indicators!

Maasdam isn’t for you if:

  • You completely will need to have a balcony however a collection is out of your value vary
  • An monumental television display screen in your stateroom is a necessity
  • You look ahead to elaborately-themed, barely raucous late-night pool events
  • An Atrium Bar is your favourite watering gap on bigger ships
  • You’re onboard for Party Town.  Here, they roll up the carpet round 11pm.Small ship content divider

Cruise Maven’s Insider Tips

  • Attend considered one of the many Windows-based Digital Workshops however arrive 15 minutes early to make sure you get a pc station.
  • For a reservation at your required time, e-book your Specialty Restaurant on embarkation day and even earlier than your cruise.
  • Try to keep away from a cabin instantly throughout from a launderette should you like a day nap.  But for comfort, it’s a fantastic location.
  • Some aft cabins on the lowest decks could really feel some engine vibration.
  • Be affected person at the Lido Buffet.  Your ship’s restaurant workers does the serving.  Best apply to minimize the unfold of sickness.
  • An all-vegan OR vegetarian dinner menu is out there upon request.
  • Watch for laundry particular presents mid-way and in the direction of the finish of your cruise.

Whatever itinerary you select, Maasdam is a good way to expertise trendy cruising with a little bit of an old style aptitude on a smaller ship.

Disclosure:  I was a visitor onboard Maasdam and as all the time, all opinions are my very own.  I was underneath no obligation to sugar-coat my overview and as such, I hope you perceive that cruise opinions are subjective.  Just as a result of there’s one thing I do or don’t like, doesn’t imply you’ll really feel the similar.  My aim is to current the information and figures that will help you make the greatest choice once you reserve your cruise.


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