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Thinking of taking a cruise to Alaska 2019, on this ship. Any opinions of ship would be appreciated. Thanks.

 

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Thinking of taking a cruise to Alaska 2019, on this ship. Any opinions of ship would be appreciated. Thanks.

It's been a few years (4? 5?) since I have sailed on the Maasdam, so I can't speak to her current condition. I can say that I love her size. Just large enough to be a decent cruise ship, but small enough to be able to return to your cabin for something without packing a lunch. You can meet the same people over and over again, which is nice.

There is lots of covered deck space from which to enjoy Alaska's famous 'liquid sunshine', and to watch the sea life from a low level.

 

This ship wasn't given as many Lanai cabins as her sister was, which means there are more lounge chairs available for the general public.

 

The Maasdam has a few (very few) 21-day Alaska cruises in '19, and I jumped to book one of them before they are gone. I'm looking forward to both the new itinerary and the ship.

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We sailed on the Maadam last August for a 14 day Alaska cruise. We loved every minute of it for all the reasons Ruth gave as well as the awesome itinerary.

 

If you're interested in seeing pictures, you are welcome to click on the link below. It will take you to my wife's website where she has a photo slideshows of our cruise as well as pictures taken around the ship.

 

Maasdam 14 day Alaska cruise

 

Alaska is amazing! We have plans to return again on another Holland America cruise.

 

Happy sailing!

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It's been a few years (4? 5?) since I have sailed on the Maasdam, so I can't speak to her current condition. I can say that I love her size. Just large enough to be a decent cruise ship, but small enough to be able to return to your cabin for something without packing a lunch. You can meet the same people over and over again, which is nice.

There is lots of covered deck space from which to enjoy Alaska's famous 'liquid sunshine', and to watch the sea life from a low level.

 

This ship wasn't given as many Lanai cabins as her sister was, which means there are more lounge chairs available for the general public.

 

The Maasdam has a few (very few) 21-day Alaska cruises in '19, and I jumped to book one of them before they are gone. I'm looking forward to both the new itinerary and the ship.

Looking at same cruise. We live in Bay Area and love the longer Alaska voyages.

 

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We spent 66 days on the Maasdam in Oct/Nov 2016 and loved it. I think we have been on her 5 times. On our recent Veendam cruise, will talking with the Capt and CD, they said that the Maasdam will be going in for a retrofit soon to change to convert it to an "Explorations Type" ship that will be able to do more small port sailings including that ability to have rigid inflatables to load passengers from the tender platforms. The entertainment will be more cultural enrichment in the future rather than the normal song/dance/comedy shows.

 

We are looking forward to sailing on the Maasdam in the future with these new modifications.

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There is a rumour that HAL will make the Maasdam an expeditionship including zodiacs. Anybody know when? Looking at the itineraries up until 2019 they look as busyness aa usual.

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There is a rumour that HAL will make the Maasdam an expeditionship including zodiacs. Anybody know when? Looking at the itineraries up until 2019 they look as busyness aa usual.

 

We heard this "rumor" directly from the Capt of the Veendam and the CD during our cruise in Oct. They did not give an exact time but indicated in the later half of 2018.

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We spent 66 days on the Maasdam in Oct/Nov 2016 and loved it. I think we have been on her 5 times. On our recent Veendam cruise, will talking with the Capt and CD, they said that the Maasdam will be going in for a retrofit soon to change to convert it to an "Explorations Type" ship that will be able to do more small port sailings including that ability to have rigid inflatables to load passengers from the tender platforms. The entertainment will be more cultural enrichment in the future rather than the normal song/dance/comedy shows.

 

We are looking forward to sailing on the Maasdam in the future with these new modifications.

 

We have booked one of the Maasdam EXP cruises (spring of 2019). When talking to the future cruise counselor we were surprised to hear that the Maasdam will no longer have any production shows (which means that HAL can cut their staff and costs). And that size ship will not have any BB King group (they will not longer be on any of the smaller/medium size HAL ships. How HAL handles so-called cultural enrichment will be vital for its success. If they are going to have a single 9pm enrichment lecture in a theater that cannot hold all the passengers...there are going to some very unhappy cruisers. We also wonder how they will handle the many sea days on future Maasdam cruises...as you can only do so much with "enrichment lectures" and you cannot bring local folk shows aboard when in the middle of the Pacific. We were intrigued enough to book the cruise...but can certainly change our mind if initial reports (here on CC) are not good.

 

Hank

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We sailed on the Maadam last August for a 14 day Alaska cruise. We loved every minute of it for all the reasons Ruth gave as well as the awesome itinerary.

 

If you're interested in seeing pictures, you are welcome to click on the link below. It will take you to my wife's website where she has a photo slideshows of our cruise as well as pictures taken around the ship.

 

Maasdam 14 day Alaska cruise

 

Alaska is amazing! We have plans to return again on another Holland America cruise.

 

Happy sailing!

 

 

Thanks for the link!

I will be on the Maasdam sailing next Monday the 27th and this helps with the anticipation!!:p

This is my first HAL cruise and I couldn't be more happier that its on a smaller intimate ship with a great itinerary.

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Thanks for the link!

I will be on the Maasdam sailing next Monday the 27th and this helps with the anticipation!!:p

This is my first HAL cruise and I couldn't be more happier that its on a smaller intimate ship with a great itinerary.

Let me know what you think of the ship. Have a great cruise.

 

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We board the Maasdam tomorrow for 31 days. Can’t wait! We spent 23 days on her last year and loved it. The ship was in great condition, the staff are wonderful and we spent the many sea days relaxing and reading on deck. We like the older, smaller ships, as we are not party people, and really just want peace and quiet when on holiday. We found the lectures to be very interesting, and are hoping for the same on our trip tomorrow. Leaving for Sydney in two hours, have to get through a six hour bus journey before we board tomorrow. Happy travels to everyone.

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We are on the Maasdam for a seven day cruise several months ago (June). We love the smaller S and slightly larger R class ships. Thoroughly enjoyed this cruise and ship. The older traditions which attracted me to HAL in the first place are carried on. Bank in the Ocean Bar, nice Explorers Cafe, and a Crows Nest where drinkers are welcome --withe a library no less! Cruise on her before they ruin her as they seem to be doing with the Vista class ships

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We board the Maasdam tomorrow for 31 days. Can’t wait! We spent 23 days on her last year and loved it. The ship was in great condition, the staff are wonderful and we spent the many sea days relaxing and reading on deck. We like the older, smaller ships, as we are not party people, and really just want peace and quiet when on holiday. We found the lectures to be very interesting, and are hoping for the same on our trip tomorrow. Leaving for Sydney in two hours, have to get through a six hour bus journey before we board tomorrow. Happy travels to everyone.
Have a great cruise. Please report your observations if possible. Booked a Neptune Suite for the 21 day Alaskan cruise for 2019. So far away. We like smaller ships and are early to bed so it sounds right for us.

 

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We have booked one of the Maasdam EXP cruises (spring of 2019). When talking to the future cruise counselor we were surprised to hear that the Maasdam will no longer have any production shows (which means that HAL can cut their staff and costs). And that size ship will not have any BB King group (they will not longer be on any of the smaller/medium size HAL ships. How HAL handles so-called cultural enrichment will be vital for its success. If they are going to have a single 9pm enrichment lecture in a theater that cannot hold all the passengers...there are going to some very unhappy cruisers. We also wonder how they will handle the many sea days on future Maasdam cruises...as you can only do so much with "enrichment lectures" and you cannot bring local folk shows aboard when in the middle of the Pacific. We were intrigued enough to book the cruise...but can certainly change our mind if initial reports (here on CC) are not good.

 

Hank

 

This is on the HAL Website. Sounds like something I would enjoy if I didn't have cruises already booked.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

HOW DOES THE ONBOARD EXPERIENCE CHANGE ON AN EXC IN-DEPTH™ VOYAGE?

Guests aboard ms Maasdam EXC In-Depth Voyages can expect the same classic style, gracious intuitive service, attention to detail, award-winning dining, and most everything else they’ve come to love and expect from Holland America Line. And because EXC In-Depth Voyages are designed with more emphasis on the destination, we’re adding many new, optional activities under themes like Photography, Food, Wine & Spirits, Active Exploration, Nature and Science, History and Perspective, and Arts and Culture. In this spirit, there will be a few trade-offs. For example, instead of mainstage production shows, evening entertainment will more often and more intimately reflect the local culture. Instead of America’s Test Kitchen, EXC In-Depth Voyages will bring local chefs, locally sourced ingredients and local culinary traditions onboard to enhance the culinary offerings loved and expected by Holland America Line guests.

 

WHAT CAN CHILDREN DO ON AN EXC IN-DEPTH VOYAGE?

While many of the EXC In-Depth activities will be suitable for children, Club HAL will not operate on these Voyages.

 

CAN I COMBINE VOYAGES?

Absolutely. The possibilities are virtually endless. For example, combine the September 10, 2018 Kon Tiki Voyager with the October 14 Polynesian Idyll for a full 48 days exploring this remote and fascinating corner of the Pacific. Or join ms Maasdam on January 26th in Singapore and stay for 40 days, taking in the highlights of Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and much more. Consider a carefully crafted contrast of seldom-visited ports like Uleguma in the Maldives Islands and the must-see metropolises of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. Or follow in the footsteps of some of history’s great intrepid explorers and combine all 13 voyages for a truly immersive, 239-day experience.

 

WHEN WILL MORE DETAILED INFORMATION BE AVAILABLE?

Additional details on EXC In-Depth Voyages activities, including onboard programs and onshore EXC Tours™ will be released in fall 2017.

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The Maasdam has a few (very few) 21-day Alaska cruises in '19, and I jumped to book one of them before they are gone. I'm looking forward to both the new itinerary and the ship.

 

Ruth, may I ask which of the three sailings you've booked? I saw that cruise yesterday when poking around the website and am super-excited. Spoke with my mother tonight and she's onboard with it. We're just trying to decide between the May 28 and June 18 sailings. When we did the two-week last year, we went the first two weeks in June and the weather was nice. I was hoping that we might catch the beginning of the salmon run if we took the June 18 sailing though and it's only $100 extra for the cabin we want.

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I too did the 14 day Alaska cruise on Maasdam last year and it was fabulous! I love the ship for many of the reasons already mentioned by others (relatively small size, good condition, excellent staff), but I think she is perfect for Alaska because there is so much real estate on the decks (or inside or on the promenade if that's your pleasure) to watch the gorgeous scenery without feeling overly crowded. One thing that I loved that apparently is not the norm on most other HAL ships is that the sun deck (I think that's what it's called, the one directly above the Crow's Nest) is **not** enclosed so there are unobstructed views up there around most of the ship. I spent many an hour up there looking for whales (quite successfully most of the time) and there's often no one else or very few folks up there unless you're someplace like Mendenhall Glacier. Also, the aft pool area was not renovated into oblivion and it's a wonderful place to sit and eat, read, sunbathe, enjoy the view, etc. I will be back on Maasdam for 20 days this spring to do the Panama Canal and I'm so looking forward to it. I didn't know about the EXC In-depth thing until reading this thread (although I had a feeling something like that was in the works when I saw the itinerary for the Kon-Tiki voyage a while ago) and that makes me even more excited for the Alaska three week adventure! so far away though.....

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Maasdam has been, up until now, the classic smaller traditional cruise ship. We've sailed on her five times and have always had good experiences and have looked forward to going back.

 

However, these changes forecast for the future will produce major changes in the cruise experience on her. How that all works out remains to be seen, but I am not optimistic.

 

At least she seems to be remaining in the fleet and I'm glad of that.

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Ruth, may I ask which of the three sailings you've booked?

June 18. I'll be returning from another cruise too soon before this one, so the longer the delay, the better. I would have preferred a longer gap between cruises, but a girl's gotta take what's there!

I also like the idea of going closer to Summer Solstice. I love the long days, and lingering twilights in Alaska right around then.

 

Didn't we miss a cruise on the same ship at the same time once before? I'm happy to see June 18 is one of the departures you're looking at. We can make up for that previous cancellation!

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This is on the HAL Website. Sounds like something I would enjoy if I didn't have cruises already booked.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

HOW DOES THE ONBOARD EXPERIENCE CHANGE ON AN EXC IN-DEPTH VOYAGE?

Guests aboard ms Maasdam EXC In-Depth Voyages can expect the same classic style, gracious intuitive service, attention to detail, award-winning dining, and most everything else they’ve come to love and expect from Holland America Line. And because EXC In-Depth Voyages are designed with more emphasis on the destination, we’re adding many new, optional activities under themes like Photography, Food, Wine & Spirits, Active Exploration, Nature and Science, History and Perspective, and Arts and Culture. In this spirit, there will be a few trade-offs. For example, instead of mainstage production shows, evening entertainment will more often and more intimately reflect the local culture. Instead of America’s Test Kitchen, EXC In-Depth Voyages will bring local chefs, locally sourced ingredients and local culinary traditions onboard to enhance the culinary offerings loved and expected by Holland America Line guests.

 

WHAT CAN CHILDREN DO ON AN EXC IN-DEPTH VOYAGE?

While many of the EXC In-Depth activities will be suitable for children, Club HAL will not operate on these Voyages.

 

CAN I COMBINE VOYAGES?

Absolutely. The possibilities are virtually endless. For example, combine the September 10, 2018 Kon Tiki Voyager with the October 14 Polynesian Idyll for a full 48 days exploring this remote and fascinating corner of the Pacific. Or join ms Maasdam on January 26th in Singapore and stay for 40 days, taking in the highlights of Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and much more. Consider a carefully crafted contrast of seldom-visited ports like Uleguma in the Maldives Islands and the must-see metropolises of Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. Or follow in the footsteps of some of history’s great intrepid explorers and combine all 13 voyages for a truly immersive, 239-day experience.

 

WHEN WILL MORE DETAILED INFORMATION BE AVAILABLE?

Additional details on EXC In-Depth Voyages activities, including onboard programs and onshore EXC Tours will be released in fall 2017.

Thank you for this information.

 

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We have sailed Maasdam on the Canada/New England itinerary. We loved everything about the ship especially the size. As others have said, you get a chance to meet and mingle with a smaller crowd and really get to know them.

 

One thing that I'll add is there is a limited number of Neptune Suites on Maasdam, so if you desire one of these wonderful suites, and their amenities, I'd grab one ASAP. On our first experience, we were accustomed to having the luxury of receiving an upgrade (or upsell) from a Superior Suite or a Verandah Suite, and were disappointed when those offers didn't come(only ourselves to blame ;)).

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This is on the HAL Website. Sounds like something I would enjoy if I didn't have cruises already booked.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

HOW DOES THE ONBOARD EXPERIENCE CHANGE ON AN EXC IN-DEPTH™ VOYAGE?...

Sharon, this information is exciting! Thank you so much for posting it.

 

Makes me think, too, that maybe HAL plans to leave Maasdam in the fleet longer, and repurpose the ship. Perhaps a HAL, and HAL-lite, might be a plan with the older ships put to a traditional, cultural, and educational purpose while the newer ships are marketed to a different group.

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We have sailed Maasdam on the Canada/New England itinerary. We loved everything about the ship especially the size. As others have said, you get a chance to meet and mingle with a smaller crowd and really get to know them.

 

One thing that I'll add is there is a limited number of Neptune Suites on Maasdam, so if you desire one of these wonderful suites, and their amenities, I'd grab one ASAP. On our first experience, we were accustomed to having the luxury of receiving an upgrade (or upsell) from a Superior Suite or a Verandah Suite, and were disappointed when those offers didn't come(only ourselves to blame ;)).

Yes I got our Neptune Suite yesterday for our 21 day Alaska cruise in 2019. Very excited as the itinerary is wonderful.

 

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Hi everyone, my computer updated itself last night and I cant seem to use the quote function. Please excuse if this is mixed up, messed up in general or whatever.

Ruth C. The Maasdam has long been my favorite ship and I thank you for the information you have posted on this thread. I hope to meet you in person some day.

I will be checking out that Alaska cruise on the HAL website today.

Jane

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Nice to read all these positive comments on the Maasdam as we will be sailing the Boston to Montreal itinerary next summer.

 

Usually comments about older ships tend to often be negative on these boards.

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