Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
KirkNC

Maasdam 97/80 day misadventure

Recommended Posts

1 hour ago, cowmilker said:


I suspect that it may not have been raw at all, but simply cooked via sous vide. I do a lot of that (sous vide) and chicken and pork cooked that way can remain pretty pink and still be thoroughly cooked and perfectly safe. My husband was a bit put off by pink chicken (near the bones, especially) at first, but he's gotten used to it.

Here's a blog article talking about it, complete with photos.  (It would be nice if I included the link.  LOL)  https://thatothercookingblog.com/2017/03/07/cooking-chicken-sous-vide-pink-juices/

If you've never tried sous vide for meat, you are missing a treat.  It's the best thing ever invented. It is the only way I know to take a cheap chuck roast and turn it into prime rib. It's magic.

I’ve tried it once with improvised equipment and it was pretty intensive.

Is it likely HAL uses the technique when they have to prepare so many meals?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

I’ve tried it once with improvised equipment and it was pretty intensive.

Is it likely HAL uses the technique when they have to prepare so many meals?


First, with the right equipment, it's the easiest thing on earth. Set it and forget it. I often do chuck roasts that cook in the bath for 24 hours or longer.

Second, sous vide used to be solely used by chefs in restaurants. It's a perfect way to have steaks, for example, kept hot and perfectly cooked for several hours.  

Third, having lots of meals to prepare would make it even more appealing. Big water bath, lots of steaks, for example, all ready at the same time.

Maybe they don't use it. But I thought I read that somebody mentioned seeing it being used during a kitchen tour.

Edited by cowmilker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:
  1 hour ago, cowmilker said:


I suspect that it may not have been raw at all, but simply cooked via sous vide. I do a lot of that (sous vide) and chicken and pork cooked that way can remain pretty pink and still be thoroughly cooked and perfectly safe. My husband was a bit put off by pink chicken (near the bones, especially) at first, but he's gotten used to it.

 

I sincerely doubt that.  Surely when Kirk called he would have been assured that was the case?

 

I can’t see HAL doing that honestly although I would love it if they did.

But if that’s what they are doing it should be explained in the menu or notice on the LIdo so people know.  JMO.  Rare/raw/pink chicken sends off worries in anyone’s mind so if it’s truly safe then it should be clear.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had exactly the same experience with the chicken parmesan at the Caneletto on the Volendam.  After waiting an hour and a half for our dinner, we were served raw chicken.  I couldn't believe it.  They offered to fix it but after waiting so long I couldn't stand anymore.  Also, I was very upset because I had eaten a couple of bites before I realized why it tasted so weird.

 

I would like to emphasize that the chicken was raw - not pink or undercooked - but raw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, cowmilker said:


I suspect that it may not have been raw at all, but simply cooked via sous vide. I do a lot of that (sous vide) and chicken and pork cooked that way can remain pretty pink and still be thoroughly cooked and perfectly safe. My husband was a bit put off by pink chicken (near the bones, especially) at first, but he's gotten used to it.

Here's a blog article talking about it, complete with photos.  (It would be nice if I included the link.  LOL)  https://thatothercookingblog.com/2017/03/07/cooking-chicken-sous-vide-pink-juices/

If you've never tried sous vide for meat, you are missing a treat.  It's the best thing ever invented. It is the only way I know to take a cheap chuck roast and turn it into prime rib. It's magic.

 

Yes, we've had sous vide preparations, and the first time it was like magic.  We asked how it was so good, SO tender, and after that started looking for sous vide when available.

 

But the meat does not taste RAW or have the consistency of RAW.  Or ... none of the times we've had sous vide prep was it like that.

 

GC

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have sailed with Kirk and Barbara more than once and know they were staunch supporters of HAL.  For them to leave early and also post their negative experiences here, then I know it was BAD.  When the disappointing onboard experiences outweigh the positive enough to cause someone to leave a ship early then HAL should take heed.  I’ve gotten a respiratory infection on the Maasdam the last two times I’ve sailed her. The doctor we were dining with said she was sure it was mold. Our cabins on both cruises were in about the same location.  My husband absolutely refuses to ever board this ship again.  Add to that the negative experiences we had on our last cruise on the Zuiderdam has us thinking we are taking our loyalty elsewhere.   It’s a shame really as we are not that hard to please.  HAL is going to find out they’re losing their faithful.  Kirk, I’m sorry this happened to you.  I’m glad you took the time to share your experiences. 

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/16/2019 at 8:16 PM, KirkNC said:
 

We boarded the Maasdam in August in Tokyo for a scheduled 97 day cruise.  About 70 days in we decided to disembark early (after 80 days).  We told Guest Services who helped reschedule our FlightEase flight back home.  We did not ask for and did not expect any compensation for our decision to leave early.

 

Highlights - great itinerary,  best Pinnacle Grill we have eaten at in years (kudos to Denise), Canaletto was good until the raw chicken episode (see below).  Our room stewards did a good job despite covering thirty cabins.  The crew in general were as great as ever.

 

Food - we found the MDR menu to often be fairly boring with lots of repeated items, I bet they served coconut shrimp 15 times.  We probably ate in the MDR 65 times and had about 12 really good meals, the rest were forgettable.  We also noted the portion sizes were smaller not all bad but my Greek salad one time had a single piece of Romaine and a small one at that.   For some inexplicable reason, toward the end of the cruise they dropped the ice cream flavors and cheese plate from the dessert menu.  This meant the waiter had to go back to the kitchen to find out what these items were on any given night.

 

One day we ordered lunch, I received my starter, we then waited 45 minutes and our Ruben’s with chips had not arrived, we just got up and left.  The service was very inconsistent, some days we were offered rolls or bread, some days we were offered juice ( breakfast), some days the waiter asks about allergies, some days they recommend a dish, and some days none of those happen.

 

Running out of things:  they have run out of everything from Budweiser beer to butter at some point on this cruise.  Other items- potato chips, cream cheese, cereals, crackers, bananas, yogurt, fruit, wine  and more.  

 

Serving rotten and moldy food - absolutely rotten cucumbers in Lido, rotten lettuce, moldy berries, spoiled bananas and avocado, I can’t believe they were serving these things.  The worst offenses however were the black banana on top of my banana split and the semi-raw chicken Parmesan I was served one night in Canaletto.

 

Navigator and When and Where - it’s like no one proofs it.  Sometimes they have wrong locations for events, it can take days to update the dinner menu in Navigator, My Itinerary in Navigator just doesn't work, so many mis-spellings it laughable .  Plus less content in When and Where, for example a movie just has the title, no description of what the movie is about.  They also dropped the weather forecast.

 

Lido - major problems, one of the outside doors fell off months ago, still not fixed.  The AC on one side does not work and has been the way since August.  Service is very inconsistent, most times we have to get everything ourselves.  This did get better latter in the cruise.  They have plenty of people selling drinks and specialty restaurants but not enough servers, the place is a chaotic zoo.  At one time, only about half the tables had salt and pepper shakers, I asked why and they said the passengers were stealing them 🥺, they did give each table shakers a short time later.  The two self serve ice makers have been broken since we got on two and a half  months ago.  You can get ice out but they don’t stop, this pours crushed ice on the floor.

 

Our room - we have a two inch gap at the bottom of our door, when lying in bed I could actually see the reflection of peoples feet walking by, we have to put a towel in the gap every night to keep out light and noise.  Our bathroom door does not close properly, it’s like the frame is out of square.  We have had to call at least twelve time because our toilet won’t flush, it’s not clogged, you push the button and nothing happens.  Outside in our hall it always smells like sewage, it’s been this way from day one.

 

Sea view Pool - I went in to swim and came out with little particles of soot all over me, nice touch

 

Tenders - one day we bobbed around right beside the ship for 45 minutes, within 50 yards of the tender gangway, before they actually tied us up and unloaded.

 

Speakers - we found the speakers to be great the first 29 days (this part was in essence a WW II Cruise).  Once in Australia, the speakers were still good but the breadth of topics was not good.  I can only go to so many talks on crocodiles and birds.  More on the history of the region, maybe on the Aboriginal people, etc would have been nice.

 

Gangways - on multiple occasions the gangway were ridiculously steep, I don’t know how handicap people got up them.  We also had a window exploded over the gangway one day sending glass all over.  Two other windows were broken and covered in plastic as well (see pic).

 

Initially I reported many of these items on comment cards, when our original captain was on board, they would usually respond, we got a new captain in Sydney and they no longer respond.

 

So that’s the short list of items.  One of the funniest things is when I went to them and told them we want off 17 days early, told them they could keep the multiple thousand of $$$$ we had paid for that and all I wanted was our flight rescheduled, they did not even ask why, amazing, I guess it happens all the time! Eventually they did come and talk to us but that was after the Pinnacle Mgr told them they should.

 

Right before we disembarked, we did receive a letter from HAL apologizing for the problems and offered us some future cruise credits.

 

So that was our 97/80 day Maasdam adventure. 

 

 

 

 

The items that bother me are the lack of edible food or rotten food (health issues)

The lack of a properly operating door to the buffet that leads to improper food storage issues

The 2" gap at the bottom of the door is a fire /smoke hazard.

 

My cruise expectations may be different but none of these items are acceptable. It also sounds like staff was inconsistent and leadership was not correcting issues.

 

I am booked on a 14 day Alaska Explorer on Maasdam next year and the key reasons for me are the ports and lecturers.  I don't need the wide variety of food but I do need food that is properly prepared and safe to eat. I hope corporate takes this seriously and moves to correct the issues both with staff, food prep and storage and most importantly paying attention to and resolving customer complaints.

 

I would be interested in any updates from corporate.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by AlanF65

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Kirk, sorry to hear of your bad experiences. We were on that same cruise from Seattle to Sydney and our HAL experience was 180° opposite and I blogged every day of the Cruise. Florin and Captain Arno were friendly and courteous to us.  I personally know of another passengers with some medical & passport challenges who received service well above and beyond the call of duty.

 

Over the past two years we've been on the Maasdam 5 months and just booked a spring 2020 cruise on it.

 

I would say that combining  the CD and EXC guide into a Single position was a mistake, but i understand it has subsequently reverted to the old way of separate positions.

Edited by Btimmer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aargh..............this is very disconcerting and beyond the 'little' things that can happen when cruising (plugged plumbing, slow service, etc)

I am traveling with someone who is immune compromised.........if mold is in the air system he is vulnerable to illness and even death.   Foods present the same issues.........no uncooked/raw food!    I am thinking of changing our plans as I do not need the stress of wondering if basic things are 'okay' on the ship (clean air, safe kitchen handling and delivery of food, staff that respond appropriately to guests)........... neither of us need unnecessary exposure to known problems!    

I'd be glad to be updated by someone at HAL that can clarify what has been done to address these issues,..............anyone out there? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...