Holland America We Love You; BUT...
Maasdam Cruise Review to Caribbean - Southern
Sail Date: March 25, 2006
Cabin Type: Inside
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 7 years ago
Review SummaryFrom the beginning this cruise was very different from any other HAL cruise we have taken. The embarkation was very difficult because there were no signs or indications as to where you should go to get on the ship. By luck, we saw some people lining up and joined them. Also it was outside in very cold (for California people) weather and we had to wait a long time in this cold without any coats.
Our cabin, although it was large, was located in an area where every time we docked we had to endure very loud noises for sometime - very early in the AM - which kept us from being able to enjoy "sleeping in" for a change. Our steward was pleasant but never made up the bed properly. The mattress cover was always wrinkled and I had to fix it every night. I think he just straightened the sheets and never looked at the pad. Unfortunately, our prior experiences with HA had set us up for much better service. We had trouble with our shower but they were never able to fix it even though we asked several times. On other trips things were taken care of immediately.
We noticed that throughout the ship some areas were very worn - lots of rust - and just in general worn out. If we had known that this was the last trip prior to being refurbished, we might have waited and taken another ship/cruise. Things just didn't meet the usual HA standards. For example: our dining table was a problem. Every time the waiter had to put food in front of me I had to adjust my seating so he could reach the table. After awhile we just went to the Lido for dinner instead of having to be disturbed for every course.
I don't want you to think that we had such a bad time that we will not want to take a HA cruise again - we are true blue Mariners, but I can tell you that we will ask a lot more questions about our ship in the future.
We did enjoy the ports except for San Juan which was a real "bust" - not much was open and what was was difficult to find. I would rather have had any other port or even another day at sea.
Finally, we should have been advised about the immigration checks. This not only affected us, but the crew - our steward told us he had to spend hours with immigration which is why out cabin was not tended to as usual. This happened twice on this cruise! Having to go and stand in a long line waiting to be checked, not once, but twice - well, we should have been advised prior to the trip.
It is the various things I have described above that make all the difference in whether a person has an enjoyable cruse or not. Although we will take HA again, for our next cruise we are looking at other lines.
Ports of Call
Pros: We just like the overall ambience of the Holland America adventure. It is best suited to our lifestyle and age bracket.
Cons: The ship was in great need of its refurbishment that was coming next.