Maasdam (V) Tour Index
The Holland America line ship, Maasdam, was making a call into Southampton on the 2nd August 2012.  Usually, when she's near the UK, she visits other ports so this was a rare treat.  I had seen her back in 2006 while visiting friends in Plymouth.  She was the first HAL ship I'd seen and continues to have a special place in my heart, which is why I was delighted to find HAL offering a visit as they had in 2011 when Rotterdam called.  I immediately applied in February.  My friend Fay applied too a few months later and was also given a place.  As with Rotterdam, it would be a self tour, which was good, but again no cabins as the ship was in transit rather than on a turnaround.  Our instructions were to be at Ocean Terminal for 9.30am to check in, boarding at 10am with lunch in the Rotterdam Dining Room at 11.30am and presentation from 1pm, with us leaving an hour later.  The dress code would be elegant casual - no T-shirts, jeans or shorts.  I wore a T-shirt while a young man was in cropped scruffy jeans with checked shirt and sandals.  The original time of arrival was 8am, sailing 6pm but that was changed to docking for 9am.  When we arrived at the terminal they were securing the last of the ropes.  After checking in we went aboard and were left to our own devices as many passengers were heading off on tours.  I had missed the Crows Nest on Rotterdam due to running out of time after we boarded late, so it was a good place to start and work down.  This is where things became confusing.  Deck plans were similar to Rotterdam but it was completely different onboard.  For instance, we had been instructed to go to Deck 4 for lunch but it was actually Deck 7 while Lido Deck is 8 on Rotterdam but 11 on Maasdam.  For the superstitious, there is no Deck 13, even though Deck 14 really is it.  So the Sports Deck and the gorgeous Crows Nest.  I just loved the chairs and the bar in the middle of the room.  Unfortunately, like Aurora, you have a view of the top of the bridge but it's still a gorgeous room.  Fay remarked the reclining chairs by the windows were like a dentist's.  A lot more comfy than one of those!  You can even sit along the window.  We headed outside next and thankfully it wasn't raining.  There is no windscreen on Sky Deck, which gets my thumbs up!  Windscreens are awful when you want to take photos.  I did find the decking a little slippery, however.  Most is wood but that wasn't.  By the Sea View Pool on deck 10, we chatted briefly to an American couple who wanted fish and chips and souvenirs.  They told us they hadn't had much good weather the past three days and have done world cruises, so this was a short.  We continued through the Lido, with the scruffbag in jeans helping himself.  They also have the Italian restaurant, Canaletto.  The Lido pool was partially covered by the magradrome, rain falling into it.  Many passengers opted to stay aboard and were very polite to we visitors.  Explorations, Future Cruise Sales, Explorer's Lounge as per Rotterdam but on this deck, next to the Explorer's Lounge, is the Pinnacle Grill, which is a deck lower on Rotterdam, and I'd found by accident.  Here they have something called Le Cirque once per cruise, which is something in association with Le Cirque in Las Vegas and costs extra on top of your surcharge. The Showroom At Sea is the theatre and they were rehearsing something or other.  It was where were were meant to have our presentation but it was change to the Wajang Theare on Deck 7, which is used for culinary demonstrations, church services and films.  With fifteen minutes before lunch we headed out to the Promenade Deck for some much needed cool air then I tried to find Lower Promenade.  On Rotterdam, the steps are easy to find but on these you open a door and go down steps into what looks like a crew area, open a door then go through another door on the right.  A best kept secret!  Then lunch and a delightful selection on the menu, rounded off by a fabulous dessert.  Off to the theatre, only several people were waiting outside the Showroom At Sea because they failed to pick up the new info sheet at check in.  The presentation was identical to that on Rotterdam apart from no announcement about cruises from Southampton.  And then it was time to leave and thnk goodness it wasn't raining.

Maasdam is very like Rotterdam but has lighter decor and some design differences.  Overall though, she too is a wonderful ship and my ideal size with plenty of deck and interior space, which I personally prefer.  Thanks to Carly Perkins and everyone at Holland America Line for their hospitality during her visit.  To see photos of Maasdam's arrival, click here.

Arriving
Sky Deck (14)
Sports Deck (12)
Lido Deck (11)
Navigation Deck (10)
Upper Promenade Deck (8)
Promenade Deck (7)
Lower Promenade Deck (6)
Main Deck (5)
Lunch
Leaving


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© Patricia Dempsey 2nd August 2012
Not to be reproduced without permission