Smaller than most of Holland America Line’s ships, the 1,258-passenger Maasdam launched in 1993 and got a new look in 2011. The renovation spruced up the decor and added new spaces, including an Italian restaurant and the wildly popular Mix Lounge. These changes make the ship a bit "hipper" than others in the line, but the older crowd still tends to enjoy activities like bingo and trivia between ports.
What We Love
Mix Lounge: Pick your poison and then saddle up to one of the three adjacent bars that make up this cool addition to the ship’s bar offerings. Martinis are a specialty here, and you'll find a good selection of wine and beer as well.
Explorations Café: There’s always a crowd in this space, which has great views, hundreds of books to borrow, games, and snacks.
Best Known For
Top Partners: The line brought in brands to run programs like the Digital Workshop, which is powered by Windows, and the Culinary Arts Center, presented by Food & Wine magazine.
Le Cirque: As a break from the buffet, dine at this specialty restaurant that takes over the Pinnacle Grill once each cruise. The cozy space is transformed into an outpost of the world-famous New York restaurant, with upscale French cuisine and the signature orange china. It’s well worth the $49 charge.
The Art Collection: The onboard art collection — including the enormous sculpture by Luciano Vistosi, which contains nearly 2,000 pieces of glass — is impressive.
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Who It's Best For
Traditionalists: The Maasdam appeals to older cruisers who don’t care about the bells and whistles of the modern megaships. Reading on deck and playing bridge is just fine with them, thank you very much.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
It's Early to Bed: Despite the casino, Mix Lounge, and the Crow's Nest nightclub, the relaxed vibe found during the day extends into the evening. Nobody has to tell these cruisers to try to keep it down, that's for sure.
Kim Foley MacKinnon is a Boston-based writer for ShermansCruise whose work has also appeared in The Boston Globe.