We began our vacation by staying at the Ft Lauderdale Rodeway Inn.
The hotel is nice and we enjoyed the shuttle TO the cruiseport, but when we called to ask the shuttle to pick us up at the end of the cruise, no one answered so we had to take a cab. Keep in mind this was on a Friday, not on the busier Saturday or Sunday. $14.00 cab ride.
We caught the early shuttle ($2.00 per person) at 9:30 a.m. so we could get to the terminal early.
My wife Marty and I sat in an area of the terminal with about 100 people for about 15 to 20 minutes. We were given the number 1 card for boarding.
We then went to the check in area which went VERY fast!
Next we went upstairs and sat for about 15 to 20 minutes. After the Suite and Priority Boarding guests boarded, our number was called and we boarded.
The great thing about Holland America Line is that you can go to your cabin IMMEDIATELY. We were in our cabin about 11:00 a.m. or so and then went to the Mariners Luncheon.
The ship is clean, the crew VERY friendly and we loved our cabin (414 on Deck 6, Lower Prom). We did attend the Cruise Critic party and enjoyed meeting so many other cruisers.
First stop was Half Moon Cay.
We had to take the smaller Maasdam tenders because the N. Amsterdam was also at Half Moon Cay and they used the larger tenders which we prefer.
Several people were getting grumpy because of the wait, but it didn't bother us.
Anthony Choice (Cruise Director) was greeting people as they boarded the tenders.
Anthony is an incredible Cruise Director. Very approachable, friendly and he really is "out and about".
My wife and I will NEVER go on a 7 day cruise again because we loved being on a ship for 14 days.
We highly recommend Holland America Line, the Maasdam and commend Hotel Director Douglas Martinez and Cruise Director Anthony Choice. Tom the "TechSpert" was also very patient, professional and educational. Tony the Cellar Master was VERY informative and friendly! Goran the Pinnacle Grill manager was VERY friendly and a true class act.
We enjoyed the entertainment, especially the "Encore" show. The comedians were great.
It is critical you enjoy the Pinnacle Grill Experience. We also enjoyed the "Le Circue" version and both the Navigator and Premium Wine Tastings.
Our best cruise yet.