My husband and I took this cruise with other members of his family. We are in our late 40s/early 50s and do not have children. We did not choose this ship or itinerary, and probably would not have done so on our own.
We flew into Montreal a day early as we have never been there before and wanted to explore. We stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn right in the city. It was nicer than most HGIs I have seen in the past. The location was good and the city is very walkable. We had tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, Totem, which was excellent.
Embarkation the next day was a breeze. We are used to the chaos at the Florida ports, so this seemed very civilized. We had a deluxe suite, which was very spacious and had lots of storage. Since the ship was recently refurbished, the furniture and furnishings were nice and new. There are still some outdated areas on the ship, particularly the atrium. When we initially walked in, I felt that we had walked into a very old hotel. More
We have been on some of the new megaships, so the Maasdam seemed especially small to us. They do a good job utilizing the space they have. There are a variety of common areas and bars/lounges. They are small, but I guess big enough for the number of passengers as none of the areas were ever overcrowded (or maybe the passengers on this ship just go to bed early?) The casino was the smallest I have ever seen.
Entertainment: The bands/singers in the lounges were all pretty good, and tried to make things fun, but they were the same people every night in the same place, singing the same songs. The entertainers in the theater get an "A" for effort, but the shows were pretty amateur. The last night was almost embarrassing - a singer and band in the main theater??? That's the "show"?? Within 20 minutes there were 5 people left watching.
Food: We ate most dinners in the main dining room with open seating. Service was slow and the food was mediocre at best. Many times it wasn't even hot. We ate two dinners at the Pinnacle Grill, including the "The Cirque" night. The first time it took us almost 3 hours to get through the meal. I would not say either was worth the extra charge. The Lido Grill was typical cruise fare. The grill by the deck was OK, but they need to be sure things are fresh. Many times the pizza that was available was dried up and inedible.
Ports: We like fun, active ports with lots going on. These ports were more sedate, and in some cases kind of depressing (Sydney). We did the bike ride to the falls in Quebec City (would have been fun if it didn't pour rain for half of it), the lobster boat in Charlottetown (very informative - hard life), Bird Island in Sydney (couldn't see much, too foggy), the duck tour in Halifax - plus some walking and touring on our own - the Maritime Museum is worth a visit, and the "Walk in the Park" in Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor. Even though most of the US was going through an extreme heat wave while we were on this cruise in the middle of July, it was still foggy and chilly in many of these locations once you got out of the towns. On the ship, it was comfortable around the pool, until the band started playing and then it was way too loud. Once you left port, it was so windy and cool, it wasn't really comfortable to be on deck. Actually, the staff started asking people to leave certain areas of the deck around 5 pm because they wanted to clean. I have never been on a cruise before where I didn't even put on my bathing suit once.
Speaking of cleaning, one thing that was really annoying was the staff vacuumed the hallways outside the cabins at 8 in the morning. Not what I want to hear when I'm on vacation and can sleep late.
We extended our vacation in Boston a few days and stayed at the Hilton in Back Bay. It was an excellent location with lots of wonderful restaurants close by. Less