Holland America Maasdam
We arrived in Montreal around 3:00 PM, the day of departure. Since we purchased the transfer package from Holland America (HAL), a ship's representative met us and directed us to the pickup area. There we waited for 45 minutes before we were taken to the ship. The transfer company waited until all incoming flights arrived before transferring us to the vessel. Some folks waited for over an hour. Processing once we arrived at the ship was smooth and efficient. Our baggage was delivered to our cabin within thirty minutes of our arrival.
Our cabin was comfortable and had been recently updated with new carpeting, flat panel TV, new shelves in the bathroom, and new furniture. The cabin stewards were friendly and efficient. We were on the A deck with little noise if any, and convenient to the elevators.
Overall Ship Condition
The ship had undergone a recent yard period in Burmuda. I understood from crew members that it was only for two weeks. The Maasdam is 18 years old and needs an extensive yard period. The hull needs to be resurfaced and repainted. The rubber seals around many of the cabin windows need replacing. Until a thorough yard period is scheduled, the ship looks and feels tired.
The food in both the Lido and main dining room was very good. The selection was varied and there were always alternative choices if one didn't like the main menu items. Food service was outstanding. The waiters and Lido servers were friendly and very efficient. We have found this to be a real plus on HAL ships.
The ship's singers were way above average. There was only one dancer; I don't know what her function was however. The put on four shows: three were excellent but the country and western presentation was awful. We had one show by the ship's band, the HAL cats. It was not good at all. The featured singer, Jessica, merely went through the motions...no personality at all. The guest entertainers featured Magic Bob, one of the best magicians that I have ever seen. There also was a ventriloquist that was excellent. Steve Stevens played a mean trumpet and had some pretty funny jokes.
We made ten port calls in ten days, covering Eastern Canada. They were wonderful. The people were friendly and welcoming. We were able to tour on our own with no problem at all. Even with stops in Quebec, there was no language problem. I highly recommend this cruise to anyone that wants to visit the Canadian Maritime Provinces.
Debarkation in Fort Lauderdale was the best I have experienced. It was fast with no real congestion. We were off the ship before 9:00 AM. HAL gets high marks for the debarkation system that they employed.
This was one of our favorite cruises. We enjoyed the ship and loved the ports. We will be making this trip again!