23 Boston Repositioning Cruise Reviews

We loved our time on the Dawn. I truly cannot say enough - it was my first and my husband's third cruise. Everything went beautifully and we had many romantic, fun memories. I cannot wait to cruise again! The staff were ... Read More
We loved our time on the Dawn. I truly cannot say enough - it was my first and my husband's third cruise. Everything went beautifully and we had many romantic, fun memories. I cannot wait to cruise again! The staff were exceptional. We felt pampered, appreciated and were utterly relaxed upon our return home. We did a wine tasting, lots of shore excursions, trivia, the comedy show, a game show and had a blast. My husband got onstage and we laughed till our sides hurt. It was a vacation that I wasn't ready to head home from. Having a balcony mid-ship made the cruise so enjoyable. Sipping coffee with the beautiful views is heaven for us. The staff made it the incredible experience, everyone seems happy to help you have a great cruise. Warm, kind and friendly; they offer service I have never experienced in my life to date. Thank you NCL Dawn! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Love repo's and this cruise started in my hometown of Boston. An hours ride and we were in the cruiseport. Been to all the islands and have cruised on Serenade before. Her and Freedom are my favorites. What made this cruise special ... Read More
Love repo's and this cruise started in my hometown of Boston. An hours ride and we were in the cruiseport. Been to all the islands and have cruised on Serenade before. Her and Freedom are my favorites. What made this cruise special was the crew. Outstanding crew throughout the ship from the MDR to the bars. Plenty of entertainment onboard. Food was very good and plenty of variety. Disembarkation went smoothly however embarkation didn't. Apparently security team didn't show up so had to send another team over which meant long lines outside the terminal and porters were non existent. Just a small blip. Once onboard everything was fabulous. For the few shows we went to the entertainment was really good. Band from Toronto, Rookie, sang all old songs and I knew all the words! Danny Lucas (I think that was his name) juggler and comic was amazing. Laugh out loud funny. All in all a great cruise. Would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Liked itinerary, love the islands, especially St. Lucia. Relaxing and good food and service, also liked the music around the ship. Was a little upset that I did not receive body lotion in my cabin since I am diamond plus, don't ... Read More
Liked itinerary, love the islands, especially St. Lucia. Relaxing and good food and service, also liked the music around the ship. Was a little upset that I did not receive body lotion in my cabin since I am diamond plus, don't think it would have cost more than .30 cents, think Royal Caribbean is cutting back on so many things, but did without. The ship was clean, lot to do, had a very nice dinner table. Met friends I cruised with in the past and we had a lot to talk about, met a lot of new friends. We had a very nice table for eight for early dining, enjoyed going to dinner with a lot of conversation, very relaxing. Halloween party was very nice, danced a lot, and loved a lot of costumes? All in all it was a great relaxing cruise, this was our fourth time doing this itinerary and thinking of doing it again next year, we have not booked it yet. Our table at dining was 227, and Ben Amor and Hakim were excellent, could not do enough to please us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise really on price, we had buy one, and one half price. The itinerary was good interesting and in the carribean, St Kitts, Antigua, St Lucia, Curaçao, and Aruba, we both enjoyed all of the islands all where beautiful in ... Read More
We chose this cruise really on price, we had buy one, and one half price. The itinerary was good interesting and in the carribean, St Kitts, Antigua, St Lucia, Curaçao, and Aruba, we both enjoyed all of the islands all where beautiful in there own way , bit disappointed with St Lucia very pushy at the dock it got quite aggressive and put us off doing any trips, I am sure if we did venture out it would have been lovely. Our favourite by far was Curaçao very quaint and picturesque, people were very friendly and the island is beautiful lovely service no pushyness it was very hot but we had a great time. The food is lovely both in the main dining room and the buffet style dining service was excellent you could not fault it at all, all staff waiters cleaners etc looked after you, nothing was to much trouble would definitely cruise with royal carribean again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We just returned from a 12 day repositioning from Boston to Florida - The ship as said before is getting a little dated, but the staff was doing an excellent job of keeping it clean. The maintenance staff was at work every day scraping ... Read More
We just returned from a 12 day repositioning from Boston to Florida - The ship as said before is getting a little dated, but the staff was doing an excellent job of keeping it clean. The maintenance staff was at work every day scraping and painting even when we were in port. The rooms yes are a little dated, but quite frankly our room was perfect. The bed was so comfortable we slept in every day until 8:30 or 9 (we usually get up at 5 or 6). The staff as usual went out of their way to make you feel good and enjoy. We did know that they were going into dry dock on November 1, 2017 and the staff was looking forward to the updates they were planning on doing. Yes, the laundry was being redone apparently. I still love the smaller ships and will continue to book those as I don't like living in a small city like the bigger ships are pushing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We've just got home from an incredible holiday! We had a smooth flight out to Boston from London, our pre-organised transfer was brilliant. The hotel, booked through Royal Caribbean, was fabulous and very well located. We got a taxi ... Read More
We've just got home from an incredible holiday! We had a smooth flight out to Boston from London, our pre-organised transfer was brilliant. The hotel, booked through Royal Caribbean, was fabulous and very well located. We got a taxi to the port the next day and we're a little bit overwhelmed with the huge queue to check in, it seemed we'd all been given the same embarkation time! It moved relatively fast though and before we knew it we were on the ship. Everything about the cruise was fantastic and myself, my husband and both my children loved every minute! The ship is beautiful, food was amazing and service impeccable! There was so much for all of us to do but no pressure to do anything at all. All the islands were beautiful and the weather made it even better! We didn't want to leave and certainly didn't want to go back to work! Must get planning the next one! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
One of the most fun cruises we have been on. I truly believe the Cruise Director makes and sets the tone for a cruise. Carly is head and shoulders above all cruise directors we have had...except for Chole, they're tied! She ... Read More
One of the most fun cruises we have been on. I truly believe the Cruise Director makes and sets the tone for a cruise. Carly is head and shoulders above all cruise directors we have had...except for Chole, they're tied! She interacts with passengers, her staff is engaging . They involve all. The Captain was also present around the ship and it showed by how the crew interacted with passengers. A happy crew leads to very happy passengers. We had such a great time we will be back onboard next year! It may not have all the glitz of the newer ships, as much space as the bigger ships but she has heart starting from the Captain to the Cruise Director to every crew member. Most ships do not. The only flaw is the menu...it needs to be upgraded fleet wide. It has gotten very old and uninspiring. Keep the Strawberry Bisque Soup but entrees need to be changed. Can't wait to see the changes after the facelift refresh Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise as a total getaway from caregiving and because we really needed a break. We wanted a small ship with no casino, no children, no loud cruise director, and a small number of passengers. We flew to Boston from Tampa and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as a total getaway from caregiving and because we really needed a break. We wanted a small ship with no casino, no children, no loud cruise director, and a small number of passengers. We flew to Boston from Tampa and boarded with 35 other passengers - the ship holds about 200 total. As this was a repositioning cruise, the cost was very affordable and we were prepared for 8 days of total relaxation. The crew did a great job of refurbishing one area after another - new carpets, drapes, etc. while keeping enough public space open that we hardly noticed. The catering was less elaborate than ususl, we were told, but the array and quality of the food was superb. We like the occasional gourmet dinner but we also like an option for simple grilled salmon or more country food, which was always an option. This was our first Ponant cruise - we had already booked one next Spring from Martinique to Lisbon (another ocean cruise) - and took the opportunity for a short cruise in advance. We are so glad we did. We met every single other passenger - even the French, who comprised about half of the passengers. As I speak a bit of French, I had no trouble, but neither did those who spoke only English. The passengers were fun and friendly. Only ten of us disembarked in Panama and the rest were joined by others as they went on to Lima over the following week or so. The crew was excellent - only the reception staff were a bit uninterested in being responsive. The Butler, West, attended to all our needs. We had a suite - essentially two staterooms together. Beware, European sizes are small for us Americans, but there was plenty of room. For the most part, we hardly stayed in the stateroom. The public rooms are gorgeous, well cared-for and comfortable. We are going again and we actually booked a Tahiti - Honolulu - Japan trip in 2019. This is a wonderful line and perfect for adults and friends. The entertainment was just fine and much more than we expected given a repositioning cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We like to sail on the smaller ships and had been sailing with Seabourn for 15 years (max. 208 passengers) when they had the 3 small ships. Sailed a couple of times on the larger, newer ships (max. 450 passengers) and did not like it. My ... Read More
We like to sail on the smaller ships and had been sailing with Seabourn for 15 years (max. 208 passengers) when they had the 3 small ships. Sailed a couple of times on the larger, newer ships (max. 450 passengers) and did not like it. My husband found Ponant on line and thought the line looked very interesting. Having got the brochure and saw the type of cruises we like (particularly the repositioning as we like days at sea) we booked the Boston, Mass. to Lima, Peru. Loved every minute and we will certainly book another one as soon as possible (and we have saved some money up!) The staff could not do enough for you and nothing was too much. The food was superb, particularly the wonderful French cheeses and the bread is to die for! (Take clothes that will expand with your waistline!!!!) I would have liked a bit more to do in the daytime, i.e. art and craft classes etc. The only problem was that the majority of the passengers were only French speakers. However, the staff did translate where appropriate (quizzes etc) Our cruise agent informed me that there are going to be some 'all English speaking' cruises in the future and we would be VERY interested in hearing about those. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We embarked in Boston for an 18-day cruise to San Diego via the Panama Canal. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida at the time while Hurricane Jose was setting sights on Puerto Rico. Captain Jutten navigated between the storms, never ... Read More
We embarked in Boston for an 18-day cruise to San Diego via the Panama Canal. Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida at the time while Hurricane Jose was setting sights on Puerto Rico. Captain Jutten navigated between the storms, never getting closer than 500 miles to either. We had 15-foot seas for one full day but the ship handled them well. Our interior cabin on the Lower Promenade Deck, #417, was spacious and comfortable. We loved walking the teak deck at four laps to the mile. Arriving at Fort Lauderdale, we found the city mostly without power and all shore excursions cancelled. We got a taxi to the beach but never made it there due to sand clogging the streets. We found a store running on a generator and got some supplies before re-boarding. Thankfully, the airport had reopened the day before and two dear friends were able to join with us for the remainder of the cruise. This was our longest itinerary to date and the first time cruising with friends. Maasdam is an older ship (1993) that is aging gracefully. She is well maintained and the perfect size for 1,200 or so passengers and 500 crew. We never felt rushed and didn't have to wait in a line for a single thing. Service from all staff was cheerful and attentive. Dining choices and food quality were very good. We had salads most days for lunch and went to the Rotterdam Dining Room most nights for dinner. We pre-purchased the Cellar Master Package, which afforded us several bottles of wine, two dinners in The Pinnacle Grill and two wine tasting events. The steaks were very good in Pinnacle but the Alaskan King Crab legs were even better; the premium wine tasting event was superior. The ship's entertainment was very good, with talented singers and dancers and an excellent comedian. About a week in, hotel staff advised that another passenger had designs on our stateroom, asking if we would mind relocating to a Vista Suite. Seems this other passenger was booked in cabin #417 for the next cruise, a 50+ day journey from San Diego to Sydney, and wanted to settle in as soon as possible. We were happy to oblige and super cabin attendant Joe made moving to balcony cabin #151 a breeze. What a great upgrade! The ten-hour passage through the Panama Canal was memorable. A local narrator came on-board for the 50-mile journey. That, together with excellent lectures and documentaries, really brought home the significance of this engineering marvel. Shore excursions were likewise excellent. Costa Rica's rivers and jungles, with crocodiles, poison dart frogs and exotic plants, Nicaragua and Guatemala, with smoldering volcanoes, bubbling mud pots and Mayan ruins and Cabo San Lucas, with its famous rock formations and snorkeling. Yet it was unassuming Puerto Chiapas, Mexico where we experienced the highlight of our cruise. On a small tour, we visited the modest but beautiful home of Josefina, a world-class chocolate maker with a wall of awards including #1 world's best chocolate as selected in competition at Perugia in Umbria, Italy. She served us an authentic Mexican breakfast on banana leaves, then demonstrated her art, picking the cocoa fruit, toasting the beans and inviting us to grind them up. She separated out the hulls in a wheat vs. chaff maneuver and packed the remainder tightly together for our tasting. We felt fully immersed in this wonderful culture. A tropical storm lay in our path on the last leg to San Diego, but the ship handled it with ease. We had a great last day watching sea lions in La Jolla and visiting Cabrillo Point, then on to our red-eye flight home. What a great cruise, made all the more special with the company of very close friends. It opened our eyes to how enjoyable longer itineraries can be, and we look forward to cruising with Holland America again soon. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We took this cruise as a last minute deal to get away from Hurricane Irma. Had a wonderful time on board. Shows were great, food way to good, and staff was friendly and hospitable. What a way to ride out the storm. The fine dining ... Read More
We took this cruise as a last minute deal to get away from Hurricane Irma. Had a wonderful time on board. Shows were great, food way to good, and staff was friendly and hospitable. What a way to ride out the storm. The fine dining was great except for the way you now get a certificate and can only choose one salad-or- soup. In the main dining room, you can order whatever you want, as much, or little, as you like. Fine dining is limited and sometimes I'd love to have a soup and salad. You have to pay extra. Not quite worthwhile when the main dining and buffet areas have such fabulous items too. The port is so easy to get around - just walk off and you're already in a fort. Jump on the free water shuttle to go to St. George's. Overall a fabulous cruise. Love NCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is my third time on this exact same boat, and my grand kinds seem to enjoy it tremendously. This year one of my granddaughters is thirteen, and was in the teen program, The loft. She had the absolute time of her life and has made ... Read More
This is my third time on this exact same boat, and my grand kinds seem to enjoy it tremendously. This year one of my granddaughters is thirteen, and was in the teen program, The loft. She had the absolute time of her life and has made friends she's still super close with months later. The crew is polite and excellent, and food is delicious. The shows were enjoyable, especially the comedians. The pots were fun, and I truly got to see part of Canada. the ship however is a little older than the others, but still works perfectly fine. The ship is a perfect size, not to small, and not to big. I rarely got lost, and when I did there was always crew members nearby willing to point me in the right direction. getting off the ship and disembarking was an easy and smooth journey, and made getting back home easier then expected. Best cruise I've ever been on! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was our 6th cruise on the Dawn. Living inland Massachusetts it makes for an easy ride to the port. Most of the changes done at the dry dock were favorable. The Theater is nice with new colors. O'Sheehans has taken over the ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise on the Dawn. Living inland Massachusetts it makes for an easy ride to the port. Most of the changes done at the dry dock were favorable. The Theater is nice with new colors. O'Sheehans has taken over the entire 8th floor above the atrium, allowing for great viewing for the ever fabulous Jose & Patti in the evenings. The crew at the bar were personable and efficient. We ate most of our breakfasts in O'Sheehans and most of our lunches there also. On sea days O'Sheehans had a nightly special 2 nights of Prime Rib, which was very good. The staff in O'Sheehans was wonderful. A special thanks to Tomi in O'Sheehans He was in constant motion, just like the energizer bunny. Our midship mini had very little changes. We noticed they took out the small table next to the counter, making the room feel larger. We thought we would miss it, but by the end of the 14 days we did not notice it gone.. The refrigerator is smaller now, but with the beverage package and no fluids to be take on the ship in was hardly used. The closet is still the same unfortunately. I brought gallons of distilled water to do a medical treatment along with a note from my doctor. I never received my water. I went to the service desk on day two, by the time I returned to my room there was a gallon of distilled water there. They told us that no fluids are allowed to be brought on board now. We had the beverage package and all II can say is, the staff was always asking if I needed a refill. The thing we did not like was only 4 computer stations. Before there were plenty of stations to work with. It was very difficult to gain excess to AOL for some reason we were only able to excess when the computer expert was there. When it was time to print boarding passes 24 hours before the cruise ended there were some selfish people that stated "I paid for computer time I'm taking it now". Leaving only 2 computers for the rest of us. We snorkeled in Bonaire and Grand Cayman. Grand Cayman was the absolute best ever snorkel again. It was an excellent cruise. We did not see all the shows as we have seen most before. The Magician and the hypnotist, and Harry O Donnahue were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We did this same cruise 3 years ago and had a great time. We live in NH and the Boston departure port was excellent (no flying to departure port), and what can be wrong about New Orleans. Although we had visited a number of the Islands ... Read More
We did this same cruise 3 years ago and had a great time. We live in NH and the Boston departure port was excellent (no flying to departure port), and what can be wrong about New Orleans. Although we had visited a number of the Islands previously, there were a few that we hadn’t been to before. Embarquation is easy, although a few more scanners would have been preferable. Once we were able to board, we left out carryon luggage in the room, and then enjoyed a wonderful lunch in the Venetian, which was fairly crowded. There was a variety of choices for lunch, and this lunch menu remained constant throughout the cruise. Our room was small but still had a good amount of drawers, shelves, closet space for the 2 week cruise worth of clothes. One caveat about our room…you may read that it is next door to the crew bar which it is. At night you may hear noise in the hallway from the crew bar, but you will NOT hear this noise in the room. However, there was some noise in the middle of the night of some carts moving through the kitchen which was on the deck above us; we told guest services and they did their best to improve the situation. The entertainment staff, led by Richard Matic, was excellent! Richard was very personable and fun, and made sure that the crowd was entertained and involved. The hotel manager, Alain, was amazing! He was also very, very visible throughout the cruise, and was also very personable in addition to being a fantastic manager. The food has improved over the past several years, and although there were a few misses (which can happen anywhere), we really enjoyed and raved about the food. There were lots of good selections. I liked that we could also have the option of going to Bamboo. If I were to have one selection, I would have take-out available in O'Sheehans like there used to be. Service was excellent. We enjoyed meeting restaurant manager Ionela Oprisan who warmly greeted us. We had the Ultimate Beverage Package which we enjoyed the options. Bar waiter Elmer Brown was very sweet and always warmly greeted us when he saw us. Housekeeping was also excellent. I also enjoyed the lectures given by a deputy district attorney from LA. And we all enjoyed Patti & Jose...always excellent music! There were a few times when there was supposed to be a free stretching class, but it didn't take place. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Left on October 28 for a 2 week cruise and a 2 week break from the Presidential race. Both worked out perfectly. The Dawn is my favorite ship and still is after this cruise. Like the latest updates they did on the ship. And the crew ... Read More
Left on October 28 for a 2 week cruise and a 2 week break from the Presidential race. Both worked out perfectly. The Dawn is my favorite ship and still is after this cruise. Like the latest updates they did on the ship. And the crew was their usual excellent people. Very good entertainment with something of good quality every night. We used the Spa every day with the heated chaise lounges along with the hot tub. Very relaxing. Had a nice ocean view room with a very handy location. Our room steward was a good as I have come to expect them to be. Had a little plumbing problem that he got fixed in a very short time. The casino was their usual top notch quality too. Our Cruise Critic Meet & Greet was attended by over 100 people. Met a lot of nice cruisers. We will be doing another NCL cruise in 2 months. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Third time on the Dawn's two week repo and many times on the Dawn. Our fave ship overall. The Hotel Director Alain runs a tight ship, corporate decision not withstanding ! Of the 2200+ guest on board, over 500 are Norwegian Platinum ... Read More
Third time on the Dawn's two week repo and many times on the Dawn. Our fave ship overall. The Hotel Director Alain runs a tight ship, corporate decision not withstanding ! Of the 2200+ guest on board, over 500 are Norwegian Platinum Member ( the highest level of their loyalty plan ), it speaks volume on the popularity of the Dawn. Jose and Patti, the main entertainer on board is one of the reason that guest come back to the ship. The Atrium where they usually perform is always full with the staff adding folding chairs for additional seating. The newly renovated Dawn has it's ups and downs. The down being the temperamental stateroom toilet, it flushes when it want to, sometimes more than a minute after one push the flush button. New carpet, room furnishing, new venues gave the Dawn a flesh look. A bit disappointed that the Statue of Liberty on the port side and the dolphins on the starboard side of the ship was painted over in renovation ( another corporate decision no doubt ). Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose NCL Dawn for its adventure into the Caribbean. Especially for its eastern stops in Aruba, Jamaica and Georgetown. Stops we hadn't ventured to yet. Loved the experiences. Overall it was a excellent vacation throughout its ... Read More
We chose NCL Dawn for its adventure into the Caribbean. Especially for its eastern stops in Aruba, Jamaica and Georgetown. Stops we hadn't ventured to yet. Loved the experiences. Overall it was a excellent vacation throughout its voyage. The Norwegian Dawn she was a beauty. Restored to her amazing grace of the sea. Embarkation went smoothly. Arrived in Boston at our pier time of 10am. Got our reservation checked in. Getting on the ship was smoothly. Enjoyed lunch ,relaxed and before you knew it. She was at sea. First night aboard we had dinner at Cagney's. Dinner and Wait staff was excellent. Every night there was a different show. We especially enjoyed Patti and Jose. They were our favorites. The Grand Atrium was where they were. The Elements performance was outstanding. The Dawn performers were amazing, talented group of people. We went off The Dawn at her ports of call. Favorite one was in Jamaica. We did the 4x4 Safari to Dunn's River Falls. The experience through the area and to taste and feel the cultural atmosphere is wonderful . And to walk up the Dunn's River Falls. Excellent location and experience. Disembarkation day. Port of New Orleans. We chose the walk off with your luggage. It was the most smoothest transition from ship to port I have ever experience. We did it early. And it was smooth . Got off the ship. Through the long, never ending terminal. Grabbed a taxi to our hotel and we were checked in at our hotel before 10am... Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our second time on the Dawn, we were not overly impressed 2years ago about the pool layout, and the lack of Great outdoors. However, this trip surpassed my expectations. Embarkation was fast and seamless. We had fantastic ... Read More
This was our second time on the Dawn, we were not overly impressed 2years ago about the pool layout, and the lack of Great outdoors. However, this trip surpassed my expectations. Embarkation was fast and seamless. We had fantastic service at all locations, Main dinning rooms, Specialty Restaurants, Bars, shore excursion desk, Photo Gallery, Guest services. Everyone we spoke to always had a smile, and kind words. Our cabin was ready quickly and we met our steward within mins of entering our cabin. I asked him for a couple of things and they were there in mins. We saw our steward every day of the cruise, he was always cheerful and always asked if everything was alright and if we needed anything. We had one issue with one of the excursions we had booked through NCL, when we went to the desk to give them our feedback on this tour, more so to let them know the operators were not very professional nor did they provide us with the excursion we had signed up for. The NCL staff member immediately took down all the info, and gave us what we thought was a 20% refund for our trouble, which we were more then satisfied with. A couple of days later I got a print out of our account, only to see that we not only got the 20% we also got a full refund. I was extremely happy and pleasantly surprised. This was a Repo cruise the islands were all beautiful, I would do this same trip again sometime it was that good. We did book another vacation for next year, A Back to Back on the Gem out of Puerto Rico. Now the countdown to then. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was not our first cruise but it was our first Royal Caribbean Cruise. We knew that we wanted something longer than 7 days. This was 13 days, a Repositioning Cruise. Initially we chose this particular cruise because it left out of ... Read More
This was not our first cruise but it was our first Royal Caribbean Cruise. We knew that we wanted something longer than 7 days. This was 13 days, a Repositioning Cruise. Initially we chose this particular cruise because it left out of Boston......an hour from our home, and ended in Tampa where we had relatives that we would be visiting after the cruise. Our boarding was fairly easy.....arrival at about 11:00 and onboard at about 12:00. It definately helps to have all papers filled out as Royal tells you and easily accessible. Pleasant surprise, we were greated with Champagne as soon as we got inside. What a gorgeous ship, lots of glass and light......just beautiful all over. Walked around and got a general overall view of our home for the next 2 weeks. Our room was available by 1:15 and we anxiously made our way there and scoped out the room, bath and storage. Our luggage came over the few hours or so....We had quite a few suitcases and garment bags and I wanted to get clothes hung and put away quickly so our vacationc ould begin. After that we went up to the Windjammer for lunch.......excellent, everything we tried was great. We made several reservations during our cruise at alternate dining venues: Chops, Chef's Table, Izumis, and the Italian restaurant Giovannis. Each was exquisite, different in their uniqueness but delicious, and the service was impeccable. Overall our exprience with Royal was superb. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
As a 3 star mariner we have used HAL numerous times as well as Celebrity and RCCL. This ship is older but as attractive features like it's size (1200 passengers). The crew is constantly painting and maintaining outside areas and I did ... Read More
As a 3 star mariner we have used HAL numerous times as well as Celebrity and RCCL. This ship is older but as attractive features like it's size (1200 passengers). The crew is constantly painting and maintaining outside areas and I did not see the disrepair other travelers complain about here. This cruise did miss one port due to excessive icebergs in the vicinity of Cartwright, Newfoundland and this was fine with me after watching Titanic many times. We saw plenty of icebergs around Greenland and on our way to Iceland. I have to admit that the voyage was nicer than most as we had great weather for viewing scenery both on ship and ashore. The one exception was the fog around the Faroe Islands. All the excursions we took were HAL purchases and reviews of these can be found on HAL website I posted. There was a significant outbreak of respiratory problems starting the first week out of Boston. Symptoms were a dry cough primarily which was not debilitating. A large number of passengers were observed with these symptoms and I still had them after flying back to Boston (3 weeks). My wife never was not infected and we are always very careful with disciplined hand washing as well as antibacterial wipes, etc. There has been a reduction of crew that I observed so things did take a little longer (wine steward, etc.) Food was a good as any other cruise lines with menu not as varied as my experience in the past. I have already booked another cruise on this vessel for next year. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
August 5, 2016 We are frequent cruisers having sailed since 1987 (Marde Gras) got us hooked. 75+ under our belt and still going strong. One of the best cruises we have ever been on. Planning on doing it again. Had a lanai ... Read More
August 5, 2016 We are frequent cruisers having sailed since 1987 (Marde Gras) got us hooked. 75+ under our belt and still going strong. One of the best cruises we have ever been on. Planning on doing it again. Had a lanai stateroom. They are awesome. Ports of call were great. US, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Faroe Islands, Netherlands, Norway, Ireland and then back to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and US. We did not repeat ports. Weather was brisk but scenery was fantastic. We had wonderful speakers on several subjects but also much on the Vikings and their travels. Would recommend it to anyone. Love sailing on Holland America (Prinsendam is another of our favorite HAL Ships, but all have their special features) also wonderful cruises on Celebrity (love the ships with the glass blowers) Nothing better than cruising. Visited over 90 Countries an still have a few more to tick off. Wonderful way to see and taste the world. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
NOTE: the above form for this review shows "0" for the number of ports visited because there was no space to answer accurately. After leaving the home port of Boston, we visited TWENTY ports; two of these were overnight stays, ... Read More
NOTE: the above form for this review shows "0" for the number of ports visited because there was no space to answer accurately. After leaving the home port of Boston, we visited TWENTY ports; two of these were overnight stays, giving us two days in those cities. We prefer smaller ships, so Maasdam's size suits us very well. She is comfortable and pleasant with a topnotch crew. Maasdam is scheduled for a turn in drydock in spring of 2011, at which time she will undergo some of the changes already made to Veendam. Maasdam will benefit from refurbishing as she's looking a little tired in places, but still she is basically a lovely ship. We have high praise for our dining experiences, most of which were in the Lido. We like seeing the foods we are choosing and being able to ask for the size portion we would like, so a buffet works well for us. In addition, we enjoy the window tables in that venue. We dined at Caneletto once, the Pinnacle Grill once, and the Rotterdam dining room once; the rest of the time, up to the Lido. Special kudos to the chef for bringing just-caught fish on board at many of these northern ports. It was worthwhile to watch menus for the catch of the day. On the theory that a picture is worth a thousand words, I put together travelogue-type on-line photo albums for our trips. To see the album for this trip, go to http://fredasphotos1.shutterfly.com and click on "Voyage of the Vikings 2010". It works best next to click on "slideshow". It may be that if you see the slideshow/travelogue first, you won't want to bother to read this review! This itinerary was wonderful, with great variety among the ports we visited. Although the biggest draws for me were Greenland and Iceland, every single port of call was fascinating. We were blessed with great weather: aside from some showers in Qaqortoq, Amsterdam, and Reykjavik, we enjoyed blue skies and sun, including some places where rain is the norm. Special praise and appreciation are warranted for several aspects of this cruise. As well as having marvelous ports, the itinerary was well planned in that sea days were spread out and provided needed rest after the busy port days. Our English Captain James Russell-Dunford was outstanding: affable, good sense of humor, always engaged but never intrusive, he kept us informed of any deviations from schedule and pointed out sights of interest along the way. The shore excursion team was excellent; the director, Joe L'Espiscopo, gave fine presentations on many sea days about famous ship wrecks and world fairs through the decades. Chris Jackson's digital workshop classes were invaluable. Karen Johnston, the bridge director, was very good. Highest praise goes to Maasdam's and HAL's high level of support for this unusual itinerary, which included excellent lectures by experts, helpful port talks by the travel guide Barbara, good maps, and a book discussion group centered on "The Tricking of Freya". In the evenings of our days in Liverpool and Reykjavik, we had shows put on by locals from those cities, both most enjoyable. I had not experienced this level of itinerary support on past cruises, with the exception of small ship cruises on Windstar and Viking. HAL shows a high level of respect and regard for their passengers' interests and desire to learn. HAL offers the Voyage of the Vikings once each summer, with some itinerary changes each year. I highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
This was cruise number 60++ for me and my 3rd time on the Maasdam. The Maasdam while 16 years old is still a beautiful classic cruise liner. The staterooms are well laid out, appointed, and the beds and bedding/pillows are exceptionally ... Read More
This was cruise number 60++ for me and my 3rd time on the Maasdam. The Maasdam while 16 years old is still a beautiful classic cruise liner. The staterooms are well laid out, appointed, and the beds and bedding/pillows are exceptionally comfortable. A few of the light switches don't make logical sense.. For some reason the switch designer decided to put a few "fake" switches that are purely decorational and non functional right next to the real switches...so you'll likely find yourself flipping a lot of buttons trying to find a particular light switch. The bathroom is better than most ships although another small shelf or two would sure be welcome as there is but a single slim storage shelf that is overcrowded. There is also a powerful fixed hair dryer unit in the bathroom. The amenities are acceptable but the stewards don't seem to overdo it with replenishment. I had to ask for shampoo/ soap on several occasions. The towels are big, nice and plentiful. There is only one power plug in the main cabin so if you have a computer or camera charger etc a small power strip from home will come in useful. A plug in electric hair dryer is provided and there also is a magnifying makeup mirror. The DVD is nice but you might want to bring a few of your own DVDs as the ship charges a rental fee. The flat screen TV is good but channel selection other than the usual channels pushing Holland cruise produts are very very minimal. Probably the "best" channel is the camera that shows the front of the ship so you can see what the weather looks like, where you're headed etc. It seems that they might also want to install additional cameras so you can see the port/starboard/stern views as well....very minimal cost to the ship and each could easily have their own channel so you could see on your in room TV what is going on in the sea/ports etc. The promenade deck is very nice. No jogging is allowed which is a good idea as it is really more of a walking/strolling deck. Joggers use the Sun deck track or the treadmills in the gym. There are adequate classic teak deck chairs on the promenade deck where you can spend some quality time with a book, napping, or watching the sea. One negative is if you get cigar smokers who just don't seem to get it that most people really would prefer to smell the fresh sea air and not their stinky cigars. One guy consistently was on deck and would often stand at the front and the smoke would naturally drift towards the stern meaning everyone everywhere on his side of the ship got to breathe in the noxious foul smelling crap. PLEASE if you smoke at least have the courtesy to smoke at the stern of the ship where your smoke will immediately be sucked out the back. The cigarette smokers also use the promenade deck for their fixes but that smoke is much less bothersome than cigar. I would suggest that if Holland is going to continue to allow smoking they would do well to restrict it to outdoor areas at the REAR of the ship. The top deck, the sports deck also has a smaller outdoor track if you prefer open sky walking etc. Just forward of this track are two staircases that go to a large deck above the crow's nest with the best views on the ship. It seems most passengers don't even know this deck is here and you can experience some beautiful sunsets and scenic cruising if you go here. The gym and spa seemed well equipped and managed but I don't use those facilities and can't really report much. The library is nicely laid out and a busy place. While the selection is good they could certainly upgrade their bestsellers selection a bit. It would also seem to make sense to designate a couple of shelves to a passenger leave one/ take one paperback exchange. There are several internet ready computers in the library. Unfortunately Holland also still charges gouge prices for internet usage of about 40 cents a minutes with it often taking several minutes to get properly connected and even then it's more like an old dial up speed. Not my cup of tea. Overall I was able to find internet in the ports without any major major problems in most places....all you have to do is ask. In several ports the best spot was the local library that had either free or very cheap with multiple machines. If you bring your laptop you can also usually find a cafe etc with free wifi so you just buy a coffee or something and surf away. The Crow's Nest , top level forward, offers great views. Unfortunately Holland still allows smoking in ½ the room and no matter how hard they try it seems to always smell like stale smoke. It appeared to me that about 95% of the passengers were non smokers so it's a shame that a few of the hooked have to spoil pleasant spots like the Crow's Nest for the rest. The library can get pretty crowded at times and naturally some passengers seem to want to talk too loudly and disturb those who are trying to use the library for reading. Also, unfortunately the casino is located next door to the library and since smoking is allowed there you get the stale smoke drifting down to the library and it's hard to not let it bother you. Once again, air generally moves from the front of the ship towards the rear, even indoors and the library is "downwind" from the smoky casino. The casino itself is fine but the smokers seem to have decided it's their place to sit and chain smoke while they pull slot handles. Most times just walking through the casino with cigarettes a blazing is enough to make me quicken my step to get away from it. I suspect there are many many passengers who avoid the casino like the plague just to avoid the cig smoke. The Rotterdam dining room is a pleasant room. If you like to eat a bit later, as I do, then you can pretty much just show up with no reservations any night at around 7;30 pm and get a nice table with no problems. The Rotterdam dining room food and service was good and the selections more than adequate. The Lido dining area is nicely laid out with many many selections. No trays are provided which I suppose is to reduce food consumption or suppose to make it seem less cafeteria like. However, this results in most people having to make several trips back and forth from their table as there is no way you can carry a salad,soup, entrEe and beverage in one trip. There is quite a bit of staff available to assist the most infirm but other passengers are on their own. The Lido food is generally tasty and is not a good place to hang out if you are on a diet. There is a hamburger/sandwich/taco set up beside the pool on the Lido deck with wonderful burgers/fries/etc. There are also many special BBQ's held out by the pool with different themes. The Pinnacle restaurant seems underutilized most likely due to a $20 per person cover charge. It's a nice restaurant and the food is definitely a little better than the normal dining room but it seems most people aren't willing to pay $20 for the experience. Most nights when I looked it the Pinnacle was less than ¼ full. It seems that more of the ship's officers eat there more than the passengers. I suspect if they would consider lowering the cover to a more reasonable $10 that they would entice more patrons and everyone would be happier. Room service is ok but not great. They have the usual hang your breakfast order outside your door and delivery is supposedly made within a 30 minute "window". However, my orders were consistently delivered about 15 minutes early which was just fine once I understood how it works. Evening room service was ho hum at best and you pretty much have to order every single thing you want (like ketchup for fries) or it is not provided. Non breakfast delivery time seemed to always be about 35 minutes and tips seemed to be genuinely appreciated. Lots of bars and booze available on the ship but thankfully it was not all pushed nearly as much as other ships I have experienced. And to Holland's eternal credit they don't hassle you if you want to bring a bottle of wine or a few beers onboard to enjoy in your stateroom. The show room is just fine although there are many seats in the rear and in the balcony where sightlines would be bad. However, I found that for the second show especially it was rare that the room was full. There is a nice movie theatre with popcorn available. The movie selection was weak at best but many passengers attended the movies with quite a bit of snoring to be heard. One suggestion would be to have more matinee or even morning showings as it would be a nice daytime entertainment option even on port call days when many people only go ashore for a couple of hours and then back to the ship. The entertainment ran the gamut of usual cruise line fare with singers/dancers/comedians/magicians etc. Some are quite good and some are absolutely awful and make you wonder why in the world the Holland corporate entertainment department would have selected them. There is the usual bingo and the like but again it seems Holland doesn't promote this ad nauseum via the ships speakers like other cruise lines. The guest lecturers were a major disappointment to me. Although they all have multiple degrees and impressive professorial resumes the fact is that most all of them were about as exciting as watching paint dry. Knowing everything academically about a subject and being able to do an enjoyable 45 minute presentation are two different skills. Most felt like sitting in a very boring college class. Again, it seems to me that Holland entertainment division picks these people strictly from a resume without ever having auditioned them to see if they are also interesting/entertaining. Another pet peeve is when they open the audience to questions but do NOT provide a microphone NOR do they repeat the questions so the rest of the audience might have some clue to what is being discussed. Rule number one of public speaking: HE WHO HAS THE MICROPHONE MUST REPEAT THE QUESTION ALOUD SO EVERYONE IN THE AUDIENCE CAN HEAR. In my opinion our particular cruise featured way too many Iceland stops (6). Iceland is interesting but it is certainly not that interesting and 2 or 3 calls would have been more than adequate. It seemed a shame to waste so much time in little Iceland ports with pretty much nothing to see and then rush through Scotland, Ireland, England, and many other port calls where extra time would have been a plus. The information provided by Holland for the various port calls was AWFUL. A small flyer is placed in the cabins the night before each port giving a little bit of the history but that's about it. Information that most passengers might find useful like public transport options, internet cafes, bank/exchange/ATM info was totally non existent so if you don't buy the overpriced ship excursions you're on your own. It's really a shame that most ships seem to take the attitude that if you don't buy their tours they aren't going to give you any information. In a nutshell if you don't buy the tours you are a bit of a steerage class passenger when it comes to shoreside information. And of course as usual most of the tours are sold at gouge you prices. Fortunately I am experienced enough that I was able to figure out public transport, internet cafes, etc on my own as I really have no desire to participate in the organized shore excursions. Overall the service throughout the ship is quite good though it seemed to me that since Carnival took over Holland that there not as many employees as previously. There were several days when our cabin steward didn't clean my cabin until after 1 pm even though the please clean sign had been out since 8 am. Some passengers indicated that the stewards now have many more staterooms to clean than the pre Carnival days. Generally I found the Filipino and Indonesian staff to be warm, gracious, and accommodating. The Dutch officers/staff seemed a bit stand offish to me compared to other ships officers I have experienced. Generally the onboard announcements weren't too terribly obtrusive like many ships where some idiot is on the ships speakers every few minutes pushing all the onboard revenue enhancers like bingo, special drinks, etc. Unfortunately I could barely understand our captain due to a pretty strong accent. All in all it was a wonderful cruise and the Maasdam remains a personal favorite ship of mine. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009

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