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7 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Montreal

7 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Montreal

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Maasdam
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Itinerary


Maasdam

Cruise Critic Editor Rating:
4.0
529 reviews
Why Choose Maasdam?

Pro

Intimate atmosphere pairs well with unique itineraries

Con

Shows signs of age in some areas

Bottom Line

Excellent value for those who prefer a mid-sized ship


Cruise Reviews

1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
After nine Caribbean and one Mediterranean cruise, we were ready for something completely different. As Canadians, we were eager to explore the ports of call along the St. Lawrence, and delighted to be able to use our mobile phones and ... Read More
After nine Caribbean and one Mediterranean cruise, we were ready for something completely different. As Canadians, we were eager to explore the ports of call along the St. Lawrence, and delighted to be able to use our mobile phones and data plans without penalty for most of the trip. Since this cruise was a last-minute decision to celebrate a milestone anniversary, there were very few ocean-view cabins remaining; we managed to secure a category HH (obstructed view) on deck 6 and were happy with the discounted price as well as the location. As others have noted, the Maasdam is an older ship, and she is showing her age - especially in some of the public venues, including the washrooms. That said, the boat never felt crowded, at no time were we made to wait for an elevator, and there was never a problem finding a lounger at the pool. A few observations: As culinary impressions are subjective, I will refrain from commenting on the food selection, save to say that the meals in the dining room were varied and for the most part quite acceptable. We were not quite as impressed with the Lido buffet, however, as it was sometimes difficult to ascertain exactly what was on offer. We dined in the Pinnacle restaurant on embarkation night (lured by a 25% discount) ; we were somewhat disappointed with the experience and did not feel that it was worth the extra expense. The Dive In the covered pool area provided a daily "snack" buffet which often consisted of nachos, tacos, and some very tasty guacamole. The small casino has a limited number of slot machines, but it is possible to find a seat adjacent to a window so at least one can watch the scenery while feeding the one-arm bandits...The few on board shops are not browse-worthy - mostly full of perfume, jewelry and pricey garments. During the only sea day we were treated to some dutch pea soup in the Atrium (a rather dead space in the middle of deck six that appears to serve no useful purpose). There was also an opportunity to meet and chat with the ship's cast members (singers and dancers), backstage and kitchen tours, as well as an interesting "Ask the Captain" session that allowed passengers to question Captain Whittaker on just about everything relating to his job. The cruise directory, Ryan, although affable enough, seemed to have a rather light work-load consisting of making a few daily announcements and introducing the evening's performer(s). His second-in-command ran the trivial games which were well attended. There were no organized activities on the pool deck, and no afternoon musical entertainment by the pool. An enjoyable and informative nightly music trivia session delivered by piano man Jeff was very popular. One POSITIVE note: the ship provides a Pickleball court along with wooden paddles and two balls, and actually sets aside a scheduled time for play (although my husband and I were usually the only ones to avail ourselves of the opportunity, we were joined by three other enthusiasts on our last day). Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We have discussed going on this cruise for a few years, and finally booked it this summer. We live in South Florida, so it was a great break from the summer heat. We flew into Montreal on Friday, got an uber to the Embassy Suites in Old ... Read More
We have discussed going on this cruise for a few years, and finally booked it this summer. We live in South Florida, so it was a great break from the summer heat. We flew into Montreal on Friday, got an uber to the Embassy Suites in Old Town (great location and nice hotel). That gave us time to explore the wonderful old city and port/waterfront on Friday night and Saturday morning. Embarkation was very smooth. We actually walked with our luggage from the hotel to the pier within about 12 minutes and were able to get on the ship around 11 or 11:30. After eating lunch, we went back out into town for a while, which was a plus. Other than an Alaskan Cunard cruise I took years ago, this is the smallest ship I've ever gone on in my 20 cruises. The public areas are very clean and well maintained. Our favorite spot was floor 6 outdoor promenade. After spending a day in port, we walked around there several times before the ship left and as it departed ports. We got great pictures and met lots of very friendly people while out there. The ship is not flashy or super fancy with spectacular public areas, but that was ok for us. I would suggest that they add some more chaise lounges on the 6th floor because many are reserved for the sliding glass doors rooms. We had cabin 655, on floor 5, interior. It was better than I expected. Based on some review I had read, I was nervous. But, it was very clean, and really comfortable. The shower was tiny, but it worked and we had enough room for 3 of us to rest and sleep. The sofa becomes a twin bed. Our son is 6'4", so is was a tad short, but he just slept at a tiny angle. There was only 1 electric socket, and we had 3 phones, but our steward immediately got us a power strip, so he solved that issue. Compared to other cruises, there weren't a lot of activities on the ship. However, since we were in port all but one day, it didn't matter to us. It was somewhat frustrating for our son, who is 17, but he met kids and hung out with them. He did say that most of the entertainers were very good. I overheard them singing, but didn't go to any of it. Service was, overall, great. Our room stewards were excellent. Dining room service was very good, with the exception of one night, when it was terribly slow and our water didn't even get filled. But, overall, we were pleased. Front desk people were always helpful. Lido service was good as well. HAL has delicious food, in my opinion, especially in the dining room. They have a nice variety of things to choose from each night. The Lido was very good. We had breakfast there most mornings, as well as lunch all but two days. The only food I ate on the ship that I didn't like was the pizza in the Lido. It was very odd, which was strange, since the pizza on another HAL ship was so delicious. Our son complained that there wasn't enough to choose from in the Lido, which I thought was CRAZY. He also complained that it wasn't always open, and that the water stations were closed at 11:30 p.m. Remember, this is a teenager who eats all the time. But also, it is Holland America, and things shut down early, which I don't mind. They have Club HAL for kids up to 17. Our son went to a few things and met several kids. Of the 1200 or so passengers, there were about 60 teens on board, apparently. He didn't do much in Club HAL, but they did have a nice list of activities for each afternoon and evening. The ports were wonderful! Sydney was our least favorite, but we enjoyed walking around. I LOVED Quebec CITY and we really enjoyed all other ports. Even our son admitted that he liked all of the ports on a couple of occassions. We did not pay for any excursions. Instead, I researched each port and found the walking tours and we walked for MILES every day we were in port. Our son did travel with us, but our younger girls did not. He loved the ports and enjoyed the dining room food. He met several teenagers who seemed to be nice kids and with the size of the ship, we were very comfortable with him being out and about in the evening. He was unhappy when the basketballs were put away because the court was directly above the Lido - not a wise placement. But, he had a great time playing quite a bit. And, with hours being limited on things, he was a little frustrated. However, he had a choice of coming with us or going to another place, so his complaints pretty much fell on deaf ears of his parents. HAL ships tend to be quiet, and this ship was the quietest I can recall travelling on. Things were hardly ever crowded and we rarely had lines to contend with. Most people we met were really nice. A lot of them enjoy visiting and talking. The clientele tends to be older, and we were one of the younger families on the ship compared to the average. Things moved a bit slower, but it was so relaxing. And, we were only on the Montreal to Boston leg, just 7 nights, not 14. Disembarkation was pretty quick. There was some confusion because things were not announced at first, but we were able to get off in good time and to the airport quickly. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
On the Maasdam, we had a great cruise. However, the Maasdam has somewhat declined among other HAL (Holland America Line) ships.Though the Maasdam is a smaller ship among the fleet, it could've been appointed better such as more live ... Read More
On the Maasdam, we had a great cruise. However, the Maasdam has somewhat declined among other HAL (Holland America Line) ships.Though the Maasdam is a smaller ship among the fleet, it could've been appointed better such as more live entertainment, game shows, and enrichment activities. In fact, there were no enrichment activities on the Maasdam. Cruise lines like PCL had enrichment activities. Otherwise, the Maasdam is a great ship for the size. It was well renovated; as apparent through the staterooms and many of the public spaces. However, you could tell that the ship was older and needed to be renovated in a few places. Throughout the ship, there weren't a lot of people. There were never wait times, and after nine you would pretty much have the entire ship to yourself. I mentioned that the ship was nicely renovated, but there is still some things that HAL should've considered about the dining room. For one, one of the large picture windows had a large crack in it. The next thing that should've been considered is the fact that when we were eating in the main dining room (around the middle of the cruise) water started trickling down on me from the ceiling. The crew assured us that it was raining outside. I moved my seat to a dry side of the table. On future visits to the dining room, they were repairing the ceiling. About the cabin, it was a great size and renovated nicely. The bathroom was among one of the best we have seen on a cruise (sailing inside cabins), and the stateroom was a nice size. Also, another thing to note is that there is only one razor plug (in the bathroom, on the top light,) one European plug, and one American plug. When in our cabin, 506, we sometimes heard really loud noises, we think it was from the anchor. If you're a light sleeper, a cabin near the lower front of the ship probably isn't for you. As for the entertainment onboard, the shows were a bit above average. Compared to the other cruise lines it had better entertainment than RCL, CCL, and PCL; but NCL has better stage shows. I am nitpicking here, but throughout a majority of the cruise, one of the dancers was out of sync compared to the other dancers. Other than that, the dancers were decent and the singers were very good. I enjoyed the BBC Earth show, lots of thanks to the thousand hours put into it. And the dance/ singing numbers also seem to have lots of hours put into them. However, I would've like to have seen more shows onboard. Another thing to note is the "Indonesian Crew Show." The show was great and I loved the fact that HAL thanked the crew in a production about their background. The dining on the Maasdam was alright. The main dining room had very good food. Back to the dining, the food was very great; the filet mignon was the best I'd ever had, and the lobster was great, though it would've been better if served with lemon. About the service in the main dining room, on the second formal night (the only one we attended) the service was slow. Two people in our party asked for tea when they ordered their appetizers and main courses, yet they had to ask again. They ended up receiving the tea a little before the desert menu was handed out. We didn't mind the slow service, it was expected, especially with the dining room packed. As for the buffet, the food always tasted very good, there was a decent amount of variety. There was always an option for a type of beef, potatoes, greens, cheese, salads, etc. We ate in the buffet during peak times so we ended up sitting outside for breakfast. There were more seats available during lunch. Furthermore, tea time was amazing. The finger sandwiches and treats/ tarts were tasty. They gave us the same tea to drink each day so I would've liked some more variety. I would recommend tea time to everyone. On our itinerary, our ports of call were Quebec City, Charlottetown, Sydney, Halifax, and Bar Harbor. This cruise was a one way from Montreal to Boston (seven days). Quebec city was a very beautiful city, the old town area was very pleasant to walk around. We mainly just walked around the downtown and went into the Chateau de Frontenac. It was a very beautiful hotel, but bathrooms needed a key card. Free wifi in the hotel is a plus though. In Charlottetown, there wasn't much. You would have to go far to see anything worth noting. In this city we just took a bus to Cow's Creamery and took the free tour. I wish it was longer but I can't complain because it was free. Sydney once again wasn't anything special. We mainly just walked around the downtown. Some of us in the group went to see one of the historic house tours that were scattered close to the terminal, the admission was two CAD per person. I had a great time in Halifax. It was the biggest city on the trip. We visited a nice church, went to the Maritime Museum (sorry I don't remember admission), and went to the Spring Garden. The Spring Garden was one of my favorite places to go, would highly recommend. I just wish the hop on hop off tour was cheaper. $50 just to ride around on a bus with no admission to any of the attractions is a little steep. And finally, we went to Bar Harbor. Bar Harbor was a nice quaint town. We took a tour around the island. The tour was Oli's Trolley and admission was forty USD for adults and twenty USD for children under twelve. Our tour was the two and a half hour Acadia National Park tour. The tour stopped for fifteen minutes at the top of Cadillac Mountain, Thunder Hole, and Jordan's Pond. We would've liked longer stay times at each of the stops, but that is reserved for the four hour tour. We loved the Oli's Trolley Tour, once again would highly recommend. Read Less
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