8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th ... Read More
This will be my first review on Cruise Critic, but after meeting some CC people aboard MS Maasdam (Jan 6 2019 Freemantle-Singapore), I thought I’d contribute. This was a birthday/Winter getaway with apparently interesting stops, our 20th cruise and 4th on Holland America. We loved our previous HAL cruises (Zuiderdam and Prinsendam X 2). Sadly, this trip did not meet our expectations from HAL. The question is whether it is this particular ship or a new marketing model. Overall, the first impression is nickel-dime’ing. Quarters to use the laundry washers and dryers? Second impression, max effort to ‘sell’ something/profit incentive (I’ve never seen a captain appear and host a jewelry store sale event, speaking to shoppers - more so than at various Mariner events and meet-the-captain galas). This begins with surprisingly high excursion fees, often over double the cost for the same excursion online. Particularly galling is contracting with a local operator to sell ONLY through HAL excursions, i.e. blocking independent online or walk-up bookings; example - Dili East Timor: Hop On Hop Off is advertised at $45, with a stop at the cruise port. HAL contracted to do the booking for $79.95. They were not allowed to sell tickets to anyone not on a HAL excursion. Entertainment: cruise director was brand new (reportedly third in recent months). There were no “shows/productions”. There were individual entertainers, some quite decent, but not every night. Some ‘science/wildlife’ lectures were informative for those interested. Event scheduling seemed haphazard, e.g. captain’s reception and festivity at 7:55 PM, show start at 8:00 is only one example. There were many. Seems they are trying to appeal to a ‘younger’ clientele (average age still appears to be 70, with lots of older folks with walkers/canes/wheelchairs). The introduction of Zodiac inflatable excursions is new, and from reports (can not verify), some were disasters, acknowledged by the zodiac drivers that a monetary adjustment should be expected. Selections of cruise stops - sounded off the beaten track, and they were, not necessarily all bad but certainly raise some questions. Geraldton, Exmouth, Broome? Interesting introduction to relatively barren Western Australia (Exmouth often the hottest spot in the world - we saw 113* F). Komodo Island was a highlight and a big factor in selecting this cruise. It was worth the effort. Assumed (wrongly) that th Bali stop was the ‘known tourist destination. Actual stop was at a North Coast port, out of reach of any better known or advertised sites (e.g. Ubud). Probolinggo? Surabaya? O.K. Expensive, long excursions to Mt. Bromo were highlights available, but not sure how many took advantage. We did not, arranging our own private tours. An advertised 10 hour excursion from Semarang to the ancient temple of Borobudur was offered, and many booked it. They arrived back at the ship almost an hour late. Mixed reports,some loved the visit, but all mentioned huge crowds and difficulty getting pictures (including a professional photographer). The ship: getting OLD. Our vista suite had numerous wooden shims in the sliding glass door, presumably to stop it from creaking/rattling. They did work, if looking a little flakey. No complaints about our cabin/Port side. starboard side Vista suites had water (strong rains puddled on verandas) seep under sliding doors, wetting carpeting and personal items/luggage on the cabin floor. Food: no issues, and generally decent. Some local/Indonesian offerings were excellent. Very little local fruit offered - small plates purportedly put out at 11:30 were gone by 11:45, too bad if you weren’t there. Almost none in the evenings. We are not picky or demanding foodies, and more often than not eat at the Lido/buffet. Surf and turf (one night) in the dining room was very good. Overall, mixed emotions. May or may not give HAL another try (not on Maasdam). A little disappointed with this cruise, being a HAL fan. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We cannot travel far from home at the moment due to family commitments so the 12 day around NZ was ideal. The boarding in Auckland was the easiest I have ever done and basically we just walked onboard with a few ID checks and the key card ... Read More
We cannot travel far from home at the moment due to family commitments so the 12 day around NZ was ideal. The boarding in Auckland was the easiest I have ever done and basically we just walked onboard with a few ID checks and the key card issuance. The ship was not full, about 900 passengers when she will take 1200, so there was a real feeling of space. We stayed in the Neptune 043 suite and loved it - heaps of room, a balcony to die for and nicely appointed throughout. This also gave us access to the Neptune Lounge, which I initially doubted we would use much, but as it turned out we became addicted to our quiet time in there with a decent cup of coffee and some nice snacks. It also came in handy when work intruded on the holiday and I needed something printed out and then scanned - this was the easiest I have ever managed to do this at sea. The food was of good standard - although a bit cold at times in the LIdo, service was faultless throughout and the activities were all well organised. The only criticism is that they seemed to be 'short' an act or two; there was no main production troupe so no dance shows and a couple of the entertainers they had were asked to do two or more shows, and quite frankly their material was not strong enough for this. Despite this, we felt entertained (mostly) and there was a really happy, friendly feel to the cruise, all the passengers were smiling and always ready for a chat over food, and the trivia teams were always happy to let others join in when they didn't have a full quota. Jonathon, the cruise director did an excellent job running these and just about any other entertainment. John in the piano bar was fabulous and the stools around his piano were always filled with people who had drunk enough to think they could sing (including us). Great fun there at night. We missed one port (Norfolk Island) due to rough weather and questions were asked as to whether ships should even go there as the success rate is not good apparently, but the captain circumnavigated it and took us off to see another island (no landing), and the tour charges were quickly refunded in full with no fuss. I would travel again on the Maasdam, she is probably not the newest ship out there but we enjoyed the layout and found everything we wanted. The shopping was a bit limited compared to others - not everyone wants high end jewellery, but this is minor and probably saved us some money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
This was the second part to our cruise. Only about 800 to 900 on this section. We kept the same cabin 574 Main Deck and the same great crew looking after cabin. The ship as usual was kept clean and tidy. Unfortunately the menu in the ... Read More
This was the second part to our cruise. Only about 800 to 900 on this section. We kept the same cabin 574 Main Deck and the same great crew looking after cabin. The ship as usual was kept clean and tidy. Unfortunately the menu in the dining room and up in Lido did not change except for thanks giving evening. One evening in the dining the Lamb shank was very good. We found the Library a very good place to past the time of day. The shops were nothing to write home about, there was one big jewellery shop with some expensive items. Easy enough to get around the ship, lifts were never overcrowded except after a show when everyone was trying to either other places on the ship or to their cabins. The Hamburger/hot Dog place on deck 11 was great for lunch thou personally I did not like all the stuff that was put on the Hot Dog, Hamburgers were great. while having your lunch on deck it was quite often hard to hear the captain talking over the speaker. This was the part of cruise were looking forward to as my wife had lived on Niue and I was to get the conducted tour, it was not to be as the captain advised it was to rough at the wharf to land. We also did not land at Rarotonga as it was to rough to get into the tenders. Vava U Tonga was great as we were able to meet up with the wife's son and delivery a case of items that they wanted. Arranging to get off the ship with the case was a hassle from the front desk staff but in the end we saw customs when they came aboard and got cleared by them. Savusavu was ok, but Suva has not changed since we were last there apart from more high rise building. Dravuni Island was the best place for snorkelling and swimming. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
We thought that we would get away to some sunshine and this was the first part of our 28 day cruising the Pacific visiting islands that one would not normally visit. We enjoyed the smaller ship which only had about 1200 people on board. ... Read More
We thought that we would get away to some sunshine and this was the first part of our 28 day cruising the Pacific visiting islands that one would not normally visit. We enjoyed the smaller ship which only had about 1200 people on board. Visiting islands via the ships tenders was an interesting experience. While the ship was of a mature age the crew and hotel staff kept in clean Our stateroom was 574 on the main deck slightly forward. We received an upgrade from the deck below. Our two cabin stewards kept the cabin clean and tidy. We asked for anytime dining in the dining room in the evening and was always able to be seated. Always asked if wanted to join others or be seated by ourselves. Personal option of the Dining room menu was sometimes good. Thanksgiving dinner good. Had Breakfast and lunch in the Lido and also dinner three or four times. Unfortunately food choices for dinner did not change except for the sweets. No dancing and the entertainment I would only give six out of ten. We did one shore excursion at Raiatea, Society Islands to visit a plantation and swim at a very nice island. We found that you had to use 8 US quarters in the washing machine and 4 quarters in the dryer. Shops on the Maasdam were nothing to write home about, big jewellery shop, If you where looking for pearls. Though you could find cheaper pearls in the island markets. Back at Papeete we received a in transit pass to get off the ship as we were on the second part of the cruise. Would I cruise with Holland America again, would depend on the itinerary but I did like the smaller ship. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the date and route. While some cruises might have more bells and whistles, this cruise was perfect for what we wanted, quality family time. We were treated so well. Our 5 year old daughter was treated like a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the date and route. While some cruises might have more bells and whistles, this cruise was perfect for what we wanted, quality family time. We were treated so well. Our 5 year old daughter was treated like a princess. When we renewed our vows, they staff made a special bouquet of yellow roses. The ceremony was special for us and our guests. The food was pretty good. The first night wasn’t that good. But it got progressively better. The gala nights were amazing. As part of our wedding vows package we had dinner one night at the Pinnacle Grill. It’s worth the price. The quality of the lobster and steak was amazing. The route stops are all wonderful (except Sidney.) I can’t say which one was our favorite, because they all had spectacular places to see. Québec is wonderful, but make sure to make it out to the Falls. PEI was my favorite! My husband loved Halifax. I do wish we could’ve spent more time in the places. The worst downfall was that customs took place in Bar Harbor, and it cut part of the time we could’ve spend on land. Overall, we loved the cruise and would do it again. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Embarkation Embarkation in Boston smooth and fairly quick. Boat was full so no upgrades were available. No welcoming drinks. I think you can get lunch in the Lido buffet. Some bars open at 1pm. Lifeboat muster at 3 pm was hot and muggy ... Read More
Embarkation Embarkation in Boston smooth and fairly quick. Boat was full so no upgrades were available. No welcoming drinks. I think you can get lunch in the Lido buffet. Some bars open at 1pm. Lifeboat muster at 3 pm was hot and muggy and lasted more than 1/2 hour. Ugh. If you start in Boston, be sure to go up on deck when the boat leaves the dock as it is right off the end of the runway and planes go about 200' overhead as They land at Logan. They did not push drinks on us then or any other time. Cruisers Passengers were younger than I thought they would be. Maybe because it was 4th Of July week. Many were 40-60s and more than a few kids. Only 1/3 to 1/2 were geezers like us. Boat did not seem crowded or have long lines ever even when tendering at Bar Harbor. Maasdam The boat is 25 years old, but is well maintained, but if you look, you can find nicks, dents, rust, etc. and the decorating seems a bit dated. If you expect state of the art and perfect condition and anything less is going to irritate you, you should not book this boat. In contrast to what other reviewers have said, the info I got from the crew was that Maasdam will be refurbished after August. It has been sold by HAL, but they will lease it back next year as they already have cruises booked on it. This was our first cruise on HAL after several on Celebrity. We cruised on an old Celebrity boat several years ago and I would rate HAL a bit lower in most categories. The Explorers Lounge is a great place to hang out if you are not into bars or pools. It has a large library, games, Internet, etc. and a coffee bar. Food The Lido buffet is a mosh pit at peak times like other boats of this vintage. The food is ok. Very little self serve. You have to wait in lines for everything. Also, there are no trays, so you are juggling plates or making multiple trips to the mosh pit. The food in the main dining room was good, but not great or noteworthy. Just not real tasty. Portions varied, but could be very tiny. For example, the flatiron steak was about 4 slices the size of your thumb and about 1/4" thick. Wine is not included and will add about $10 per glass to your bill. The Pinnacle grill was definitely worth the $25 up charge. Quiet and much tastier food. I think it is the only place you can get your baked Alaska fix. It can get booked so make your reservations early. If you have open seating, call and make reservations or you may have to wait to get a table even though the dining room was never full. You can reserve multiple nights at once. If you can stand to eat at 5:15-5:30, you can get a great table with a window and watch as the boat sails from the dock. Lobster is ONLY available in Pinnacle grill except for ONE night (2nd gala night) as a surf and turf entree in the Rotterdam DR. On "Gala" nights, most men had a sport coat and maybe a tie. Virtually no suits or tuxes. No baked Alaska parade, but there is a chocolate "surprise " the second gala night. The surprise was that it was just some waiters wandering around with trays of bite sized stuff. No buffet. What is the point of cruising if not to participate in these archaic exercises and wallow in wretched excesses of years past? Staff The staff was friendly, but somewhat reserved. On Celebrity and Viking, EVERY staff member would greet you EVERY time you walked past. Not on this boat. Especially in the dining room. To be fair, the Cabin attendants and wine stewards were very friendly and thorough, but not intrusive. Entertainment The Adagio duo (piano and violin) in the Explorer lounge were very good and played classical hits which was relaxing. They played a wide range of music from opera to tango. The Ocean trio in the Ocean bar played jazz and swing and was good. The main show singers and dancers were capable and energetic, but at times suffered from uninspired choreography. The 5 piece backup band was fine, but The canned music was out of date. Had low expectations for Bendt Washburn the comic, but he "wasn't half bad". His words, not mine. He was pretty good. The BBC Planet Earth II concert was just that, Highlights from PE II on a big screen with the musicians playing a special soundtrack. This is what passes for main stage entertainment these days? The magician, Alexander the Great, was just ok. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We traveled on the Holland Americal Line (HAL) Maasdam during the week of July 1 from Boston to Montreal, me, my wife, and our seven-year old daughter. It was our first cruise with Holland America. Reading prior reviews gave me some ... Read More
We traveled on the Holland Americal Line (HAL) Maasdam during the week of July 1 from Boston to Montreal, me, my wife, and our seven-year old daughter. It was our first cruise with Holland America. Reading prior reviews gave me some concern about the age/condition of the ship, as did my fear of having enough too few families on board for my daughter to interact with, since HAL has the reputation of catering to older cruisers. PROs: Our room steward was outstanding, and did a great job every day, despite our creating disarray in our room virtually every day. As for bar service and dining room service, there were certainly many that were excellent as well. We were really pleasantly surprised to see a very nice number of families, including many girls our daughter’s age to interact with, and she made many good friends over the course of the week, to the point where a few of her friend’s parents exchanged information with us, intending to connect after the cruise. In short, the distribution of ages and families on this cruise was very accommodating to our interests, such as having plenty of swim time in the pool, without a huge crowd, no drunkenness/offensive behavior, or any unruly bunch of kids. There was also no difficulties in getting a lounge chair at any time, and with the retractable roof over the pool, any weather did not preclude swimming. The food was up to the standards I experienced on prior Royal Carribbean Cruises, with plenty of good offerings in the buffet (Lido) and main dining room. There was pasta bars, salad bars, and omelet stations every day, cooked/made to order in each case. In most instances (exception below), the HAL Kids club provided a very nice setting for our daughter to interact with her peers, and she very much looked forward to the “club” time, which also offered my wife and I a chance to relax a bit. We found the size and layout of the ship very accommodating. With about 1200 or so passengers, it was easy enough to get your bearings anywhere on the ship. We also never felt lost or crowded. I’m sure it’s size is a main reason that it can cruise down the St. Lawrence River to Quebec and Montreal. The thought of the new ships, with their 5.000 passengers seems a bit intimidating. While you will see we have a few concerns noted below, I will say that we very much enjoyed the trip, as cruising in general has so many upsides. I’m sure our daughter will forever remember many elements of the trip. CONs: Our biggest anguish of the trip was the final night when the HAL Kids club staff decided that playing the movie Jumanji would be good entertainment for all the kids, including those as young as 4. We would NEVER have our daughter watching a movie like that at 7. Many kids were totally scared off and asked staff to have parents come get them. When this concern was voiced to the Cruise Director, he seemed to have no anguish or even interest in hearing our concern, clearly someone who doesn’t have any children, who I guess are an afterthought occasionally on board. Having our daughter with us in the dining room always resulted in a worse seat placing. There was also one night when her dinner was very cold which didn’t seem to distress the waitstaff, who simply microwaved it a few seconds and brought it back. HAL certainly caters to older cruisers, but as noted above, this was an asset at times as there was little competition for the recreational pursuits (swimming, basketball, ping-pong, etc.), and there were no instances that I saw of any drunkenness or lewd behavior. Rooms are small, even if bigger than other cruise lines, and our small family still were bumping into each other regularly in our space. TIPs: • Have coffee and a fresh pitcher of water delivered to your room each day, along with fruit if you like – no further charges for this; • We were on the fence about purchasing the alcohol plan, as it was presented that you if drink 5 drinks a day, you will benefit. I suggest forgoing the plan, as there are happy hours (second drink for $2) every day at 4 and 9 PM…………and there are many days you are off the boat for long stretches. Unless you want a drink in your hand round the clock, pass on the plan; • If you have kids, I’d suggest staying away from the excursions, which seem to be developed more for the older “tour” type excursions, think a few photo ops, and plenty of craft/gift shop stops. • If you have a stop in Bar Harbor, and are reasonably fit, go for the bike rental. There is a free shuttle to nearby Acadia National Park, which is really set up nicely for biking, with beautiful views. • If you have kids and have a stop like we did in Halifax, the Children’s Discovery Center, just a five minute walk from the Port, was really interesting and fun, and good for hours of entertainment. • We reside in the Boston area, and needed to rent a car in Montreal to drive home. If we do this cruise again, I would definitely do the driving on the front end, i.e. rent a car in Boston and drive to Montreal, maybe a day ahead of the cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
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
7 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Chose this cruise for intergenerational travel with my parents and children. LOVELY way to cover a lot of ground. We used the ship more as a means of transportation to get from point A to point B, but it was a really wonderful trip. ... Read More
Chose this cruise for intergenerational travel with my parents and children. LOVELY way to cover a lot of ground. We used the ship more as a means of transportation to get from point A to point B, but it was a really wonderful trip. Pros: food, service, staff excellent. We had basic family room with bed hung from ceiling in interior state room-- more than adequate to meet needs. There are plenty of rich foods, but I can't eat them and was able to eat healthily during the entire cruise as there were many food options. Ship also has a 1/4 mile walk around on deck six and ample health club. Nice free stretching class for early mornings. Cons: children's programming is in need of a total overhaul. If you want to park your child someplace where they can have unlimited media- this would be sufficient, but the children's programming is decidedly lacking. Our children enjoyed going after dinner for an hour or so and they had one night of truly interactive activities, but this was a far contrast to the children's programming in Splash Academy that they had on Norwegian. Norwegian's programming was media- free, dynamic and organized. Staff was lovely, but the programming was an after-thought, room smelled terrible and it was stuffed with media. Shore excursions were overpriced as one would expect. In Bar Harbor, there is a free LLBean shuttle which operates in the summer for only the price of a park pass (fourth graders are free and seniors get discount). Great way to see park at a fraction of the cost. Hired private car in Charlottetown. Discovery Tours PEI and Shuttle Service, K. Fraser/T. Thompson-- info@discovertourspei.com. This was the sweetest man who loved our kids. We negotiated the rate up front and he took us all over island-- to Canadian national park, anne of green gables house, a mariner port, a toy factory, a place to pet the goats... He was so kind and it turned out to be about 30 a person for the tour of the island. Great way to explore. If you splurge for any excursion there is NOTHING to see in Sydney. We were glad the boys went to see Alexandra Graham Bell museum that day. They loved it and there really is nothing to do in town and I am generally very easily entertained! Overall, wonderful trip and a great way to cover a lot of area in a very relaxed way-- wonderful trip! Read Less
Maasdam Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 3.0 0.0
Family 3.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

Find a Maasdam Cruise

Email me when prices drop