This trip was a dream come true for myself and my daughter. As huge Anne of green Gable fans we have always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island. My husband and I love to see lighthouses. Best of all from our house in Western New York we did not have to fly. We drove to Boston the day before the cruise and stayed at an ok hotel that provided cruise port transportation, very nice. We arrived at the port at 10:30. My Dad is in a wheelchair for any distances so we had handicapped check in. We sat and waited for quite a while for them to provide a security guard to check in the handicapped line. We then went up signed in, took pictures and waited in another area for those with handicaps. We were the first ones on the ship when embarkation started, had been to our rooms and were in the Lido for lunch with no lines shortly after 12. We previously sailed on the Maasdam before we had children and while we noticed some scuffs and wear and tear, there was nothing that effected our trip. All the adults in the group loved the Maasdam and smaller ship sailing. It did take us a couple of days to get used to deck 7 and not being able to go directly from the dining room to the showroom. In regards to dining, we loved our table and our waiter, Encep. Early dinner was too early at 5:30 however as it was hard to make it on port days and we felt we missed some of the scenery we wanted to watch. The tables near us were open dining and a couple of nights due to the size of patrons at the table next to us, my mother was unable to move her chair enough to leave the table. Very awkward. HAL has tried to make the food more upscale, but unfortunately this resulted in several nights of ordering safe every night items like steak and chicken. We loved the chilled soups. Everything we ordered was excellent and they let the kids pick courses off both the kid and adult menu. My 11 year old son went to club HAL a few times and thought it was OK but he missed the separate game room from the larger HAL ships as he could only play video games when there were no formal activities. Activities were limited as the cruise is port intensive. My newly turned 13 year old daughter went to Club HAL once. Although there were app. 100 kids and 50+ teens on board, it was the older teens that went to club HAL and my daughter was not comfortable. There is no dedicated space on the Maasdam for teens so they would hang out in other areas of the ship until the Club HAL space was free at 10. They rarely followed the posted schedule. My daughter said this was her least favorite cruise of the three we have gone on. I did a lot of research prior to the trip and we did all ports on our own. In Bar Harbour, tendering was easy and we did a trip up Cadillac Mountain with Ollie's trolleys. In Halifax we rented a car and did a great road trip to Peggy's Cove with a great lobster lunch at Southwester and a stop at the Titanic Cemetary. In Sydney, Don Blackwood took us on a great trip to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell museum. In PEI, we did an amazing Anne and lighthouse tour with Duncan tours. This was my favorite day. Perfect for an Anne of Green Gables fan. I could go on for pages. We had an amazing sunset as we sailed under the Confederation bridge. We were glad we went up to the top deck very early. In Quebec, we had our only rainy day. We walked around a little and took a few pictures. Quebec was the one port that caused huge issues with my Dad in his wheelchair. We ended up sending my parents back to the ship in a cab from the Hotel Frontenac. Quebec was beautiful, I wish the weather had been better. Disembarkation was easy in Montreal. We were going to walk all our luggage to the hotel, but we were tired and the taxi line was about 10 minutes so we took a cab. We were glad we took a cab as we got to the hotel to leave our luggage before many other people off our cruise ship, who encountered a much longer line. Then we walked to Notre Dame cathedral, which is amazing. We enjoyed a caleche ride and the Pointe a Calliere museum. Their light and sound history show is great. After we took my parents back to the hotel and checked into our nice rooms (Springhill Suites Old Montreal), we walked back to the Science museum. The museum was just ok, but the video game exhibit was nice. My mother and I early enjoyed the Maple Museum and great maple treats that evening. Overall it was an amazing trip that we are very glad we took. We loved PEI and ended up seeing 17 lighthouses.

Another Great Family Trip on Holland America

Maasdam Cruise Review by Cindy fan

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This trip was a dream come true for myself and my daughter. As huge Anne of green Gable fans we have always wanted to go to Prince Edward Island. My husband and I love to see lighthouses. Best of all from our house in Western New York we did not have to fly.

We drove to Boston the day before the cruise and stayed at an ok hotel that provided cruise port transportation, very nice. We arrived at the port at 10:30. My Dad is in a wheelchair for any distances so we had handicapped check in. We sat and waited for quite a while for them to provide a security guard to check in the handicapped line. We then went up signed in, took pictures and waited in another area for those with handicaps. We were the first ones on the ship when embarkation started, had been to our rooms and were in the Lido for lunch with no lines shortly after 12.

We previously sailed on the Maasdam before we had children and while we noticed some scuffs and wear and tear, there was nothing that effected our trip. All the adults in the group loved the Maasdam and smaller ship sailing. It did take us a couple of days to get used to deck 7 and not being able to go directly from the dining room to the showroom.

In regards to dining, we loved our table and our waiter, Encep. Early dinner was too early at 5:30 however as it was hard to make it on port days and we felt we missed some of the scenery we wanted to watch. The tables near us were open dining and a couple of nights due to the size of patrons at the table next to us, my mother was unable to move her chair enough to leave the table. Very awkward. HAL has tried to make the food more upscale, but unfortunately this resulted in several nights of ordering safe every night items like steak and chicken. We loved the chilled soups. Everything we ordered was excellent and they let the kids pick courses off both the kid and adult menu.

My 11 year old son went to club HAL a few times and thought it was OK but he missed the separate game room from the larger HAL ships as he could only play video games when there were no formal activities. Activities were limited as the cruise is port intensive. My newly turned 13 year old daughter went to Club HAL once. Although there were app. 100 kids and 50+ teens on board, it was the older teens that went to club HAL and my daughter was not comfortable. There is no dedicated space on the Maasdam for teens so they would hang out in other areas of the ship until the Club HAL space was free at 10. They rarely followed the posted schedule. My daughter said this was her least favorite cruise of the three we have gone on.

I did a lot of research prior to the trip and we did all ports on our own. In Bar Harbour, tendering was easy and we did a trip up Cadillac Mountain with Ollie's trolleys. In Halifax we rented a car and did a great road trip to Peggy's Cove with a great lobster lunch at Southwester and a stop at the Titanic Cemetary. In Sydney, Don Blackwood took us on a great trip to Baddeck and the Alexander Graham Bell museum. In PEI, we did an amazing Anne and lighthouse tour with Duncan tours. This was my favorite day. Perfect for an Anne of Green Gables fan. I could go on for pages. We had an amazing sunset as we sailed under the Confederation bridge. We were glad we went up to the top deck very early. In Quebec, we had our only rainy day. We walked around a little and took a few pictures. Quebec was the one port that caused huge issues with my Dad in his wheelchair. We ended up sending my parents back to the ship in a cab from the Hotel Frontenac. Quebec was beautiful, I wish the weather had been better.

Disembarkation was easy in Montreal. We were going to walk all our luggage to the hotel, but we were tired and the taxi line was about 10 minutes so we took a cab. We were glad we took a cab as we got to the hotel to leave our luggage before many other people off our cruise ship, who encountered a much longer line. Then we walked to Notre Dame cathedral, which is amazing. We enjoyed a caleche ride and the Pointe a Calliere museum. Their light and sound history show is great. After we took my parents back to the hotel and checked into our nice rooms (Springhill Suites Old Montreal), we walked back to the Science museum. The museum was just ok, but the video game exhibit was nice. My mother and I early enjoyed the Maple Museum and great maple treats that evening.

Overall it was an amazing trip that we are very glad we took. We loved PEI and ended up seeing 17 lighthouses.
Cindy fan’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Embarkation
Dining
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Cabin
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Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
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Cabin Review

Large Interior Stateroom
Cabin I 821
Great stateroom. Nice to have a shower instead of a tub especially for my older parents in the cabin next door. Plenty of room even with the triple bed made up. Couch stayed as a bed all week. My parents kept their beds as two singles which gave them an area to tuck my Dad's wheelchair in and made the room feel much bigger. Plenty of storage space.
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