We chose this cruise because we wanted a quiet restful trip. We did our research and discovered that Holland America are aimed at an older age group with not so many families/children on board. We found the Maasdam suited us perfectly. The Service and quality of food on this ship was excellent!! We didn't make use of the Casino as that's not our thing. There were plenty of bars and areas to sit and read or just relax. We mostly ate in the Main Dining room or had room service. We sat in the open dining on Deck 7 on the Port side and our waiter Imam & Wine Steward Iyvette were both lovely and looked after us very well. We enjoyed the Burgers at the Dive In Burger Bar on the Lido Deck.We did our sums and decided to take our own Wine on board as we weren't prepared to pay $827Usd each for a drinks package and we are so glad we didn't. We bought 13 bottles of Wine and 1 of Champagne on board and paid the $18Usd Corkage on 12 of them and it was still much cheaper to do this than get 2 drinks packages. We only had a couple of beers during the day from time to time and drank wine with our dinner each evening and occasionally in our room and had a cocktail/beer after dinner a few times plus the odd coffee - with the cost of our Alcohol purchased before boarding and all other drinks we still only spent about $650Usd. We made use of the free water refill at the Lido bar. The Itinerary was fabulous as we got to see parts of Australia we had never visited before and the parts we loved we will visit again. We haven't cruised a lot before and found the continuous up selling a bit annoying but you can always say no. The entertainment was just ok. We spoke to some people who said it was average and others who thought it was ok. We didn't do any shore excursions as we have been to some of the places and hired a car and did our own thing in other places so I cant comment other then to say we thought they were expensive.
We found the Vista Suite Cabin (Balcony cabin not really a suite) comfortable and spacious enough for us. The bed/ pillows/linen were very comfortable. The Cabin was well maintained and serviced. The balcony was a good size. The TV was a bit small/dated and the in room entertainment system was below average although you could ask for DVD's but we found a lot of the good ones were missing or unavailable.We were on Deck 9 very close to the self service Laundry which we found convenient. There was no noise problem being close to the Laundry.We experienced a few rocky nights due to the swell and being so high up the ship it affected my sleep although my husband had no problems. I never felt sick I am just a light sleeper.
We didnt pay to do an excursion and entry to the site was free to all onboard. we thoroughly enjoyed the history of this location..
Sydney is a great city which we have visited several times so we didnt do an excursion.
We have visited Melbourne many times and love it. We didn't do any excursions here.
It was Christmas day so not much was opened in the capital city. We chose not to do an excursion here as we will return to do a few weeks road trip in the next couple of years. Hobart town and the Port area was very qaint and there were some lovely historical buildings to see.
We have visited South Australia before and particularly enjoed the Clare and Barossa Valley Wine regions and the town of Hahndorf. Adelaide city is a mixed bag. Pretty down by the river but a bit grotty in some parts of the CBD.
We hired a car and drove down to Flinders Chase National Park to visit Admirals Arch and saw the lovely Fur Seals then on to Remarkable Rocks. We even saw a Koala in the Car Park of the Visitors Centre It was a great experience. We then drove back to the pretty Port town of Penneshaw and out to Dudley Wines for Lunch. Fabulous Wine, Pizza and a Killer View. Really enjoyed our trip to Kangaroo Island
Esperance Town was not that exciting but Esperance is famous for its amazing white sand beaches where the Kangaroos bathe in the sea at Lucky bay. we will return to explore this beautiful part of WA in a 4wd and camp out.
We really love the Albany and surrounding areas and had only just holidayed here last year so we just walked in to town for a coffee and to stretch our legs. The ANZAC museum is definitely worth a visit as is the Whale Museum. The pretty town of Denmark less than an hour away is also worth a visit
Bunbury is only 1 hour from our hometown so we visit here on a regular basis. This is only 1 hour from the Margaret River Wine region so well worth a visit. The new Dolphin Discovery Centre was fabulous and the town of Busselton about 30 minutes away has the longest timber Jetty in the Southern Hemisphere and is well worth a visit. The whole South West Region of WA is spectacular and needs to be explored as a destination on its own if you can make it back here.
Fremantle was our port of Disembarkation and is in our home state city. Perth and Fremantle are beautiful and not to be missed.