Canada By Way of Florida - the only way to go!: Maasdam Cruise Review by beach grandma

Maasdam 5
beach grandma
Member Since 2009
13 Forum Posts

Overall Member Rating

Canada By Way of Florida - the only way to go!

Sail Date: May 2010
Destination: Canada & New England
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
We traveled with another couple which made this cruise particularly enjoyable.

The Maasdam is one of Holland America's smaller ships, but it has all of the amenities of the larger ships. It will be in dry dock next spring for a face lift, which is needed, but it is a wonderful ship with plenty of room, great staff,wonderful food, and very nice entertainment. One thing I really liked was the self-laundry. I wish every ship offered this service. It saves a great deal of money: $3 for the washer and $1 for the dryer. A great savings over $20 for a bag of laundry done by the ship. Also, we love the wine card: a $68 card good for 20 glasses of house wine. If you don't use the entire card, save it for your next Holland America cruise. They also have cocktail cards, good only for the length of the cruise, and soda cards.

The string quartet was fantastic. They played every night and are a young group of students from McGill University's School of Music. They played a More variety of music, including a great rendition of Orange Blossom Special!! They will be on the Maasdam all summer. If you are on the Montreal/Boston cruises, be sure to look for them near the casino.

I also like the "in-port" specials at the spa and always take advantage of at least one special. I also love the thermal lounge - well worth $20 for the day pass.

The dining room service was a little spotty at first, but I think some of the crew were new and by the 3rd day the service was great, as you would expect from Holland America. We had open seating and tried to make a reservation for each night. There is always someone manning the reservation kiosk at the lido pool throughout the day. Make your reservations early if you like a particular table and/or time.

I made reservations for the Pinnacle Grill by phone a couple of weeks before the cruise to be sure to get the night and time we wanted. This restaurant books quickly, so I highly recommend calling before your cruise to make reservations.

I would take this cruise again in a minute. The ports of call were great and much better than the 1 week itineraries. We had mostly good weather, calm seas, and a fabulous trip. I highly recommend this cruise. Just a note on the ports. Not all of those we visited are in the listings. Here are a few not listed:

Charlottetown: Very pretty. We took a very nice panoramic drive and saw beautiful scenary. I'd rate this a 4.

Saguenay: Delightful. The took the Craftsmen tour and it was terrific. We visited a family farm where they raise sheep and make wonderful cheese. We bought some cheese and took it to one of the lounges on-board to enjoy before dinner with our wine. We also visited a glassblowing artist who makes, among other things, beautiful whales. The 3rd stop was a small soap making company that was ok, but not terrific. This port rates a 5+

Sept-Iles: A very small town with delightful people. The tour was about a 2. If I had to do it over again, I would stroll around town near the port and then enjoy the ship. The people were very gracious and gave us a wonderful welcome. They get very few visits from cruise ships it wasn't a port I would care to visit again. I would give this port a 3.

Gaspe/Perce: The weather was awful, the bus ride to Perce on a school bus was also awful and the town of Perce had very little, other than a big rock, to see. I'd pass on this port and rate it a 1. Less

Published 06/05/10

Cabin review: CA348 Lanai Ocean-View Stateroom

Great location on deck 6 in the middle of the ship. Near the laundry! Plenty of closet and drawer space. Space under the bed for suitcases. Nice bathroom with bub/shower. It was quiet. However, we were on the lower promenade deck and did't realize that the promenade was outside our cabin window. We had to keep the curtains closed. If they were open we could read the book of the passenger sitting outside our window. This wasn't a terrible thing, but in the future I'll know not to book a room where everyone walks!

Read All Lanai Ocean-View Stateroom (CA) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Bar Harbor is somewhat like Newport. Many beautiful homes, great restaurants and beautiful scenery. We took a tour of Acadia Park which was delightful and then just stolled around town. This is a great place to get a lobster lunch at a much better price that if you take a tour that includes a lobster lunch.

My husband and I had been to Charleston before so we didn't take and tours. He and a friend went to Fort Sumter and I went with my friend to the open air market. Afterwards we met at Magnolias for wonderful shrimp, sausage, and grits. Charleston is a great walking city and the port is 2 blocks from the market and plenty of shopping. If you don't want to take a tour, just start walking, you can't get lost as you can see the ship from anywhere in town. The market place is fun and full of "stuff". Look for the women making baskets which are beautiful.

Nice town. We took the hop-on/hop-off bus and visited the Citadel and Maritime Museum. Both were very interesting. These 2 places plus a tour around town and it was time to get back on the ship.

Read 563 Halifax Reviews

Newport is fabulous when the weather is nice. However, on our cruise the weather was miserable - cold and rainy. Again, this is a wonderful walking town and a must is a visit to the mansions. Also, if you really like a good walk, go to the Cliff Walk which runs along the ocean and behind the mansions. There a many many great restaurants in Newport and it's hard to go wrong. The Black Pearl is one of my favorites.

We had to tender in Newport and seeing the ship at night in the distance was a treat.

Read 169 Newport Reviews

Ces't tres belle! It's beautiful and if you can't get to Paris, this is the next best thing. We had 2 days in Quebec which was wonderful. It gave us time to take a quick tour and then spend time strolling throughout vieux (old) Quebec. Be sure to eat off the ship. There are many great places to shop or eat. Be sure to visit Rue Petite Champlain. It's within walking distance from the ship. There is a free bus that travels around Quebec that is easy to use if you don't want to walk. A great place to visit - don't stay on the ship.

This is Sydney Canada, not Australia! We visited the Alexander Graham Bell Museum and it was fascinating. I would highly recommend this tour.

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beach grandma
Member Since 2009
13 Forum Posts
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