33 Montreal Family Cruise Reviews

Recommended by travel agent having been cruising 22 years with Holandamerica Asamara Majestic Princess and Celebrity we thought by reputation this could be good .This Ship is tired ,in need of refit .All staff ,food, and shows first class ... Read More
Recommended by travel agent having been cruising 22 years with Holandamerica Asamara Majestic Princess and Celebrity we thought by reputation this could be good .This Ship is tired ,in need of refit .All staff ,food, and shows first class . Time of year for this cruise area should cease September 30th much to cold, ports missed, ports of call retailers closed for end of season Now you know research better than I. This has been the most disappointing Cruise EVER. Embarcation dreadfull .Ship late arrival due to prop fouling ship lines , force 9/11 gale, Ports missed ,other Ports we should have stayed longer like Boston 6 hours not near enough, a day and a half would have been much better.only had time for city hop on hop off bus and quick shop. We were looking forward to this Cruise and knew it was the fall and dressed accordinglay ,this was our first time on a small ship with 290 guests metting new friends and world travelers exchanging travel stories etc Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. Due to the weather ( which was awful) we were not able to stop in Sydney, Nova Scotia. I did enjoy Quebec and our private tour with Tours By Locals, Claude was our guide and he was beyond ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call. Due to the weather ( which was awful) we were not able to stop in Sydney, Nova Scotia. I did enjoy Quebec and our private tour with Tours By Locals, Claude was our guide and he was beyond excellent, I would recommend Clause to everyone going to Quebec . I also enjoy a private tour to the Bay of Fundy in Halifax by Bruce's Tours, I recommend him to all, he also was excellent. The weather is Bar Harbor caused trip to Callilac mountain to be cancelled. We were told o free bus service until July to the national park, but weather was an issue.Back to the ship. The service in the dining room was very slow, each and every night. Food was just ok. To get a good steak or fish dinner you needed to go to the speciality dining which they charge extra for. One good night in the dining room, the second gala night, the food was very good. Our room steward was excellent, always a clean room and kind friendly service.The test kitchen is located in a small room if you don't get there early you are out of luck. Same room for bingo same problem. I do not recommend going on this cruise in May weather is not good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and only one sea day. The food and service in the main dining room and the speciality restaurants was the worst we have ever had on any of the 49 cruises we have done. In the Toscana restaurant I had ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the itinerary and only one sea day. The food and service in the main dining room and the speciality restaurants was the worst we have ever had on any of the 49 cruises we have done. In the Toscana restaurant I had pasta which was tasteless we waited a good ½ hour between courses. In the Polo restaurant they had on the menu Kobe steak, when I ordered it I was informed that it was a Burger which means it could be any type of meat. I chose the Rack of lamb which i could not chew it was so tough. In the main restaurant i had a stir fry which consisted of a watery curry base with slices of carrot and cabbage which i did not eat.This was the first cruise where my wife and I came home the same weight as we left. The entertainment consisted of singers and dancers and a singing ventriloquist who performed twice he was very average . There were two stops which were cancelled due to sea as it was too rough for the tenders to take us in. We were told that we would have to see the US customs on board at 8am before we got off the ship so everyone was up early when the Captain announced at 8am that we would not be stopping. This wasn't a cheap cruise so we expected a lot more for the amount we paid. Never again will we cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This cruise was a celebration of successful medical treatments. We wanted to get away and be together after a great deal of anxiety. Also, we wanted to be close to the USA. The timing, location and length of this cruise satisfied our ... Read More
This cruise was a celebration of successful medical treatments. We wanted to get away and be together after a great deal of anxiety. Also, we wanted to be close to the USA. The timing, location and length of this cruise satisfied our needs. Our experience exceeded our expectations that were high because of Viking's excellent reputation. From the moment of our Viking greeting after arrival at the airport in Montreal until our departure we felt comfortable with the happy, friendly and professional crew. Our cabin was roomy, comfortable and well appointed. Meals were excellent and service was superior. The dining services team were attentive, caring and empowered. The no charge for beverages was a plus even though our personal limits are one-two. Tours were well organized and added value to our experience. Lectures were excellent and presented by exceptionally well qualified professionals in their field. We were drawn to the lectures on Art, presented by a PHD from the Edinburgh, Scotland Art Institute. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Honestly I was quite worry about the possible maintenance issue and quality of food before boarding this ship, especially reading some negative reviews about how old this ship is and unsatisfied customers...well, all that went out the ... Read More
Honestly I was quite worry about the possible maintenance issue and quality of food before boarding this ship, especially reading some negative reviews about how old this ship is and unsatisfied customers...well, all that went out the window started with smooth embarking process and greetings from friendly staff... We were able to eat nice lunch even before ship leaves... Room was nice, hot shower with clean towels, I mean I can't expected it to be like five star hotel, we are on a ship with thousand of other people....we enjoyed all entertainment including magic show, BBC earth concert, American test kitchen host and other programs kept us busy, even the casino has updated machines, We booked tours ahead of time and enjoyed every Port. There was even wellness lectures and I was enlightened. Foods were good and we were well fed. We even stay in Boston one night to visit Quincy market and some local must sees... Overall, I had great time, pardon me, awesome time, I supposed everyone has different taste and style in traveling preferences....my style is to stay at nice hotel, wake up to nice hearty breakfast, fun things to do while visiting a new city, at same time some quiet lounge available for personal reflection....this cruise provided all my needs... Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are a family of four from Montreal, Canada, with two teenaged children. This was our 21st cruise, so we are moderately cruise-experienced, on a variety of cruise lines. This was our first experience with Holland America Line. We did our ... Read More
We are a family of four from Montreal, Canada, with two teenaged children. This was our 21st cruise, so we are moderately cruise-experienced, on a variety of cruise lines. This was our first experience with Holland America Line. We did our homework prior to sailing, and came with lowered expectations. Boy! Were we surprised! We sailed on the Veendam on July 28th for a 7-day cruise from Montreal to Boston. Port stops included Quebec City, Charlottetown PEI, Sydney Nova Scotia, Halifax Nova Scotia, and Bar Harbor Maine. We had a large outside cabin, Category FF #0721. Embarkation in Old Port of Montreal was quick and painless. Arrived at 11am and were on the ship at 11:30. Cabin 721 was ready for us, and was quite large compared to other cruises we’ve been on. Everything was as expected and working. The bathtub drain clogged up, but removing the plug solved the problem. We rented a mini-fridge for this voyage for $2 a day (as categories lower than balcony cabins do not have one) and it worked perfectly. A small bother on Veendam is that cabin 721 is NOT on deck 7, as one would logically expect. In fact, the higher the cabin number, the LOWER you are located on this ship. (We adapted) The ship: Yes it’s small. Not much going on… but enough that we weren’t bored silly. Elevators were slow, but that is typical of ALL cruise ships. The Veendam was very stable, not much in the way of rocking or pitching; just some occasional slow, smooth rolling. We didn’t encounter any storms or rough weather/seas on this sailing. This being a small ship, everything was close at hand. Not a ton of walking, like on the mega-ships. The Food: We found the food quality to be excellent in the main dining room and the buffet. Buffet selection was, at times, limited, or half closed. They did not keep stations open past their scheduled closing times (like we’ve seen on other lines) when the area was still busy. They also followed food themes in the buffet (Indonesian, Filipino, etc.) a bit too much for the size of the buffet… a bit less theme and a little more general variety would have been nice. Buffet breakfast was pretty much the same every day, but lots to choose from. There was a lot to choose from in the main dining room menu most nights, as well. The Dive-In Burger grill was good (they give you a pager). The pizza was awful. We also tried the chicken wings from the casino bar, which were dry and not very tasty. We didn’t order room service (Didn’t need to). Drinks were excellent and properly mixed. Service: The staff on this ship were, in one word “Amazing”! Always smiling, always attentive, and eager to please. Sometimes there was a language barrier (usually at the buffet) but they were never rude, with one exception: The cook at the Dive-In Burger counter. I arrived one day at 4:45pm and it was closed. The schedule said 5pm. I pointed this out to him and he proceeded to strongly argue with me that it was after 5pm. Every clock on the ship said otherwise. I had time to wait for an elevator, go downstairs, wait again in line at Guest Services, make a complaint, and it still wasn’t 5pm. But this was an aberration. I guess he was having a bad day. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it wasn’t the only food option available at that time. (I’m diabetic and need to eat when my glucose is low) Entertainment: Not much. Just OK. Shows were average. Dancers lacked precision at times. Singers were passable. The comedians put me to sleep, literally. We did not attend the final show, billed as the ship’s band playing to a nature video presentation. There were a couple of other combos playing in the lounges, more old-style lounge music, not our thing. Hannah was the DJ in the disco. She “lacked skillz”, but played ok music, one song at a time… not many people in attendance most nights. Our kids did not go to the teenager hangout, which was deserted. Only the animator was there, sitting on her phone. There were teenagers on the ship: they were all just too cool to attend, ours included. Internet: We tried the HAL Navigator App. This needs to be put out of its misery! What a useless piece of junk. The ONLY thing it was good for was the menus in the dining room. Problem was, it was never updated. It showed the same menu every night, until the last night, when somebody decided to fix it. There was no information about shows or entertainment, couldn’t book anything on it like dining reservations, complete garbage. Internet packages were expensive, and other passengers said the service was unreliable. We used our cell phones in port and when the ship was in range of a tower. Conclusion: This was one of our better cruises, having just come off a miserable sailing on the brand-new MSC Seaside in March. The quiet atmosphere on Veendam made for a very relaxing experience. HAL could create little more atmosphere at the pool decks; some lively music or something would be nice. It doesn’t need to be loud. No pool games or wild animators are necessary. The muzak that was playing was too boring, though. The Indonesian and Filipino crew literally made this trip for us. They were awesome. Every crew member we passed greeted us, and many remembered our names. Even in port. And they work HARD. Very attentive, and if I even looked unhappy with something, they fell over themselves to make sure I was taken care of. I just can’t say enough. Thank you to the crew and staff of this fine ship! Read Less
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date June 2018
Did not want to go to the Caribbean or overseas and I wanted to sightsee with my daughter. This was perfect. We flew in to Montreal on Friday so we had a little time to sightsee on Sat. We stayed in Old Montreal right on the edge of ... Read More
Did not want to go to the Caribbean or overseas and I wanted to sightsee with my daughter. This was perfect. We flew in to Montreal on Friday so we had a little time to sightsee on Sat. We stayed in Old Montreal right on the edge of Chinatown within walking distance to the Basilica. You could actually walk to the cruise ship port EXCEPT there is a huge hill going down to the port. Embarkation was so easy then once we checked out the room we went for lunch to the Lido. We would have breakfast in the Lido - loved all choices and service, food very good. A few mornings we had room service which always arrived on time, piping hot, and our orders were correct. One morning we had bkfst in the main DR which was nice just more formal of course. Lunch we were always off the ship except the day in Sydney. It was cold and rainy and not much to do in port. Take an excursion. The one day at Sea we did the Americas Test Kitchen Cooking show which was good. Then Bingo. That was fun. We did the As you Wish seating at Dinner which we really liked- always meeting new and interesting people. I did the Tea once when we were at sea. Very good. The DR food was very good, some courses better than others. The rack of lamb was delicious I wish I had ordered 2. We rarely waited for a table, the srevice wax great. Nightly entertainment was not always well attended - these cruisers went to bed early! We really liked the Oceans Trio best- Harvey can really play the piano and he jokes along so it is a very entertaining show. The shows at night were pretty good I think we saw 3. Pool area is nice and well managed with the Dive in (great hamburgers, hotdogs, and a taco bar). All of the bartenders and staff were great & very courteous. We liked going uo to the Crows Nest when the ship was leaving port. There are sailaway drink specials which is nice . Drinks were good, one time we caught Trivia with the cruise ship director which we enjoyed. We are considering a cruise in Feb on the Nieu Amsterdam, I have read they changed the Crows Nest on that ship to a different venue which I am sorry to hear. We did eat in the Canelleto one night. The food was ok, saw a beautiful sunset cruising on the river. Also we ate in the Pinnacle Grill the night that it was Rudys Sel de Mer. That was a delicious meal with superb service. Quite a bit of food. The bouillibaise was superb. As you can tell I really enjoyed this trip. No, I have not been on many cruises but this was pretty perfect in my book. The husbands were sorry they didnt go. Debarkation was a little confusing. We did the HAL bus ride to the airport. They get the luugage on then realize that the people getting off 1st that their luggage should be on top. Anyway it all worked out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We enjoyed most of the cruise although we did not like getting into Canada at 9:30 at night. The airport was somewhat confusing in giving us directions to meet up with Viking reps. The guys on our floor were great - when they found out ... Read More
We enjoyed most of the cruise although we did not like getting into Canada at 9:30 at night. The airport was somewhat confusing in giving us directions to meet up with Viking reps. The guys on our floor were great - when they found out we had just gotten on the ship and had not eaten they brought up sandwiches and wine. Impressed. The room was great - my favorite point was the heated bathroom floor. Need one at home. The food was great. There was actually only one of the shows we really enjoyed and that was the asst. cruise director. Most of the excursions were good except the first day. Woudl not recommend the winery or cheese factory. Waste of time. The trip to the syrup farm and the lunch there was fantastic and I have enjoyed the syrup here in home. I would go on the cruise again but would be a lot more discriminating about the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The Problems with this cruise began about 2 months prior to sailing. The itinerary was changed. What we were told there was a problem with the Coast Guard, whales, the speed the ship could travel. Stops at Gaspésie and Charlottetown ... Read More
The Problems with this cruise began about 2 months prior to sailing. The itinerary was changed. What we were told there was a problem with the Coast Guard, whales, the speed the ship could travel. Stops at Gaspésie and Charlottetown Canada were removed and Corner Brook and Sydney were added. During the cruise it was announced that we were not going to stop at Corner Brook but would stay an additional day in Quebec. We were also not able to go ashore in Newport, RI. A schooner ship had gone aground at the entrance to the harbor the night before. The ship the Seven Seas Mariner is 15 years old and needs some/more renovations. The ship has 6 tenders/life boats. Unfortunately only 3 are licensed to tender people to ports when needed. At one port where tenders are needed only 2 were available because one was used on a emergency basis to carry a sick individual to port. On the 2nd/3rd day it was announced that there was an outbreak of a flu virus and there were 9 individuals inflected. The protocol for a outbreak on the ship was put in place. This means that the crew was constantly wiping down everything (hand rails, table tops, chairs, elevators knobs etc) with a wet substance that made everything sticky. All the common area restroom doors were propped open. You also could no longer serve yourself in the buffet line or even serve yourself a cup of coffee. If you check the CDC website you will notice that this ship had a reportable outbreak for a cruise in Aug/Sept. The good news is the Wifi is included in the cruise fare. The bad news it just doesn't work very well. In the evening there is no place to get dinner except in one of the dining rooms. The buffet is not open in the evening. If you want a quick casual dinner or just a little snack that is not happening. There are 2 nice specialty restaurants. However we found that we were only able to get into these restaurants one time each on a 10 day cruise. We paid for upgraded Air. On the return we were put on a Virgin Flight 1st Class from New York. Somehow that got changed to American Airlines business class. The price you pay for a cruise on Regent is high and you do not expect these problems. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
SilverSea is always our cruise line of choice and we wanted to be on the new ship.The ship is beautiful but the dining experience was awful. All restaurants had to be pre booked, a first for Silver Sean and we were not advised of this. ... Read More
SilverSea is always our cruise line of choice and we wanted to be on the new ship.The ship is beautiful but the dining experience was awful. All restaurants had to be pre booked, a first for Silver Sean and we were not advised of this. Consequently we were not able to dine anywhere , only what was available. Also, a perk being in the Owners Suite, the butler would be able to accommodate all requests, but not on the Silver Muse. We will continue to sail with SilverSea but not on the Muse. The menus also never changed, again something new. The ports of call were many small towns with few options for sightseeing. The tours were very expensive and often we would have been better touring on our own. The spa was wonderful and the attendants the best on any SilverSea cruise we have taken. The SilverMuse must make changes or they will lose their repeat clientele. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We chose this cruise because it fit our available date parameters, included ports we were interested in exploring and had accessible ports of departure and return from our home. We did not know much about HAL other than it had a ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fit our available date parameters, included ports we were interested in exploring and had accessible ports of departure and return from our home. We did not know much about HAL other than it had a reputation for hosting mostly an older clientele. Being 53 myself -- this didn't worry me. The crowd was actually probably 1/2 older than I and 1/2 my age or younger with lots of multigenerational families traveling together. While the ship is old and shows some of it's age in various places -- everything is in working order and the decor is mostly low key - which I prefer to newer glitzier ships. The size is great as it rarely feels crowded. Muster was awful, in my opinion. Lots of yelling and being forced to stand shoulder to shoulder out on deck for 30 minutes was not a great way to start a cruise. We felt like cattle being moved -- literally, staff were leading people where and how to stand. Be careful when you go sail away and folks are standing around with drinks in logoed glasses that they practically put in your hand. Only after you take a sip do you realize these are not free and that they are even pricier because of the cup that you didn't want in the first place. Also -- when happy hour is your second drink for $2 --- that's the same drink as your first and delivered at the same time, too. Really. Unfortunately, the ship feels somewhat understaffed...particularly in the restaurants. We ate dinner in the main dining room only twice because it took about 2 1/2 hours each time. Not only were there massive delays between courses, but the staff doesn't make eye contact with you to offer any concern about the delay. Most likely because they have no answers. We even had late dining and the restaurant is not full at that time and still it was so slow. We ate at Canneleto the first night. Service was very good and the food was too, but the location on the ship is poor. A lot of movement there. The buffet was better and the Pinnacle had the same terrible service as the main dining room.... Plus -- we had an inedible lobster bisque and raw steak (sent back). The dessert was also bad. My daughter literally left before her dinner was served because it was taking so long. The entertainment is bad cruise ship entertainment. I am willing to go along with some cheesey entertainment because I know it's a cruise but I really couldn't get passed it here. I love piano bars generally but this guy's voice was not right for the music he was playing and the singers for the shows -- were really not satisfactory for me. We watched the films on BBC Earth for lack of anything else to do with my 16 and 25 yr olds but the theater seats are very uncomfortable. I even tried to order a DVD for the room(they have book with 1000 choices) but my first 6 tries were all unavailable. Fortunately, the ports were great -- we had great weather and did our own walk and horse/carriage in quebec, rented cars at all three canadian ports and had our own car/driver for a tour in bar harbor. Our cabin was unfortunately a major disappointment. We booked a Lanai because no private balcony suites were available at the time that I booked. On our only sea day there were workmen varnishing and painting right outside our door. The cabin reeked of fumes for 8-10 hours and the promenade was not accessible. On another night there was an emergency and a tender had to be lowered for a sick passenger. Of course, they used on outside our door and for two hours it was up and down, lights, noise and staff outside. If that had been the only issue - I'd let it go because obviously it was an emergency situation and I hope that passenger is better now. Tenders are also used for one port so for hours there are folks on deck taking them down and putting them back up. My point is that these rooms should not be more expensive for all the lack of privacy they provide. Finally, our steward provided towel animals -- which were the source a great many jokes from friends online who thought they were very bad or even racy. I didn't see it and give them marks for trying. Embarkation was a little crazy because there was temporary set up in Montreal due to the new port not yet ready plus there were events that had a lot of local streets closed. When we finally got there (cab driver-not happy) there was a pretty long line but it moved quickly. Disembarkation was very smooth. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise for the interesting itinery. We have cruised 20 times, mostly in the Caribbean. The itinery lived up to and exceeded our anticipation. the ship is an older ship but well maintained. The spacious of the public areas ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the interesting itinery. We have cruised 20 times, mostly in the Caribbean. The itinery lived up to and exceeded our anticipation. the ship is an older ship but well maintained. The spacious of the public areas were enjoyable. On the negative the public restrooms, both men and women, had a strong aroma of urine. The forward elevators smelled of fuel after one refueling stop and for the balance of the cruise. Our cabin was and outside view through a double porthole. It had a great deal of storage but a narrow hallway in the cabin. the cabin would have had more room except for excess furniture. Our room steward was outstanding in promptly cleaning our room. The main dining room was the biggest disappointment. The menu was a bit limited. Fish entrees were overcooked without repeated special instructions. The hot food, especially the soups, were warm to cool. The Lido was a very good place for breakfast, the pizza was made fresh to order and the dine-in good. We particularity enjoyed the Pinnace Grill. LeCirque was OK and Canaletto could be skipped. The entertainment was average at best. The showroom had some highlights but the lounge entertainment was below par. The service was the highlight with few exceptions. Staff members were friendly and greeted us by name whenever possible. The bar service was the only slower area and for limited periods. The itinery as stated earlier was great. For the most part we explored by ourselves but did take one excursion, "A taste of Halifax" , which, though a pricey was outstanding. On the ship the test kitchen and digital workshop were enjoyable and informative. Overall I would probably avoid Holland American again as it is near the bottom of my list and not an exceptional value. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Good ports of call but will not sail with Holland America again for the reasons below. No ship should be permitted to sail with this type of indoor air quality issue. Specifically, our room was dirty. Specifically, soot (called "black ... Read More
Good ports of call but will not sail with Holland America again for the reasons below. No ship should be permitted to sail with this type of indoor air quality issue. Specifically, our room was dirty. Specifically, soot (called "black particles" or "dirt" by the crew) was coming from the long narrow air return over the TV and long desk with orange chair. Our room was 667. We were quite aware that we had not purchased the most expensive room on the ship but we expect a clean room that satisfies indoor air quality standards. We advised the front desk on the second day that we had two asthmatics in the room. They told us they would move our room. This was an acceptable answer as we knew the ship had many available rooms that were not under the ship's smoke's stacks. They called back several hours later and advised that they had no equivalent room and they would not move us to a room that they considered an upgrade. The next day, the air return belched soot again all over the floor and my oldest son's bed. I called immediately and asked that the sheets be changed and the floor vacuumed. Only the sheets were changed. No HEPA vacuums are used on the ship ever and the soot was cleaned up off the floor with a regular vacuum a day later. The "black particle" and/or "dirt" problem from the ventilation system was a problem that the crew clearly knew about and yet Holland America did not warn us about this problem and we had nowhere to move to. You do not leave a family with two asthmatics in a room with an indoor air quality problem. That is simply being reckless with the health of your guests. Moreover, the solution was not to hand us a $50 liquor card. Entertainment on this cruise was minimal either due to ship's size or some other reason. Evening dining with our table staff was good but the dining room did appear understaffed. Servers were very nice. See comments on other service above. Teen activities were also minimal possibly due to the average age of the guests. There were plenty of rooms to which our family could be moved. And, I can guarantee that many of these rooms did not have the equivalent soot all over the room as was so blithely exclaimed by another front desk male crew member. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Traveling is my passion, but my dream vacation with Regent Cruses turned into a nightmare. If you are thinking about cruising with Regent you need to read about the series of unfortunate events that happened to me on my trip aboard the ... Read More
Traveling is my passion, but my dream vacation with Regent Cruses turned into a nightmare. If you are thinking about cruising with Regent you need to read about the series of unfortunate events that happened to me on my trip aboard the S.S. Mariner that began with our not having heat in our cabin, suite 735, for the first four days of the cruise, and culminated with my sister and I developing severely chapped skin, and me developing bronchitis and a fractured ankle. The trip was Regent Seven Seas Cruises headquartered at 7665 Corporate Center Drive, Miami, Florida 33126. Our cruise was from Montreal to Miami from October 21, 2016 through November 4, 2016. We boarded the S.S. Mariner in Montreal in the afternoon of October 21, 2016. It was a sunny day in the 50s. Although it was a bit cool in our cabin, we did not think much of it and dressed warmly for dinner. The next morning we were quite cold when we awoke. It was October 22nd and it was in the 40s where we were in Quebec City. We turned up the control on the suite heating system. When it remained cold during the day we thought possibly we were not operating the system properly. We asked our Steward to come show us how to increase the heat in our room. He did, and we had all the red lights lit for maximum heat that night. We went to bed convinced that it would be better by morning. By the next day, October 23rd we were at sea all day, and our room clearly had no heat whatsoever. It was a very dry cold. I went to the boutique and bought a $3 tube of Chap Stick for my chapping lips. We notified the Steward that we had “no heat”. The Steward said he would report it. After no one came we phoned Reception. Then after no one came we reported to the Concierge. Meanwhile we re-reported to our Steward and our housekeeper. By late in the day we were phoning Reception, the Concierge, the Steward, our housekeeper, and a waiter more times than we could count. That night we slept in our clothes. I wore a silk long sleeved turtle neck thermos top with a fleece jacket, stretch pants, and socks. By morning I woke up with a very sore throat, cough and a cold. We both had chapped skin as well. I went to the salon to try to get a gentle moisturizer. Even eye cream, the gentlest cream we had, would make our skin sting. The skin expert was not available, but the man at the counter suggested something. Because it cost $186 (a lot of money to me) I decided to wait and talk to the skin expert. The next day we repeated our efforts to try to get someone to the room. By then it was October 24th, and we were in Sydney, Nova Scotia where the temperature was in the low 40s. I was in bed with my cold all day. Still, I frequently called Reception, Concierge, and 8888 (the number for room service and the Steward). It was always difficult to know if whoever we were talking to understood because their English was not very good. I happen to speak English, Spanish, Italian and Russian so I could communicate with those crew members, but most were from other places. I tried to keep the message simple “no heat in our cabin”, but still no one came. In the afternoon, a nice man from Bulgaria showed up to fix our balcony door. Obviously we were misunderstood by someone we reported our problem to. Somehow someone we called thought that cold air was coming in our room because of a broken balcony door. The door was fine. The man’s English was quite good so we again explained to him our dilemma. He understood. He was quite tall, and he put his hand up to the vent on the ceiling, and said “yes there is not any heat in this cabin.” He also said he would try to get help from an appropriate repair person. A young boy came who after tinkering with the control got in the ceiling in the closet to make repairs. His English was quite poor. When he left we weren’t sure if it was repaired or not. But we gave it some time to get warmer. Thankfully, very gradually it began to become warmer in our room. On October 25th we were in Halifax, Nova Scotia where the temperature was in the upper 30s. Our room was still chilled, but some heat was coming through. It was never actually warm during the next week. It wasn’t truly warm until we were in South Florida, but at least it was not near freezing anymore. Still, by that time we were physically experiencing the consequences of four days without heat. Hypoallergenic eye cream still stung our skin. The dry cold had made our skin everywhere, including our scalp, red and sore. On October 25th, I went back to the Canyon Ranch salon, and talked with the skin expert, Joanna. Joanna suggested the $186 jar of skin cream. I sampled it, and it too stung my skin. She said: “This is the gentlest moisturizer we have. Madam, your skin is severely damaged.” During the next week our skin flaked off (everywhere including in our hair). Our skin did not stop flaking until after our return to south Florida in early November. Meanwhile, my cold and cough worsened. When I saw my pulmonologist after returning, he explained to me that the cold temperature of the air going into my lungs created an accumulation of mucus. The accumulated mucus attracted bacteria, and that made it inevitable that I would develop bronchitis. On the evening of October 26th while we were cruising to Portland, Maine, I went to the ship’s doctor. They immediately handed me a mask because of my cough. He performed an influenza test and a CBC blood test. I had a 100 degree fever, bad cough, and was given an antibiotic, cough medicine, and masks for both myself and my sister to wear. I returned to the cabin and spent the next several days in bed. The next day, October 27th, I phoned my doctor, and she suggested that the ship’s doctor give me enough antibiotics for the remainder of the trip (10 days). I returned that evening, and he did. On October 29th we arrived in Manhattan. Before the cruise my boyfriend had purchased tickets to “Fiddler on the Roof” at the Broadway Theatre. The tickets cost $314. Beginning on October 26th we contacted the Concierge to help us sell the tickets because I felt I would not be able to go. I gave her all the details of the tickets, and was even willing to sell them at a loss. She told me no one asked for tickets. When the tickets didn’t sell, I slept all day, bundled up, and went to the theater with my sister. During the play I was coughing so badly that I got up to go to the lobby. I fell, and later learned I fractured my right ankle. My sister and another person in the audience took me to the lobby where I raised my foot and put ice on it. My sister ran to a drug store to get a wrap for it to help me make it back to the ship. We did make it back with me holding on to my sister and hopping on my left leg, and the added help of a very cooperative taxi driver. When we boarded the ship we did not receive any help whatsoever from the crew. The next day, October 30th, I phoned for someone to bring a wheel chair to take me to the ship’s doctor. I returned to the ship’s doctor who again handed me a mask because of my bad cough. His x-ray equipment appeared to be malfunctioning. He gave me an injection of something (he never told me what), gave me some sample packets of ibuprofen for the pain, gave me an additional bandage for compression and support on my ankle, and told me to see an orthopedist as soon as I got home. I figured I would find out what the injection was when I received the “Medical Services Bill”, but a bill never arrived. They did let me borrow the wheel chair which I found easy to maneuver. Between the wheel chair, holding on to things, and hopping on my left leg I was able to function. I did try going to dinner one night because we had reservations at the Prime 7. Having my leg down for that long proved to be too painful. Incidentally, because I was on antibiotics I wanted water to stay hydrated. People’s wine glasses were filled several times, on this all-inclusive cruise, to each time I managed to get water. When they came I tried to tell them that I needed a lot of water, but again I think the language barrier got in the way. Therefore, I chose to stay in my room with my leg elevated and order room service for the remainder of the trip. On November 4th in Miami we woke up early ready to disembark. Several days earlier I had arranged for someone to assist us in disembarking since I was confined to the wheel chair and my sister would be handling both carry-on bags. I reconfirmed our arrangements on November 3rd , the day before disembarking. Whoever I spoke with on the phone told us that someone would be picking us up at 8:30 a.m. I questioned them because our instructions were to be out of our room by 8:00 a.m., and she assured me that 8:30 would not be any problem. No one came. At 9:00 we called 8888 or Reception. They said they were running behind. At 9:30 we phoned again, and they indicated someone would come. Around then we started phoning every 15 minutes. When it was nearly 11:00 we got a call saying “Madam, why have you not left your room?” Apparently we had been forgotten! All our phone calls asking to be picked up were ineffective and ignored. Apparently when you report any sort of a problem it is ignored! Finally, someone came. By then the ship was absolutely empty. No cabs were available because the disembark time was over. The person at the taxi stand did phone for a cab, and 10 minutes later we actually got one. My sister drove me back to Fort Myers where I had prearranged for an electric scooter chair to be delivered to my home, and I had a doctor’s appointment at 3:00 p.m. that I was able to drive to on my scooter chair. Although I had been on antibiotics for 10 days my bronchitis was severe. They decided to call an ambulance and take me to Gulf Coast Hospital. In the hospital they gave me a breathing treatment, and performed several other tests and X-rays. They determined I had severe bronchitis and a fractured right ankle. I was given three prescriptions for my bronchitis including another antibiotic for another 10 days, a steroid, an inhaler, and an orthopedic boot for my fractured ankle. I am now receiving follow-up care from my primary care doctor, a pulmonologist, and an orthopedist. The orthopedist said that although I have the most painful sort of fracture, my ankle should heal completely with possible physical therapy in around 12 weeks. It appears their crew truly doesn't speak English, and they are programed to perform certain duties such as to smile and fill a wine glass, but if you have any problem major (no heat) or minor (needing help disembarking or getting water at dinner) you are out of luck and destined to be extremely disappointed. Incidentally, Medicare does not cover injuries outside the US. My medical bills have exceeded the cost of my trip! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We wanted a change from the usual cruise ports. Also was hoping to see the leaves change color. We have sailed on a Holland America ship before (Noordam) so I knew what to expect. I was sorely disappointed in the Veendam. Even though it ... Read More
We wanted a change from the usual cruise ports. Also was hoping to see the leaves change color. We have sailed on a Holland America ship before (Noordam) so I knew what to expect. I was sorely disappointed in the Veendam. Even though it supposedly have been refurbished in 2014 it looked worn. Numbers on the elevators were worn off. Also a change of carpet in the photo gallery was in progress during the voyage. I don't know it that would have affected anyone due to glue. In addition the staff at dinner needs further training. One evening we ate at the buffet for dinner and requested that our wine be delivered there. The next night it could not be found in the main dining room. To their credit I was given 2 glasses of wine while they looked for it. My bottle did not show up until the last night. It had not been returned to the main dining room. Also the lobster evening- the waiter asked if I'd like drawn butter with the tail. I replied in the affirmative, but it never showed up The last night I was served my tea with desert but without sugar or cream. I ended up going to another table and was in the process of asking to borrow theirs when the waiter came with it. The staff was nice and accommodating as far as other areas are concerned. The ports were so so. Rather than Sydney, the Bay of Funday would have been a better choice. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a Girls' Cruise. I took my two daughters and a treasured niece. All, but me, of course, are in their late 40s. My niece was a newbie, but my daughters and I have cruised with Silversea many times. Actually, the Whisper is my ... Read More
This was a Girls' Cruise. I took my two daughters and a treasured niece. All, but me, of course, are in their late 40s. My niece was a newbie, but my daughters and I have cruised with Silversea many times. Actually, the Whisper is my favorite SS ship. Aside from being unexpectedly cold and windy, and in spite of a few missable ports (Saguenay and Sept Îles) it was a wonderful cruise. As is usual, the Silversea crew was fantastic...nothing is too much trouble. It always amazes me that the service is so fabulous, the atmosphere is quite formal, and yet there is no hand kissing, no pretentions. The guests are well traveled and friendly. The food and the complimentary wines were exceptionally good..even by Silversea standards. As usual, the bar service was terrific. Norman Rafelson, the Hotel Director is a star! For us, the Activities included attending a few good shows. Surprisingly, the 5:00pm daily team Trivia was the highlight. The Cruise Director, Vicki Van Tassel, a former Silversea entertainer, made every minute fun. It was obvious that she enjoyed hosting Trivia and that was infectious. We would/will travel with Silversea again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was my 10th cruise on my 5th cruise line. We usually go on Mega ships in the Caribbean. I didn't know what to think about Holland America or the Veendam from the other reviews. I was pleasantly surprised. The ship was ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise on my 5th cruise line. We usually go on Mega ships in the Caribbean. I didn't know what to think about Holland America or the Veendam from the other reviews. I was pleasantly surprised. The ship was a nice size with 1294 passengers out of a maximum of 1350. I thought the ship was a little older but well maintained. It was a very comfortable size. There were 6 of us. 2 mid 40's, 2 early 70's, 1 14 year old and 1 10 year old. We had 2 Spa cabins and 1 Vista Suite. The cabins and beds were very comfortable. The spa rooms had small balconies with 2 chairs and a small table. The balconies were added onto the ship in a 2009 refit. The vista suite had a much larger balcony with the 2 chairs and a lounge chair. The vista suites had some extra storage and a jacuzzi. We sailed from Montreal to Boston. We went to Quebec City, Charolette PEI, Sydney Nova Scotia, Halifax Nova Scotia, Bar Harbor Maine and finally disembarked in Boston. Embarkation and Disembarkation were very smooth. The spa cabins were in the front of the ship a we did feel the ship move 2 of the nights but otherwise the ship was very smooth. The staff from the front desk to the bar staff to the cabin stewards were all very good. The biggest drawback on the ship was the dining room and the food. Our best meal was in the Pinnacle Grill and the 2nd best was in the Lido Market (buffet). The entertainment on the ship was very good and I enjoyed the comedians and singers/dancers. All shows were 30-40 min. long. They had live music starting at 5:30 PM in 4 venues. They had digital workshops, a guest celebrity chef, a movie theater, a full library including thousands of DVDs, wine, scotch and beer tastings throughout the week. They have a small casino, a gym with classes, a spa, a pool with retractable roof, ping pong, basketball, tennis and a kids club. There are laundry rooms and full laundry services on the ship. For the most part it was an older crowd, 65-70 but very active and nice. You never had to wait for a table at the buffet. You could alway get a chair by the pool or use the hot tub. You could easily get a drink at the bar. They had various lectures on cooking, tours, fitness, digital cameras and computers. I was very pleased with Holland America and the Veendam and would sail with them again. I thought all the ports of call were good. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Sailed through the pretty fall colors, and loved every minute of it. I am quite partial to Regent because of the smaller ships, the friendly, excellent service, and the all-inclusive nature. Navigator is my favorite because it is ... Read More
Sailed through the pretty fall colors, and loved every minute of it. I am quite partial to Regent because of the smaller ships, the friendly, excellent service, and the all-inclusive nature. Navigator is my favorite because it is smaller, and I have yet to queue for anything! We watched others on the larger ships in port queuing for ages just to get on the ship. I also appreciate that Regent's employees get time off the ship, and seem to be genuinely enjoying their jobs. I know that is not the case with a lot of other cruise lines. And, I like that there is true interaction between staff and passengers - on the last night of the cruise, we were all dancing with the dancers and singing with the Cruise Director, Jamie. That was really fun! To be fair, the Navigator is best for adults and grown families - there aren't a lot of amenities for the younger crowd (or perhaps that was just the nature of this particular sailing, which is entirely possible. And this was not an issue for us, as we don't have kids! Just a comment, though. The variety of shore excursions, and the care with which local guides are chosen, is of the highest quality. Navigator is due for a facelift next year (2016) so cosmetically, she'll be spruced up again. She is still a quality ship as far as I'm concerned. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was my 7th cruise, first with Holland America. Overall I enjoyed myself on this cruise. Holland America seems to be a step up from Carnival, in terms of class and you can definitely tell that their clientele are retirees. My parents ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise, first with Holland America. Overall I enjoyed myself on this cruise. Holland America seems to be a step up from Carnival, in terms of class and you can definitely tell that their clientele are retirees. My parents took me and my wife on this cruise; so Canada/New England would not have been my first destination of choice but a free cruise is a free cruise and it was a nice change from the traditional Caribbean cruises I am more used to. We embarked out of Montreal, which was a great city and enjoyed my time in the port before leaving, all be-it was just 24 hours but that is none fault of the cruise. Anyways onto embarkation; probably one of the smoothest embarkations I've had. We arrived to the cruise terminal early, between 11 and 12 in the morning and boarding wasn't until one. I was prepared to wait a little bit before we were allowed on ship. I was pleasantly surprised when we basically able to board right away and once again I was surprised when they said our rooms were ready. So we were able to drop off our carry-on bags immediately and headed up to the Lido deck for lunch. All of our luggage was delivered before we embarked and the muster drill which was nice. The muster drill, went smoothly and then we departed from Montreal. The weather was beautiful that day, in the mid 70s and it was neat to go under the many bridges of the St. Laurence. The food on the ship was good, it was your typical cruise fare. Probably not the best you've ever had but overall it was good and nothing was just bad and inedible. The dinners were rather formal and I didn't prepare for that, used to Carnival which is a bit more informal with their dinners now. And I was bummed that the buffet seemed to have odd times and was closed for large portions of the day. Since we had late dinner, we liked to go up and have a snack around 4ish and many times the buffet was closed when we wanted food. The ship was on the smaller side of cruise ships I've been on. Which was nice but also lacked some amenities that I wish it would've had, a larger lounge, a private adults only area with a hot-tub or something, and maybe another free dining option but if the ship was bigger it probably couldn't have taken that route. As far as ports go. Quebec City was probably my favorite, we did a tour in the morning which was a dud but the city was beautiful and my wife and I loved the city. It was very European and was pretty spectacular, the weather was perfect, and the city was very walkable. Next favorite port was probably Charlottetown, which was next port of call after a day-at-sea, which was beatiful, calm, and picturesque, the weather was chill at our day at sea but can't blame the cruise for that. Anyways on to Charlottetown, when you think of quaint fishing villages, Charlottetown fits the mold. It's a smaller city, once again very walkable; we didn't take an excursion just walked around for a while and went back on ship. I would say Bar Harbor and Halifax were about even. I enjoyed both ports. We went to the Citadel and the Maritime museum on our own in Halifax which was the way to go. The Citadel was neat, much like any other fort/museum you go to and the Maritime museum was really cool and had a pretty big Titanic exhibit which I enjoyed. Bar Harbor was nice, we went on a tour, which once again was a dud. The City was beautiful but was filled with thousands of tourists. Lastly, we have Sydney. It was probably our worst weather day, it was misty out. We went to a wild-life park which was my favorite excursion. Other than that we didn't explore town do to the weather, sounds like we didn't miss a whole lot. Like I said the scenery on this cruise was top notch. Unfortunately two of the nights in the Atlantic were incredibly foggy so you couldn't see anything. The Fog horn was sounding every few minutes which made it difficult to sit out on deck but safety does come first. The entertainment on board was okay; geared more towards retirees, the cruise director had the normal fake stories and bad jokes and the entertainment were your normal cruise entertainment; nothing too special. Overall, I had a good time on this cruise. It wasn't my favorite probably because of their target audience isn't me. Other than that it was good. So I give it a 4/5. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This is my 12th cruise on several different lines so I feel qualified to review our trip. We are a family of four including two young teens. Overall it was wonderful! Holland America (HA) went out of their way to try to please. We always ... Read More
This is my 12th cruise on several different lines so I feel qualified to review our trip. We are a family of four including two young teens. Overall it was wonderful! Holland America (HA) went out of their way to try to please. We always stay midship balconies but due to this ships inability to accommodate us, we had to stay four in one ocean view room in the far back. Room: It was big enough and worked out well. The closet space was way more than any balcony room on the Carnival fun ships. Our steward was amazing. Cleaned scrubbed, refilled towels several times during the day. ..the bed was equivalent to all ships yummy soft and comfortable. We were in the back of the ship, fifth floor but 600 cabin and were woken every day with the loud braking rudders under us..large bathroom with tub, bigger than other ships Food: a step up in gourmet from Carnival and Norwegian.. Equiv to Princess and Disney..Lots of it. Several nice touches..the grill gave out these buzzers, like you would find waiting for a restaurant, which was nice no long lines...the selection at the grill was great. During the day, there was a potato bar with full fixings, mexican day with full nacho fixings ... Every night but one, we went to the dining room. Only two negative comments. SLOW SLOW service and food was a bit over salted every night. We made reservations for our own table of four during open seating. Times were limited but it worked for us. Never a wait. The open Lido had some problems..the kids were disappointed that the ice cream was not self serve and had hours 11-5pm which if you were on an excursion off the boat meant losing out. The plus unlike other ships they did have sprinkles and toppings. Only one day did they have no sugar added as an alternative choice...the other issue was the theme of the food. The last night for casual lido dining was Indonesia/Filipino food which meant NO OTHER OPTIONS but salad. My kids ate at the grill but if you didn't like ethnic and I mean we were unable to figure out what the dishes were, it was tough. For health reasons, there was no self serve with drinks ever. The staff gave us our water and iced tea in glasses. The staff was singing and happy much an improvement to Carnival where everyone usually is all business as if afraid the boss is going to yell at them for slacking on the job. The atmosphere for staff was much more relaxed. A big plus was goldfish crackers when you were at the bar Yippee but a VERY SCARY NEG is peanuts were a plenty as well and for the peanut allergic choose another ship!! Entertainment: ugh..typical cruise pitchy singing, cruise director whose jokes are old and was more annoying than fun. Positives ping pong, basketball court( it rained several days closing the courts), tennis BUT all the rackets were BROKEN ...there were cooking shows during the day. Very short 20 min at a time but interesting..avocado and crab cakes....this was not a party crowd so no big boozers, no loud music by the pools, no hairy man contest, no ice sculpting...there was a NYT association so we could get free wifi to read the paper, there was a great room filled with games to use which at night was fun....pools were great but what made it even better was the sliding roof that covered the pool ESP on the rainy ocean day!!!! the hot tubs were hot and almost empty not like other ships we have been on. Gym: we utilized this more than any other cruise and found it clean, standard machines. We loved that the tv screens actually worked, unlike other ships and we were able to workout while watching movies. Excursions: Quebec easy walk on and walk off from the ship. No need to do a tour if you can walk...plenty to see without booking a tour...PEI beautiful. We also walked the city and loved it...Sydney don't bother. There was very little to do and see. ..Halifax was amazing. Take a tour as it is hard to just walk off the ship everything is far away. We took an amazing hike/trip to Peggys cove via Great E.A.R.T.H expeditions. It was beautiful and got us back with plenty of time....Bar Harbor was great..walking is fun..We went to Arcadia via Oli's trolley Awesome!. We wanted to see Arcadia by the free bus but as we waited forever, we discovered it would have taken a lot of our time away waiting for transfer buses.. Other: overpriced photos typical cruise positive was that they were not all over us like other ships and we were not pressured to constantly take photos and buy drinks. this was a much much smaller cruise than we have ever been on which made it more personal. We never waited for pool lounges. chairs, there was good mix of young and old but yes the average age was older >60. My kids didn't go to the kid clubs, they never do so I cannot comment on them. Disembarkation was running ahead of schedule and was super smooth down to getting a cab right away no wait in Boston. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We recently traveled to Canada to embark on the Maasdam for a 7 day cruise to Boston via Qubec, Prince Edward Island, Sydney, Halifax and Bar Harbour, then on to Boston. We are in our 40's and took our two teenage daughters with ... Read More
We recently traveled to Canada to embark on the Maasdam for a 7 day cruise to Boston via Qubec, Prince Edward Island, Sydney, Halifax and Bar Harbour, then on to Boston. We are in our 40's and took our two teenage daughters with us, so we were pleased to see our fellow passengers were a mix of ages. The ship is lovely with plenty of things to see and do while you are cruising. We stopped in port every day except day 2 which was Qubec to PEI. Our cabin was a Liani format on the Lower Promenade deck which was nice. It had a sliding door to the deck and an internal door to the corridor. It was a good size and very comfortable. The staff were good and very attentive. The ship held up well in one patch of rough weather, none of us felt sea sick. We would cruise on the Massdam again! Hopefully next year!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
I am a Canadian, sailed on the Maasdam from Montreal on the back to back Canada / New England. Sail dates Aug 10 to Aug 24. This review expands on the pointers I posted in the HAL forum This is not a large ship and they had about 20 ... Read More
I am a Canadian, sailed on the Maasdam from Montreal on the back to back Canada / New England. Sail dates Aug 10 to Aug 24. This review expands on the pointers I posted in the HAL forum This is not a large ship and they had about 20 agents working in Montreal so embarkation went fairly smoothly. Montreal - Lots of hotels to stay in around old Montreal. We flew in a few days early and stayed at Springhill Suites as I am a Marriott rewards member. The hotel is literally walking distance to the terminal and I notice a lot of guests checked out Saturday morning and were headed to the Maasdam. But as instructed by the hotel, do not try and walk it, as some of its along cobblestone streets. However the cabs will rip you off, its a $20 cab ride to the port. The hotel was also close to the terminal and we could disembark the ship and bring our luggage back to the hotel and have them store it prior to our flight out of Montreal late in the afternoon (we arranged this with hotel prior to our departure two weeks prior). This allows you to browse old Montreal or head downtown and do things without lugging your luggage. Also notice other disembarked passengers did the same thing. Those coloured luggage tags from disembarkation give it away. Ship - the ship is one of the smallest in the HAL fleet, the food in the Rotterdam dining room has a good selection. Waiters are understaffed and seem very busy and overworked. It could be because we were upstairs and they seem to be going up and down. Very little time for socializing. Lido breakfast is basically the same for fourteen days. Lido lunches and dinners have a good selection of what's being served in the Rotterdam dining room. Being a small ship there are not a lot of other activities to be done. ie: no Rock climbing walls, water slides, ice rinks etc. Sea days are pretty boring unless you head to the spa etc. There are only two sea days out of 14 on this itinerary. Shows / Food. Knowing that its a back to back cruise for many guests, they try not to repeat the shows. The first night, symphony night, and one other musical were repeats. The comedians were switched on the second leg of our cruise. And of course the dancing with the stars was different. The stage and theater are very small and some of the views from the back of the theater seem obstructed. They have a Filipino staff show at 11pm one night, and for the return voyage its the Indonesian staff turn. Shows highlight some of the dances and instruments from their homeland. These shows played to a full house and it shows the dedication of the crew. They are performing after putting in a full day of work, and they will be up the next morning at whatever time getting breakfast ready for you. Rotterdam menus are not repeated. However you will see some of the same food selections from the first portion of the cruise show up on the return trip. Quebec City - enough said elsewhere on the forums. Took a private tour to the falls and the island. Toured Old Quebec, citadel, chateau. Charolottetown - did the HAL tour to Anne of Green Gables and Cavendish as they use Gray Line and the prices are similar to what you can purchase the tour for on the website. Halifax - this is the nicest city on the itinerary. Hired a private guide to go to citadel, Peggy's Cove, Ryer's Lobster for lunch. He drove around and showed us a bay and the houses. The second time in port we walked all the entire boardwalk taking detours along the way, ie: Citadel tour. Bar Harbour - went on the HAL whale watching tour. We saw three different types of whale. The whales were putting on quite a show that we were late getting back to port and were on the last tender back. Good to be on a ship tour and know that they will wait for you. Boston - In my opinion the turnaround in Boston for the back to back cruisers is handled very poorly by HAL and I've let them know. Being my first time in Boston, I knew very little about the city except for what I had gathered from these forums. I knew Boston terminal is in an industrial area and that there are things to do in downtown. HAL shore excursions staff only set up two excursions, both at 7:30AM. One was cancelled due to low participation - hmm wonder why?? That was it, there were no tours at more decent times. Nor were the shore ex staff at all helpful in telling you where to go to do your own tours. I actually spoke with a HAL person in the terminal (she was setting up for embarkation) who gave us good info. She told us to have taxi driver take us to the "aquarium" and from there you could purchase trolley tours, harbor tours, get on the freedom trail, walk around on your own. There would be lots of stuff to do. Being in transit, they either let you off the boat before any disembarking passengers. Otherwise you wait until everyone else disembarks, which is about 9:45AM. You had to be back onboard by 3PM. Watch out for traffic out of downtown Boston on a Saturday afternoon. We were a bit late, but nothing to worry about, ship doesn't sail until 4PM. Special events - being a mariner and on a back to back cruise you get invited to two mariner lunches (one on each part of the cruise). How many more coasters to you need. There was also a VIP wine and champagne reception with captain and selected crew one evening in the Crow's Nest. Mainly those on the back to back cruise, those in suites, 4/5 star mariners(?) attended. Its an older ship but they have done a good job of renovating and making it look newer. You can still tell the age in places but it doesn't spoil the holiday. The other way to tell its age was that there were two 110V electric plugs. One at the desk the other in the washroom way up high by the light. That plug was only powered when the light was on. I had six electrical items to charge so my room steward got us a power bar the first night. We had an oceanview room. This ship does not have any veranda suites that can accomodate a family of four. There are big neptune suites but out of price range for such a long cruise. St Lawrence river is a very busy seaway. You are not in open ocean but travelling along a not so wide river. You will have freighters, ferries and other marine traffic going beside you in the opposite direction at very close range. You will be sailing underneath bridges and power lines with less than 2 meters clearance. So sit by the windows or get outside and watch this for a bit - amazing Club HAL - it closes at 11:30, reopens from 2-4, then again from 7-10. Strange hours. Activities are not always scheduled. The club is not as well run as the one we saw on Zuiderdam a few years ago. Casino - they allow smoking in there, in about 1/2 of slot machines. You can still smell it at the other end though even with the ventilationDisembarkation. It proceeded much faster than promised in Montreal. We signed up for 8:45, but were called at around 8:15 when we were having our breakfast. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Who Are We: My husband and I are both in our early 40s and we have a daughter who is 9. We live in Ontario. We'd been on one prior cruise but this was our first time on Holland America or cruising Eastern Canada and New England. Our ... Read More
Who Are We: My husband and I are both in our early 40s and we have a daughter who is 9. We live in Ontario. We'd been on one prior cruise but this was our first time on Holland America or cruising Eastern Canada and New England. Our Cabin: We had an inside cabin on Deck A. Before we left several family members with more cruise experience tried to convince us we'd hate an inside cabin and we should try and upgrade but we loved our cozy little cave. It was very quiet except when we were entering or leaving port. And it was nice and dark when we wanted to sleep. We spoke with another couple on the cruise who had paid a lot more for a suit on the Navigation deck and were woken up each morning by the sun and the sounds from Lido. Club HAL: Club HAL was great. It was smaller then the kids club on our previous cruise but I consider that a bonus. The staff all knew my daughter's name. The activities were great and age appropriate. Several times we gave my daughter a choice between doing something as a family or going to Club HAL and she always chose Club HAL. My daughter went to the kids club almost every night from 7 until 10 and spent a lot of the sea days there as well. Dinning: We really enjoyed the food on the Massdam. We ate in the MDR each night except for the one when we dinned in the Pinnacle. The food in the Pinnacle was very good but we all agreed that when we sail again with HAL we'll probably skip it because we enjoyed the MDR food so much. We really appreciated the portion size in the MDR, not to big nor too small. We ate some breakfasts in the MDR and some in the lido. Both were good. I enjoyed the international breakfast options in the MDR and we all liked the eggs benedict station in the lido. We also enjoyed some of the special On Location afternoon food offerings such as the lunchtime mussel bake in PEI, or the pre-dinner snack of local cheese and sausage our first day in Quebec. They also put on a poutine bar in Quebec but I think they needed to give the non-Canadian passengers some instructions as to how poutine was suppose to come together. I enjoyed tea in the MDR whenever I was aboard in the afternoon. The Indonesian tea was likely the most interesting but I'm also a real sucker for scones and cream. Lunch was probably the weakest meal but we were rarely on board as this is a port heavy itinerary. We did enjoy the Mariners lunch during our second week. Entertainment: This was a bit of a mixed bag. We really enjoyed the On Location Cape Breton fiddlers. They were a different act in each direction but were both excellent. The comedian/magician was a little corny but still a fun show. He also did a special show for the kids which my daughter enjoyed a lot. Most of the other shows we either skipped because they didn't appeal much to us or went to but slipped out early. We enjoyed the sing songs in the piano bar. On sea days I found things a little slow. I should have brought more books. While the library did have an impressive number of volumes they didn't really appeal to my taste. I did enjoy a couple of the movies, the cooking demos and the kitchen tour. Special Days: Our itinerary had us aboard ship for both Canada Day and 4th of July. The MDR was decorate for both events and there was a party in the Crows Nest both evenings. Of the two I think Canada Day was more fun. They had half price themed cocktails and a small buffet of treats. The 4th party featured a sock hop which seemed poorly attended. Embarkation, Disembarkation and Turn Around: Montreal is a really small port. Both embarkation and disembarkation was smooth and easy. Turn around day in Boston was a little tricky. It seems that the port will only allow turn around passenger to leave the ship either before the passenger disembark or afterwards. Since we'd not been to Boston before we opted for before but then we were in Boston at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday. There wasn't much to do before 9:30. We also had to be back on board in time to repeat the muster stations drill. Ports: Because we did the back to back we did each port except Boston twice. I'll include both days in my reviews: Quebec City: Quebec City is beautiful. Our first stop here we took a fantastic walking tour of the city with Voir Quebec and also went up the Citidelle. Our guide showed such depth of knowledge and pride in the history of her home town. She did a great job engaging us all including my daughter. We didn't enjoy the Citidelle as much. We arrived just as the changing of the guards was starting. It was interesting but it was windy that day which made it cold up on the hill and made it hard to hear the explanation of what was happening. Our second day in Quebec I was feeling a little under the weather so we went to Musee de la Civilisation. The museum is not vast but each exhibit we saw seemed really well thought out. My daughter enjoyed the history of video games exhibit. I liked the exhibit on the culture of Paris in the 1880's Both of these exhibits were temporary, the museums permanent collection seems quite small so I suspect the place changes quite a bit as different exhibits come and go. It is right across the road from the dock so it might be a great option for anyone who doesn't feel up to climbing the hill or if the weather is poor. Afterwards, I returned to ship to lie down while my husband and daughter enjoyed some shopping. Charlottetown Our first day in Charlottetown we concentrated on Confederation sites. We did a walking tour with a costumed guide of the downtown. We took a horse drawn cart around the town. And we did the Founder's Hall display. All of these were good value. I imagine American tourists might find these a little less interesting then we did, but we were keen to show our daughter where Canada started. I was worried that Founder's Hall might be cheesy but it was really well done. Founder's Hall also doubles as a visitors center and is near the dock. Our second stop here we rented a car and drove north to the beaches that are part of the National Park system. We had a lovely day on the red sand beaches wading in the water, building sand castles etc. Rental car situation was a bit of a mess because of construction but we got it sorted out. Sydney Both days in Sydney we rented a car to get out of town. One day we headed to Beddeck for the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site. This museum draws the links between Bell's childhood, his work as a teacher of the deaf, his early success with the telephone and all his later work in early flight. The way it is presented it is much clearer how he moved from one thing to another rather then just a list of accomplishments. The second day we drove to Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. We really needed more time then our ships schedule would allow to see this place properly as it is very large. They've done a stunningly good job reconstructing and bringing this fort to life. We only had half a day to explore and I could have easily been there for many more hours. My daughter did the children's tour and enjoyed it very much. One issues we had was there was no fast food in the the 18th century so there is none in the park. They have a lovely looking sit down restaurant but it would have taken most of our day. We should have brought some food with us. Halifax Our first day here we started at the Pier 21 which is right next to the cruise ship port. It features the history of the immigrants who traveled to Canada by ship. The museum is not large but the stories are mostly told as recordings so easily found a morning worth of stuff to do. After lunch we went down the board walk to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. This museum was a bit of a bust for us. The museum has some excellent displays on the Halifax explosion, the Titanic, etc but my 9 year old found it all a bit overwhelming as it is pretty depressing stuff. We left earlier then I planned but took our time walking back to the ship. The board walk was filled with fun things, an excellent playground, a splash pad and several great piece of public art, including our favorite the drunken lamp posts. Our second day in Halifax we took a our with Great EARTH expeditions The itinerary included The Public Gardens, a hike near Peggy's Cove and time to explore Peggy's Cove itself. It was OK but didn't rate some of the excellent reviews I've read else where. I'm not sure our guide had been with the company as long. Peggy's Cove is stunning and worth a trip out to see although it can be quite crowded. I also enjoyed the hike although I wish I'd brought bug spray. Bar Harbor Our first day in Bar Harbor we took the free bus from the village green though the National Park. We got off at several stops and did some hiking. The park is beautiful but I wish we'd brought our swim suits and a dip in the ocean would have been nice. Our second day my daughter and I went on a lobster boat tour on the Miss Samantha. They leave right from the same docks as the tenders come into to. We really enjoyed our tour and learned a lot about the lobster industry. After that we sought out a lobster lunch and poked around some of the interesting stores Boston We bought tickets on the Old Town Trolley. The commentary was kind of corny but given we had a limited amount of time in Boston it wasn't a bad way to see the city. I wish we'd had more time to actually hop off the trolley and explore the city. On our way back to the ship we also stopped in at the Boston Tea Party museum which surpassed my expectations. They did a really nice job of explaining the history and the interactive nature of the museum really captured my daughters attention.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013

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