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Old May 30th, 2011, 01:37 AM
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Default Canada/New England on Maasdam

First a disclaimer….be forewarned…I’m a glass half full kind of guy.
I sailed on the first Canada/New England cruise after a recent refurbishment and she looked great. This was my 12th cruise…4 with Hal, 2 on the M-Dam.
On my sailing the ship was unable to get into port (Montreal) so the company pulled off a wondrous task of overcoming the muddle. My hat is off to the near flawless handling of a potential catastrophe.
Food: >>I found the food to be wonderful …as always. One will see cruise reviews where the rater will claim that the food was not very good. That’s nonsense! I’ve been on 12 cruises and the food on cruise ships is always simply wonderful. One can eat dinner once in the main ding room, then turn around and stuff their faces again in the Lido buffet. In the Rotterdam dining room and Lido buffet, I found the Maasdam’s service to be friendly & attentive.
Service: >> The personnel on the ship attended to all my needs in expedient manner and with a sense of pleasant enthusiasm. The crew all seemed to take joy in speaking to me and at times learning my name.
Shows>> On this ship there appears to be a new emphasis on showcasing singers as opposed to dancers in the production show. The first production show was a Broadway tribute and the second was called “Roadhouse” ….which as the name might suggest was rocking/country. The performers are very talented!
On other nights, we were treated to a stand-up comedian who managed the task of being funny and tasteful at the same time. No F-bombs…thankfully! There was also a ventriloquist and a classical guitarist, both being entertaining.
Fellow guest >> they tended to be on the older side and thus less active than on other ships. The Crow’s Nest disco was mostly empty in the evening. On Karaoke, I and a few others seemed to do most of the “singing”. The Maasdam is by no means a “party ship”.
That said I enjoyed my fellow guest.
Activities: >> Perhaps it was due to budget cuts, but I felt they needed more to keep us occupied, especially during our one sea day. There were some trivia games conducted.
Ports >> Montreal was the embarkation port. That is a lovely city and one must walk into the Vieux Montreal and see the Notre Dame Cathedral and cobblestone streets. I had lunch along the riverfront.
I took HAL’s hotel, the Hyatt Regency downtown was quit pleased with the service. I do not recommend the hotel’s over-priced restaurant. If possible one can get cheaper foods in the mall food court next door.
*Quebec City is a medieval jewel which looks more like a European river city than anything in North America. I did not one, but two walking tours of the old town, one culminating in high tea at the Chateau and the other a ghost tour.
*Charlottetown Prince Edward Island…Like most, I took the Anne of Green Gables tour. This is a lovely island.
*Sydney Nova Scotia…My tour took me to Louisbourg Fortress which is a re-created town of the early 18’Th century. Even though my visit was out of season , reenactors were present by prior arrangement by being on a ship sponsored tour.
*Halifax…I did the Highland Experience at the Citadel. Where I was part of a tour group of three partnered with a costumed guide. I got to play Highland soldier.
* Bar Harbor…I was part of the ship’s Best of Both Worlds tour which visited Acadia National Park and a Lobster museum.
* Boston…I took the bus tour of historic Boston which ended at the airport. We visited some historic sites of significance such the outside of the USS Constitution and the Boston Library. Historic Boston is worth the time to see.
All things considered, the Maasadam to Canada/New England is a worthy cruise for those of us who are tired of beaches and t-shirt shops as ports of call. It is the ideal cruise of those who value history, culture, and nature over tourist traps.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 12:24 PM
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Thumbs up Great cruise

We did that trip a few years back and our report would basically agree with yours. We had a wonderful time. Did a couple of different excursions than you did and really enjoyed them.

Check out our trip report and pictures at http://users.elite.net/thehalls/maasdam.html
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Old May 31st, 2011, 06:58 PM
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We did that trip a few years back and our report would basically agree with yours. We had a wonderful time. Did a couple of different excursions than you did and really enjoyed them.

Check out our trip report and pictures at HAL Maasdam Cruise Review
I enjoyed your report. Your trip looked great. Looks like we agree on several things...like what is good to see.
You met "Anne" I had heard of Anne of Green Gables, but knew next to nothing about the story. I've since ordered 3 movies to educate myself.
Be careful about that Raspberry Cordial...it might be wine. Anne found out the hard way !!
Hopefully your Aunt Ruth is still able to travel. To be able to enjoy a cruise at 91 was a blessing. Hopefully I can still be traveling at that age.
Weather-wise I was lucky to have agreeable weather in Montreal, Quebec City, Bar Harbor, and Boston. COLD & windy in Charlottetown and chilling rain for Sydney.
I was on the Maasdam in 2002 and as I recall she has changed looks somewhat in places. She no longer looks her age in my opinion, so nice job in dry dock in refreshing her.
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 07:16 PM
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We do this cruise every summer, Boston to Montreal to Boston, b-to-b and absolutely love it. We never tire of it and enjoy this itinerary immensely. We think it one of HAL's best short cruises on one of HAL's best ships. We love Maasdam.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by sail7seas View Post
We do this cruise every summer, Boston to Montreal to Boston, b-to-b and absolutely love it. We never tire of it and enjoy this itinerary immensely. We think it one of HAL's best short cruises on one of HAL's best ships. We love Maasdam.
I'm sure it only gets better when the weather cooperates. It seemed like late winter in most of the Canadian ports.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:15 AM
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I just got an invitation for lunch on the Masdam. There is a $25.00 charge pp and part of it goes to charity. It's too bad it's on a Saturday, since that's the one day a week I work I would have enjoyed that.
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Talking One day a week?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I just got an invitation for lunch on the Masdam. There is a $25.00 charge pp and part of it goes to charity. It's too bad it's on a Saturday, since that's the one day a week I work I would have enjoyed that.
Wow, that's a good job!

Only thing I can think of, are you a Rabbi?
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Old June 4th, 2011, 09:41 AM
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Thoth
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I'm sure it only gets better when the weather cooperates. It seemed like late winter in most of the Canadian ports.

Of course, weather is never a guarantee anywhere but it stands to reason there is a better chance of warmer weather for a Canada/New England cruise the later in the season you go. The prices reflect that.

I understand the repositioning cruises are always start/end of season but that is one of the downsides when booking them. Not to say that some times one won't get lucky and have better weather.

I wish HAL could control the weather and we always had sunny days, not too hot and not too cold.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:55 PM
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Thoth



Of course, weather is never a guarantee anywhere but it stands to reason there is a better chance of warmer weather for a Canada/New England cruise the later in the season you go. The prices reflect that.

I understand the repositioning cruises are always start/end of season but that is one of the downsides when booking them. Not to say that some times one won't get lucky and have better weather.

I wish HAL could control the weather and we always had sunny days, not too hot and not too cold.
Oh yes, the price does reflect the expected weather. I had initially attempted to book that trip for September but the price for a solo room was way out of my budget. Much cheaper in May !
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Old June 5th, 2011, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Trip View Post
I just got an invitation for lunch on the Masdam. There is a $25.00 charge pp and part of it goes to charity. It's too bad it's on a Saturday, since that's the one day a week I work I would have enjoyed that.
I can empathize...I work weekends and most everything happens on weekends.
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