Memorable Cruise (51-Night Australia Circumnavigation)

Maasdam Cruise Review to South Pacific - Australia

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 9
Helpful Votes: 57

Overall rating:

4.4 out of 5
Maasdam

21 Night New Zealand & Coral Sea Odyssey (Sydney Roundtrip)

Sail date: September 26, 2019

Ship: Maasdam

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 11 months ago

Review summary

This was an interesting cruise--one that I had wanted for several years. I learned a lot about Australia and New Zealand and New Caledonia that we don't hear much about in the United States. Although our captain had to make decisions about health care and windy conditions, the alternatives were just fine. The ship conditions (food) were good.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
No long line, efficient.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Some of the food was too fancy, but the Lido always had a variety from which to choose, Even if the Lido and dining room is closed, there are other options for food any time of the day.

Onboard Activities

5 out of 5
The EXC presentations were excellent. I like to just relax on a cruise, so I don't do a lot of activities, but there are plenty so no one should claim boredom.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
Showroom performances were repetitious especially on the first 21 days part--a men's singing group four days. I prefer more variety. The instrumentalists were good.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service is always excellent, both room stewards and waiters, plus guest services and excursions people, and even maintenance people are always friendly.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The elevators are fast.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Oceanview window -- comfortable room, although I miss having a refrigerator,. However, the stewards brought us extra ice. Size is standard, and not a problem.

Ship tip

Enjoy the peace and view in the crow's nest. Decks 6, 11, and 12 have good viewing for photos or watching the sailing.

Ports of call

Sydney, Australia

5 out of 5
I liked Circular Quay in the center of activity and near Harbor Bridge and the famous Opera House. White Bay was disappointing (no WiFi within walking distance of the dock).

Eden, Australia

5 out of 5
Our first port in Australia, so time to explore! There were tourist shops near the ship after we wandered the town and enjoyed the beach. There was a free shuttle bus to the town and to the beach.

Cruise Milford Sound Did not visit port

Because of a medical emergency, the ship returned to Eden, then went to the next port,.

Port Chalmers (Dunedin), New Zealand

5 out of 5
$20 shuttle to the Octagon, with lots to see there, plus we walked to the train station.

Lyttleton (Christchurch), New Zealand

4 out of 5
It was rainy, so I only walked out a little way and could see a steep hill to the Time Station I wanted to see, so I didn't go,

Kaikoura, New Zealand Did not visit port

Too windy with 2-meter swells, so we could not safely anchor and tender.

Wellington, New Zealand

5 out of 5
Took the free shuttle to town then took the cable car up the hill. Then there was a free shuttle to Zealandia reserve ($18), which was very interesting. The cable car museum is also nice. Also wandered in town to find KnitWorld.

Napier, New Zealand

5 out of 5
There was an old auto show and music at the port. I also enjoyed the Opossum Shop (free shuttle to town)--bought yarn plus saw their great exhibits about the possums. Also found a discount store. We also enjoyed walking along the black beach. Great place to visit!

Rotorua, New Zealand

5 out of 5
Good view of Mount Maunganui. I took a taxi to church, but then afterward we could wander around the port and the beach lined with Norfolk pine trees.

Auckland, New Zealand

5 out of 5
Enjoyed this port! There's a passenger bridge and walkway to Queen Street. I found NZ Fabrics and Yarns, 17 East Customs Street (entrance on Queen Street). Wonderful yarns, fabrics, and many kinds of needlework. We went up Victoria Street to the Sky Tower, which had great views. There are lots of stores as one wanders back to the portl

Mystery Island, Vanuatu

4 out of 5
We tendered in to this island port and enjoyed wandering around. There is an area for tourist souvenirsl

Lifou Isle, New Caledonia

5 out of 5
There was a nice welcoming ceremony with our captain and their local authorities--dancing and the exchange of gifts for the first time the Maasdam had visited this port.

Isle Of Pines (Ile Des Pins), New Caledonia

5 out of 5
There is a nice trail from the tender area to the ferry pier--a walking path with lots of carved former trees, sort of like totem poles, that show a face and animals in the designs. I don't often walk, but this was a pleasant, interesting trail (and shady). Tourist tents are the other direction.

Mare Isle, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia

4 out of 5
Tender port. Ashore we walked along natural pools and interesting coral formations,

Noumea, New Caledonia

5 out of 5
Free WiFi in the terminal! Also shops, Within walking distance is a nice park (Place des Cocotiers), statues, sculptures, a cathedral, and stores. There is a supermarket/general store near the pier. The blue-roofed "City Market" buildings were not open for business.

Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia

5 out of 5
Here we took an excursion to experience the Great Barrier Reef by going on a catamaran to a pontoon station that had opportunities for people to snorkle and dive. We took the semi-submersible boat 3 times to see the Reef and beautiful coral, Lunch was served on this excursion, that lasted all day but was the best place to take an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.

Townsville, Australia

5 out of 5
I'm putting 5 stars on lots of these ports, but I did thoroughly enjoy them. This port had a $5 shuttle to the town center and Stokes and Flinders Street. There was a free "Strand Loop" shuttle bus (2.5 miles). We went to the Aquarium ($22) just in time for the turtle talk. It's the largest living coral reef in an aquarium and was interesting, Back at the City Center we went to Woolworths and also Mary's Bookstore. The terminal had souvenir vendors.

Cairns, Australia

4 out of 5
Took HAL excursion Sights and Heights of Cairns, which included the SkyRail to Kuranda, an interesting town for tourists and showing culture and art.

Cruise Great Barrier Reef

5 out of 5
Took an excursion from Airlie Beach.

Lizard Island, Australia Did not visit port

Windy, 27 kts from SE. 26-degree C heat.

Darwin, Australia

3 out of 5
It was warm, 31C or 88F. Walking area with a skybridge and walkway. St. Mary's Church was one goal, with stores along the way and a street musician and WiFi in the area. At the terminal were souvenir shops.

Komodo Island, Indonesia

4 out of 5
One had to be on an excursion to be able to go to the island. The walk on this excursion was good with sightings of the Komodo dragons. The tendering was not organized well and we were waiting in the tender at the port for 25 minutes in the heat. After the walking tour, the vendors were very aggressive for Komodo dragon souvenirs.

Broome, Australia

4 out of 5
Very hot, 32C; 90F. There was a shuttle to the center of town. We walked to Streeters Jetty and saw little red crabs. There were lots of restaurants and stores in the town.

Exmouth, Australia Did not visit port

Too windy to safely anchor.

Geraldton, Australia

5 out of 5
The visitor information people handed out information printed on cardboard fans--nice thought for this hot day, We took a shuttle to the end of the pier. In the town there were stores and areas for WiFi. We went to St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, and at noon the new bells were run for the first time with a nice ceremony. I could see the lighthouse as we left the port.

Fremantle (Perth), Australia

5 out of 5
I was glad for the overnight stay. The first day we took an excursion to Caversham Wildlife Park in Perth. I saw a kangaroo in a field on the way, At the Park we could pet a koala and a wombat, and we could walk among the kangaroos. It was nice to have an hour of free time after the main tour. We also got to see a Cassoway during our free time. The excursion included a cruise (Captain Cook) on the Swan River back to Fremantle. There was a free shuttle from the pier to the visitor center at King's Square in Fremantle. The center of town was nice and had WiFi. We went back to King's Square the next day and enjoyed the town.

Albany, Australia

5 out of 5
There was a free shuttle to York Street Information booth. There was a beautiful library (WiFi) and then we went down York Street (nice WoodWorks store) to old Gaol, museums, and Brig Amity. We walked back along a curved walkway to the Maasdam. There were lots of memorial quotes in the rock work path and an ANZAC Memorial area.

Adelaide, Australia

3 out of 5
The port is quite a bit north of Port Adelaide and the town of Adelaide. Taxi is expensive.

PENNESHAW, KANGAROO ISLAND, AUSTRALIA Did not visit port

Too windy to anchor with more wind forecast.

Melbourne, Australia

5 out of 5
Glad we could arrive the evening before and have extra time on an unexpected overnight. I got a Miki card ($15) to take a bus or train to the town center and beautiful stores (and a large yarn/knitting/needlework store 234 Collins Street. I walked over Queens Bridge to get there. The 109 tram back to the ship was on Collins Street. There is an IGA and restaurant in that area near the port. It is about a 500 meter walk from the ship to the parking area and a little more to the bus or tram. The next day we met friends who gave us a private tour of Melbourne. I wouldn't mind spending more time there.

Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

5 out of 5
Excursion Tassie Wildlife went to Wings Wildlife Park where we could see them feed the Tasmanian devils, We could also walk among the kangaroos and see lots of other animals. It was really interesting. There was also a free shuttle to the town, and Makers' Workshop. Makers' Workshop had wonderful paper sculptures and displays, plus other displays (and free WiFi), along with shops to spend the rest of our Australian money before we end the cruise.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
Going through customs was faster than I expected. We took the HAL transfer to the airport.
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