Actually a 3 1/2. My favorite cities on the trip were Toronto and Quebec, which we saw by our Globus tour and then Quebec again, all of the Maritime Ports, and Bar Harbor on the Maasdam. All these towns had good restaurants, good pubs and many points of interest. The Canadians we met were all friendly and super helpful. The Maasdam is showing her age. There were repairs and maintenance going on underway that were likely due to her age. The immigration and then tendering in Bar Harbor was poorly organized and communicated. The food on board was good but not great. The service, especially for our cabin was excellent. The cabin was on the small side and dirty windows on the outside impaired our view. The ship does have self-serve laundry facilities, which is convenient considering we did a week's tour before the cruise.
The destinations were wonderful. Quebec City felt like being in Europe. PEI was beautiful as was going to Peggy's Cove in Halifax. Bar Harbor is also pretty and interesting. Sydney is not much of a destination, so take a tour that brings you out of town.
It would have been 4 stars but for an issue with a tour of Arcadia N.P., which was poorly handled by Shore Excursion Manager: Amy Hanson.
Favorite parts of the cruise - We thoroughly enjoyed the ports except for Sydney. The service on the ship was excellent.
Only disappointment was was that the cruise was a little light on entertainment and things to do.
The cruise itinerary was good. The service on board was good in comparison to other cruise lines but somewhat lacking for HAL. The service people that were on board were great! However, there seemed to be less of them. There was no live music around the pool nor any type of pool side activities. The format for the Plan of the Day has changed to the When and Where, which really didn't info us. No drink of the day, no weather forecast for the port, no menu for the dinning room, etc. disappointing
The ports call were wonderful but I would check with Trippet visor for any tors in those areas for any activities to do in those areas it was much cheaper to do them not through the ship. Also if you're traveling with anyone 40 and under say anywhere between 17 and 40 have something to do because this particular seem to be geared towards the elderly.
This is a good cruise to take if you want a taste of the Quebec, and Nova Scotia area. We chose the Ocean View Room, which was very comfortable.
The food was good, but if you are a foodie you may judge it as decent.
The crew was friendly and helpful. The entertainment was okay, but they seem to have a lot of selling items such as Art Actions, etc. as entertainment.
If your looking for a laid back, relaxing cruise this is it. Not a lot of frills, but nice people and beautiful sites to see if you take the shore tours.
We had such an amazing honeymoon on the MS Masdaam! Overall, the staff were so friendly and helpful. We loved going to the Crows Nest for trivia with Jess. Caesar and the other bartenders up there were always so nice and made great drinks. Dharen at the Mix and Poy, kitchen staff on Lido were also so sweet and attentive. They always remembered our names and orders and greeted us with smiles and enthusiasm everyday.
Snorkling and swimming with stingrays in Grand Truk was exciting. I also enjoyed the tour of the Coen horse ranch and their Medical facilities for their workers.
Staff and food were incredible. The singers and dancers were wonderful. I do think that the daytime activities for days at sea were rather unappealing. The cruise director was mediocre at best, not really connecting with the guests. There were two noontime programs on the Lido deck by excellent Mexican folk dancers. The cruise director did not introduce or welcome them - he wasn't even present.
The Maasdam singers and dancers made the cruise for me. They were the best entertainers we've seen on any cruise we've been on. The stewards, especially in the dining room, were excellent. Almost all of the excursions were worthwhile and enjoyable. The only one that was so-so was in Guatemala. The only negative was the size of the locker room in the spa. It was difficult to change with more than one other person in the room. The thermal suite was smaller than on other HA ships, but was adequate for the number of passengers. Overall, an enjoyable cruise!!
THE VERY GOOD: The cabin. The food. The cabin staff and the food and drink servers.
THE NOT SO GOOD: Shore excursions varied, some good, some bad - All overpriced. All drinks were overpriced. Entertainment varied, some good, some bad. Front desk service variable - good, if it was a simple matter - unhelpful, if it required a little imagination, see comments below.
THE UGLY: The ship's moving map stopped working after several days and was never repaired. The captain gave hardly any information as to where we were cruising and when he did make an announcement it was inaudible and the information given was about the port we were already leaving. We often docked at filthy commercial ports instead of cruise ports. At cruise ports we were nearly always moored at docks furthest from the port entrance or we did not even moor at the main cruise port. At Aruba we moored half a mile from the port entrance and on the cruise were many elderly people and persons with limited mobility (ie. Some in pushed wheel chairs and others needing walkers). Despite this, HAL provided no shuttle, golf carts or any other means to get these people to the port entrance where they could get transport. HAL should be ashamed of themselves for such inconsiderate behaviour. Front desk was unhelpful with arranging the meet up for shore excursions when people had not them booked through HAL, athough the ship did not even dock in the main cruise port. (HAL did not offer the excursions in question).
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