Just Off the Maasdam New England Cruise

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#1
Southern California
80 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
We are just back from a wonderful cruise. The Maasdam is in wonderful shape. There was talk of her being in disrepair and we both looked for any whear and tear inside and did not see it. We had no problems with the ship. Food was great. Service, of course, beat our expectations. On the boards Shy, a waiter in the dining room was given high marks. We could not get his table but has a wonderful waiter Tom. Shy was, however, our greeter giving us the tray every morning and he exudes service. It was cold We hit gale force winds for most of the trip. In Quebec they kept us 2 extra hours as they had to call for large tugs to get us off the dock. Also the wind was blowing so hard that several people were blown over while on tours. In Sydney we could not get in so again they had to call for large
tugs to get us in. It was nice in Bar Harbor. Janice in the Neptune far exceeded our expectations. She was so gracious and took care of our every need. To complete the trip we stayed for 2 nights in Boston and just got home. We were at the Marriott Long Wharf and yesterday morning there was a fire alarm early and the hotel was evacuated. The Boston Fire Dept was there and we got a picture of the fireman waiting on the landing to help us. It was however a false alarm. This kind of completed a wonderful trip full of surprises.
#3
Southern California
43 Posts
Joined May 2005
Hi SpiritHaven,

Glad you enjoyed the cruise. From a fellow Southern Cal passenger on the same cruise last week, when people ask me about the cruise, I tend to answer that it was "interesting" and that I now know what it is like to be in a Nor'Easter and to sail through one!

I loved the nice Indonesian and Philippino stewards and hosts, particularly Shy, who learned my name from the first day and greeted me each morning in the Lido restaurant. I also loved the Piano Bar and Bill's playing and singing and Dan and Laverne at the bar. The sing-along there was great.

It was fun to hear Captain Van Der Loo's Dutch accent over the loud speakers too. And I enjoyed getting to see one of the local pilots get dropped off, out at sea into a boat that came to pick him up.

And the people I met on the cruise were all wonderful too - lots of nice folks.

My big disappointment, however, was that we didn't get to do the scenic cruising of the fjords, which I have heard was a huge part of this cruise and was the main reason that I chose a cruise instead of just a vacation trip to Montreal. By having the scenic cruising cut out, I felt that we didn't get the cruise that was advertised and that I had so anticipated. It is a very long trip back east to do this, and the expense of the cruise, airfare, pet care, airport transit, etc., not to mention time off work (unpaid in my case) all added up to higher expectations on my part than were met by having only part of the advertised cruise.

I realize that the scenic cruising was eliminated from our trip due to safety reasons with the hurricane force winds, however, I would have felt much better about HAL had they compensated us in some way for dropping this. To me, that would have shown that they understood that many of us travelled a long way for this cruise and that our time and money were valuable. It will be expensive both time and money-wise to repeat this cruise in the future just in order to see what for me was the main attraction of this cruise as advertised, especially since I have other cruises that I also plan to do. All of the stops on this cruise, such as Montreal, Quebec City, etc. can be reached by airplane, but the scenic fjords, with their mountains, waterfalls, etc. can only be seen from a cruise ship. For that reason, I would like to repeat this cruise at some point just to actually do the cruise that we paid for and went on last week, but due to HAL's handling of this, will look for a different cruise line next time. If HAL had offered us any type of compensation or discount for a future cruise, then I would have felt very differently.

I have considered writing a letter to them about that, but my guess is that they will probably just reply in legal-eze. Do you or anyone else know what is standard practice for cruise lines when they cut out a major portion of a cruise due to weather problems, e.g. do they normally or ever compensate their passengers in any way? Even a glass of wine would have been a nice gesture to me, but nothing was offered here. Does anyone know if this is the M.O. for cruise lines these days? In that case, it would appear to me that the advertised cruise iteneraries are just "possibilities" and that the cruise lines can drop any of them without any accountability to their passengers. Maybe I am just learning a lesson about the way that these companies operate. Hopefully some more experienced cruisers can comment on this. Any info or advice would be much appreciated. Otherwise, HAL's advertised cruise iteneraries don't much have credibility with me any longer.

Besides that, everything else was nice, although I would have liked to have seen more activities on the ship. On my last HAL cruise a year ago on the Amsterdam, there seemed to be many more activities and better announcements of them as well.

But the food was great, the service wonderful, the beds comfortable, and everything was clean and well-maintained on the ship.

I'm glad that you had a great time. I did too for what the cruise was, even though I would not have purchased the cruise that we ended up getting for the price that we paid. But the nice stewards on board the ship, and the other great passengers made this cruise as good as it could be.

Take care...

Linda
#4
Kennesaw GA.
5,668 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
Originally posted by ligil


My big disappointment, however, was that we didn't get to do the scenic cruising of the fjords, which I have heard was a huge part of this cruise and was the main reason that I chose a cruise instead of just a vacation trip to Montreal. By having the scenic cruising cut out, I felt that we didn't get the cruise that was advertised and that I had so anticipated. It is a very long trip back east to do this, and the expense of the cruise, airfare, pet care, airport transit, etc., not to mention time off work (unpaid in my case) all added up to higher expectations on my part than were met by having only part of the advertised cruise.

I realize that the scenic cruising was eliminated from our trip due to safety reasons with the hurricane force winds, however, I would have felt much better about HAL had they compensated us in some way for dropping this. To me, that would have shown that they understood that many of us travelled a long way for this cruise and that our time and money were valuable. It will be expensive both time and money-wise to repeat this cruise in the future just in order to see what for me was the main attraction of this cruise as advertised, especially since I have other cruises that I also plan to do. All of the stops on this cruise, such as Montreal, Quebec City, etc. can be reached by airplane, but the scenic fjords, with their mountains, waterfalls, etc. can only be seen from a cruise ship. For that reason, I would like to repeat this cruise at some point just to actually do the cruise that we paid for and went on last week, but due to HAL's handling of this, will look for a different cruise line next time. If HAL had offered us any type of compensation or discount for a future cruise, then I would have felt very differently.

I have considered writing a letter to them about that, but my guess is that they will probably just reply in legal-eze. Do you or anyone else know what is standard practice for cruise lines when they cut out a major portion of a cruise due to weather problems, e.g. do they normally or ever compensate their passengers in any way? Even a glass of wine would have been a nice gesture to me, but nothing was offered here. Does anyone know if this is the M.O. for cruise lines these days? In that case, it would appear to me that the advertised cruise iteneraries are just "possibilities" and that the cruise lines can drop any of them without any accountability to their passengers. Maybe I am just learning a lesson about the way that these companies operate. Hopefully some more experienced cruisers can comment on this. Any info or advice would be much appreciated. Otherwise, HAL's advertised cruise iteneraries don't much have credibility with me any longer.
I understand you were disappointed buy how can you hold Hal responsible for the weather? It is not the cruise line's fault there were "hurricane force winds".

If you read the documentation from Hal, it does state they have the right to change itineraries. ALL CRUISE LINES HAVE THIS CLAUSE, NOT JUST HAL.

If you rented a beach front property, and it rained all week, would you be writing letters to the owner of the property?
#5
Massachusetts
4,548 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Sorry the weather wasn't with you on your cruise, but there are 2 things no one can control: 1. Weather and 2. the motion of the ocean.
#6
SW Florida
6,147 Posts
Joined May 2002
LIGIL-- You must be a very inexperienced traveler, not just a newbie at cruising. NO CRUISELINE is going to compensate for regularly-occuring weather events which affect only a portion of your vacation. They would be out of business if they did.

We missed Grand Cayman on a Western Carib cruise and it was the one port we had been anxious to visit. Missed Half Moon Cay twice, but then again it has been reported many times that approx. 50% of HAL cruises miss their own private island due to rough weather conditions.

To flame HAL as you have is entirely unfair. Disappointing for many pax, yes; HAL's fault, no.
#7
1,748 Posts
Joined Nov 2001
liigil I suggest that if you want to see Fjords, you take a cruise to Norway. The Fjords up the Saguenay are nothing compared to Norway.

If the weather was bad, you wouldn't have seen anything anyway. The river is very narrow and very treacherous and with bad weather you can't blame the Captain for not wanting to chance it.

HAL's advertised cruise iteneraries don't much have credibility with me any longer. So do you think other cruise lines would have more credibility if they missed a port because of the weather.??

We too have missed Grand Cayman, Half Moon Cay a number of times and even St. Maarten, before they built the dock and we had to tender. Once we missed Puerto Rico. Were we disappointed, sure, but we didn't let it spoil our cruise and we certainly did not ask for compensation from HAL.
#8
81,786 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I, too, am sorry for your disappointment but wholeheartedly agree with everyone's message that you can not hold HAL (or anyone) responsible for bad weather.


I live in Boston and last week's weather was part of the worst in recorded weather history that Boston has seen for any month of May. It was the fourth coldest May and what we experienced last week was miserable, horrible, destructive weather. It also was dangerous for boats/ships. A Nor'easter is nothing any Captain fools around about. These are bad storms.

The Captain kept all crew,pax and ship safe. He did Good!!
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#9
Perinton, New York
2,386 Posts
Joined Feb 2003
We, also, would be very disappointed to miss the beautiful fiords.

On our trip around South America several years ago we chose HAL because the Falklands were on the itinerary. High winds forced us to miss that stop - and we were very disappointed.

HAL's responsiblity was the safety of the passengers - that always comes first and we would not want to have it any other way.

We were on NCL on a cruise that we selected primarily because Fanning Island in Kirabati was on the itinerary. Mechanical problems made the ship change the itinerary. We were very disappointed.

While it would've been a nice gesture to offer a free glass of wine, look at it this way: Did HAL ask for extra compensation from passengers when it had the added expense of hiring extra tugs to get you into ports they might otherwise skipped?

Aside from the disappointment, it sound as if you had a good cruise.
#10
106,624 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
ligil

I am also sorry to hear that you missed a port. Over the years we have missed several ports - that's the breaks. Maybe you can book that same cruise in the future but at a different time of the year and maybe lady luck will be with you and you'll get to see all the ports you want to see.
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#11
106,624 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
spirithaven

Thanks for reporting in about the Maasdam. The biggest concern for a lof of cruisers lately were her engines. She had some trouble with them a couple of months. It sounds as they everything in that department has been corrected.

Another big concern a while back was the air-conditioning in some of the suite cabins. Someone actually listed the suite cabins that didn't air - don't remember the numbers. But with all those winds and cool weather, you certainly didn't need air-conditioning.
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Cruising is a wonderful way to enjoy retirement!
Stopped counting a few years ago -- have done over 140 cruises.
#12
obetz oh usa
2,517 Posts
Joined May 2000
ligil, didn`t you do any research before you booked your cruise? Anytime you sail at this time of year in the Maritime Provinces or the North Atlantic you can expect gale force winds. ...........jean
#13
Southern California
43 Posts
Joined May 2005
Thanks everyone, for your responses to my questions. Yes, I am a newbie at cruising, this being my second cruise, and both cruises were with HAL. The first cruise, to Alaska, was wonderful, and I enjoyed the scenic cruising portion of it so much.

I appreciate all of your responses. I don't hold HAL responsible for the weather, although I was disappointed over the missed item.

Due to my lack of experience with cruises, I had thought that some compensation, e.g. a small discount on a future HAL cruise, might be a nice attraction to lure us back to choosing HAL to repeat this cruise at another time, in order to see what was missed on the first cruise. However, after reading all of your replies, I now understand that HAL's handling of this is typical for the industry.

I am a very experienced airline traveller (have had years where I was away on business more than at home), however, the airlines handle cancelled flights differently since that is a different situation in that they need to get passengers to their destinations. I just had little experience with cruise ships and no experience with their cancelling itenerary items.

Thanks again for your replies and most of them being kind and helpful. Since you folks don't know me, you don't know that I am not a high-maintenance customer and problems have to reach a high threshold in order for me to complain or speak up. But from my original posting, it was easy for some who don't know me to misunderstand.

But thank you again. All of you answered my question, and now I know that HAL's handling of this was the industry norm for cruise lines.

Thanks again and happy crusing!

Linda
#14
3,960 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
We missed Martha's Vineyard last year because it was too rough to attempt tendering. Just getting into the tenders was far too dangerous, much less having people bounce around for ten minutes heading to shore. One of the pax said, "This is entirely inappropriate." I thought to myself (and, fortunately, kept it to myself), "If you think this is inappropriate, think what it would be like if you lost your footing and suddenly were swimming with the fishies."

We were in a gale for three days last year. [x] happens. Keep cruising.
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#15
Oakville, Ontario
421 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
We were on board too and had a great time. The itinerary is super with lots of ports and variety. Imagine being piped and fiddled off the ship by the genuinly friendly Canadian Maritimers. We thought the ship was clean and well operated. And, yes, the waiter Shy blew us away with his ability to remember our names when he had not seen us for 3 days. Easy on and easy off - our luggage arrived in our stateroom before we did! Some of HAL's nice touches included: placement of a mat on the bed to prevent your luggage unpacking from soiling the bed, a real bathtub, very comfy beds and bedding, towels in the public washrooms, really good first run movies and a wonderful Indonesian and Philippino staff. The photo crew from South Africa tried very hard and in my opinion did a better job than others we have encountered. The cookies were to die for.