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Cruise Critic Community


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About 2aran

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    travel, meeting people
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland and America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Sydney, Australia
  1. We have cruised on P&O Aurora and Britannia - two very different ships in that Aurora is quite old with Britannia being the newer much bigger ship. Enjoyed both with the convenience of boarding in Southampton for a repositioning cruise to the Caribbean on the Britannia. In comparison our last cruises have been on HAL Koningsdam twice which is a fairly new ship and we are just back from cruising on an older ship - the Maasdam which is favoured by an older generation of cruisers. We have had to fly to join the HAL ships at various destinations since they rarely Visit U.K. ports. THe Koningsdam is a beautiful new ship and the food on all HAL ships is excellent. We particularly enjoyed a cruise around the Dalmatian Coast and Greek Islands boarding the Koningsdam at Civitavecchia, the port for Rome. If you choose to cross the Atlantic then most Caribbean HAL cruises leave from Fort Lauderdale. I feel this is a bit too far north for us Brits as it takes 2 sea days to reach your first island then 2 sea days to get back there for your flight home. Also we had to fly Manchester via Philadelphia to get to F.L. We shall not do that again. We boarded the Maasdam in Singapore this January for an in-depth EXC cruise to some new destinations in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and two islands in the Maldives. We have found the staff helpful and courteous with particular attention to diet requirements at all the eateries on board. Happy sailing.
  2. We boarded Maasdam in Singapore Jan 26th for the 20 day cruise and had no problems with the air conditioning. Our inside cabin 340 was constantly cool. It became very hot on deck most days but the library and adjacent rooms were pleasantly cool. The coldest place was the Wajang Theatre and Culinary Arts Centre. The coughing /sneezing touched us mildly for a day but we generally dose against such infections with Vicks First Defence nasal spray on ship and when travelling by air. The lectures in the EXC programme were very good with photography, Culinary Arts, historical and architectural information about our destinations. This was our first trip on the lovely ship Maasdam and found the ambience warm and friendly. Indeed we were envious of those passengers sailing on back to The U.S. Home now in Wales with lovely mild spring weather of 16C.
  3. I came off the beautiful Koningsdam ship 11 days ago and was well cared for and gluten free. The choice of meals in the Lido and MDR is amazing. As previously mentioned, I ordered my gluten free meal one night ahead in MDR and must praise the chefs and kitchen staff for their diligence. In the Lido, the gluten free bread and cookies are at the ‘Sweet Spot’ food station on a corner. Queuing necessary in the mornings as this is where the fresh fruits, yogurts, dries fruit nibbles and nuts are served. I tried to tell senior staff that a new toaster was needed here as my bread was never browned. Good luck with that one! You will need to be persistent and ask staff about the gluten free options. Apparently gluten free pancakes were available also. Ice creams were very good - no problem there for me. The fries at the ‘dive in’ also far too tasty and not coated with the dreaded flour. I have managed to loose the 2 kilo weight gain since being home tackling a spring clean of the house in U.K. Happy sailings.
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