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Maasdam Canada and New England Cruise


tomtal

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Have today returned safely to UK from our curtailed cruise. Although we understood hurricane earl was in the vicinity, we had smooth, calm seas until the Friday evening in Boston when rain started followed by a dense mist/fog. This was not long lasting and was followed by calm seas once again. We spoke to four English couples and a few Australian and New Zealanders, all of whom felt short-changed on this cruise. Those from England were, unfortunately, on their first cruise and it will be their last. I do realise that safety is the ultimate concern of the captain and Holland America, but we couldn't understand why some ships were still going out from Boston and others were calling at Halifax or other ports whilst we had to return straight to Boston. Obviously, coming from such a distance, this was very disappointing. Also upsetting was the fact that the pools were closed for two or three days. It seemed as if this was an opportunity for maintenance to take place even though we were paying guests. However, for those who will be cruising in the future, I am pleased to say that there were no air conditioning or plumbing problems and the crew are wonderful. All in all, it was obviously a very disappointing cruise - but we were upgraded on our flight back to England - at last a plus!

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Did you attend the question/answer session the captain and hotel manager had with the passengers? The pools had to be emptied before the ship entered the right whale refuge area, where ships are not allowed to discharge anything. This seemed like a logical safety precaution to me.

 

We were just as disappointed as everyone else about missing three ports of call. However, at the time the captain and HAL made the decision to return to Boston, Earl looked to be much more ominous. If we had kept to our original schedule and if Earl had created some major problems, don't you think that some posters would have complained that HAL didn't care enough about the safety of its passengers?

 

It's too bad that the 25% refund to be used on future cruises will be wasted by some. I'm wondering if any of these disgruntled passengers took it out on the hardworking crew by removing their tips.

 

I, for one, can't wait to schedule my next Hal cruise.

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Jim,

 

I clearly remember Captain Russell-Dunford saying exactly what you wrote re: right whale refuge area in addition to his explaining because a whale had just been seen, we would have to slow down though usually that restriction is lifted on September 1.

 

Of course, DH and I were disappointed for our cruise to end that way but we fully support the decision made by Captain, Maritime persons in Seattle office, Coast Guard, Massport and whoever else.

 

Had Hurricane Earl kept at a category 4 level and we were rocking around out at sea in such a large, dangerous storm, I wonder what folks would then be saying.

 

Weather happens..... Well, this time it happened to us.

 

Captain James Russell-Dunford and Hotel Manager Cees Tesslaar were outstanding at the Q & A in our opinion. They were fully professional, frank, informative, patient and with the exact right tone and touch of appropriate humor. They comported themselves in the most professional manner possible and instilled full confidence for the care they were taking to keep ship, crew and guests safe.

 

And in the end........ Captain brought that ship safely into Boston and that is what is most important IMO

 

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Sorry to hear that your trip ended like that. But Mother Nature usually has her way in those circumstances. Hope you and your friends will reconsider, and sail with HAL (or any other line) again.

 

 

And remember, the same thing would have happened on Cunard, Princess, NCL, etc. It's all in the cruise contract. Safety first ...

 

 

Don't let this experience darken your views. Your next one might be better.

 

 

:)

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I do feel sorry for you and all the others who had their cruise disrupted by the threat of a hurricane. But I have to agree -- wise decision by the captain -- passenger safety first.

 

Hope your friends reconsider -- and don't book a cruise during hurricane season.

 

Congratulations on getting upgraded on your flight home.

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Tomtal, I'm so sorry to hear how your cruise was cut short. We were on the Eurodam on a New England/Canadian routing last September, and I know we would have felt disappointed to only have a half a cruise.

 

Although it isn't anyones fault, it doesn't make it any less of a let down to have your holiday spoilt like that, especially after an international flight.

 

I'm know most people disagree with me, but I would have liked to see HAL offer a little refund on this cruise, rather than a future cruise credit.

 

In the past I've worked on an airline desk dealing with passengers who missed their flight connections. When this was caused by weather we were not legally obliged to do anything. However we always did provide a nice hotel, meals and telephone calls at our expense. Just because it's not the customers fault either, and it's good to put yourself in their shoes and try and do everything you can to make them feel better about the situation. :)

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Jim,

 

I clearly remember Captain Russell-Dunford saying exactly what you wrote re: right whale refuge area in addition to his explaining because a whale had just been seen, we would have to slow down though usually that restriction is lifted on September 1.

 

Of course, DH and I were disappointed for our cruise to end that way but we fully support the decision made by Captain, Maritime persons in Seattle office, Coast Guard, Massport and whoever else.

 

Had Hurricane Earl kept at a category 4 level and we were rocking around out at sea in such a large, dangerous storm, I wonder what folks would then be saying.

 

Weather happens..... Well, this time it happened to us.

 

Captain James Russell-Dunford and Hotel Manager Cees Tesslaar were outstanding at the Q & A in our opinion. They were fully professional, frank, informative, patient and with the exact right tone and touch of appropriate humor. They comported themselves in the most professional manner possible and instilled full confidence for the care they were taking to keep ship, crew and guests safe.

 

And in the end........ Captain brought that ship safely into Boston and that is what is most important IMO

 

 

People would complain that HAL didn't care about their safety. It's a risk HAL didn't dare take. Aside from the discomfort of a rough ride, there's the chance of people falling and being injured, damage to the ship, all sorts of bad things might happen.

 

We went to Bermuda on a 4-day cruise out of NYC on Labor Day weekend during hurricane Eduardo. We were on QE2. We stayed in the city until almost midnight (to give the hurricane time to move north), and because of her speed, QE2 got us to Bermuda on time. (We were the only ship out of NYC to reach it's original destination on time that weekend, and the Captain never missed an opportunity to remind us of that.) We were pitching a lot during the night, and the captain ordered the deadlights closed in lower cabins, but nothing bad happened.

 

While we were in Hamilton, we got a good look at the Horizon. She had taken a huge wave at the bow, which had an impressive dent. We heard that when the wave hit, stuff went flying. A piano rolled off a stage and every bottle in the duty-free shop hit the floor and smashed. They considered themselves lucky that it happened late at night when most people were in bed, so nobody was hurt. If it had happened in the middle of the afternoon, there would have been lots of injuries. All the other Bermuda-bound ships went to Canada that weekend.

 

So the lines are in a no-win situation, make pax unhappy because they miss ports or make pax unhappy because of uncomfortable or dangerous sailing conditions.

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Whether anyone wants to consider this or not, they also had to worry about Maasdam's next cruise. There was a whole crop of new guests expecting to board on Saturday. They had to get our crowd off in order to get the next crowd on.

 

Sure....... everyone only wants to think about our own situation. That's normal. HAL had to think about 1250 more guests and what would happen with them.

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I fully understand the commercial considerations that had to take place, let alone the threat of the hurricane. Being from the UK, we have luckily not experienced hurricanes. Nevertheless we, ourselves, were obviously disappointed in a cruise chosen for its itinerary. We have sailed with Holland America three times previously as well as Cunard, P&O and NCL. One Holland America cruise was excellent (Eurodam), one was terrible (Statendam - admitted by HA as being far below what should be expected) and this cruise was disappointing - not due to the Maasdam itself but due to circumstances beyond their control. We felt that after the announcement that we would return to Boston, the whole cruise changed. It felt more like a journey rather than a vacation. As stated by Jade, there were no chocolates on pillows, no second formal night, no pool (right whale refuge all the way back?) and it appeared we had to get to Boston as fast as we possibly could yet the sun shone and the seas were calm. As for the tips, this is purely personal. If a bad meal is served in a restaurant, many do not tip even though it is not the fault of the waiter. The crew on board the Maasdam were the best I have ever experienced and in fact we gave them more than the statutory sum. I really do hope they do not suffer. We chose this cruise for its itinerary and it obviously did not come up to our expectations. Hopefully the next one will.

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I fully understand the commercial considerations that had to take place, let alone the threat of the hurricane. Being from the UK, we have luckily not experienced hurricanes. Nevertheless we, ourselves, were obviously disappointed in a cruise chosen for its itinerary. We have sailed with Holland America three times previously as well as Cunard, P&O and NCL. One Holland America cruise was excellent (Eurodam), one was terrible (Statendam - admitted by HA as being far below what should be expected) and this cruise was disappointing - not due to the Maasdam itself but due to circumstances beyond their control. We felt that after the announcement that we would return to Boston, the whole cruise changed. It felt more like a journey rather than a vacation. As stated by Jade, there were no chocolates on pillows, no second formal night, no pool (right whale refuge all the way back?) and it appeared we had to get to Boston as fast as we possibly could yet the sun shone and the seas were calm. As for the tips, this is purely personal. If a bad meal is served in a restaurant, many do not tip even though it is not the fault of the waiter. The crew on board the Maasdam were the best I have ever experienced and in fact we gave them more than the statutory sum. I really do hope they do not suffer. We chose this cruise for its itinerary and it obviously did not come up to our expectations. Hopefully the next one will.

 

We agree with you on all points. We agree with Captains decision but cruise just seemed to stop after announcement was made late Tuesday and pools closed, no pillow chocolates, and formal canceled. It did not help that remaining shows were all repeats from past HAL cruises. We too had a fantastic cruise on Eurodam in 2008 and previous one to that on Noordam that did not meet HAL standards. Also, we were told to just call for assistance when we were ready to leave (Thursday am) and when we did were told we should have scheduled a time and since we did not they would have to find our cabin stewards and call us back. Since we were not going to wait we just dragged our luggage off ourselves, not a good last impression. We did leave all hotel charges/tips in place and gave extra to those we wished including our stewards.

 

The crew is great and major disappointment was the missed ports. We have booked the same ship for 2011 and hopefully will have a better experience.

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Those from England were, unfortunately, on their first cruise and it will be their last. I do realise that safety is the ultimate concern of the captain and Holland America, but we couldn't understand why some ships were still going out from Boston and others were calling at Halifax or other ports whilst we had to return straight to Boston. Obviously, coming from such a distance, this was very disappointing. Also upsetting was the fact that the pools were closed for two or three days. It seemed as if this was an opportunity for maintenance to take place even though we were paying guests.

 

Did Eurodam in fact call on Halifax last week. I had heard they were skipping Sydney and going to Halifax but not sure what happened.

 

Thanks.

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I fully understand the commercial considerations that had to take place, let alone the threat of the hurricane. Being from the UK, we have luckily not experienced hurricanes. Nevertheless we, ourselves, were obviously disappointed in a cruise chosen for its itinerary. We have sailed with Holland America three times previously as well as Cunard, P&O and NCL. One Holland America cruise was excellent (Eurodam), one was terrible (Statendam - admitted by HA as being far below what should be expected) and this cruise was disappointing - not due to the Maasdam itself but due to circumstances beyond their control. We felt that after the announcement that we would return to Boston, the whole cruise changed. It felt more like a journey rather than a vacation. As stated by Jade, there were no chocolates on pillows, no second formal night, no pool (right whale refuge all the way back?) and it appeared we had to get to Boston as fast as we possibly could yet the sun shone and the seas were calm. As for the tips, this is purely personal. If a bad meal is served in a restaurant, many do not tip even though it is not the fault of the waiter. The crew on board the Maasdam were the best I have ever experienced and in fact we gave them more than the statutory sum. I really do hope they do not suffer. We chose this cruise for its itinerary and it obviously did not come up to our expectations. Hopefully the next one will.

 

Yes. The range of those in the western North Atlantic is from New York to Nova Scotia. They are extremely endangered with only an estimated 400 whales in existence in this area today.

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As passengers we are always warned about having insurance in case of any problems on our cruise...Heaven forbid anyone coming on this board about a problem if it turns out they didn't buy insurance...I've always wondered do cruise lines buy insurance in case any of their cruises are changed or shortened because of hurricanes, etc...Then they could more quickly compensate passengers for missed ports, ect...Or do they just self-insure and take a chance nothing will happen...Personally I think they should have adeqate insurance the same as we passengers should.

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As passengers we are always warned about having insurance in case of any problems on our cruise...Heaven forbid anyone coming on this board about a problem if it turns out they didn't buy insurance...I've always wondered do cruise lines buy insurance in case any of their cruises are changed or shortened because of hurricanes, etc...Then they could more quickly compensate passengers for missed ports, ect...Or do they just self-insure and take a chance nothing will happen...Personally I think they should have adeqate insurance the same as we passengers should.

 

The cruise line fulfilled their obligation. Guests were welcome to stay on-board for 7 nights. Port fees and paid excursions were promptly refunded. Maybe someone knows what agreements they have with companies that do the various excursions.

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