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Ken the cruiser

Experiences on our 40 day Maasdam cruise which started Oct 7, 2019

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33 minutes ago, erewhon said:

Thank you for posting the photo  of the extra charges in the Main Dining Room.

 

Are there fresh flowers in vases on the dining tables?

We have an early seating fixed table for 2 on the second level and I believe there was only a lamp. Of course I’m not sure there would be enough space for both. 
 

We also asked our waiter this evening if there was a charge if you wanted to order a second entree or appetizer and he said no. 

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4 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

 

We also asked our waiter this evening if there was a charge if you wanted to order a second entree or appetizer and he said no. 

Thank you ☺

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7 hours ago, erewhon said:

Are there fresh flowers in vases on the dining tables?

Not anymore. Another gracious HAL touch that is dead. 

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14 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

 

Now, this is just us, but since the Maasdam pretty much stays in the Pacific and Alaska, we would love it if HAL would implement an “Old World” in-depth EXC program on one of their other smaller ships, such as the Amsterdam, and offer this platform on Baltic and Mediterranean-based cruises as enrichment lectures covering the ancient civilizations would be really cool!

 

This is one of the questions I would absolutely LOVE to get answered, if you ever have an opportunity to speak to someone 'in the know' about future itineraries.

 

I love the idea of the EXC program -- it sounds so similar to what I enjoyed onboard Voyages to Antiquity for the past eight years. But I am not very interested in the Pacific islands or Alaska. I want classical history. There are such great EXC opportunities that go hand in hand with classical antiquity -- okay, maybe not the use of the Zodiac boats so much, but...*

 

So is there any chance they'd send Maasdam elsewhere (e.g., to Europe) at some point? How successful has the program been and how popular among those who've been on board?  Would HAL consider dedicating another ship to doing this in Europe?

 

*Actually, now that I think about it, wouldn't it be great to be able to land on some less visited Mediterranean islands where there are wonderful Greek (or Roman or Phoenician or...) ruins, where there are no good landing facilities?

 

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I would love to see the Maasdam go to South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Africa in the coming years.

Barbara

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4 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

This is one of the questions I would absolutely LOVE to get answered, if you ever have an opportunity to speak to someone 'in the know' about future itineraries.

 

I love the idea of the EXC program -- it sounds so similar to what I enjoyed onboard Voyages to Antiquity for the past eight years. But I am not very interested in the Pacific islands or Alaska. I want classical history. There are such great EXC opportunities that go hand in hand with classical antiquity -- okay, maybe not the use of the Zodiac boats so much, but...*

 

So is there any chance they'd send Maasdam elsewhere (e.g., to Europe) at some point? How successful has the program been and how popular among those who've been on board?  Would HAL consider dedicating another ship to doing this in Europe?

 

*Actually, now that I think about it, wouldn't it be great to be able to land on some less visited Mediterranean islands where there are wonderful Greek (or Roman or Phoenician or...) ruins, where there are no good landing facilities?

 

We’ve asked the question, but as you might imagine no one knows if HAL plans on expanding the in-depth EXC program to the Atlantic area.

 

But we did find out one zodiac costs about $90,000 and each on has a diesel outboard motor rather than gas-powered. 

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On the subject of scrambled eggs, they tasted like normal boxed eggs again. One of our big complaints the last time we sailed with HAL on the Zaandam in Jan 2018 for 22 day’s was that they were using powdered eggs. You know the ones like back in the 50s that had no texture and simply melted in your mouth. About the same time powdered milk was all the rage if you were on a tight budget. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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46 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

On the subject of scrambled eggs, they tasted like normal boxed eggs again. One of our big complaints the last time we sailed with HAL on the Zaandam in Jan 2018 for 22 day’s was that they were using powdered eggs. You know the ones like back in the 50s that had no texture and simply melted in your mouth. About the same time powdered milk was all the rage if you were on a tight budget. 

 

You can always ask one of the chefs behind the counters in the Lido to make up eggs any way, on the spot, with reals eggs. No problem telling if real or powdered that way.  Just in case HAL goes back to powdered!

 

Edited by SilvertoGold

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Looking forward to following your cruise around Australia.  We will be joining the Maasdam on November 16 for a 17 day cruise up the Queensland coast and a few islands off New Guinea.  So looking forward to it as for a bit it looked like we would have to cancel due to medical issues.  Although we are Australian, still looking forward to visiting places in Queensland we have not been to previously. Also looking forward to cruising on the Maasdam as we have not cruised on her before. Enjoy your cruise!

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16 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We have an early seating fixed table for 2 on the second level and I believe there was only a lamp. Of course I’m not sure there would be enough space for both. 
 

 

Thank you for your reply.

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10 hours ago, RuthC said:

Not anymore. Another gracious HAL touch that is dead. 

 

Thanks for your comment,  quite sad.

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When you get time please post the names of the speakers. Some of the naturalists have worked for the really expensive small ship lines but said they enjoyed the Maasdam more.

Is there Travel Tales in the Crow's Nest at 9 pm? We really enjoyed the chance to hear a personal story from a speaker then ask questions. We heard some amazing stories.

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4 hours ago, SilvertoGold said:

 

You can always ask one of the chefs behind the counters in the Lido to make up eggs any way, on the spot, with reals eggs. No problem telling if real or powdered that way.  Just in case HAL goes back to powdered!

 

Understand. It was just annoying on our Jan 2018 cruise the regular scrambled eggs tasted like they were made from powered eggs. Sometimes they can cut corners just a little too far. I avoided the issue by always ordering Eggs Benedict. It was my DW who likes them scrambled. 

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3 hours ago, ozcruizer said:

Looking forward to following your cruise around Australia.  We will be joining the Maasdam on November 16 for a 17 day cruise up the Queensland coast and a few islands off New Guinea.  So looking forward to it as for a bit it looked like we would have to cancel due to medical issues.  Although we are Australian, still looking forward to visiting places in Queensland we have not been to previously. Also looking forward to cruising on the Maasdam as we have not cruised on her before. Enjoy your cruise!

You’re going to have a great time!

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21 minutes ago, ScottishMaid said:

When you get time please post the names of the speakers. Some of the naturalists have worked for the really expensive small ship lines but said they enjoyed the Maasdam more.

Is there Travel Tales in the Crow's Nest at 9 pm? We really enjoyed the chance to hear a personal story from a speaker then ask questions. We heard some amazing stories.

When we get the When and Where on the evening before our next sea day in a few days, I’ll try to remember to write them down. Yes, on one of the two sea days we’ve had so far there was a Travel Tales presentation and it was a lot of fun.
 

In addition since maybe only 15-20 people showed up, we all asked Chris a variety of questions. One of mine was to ask if he knew if HAL was planning to expand the in-depth EXC program to other ships, but he didn’t know. 

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

When we get the When and Where on the evening before our next sea day in a few days, I’ll try to remember to write them down. Yes, on one of the two sea days we’ve had so far there was a Travel Tales presentation and it was a lot of fun.
 

In addition since maybe only 15-20 people showed up, we all asked Chris a variety of questions. One of mine was to ask if he knew if HAL was planning to expand the in-depth EXC program to other ships, but he didn’t know. 

When we were on the Maasdam in August we were told that the In Depth program had been such a success that they were going to have an EXC program on all the ships with about 4 speakers/ themes on each. I think they were to be culture, nature, photography and a visiting chef to demo local foods.

That seems pretty ambitious to find so many high quality speakers.

I think we were told this in answer to a question at a Captain's Q&A.

Edited by ScottishMaid

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46 minutes ago, ScottishMaid said:

When we were on the Maasdam in August we were told that the In Depth program had been such a success that they were going to have an EXC program on all the ships with about 4 speakers/ themes on each. I think they were to be culture, nature, photography and a visiting chef to demo local foods.

That seems pretty ambitious to find so many high quality speakers.

I think we were told this in answer to a question at a Captain's Q&A.

Did they give a timeline? In passing I briefly spoke with the person who manages the in-depth EXC program and he did mention, to his disliking by the way, that HAL was dropping the “In-depth” portion from the name.
 

If I can find out more about the future of the EXC program while we’re on the cruise, I’ll pass it along. But my guess is if they try to implement this concept fleet wide, the chances of the “in-depth” quality being maintain will probably be pretty slim. 

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5 minutes ago, erewhon said:

Ken the cruiser,

Are the Zodiacs being used during your cruise?

They offered some excursions when we were at Mystery Island yesterday and we saw some folks on those excursions using the cones to look at the reef below the water line. But I didn’t see any in the water today. 

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1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

They offered some excursions when we were at Mystery Island yesterday and we saw some folks on those excursions using the cones to look at the reef below the water line. But I didn’t see any in the water today. 

 

Thanks for your reply.

Where were you today?

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Enjoying your reports -- especially about the "in depth" part of the EXC program.  HAL seems to start something but then can't find out how to continue it.

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3 hours ago, erewhon said:

 

Thanks for your reply.

Where were you today?

Today we were at Easo, Lifou, which was on one of the New Caledonia islands. So far the weather has been great with today’s temps being in the mid 70s. 

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