Jump to content

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


Recommended Posts

Did your Shorex Guide list any zodiac excursions before the cruise started? If not, we’re people able to sign up in advance and how did the information get disseminated? 
 

I just put down my deposit for one of the Mexico cruises and although I have received emails about the special touches for the EXC there are no zodiac trips in the shorex booklet and all the ones listed are the run of the mill ones previously offered. I know we are about 6 months out....

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, TiogaCruiser said:

Did your Shorex Guide list any zodiac excursions before the cruise started? If not, we’re people able to sign up in advance and how did the information get disseminated? 
 

I just put down my deposit for one of the Mexico cruises and although I have received emails about the special touches for the EXC there are no zodiac trips in the shorex booklet and all the ones listed are the run of the mill ones previously offered. I know we are about 6 months out....

On the cruise we are on now, we were able to book the zodiac excursions as well as regular excursions we’ll before boarding by pulling up the booking in our HAL online account. They are also listed in the shore excursions book you are given when you board. 
 

There have been zodiac excursions at practically every port we have visited so far. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, TiogaCruiser said:

 

I just put down my deposit for one of the Mexico cruises and although I have received emails about the special touches for the EXC there are no zodiac trips in the shorex booklet and all the ones listed are the run of the mill ones previously offered. I know we are about 6 months out....

 

When you say "shorex booklet" are you looking at an actual booklet, or one printed out from the HAL site? If you printed it out (or downloaded it) early, it may not be complete, as excursions are added (and also deleted) to the shorex selections available for your specific cruise/date as time gets closer to the cruise date.

 

Have you checked the excursions available under "Manage My Booking" on the HAL site online recently? There might be some Zodiac ones there. We have a cruise in June 2020 and there are Zodiac cruises listed for our cruise date. Just a suggestion...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here’s a tidbit that may or may not interest you. You can have one of the newspaper summary printouts from various countries delivered to your stateroom every morning instead of having to go find one placed around the ship. We started using this service awhile back and all you need to do is contact customer service to get it started. This is one of those services HAL still offers that we rarely see on any of the other cruise lines we sail. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, PSR said:

 

When you say "shorex booklet" are you looking at an actual booklet, or one printed out from the HAL site? If you printed it out (or downloaded it) early, it may not be complete, as excursions are added (and also deleted) to the shorex selections available for your specific cruise/date as time gets closer to the cruise date.

 

Have you checked the excursions available under "Manage My Booking" on the HAL site online recently? There might be some Zodiac ones there. We have a cruise in June 2020 and there are Zodiac cruises listed for our cruise date. Just a suggestion...

Thanks. I’ll check online. I was referring to the “Personalized” Shorex pdf you can download when you are booked.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Went on a 5 hr HAL excursion to a wildlife park today about an hour from Darwin and had a fun time watching a bird show and walking around the park for a couple of hours. 
 

But one thing we learned again today was that we are so happy we booked our circumnavigation cruise to go around Australia in October and early November. The main reason being the dry season in Australia runs mainly from April through October while their wet season runs from November through March.
 

We had originally booked an Oceania cruise that was scheduled to go around Australia starting in early December which from everything we’re hearing is when it gets very hot and very wet, especially around the northern part of Australia. Just thought I’d pass that little tidbit along in case you were planning a future Australia circumnavigation cruise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Went on a 5 hr HAL excursion to a wildlife park today about an hour from Darwin and had a fun time watching a bird show and walking around the park for a couple of hours. 
 

But one thing we learned again today was that we are so happy we booked our circumnavigation cruise to go around Australia in October and early November. The main reason being the dry season in Australia runs mainly from April through October while their wet season runs from November through March.
 

We had originally booked an Oceania cruise that was scheduled to go around Australia starting in early December which from everything we’re hearing is when it gets very hot and very wet, especially around the northern part of Australia. Just thought I’d pass that little tidbit along in case you were planning a future Australia circumnavigation cruise.

 

 

Thank you for the information.

 

Glad you enjoyed your excursion and have booked another cruise.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/24/2019 at 7:51 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

Here’s a tidbit that may or may not interest you. You can have one of the newspaper summary printouts from various countries delivered to your stateroom every morning instead of having to go find one placed around the ship. We started using this service awhile back and all you need to do is contact customer service to get it started. This is one of those services HAL still offers that we rarely see on any of the other cruise lines we sail. 

 

When HAL stopped delivering the Times Digest a few years ago, we asked for one to be delivered to the cabin each morning.  Now I have read that that may not be possible.

Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

 

When HAL stopped delivering the Times Digest a few years ago, we asked for one to be delivered to the cabin each morning.  Now I have read that that may not be possible.

Not sure what you mean. We get the 4 page USA Times delivered to our cabin every morning ever since we called customer service and asked. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad that you enjoyed Darwin, Ken.

We were in Sydney last Dec 21, Perth January 6, and Darwin January 14.  There were dire predictions of the cyclone season on the west coast of Australia, but they did not materialize.  We were just glad to get to make the voyage.

There were some hot days:  Darwin 88 degrees F,  Broome 91, Exmouth 111 (good day for an air-conditioned tour bus), Perth 89, Adelaide 101, Tasmania 65, and Sydney 81.  (just some of our ports)

I don't remember much rain, except for Sydney one evening (downpour), Adelaide, and Darwin's thunderstorm one late afternoon.

Certainly, plan for the best time to go visit Australia, but the most important thing is to just go !

Barbara

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bcummin said:

Glad that you enjoyed Darwin, Ken.

We were in Sydney last Dec 21, Perth January 6, and Darwin January 14.  There were dire predictions of the cyclone season on the west coast of Australia, but they did not materialize.  We were just glad to get to make the voyage.

There were some hot days:  Darwin 88 degrees F,  Broome 91, Exmouth 111 (good day for an air-conditioned tour bus), Perth 89, Adelaide 101, Tasmania 65, and Sydney 81.  (just some of our ports)

I don't remember much rain, except for Sydney one evening (downpour), Adelaide, and Darwin's thunderstorm one late afternoon.

Certainly, plan for the best time to go visit Australia, but the most important thing is to just go !

Barbara

Which cruise ship were you on as it sounds like you were on a clockwise cruise going around Australia? In any event I’m glad to hear you were able to avoid the heavy rains. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

We were on your Maasdam last winter.  Yes, clockwise.  Not a full circumnavigation from Sydney to Darwin, but we had already enjoyed Darwin to Sydney.  It was a glorious voyage, as yours will also hopefully be.

Barbara

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is our first of 2 sea days after leaving Darwin on the way to Komodo Island. This morning we went to the “Ask the Captain” Q&A session. The questions were mostly what you would expect with pretty much the answers you would expect, especially when it comes to the Maasdam which is the oldest ship in the fleet at 26 years. 
 

But the Captain’s answer to an internet bandwidth question was quite enlightening, at least to me. 
 

Simply put if a cruise ship is sailing in waters such as the Caribbean where there are a lot of ships demanding satellite internet service from a specific company, that company will make available a larger bandwidth to all the ships because it is profitable for them to do so. However, if you are sailing in waters where there aren’t a lot of ships, the satellite company providing the bandwidth service will most likely open a much smaller bandwidth stream as the overall demand would be much lower. In other words they might open an 8 lane highway to the satellite in the Caribbean and just a 2 lane dirt road in some of the more remote areas around the globe. 
 

For example in our case, when we were cruising on the Maasdam from New Zealand to Sydney by way of some New Caledonia islands, I had no issues sending pictures via FB Instant Messenger to family back home in the US. However, once we went through the Torres Straits a few days ago heading towards Darwin, I couldn’t do it anymore and wound up sending them via email.
 

Point being there aren’t a lot of ships cruising in the North Australian waters whereas there was a lot more demand by a variety of ships sailing in the triangular area between Auckland, New Caledonia and Sydney. 
 

Anyway, I thought I would share that little tidbit in case you ever encountered a similar situation while cruising in a remote area around the globe. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Not sure what you mean. We get the 4 page USA Times delivered to our cabin every morning ever since we called customer service and asked. 

 

There was mentioned on here a few weeks ago that there won't be a Times Digest -- thus no word puzzles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

 

There was mentioned on here a few weeks ago that there won't be a Times Digest -- thus no word puzzles.

Ah, I vaguely remember that thread. For what it’s worth, there is a crossword puzzle every day in the USA Times we get onboard. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/19/2019 at 2:51 AM, Ken the cruiser said:

Something tells me the list I posted are just some of the planned talks. With 14 sea days on this 30 day cruise, with an average of 4-5 talks on each sea day, I’m sure there will be some cultural lectures thrown in there along the way. At least that’s the hope. 

 

I'm curious, now that you've been aboard a bit longer -- are you finding it to be true that there are more lectures on offer than those outlined initially?  

 

 

On 10/24/2019 at 9:05 AM, Ken the cruiser said:

On the cruise we are on now, we were able to book the zodiac excursions as well as regular excursions we’ll before boarding by pulling up the booking in our HAL online account. They are also listed in the shore excursions book you are given when you board. 
 

There have been zodiac excursions at practically every port we have visited so far. 

 

Have you done any of the zodiac excursions or have you heard feedback from anyone who has?  I remember one of the concerns expressed initially about the idea of having them was that only a few people would be able to sign up for one -- guess it depends on how many of the zodiacs they are using for a given excursion...

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

I'm curious, now that you've been aboard a bit longer -- are you finding it to be true that there are more lectures on offer than those outlined initially?  

 

 

 

Have you done any of the zodiac excursions or have you heard feedback from anyone who has?  I remember one of the concerns expressed initially about the idea of having them was that only a few people would be able to sign up for one -- guess it depends on how many of the zodiacs they are using for a given excursion...

Yes, there have been between 4-5 lectures on each of the 7 sea days so far with no repeats yet on the 30 day circumnavigation leg we’re on right now. 
 

As far as the zodiac excursions go, we have not booked any of them, but they are being offered and folks are going on them. However, we haven’t personally talked with anyone that has gone on any of them. Usually they involve cruising along the shoreline, snorkeling and going to a beach which just doesn’t interest us. I believe they have 10 working zodiacs, so capacity shouldn’t be an issue. I think we saw 3-4 in the water when we were at Mystery Island. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
Link to post
Share on other sites
45 minutes ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Yes, there have been between 4-5 lectures on each of the 7 sea days so far with no repeats yet on the 30 day circumnavigation leg we’re on right now. 
 

As far as the zodiac excursions go, we have not booked any of them, but they are being offered and folks are going on them. However, we haven’t personally talked with anyone that has gone on any of them. Usually they involve cruising along the shoreline, snorkeling and going to a beach which just doesn’t interest us. I believe they have 10 working zodiacs, so capacity shouldn’t be an issue. I think we saw 3-4 in the water when we were at Mystery Island. 

 

Thanks; great answers. :classic_cool:  I probably wouldn't be interested in those types of Zodiac excursions either. Now if they were actually making a landing and seeing something....

Link to post
Share on other sites

My question is if you have been hearing any lectures about Australian history, explorers, and aborigines?

 

Not everyone is zodiac material.  I certainly am not.  Trying to sit balanced on the inflated outer edge of the craft would scare me to death.  And those tours are very expensive.  Some people loved them on our In-Depth voyage last winter, except for sitting so exposed in the hot sun the whole time.

 

Barbara

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, cruisemom42 said:

 

Thanks; great answers. :classic_cool:  I probably wouldn't be interested in those types of Zodiac excursions either. Now if they were actually making a landing and seeing something....

I think one of the positives of the zodiac excursions is looking at the reefs and all of the fish swimming around them using a viewing funnel they let you use that lets you see below the water line while you’re above them. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, bcummin said:

My question is if you have been hearing any lectures about Australian history, explorers, and aborigines. 
 

Barbara

Yes and no. Yes, they have had some lectures that have included some of the various explorers, especially with regards to Captain James Cook. They also had one about how some aborigines near Darwin traded goods, especially sea cucumbers, with the Dutch and some islanders west of PNG during the spice trading days.
 

They also had a few talks about the indigenous people, but not aborigines, that live on the islands in the Torres Straits in and around Thursday Island. But so far they have mostly been about coral, fish, bats, tropical rain forests, photography and some very in-depth port lectures given by Kay, our Cruise and Travel Director. In fact she gave such a good one about Komodo Island today, she is giving it again tomorrow because there wasn’t enough room in the theater for everyone to attend it today. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

 some very in-depth port lectures given by Kay, our Cruise and Travel Director. In fact she gave such a good one about Komodo Island today, she is giving it again tomorrow because there wasn’t enough room in the theater for everyone to attend it today. 

Is this Kay, the lady from New Zealand who was formerly an EXC guide on the Maasdam? She is very enthusiastic about the program.

Also do you still have Captain Arno Jutten and Hotel Director Florin Dragomir? If not who are the current Captain and hotel director?

Enjoying all your information as we will be back on board in January.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2020
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Q&A with Chris Prelog, President of Windstar Cruises!
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...