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


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I am booked on the Maasdam in April 2021 when it is doing the Mexican Riviera and then up the coast to Vancouver. You can do a very rare excursion of riding the Copper Canyon Railroad as a ship excursion when the ship goes to Topolango?. I can't wait!! 

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44 minutes ago, sambamama said:

I am booked on the Maasdam in April 2021 when it is doing the Mexican Riviera and then up the coast to Vancouver. You can do a very rare excursion of riding the Copper Canyon Railroad as a ship excursion when the ship goes to Topolango?. I can't wait!! 

When we did a Crystal Mexican Riviera cruise in Apr 2017 and went to Topolango, their excursion to the canyon was 17 hrs long for $435 each which included 2.5 hrs each way by bus to get to the train and 5.5 hrs each way by train to get to the canyon where you basically got 1.5 hrs to eat lunch and explore the canyon. Some folks who took the tour didn’t bring any cash and when they got to the canyon they didn’t have any money to pay the $45 for the tram ride down to the bottom of the canyon as they only accepted cash. 
 

Did HAL list how much and how long their excursion to the canyon was?

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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They haven't put it up yet. But I know it's expensive. Fortunately, I have $1200 of shipboard credit on this cruise. It is more about the train. I know I can't really see lots of the Copper Canyon in a day. But I had no idea of this when I booked this. This past May I took the Coast Starlight from Seattle to LA and back again, which was cool. Thanks for the head up, I will bring extra cash! 

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9 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

When we did a Crystal Mexican Riviera cruise in Apr 2017 and went to Topolango, their excursion to the canyon was 17 hrs long for $435 each which included 2.5 hrs each way by bus to get to the train and 5.5 hrs each way by train to get to the canyon where you basically got 1.5 hrs to eat lunch and explore the canyon. Some folks who took the tour didn’t bring any cash and when they got to the canyon they didn’t have any money to pay the $45 for the tram ride down to the bottom of the canyon as they only accepted cash. 
 

Did HAL list how much and how long their excursion to the canyon was?

As long as we are on a sub-topic, I just booked Maasdam for April 2020 and Copper Canyon. The cost is $550 pp. It likely will sell out.

There is no mention of an opportunity to do a tram to the bottom but they do say there will be a walking tour at the rim. Thank you for the tip as I will bring extra pesos.

From the brochure: “A 90-minute transfer by motorcoach brings you to El Fuerte, where you will board the Chihuahua Pacifico train.”
 

”The approximately six-hour rail journey (each way) winds through tunnels and over bridges, climbing to 7,200 feet above sea level.


On arrival at Copper Canyon, a short bus transfer brings you to the Mirador Hotel. Admire the vastness of the canyon from the terrace of the hotel.“
   

“This tour is long and strenuous, suitable only for participants who are prepared to spend a lengthy day on the train, which does not match the standards of rail travel elsewhere.”

 

Now back to Down Under.

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On 10/31/2019 at 6:10 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

Thanks everyone for the great Broome history lessons. Luckily our CD, Kaye, also gave a great port talk on Broome the day before while Erin, one of the naturalists, gave an in-depth one on The Kimberly.

 

Good morning, Ken.  I think that you  have two sea days between Broome and Exmouth.  I would love to hear what lectures and In-Depth preparation HAL has been providing.  Kaye and Erin sound good.  Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Enjoy your voyage!

Barbara

Edited by bcummin
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Didn’t get to go to Exmouth yesterday which was a tender port as the swells were around 6-10 ft with winds around 40 knots. So, it became another sea day with our next port being Geraldton. The lectures are still very interesting for the most part. However, after being on the ship for 27 days now with at least 16 being sea days, the lectures on flora, fauna and the history of Australia aren’t having the wow effect as they did when we first boarded. But I will say our CD, Kaye Clark, is giving fantastic port lectures to a packed house every day she has one!
 

FF0267C9-6A94-49B1-9E0F-FCB32C1D4985.jpeg

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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Ken - did you see anything of the large area of very high masts at North West Cape?

It's just north of Exmouth.

If I remember rightly it was a low frequency radio station to communicate with USA submarines built in the sixties.

It was joint USA / Australian Navy facility & Exmouth was the town built to house the staff.

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1 hour ago, SeaDog-46 said:

Ken - did you see anything of the large area of very high masts at North West Cape?

It's just north of Exmouth.

If I remember rightly it was a low frequency radio station to communicate with USA submarines built in the sixties.

It was joint USA / Australian Navy facility & Exmouth was the town built to house the staff.

We did! After we started heading south from Exmouth I went out on our balcony, and being lucky to be on the port side, we were going right past it when I did. The DW then came out and took a whole bunch of pictures. We were supposed to go to it on our excursion, but this was almost as good as we saw the entire antenna field!

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1 hour ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Why do we need the HAL's EXC when we get all great reports here?  Love all the information.

LOL!!! I have to admit this has been a fun cruise to share with a bunch of special folks like yourself. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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6 hours ago, bcummin said:

The presenters aboard can be a valuable group of experts.  We had a number of good ones last winter, wearing yellow lanyards to identify them for asking questions whenever.

Barbara

 

Please Barbara.  We’ve been on two Maasdam EXC’s and they were definitely ORANGE.  Holland, after all!😀

 

Dan O’Brien

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17 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We did! After we started heading south from Exmouth I went out on our balcony, and being lucky to be on the port side, we were going right past it when I did. The DW then came out and took a whole bunch of pictures. We were supposed to go to it on our excursion, but this was almost as good as we saw the entire antenna field!

 

So glad that you got to see the entire antenna field.

In 1971 my DH was almost assigned to the "Northwest Cape" communication station with the U.S. Navy.  Last winter we were lucky to tender to Exmouth and take a tour that included the Harold Holt Navy Base.  That countryside was even more remote and desolate than Broome.  But we got to see where we might have lived for three years.  We drove by the old buildings of the communication station and the antenna field in addition to sightseeing.  Base housing was on the outskirts of Exmouth and looked quite nice.  Good friendly people and a very nice town centered around the busy swimming pool.

I was surprised to see papa emu leading his children into town for their daily rounds.  We were told that they wander into any open doors looking for food handouts.  Later in the day I saw a group of emus visiting the exquisite hotel, getting photographed by happy guests.

Barbara 

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Hi Barbara - Pity you were not sent to the base - it would have been an unusual experiences.

I was on an oil tanker in early 1970's  that delivered fuel to NW Cape via a T head jetty inside the base.

Mooring was a great entertainment for our crew as a US Navy Bosun shouted instructions to the non seamen crew [stewards] taking the ropes from his only seamen branch men in the line boat.

The base is now operated remotely from HMAS Stirling near Perth & is still used to send messages to US hunter-killer and Australian subs.

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We are staying with family in Perth waiting for the Maasdam to arrive tomorrow, and we board on Wednesday. Have loved reading the reports of her trip around Australia. Yesterday, we spent the day on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth. Would just like to say that if any of the passengers get the chance to take a tour to the island, then definitively do it. It is wild outside the settlement, the hop on hop off bus is great, and stops at all the little coves  and walking tracks. We saw dolphins, huge seals, ospreys and off course the adorable quokkas. It is easy to do as an independent tour as the ferry leaves from quite near the cruise terminal, although it is a bit of a walk. Not cheap, but well worth it. Enjoy the rest of the cruise.

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23 minutes ago, daisybertie said:

We are staying with family in Perth waiting for the Maasdam to arrive tomorrow, and we board on Wednesday. Have loved reading the reports of her trip around Australia. Yesterday, we spent the day on Rottnest Island, just off the coast of Perth. Would just like to say that if any of the passengers get the chance to take a tour to the island, then definitively do it. It is wild outside the settlement, the hop on hop off bus is great, and stops at all the little coves  and walking tracks. We saw dolphins, huge seals, ospreys and off course the adorable quokkas. It is easy to do as an independent tour as the ferry leaves from quite near the cruise terminal, although it is a bit of a walk. Not cheap, but well worth it. Enjoy the rest of the cruise.

Thanks for the heads up. Unfortunately we’re booked on an excursion to the Yanchep NP, but that definitely sounds like a cool excursion if we didn’t already have it booked!! 
 

See you onboard and get ready for a great cruise!!

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Had fun in Geraldton on our 3.5 hr tour to a wildlife rescue park where everyone was given food pellets to feed the emus, kangaroos, alpacas and birds. We then went to an old community established in the 1860s and had some great tasting scones along with tea or coffee.

 

This picture was taken from our balcony after we docked in Geraldton. Next stop, Fremantle and Perth!

ADAF0909-FB11-4F94-B519-DA7168738627.jpeg

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58 minutes ago, daisybertie said:

The Maasdam coming into Fremantle on a beautiful sunny morning. My niece was thrilled because someone in a yellow dress on a verandah waved to her! Thank you.

1C51D32C-49E0-42FA-83BA-AB2FDCFA303F.jpeg

 

Thank you for sharing this super photo of the Maasdam

 

Wishing you a  fabulous cruise.

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6 hours ago, daisybertie said:

The Maasdam coming into Fremantle on a beautiful sunny morning. My niece was thrilled because someone in a yellow dress on a verandah waved to her! Thank you.

1C51D32C-49E0-42FA-83BA-AB2FDCFA303F.jpeg

 

Getting very excited here in Sydney because we will be boarding the Maasdam Saturday week.  We haven't done a cruise on her so looking forward to it.

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