Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Holland America
Sailing Date: May 20th, 2006
Pros: Ports and Staff
Cons: Slow debarkation, probably due to Port of Montreal staffing
Maasdam by Rob Holloway Eastern Canada May 20, 2006
Cabin Category: Balcony Cabin Number: 165. Cruise length, 7 nights.
Our vacation was to spend a week with our daughter who works in Boston, then take the seven (7) night MS Maasdam cruise from Boston to Montreal and visit our other daughter in Montreal, and her children. We wanted to take a cruise with less people (1,266) instead of the 2,600 type ship. It worked out well as we celebrated a birthday in Boston, then our grandson's in Montreal. We flew from Victoria BC (Vancouver Island) Canada to Ottawa then to Boston for a week prior. We stayed at Hotel 140 for $149 US a night. Hotel 140 is located just off Cobley Square and is a renovated YWCA. Very clean room , small but the price and location in heart of Boston at graduation time cannot be beat. Logan airport is busy and old but taxi service was fine and rate was about $25 which includes the tunnel and AP fee. Taxi to the pier itself in the south end was about $15 including tip. Porters took our bags about 11:30am, swift check-in after we were assigned number 3 group. We were onboard around by noon with rooms available by 1pm. They take you to Lido deck to wait and a buffet is available.
One tender to Bar Harbor, pier stops each day (Halifax, Sydney, Charlottetown, sea day to Saguenay Fjord , Quebec, Montreal). All our tour tickets were pre-booked and pre-paid. The tickets were in our cabin when we arrived. Holland America does a very good job in selection and tour operations.
Our dining room service was excellent, table 64 (1st seating). The table was set for 10 and only about 7 showed up, which dropped down to two couples and one single lady. Next time we will stay with the 6:15 seating or later as it is too early when you return from a tour to relax. Additionally, we will request a table for 6, as it is easier to get to know people. We did have a good time with our table mates. We used room service for breakfast most days and tipped $2 each day, those trays are heavy to carry from the dining room. Always on time and excellent food choices.
We used the laundry service and it was returned same day even though we selected normal service, what a surprise to us. Our room steward (ASEP) room 165 Balcony V deck was excellent.
The entertainment was a good mix, though they could have more local talent. We are in our early sixties and were in the younger group but who cares? Lots of energy and at night the younger folks held court.
The ship has been renovated and those beds were wonderful and comfortable. Internet service is expensive at $0.75 a minute with a set-up fee and plans to a lower rate. The speed was slow, not like a true ADSL/CABLE. The room and computers though were excellent.
What was missing, a moot point , was not knowing the order of colors departing the ship on the last day. We did arrive late by about an hour, but as we were one the last groups, we were off by 10-10:30am in Montreal.