Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Ken the cruiser

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

Recommended Posts

25 minutes ago, bcummin said:

 

There are  lists of 4-star mariner benefits.  Surely you will appreciate the free laundry.  Priority tender boarding varies from ship to ship with circumstances, but Btimmer reported last month that it had become very good on the Maasdam.

You will enjoy your voyage.

Barbara

Actually I was asking for specific benefits of CO that would be beneficial for me over & above the 4-star benefits.  The ones I have read are not worth much for me.  Thanks

Share this post


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

 

There are  lists of 4-star mariner benefits.  Surely you will appreciate the free laundry.  Priority tender boarding varies from ship to ship with circumstances, but Btimmer reported last month that it had become very good on the Maasdam.

You will enjoy your voyage.

Barbara

 

Agree, free laundry and priority tendering are good rewards.  Also priority check-in.  Plus 50% off specialty dining, wine packages, Explorations Cafe.

 

Something, or more, for all 4 stars and up!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, BJzink said:

Since I will be boarding Maasdam in December, I'd like to know what benefits will apply to me as a 4-star mariner.  Most of the ones I have seen do not interest me.

If you book fixed seating in the MDR, there would be no dining perk other than the special entree or dessert that would change daily. At breakfast in the MDR there would be a CO express line you can use. 
 

The only other additional perk I can see, and I don’t know if it is even real yet, is the in category upgrade perk which I don’t believe applies to cabins with suite in the name. I will need to see the T&C before making a judgement on that perk. 
 

Other than those I’m not seeing any others, but remember it won’t be implemented on the Maasdam until tomorrow and we haven’t received any info in the cabin about CO yet. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Ken the cruiser said:

If you book fixed seating in the MDR, there would be no dining perk other than the special entree or dessert that would change daily. At breakfast in the MDR there would be a CO express line you can use. 
 

The only other additional perk I can see, and I don’t know if it is even real yet, is the in category upgrade perk which I don’t believe applies to cabins with suite in the name. I will need to see the T&C before making a judgement on that perk. 
 

Other than those I’m not seeing any others, but remember it won’t be implemented on the Maasdam until tomorrow and we haven’t received any info in the cabin about CO yet. 

Thanks for your reply.  I choose to only sail on the smaller ships and always pick a cabin on Lower Promenade so I can spend time on the teak deck.  So an Upgrade wouldn't be interesting to me unless it was an upgrade to Lanai.  I do ask for fixed late dining, and I have never had to wait for seating at breakfast or lunch in the MDR.  Think I'll save my $$$,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, BJzink said:

Thanks for your reply.  I choose to only sail on the smaller ships and always pick a cabin on Lower Promenade so I can spend time on the teak deck.  So an Upgrade wouldn't be interesting to me unless it was an upgrade to Lanai.  I do ask for fixed late dining, and I have never had to wait for seating at breakfast or lunch in the MDR.  Think I'll save my $$$,

I’m hoping the in-category cabin discount would rather be where you could book the OV cabin you wanted, but only pay the price that is equivalent to the cheapest cabin in the category. For example if the price difference was $15 pp/day, then you would only be paying a net price difference of $10 per day for the other CO perks.  Then if your loyalty status was between 1-3 stars, it may be worth it. But we agree with you, at 4/5 star, it still wouldn’t be. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today the Maasdam starts Club Orange.  According to officials, they have 1 couple signed up out of 1,200 passengers.  That’s what I call a rousing success!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/16/2019 at 11:49 AM, Ken the cruiser said:

I’m hoping the in-category cabin discount would rather be where you could book the OV cabin you wanted, but only pay the price that is equivalent to the cheapest cabin in the category. For example if the price difference was $15 pp/day, then you would only be paying a net price difference of $10 per day for the other CO perks.  Then if your loyalty status was between 1-3 stars, it may be worth it. But we agree with you, at 4/5 star, it still wouldn’t be. 

Well, we did some searching on the HAL website last night on Club Orange and found the Sep 2019 news release which pretty clearly outlines the OC perks. So if you’re interested in the details, you may want to read that news release if you haven’t already done so. 
 

But for us as 4 stars who like booking vista suites, we think we’ll pass. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have just watched the Maasdam leave Sydney on the harbour webcam. The most beautiful sight. Have a great trip all on board and we will be joining in Fremantle on November 6th. Looking forward to the remainder of your reports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had a great time on our excursion to the Blue Mountains on transition day today as the weather was beautiful. Of course a cruise out of Sydney would not be the same without a picture of the Sydney Opera House.

E75463A5-6E6E-4EF4-A537-501C6F40F67D.jpeg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got caught up with your reports and explanations to everyone.  Wonderful job.

 

Glad you enjoyed to the Blue Mountains in Sydney.  Great picture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your continued narrative. We had planned the circumnavigation cruise a couple years back but health issues intervened. It's still on our bucket list. So, we are especially looking forward to circumnavigating 'with' you.

Share this post


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

Here is a list of the lectures that are scheduled to be provided on this circumnavigation cruise. 
 

9A72BA03-6A12-48D8-910E-A52AF9EA88A6.jpeg

 

You have a lot of nature and science and some photography to look forward to.

Last December and January we also had Aboriginal culture, Australian history, and Australian guest chefs. 

I hope that your list grows and that the zodiacs get used.

Barbara 

Edited by bcummin

Share this post


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

 

You have a lot of nature and science and some photography to look forward to.

Last December and January we also had Aboriginal culture, Australian history, and Australian guest chefs. 

I hope that your list grows and that the zodiacs get used.

Barbara 

We noticed that too as it would be nice to hear about Australia history and aboriginal culture at some point on the cruise. 
 

As a side note Dr Peter Carey, whom I believe was the first Director of the In-depth EXC program, left the ship in Sydney and Chris Cook, a naturalist, is now the new Director of the program.
 

In the first Storytelling Meeting we went to with Chris last week, he did mention Dr Carey was retiring, so I guess you could say we were on one of the first cruises Dr Carey was on promoting the future Maasdam In-depth EXC program (Antarctica, Jan 2018, on the Zaandam) and his last on the Maasdam (Auckland to Sydney on the Maasdam). 
 

He was definitely one impressive guy that knew his stuff! I still remember him saying on the first day we boarded the Maasdam when we saw him by chance on the promenade that he was upset that HAL is taking the “In-depth” out of the EXC name and implementing it fleet wide. Maybe these more nature-based lectures and Port-to-Table discussions under its new management as of this cruise are the beginning of the new “more general’ EXC program. 
 

I’m not complaining, as the lectures have so far been very interesting on our circumnavigation cruise, but rather just stating an observation. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ken & Barbara

Not on the Exec. list but it is usual for the Great Barrier Reef Pilot to do a very interesting talk either before Cairns or after clearing Endeavour Straits.

He will join either in Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns & usually go all the way to Darwin where he will take the ship through a strait between Cobourg Penninsular & Melville Island to starboard, into Van Diemen Gulf.

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, SeaDog-46 said:

Hi Ken & Barbara

Not on the Exec. list but it is usual for the Great Barrier Reef Pilot to do a very interesting talk either before Cairns or after clearing Endeavour Straits.

He will join either in Sydney, Brisbane or Cairns & usually go all the way to Darwin where he will take the ship through a strait between Cobourg Penninsular & Melville Island to starboard, into Van Diemen Gulf.

John

Thanks John! That sounds like another cool lecture to look forward to! Just came from an evening lecture on Big Birds which was very interesting as well. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ken, I am so envious that you got to know Dr. Peter Carey.  What he started has been magnificent.

John, long time no see.  We send our best to you and to Hayati.  Your Australia is indeed a fascinating country.

Barbara

Share this post


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

We noticed that too as it would be nice to hear about Australia history and aboriginal culture at some point on the cruise. .  .

 

You can still get some good tastes of Australian history and culture along the way.

In Darwin the Hop On - Hop Off bus takes you all around and to the free Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.  Lots of good art and history, including Aboriginal culture.

In Geraldton they have a city shuttle bus that also goes all around, including their Western Australia Museum.  Magnificent place full of nature, aboriginal history, European settlers, and the Batavia shipwreck, also free.  I could have spent all day there. 

One day is not enough in any of the ports, but on one voyage our Cruise Critic group met after each port to compare notes.  One couple left the ship in Darwin to visit Uluru in central Australia, then rejoined in the next port.

You have so much ahead of you.  Enjoy.

Barbara

Edited by bcummin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/14/2019 at 3:06 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

Power strip update. Talked with our steward and the power strips are NOT in every cabin. Then we talked with some nice folks at breakfast who are in an OV and when they asked their steward about the shortage of plugs in their cabin, a power strip with the HAL logo suddenly appeared the next day. So if you find your cabin has an insufficient number of plugs like they did, you may want to mention something to your steward. 

We were just on the Maasdam for 2.5 months in two different steerage cabins on Deck 6 and Deck 5.  There was a power strip used for the TV set and it had an unused socket.  However it was a European style receptacle.  No problemo.  We always carry a European to American adapter, so we used that to add an addition electrical connection.

 

Glad to hear you're enjoying the travel router.  It has worked well for us for several years.  I carry it in my pocket so we have internet together throughout the day.  I need to re-charge it daily.

 

We're planning to rejoin the Maasdam in April, 2020 in San Diego to sail to Mexico and back to Seattle.

 

Share this post


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

 

You can still get some good tastes of Australian history and culture along the way.

In Darwin the Hop On - Hop Off bus takes you all around and to the free Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.  Lots of good art and history, including Aboriginal culture.

In Geraldton they have a city shuttle bus that also goes all around, including their Western Australia Museum.  Magnificent place full of nature, aboriginal history, European settlers, and the Batavia shipwreck, also free.  I could have spent all day there. 

One day is not enough in any of the ports, but on one voyage our Cruise Critic group met after each port to compare notes.  One couple left the ship in Darwin to visit Uluru in central Australia, then rejoined in the next port.

You have so much ahead of you.  Enjoy.

Barbara

Thanks! We figured this is our one big go around Australia plus we had a bunch of OBC, so we have 8 hour HAL tours booked in practically every port except Komodo Island. 
 

The other nice thing about this cruise is there are 1-2 sea days between ports to recover from those long excursions! It’s funny, we did’t used to like a lot of sea days. But the older we get, the more we are starting to appreciate them on longer cruises!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ken, you have a good plan to glean the most out of the once-in-a-lifetime Australian ports.

Chris Cook was a naturalist and then in charge of the zodiac boats on the Maasdam last winter.  He should be good to lead the EXC In-Depth program.

Eric and Martin Ellis were our "Australian Ambassadors" to teach us about Aboriginal culture.  Music, dancing, artwork, heartfelt experiences.  Eric was scheduled to leave us in Fremantle to return to his "day job."  I was deeply disappointed when Martin also left with him.  They left a void.

Chris Cook will remember Eric and Martin.  Hopefully your sea days will be packed with lectures and experiences.  If you have time to talk with Chris or the front desk or anyone in command, point out that you had expected more presentations on this voyage.  For example, we had two history lecturers accompanying us the whole time we were in Australia.

Enjoy every moment!

Barbara

 

P.S.  We have been on cruises where a passenger would give a lecture or more.  IF HAL needs help, there could be Australian passengers aboard who could give some good talks about their homeland.  :)  

Edited by bcummin

Share this post


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

Thanks! We figured this is our one big go around Australia plus we had a bunch of OBC, so we have 8 hour HAL tours booked in practically every port except Komodo Island. 
 

The other nice thing about this cruise is there are 1-2 sea days between ports to recover from those long excursions! It’s funny, we did’t used to like a lot of sea days. But the older we get, the more we are starting to appreciate them on longer cruises!

 

Have you booked  an excursion to see the dragons?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/17/2019 at 8:40 PM, Ken the cruiser said:

Here is a list of the lectures that are scheduled to be provided on this circumnavigation cruise. 
 

 

9A72BA03-6A12-48D8-910E-A52AF9EA88A6.jpeg

 

As others noted, missing some history and culture talks??

 

Enjoying hearing about your continuing experiences. :classic_smile:

Share this post


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
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...