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ScottishMaid

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About ScottishMaid

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Southern California
  • Interests
    Seeing new parts of the world and learning about them, nature, outdoors, hiking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America

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  1. The stewards will get you an ice bucket for the white wine and top up the ice in it morning and evening.
  2. People in 366/368/370 were unhappy on the cruise we took after dry dock. It is under the galley. However I didn't hear of people complaining on a Maasdam cruise we took last summer.
  3. Happy New Year from Jill and Joe. We loved the New Year's party on the Westerdam 3 years ago.
  4. I got a blood test which showed I have immunity. I have printed out the doctor's email saying I am immune. I couldn't remember if I had it as a child and measles is around in Los Angeles.
  5. The Maasdam offers White Island helicopter flightseeing on 1st and 28 February. No tours by boat.
  6. Even though there is a huge volume of water the Amazon is still relatively low at this time of year, as shown by the riverboats beached on the sand in the photo. When we went a second time in March the water level was right up to the retaining walls at Manaus, Paratins etc. Maybe 25 feet higher so a huge increase in volume. There was a big board at Manaus marked in depths. Maybe it is still there - as you exit the ramp from the dock.
  7. When we went there 10 years ago the Captain said we were sailing in an area that was marked as land on the paper chart. The river silt shifts constantly. We were on the Veendam with Captain Albert. Hope all goes well.
  8. Do you like to wander the deck with a pair of binoculars or camera looking for seabirds ? Would you like to attend quality lectures about wildlife, the ocean, how to take better photographs ? Would you like the option of an evening lecture between shows ? Would you like to go to small ports little visited by HAL or other cruiselines ? Would you appreciate that you are getting this at a fraction of the price of a small expedition ship such as Lindblad ? We have been on two Maasdam trips since the new EXC program started, one for 48 days from Fort Lauderdale to French Polynesia via Easter Island, and one for 46 days from Seattle to Alaska and around Japan. In January we are going on the Maasdam around New Zealand. We are going because we appreciate we are seeing some unusual ports and learning a huge amount, including about local culture, history, geology, local foods, at a bargain price and the EXC on the Maasdam may not last much more if not supported. Our experience is that about half the passengers really love the format and were traveling for multiple segments and are returning for more, whereas a small number, mostly non English speakers, enjoyed lying in the sun. However many people were totally unaware of the EXC In Depth program and had booked their cruise last minute through a travel agent or online, assuming the Maasdam was the same as any big new cruise ship. They expected a different experience.
  9. Thank you. This has been great and encouraging news for our January trip on the Maasdam.
  10. Done northbound San Diego to Vancouver twice in spring. Rough on Veendam around Santa Barbara/ Point Conception and rough, cold, windy on Amsterdam before and after San Francisco port call.
  11. 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.
  12. We were on the Maasdam for 3 segments over the summer. There was an Orange party on each segment, held in the Crow's Nest at about 9:30 pm. It was well attended - the Hotel Director, Captain, and many staff were there. There was dancing to the DJ's music and the bar tenders wore orange vests and some had orange wigs. Food was passed around, including Dutch buns and other Dutch foods. You had to buy your own drinks but it might have been Happy Hour. It usually was 9-10 pm in the Crow's Nest. There were tee shirts for sale in the shops - orange with the words Orange Party in large white letters. I didn't see many people wearing them. Some people brought their own orange items with them. A few people wore them all day. I thought on the small ship Maasdam it produced a convivial atmosphere between staff and guests. The Hotel Director Florin Dragomir told us he likes to see the guests enjoy themselves. Also it reinforced HAL's Dutch origins.
  13. To clarify what I said in post #44, we were told there may be EXC programs extended to all the ships, but they would not be as "In Depth" as on the Maasdam. I think the intent is to have more speakers than now on the other ships but not as many as on the Maasdam. Seattle has taken note that many people are interested in, for example, talks about volcanoes, or jelly fish, or Japanese etiquette, or how to take better photos or how to cook a local dish.
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