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Ken the cruiser

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

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3 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

Yes, we’re on a 2 hour HAL one. 

 

Thanks for your reply.

Remember to take bottled water and sun hat with you.

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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. 
 

The movies so far on our first 2 sea days to get us warmed up for the adventure have been Australia and Crocodile Dundee. Both were fun to see again!

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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10 hours ago, 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 like this.  Hope you are right.

Thank you for taking us along on your special voyage.

Barbara

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4 hours ago, bcummin said:

 

I like this.  Hope you are right.

Thank you for taking us along on your special voyage.

Barbara

For example we went to a talk last night given by one of the guest lecturers about the indigenous people in the northern tip of Australia just south of PNG which was quite interesting.

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That is a fascinating subject.

Hope you get more happy surprises.

Barbara

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Went on a 7 hour tour today on a crocodile safari and had a great time! Saw some crocodiles in the wild as well as several kinds of birds and a wallaby. We humans are so easily entertained! 
 

Tomorrow we arrice at Townsend where we’ll be on a 7 hour tour to a UNESCO World Heritage Rain Forest. Hopefully we’ll see all kinds of cool animals and plants. 

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I wanted to give you all an update on the food in the MDR and the evening entertainment so far on the first 13 days of our cruise. 
 

First, the food in the Maasdam MDR has been great every night and we have found it to be just as good if not better than the other cruises lines we have recently sailed on. 
 

As far as the evening entertainment in the main theater, it has also be great every night! No exceptions! Over these first 13 days, we have had 3 comedians, a mentalist and a variety of singers, all of which have been top notch! But I must say Patrick McMahon, a guitarist and singer, that was on stage tonight from Western Australia was simply fantastic!!

 

So, with our cruise only a third of the way over, we have no problem saying HAL is definitely hitting a home run so far with us regarding the entertainment, the in-depth EXC lectures and the food on the Maasdam. 
 

What’s also interesting is that there are no art auctions or Peter Maxx presentations, BBC Earth, Club HAL or music walk venues anywhere to be found on the Maasdam. However, they do have a Lincoln Stage type setup in the Explorers Lounge in the evening for those that enjoy classical music.
 

In other words from our perspective, it’s a lot like the HAL we remember back when we first started cruising with them in 2012. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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I don’t want to hijack your thread but fell obligated in the name of full disclosure to say after reading your previous post that I wonder if you and I are on the same ship.  While it has been mostly good, it is no where near any version of HAL past.  Just one example, we waited for one hour in the MDR for our lunch (two Rubens), they never came so we finally left.  Out neighbor table stuck it out.   I saw them later and they said they got their lunch after 1.5 hours.

Edited by KirkNC

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8 hours ago, KirkNC said:

I don’t want to hijack your thread but fell obligated in the name of full disclosure to say after reading your previous post that I wonder if you and I are on the same ship.  While it has been mostly good, it is no where near any version of HAL past.  Just one example, we waited for one hour in the MDR for our lunch (two Rubens), they never came so we finally left.  Out neighbor table stuck it out.   I saw them later and they said they got their lunch after 1.5 hours.

Sorry to hear that. We usually eat at a table for 2 both at lunch and dinner and are usually done within the hour for lunch and 75-80 minutes for dinner, but have never had to wait more than 5-10 minutes between servings.
 

As far as being like the HAL of old, I agree things are of course not exactly the same. For one thing there isn’t any more tasty treats at the Explorers Cafe. But at least there are plenty of things to do on sea days, especially if you like going to lectures. 

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We were in Townsville today and had a great time on a 7 hr HAL excursion to a UNESCO tropical rain forest. We drove by a bunch of 3-5 ft termite mounds on the way and received a fascinating explanation of how they critically fit in the ecosystem here. Once we arrived at the rain forest, we had a nice hour long guided tour before heading to our Bar-b-que steak lunch. Definitely a fun excursion all the way around!

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On 10/21/2019 at 8:45 AM, KirkNC said:

I don’t want to hijack your thread but fell obligated in the name of full disclosure to say after reading your previous post that I wonder if you and I are on the same ship.  While it has been mostly good, it is no where near any version of HAL past.  Just one example, we waited for one hour in the MDR for our lunch (two Rubens), they never came so we finally left.  Out neighbor table stuck it out.   I saw them later and they said they got their lunch after 1.5 hours.

BTW you are welcome to post away on this thread if it has to do with your experiences on the Australia circumnavigation cruise we’re on now. It’s always interesting to hear how different folks are experiencing the same cruise. 
 

For example we were walking on the VS deck 9 and heard a lady quite upset about not having lights in her cabin. Later on we asked our steward about it and he said there was a block of rooms without power because some folks had brought onboard their own power strips, hair dryers and irons rather than use the HAL approved ones. It seems if you overload a circuit in one cabin, it appears in some cases a block of cabins can be effectived.
 

He, of course, didn’t know for sure, but that’s what he had heard happened. Of course the person that potentially blew the circuit probably knew what they had done and put the “evidence” away before maintenance arrived. Just a guess ....

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We’re in Cairns today and went on a 5 hr HAL excursion to a Tropical Rain Forest park which had a wild life park, an Aboriginal culture presentation and a Duck tour through the tropical rain forest section in the park. Fun times, but didn’t see any wild life in the tropical rain forest portion of the tour except for a big spider. But that’s ok as they had plenty of variety in the wild life park. 
 

Entertainment last night was provided by the Sandman who was quite accomplished in his art as well as very entertaining. Simply put he created beautiful pictures using either sand or paint in the time it took to play a song. We were quite impressed!

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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10 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

BTW you are welcome to post away on this thread if it has to do with your experiences on the Australia circumnavigation cruise we’re on now. It’s always interesting to hear how different folks are experiencing the same cruise. 
 

For example we were walking on the VS deck 9 and heard a lady quite upset about not having lights in her cabin. Later on we asked our steward about it and he said there was a block of rooms without power because some folks had brought onboard their own power strips, hair dryers and irons rather than use the HAL approved ones. It seems if you overload a circuit in one cabin, it appears in some cases a block of cabins can be effectived.
 

He, of course, didn’t know for sure, but that’s what he had heard happened. Of course the person that potentially blew the circuit probably knew what they had done and put the “evidence” away before maintenance arrived. Just a guess ....

 

There is always someone who breaks the rules which only causes problems for others.  Hope they catch the person.  They could have caused a fire.

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5 hours ago, Krazy Kruizers said:

Both of your recent excursions sounded great.

 

They do sound great!  I am so hoping that this enhanced kind of cruise is offered on other ships, too.  The Maasdam experience sounds just wonderful.

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6 hours ago, AncientWanderer said:

 

They do sound great!  I am so hoping that this enhanced kind of cruise is offered on other ships, too.  The Maasdam experience sounds just wonderful.

As long as the expansion to other HAL ships is in the form of more in-depth lectures rather than by canned BBC Earth presentations and they provide quality guest entertainment every night in the main theater, we might even consider booking more HAL cruises in the future. 

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We were on the Maasdam for 40 days, end of January to beginning of March, and the entertainment started repeating itself once one leg of the cruise was over. I will be interested to hear if you have the same experience.  Have they had any guest chef's on board?  The guest chef demonstrations, and the guest chef dinners in the PG,  were very popular. We loved the Australian circumnavigation cruise - glad you're enjoying it.

 

( BTW, the zodiacs weren't used at all during the last 20 days of our 40 day cruise per local regulations. )

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The shows put on by entertainers seem to repeat themselves when they are performed at the end of one leg and they stay on to perform it again the start of the next leg. But that’s pretty common on most of the cruise lines we sail. 
 

As far as the guest chefs, there was a lecture given at 1 pm today, but we missed it because we were at lunch. Are they entertaining or is it just someone showing you how to cook something?

 

As a tidbit of information to pass along, we learned at lunch today you will only get a bowl of bread if you ask for it. It seems a lot of bread was going to waste during lunch in the MDR with folks not eating it. Seems like a smart policy change, both for them and us! Now we won’t be tempted to eat it while we wait to place our order and subsequently wait for our soup! Those extra unnecessary calories seem to add up over a 40 day period. I know, who knew??

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We discovered that about the bread basket a few years ago at lunch.  We do like our bread so we caught on quickly to ask for it right away -- when the dining room was open for lunch.

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Thank you for your updates.

Do you have to ask for a bread basket at dinner?

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1 hour ago, erewhon said:

Thank you for your updates.

Do you have to ask for a bread basket at dinner?

We haven’t had to yet, but we are in early fixed seating and our waiter knows we enjoy having a basket of bread to go along with dinner. 

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5 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

We haven’t had to yet, but we are in early fixed seating and our waiter knows we enjoy having a basket of bread to go along with dinner. 

 

That's good, thanks for your reply.

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We’re on a stretch of 3 sea days on the way to Darwin and had a great time going to 5 lectures on this the second sea day and saw another great show by Patrick McMahon!

 

We did learn another tidbit this evening. My DW loves dark chocolate desserts and if there isn’t one on the dessert menu, we usually will pass and head to the lido buffet to see if there is any “worth the calories” up there to eat. Well our MDR waiter Aday wouldn’t have anything to do with that and came back with some great chocolate cake! When we asked him where he got it, he first wouldn’t tell us. Then he told us he got it from the room service area in the kitchen. So now we know we can always get a piece of tasty chocolate cake if there isn’t anything chocolate on the dessert menu. 

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