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Holland America Line Maasdam Cruise Review
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Copyright 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman


Maasdam
Holland America Line (HAL)
Western Caribbean ~ April 8, 2001 

by Patti Botvidson

Maasdam in Cozumel

Maasdam in Cozumel*

My husband Tony and I were on the April 8th sailing of the Maasdam, doing a Western Caribbean itinerary. We cruised three years ago on the Veendam (Eastern Caribbean), and fell in love with cruising and Holland America Line.

Living in Tampa, we drove to Port Everglades, arriving at about 11:00am. The port is currently expanding its facilities so our check-in site was a huge lower level warehouse that was temporarily converted. The port employees were somewhat snippy and inconvenienced by us, but the HAL employees made the best of a bad situation. They had a long table with about eight reps checking in passngers on laptops, some chairs were set in front of a couple of huge fans, and some of the ship's stewards were serving ice water and ice tea. 

Since we were so early, we got embarkation number "1" and boarded at about 1:20, after the pre-boards and the suite passengers. After a brief stop at our cabin to drop off our carry-ons (including a case of Diet Dr Pepper, my drug of choice), we were off to the Lido for lunch. We were just finishing as it was starting to really get crowded. 

Monday was a sea day, my favorites, so we just relaxed and got some sun. I also took the galley tour, which was quite impressive. That night was the first formal night, not my favorite, being a jeans and sneakers type, but it was nice.

Tuesday was Cozumel. We decided this vacation was for R+R only, so we didn't sign up for any shore excursions. We wandered around town for awhile, bought the requisite T-shirts for the kids left at home, then had a great lunch at Carlos 'N Charlie's. That was the highlight of Cozumel for me. 

Wednesday was Grand Cayman. Again we wandered around town a bit and as one T-shirt so eloquently put it, "Same Sh*t, Different Island". 

We didn't even get off the ship in Ocho Rios (Thursday) and our table mates who did said they wished they hadn't. They went to Dunns River Falls; they said the Falls were nice but it was just too crowded. There were 4 ships in port that day and the Sandals resort guests go to the Falls on Thursdays. 

Saturday was Half Moon Cay, one of my favorite places on earth! We were on the first tender over and got a nice spot on the beach. It is so beautiful there. The Zaandam was also there that day. There isn't enough beach equipment to service two shiploads of people. We noticed the people who came ashore after 10 am were pretty much out of luck if they needed somewhere to sit. However, even totally crowded, this beach is just beautiful and I hope it stays that way.

I don't need to go on about the food and service. We all know how wonderful that is, although I was disappointed not to see any "swan thingies" this trip. Maybe they aren't making them anymore.

 Patti

Photos--Courtesy of Holland America Line and *Maasdam in Cozumel by Patti


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