Cruise Planner by Cruise Diva
Discover the world of cruise travel

Holland America Line Maasdam Cruise Review
Make the most of your cruise vacation with information from

Get ready to cruise with Cruise Wear, Accessories, Luggage & More from
The Cruise Shop

 Cruising by the Book ~ Top Picks in 
Cruise Guidebooks

The favorite of serious cruise travelers:
Cruise Travel Magazine
Cruise Travel

Have a question or a review to submit?

Copyright © 1995-2002 
Linda Coffman

August 25-September 10, 2000
Journey to the Northern Isles

by Mary Ann Rizzo

Since there appears to be more than casual interest in the travelogue aspect of this review, this review covers the itinerary and cruise itself. As always, the opinions are my own. Others who were on the cruise may have differing views. For those who may be reading one of my reviews for the first time, my first ocean voyage was 50 years ago, and my love of ships and the sea has never abated. I have sailed well over 100 times (I’ve honestly lost count), but the Lines include Holland America, Crystal, Silversea, Seabourn, Cunard, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Matson, United States Lines, American Export, Italian Line. . .I probably have made as many ocean crossings as I have cruises. This particular voyage was a wonderful blend of the two in that we had a mix of exciting ports and relaxing days at sea as we traversed the North Sea and North Atlantic.

More than a year ago, we noticed a most intriguing itinerary in Holland America’s just-released MARINER (Alumni) publication. It was a 16-day cruise/crossing aboard the MAASDAM from Copenhagen to New York, calling at Oslo, Greenock/Glasgow, Belfast, Stornoway (Isle of Lewis, Hebrides Islands), Reykjavik (Iceland), Qaqortoq (Greenland) and St. John’s (Newfoundland). Quite different from Holland America’s usual transatlantic repositionings... Fortunately, we had the good sense to pounce immediately because it did not take long for the ship to sell out! It also featured the Big Band sound of the Harry James Orchestra.

When planning such a trip, I always arrive in my departure city at least one day before sailing, and this was no different, except that I added an additional day to visit friends in New Jersey before continuing on to Copenhagen, and then stayed in my old home “town”, Manhattan, three days afterwards to take care of some business and to see additional friends. I arranged my own air using frequent flier miles from Phoenix to Newark and return from JFK Airport, and booked Holland America air from Newark non-stop to Copenhagen on SAS, upgrading to Business Class (there is no First Class). Despite a summer rife with airline problems, I was extremely fortunate – my flights from/to Phoenix on America West were excellent, as was my flight on SAS. I stayed overnight at the Radisson SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, where I normally stay. It is centrally located across from Tivoli Gardens, and, this year, I had a lovely, renovated room on one of the Club floors. 

It is only a short taxi ride from there to the Langelinie pier. Since I had made my own hotel arrangements, I did not have a transfer as did those who had booked a pre-cruise package through Holland America. Friends who had booked such a package told me that they were given a wonderful, several-hour tour of Copenhagen in the morning before going to the ship.

Check-in was a breeze dockside, and I was soon walking up the gangway.  Gloved Stewards were plentiful, greeting guests as they boarded, and taking their hand-carried pieces as they escorted them to their accommodations. My suite was midships on Navigation Deck (Deck 10). The suites are approximately 563 square feet with the verandah, and extremely spacious and comfortable. The verandahs are a dream! Among the suite amenities are fluffy terry robes for use during the voyage, FREE laundry/dry cleaning/pressing, personalized stationery, hot and cold late afternoon hors d’oeuvres, invitations to cocktail parties and to dinners and/or lunches (depending upon the length of the cruise) hosted by the ship’s Officers. Dinner menus are brought early each day so that you can peruse the meal selections. One Steward does ALL the work, and no matter how soon I returned in the morning, my suite was already cleaned and made up. By coincidence, my Steward, Amoy, was the same gentleman I had aboard Veendam in 1996!

MAASDAM, the second in the series of S-class ships, is beautifully elegant like her sisters. She started service in 1993 after Statendam (1992), and was followed by Ryndam (1994) and Veendam (1996). The four ships are virtually identical (a few minor differences in some public room design) except for decor, and when you’ve already sailed on one of them, you feel right at home in the others. For that matter, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Volendam and Zaandam are slightly larger versions of the S-class sisterships, but with the addition of a midships bank of elevators and companionway, an alternative dining room, and — in the case of co-flagships Rotterdam and Amsterdam — a deck exclusively comprised of suites with their concierge and lounge.

Rather than go into details about the ship, let me concentrate on the itinerary. We “steamed” a total of 4741 nautical miles in 16 days. We missed our call at Stornoway because of heavy seas and strong winds, and our Captain wisely decided to move on when he determined that conditions would not improve.

A word about our Captain, Peter J. van Maurik. I was absolutely delighted when I saw his name upon boarding the ship. He was Master of Statendam on my Circle Hawaii cruise in 1997, and he left a very positive impression on me. He did not disappoint during this voyage. First and foremost, he is a fine Officer. But he also is most knowledgeable, has a charming personality and great wit. We eagerly awaited his 1:00pm daily “The Voice From the Bridge” navigational reports, which usually left us chuckling for one reason or another.

Lifeboat drill was held at 4:15pm August 25th, while we were still dockside in Copenhagen. These drills are taken very seriously on Holland America, and this was no exception. An additional lifeboat drill was held our second week at sea.

We held a sailaway cocktail party for our group in the Crow’s Nest at 5:00pm so that everybody could meet each other, and so we could view our departure from a prime vantage point. The North Sea was calm that night as we sailed at full speed towards Oslo, and we awoke to a sunny, warm day (mid 70’s F) as we made our way through the Oslofjord to Norway’s capital city. Having been to Oslo a number of times, I decided simply to walk around on my own, but I had recommended Vigeland Sculpture Park as a must-see for those on tour or sightseeing on their own.

Our next two days were at sea, giving those with jet lag some time for relaxation and adjustment to the new time zones. The North Sea can be rough, and August 27th was no exception. We passed a number of oil rigs, but some guests were losing their sea legs and probably missed seeing some or all of them. I wasn’t bothered at all, and barely noticed the motion. The next day was sunny and calm as we sailed north of Scotland through the Hebrides and the Orkney Isles. The ocean was mirror smooth and it was one of those days where you didn’t know which way to turn. These rather barren-looking islands were most impressive for their ruggedness.

We docked in Greenock, Scotland (port for Glasgow) at 7:00am August 29th – a bright, sunny, mild (mid-60’s F) day. Friends of mine came aboard to spend the day with me so, once again, I had not arranged any tours for myself. My advice to those who asked me was to be certain to choose a tour that included beautiful Loch Lomond. Without exception, they all raved about its beauty and the beauty of the countryside. I merely sighed wistfully, as my former beau lives near Glasgow... As we sailed from Greenock at 6:00pm, bagpipers were playing for us on the pier. They happened to play one of my favorites, as I stood there transfixed. I’m one of those who love bagpipe music. You could see traffic lined up on the shoreline road in Greenock as we sailed down the Clyde – I remembered the same scene ten years ago as I departed Greenock on QE2.

We docked in Belfast, Northern Ireland the following day. Once again, we were blessed with excellent weather – clear, mild (mid 60’s F). We docked close by the Harland & Wolff shipyards of Titanic fame, and which lost out to Chantiers de l’Atlantique in France on the bid to build Cunard’s QM2 Project. I chose the “Giant’s Causeway & Old Bushmills Distillery” (8.5 hours) tour. and enjoyed every minute of it. There were a number of motorcoaches, so some went to Giant’s Causeway first, others, to Old Bushmills first. My bus was among the latter. It was around a 2-hour drive from Belfast to the Distillery, through lush green countryside. The rolling hills with grazing sheep and/or cattle, and the beautiful homes were just as impressive as those in the Irish Republic. 

We spent about 1.5 hours at Old Bushmills, said to be the world’s oldest legal distillery (dating back to the early 17th Century) – a most interesting tour with video, then walking through the distillery to learn about the various stages of distilling the single malt whiskey (Irish whiskey is spelled with the ‘e’, Scotch whisky is without that vowel). Afterwards, some volunteers were called upon to test various whiskeys and everyone was given samples of our choice. I can truly say it’s the first time I ever had a drink at 10:30am!!! But the hot toddy that I selected was very good indeed. Now if I could only remember the proportions of the ingredients! We had a little time to mill around the gift shop and walk around the premises. I must comment on one unusual topic of conversation while we were there. They have the most extraordinarily clean lavatories we have ever seen anywhere! It was amazing.

From Bushmills, we continued on to Ballantrae where we stopped for lunch at a charming restaurant named Sweeney’s, overlooking the water. We were served a nice meal, but it was amusing to see the varied reactions on the faces of those who ordered, and tasted, Guinness for the first time. Some were not expecting its dark color and bitter taste.

After lunch, we continued along the rugged County Antrim coast to the ruins of Dunluce Castle. We were given a few minutes to take photos of this impressive site, its origins dating back 500 years or more. It was a short ride from there to the visual splendor of Giant’s Causeway. Although this awesome formation at the water’s edge was formed by volcanic eruptions and cooling lava, it has a mythological “explanation” as well. Legend has it that it that it was the work of giants (hence its name), and in particular, that of one Finn McCool, an Ulster warrior who lived in the County Antrim headlands. He built the Causeway so that the giant lady he loved, who lived in one of the Hebrides Islands, could walk across it to Ireland. Legend aside, Giant’s Causeway is an utterly amazing area of some 40,000 basalt rock columns and formations up to 40 feet high. The lava in the cliffs is said to be 90 feet thick in places. Many Maasdam passengers seemed to be children again as they made their way up and down the rocks, frolicking and laughing. For anyone who knows what the weather in that area can be like – cold, blustery, stormy with gales – the sea was amazingly calm. We were extremely fortunate with calm winds, bright blue skies and mild temperatures in the mid-60’s F. We could not have “ordered” better weather! The Tour was over 8 hours long, cost $148.00, and was worth every penny to me. Although I’m not usually one to opt for all-day tours, this was the first of two during our cruise/crossing, each of which I thoroughly enjoyed and heartily recommend to anyone who may be taking this journey in the future. 

Our next port of call was to have been Stornoway, Isle of Lewis in the Hebrides (home of the famous Harris Tweed) on August 31st. Unfortunately, high seas and strong winds prevented safe tender operations. We remained at anchor for a while, but Captain van Maurik wisely decided that it would be too dangerous to allow people to go ashore when the weather showed no signs of improving, so we pulled anchor and continued on our way toward Iceland. Our onboard accounts were promptly credited for the port charges and complimentary wine was offered at dinner.

We were at sea the next day, sailing in a Force 7 (near gale) storm. I’ll say it now, and I’ll say it again farther along. Maasdam took the heavy seas extremely well. I was barely aware of motion, and the fact that the dining room was not empty at meal times attested to the fact that guests were not losing their sea legs. In fact, we had been informed that at least one of our group was very prone to seasickness. Lucky lady appeared to be fine throughout the voyage, regardless of sea conditions! I was pleased for her sake. According to our Cruise Log, the Aurora Borealis was visible around 1:00am on September 2nd. Unhappily, I was not one of those who saw it.

We docked in Reykjavik at 8:00am September 2nd, another bright, sunny day with temperatures in the mid-50’s F (it felt warmer). How can I describe the day? I cannot even begin to do it justice by describing it in superlatives! The Icelandic landscape is nothing short of surreal. The panoramas are breathtaking.  The air is so refreshingly unpolluted. Even this worldly traveler could do nothing but marvel at one breathtaking sight after another. I  wisely selected “The Golden Circle” Tour (8 hours), which included Gullfoss, Geysir and Thingvellir National Park.

Our first stop was the village of Hveragerdi. Iceland is a land of geothermal waters and these heated waters have helped to build a thriving greenhouse industry to raise plants and crops. We stopped at one of them, named Eden. Definitely not what one would expect to see not far from the Arctic Circle!!!

As we headed out into the countryside, we became aware very quickly of the total lack of trees. There is only one way to describe the countryside – surreal. I thought I was living a Salvador Dali  painting! Was this a lunar landscape covered in green grass? How amazing. The terrain was definitely volcanic. Look left. Look right. Puffs of steam vapor arising here, there. Which way to look? We stopped at a volcanic crater whose bottom was filled with water. Photo opportunity. We stopped at a lovely, modern church in a historical parish named Skolholt. Another photo opportunity. Beautiful, tranquil panorama with Icelandic ponies grazing nearby. More photos. 

From there, we continued on to the Geysir geothermal area. Again, the only word that comes to mind is ‘surreal’. It is filled with steam vents and hot springs of varying sizes, and the odor of sulphur  permeates the air near some of them. The most active of the hot springs is a geyser named ‘Strokkur’, and it spouts every 3 minutes or so. One can stand close to it to watch the sequence of action. The pool’s water bubbles, then is sucked  down as if in an eddy, and finally water is spewed forth 20-30 feet (possibly more) into the air. Then the water settles in the pool and the whole process begins anew. It’s mesmerizing! We spent around 30-45 minutes there, and walked across the street to a delightful restaurant where we enjoyed a leisurely 3-course luncheon before continuing on to our next spectacular stop, Gullfoss or ‘Golden Waterfalls’. It has a 105-foot double cascade, and is Iceland’s most powerful waterfall. Legend has it that, if you see a rainbow in its mist, you will return to Iceland. I’m overjoyed to say I saw one! This was another area where folks were walking and running hither and yon to take photos. Our tour guide mentioned to us that the Icelandic government, at one time, wanted to transform this magnificent waterfall into a hydroelectric plant, but the daughter of a nearby farmer took it upon herself to plead with the government not to do so... and, thank goodness, she won, having got the support of the Nation! Gullfoss was turned into a national park. We hated to leave, but there was more on the agenda for the day, so it was back on the motor coach.

As we were driving through the countryside, we came upon some Icelandic ponies and their riders, and we asked if we could stop. Our driver and tour guide obliged. Now, mind you, I’m lucky that I can distinguish the head from the tail on a horse, but I found the history of these ponies most interesting. They are rather short (well, they are ponies!) and are absolutely purebred. They date back as far as modern Icelandic history goes (over 1000 years), and there has been no crossbreeding. They are the same animal that has existed down through the centuries. The riders were quite pleased to have us dote over their ponies. They (the ponies) would soon be going up the mountains on their own (!!) for the winter, and the owners would retrieve them in springtime.

Our final destination, before returning to the ship, was historic Thingvellir National Park, the site where the first legislative assembly (parliament) convened in 930 AD, and continued for many centuries. Nothing remains today, however. But Thingvellir is noted for something else. It is where the tectonic plates of the North American and Eurasian continents converge. One can actually stand with one foot in “North America” and one foot in “Eurasia”. Did I do so? No. This was our last stop before returning to the ship. For anyone visiting Iceland, I most heartily recommend this tour. It was my second all-day tour on this voyage and, again, worth every penny. As you can probably surmise, I was fascinated by Iceland and hope to return!

Sunday, September 3rd was another sea day, this time sailing through the Denmark Strait as we made our way through Force 8 winds (gale), rain and 20-25 foot seas towards Cape Farewell/Prince Christian Sound in Greenland. Once again, motion was negligible aboard Maasdam, even in the Crows Nest, which is high up and at the forward end of the superstructure. 

I had not been able to find much information on Prince Christian Sound, and map makers must have conspired to keep details pretty much to themselves as well. So we (the guests) were rather unprepared for what lay ahead. Captain van Maurik told us that we would be cruising the area weather permitting, that it was the first time Holland America was sailing there, and that we would have no pilot. September 4th dawned to bright skies (although it did cloud over) and placid waters. The weather gods were blessing us! This was to be another day of visual delights, one more breathtaking than the next. Picture the splendor of the Norwegian fjords, combine it with the majestic ruggedness of Alaska (Glacier Bay, Misty Fjord, Tracy Arm/Endicott, Hubbard Glacier, etc), and you can barely begin to describe Prince Christian Sound! Icebergs (yes, ICEBERGS) to port and starboard, ice floes everywhere, glaciers,  placid fjords. Absolutely incredible, pristine beauty. We sailed slowly and silently through the area from around 8:00am to shortly past 6:00pm, barely creating a wake. And what an awesome background in which to hold our second safety drill of the voyage! The air was crisp and cold, and you could “smell” the ice. I remember when we used to cross the North Atlantic in April or late September aboard RMS Queen Elizabeth, you could always tell when you were near ice floes or icebergs by the odor in the air! This was indeed a most memorable day, and kudos go to the Bridge for outstanding navigation, thus making it possible for us to experience such wonderful scenery. It wasn’t Alaska in Greenland, nor was it the Norwegian fjords in Greenland. It was uniquely Prince Christian Sound. 

Around 7:00am on September 5th, we dropped anchor off of Qaqortoq (Julianehaab), Greenland. It was a dreary day, with a soft rain falling. This is the largest village in southern Greenland, population approximately 3,500. The wood-sided buildings were all brightly painted – blue, red, yellow, etc. The town is noted for its collections of stone art, all sculpted out of the local granite to create the theme of “Stone and Man”. Sculptor, Aka Hoegh, brought 18 Nordic sculptors to Qaqortoq during 1993-94, commissioning them to carve relief or sculpt from native monoliths. There are 24 modern “petroglyphs” depicting, in some form or other, Nordic life. Although two tours were offered, I chose to stroll around parts of the town with friends. We laughed like children, not having sense enough to come in out of the rain! The challenge of the day, and of the remainder of our trip, was to learn the proper pronunciation of Qaqortoq – was it KAKortok, QUACKortok, CAULKortok?? Evidently, all are correct... 

We raised anchor just before 4:30pm, and set our course in a southerly direction toward Newfoundland. Having been fortunate enough to visit, previously, the other ports of call on this itinerary (except for Stornoway), Iceland and Greenland were the two countries that I really had been looking forward to seeing. I was not disappointed!

September 6th was another sea day, cool (upper 40’s F), overcast and Force 8/9 winds. Force 9 (strong gale) on the Beaufort Scale translates to winds up to 54mph, waves up to 32 feet. Again, Maasdam took the seas very well, and the various dining venues were full at meal times. Obviously, sea legs were quite sturdy! 

We were around a half-hour late docking in St. John’s the morning of September 7th and, once again, it was a glorious, sunny day with temperatures around 60 F. We were welcomed at the pier by the Town Crier, and Sailor, the Newfoundland dog. Although I had never been to this city, I opted to walk around on my own with friends. In retrospect, I regret not having taken one of the city tours – well, next time. European fishermen called St. John’s harbor their summer home as early as the late 15th century, but the British were considered the first permanent settlers in the mid-eighteenth century. I didn’t wander much further than the immediate area near the port, but others on tour commented how pretty and interesting they found the city. As I said – next time! Some local talent came aboard in mid-afternoon, but being a dog-lover, I was most interested in Sailor, the Newfie who was permitted on board. Those of us owned by our pets wished that ours were there, too!! By that time, I had been separated from Cappuccino (Pucci), my pup, for almost 3 weeks, and I missed him.

This was our last port of call before reaching our destination of New York. We had two more sea days ahead of us, but the thought of journey’s end was already becoming a reality. I was able to pack at leisure during that time, and didn’t even have to resort to an expandable, folding bag that I always pack with me. Friday, September 8th was another day of Force 8 winds and heavy seas – again, barely perceptible motion on the ship. The next day, the seas were mirror smooth. It’s not unusual to encounter fog in this area (off the grand banks of Newfoundland), but we had none.

Friends of mine were on this cruise, most of whom had never sailed into the port of New York. I moved from Manhattan 18 years ago, and have not regretted the move. I must admit, however, that I still become teary-eyed when passing the Statue of Liberty, seeing the Manhattan skyline and sailing up the North (aka Hudson) River. I suggested that they be out on deck by 5:30am, which was before dawn, and I would explain the sights as we headed up river. We were playing tag with Pacific Princess, too. We docked the farthest north at the New York Passenger Terminal, and as it turned out, four other ships followed us in in short order – Pacific Princess, Nordic Empress, Rembrandt (formerly Rotterdam V) and Regal Empress. 

Having disembarked in New York for 49 years, when I noticed that five ships arrived at the same time, I thought “OHMYGOSH”. Pandemonium on the piers. Well, it did take awhile to clear the ship – but that was 95 percent due to those charming stragglers who inevitably forget to present themselves to the Front Desk to settle their accounts. I disembarked about a half hour later than anticipated, but I was comfortable as I waited. Suite guests had been instructed to muster in the Piano Bar. I had already had breakfast, but noticed that orange juice, coffee and pastries were available while we waited. 

Let me comment a bit about the onboard experience. For a veteran sailor, this 16-night itinerary was an ideal combination of ports of call and sea days. Not including Copenhagen and New York, we had seven ports (one of which we missed). The rest were tranquil sea days. This was the first crossing for a number of members in our group, and it was an excellent introduction because of the balance of ports with days at sea.

I have already expressed my opinion of the ship’s Master, Captain Peter J. van Maurik – a fine Officer and gentleman in every sense of those words. Our Cruise Director, Susan Wood, was outstanding – bright eyed, cheerful, visible, vibrant. She lit up the room whenever she was there. The same can be said of the Social Hostess, Holly Fraser. Kudos also go to the Port Lecturer, Joe L’Episcopo – he is the best I can ever remember (and coming from me, who normally does not listen to Port Lecturers, it’s a true compliment!). His talks were low key, informative and interesting, without a lot of fluff or extraneous nonsense. Toward the end of the voyage, we learned he had another talent as well. He is a Titanic buff, and gave an SRO lecture. He dressed in a replica of the uniform of one of the Titanic’s Officers (I believe First Officer, but could be wrong), and displayed his personal collection of Titanic memorabilia – some authentic, a few pieces that were replicas. MOST FASCINATING. He is in the final stages of writing a novel based on what he believes today’s world would have been like had the tragedy never occurred, and had people such as the Astors, Straus’, Guggenheims gone on to live their fabled lives. Sounds most interesting to me!!!

The sea days were replete with activities to suit just about everyone, including simply kicking back and relaxing – there are many nooks and crannies for doing so, including the comfort of one’s own spacious stateroom! There were the usual staples such as Bingo; team games such as Team Trivia, Scattergories, Pictionary, etc.; Scrabble; Bridge and Bridge lectures; as well as golf tournaments for both gentlemen and ladies; paddle tennis; wine tasting seminars; slot tournaments; galley tours; fitness activities, etc. There were also some lectures given by a maritime historian whose name I shall not mention, but not one who immediately comes to mind. While he may have an encyclopedic mind for minutia, I must admit he was not among my favorites – I was unimpressed by his mannerisms and method of presentation, and his bias for and against certain shipping lines was most unappealing to me. There was also a series of lectures presented by Col. Ralf Vargas, who spoke on such topics as the European Union, NATO, etc. He is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nevada when not on the geo-political lecture circuit. Of course, there were daily movies in the Wajang Theatre (and the ever popular cart outside the entrance with the enticing aroma of fresh popcorn), or the nearby Java Café with a luscious free selection of coffees or hot chocolate.

An Internet Cafe was available, but was inoperative most of the time because the ship's satellite had a case of indigestion for most of the voyage.

In the “food department”, there were a number of theme buffets at lunchtime served outside of the Lido Café – seafood, Italian, Mexican, etc. There were also midnight buffets offered in the Lido Café. I behaved myself and stayed away. J  For breakfast, more often than not, I dined in the King’s Room, one of the private dining rooms near the Rotterdam Dining Room, which is reserved for suite guests. For lunch, I dined equally in the Lido Café and the Rotterdam Dining Room. For dinner, we were 9 at our table (all part of our group), and I became the unofficial (or official?) hostess. There was an option of dining casually in the Lido Café each evening, but I never dined there. It is a popular option, however, especially for First Seating guests on a port night.

We planned several social activities for our group, and they seemed to be well received. I already mentioned our sailaway cocktail party. During the voyage, we arranged an Indonesian luncheon, which was attended by all. Then, I hosted a cocktail party in my accommodations for our group and a few of the Officers. I was most impressed by the way Holland America catered the cocktail party. The Bar Manager supervised the set-up. He sent two Bar Stewards with a rather extensive choice of liquors, and there was a super-abundance of excellent hot and cold hors d’oeuvres. There is only one drawback to planning activities with guests at both First and Late Seating – finding a time suitable to include everyone. You need to arrange your party after early dining and before late dining. It puts a time constraint on everyone, but...

Being a Harry James Big Band Cruise, the orchestra was featured almost daily at various times. Brought back many memories of the kind of dancing *I* enjoy!

The evening entertainment in the Rembrandt Lounge was a mixture of production shows and featured guests, but I attended rather few. I always enjoy the Explorer’s Lounge for light classical music or, on this voyage, the Piano Bar since some of my friends congregated there. Perry Grant was playing, and this very talented gentleman has a loyal following.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this voyage – not only for the itinerary and the comfort of the ship, but also (and very importantly) for the friends, both old and new, who were traveling with us. Not only did I renew some old friendships and sail with friends who live nearby, but also I finally had the opportunity to meet people with whom I had corresponded for years. My thanks to all who helped make the trip so enjoyable for me.

Would I choose this itinerary again in the future? IN A HEARTBEAT!!! For any of you who may be fortunate enough to be sailing this journey, you’re in for a treat! 

Photo--Courtesy of Holland America Line

More Holland America Line Reviews

Cruise Diva Home | Site Map & Search Tool