Ports of Call: The 28-night cruise from San Diego to Lima and back aboard the Maasdam included Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco and Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Fuerte Amador, Panama; Salaverry (Trujillo) and Lima (Callao), Peru, overnight; Manta, Ecuador; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and returning to San Diego, California.
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both were done in a professional and rapid manner with little to no waiting. Lunch was available upon embarkation with the usual options of hot and cold foods from the buffet on an upper deck. Cabins/staterooms were ready for occupancy in the early afternoon and made available in the order of suites, balcony rooms, ocean-view and inside rooms.
Stateroom: The Maasdam is an older ship, built in 1993 and refurbished in 2016. Our Vista Suite, a traditional balcony-type cabin, included a sitting area, private veranda, a tub with a shower, and plenty of closet space for longer cruises.
Services/Amenities: Food on board was of a high quality. The Maasdam has a limited number of dining options due to the size of the ship, including the main dining room, a buffet on a top deck and two specialty restaurants. There were also six bars and lounges. Service in the main dining room was slow, with two hours the normal duration for an evening meal; for older passengers and large tables, this was acceptable. Crew served an afternoon tea at 3 p.m. each day.
Services included a beauty salon/barber shop, a spa, eight elevators, Cellular at Sea (for a high price), self-service laundry and laundry/dry cleaning services for a fee. For relaxation and entertainment, passengers can enjoy pools and a hot tub, a library, a casino, a disco, a movie theater with multiple shows daily, an outdoor movie screen, a video arcade, shops and a showroom for evening entertainment and lectures for large groups.
◆ All events were well-organized and started on time.
◆ The crew members’ smiles and care for the passengers were remarkable.
◆ First-rate entertainers came from all over the world.
◆ Lectures, held almost daily, focused on the people, history and culture of upcoming ports of call and not on excursions that could be purchased.
◆ My wife enjoyed the craft classes held on at-sea days. The price of sewing classes included taking home the sewing machine!
◆ Internet prices were high and speeds were slow due to the satellite connection, something all cruise lines need to improve.
Heathrow Airport built a “bespoke set of anti-drone systems” around its airfield. The system, created by U.K.-based firm Operational Solutions, detects and tracks drones in surrounding airspace. The “new and innovative” system can also locate drone pilots and show their location.
Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.
New upgrades at Frankfurt Airport include renovations at the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel & Conference Center, as well as the addition of a new hotel, Frankfurt Airport Marriott. To make room for the new property, the Sheraton Frankfurt Airport Hotel was reduced to 779 guestrooms from its previous 1,008 guestrooms, allowing for 233 guestrooms at Frankfurt Airport Marriott. All Sheraton guestrooms are now refurbished.
The city took its name from Athena, goddess of wisdom, strategy and war, and protector of the city. The financial, political and administrative center of the country and an all-powerful city-state in antiquity, Athens is a major center of culture. A visit to the first-ever museum dedicated to Byzantium, a stroll around the National Garden and a trip to the Olympeion archaeological site will take you back through time.
Waldorf Astoria Atlanta Buckhead is on the cusp of updating its spa concept and partners.
A historic U.K., hotel, The Grand Hotel Birmingham is expected to open this summer after extensive renovations. One of the city’s most iconic buildings, The Grand Hotel Birmingham was originally constructed in the 1870s.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
With new stories surfacing daily about disorderly passengers being escorted off an aircraft or, worse, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing, countries recently passed legislation ensuring such passengers are punished to the fullest extent.