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.
United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.
United Airlines teamed with Timeshifter, a sleep help app, to assist travelers battling jet lag. Timeshifter outlines the best times to see and avoid light, sleep and either enjoy or pass on caffeine to best avoid jet lag when traveling through time zones. The app is specifically targeted to those traveling across three or more time zones and customizes advice for each passenger based on his or her own sleep preferences and normal sleep pattern, as well as their particular flight.
Since 1970, Goway Travel has been committed to providing customized travel experiences for world travelers. Few things are better evidence of this commitment than being awarded the 2019 Trazees award for Favorite Tour Operator. Goway Travel heartily thanks the readers of Trazee Travel for this honor and for their confidence in Goway’s work in creating travel memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Make sure you catch the new pop-up cocktail lounge at Four Seasons Residence Club Aviara in Carlsbad before it’s gone. Starry Nights, located on the Seasons Restaurant veranda, is open through Jan. 31, 2020.
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.