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The trip started off on a sad note. We had just left the pier in Norfolk and were about 100 yards out when we suddenly stopped and edged our way back to the pier. At the same time we saw and heard an ambulance coming through downtown Norfolk and pulled up to the pier. After about 15 mins they offloaded a passenger on a stretcher plus the 3 companions traveling with him or her. We never heard what had happened but I felt so sorry for them.
We finally got underway about 1 hour later and slowly made our way past the Navy piers. Brought back many memories since I was stationed there about a million years ago.
The first couple of days going down the coast towards Half Moon Cay it was a little bumpy. I love rough seas but my bride doesn't fair to well. She did the Bonine and that helped some. We finally smoothed out and Half Moon Cay was nice as always. St. Thomas was, well, just St. Thomas.I don't get to excited about jewelry stores. Dominica and St. Kitts were worth stopping and we enjoyed the tours that we took. Barbados is always nice. One of our favorite ports.
The food was quite tasty and the presentation was always fine. Our waiter and asst. waiter were top notch and very attentive. We had the good fortune to have 2 different officers eat with us on formal nights. That is a nice touch that HAL does.
The shows were just ok. I know the young folks who do the Broadway stye shows are working hard and I applaud them for it but it was not much to write home about. The comedian and banjo player were first rate and we have seen them both before on other cruises.
We were much impressed with our cabin. Very roomy and easy to move around in. Plus a bathtub and shower. The public rooms are very nice and the ship never seemed crowded though they were reported to be sold out. I did my 2 mile walk every morning on the promenade deck. 4 times around is 1 mile. I would certainly recommend the Maasdam and would do it again.
The one negative would be the embarkation at Norfolk. They are building a new cruise terminal and that should help. We waited 2 hours in line outside. Glad it was 60 degrees that day. They had experienced some Norvirus on the previous cruise and had to disenfect. For the first 3 or 4 days they had hand washing machines located all over the ship. At the Captains cocktail party on the 2nd night he greeted everyone but did not shake hands. They were very concerned about a new outbreak. But as far as I know we were virus free.
At the end of our cruise I was on deck watching them unload the luggage and saw a hearse pull up and they offloaded a poor soul who had passed away during our cruise. So the start and end of our 11 day voyage was interesting and strange to say the least. Hope I didn't ramble on to much.
Thanks for listening.