The Maasdam sets sail…and we leave too much behind

By Tim O’Keefe It was smart to rent a car to drive from our home port of near Orlando to Fort Lauderdale, where the Maasdam was docked. At under $100, better than flying and no port parking fees to pay. And since we had a 24-hour rental, I picked up the vehicle the day before sailing so we could do some preliminary luggage loading. Luckily, when I picked up the car, I mentioned to the Budget Rent-A-Car …

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What to pack for a Caribbean cruise — consider these the bare essentials

By Tim O’Keefe Which clothes to pack for a Caribbean cruise is simpler than you think. Your two most important considerations are comfort and practicality. Before deciding what to pack, do your homework first to narrow your focus and eliminate the urge to throw things in the suitcase at the last minute for “just in case.” Make a list of every day’s port of call and the activities you plan to participate in at each. How many days …

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Our itinerary: Here’s how you can spend 35 days in the Caribbean

By Tim O’Keefe This is where we go, and when. I guess I should point out that I’ve paid for this cruise and am  not a guest of Holland America or the ms Maasdam.  This is cruise is an incredible value, although after three stops I suspect I’ll get tired of Half Moon Cay. THE GRAND ITINERARY DAY DATE PORT ARRIVE DEPART Fri Nov 12 Fort Lauderdale, FL 5:00pm Sat Nov 13 Half Moon Cay, Bahamas 8:00am 4:00pm Sun Nov …

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Formal attire for a 35-day cruise — you can observe as many or as few formal nights as you wish

By Tim O’Keefe I have worn a tux to dinner on cruise ships and I would do it again but . . . I’ve added 20 pounds that won’t into my tux. Every cruise line has its own dress code. On Holland America (HAL) and the Maasdam, women have more choices for formal nights. They can wear a suit, cocktail dress or gown. Men are confined to a jacket and tie, either with a dark suit or …

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A 35-day cruise – Forget driving and parking

By Tim O’Keefe Although the following nuts and bolts relate to my extended 35-day cruise, the situation applies to everyone wanting to slash both their travel costs and port parking charges. My 35-day Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Maasdam departing Nov. 12 from Fort Lauderdale comes with a few problems. Most important is determining the most efficient (cheapest) way to travel from the Orlando area. Driving my own vehicle is out of the question with Port Everglades charging $20 a day for …

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A 35-Day Caribbean Cruise? For Real?

By Tim O’Keefe The typical seven-day Caribbean cruise may be fine for most people but I find them disappointing. Just as you’re becoming accustomed to ship-board life, it’s time to return to port. And seven days, even from Florida, doesn’t offer the chance to travel very far. Still, when I spotted a 35-day Caribbean cruise aboard the ms Maasdam on a cruise website, I thought it had to be a misprint. Thirty-five days is a third of …

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