NaplesGirl

NaplesGirl
Third Mate

Joined: 08/26/2015
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Zaandam

August 2015 - Zaandam to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Excellent Service, Great Food, Well Planned Itinerary

We were very pleased with our cruise experience on the Holland America Zaandam. The service is top notch. Every request was fulfilled.  

Each meal was prepared beautifully and was delicious. We ate breakfast in the Rotterdam Dining Room each day, and ate there for some lunches and dinners. We also ate at the Pinnacle Grill twice($29.00 up charge).  The service at the Pinnacle is a bit slow, but I think that is mostly so that you can savor the experience.  The filets there are the best, not to be missed. The desserts were also outstanding - Baked Alaska, Chocolate Volcano Cake, and assorted gelato.  We also ate at Canaletto ($10 up charge). Well worth it.  This Italian fare is amazing with generously sized portions.  We loved our meal but could not finish it. Since we had a Neptune Suite, we could also enjoy the various small plates available in the Neptune lounge, which were always beautifully presented and truly a treat.  The staff in the Neptune lounge is most gracious and accommodating, taking the cruise experience to the next level.

All of the ports of call on this cruise are excellent featuring varied activity offerings.  The day in Glacier Bay National Park ranks as our favorite. This day was truly a highlight. Keep in mind that in Alaska, the weather varies and it rains frequently.  For that reason, I suggest waiting to book shore excursions until you have arrived so that you can assess the weather and make decisions accordingly. Boat tours, whale watching, and glacier tours are a go, rain or shine.  

Our tour also included a land week that followed the cruise week. I think Holland could have done a better job communicating the specifics of the land tour a week or two before we sailed.  This would have helped us better understand the logistics of this portion.  Holland does do an excellent job coordinating the land tour and taking care of transporting the luggage, even to the airport at the end of the trip. This made the experience manageable even for older clients.

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NaplesGirl's Tips

Skagway, Alaska - White Pass and Yukon RR is a great trip IF it is a sunny day. May not be as good if it is rainy or foggy, with limited visibility.
Ketchikan, Alaska - Organize your luggage for the land portion of the trip so that you only have to open one piece each day for this part of the trip rather than having what you need scattered throughout different pieces of luggage. This part of the trip is VERY CASUAL! You do not need dresses, or even dressy pants and shoes. Rugged shoes and casual wear is worn everywhere, even to dinner.
Cruise Glacier Bay - Glacier Bay National Park is amazing! On this day, order room service for lunch and eat it on the balcony to enjoy the sites during lunchtime. (if you have a balcony)
Juneau, Alaska - Mendenhall Glacier trip and whale watching are a go rain or shine. Raincoats, umbrellas, waterproof hats and shoes may be needed. Also, you may need a lens cloth to dry your camera lens.
Seward (Anchorage), Alaska - At the end of the day (4:30-6:00), go to the Small Boat Harbor to see the fisherman come in. They hang up the day's catch on hooks and you can see the fish that people caught who hired boats to take them out for the day. You can also see fisherman cleaning the fish that they caught.
Zaandam Zaandam - Organize the notices, invitations, and daily newsletters so that you are not lost in paper and can find what you need. We discarded some of this daily. If you want to save it, put the event notices that are completed away in luggage.

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received a helpful vote on their Zaandam cruise review - Excellent Service, Great Food, Well Planned Itinerary

received a helpful vote on their Zaandam cruise review - Excellent Service, Great Food, Well Planned Itinerary

received a helpful vote on their Zaandam cruise review - Excellent Service, Great Food, Well Planned Itinerary

received a helpful vote on their Zaandam cruise review - Excellent Service, Great Food, Well Planned Itinerary

uploaded a photo album from their Zaandam cruise on 2015-08-23

reviewed their Alaska - Gulf of Alaska cruise on Zaandam and gave it 5 stars!

shared a quick tip for Zaandam"Organize the notices, invitations, and daily newsletters so that you are not lost in paper and can find what you need. We discarded some of this daily. If you want to save it, put the event notices that are completed away in luggage. "

added Aug 23, 2015 cruise on Zaandam to their profile.