August 2015 - Zaandam to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska
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.