June 2015 - Statendam to Alaska
My overall experience was very good. All of the ports were great but I wish there was more time in them except Anchorage. I would like less time there or more excursions. HAL needs to have flying excursions to see the bears exclusively. All of our excursions were good.
Things I suggest for HAL: free bottled water in the rooms & everywhere onboard the ship, free Wi-Fi internet service, a department to help with shipping items home, a clock in the bathroom & room, provide free transportation to all port cities shopping areas, rent good high powered binoculars (way for HAL to make more money – don’t charge too much), free 800 calls, coffee makers in room, more common food – not so fancy – biscuits & gravy, fried chicken, chicken fried steak, Chinese food, Mexican food, Italian food etc., more electrical plugs, plugs that work – my cell phone would not charge & my sisters charger was fried.
I had a very big problem with HAL & the way they billed my credit card (cc). Since they bill the cc daily it creates pending charges that look duplicate. I gave them permission to charge a different cc with a certain amount. HAL billed my entire bill to this different cc. It created a billing nightmare for me. It took several days & calls for me to straighten out the mess they made & I’m not sure it’s fixed yet.
CAUTION TO PEOPLE THAT SPEND A LOT IN THE JEWELRY SHOPS!!! When we left the ship I had to go to the customs office for a one on one with a customs officer. I’m 73 & this was quite disturbing for me. I didn’t know what was going on. They wanted to know if all the items I bought were made in the USA. I didn’t know. The shops tell you that everything you buy is tax & duty free but do not say anything as to whether it’s made in the USA. The customs officer said I should have kept my receipts & certificates of authenticity with me to show them. No one in the jewelry stores told me I needed to do this. THIS SHOULD BE MENTIONED BY THE JEWELRY PERSONNEL. I packed them in my checked bag & used Luggage Direct to take them from the ship to the airport. I did not have access to my checked bag. Thankfully the customs officer had pity on an uninformed little old lady & didn’t make me pay anything or put me in jail.