floridaHAL8
Second Mate

Joined: 06/26/2013
2
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2
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23
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About floridaHAL8



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floridaHAL8's Past Cruises

Golden Princess

June 2014 - Golden Princess to Alaska - Inside Passage

Glacier Bay is a great experience

We are a retired couple in our 70's traveling with our son and his wife. This is our second Princess cruise to Alaska.  This cruise went to Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay National Park, Ketchican and Victoria.  The last stop was canceled because of unexplained timing problems that they said had to do with the speed of the ship.  Members of the crew said it had been canceled before.

The cruise itinerary was great.  Glacier Bay is a real treat.  The last cruise to Alaska went to Tracy Arm.  The Tracy Arm glacier is more striking because of it's blue color and because the bay has large ice bergs floating around with seals on them.  Glacier Bay is a grander scale with more glaciers, less color and only small pieces of ice floating around.  Both are worth seeing...just make sure you aren't repeating an experience when you might want to see both.  We had an outstanding Alaska naturalist, Michael Modzelewski, who gave talks on Alaska and was broadcast throughout the Glacier Bay experience live over the PA describing what we were seeing.

We took the outstanding Glacier Point Wilderness Safari excursion out of Skagway.  It is rated the best Princess excursion, deservedly so.  We saw numerous whales and seals on our way to the Davidson Glacier.  When we arrived at the camp site we were kitted out for the canoe trip to the base of the glacier.  We were  in 30' canoes, paddling the easy river part and motoring the bay to the glacier, where we waded around at the silted area at the base.  Awesome.

In Juneau it is very easy to get the $20 round trip shuttle to the Mendenhall Glacier Park.  Walk toward the beginning of the town and it leaves from the parking lot.  We took the Nugget Falls hike off the photo point trail.  It takes you to the base of the falls, with the glacier right next to it.  It is about 3/4 mile easy path each way.

In Ketchikan we took the public serive bus for $1.00 round trip (senior) to Totem Bight Park.  The park has good signage.  Stop at the office for a map.  The park is free and you can do it in less than 2 hours, plus about 1 1/2 hours on the bus total.  Ask at the tourist info for the bus stop location on main street before the tunnel.

The Golden Princess was not a particularly comfortable ship.  We like a large library space and areas with comfortable seating for reading.  The Skywalkers Bar up in the back of the ship is the best place to sit and read, meet friends or look out.  This space is not used except when it opens at 10 PM.  It is by far the nicest public area on the ship, since their interior public spaces generally have no view, except for the gym.

The pastry cook on board was exceptional compared with other ships.  The rest of the food was average to good.  If you have anytime dining ask the maitre'd to reserve the table of your choice for you at your choice of time at the beginning of your cruise and you won't have to wait in line.  Just call and cancel the reservation if you decide to not eat in the dining room.

Billy Reid was our entertainer of choice...piano and song, engaging the audience well.  Princess does not have set, large, comfortable venues for their entertainers.  We really prefer the continuity of a set time and place for the performers for the duration of the cruise.  It adds to the comfort level.

 

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Eurodam

June 2013 - Eurodam to Europe - Northern Europe

Our second trip on Holland America

This was our 2nd trip with HAL and gives us 32 days at sea with them. Holland America understands their cliental .....an older, travel oriented, conservative group, and their ships are oriented toward them. They always have a classical music group and they give them a good venue, not a noisy pass through in a bar or foyer. They include religious observations on their voyages. On the Eurodam they did away with the glitzy foyer that takes up so much space on other ships. They do not have a continuous heavy beat music going on their decks. We do prefer the Rhyndam setup for library-game space. The Eurodam space adjoins the noisy and crowded Crowsnest Bar and is not as inviting and set apart and seems to center too much action on one deck. The shops are not as inviting either because their line of goods is too much on the luxury end. All in all, we had a great time. You can easily find quiet venues for a drink and conversation, or reading. The food was great, the dining room noise level possible (although they spend too much space on specialty dining venues that cost more), the people we met were very nice.

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floridaHAL8's Tips

Skagway, Alaska - Glacier Point Wilderness Safari...outstanding. Canoe to Davidson glacier
Juneau, Alaska - Town shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier Park and Nugget falls hike.
Eurodam Eurodam - The Silk Den was always a quiet bar with a great view...an alternative to the Crowsnest.

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received a helpful vote on their Eurodam cruise review - Our second trip on Holland America

received a helpful vote on their Golden Princess cruise review - Glacier Bay is a great experience

received a helpful vote on their Eurodam cruise review - Our second trip on Holland America

received a helpful vote on their Eurodam cruise review - Our second trip on Holland America

received a helpful vote on their Golden Princess cruise review - Glacier Bay is a great experience

received a helpful vote on their Golden Princess cruise review - Glacier Bay is a great experience

received a helpful vote on their Eurodam cruise review - Our second trip on Holland America

received a helpful vote on their Golden Princess cruise review - Glacier Bay is a great experience

received a helpful vote on their Golden Princess cruise review - Glacier Bay is a great experience

reviewed their Alaska - Inside Passage cruise on Golden Princess and gave it 4 stars!