7 Night Alaskan Explorer Via Tracy Arm (Seattle Roundtrip) Sail Date: June 08, 2007 Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 10 years ago
This was a beautiful ship done in a classic design with wood decks and dark wood features throughout. They have one pool which has a retractable roof for bad weather and one outside pool. There were hardly any children on board which may be due to the fact that we cruised to Alaska. Most of the clientele is of the senior variety.
Food and Dining
3 out of 5
Overall good food. We *loved* eating in the dining room for dinner and the lunches we were on board. Definitely 5+ stars there. However, the lido restaurant (buffet) was definitely average. The lido grill was a poolside area to get a hamburger, hotdog, or pizza and was not good at all. The room service for breakfast was good, but we ordered a late night snack that was not good.
3 out of 5
They have a resident crew of singers and dancers. They were pretty good, but I am not a big musical show fan in general. They had a couple of comedians and another musical act. The comedians were pretty clean but one had a late night show they urged children not to attend. We did not go to that one so I can't say how wild it got. The crew also put on a show from their native lands which I understand was entirely developed and practiced for in their limited free time. It was amateur but the audience was a buzz about how good it was. It had a feeling of a school play when you are cheering for your kids. Everyone was looking out for their particular server or room staff etc and cheering for them.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff went above and beyond to make us feel welcome. Always smiling and quick to fulfill requests they make you feel like royalty. This was one big feather in HAL's cap!
5 out of 5
Everything was very accessible and easy to find. We liked the elegance of the classic ship look and design.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Stateroom not as large as other cruise we went on. We had a nice big window which provided excellent viewing of nearly the entire port side. It was plenty big for our needs.
We went on the city highlights and Craigderroch castle tour. The castle is an old victorian house that was built by some coal baron. I would have skipped the whole thing for $46.00 a person, but if you want to see the castle you have to do the Holland America shore excursion tour because the tour happens outside of normal hours.
The City tour was terrible. Let me give you the summary. The queen stays in the empress hotel. We used to be British subjects but are not now. I (the tour guide/bus driver) will now take 20 minutes explaining where I am from (not Victoria) and all about Lethbridge Alberta. Oh look there are some big houses over there, Look you can see the US from here. Go shop at the giftshop they give me free donuts.
We only had 5.5 hours in port 6pm - 11:30 pm so most of the stuff like the museum is closed when you get there. You'd be better off catching a cab to downtown or there is a shuttle you can take for $6 each way
Don't Miss: Empress Hotel and Legislative building (lit up at night)
Pros: Service, Dinner in the dining room
Cons: The Lido Buffet food and poolside Lido Grill food
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