ok, so, here's the thing. I have cruised Princess, Royal, and Carnival and wanted something a bit more upscale, so I chose Holland. I was not disappointed; in fact, they exceeded my expectations (and hopes). While the pre-cruise had some customer service issues, they were all straightened out by the time we boarded, and, let me tell you, not ONE thing went wrong. The service was impeccable, but it was the FOOD that made the trip - FAR above any other lines I've taken. The stateroom was much LARGER than I expected and very well adorned. (I LIKE taking the least expensive rooms because they are lower in the ship and in the middle, thus, less rocking). The staff was helpful and knowledgeable; the ship VERY clean (in fact, they are all over the place, giving you hand sanitizer - I didnt see ONE sick person on board). What I DO think....is that they spend too much time in Haines, and not enough time on Ketchikan. All around, this was the best cruise I have ever taken.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Well stocked game room, library; great lectures. I didnt get to HALF the things I wanted to do onboard.
5 out of 5
SO much to do ! Comedy, dance, music - LOT'S of entertainment venues on board -well chosen.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
They out-did themselves - THIS is the epitome of "service". ALL around !
3 out of 5
I would have given this a higher recommendation had it not been for me being told that the ship had just come out of dry dock; It was NOT the most modern I've been on , but beautiful and VERY clean. It has more than enough venues for everything you could want .I would sail in this ship again in a hot moment, but there ARE nicer ships out there. DO know that, at 1400 capacity, it's not a large ship by cruise standards, which is either a plus or a minus, depending on your preference.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
MUCH larger than expected. 2 blow dryers, plush robes. VERY workable bathroom, everything worked well. The ONLY minus was the lack of outlets. While my travel partner brought a power strip (she'd never cruised before - how did she KNOW ???); the attendants were VERY attentive. The room was CLEAN.
The 3 hour bus ride from Anchorage to Seward doesnt stop for snacks, so, if you're off a long flight EAT at the airport or you'll be hungry. The bus ride, VERY scenic...gets you in the mood for what is to come. I didnt see much in Seward as we boarded immediately, but there didnt seem to be much to see anyway.
A-l-m-o-s-t a waste of time. The eagle preserve was nice, but, I question whether it's worth it because eagles are ubiquitous there. Still, I got some GREAT shots. As far as the port itself ? worthless...nothing to see - NO reason to have been there 10 hours.
GREAT port ! Beautiful. Whale watching and Mednhaul Glacier: ok, first, the glacier - NO reason to spend huge sums to see it. a short bus ride leads to the park where you can walk 5 minutes to see the glacier or walk one (VERY EASY) mile to see the glacier AND an amazing waterfall - WELL worth the EASY walk. Whale watching - it's a hit or miss. You'll see them elsewhere, but, if your looking to see them feed, again, they dont do it on command. The port is GORGEOUS and the shopping is decent....although MUCH better prices in Ketchikan.
O-M-G. First, I'd like to see them spend less time in Haines and more in Ketchikan. The shopping: prices are the best of the 3 stops, with very good array of shops, but Juneu has moe of them - still, I would forgo Juneau and shop in Ketchikan...the port is beautiful and has the BEST zipline course I've seen.
Never been to Vancouver - DO YOURSELF A FAVOR and allow 2 days to sight see - I was STUNNED at the beauty of the city. If I made ONE mistake in planning this trip, it was not staying in Vancouver for an additional day. WELL worth it !
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