Fun in Alaska July/August (Seattle roundtrip)

Zaandam Cruise Review to Alaska
Experience: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 5

Overall Rating:

4.7 out of 5
Zaandam

14 Night Great Land Explorer (Seattle Roundtdrip)

Sail Date: July 30, 2018

Ship: Zaandam

Cabin Type: Inside

Cabin Number: 2593

Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review Summary

The Hubbard glacier was greatly to see. It was the only glacier we saw on the trip that had calving 'actively happening' the whole time we were there. Really spectacular to hear the big cracking sounds and see those huge chunks of ice fall in the water.

Embarkation

5 out of 5

Ship Experiences

Food and Dining

5 out of 5

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5

Ship Tip

Bring a 3 outlet adapter for cell phone (s) Wear warm clothes by glaciers!

Ports Of Call

Seattle, Washington

3 out of 5
I didn't do any excursions here but my opinion of Seattle downtown is not positive. Apparently this city is very popular amongst the homeless and several streets reeked of urine and garbage and i saw vomit near a business entrance which was the icing on the cake. While viewing the ferris wheel and ocean there was a drug deal going on. I have since learned that there are 14k homeless there which is unfortunate but it's probably due to the lovely weather and maybe benefits are best here. The market was crazy-crowded with people and all the lines for food were very long but I've heard that the food is really good and it must be to have people willing to wait in those long lines. I ate at a sports bar across the street from the space needle and while the restaurant was very plain, the food was really good and the restroom was immaculate. I stayed at the Marriott Courtyard 625 2nd downtown and it was nice and has good security.

Ketchikan, Alaska

5 out of 5
Very nice little port town. The highlights for us was the walk around the shops on the piers. This area was nice for pictures because of the many colored businesses. Our excursion was the lumberjack show which was cute. The shops that we went into (tourist shops) were nice.

Juneau, Alaska

5 out of 5
Good hike or tramride up to the top of Mt Roberts. Great views! Our excursion here was a new one that hasn't been rated as of the time of our visit but we tried it anyway and enjoyed ourselves. We took the self guided Jeep excursion (gps is a tablet on the dash with all the things you may want to see, preloaded). This was just right for us as we could pick out want we wanted to go to. We went to an area where people were planning for gold and did a short hike to a small museum there. We went to the end of the road on one side, then the other. We visited the shrine of St Therese (a small Catholic chapel) and we walked around the premises there and too some pictures. We then hit the Safeway and Starbucks inside and it was nice to be able to pick up a couple of items. When we went to the flats where a bunch of birds including bald eagles were, we got some good pictures there if the birds but the best part was later when i was up on the tram after turning the Jeep in, the tide was coming in and i could see the ripples from the surge, high above from the tram and i realized i had just been down there walking around a short time earlier and now it was full of water! We were able to go on the other side of the canal with the Jeep which was a nice scenic drive and it had a few hiking trails. We also visited St Nicholas Orthodox Church (a very small old church) and it has the beautiful icons. I noticed there was a museum just catty-cornered from the church but we didn't visit there. We did drive up the hill in a mixed residential/commerial neighborhood but just so you know, the streets are very tight with parking all along them so if you want to avoid that, don't go up the hills too far. On the other hand, it's pretty. The options on this Jeep tour at the time we went were 4hr, 6hr, and 8 hr. We opted for the 6hr rental and it was plenty of time for us but we don't linger long at attractions. I can recommend this excursion whole heartedly, especially if you want to do your own thing. The Jeep was either brand new or fairly new, in immaculate condition. We did not see any place to go 4-Wheeling off-road.

Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska

5 out of 5
We really liked it but you should get some excursion here as it's pretty remote. We booked the ATV ride but i didn't book it soon enough and the 11 a.m. ride was cancelled and so we went on the bear tour. Here you take a ride on a bus through town and then to some remote area and you go for a very asy walk on a maintained trail through the woods. There we saw 4 bears, one lone older male coastal bear coming up from the water into the woods, and we also saw a mother bear with 2 cubs. On the way back to the ship we went over a bridge and stopped because there was a bear in the river up a aways from us that someone spotted... We sat there for a bit and that bear came closer and closer to the bridge and finally went beneath us. There was another bear also that was a bit downriver from us. If you want to see bears meandering around, this is a good your for that. Watch your step on the trail...bears do poop in the woods and profusely. Very pleased with the tour.

Anchorage, Alaska

5 out of 5
We did the 26 Glacier tour with Phillips cruises via Holland America and it was spectacular scenery. Needless to say we saw plenty of glaciers. We also saw a whale out there in Prince William sound. We got some spectacular photos even though it was cloudy most of the time. You're assigned seating at booths that accommodate 6 people... Don't worry if you're in the middle as you'll only be required to sit there before launch and during lunch which has two options and we opened for the chowder and it was good and there's more that comes with it including a delicious warm chocolate cookie afterwards. There are hot drinks onboard and you can also purchase other foods and alcohol and also a gift area. The craft is jet propelled like a Sea-Doo so it's a very smooth ride. You can go inside or outside, up or down. The bathrooms were clean. We also saw seals and otters. This was our favorite excursion that we took and you won't be disappointed. Bring a camera for sure!

Homer, Alaska

4 out of 5
We took the bus to town and on the way there was an eagle in it's nest with babies right near the road, then we went onward and got off on stop #2 and walked around a bit. We walked over to the beach and took some photos. Very pretty area. The boardwalk shops were nice and i bought a t-shirt there. We walked over to the salty dawg since it was mentioned a few times, walked in and found it was decorated with $1 bills all over the inside. It's a small saloon. I really enjoyed walking around the slips and taking pics of the boats and their names (also a good way to easily see where your pictures were taken if you're like me and take 900+ (total trip) pics between the camera and the phone. Nice little town but not much going on there. If you just hang around the places on the pier it will be the most action you'll see.

Kodiak, Alaska

4 out of 5
We took the historic tour including the Alutiiq Museum and Fort Abercrombie. We also visited the Orthodox Church across the street from the Alutiiq Museum which is very nice. The Bishop was visiting and there was a service about to commence but the Priest and deacons were very welcoming to all the people on the tour her were wandering over from the Alutiiq Museum when they heard all the church bells ringing. Fort Abercrombie was nice. Good views and the little museum they had was pretty cool with working communications systems that were used in the war. It's a hands on museum and it even has an M1-Garand, working switchboard, working telegraph that you can try and some very nice volunteers that work there. Besides the pretty scenery, we were able to pick and eat some berries that taste like raspberries there. I was told there were wild blueberries there also but i didn't know what a blueberry bush looks like. Some nice trails are there for hiking and waking.

Sitka, Alaska

5 out of 5
Took the tour that included a brief stop at the Russian Orthodox Church where they have beautiful icons other beautifully adorned items, and the tourist shops in 'downtown' Sitka and also went to a museum just outside of 'downtown'. We got to the museum and while the museum was nice and the adjacent woods very nice, we were anxious to get a move on and so we didn't stay for the dance party of the tour. We took off from that stop on the tour and walked back to the downtown area which is very close and is an easy walk with nice views. When we got back to town we decided to try a raindeer sausage from a couple of gals who sold them next to a shop. It was really good but i can't vouch for sure it wasn't a bratwurst. The tourist shops seemed to have a good variety of merchandise at decent prices and the town wasn't overloaded with shops selling diamonds and tanzanites. We caught one of the shuttle buses that goes back to the ship on a street closer to the water than the main tourist strip.

Victoria, British Columbia

4 out of 5
We chose the Buchart Gardens as an excursion in Victoria. Absolutely gorgeous and a must-see. I've never seen anything like it before in my life. The sunken garden was our favorite. It was fairly crowded but we were still able to get some really beautiful photos. Unless you're really into horticulture, you don't need a lot of time here. We stopped to get some coffee and soda with no wait time at the register. The gift shop was fairly crowded but there were no long lines, just crowded.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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