We have cruised twice before with HAL,once on the Zuiderdam to the Panama Canal and another to Alaska from Vancouver on the Volendam so we are now fans of those 'Dam' ships.
We traveled by car from our town near Vancouver to Seattle. We'd reserved parking near Pier 91 with a company that offered secure parking and free shuttle. All went smoothly with this and we'd checked in and cleared security by 11:30. We were in Group 3 and were on board by 12 noon. We dropped our carry on bags containing wine in our cabin and hurried to the dining room for our Welcome Back Mariner luncheon.
We love the friendly service HALs crew are renowned for. Formal without being stuffy. We ordered breakfast in our room every morning, ate almost every lunch & dinner in the dining room. We enjoy dressing for dinner and for the most part many of the other passengers dressed nicely, including the children, although the dining room was quieter on non-formal nights, suggesting more people my have chosen to eat in the Lido. Did I say how delicious all of the courses we chose were? I don't understand why anyone finds fault with food when you can ask for something else if you really don't like it. Our problem was always making up our minds from the numerous choices!
As we'd visited Alaska previously, we did not book any tours. Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka were easy to walk around to explore. Victoria had several transportation options, including buses. The point of our cruise was to relax and we succeeded.
We disembarked in Seattle on Sunday and had opted for an 8:30 time. We followed instructions to the letter and much to our surprise we weren't even in a lineup to scan our I.D. for the last time. We found our bags on the pier by color code, exited the building with tears in our eyes as we were sad to be leaving our lovely ship and crew behind. The shuttle was there to take us to our car and before 10 am we were heading north on the I-5. Flawless.
We put a deposit on a future cruise and look forward to our next cruise with HAL, likely to the Mediterranean next year. I know you're not supposed to wish life away but it's hard when you miss your lovely crew, serving you in your spacious balcony cabin as you sip your chilled white wine. We both asked "whose making our comfy bed, cleaning our cabin, and serving us now we are home?" No one answered. See you soon, HAL.