My husband and I are from Baltimore, Maryland and we had wanted to see Alaska for quite some time. And so, we decided to take this special cruise for my birthday this year!
We started out in Seattle and decided to arrive a day early to enjoy the sights since we had never been there before. We booked a room with Hotel Five through the internet and found it to be centrally located, very modern in decor and very cool! They also provided bikes and umbrellas for use. There is a cafe in the lobby and we ate breakfast there. It was delicious.
While in Seattle, we toured the Space Needle and Pikes Market which is not to be missed. We also took in the Chihuly Glass Exhibit near the Space Needle. Absolutely amazing and definitely not to be missed. Gorgeous blown glass in many different exhibit rooms. We also attended a Seattle Mariners game that night since we are baseball fans. Definitely a fun thing to do. Safeco Stadium is very nice.
And so we left the next afternoon for the Westerdam and began our cruise. Everything regarding embarkation went very smoothly. This was our very first cruise and the staff was very helpful and we were onboard before we knew it. We booked a room with a balcony since we wanted to take advantage of the beautiful Alaskan scenery and it was worth it. Our room was spacious, clean and very comfortable. Absolutely no complaints at all. We loved waking up to the sunrise and sitting on the balcony at times.
Some of the amenities we enjoyed were the gym and entertainment venues. The gym was very adequate and the view while working out spectacular! The talent in the entertainment areas was also extremely good. We had a great time just popping in to some of the shows or piano bars. The comedian onboard was also top notch. We did not make time in the spa but it was tempting. We enjoyed our time around the pool during our time at sea and the music around the pool was always enjoyable.
The staff for our room and the buffets and at dinner were always polite and effecient. We have no complaints at all.
We did participate in the digital photography classes the ship offered and came away with several good tips. Photography is my hobby and I found it very helpful. My husband also thought the class on Windows 8 to be helpful.
We also wanted to mention that there are lectures about Alaska onboard and they are very interesting and worthwhile. A park ranger joined us when we were in Glacier Bay and was able to provide us with valuable information while we were sailing through this beautiful wonder!
Our cruise stopped in Juneau where we did a helicopter ride and dogsledding which was amazing. We also tried dungeness crab and it was so delicious.
In Sitka we did a wildlife cruise on a small fishing boat and came pretty close to a humpback whale. Unbelievable! In Ketchikan we took a float plane ride through Misty Fjords. Wonderful. We highly recommend this too.
In Victoria, we chose to just walk around and see the city on foot since there wasn't too much time there. A very pretty place.
For my birthday dinner we did eat at the Pinnacle on the ship and it was definitely worth the extra expense. What a wonderful meal. The lobster was excellent and they prepared a special birthday dessert for me. A nice touch.
I guess if we were being very picky, the dinner rolls were mediocre in the Vista dining room and so I rarely ate the bread and I do like Greek yogurt in the morning since it is a high protein and they did not provide that. But they are very minor things! My husband and I were always pleased with the food choices and loved sitting by the window each morning having breakfast.
It was a dream vacation for sure. We returned to Seattle and disembarkation also went very smoothly.
We highly recommend this trip up the Inside Passage to Alaska. Perhaps we will do the land part of Alaska another time. I hope this review is helpful.