After my last cruise this spring on the Nieuw Amsterdam we said we would not travel again on HAL due to the attitude of some crew members we experienced. My mother convinced us to try them again as she likes HAL. We left Vancouver on Sept.11 and the embarkation process was flawless and very quick. Our room was ready and was in good condition. We had dinner in the Rotterdam dining room and our waiters were Hindi and Edi who were fantastic. Even though we had open seating we were able to reserve the same table each day and got to know them well over the week. They were the best pair of waiters we have had on HAL and they made for an enjoyable trip. The next day was cruising the inside passage and just after noon we sailed into a large fog bank for most of the day which was eerie but soothing.
Next day arrived in Juneau and walked around town, did some geocaching then back on board.
Next day was Skagway and I went out by myself to do my geocaching then came back on board to get my wife and mother and took a trolley ride around town which was interesting. Next day was spent mostly in Glacier Bay National Park which was great. On the 16th we arrived in Ketchikan and again did geocaching and tourist shopping.
What was remarkable was other then the fog on the second day we had fantastic weather with mostly sunny days and no wind and NO RAIN which is hard to believe. We did not have a bad experience anywhere on this trip which put some faith back in HAL. Even though we spent time in the Casino I do not believe that anyone won any jackpots and payouts were very low. Lots of people around were very dismayed at the lack of payouts especially on the bonuses. Richard, the casino host was very good and friendly however.