Westerdam Cruise Review by celticspirit: Happy to be back
Overall Member Rating
Happy to be back
HAL is tops for Alaska in many ways. I had not cruised HAL in awhile and was a little concerned that I would be disappointed, having seen some negative reviews lately. HAL remains number one for "quiet, unobtrusive" service.
My cabin steward was superior. As a widow, I end up with a variety of seating arrangements. One night, I had a sweetheart of a dining steward with an unpronounceable name (I think it was Wodolowloo?) He made and brought me a little origami bird to be my tablemate. I love that HAL service is not fawning and predictably gracious.
I had been on the Westerdam before, so took this cruise for the itinerary. Really wanted to see Sitka and Glacier Bay. Rough seas put a stop to Sitka. The captain announced it ASAP and all the changes that followed were handled efficiently. Immediate refund of shore excursion, super-quick booking of revised excursions, etc. Despite rough seas and some changes, this cruise is ranked as a favorite. And God gave us a More beyond-spectacular day in Glacier Bay! I have cruised more than a dozen times on more than half a dozen cruise lines. Reviews always reflect unmet expectations. And sometimes that is what the negative is all about. Every time I have cruised HAL these expectations have been met and/or exceeded:
Efficient embarkation and debarkation; "quiet, unobtrusive service"; sedate atmosphere, educational ethos. I also truly appreciated the fact that I could bring on fine wines from Seattle on embarkation, and on disembarkation could order room service breakfast to stay out of the crowds. Less
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Cabin was above equipment for anchoring, etc., so could be quite noisy. However, the expansive view on our day in Glacier Bay was worth every noise!
Port and Shore Excursions
Ketchikan is it's perennial rainy self. It has a few quaint spots, but I think it is the place to get out of town! Due to a major port diversion, we ended up with more time here. I splurged on a floatplane trip into Misty Fjords at the last minute and was not disappointed. Value for the money? Not so sure.
However, Misty Fjords is stunning! Flying over serene mountain lakes with myriad waterfalls running down mountain sides to the sea ....
Seattle stunned me with its food, options and ambiance! I had been there about 25 years ago and was looking for an Alaska cruise out of Vancouver for new experiences. The flight costs changed that quickly. So, I set about rediscovering Seattle. Superb food! So many interesting options for museums and experiences. I can't encourage folks enough to explore Seattle on their way north.
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good to worst