I was sceptical at first when we booked our Alaska cruise as we live "near Alaska" approx 90 miles from Ketchikan as the crow flies. We see eagles, bears, moose, whales, and snowcapped mountains on a regular basis. We wanted to go with friends from back east so decided on an Alaskan cruise, but right up until a month prior we were not that thrilled..we wanted to see palm trees and tiki huts on our vacation, not snow!
We had cruised several times before on most of the other lines but this was our 1st time with H.A. and also Alaska.
We boarded the Zaandam in Vancouver on a wet a dreary day and were pleasantly surprised once we got on board. It was a much smaller ship than we had sailed before but we found it very easy to navigate and never got lost!
We had accepted an upsell a week prior to sailing and we were in a verandah suite midship, cabin 6154 and 6156...we asked our room steward to open the adding balconies up so we had more space to visit.
By the time we departed Vancouver the weather had cleared up and we had 6.5 days of pure sun after that..I came home with a tan, wow!
Our experience was total awe! Everything from the cabin, the beds, the room service, our steward ( Sandi ), the weather, even the scenery...totally impressed us! We didn't do any shore excursions, we just walked around each port and checked out the stores, had a beer at a local pub, took some photos and found a few geocaches. We like Ketchikan the best, Creek St was neat and we ride the funicular up and walked back down the married mans trail.
Tracy Arm was the highlight for us all. We were in awe of the beauty, the fjords were so close to us and seeing the glacier and ice floats were very cool...I couldn't believe the serenity of it all...even with 1500 other tourists on board...it was serene!
Needless to say we LOVED the cruise, H.A. was exceptional and we put down a deposit for a future cruise..we are hoping to do it again next year and make it an annual event!!
It just goes to show that prior expectations don't really reflect reality!
here is the link to my GoPro video I made of our trip :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHRW2XcRZBo
Loved Creek Street! We avoided the touristy shops selling junk from China and found some genuine "made in Alaska" knick-knacks to bring home. The funicular was $4 to ride all day, we rode it once and walked down the married mans trail. Tried to find a water front non-smoking pub to have a beer but couldn't find a non smoking one so we went back on board the ship to have the best view!!