Embarkation was very smooth and took 45 minutes upon arriving at 11:30. Had plenty of time to enjoy the Mariners lunch. All bags were delivered by the time we reached our room at 1:30.
Our room stewards - Izy and Ritzey were fantastic. Never needed to request additional ice or beverages in the mini bar. As usual with HAL and truly Appreciated our room was put in order "magically" whenever we departed for breakfast and before returning from late dining.
As many have probably heard ms Westerdam became abit upset 45 minutes out of Seattle and had a fire in the boiler room. It was put under control but "flared - up" again causing the ship to head back to Seattle. During this 15-20 minute event the Captain kept all informed of the developments. This was appreciated.
Once back in Seattle the USCG inspected the ship and re-cleared our journey for another departure to Alaska. Unfortunately this was not to occur until the following morning with the port of Sitka cut out of the cruise. This revised agenda was reported to the ship by the CEO of HAL along with an on-board credit and future cruise discount. A nice gesture indeed but believe most were thankful that no serious injuries to anyone and that this event occurred so close to Seattle so that proper fixes could be completed.
Overall Ms Westerdam is still a very stately and fine ship. The crew was energetic and pleasant. I'm sure the revolving 7 day cruise schedule is a grind for them but I never noticed a disgruntled crew member. This is another reason we choose to cruise with HAL.
The cruise ports and overall weather were fantastic.
Loved Glacier Bay. Weather was sunny and 56f with slight wind. Perfect conditions for viewing the glaciers from our balcony.
Very happy that we went to Buchart Gardens in Victoria. Even though this excursion was titled " An Evening in Buchart Gardens" we were able to enjoy 1.5 hours of viewing before dusk set upon us. The gardens were just as amazing with the lighting that tastefully installed for evening viewing.
The dining at both the Pinnacle and Caneletto was very good. I had read / heard mixed reviews on both but we were very pleased with the food quality and superb service. We also did Le Cirque again and although we believe it is a tad over priced the quality / service was very good as well.
This was our first Alaska cruise and are looking forward to venturing further north on our next Alaska cruise.