Background info: There were four of us traveling together in an inside cabin. Due to economic conditions and two of us being either unemployed or retired, we questioned whether we should even consider vacationing this year. However, the cost associated with four in a cabin enticed us to take the jump and go. As siblings it was kind of nice for us to all be together as we don’t get together all that often. We are in our late 40s to early 60s and consider ourselves pretty active. Our idea of a vacation is doing fun stuff, not sitting around a pool reading a book.
Arrival and Embarkation: We were all traveling from the east coast into Seattle so we booked flights to arrive the night before just so we would all be safe to arrive on time and with luggage. We booked the Marqueen Hotel in Seattle because it was located close to the port and close to things to see downtown. We figured that we would take a taxi to the hotel and from there we could take the hotel’s published shuttle service around the city and to the port, as the hotel’s website indicated that they provided a shuttle service anywhere within a five mile radius of the hotel. We found that not to be the case. When we advised the front desk that we would need the shuttle to take us to the port, we were told that the shuttle did not go there even though the port was 1.5 miles from the hotel. Apparently the hotel does not know what a 5 mile radius is. When we checked out of the hotel and told them they needed to update their website to accurately reflect that the shuttle service did not provide service as they represented, they discounted it and in fact charged us an additional $30 for having more than two individuals in the room. After reading the fine print, I guess they had us but nothing about this hotel felt good. They did not represent their services appropriately on their website and had fine print in their rules. I would not recommend this hotel for individuals going out of ports. Stay at a nice clean new chain hotel close to the airport, take a cab once rather than twice and don’t be nickled and dimed. That being said, we caught a cab to the port and boarded without incident. The boarding was organized and staffed well. We got on the Amsterdam at approximately noon and caught a bite to eat up at the Lido deck. Our room was ready by 1:00 pm and our cabin steward was right there introducing himself and his assistant.
Cabin: This was our first time in an interior cabin and our first time with four in a cabin. We mentally prepared ourselves to be cramped. We were not though. With the exception of when all of us were getting ready for dinner, we had plenty of room. Closet space was very good. Suitcases nicely fit under the beds. Things were clean and well organized. Our cabin, 2687, was very quiet. Public Rooms: All were very nice, clean and orderly. The ship is lovely.
Dining: When we had breakfast we generally ate on the Lido deck. They had fresh omelets, eggs Benedict, and pretty much everything you could want. For lunch two of us preferred the main dining room while two of us preferred the Lido deck. Each of us did what we wanted and enjoyed it all. For dinner, five nights were spent in the main dining room, one night in the Pinnacle and one night at the Italian place next to the Lido deck. All dinners were fabulous. We particularly liked the main dining room and we really liked our server. We opted for the 8:00 seating as we like the traditional feel of the main dining room. As for the Pinnacle, we did it, enjoyed the large steak but probably would not do it again. For the extra expense, we just did not see it. As for the dessert extravaganza, we went and took pictures but did not eat as we were still full from dinner. The Italian restaurant was very good and if you’re not in the mood to dress up, it is a very good alternative. Entertainment: I would have to say that entertainment was ok at best. Being that we have been on larger ships, I guess the quaintness of the small ship also results in less funds available for the entertainment. The shows were ok I guess but almost seemed like high school musical level talent and coordination. Excursions: Whale watching was a blast. Zip lining was awesome. Kayaking in Sitka was relaxing and fun. We had a flight plane scheduled for Ketchikan but due to high winds, that was cancelled. I would recommend all the excursions we went on. Separate from the excursions, we caught a bus ($56 cost) to go to the glacier in Juneau but I would not recommend it. If you are scheduled to see other glaciers like Hubbard, the time spent at Mendenhall seemed limited and the cost associated with getting out to the glacier unnecessary.
Disembarking went without incident. All went quickly and was very organized. Overall we had a blast and I’d do the exact same cruise again. The ship was lovely. The crew members were great (except the excursions director who seemed bothered by any questions). Food was very good. The scenery was wonderful. If I had to do it all over again the only things I would change would be to stay in a different hotel and not go to the glacier in Juneau.