We embarked the Zuiderdam in Vancouver after a full day exploring the city. We were told we were very lucky as it was their first full sun day all summer. We loved our hotel in Vancouver (Landis Suites) it worked perfectly as there were 6 of us. We took the Vancouver trolley which was not bad at 9 in the morning and went to Grouse mountain (word of warning: do not expect to see anything from the Grouse Mountain tram, you will be crowded in). The kids loved the lumberjack show.
Embarcation was easy, the only problem we had was finding out where to go with our luggage. We were on the ship by 11:45. Our room was nice, we had 4 beds and the fourth pulled down over the couch. We had connecting rooms with my parents which worked well. This was our second Holland America cruise, our 9 and 7 year-old's first, and my prents had previously cruised on Princess. We chose Holland America in part because of the connecting rooms.
Overall the ship seemed fine. It could use a dry dock but it did not effect our enjoyment of the cruise.
Dining was fine. We had early seating and our waiter was wonderful. They did an excellent job with our allergies and my husband was able to select his gluten free menu a night in advance. He has never eaten more variety of good gluten free foods. Eating in the Lido for breakfast and lunch was very challenging. Maneuvering and finding a table with children was frustrating. A couple of times we were at a table on one side and my husband was on the other. If it hadn't been for my parents this would have been impossible with kids.
The kids loved Club HAL. They spent every possible moment there. The counselors were wonderful and the activities were well planned. There were 120 kids on our cruise but you never would have guessed it. We also did quite a bit of swimming, including the polar bear swim.
We did a few of the adult activities. The magician was good, my parents enjoyed the shows, and the celebrity chef competition was hilarious.
Our ship did not make it up Tracy arm, but the scenery and burgies were beautiful and we saw a great waterfall.
We were not impressed with Juneau, but maybe that is because it was raining. However, we had a fantastic rain free excursion outside of Juneau with Rum Runners and saw eagles and multiple whales.
We loved Skagway and had a great time with Chilkoot charters on the WPRW and dog carting. The baby huskies were the highlight of my daughter's trip.
Glacier Bay was all we dreamed of and more. There was a running joke at the end of the trip about the captain having buttons that said glacier calving and whale breaching. Well, we saw all that and more. Gorgeous glaciers calving and humpback whales breaching and bubble net feeding.
Ketchikan was our favorite town to wander around in. Our son had us on a totem pole quest. We saw a total of 11. Islands Wings for flightseeing was amazing and in the rainest city we had a gorgeous sunny day.