Airport arrangements, hotel transfers, baggage handling- all with precision. Embarkation took at most 30 minutes shuttle to on board.
Land touring a week before cruise included Fairbanks, Denali, Anchorage.Wildlife trip to Denali magnificent, breathtaking view of mountain that day. Land tour director was a pro, even assisted in crisis when wife packed ALL my clothes and sent ahead to the ship. Our group of 40 were all punctual cooperative and affable.
One day flight to Anaktuvak Pass village was worh note. The flight up and visit into tundra very good. The village itself was difficult. The locals ‘subsistence traditional life’ is now all western supported, by importing everything-EVERYTHING- by air. Educate yourself before deciding to spend a large amount of money and full day.
This was our 2nd HAL trip. Layout identical to previous Noordam. Odd to round a corner of a new place and know where you were and what you would see next. This means no adventure in exploring a new vessel.
I am a physician, and visit to Med Facility and listening to shop talk stories from ship's Doc an extra treat. (unlike Cunard).
Staff very attentive, but HAL needs to assist them with English skills-room service, bar. Table waiters and wine steward were absolutely top notch, no issues there. Dining room staff made us feel special.
Pinnacle Grill evening another home run. Our Noordam had been just ok.
Food varied and good. Portions smallish- but waiters would suggest double portions when needed, and brought extra 'tasting' dishes out.
The liberal policy of allowing passengers to bring wine on board made our trip more fun and saved us money.
Between us we had Cunard, Norwegian, Princess as well as HAL previous experiences and we agreed this was best to date.