We decided to booked our first cruise to explore Alaska last July, 2011. After doing some research and talked with friends, we decided to go with Holland America (HAL). Zaandam did not disappoint us, we're very happy overall with the whole experience! Highly recommended it to everyone!
The ship itself, Zaandam, is a bit outdated especially in the room interior. It probably needs some remodeling in the near future, but it is adequate for our needs. The bed is surprisingly very comfortable.
The overall experience in the ship was great. Service was excellent, everyone was very friendly and helpful. The activities and entertainment was pretty good. While the entertainment was catered toward the older crowd, we were quite pleased with it. The food was really good, lots of variety, tasty and presentation was superb. The food is probably the best part of the whole thing.
During the cruise, the view was amazing. We were able to see the glaciers and even multiple whales. The crew would explain in the detail as we're cruising so you will be informed throughout the whole excursion. We didn't book any shore excursion at the ports through the cruise line although we believe most people did. The port check-in/checkout process was a breeze. No long lines, everything was smooth and quick.
Throughout the cruise, we felt spoiled and treated very nicely. We think it's worth every penny! We will surely book another cruise with HAL! :)