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15 Holland America Skagway Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because of an awesome presentation by the travel agent. We were told this going to be a real Alaskan adventure and experience, instead we were on a ship full of Vietnamese people and forced to choose from mostly asian ... Read More
I chose this cruise because of an awesome presentation by the travel agent. We were told this going to be a real Alaskan adventure and experience, instead we were on a ship full of Vietnamese people and forced to choose from mostly asian food choices. I didnt pay $9,000.00 for an asian vacation to Alaska. The food lines ran out of popular food choices and we had to choose from some sort of mystery meat? We also bought a drink package and it sometimes took over an hour to get a drink from the bar staff. The only speedy bartender was the guy on the top deck. That guy was at least friendly, the others were rude and slow. The ship was neat and clean but the staff was quite rude. We sat for almost two hours at the Pinnacle Grill, so long that i almost fell asleep waiting for my food. The only good meal we had on the cruise was when we stopped in Ketchikan and went to a fresh seafood house. This experience for the money we paid was so bad, i will most like never take a cruise again.I've filled out multiple post trip surveys since returning and not a single person from Holland America has contacted me. Very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship ... Read More
Holland America's cruise from Skagway to Vancouver was wonderful. That is, if you were healthy enough to enjoy it. Once we were done with the aggressive land travel portion, their bus delivered us and many others to the ship coughing, sneezing, congested and worn out. Long land transports were ideal pathogen breeding grounds, and HAL was invisible with any contagion prevention. RCL does a much better job in this regard. Also, stayed in a real dive along the way. If you're lucky enough to be healthy at ship embarkation, you will see some gorgeous scenery, and, hopefully, some wildlife. But, wildlife viewing was sporadic at best. Other aspects of the cruise were about what you'd expect: very attentive service by stewards/waiters, good food (but specialty restaurants had the really good food), good entertainment, some good excursions/some to be avoided. If you can afford it, get a room with a veranda. The extra space and additional viewing area was great for relaxing and taking in the scenery. We had to have the steward fix a squeaky door leading out to the veranda, but he was very accomodating and got it done right away (along with fixing a slow drain in the bathtub). We usually dined with the other people in our 16-person group. The wait staff quickly became familiar with our group. We celebrated a couple of birthdays during the trip, and the staff entertained us with some birthday cakes and renditions of Happy Birthday. Food was good but did not blow us away. The ship was an enjoyable size--not so large that it took a long time to get from one end to the other and not too small as to be lacking in venues. Hot tubs were actually hot and not too crowded. Didn't get a chance to use any of the several pools but those that did looked like they were enjoying it. Overall, we were a little underwhelmed by the land portion of this tour. Didn't see much wildlife, smoke was everywhere due to the forest fires, and we're still trying to get better two weeks later. So, avoid that leg of the tour, stick to the cruise and you'll enjoy it more. Don't bank on Alaska being the "trip of a lifetime". It certainly isn't--especially the way HAL operates. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our first cruise, and coming off a cruisetour (Y4L) we had four days on the ship. We had an opportunity to upgrade to a Signature Suite from a Veranda and glad we did. This put us in room 6072 in the middle of the ship. We had a ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and coming off a cruisetour (Y4L) we had four days on the ship. We had an opportunity to upgrade to a Signature Suite from a Veranda and glad we did. This put us in room 6072 in the middle of the ship. We had a larger bathroom and room to spread out. The veranda was a wonderful place to view the glaciers on our day in Glacier Bay. We ate at the Lido buffet for breakfast and lunch all days. It was easy to go at any time and there was a huge variety of food choices. I particularly liked the omelet station for breakfast. Easy to be healthy and easy to indulge for all meals. We had dinner at the Dining Room. We had open seating and for 3 of our 4 nights were seated with other people. Again, we found the food to be delicious with plenty of choices. One evening my husband asked for extra steak when he ordered and they were more than happy to oblige. We were there for a Gala Night and we dressed up and enjoyed a special dinner. Service was great. Entertainment on the boat was outstanding. We went to BB Kings every night, the Billboard pianists were fabulous, and we went to an afternoon performance at Lincoln Center Stage. Very talented musicians who worked hard to entertain the crowd. We did not see any of the stage shows in the evening. We were too busy enjoying the music! We also used the health club. Plenty of treadmills, bikes, ergs and machines. Some free weights too. It was not crowded and we were able to use the equipment we wanted. The treadmills were placed at the windows in the bow which my husband enjoyed. I liked working out without looking out to sea so something for everyone. Our third day on the boat we stopped at Ketchican. We planned to hike Deer Mountain at this stop and since the weather was good we stuck with our plan. We grabbed a cab when we came off the ship that took us to the trailhead. Glad we did. It was an uphill walk and the cab knew exactly where we were going. We walked back into town after the hike and had some time to poke into the shops before boarding the ship. By our last day we felt we knew our way around. There is a daily schedule of activities so always something going on if you were looking for something to do. A little sad to say goodbye but the four days on the ship were a great way to relax after the busier pace on land. It was an older crowd for the most part on land and on the ship. We had a couple on their honeymoon on the land tour and there were some young families on the ship. If you are looking for the big shows and non-stop entertainment this might not be your cruise/cruisetour but it was just perfect for us. Already thinking about going back to Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We took a land tour first. Our tour directer Merrin was incredible, knowledgable and very pleasant. All of the land tours we took were fantastic. We boarded in Skagway. Embarkation was fine. The first night dining experience was ... Read More
We took a land tour first. Our tour directer Merrin was incredible, knowledgable and very pleasant. All of the land tours we took were fantastic. We boarded in Skagway. Embarkation was fine. The first night dining experience was wonderful. Our waiter was pleasant and wanted to do a good job. He even asked if we had any allergies to food. I did. I told him I'm very allergic to mushrooms. The second night we had a waiter who brought me out a surf and turf. I was getting ready to eat it when I noticed a mushroom on it. I asked the waiter if I could have two lobster tails instead of the meat (as all the meat had mushroom sauce on it) He said I could. A few minutes later another waiter came back with my same food (all they did was take the mushroom off but the sauce was still there). We were eating with other people so I didn't say anything). I didn't realize that the lobster tail had some mushroom sauce on it. I put it in my mouth and took it right out I had to use my eppi-pen right away. I didn't want to get him into trouble so I made a comment about they should teach their wait staff to take allergies serious. We didn't go back for our meals in the dining room. The tour we took in Ketchikan was wonderful. It was educational and informative, I did hurt my leg while walking on gravel paths. By the time we got back on the ship I was having a hard time walking on it. The next day we spent at sea seeing Glacier Bay. We went to Guest Services to inquire about a wheelchair. We were shocked when the woman told us it would be $200.00 for the day (and we would not get the money back). We do understand that there has to be rules. We also understand that there are times in life that rules need to be bent. . I asked her if she could please have a wheelchair sent to our room the next morning for disembarkation. She said she would. The wheelchair never came. By the time we got to the disembarkation area I was in tears from the pain. People all around us were asking the crew to get me a wheelchair. No one did until i held up the line when it was our turn for disembarkation (because I couldn't walk). The wheelchair came real fast then. As one gentleman stated, "The crew tells the passengers if we need anything they will do it for us. The man then stated, If it's easy they will do it but if someone really needs help then they are on their own." Another man stated, " it's a good thing we didn't have a real emergency because then it would be every person for themselves." We did send a comment to Holland America. When they got back to us they said, "That is the policy. The person at Guest Services did the right thing." This person then told my husband that to make up for this the next time we book a cruise on this ship they will give us two vouchers for the Pinnicle Grill. Basically, they could care less. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We arrived in Anchorage on May 24, and two-thirds of our 15-day journey was spent in Alaska and the Yukon. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing it all, despite all the travel (six hotels in 10 days, about 1200 miles). We wish there had been an ... Read More
We arrived in Anchorage on May 24, and two-thirds of our 15-day journey was spent in Alaska and the Yukon. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing it all, despite all the travel (six hotels in 10 days, about 1200 miles). We wish there had been an extra day in Whitehorse. The train ride to Denali was a relaxing day, and the Tundra Wilderness Tour was a good overview of the park. We enjoyed both Dawson City and Whitehorse in the Yukon, despite the former's touristy feel on its main street. We tended to eat at the restaurants in the Westmark hotels we stayed in (usually for convenience). (Westmark is owned by HAL.) The hotel food was usually quite good, although we ate at other restaurants three times during the trip, and especially enjoyed the Aurora Inn restaurant in Dawson City, a short block from the hotel. We enjoyed our last two land days in Skagway, especially the city museum on Seventh Street: it was a gem that would not have been out of place in a big city. We boarded Volendam just before noon on day 11, had lunch in the Lido restaurant, and spent much of the afternoon in our (reserved) deck chairs soaking up the nice weather, having the knowledge we wouldn't have to get on a bus for four more days. The ship is elegant and understated, and it was a real pleasure to arise early, get our coffee in the Explorations Cafe, and sit there watching the world go by. This was an especially nice morning location as we entered Glacier Bay on our second day on board. After breakfast that day, we moved to our deck chairs for the rest of the day. On the third day, we arrived in Ketchikan around 9am in a drizzling rain. My wife went out briefly to find the local museum, but we otherwise stayed on board that day. Our general impression of Ketchikan's main street was that it had cornered much of the world supply of jewelry and souvenir stores. Our last full day sailing was at sea through the Inside Passage and was generally enjoyable. However, a wind came up mid-afternoon, and the ship started rolling a little. This wasn't a problem until I spent about 30 minutes concentrating on a computer monitor around 4pm while trying to check in for our flight home the next day. Because I concentrated too much on the monitor for too long, I felt woozy when I stood up to go back to our cabin. I won't repeat this mistake. I was very disappointed with the ship's Internet service. Since it was based on time rather than how much was downloaded, HAL has no incentive to improve the service. It took about 30 minutes to finish our Alaska Airlines check-in, and ended up costing about $1 per minute. I won't make this mistake again. During our time on board, we ate breakfast and lunch in the Lido restaurant (with one lunch exception), and all dinners in the upper Main Dining Room. The Lido food was quite good and varied, and I appreciated the opportunity to have some Asian dishes (like congee, an Asian rice porridge breakfast, and a Malaysian stir fry for lunch). We thought the Main Dining Room dinners were exceptional, although the desserts seemed commonplace and merely workmanlike. We attended the tea service one afternoon, and were pleasantly surprised at the quality and variety of the tea cakes. Disembarking in Vancouver was smooth: we were in the first group off after some of the elevated Mariners (since we had to catch a flight at noon), but we were unhappy that we had to stand in line waiting for a bus to take us to the airport. Had we known about this, I'd have not packed our folding Walkstool to sit on (I have a problematic hip and knee). Overall, it was an enjoyable, fun, and memorable experience, well worth any of the small glitches we encountered. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
This was a trip that we'd planned to celebrate our 40th anniversary. The last four nights were the cruise from Skagway, Alaska to Vancouver, BC. We'd never been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. We were ... Read More
This was a trip that we'd planned to celebrate our 40th anniversary. The last four nights were the cruise from Skagway, Alaska to Vancouver, BC. We'd never been on a cruise before and didn't know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised with the staff on the Nieuw Amsterdam, they were extremely helpful and pleasant. We got personally acquainted with our cabin attendant "Putu" (I hope I got the spelling of his name correct), and he was very thorough and pleasant. But, he was only one, the entire crew was fantastic and very professional. We attended a couple of shows while on the cruise and they were very entertaining. I would also say we were treated like royalty while on board. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I'm curious if our Holland America cruise was typical of other cruise lines. I previously sailed Royal Caribbean to Mexico and Carnival to Mexico. The Holland America experience involved a lot of "attitude" beginning ... Read More
I'm curious if our Holland America cruise was typical of other cruise lines. I previously sailed Royal Caribbean to Mexico and Carnival to Mexico. The Holland America experience involved a lot of "attitude" beginning when we went to the wrong deck for dining and were sent down one level and continued through most crew interactions. Example: My husband tried to buy one t-shirt and the sales associate gave him a very hard time and finally told him that "if a person has a chance to get a lottery ticket for buying merchandise, then one is very foolish not to take advantage of that" We each bought a beer and the waiter gave us the very hard sell to buy a bucket (on our final night!) saying we could take it to the room. The massage therapist asked a number of personal questions about my skin care routine and sort of mocked my product choices and regime - totally ruined the experience (this happened while I was naked on the table at the end of the treatment). I don't remember any of this on my other cruises - is this the new normal or is it just the normal for HAL? Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
For a cruise that was marketed as about seeing wildlife, the crew seemed particularly lacking in knowledge on this area with apparently no ranger on board except for the short time when we were cruising through Glacier Bay. Most of the ... Read More
For a cruise that was marketed as about seeing wildlife, the crew seemed particularly lacking in knowledge on this area with apparently no ranger on board except for the short time when we were cruising through Glacier Bay. Most of the time we simply motored around at speed and the chances of seeing a whale or any other animal showed in the marketing seemed to be extremely limited. This was a big disappointment as the cruise felt more like a ferry taking us from A to B than a cruise to see the wildlife we would have liked to see. However our biggest gripe with the cruise was the amount of shops on board and the endless focus of the staff on encouraging us to buy everything from jewellery to art. This seemed to have annoyed a lot of fellow passengers as well. In particular it was a shame that whilst trying to flog a lot of stuff we didn't need, they didn't seem to sell the basic things we might have wanted to buy on a cruise like sunhats, coats, memory cards for the camera etc. Lastly the food was very mediocre in our opinion. We will be staying away from this line in future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Awful from the beginning. Rude people and nobody to help with problems. This was a trip with so much that was wrong that it would take more space than allowed. We spent extra money for this ship thinking it would be better for us as ... Read More
Awful from the beginning. Rude people and nobody to help with problems. This was a trip with so much that was wrong that it would take more space than allowed. We spent extra money for this ship thinking it would be better for us as first time cruisers, WRONG. THE TOILET in our stateroom was to the rim with water when we got into our room. They got it to go down but the next morning it was the same. They sent a plumber 3 times and could not put us in another room. All in all I had to put towels on the floor 4 different times. We took the elevator to a different floor to use the public restroom. Awful. The main dinning room was only open for lunch 1 hour every day. We spent money for formal wear for our big night, could have saved our money. This diner was a joke. The only buffet style restaurant was so small we had to wait for seats. Entertainment was employees dancing with cruise people for a contest. A piano player, a magician that is out of a county fair and tries to sell you a cheap magic kit in a Ziploc bag. There was a movie playing several times a day in the theater, free popcorn, Wow. At every turn there is someone trying to sell you something, good God art of all things. Who goes on a cruise for fun to buy art. Ridiculous. Wine seems to be the main thing they try to sell. On almost every channel on TV is a ship commercial telling you about this and that in on board store. If you play cards this is your ship. We do not. It has a very small casino. All in all this was terrible for the 3 of us. The 20 year old was bored as was myself 60 & my husband 65. Everyone that's cruised tells us to go again because they are not this bad. Just never Holland America again. We might but it will be a while, this was a very bad experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The embarkation part of this trip felt like a cattle call. there were five or more buses trying to board at the same time. Crew members were barking orders and expecting instant obedience. On the flip side, it was the smoothest ... Read More
The embarkation part of this trip felt like a cattle call. there were five or more buses trying to board at the same time. Crew members were barking orders and expecting instant obedience. On the flip side, it was the smoothest disembarkation I have ever seen. Kudos to them for this. We only had three dinners on board the ship. the Pinnacle was good and the service was good. The Italian restaurant was ok. Our first server handed us the menus and explained the unique qualities of ordering, unfortunately, we only understood about three isolated words during her 60 second explanation. The menu did explain what she had said, but I had to confirm what I thought is was saying with the next waiter. Fortunately he was more fluent in English. In the Rotterdam the server was in between the two in his ability to speak English. It appears the great majority of the crew are from Indonesia. I love the Indonesian people and these people were delightful. Unfortunately, many of those expected to interact with the guests were not fluent in English. The more fluent ones were selling in the gift shops. That makes sense since visiting them is more voluntary than the restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The land tour (8 days with HAL) was awesome and exceeded our expectations, Anchorage/Denali/Fairbanks/Dawson City/ whitehorse/ Skagway but the sea part to Vancouver was not fun. I would not cruise with HAL on their ships again. 1. ... Read More
The land tour (8 days with HAL) was awesome and exceeded our expectations, Anchorage/Denali/Fairbanks/Dawson City/ whitehorse/ Skagway but the sea part to Vancouver was not fun. I would not cruise with HAL on their ships again. 1. Indonesian and Filipino staff have poor English comprehension - a big problem in the case of an emergency (Costa Concordia). They try hard, but lack English language skill. 2. Customer service at the front desk is very poor. The worst of any cruise ship we have seen. 3. Overall Poor maintenance - the ship is WAY overdue for a major refurbishment Below are my comments on the HAL follow up survey: As an experienced cruiser (35+ cruises) , I can say this Volendam cruise was absolutely the worst cruise that we have ever been on. My wife and I are NOT chronic complainers, we are not demanding - but we expect a decent cruise experience. The experience started on Saturday 6/27 when (dead tired) we flopped down in our cabin at 2:00 to take a nap. The room was cold (62.4F to be exact 16C). I awoke at 4:30PM with the sniffles (had a cough for the rest of the cruise) and tried to turn the temperature up. It did not respond. We called the hotel desk at 5:00PM and they said that they would "send a technician to our cabin' - #1939. No response - at 5:25 I called again. This time the hotel sent a clerk to check the temp which he confirmed at 16C. Then we went to dinner and the show. Back in the room at 9:45 and still cold at 16C. This time we went to the desk and asked to be shifted to another room. The staff person refused. Told us to sit and wait a while while the same desk clerk rechecked the temperature. Sick of waiting, we went down to the room. Finally a tech came at about 10:30 and reset the control unit. It continued to operate imperfectly for the next three days. Day two - no water was running in the sink or toilet from 6:00-7:00AM - the toilet packed up after a BM at 8:00AM. Afraid to use the room toilet for the next three days, my wife and I did all of our necessities in the public rest rooms which were also operating imperfectly. After a terrific (yes, I said terrific) land tour (8 days) we were of a mindset for a good sea experience. If the staff had given us another room, all would have probably been fine and the cold room would have been forgotten. Lord forgive them if they had needed to upgrade us to a higher level (sic). Might have cost HAL $20. But with the bad temperature controller, and the defective toilet, we were set up for a negative experience. The food was so so and the entertainment was ok, but our room experience was terrible. We also also became much more critical of the ship. After an 11:00PM general emergency alarm due to a bad pulley in a cabinet that was emitting smoke, it became evident to us that the Volendam needs to be taken from service and gone over with a fine tooth comb. The systems are in desperate need of proper maintenance and a good deep cleaning program. The sewer system, the mechanical systems, and the guest ventilation systems. Somebody threw up in the aft promenade deck vestibule early on in the cruise and the vomit smell was there till we left the ship. Poor maintenance in general. It is VERY doubtful that we will cruise with HAL for a third cruise. Princess and Celebrity have much higher standards and do not cost that much more. Many of the staff are great and went out of their way to serve us. These include the cabin steward, the bar staff, and the waiters. The front office delivers very poor customer service despite the phalanx of awards on the board. The English proficiency of the staff is a big problem. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Spent the 1st week of the HAL organised tour on land, touring from Anchorage, through the Yukon, to Skagway for a 4 night sail thru Glacier Bay etc to Vancouver. A few hits, a few misses on the land portion of the tour (eg - bus load of ... Read More
Spent the 1st week of the HAL organised tour on land, touring from Anchorage, through the Yukon, to Skagway for a 4 night sail thru Glacier Bay etc to Vancouver. A few hits, a few misses on the land portion of the tour (eg - bus load of hungry travellers arriving for lunch at destination spot - except HAL hadn't told them we were coming - oops. Booked a quad bike tour [with others] just outside Denali National Park - they had no record of us coming - oops). Get to Skagway anticipating going straight to our HAL booked excursion for the afternoon (which we booked/paid for months earlier) - nope. After much uming and ahing - find out its oversubscribed so we were offered a trip later that afternoon. OK except that prevented us for doing any town visit. Oh well. On board - the cabins are fine, the attendants are wonderful (sling them a few bucks as you arrive [not at the end], then sit back and enjoy the service). Embarkation OK but as we (and hundreds others) boarded mid trip as it were, there was not great intro to the ship, facilities, no welcoming words - bit more of a 'help yourself'. Dining is OK - one large dining room (2 levels) at rear of ship for dinner. 'Could we have that table by the window?' No, sorry. So it remains vacant from when we arrive till when we leave ! Alternatives to the main dining room are a) paying for a specialty restaurant - "its only $10 or so". Really? - what about the thousands I paid which included food in the first place? If you want to do lunch at the dining room - be quick - its only open for an hour. How about the buffet ? Careful with that. My two biggest issues with the buffet are: a) you dont get a say in the size of your portion thats slopped onto your plate. Want steak? - you get 2. Want spuds - you get half a plate full. Want spinach? - you get a kilograms worth; and b) No self service here - its strictly 'American school canteen' style. Why wasnt this ever mentioned? Other cruise lines have self serve and it works perfectly... Ooh - and make sure you get to the food half an hour before closing time - cause that when they start closing everything down. The only food available 'out of hours' is pizza and to be kind, I wont comment on the quality. On the up side, the scenery around this part of Alaska is just breathtaking. I suggest you take this cruise, ignore most of the food (and the activities), find a nice spot on one of the decks (or your verandah) and enjoy the view. You have plenty of time to do it - its only dark for a couple of hours a day..... Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
My husband and I took the Holland America Land & Sea Journey on the Zuiderdam. We flew to Anchorage where we were met at the airport for transport to the Westmark Anchorage for the start of the Land portion of our trip. It was the ... Read More
My husband and I took the Holland America Land & Sea Journey on the Zuiderdam. We flew to Anchorage where we were met at the airport for transport to the Westmark Anchorage for the start of the Land portion of our trip. It was the first trip of the season so that may have accounted for the disorganization the next morning as we were taken by bus to Holland America's own domed rail cars for the trip to Denali. The train ride was great -- so many miles of forest and beautiful scenery! McKinley Chalet's are where you stay and they are OK but clean. The only drawback on the land portion was your luggage had to be outside your room door each morning of travel by around 6:30 am. That means you have be up and ready by then or you have to carry anything you use to get ready with around with you the rest of the day. All the hotels you stay at are Westmarks or the McKinley. They are all clean but I would only call the Fairbanks & Dawson one's attractive (both in very different ways). We stayed 2 nights in Denali. The wilderness tour was taken on the full day there. We saw numerous caribou, several moose, ptarmigan, a Dall sheep (a dot on the mountain). Some on our group also saw a lynx. Every where we went on buses, they made plenty of stops so we didn't get tired of sitting. From Denali, was took a bus to Fairbanks. It was only a couple of hours trip and there was beauty out all the windows so well worth the time. The next morning we took a plane from Fairbanks to Dawson, Yukon, Canada. (You might want to verify with you cell provider whether you will have service in Alaska and Canada.) We personally loved the little town of Dawson. Only one street is paved and most of the buildings look like they were built a 100 years ago. On our way out of town the next AM, there was a cute little red fox that ran alongside our bus for a little bit. Then about 10-20 miles outside of town, there was a black bear sitting up against a telephone pole watching our bus go by. By the time the driver was able to get back to it, it had taken off so we didn't get photos but had a great initial viewing of it. My husband was really dreading that 9-hour bus trip between Dawson and Whitehorse. But he even admitted it wasn't bad. The bus was comfortable, they made frequent short stops, and there was just so much to see. And the morning after Whitehorse, we rode the old narrow-gauge railroad down into Skagway where we got onto the ship. Little did I know we had already spent the best part of our trip on land. I didn't really think about the fact that we weren't going to spend very much time in each town we visited because there simply wasn't time. But we are still glad we took the Land portion because we did get to see so much more of Alaska that way. Oh, and the shore excursion Husky Homestead Tour was the best. Not only do you get to hold and pet young Alaska husky puppies but 4X Iditarod champion, Jeff King, gives a informative and entertaining presentation about preparing for and running various sled dog races. It was one of the highlights of our trip. We joined the ship in Skagway and things from there were rather a disappointment,. This was our first cruise so maybe I expected too much but all the full-color glossy brochures made me believe we were going to experience the trip of a lifetime. I just thought it was going to be a good thing. The cabin was fine even if you feel like you are meeting yourself coming and going. The hallways to the cabins were dreary. The buffet was staffed by people that English was their second language and quite a few of them made no effort to speak clearly. We never knew what we were going to get because we literally could not understand 1/2 of what they said. And you are charged $11.50 per day per person to give those that wouldn't make an effort to be understood gratuities for service! There were plenty that made the effort to be understood, gave very good service and were polite and pleasant., But not nearly enough of them. Oh, and as for the great quantities of delicious food -- think again. Sizzler has a better salad bar, there was a strange flavor to most of what we got, and the wonderful, enticing desserts were nonexistent. We paid just a little extra one night to dine in the Italian restaurant and only 1 of the 3 items we got was good. I lost over 4 pounds in our 11 days!!!! Side note, every meal we got on the land portion of our trip was good. Unless you like to have people staring at you while swimming and enjoying the spas, I wouldn't plan on using either during the afternoon. There was a Mexican Fiesta buffet set up all around the pool area so you would have quite an audience while trying to swim. I was expecting some serious luxury in at least a few common areas. It wasn't bad but there definitely wasn't any soaring ceilings or graceful stairways. There were glass elevators from which you could see the ocean or land. The colors were primary and bright. We felt that almost everything on the ship was about separating you from your money. We even had to pay over $3.00 a bottle for water in our cabin. I guess the bottom line is I was expecting to be treated really well and I felt we were just treated like cattle and that they expected us to pay well for the treatment! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
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