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We did the sea and land package, there were 8 of us in our group. Before we left there were a few changes in our transfer and then our flights were moved ahead a whole day. I CANNOT stress enough the importance of booking your air through the cruise line if you do not plan on arriving a day or two early. HAL took great care of us and we also had the additional help of our travel agents in Michigan. HAL Representatives communicated with us every step of the way and met us at the airport to help guide us to our 5 star accommodations that were conveniently located in downtown Vancouver. I do not look forward to any cruise ship dining experience I just don't love food that much, and quite honestly it all begins to taste the same after about day 3. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent (it costs extra, we had a free dinner and lunch). I liked the 48 hour rule of not allowing the guests to self serve themselves in the Lido dining room. If I could offer one suggestion it would be to learn how to keep the food warmer, nothing ever seemed hot. When we got to the land portion I was amazed at how well organized it was. All in all, the trip was wonderful the scenery spectacular the weather better than we expected and the overall experience priceless.

Beautiful Alaska and Vacationing with Holland America

Oosterdam Cruise Review by sstip

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: August 2014
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We did the sea and land package, there were 8 of us in our group. Before we left there were a few changes in our transfer and then our flights were moved ahead a whole day. I CANNOT stress enough the importance of booking your air through the cruise line if you do not plan on arriving a day or two early. HAL took great care of us and we also had the additional help of our travel agents in Michigan. HAL Representatives communicated with us every step of the way and met us at the airport to help guide us to our 5 star accommodations that were conveniently located in downtown Vancouver.
I do not look forward to any cruise ship dining experience I just don't love food that much, and quite honestly it all begins to taste the same after about day 3. The Pinnacle Grill was excellent (it costs extra, we had a free dinner and lunch). I liked the 48 hour rule of not allowing the guests to self serve themselves in the Lido dining room. If I could offer one suggestion it would be to learn how to keep the food warmer, nothing ever seemed hot.
When we got to the land portion I was amazed at how well organized it was. All in all, the trip was wonderful the scenery spectacular the weather better than we expected and the overall experience priceless.
sstip’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VA 4038
Our first cabin had a loud banging noise below us, I contacted the front desk after the 2nd night and they took care of it. It came back the 4th day and we were moved to a very nice cabin. We were not expecting to be moved and we appreciated all the follow up we were given
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

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    It is important to know that the 8 of us hired a cab to take us to the Mendenhall Glacier and it was reasonably priced although I do not think cab drivers should talk on their cell phones while driving. Nice walk to the Capitol and Governors house and side streets. We were supposed to go on a helicopter tour here but it was cancelled due to weather which it often is. We were lucky and were able to rebook in Skagway, next time I would just book in Skagway.
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  • Ketchikan
    Very quaint town, head directly to Creek Street to avoid the crowds. the funicular is a bit of a tourist trap but there are some nice totem poles once you arrive. It is a great town to walk around and get acquainted with . Personally I liked the jewelry and shopping here the best.
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  • Helicopter Tour
    The helicopter ride was AMAZING!!! Well organized and fun to land and walk around on a glacier, because everyone in the group cooperated we had extra time to see things. the dog sled portion was cancelled due to the amount of rain in August. Skagway was my favorite town, very quaint, when you viewed it from the ship it reminded my of the show Northern Exposure. I would suggest that the cars that will take you to and fro continue with frequent shuttles towards the end of the day. we ran out of time and did not get to the falls and if the shuttles had ran longer we would have been able to get closer and would have made the walk in a timely manner.
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