Holland America is the only cruise line that offers this 14 day experience. It visits small ports such as Homer, Kodiak and Icy Strait Point. These three ports offer what the real Alaska is like. There are no chain jewelry stores There are local folks selling their crafts and local fishermen. You can walk trails through the forest at Icy Straight and the shore at Homer. The restaurants sell fish caught that morning.
The MS Statendam is still a lovely lady. Even though she is being transferred to P&O lines, also owned by Carnival, she is in good shape. The crew has done a great job of keeping her maintained.
The service is what we expect from HAL. It far exceeds the service by other cruise lines. Embarkation and disembarkation were handled extremely well.
We took this opportunity to spoil ourselves and booked a Neptune Suite. The cabin was what were expected. The balcony is twice the size of a normal balcony. The service in the Neptune Lounge was exceptional.
We enjoy departing from Seattle. We spend time at Pikes Market and the waterfront. We always stay at the Marriott Waterfront Seattle. You cannot beat the location. The Marriott does take advantage of the increase of business due to the cruise industry by raising its prices during the cruise season. All other hotels do the same.
We walked around town, ignored the sales people standing outside trying to convince us to come into their stores. We did stop by the Red Dog Saloon for a draft root bear.
Homer is a reminder of what the real Alaska is like. It is a small fishing village. Went for a walk along the shore and stop for some fresh fish for lunch
We have been to Sitka many times before. We enjoy walking the trails taking in the beauty of Alaska.