This was our 4th HAL cruise and 2nd time to Alaska. We had done the route out of Seattle the last time so wanted to try the inside passage out of Vancouver. This was the last cruised for the year out of Alaska and was a little worried about weather and shopping being out of stock but the weather was wonderful and the shops had great specials going on. Many people we talked to were leaving a day or two later as it was the end of the season.
We got a great deal upgrading from a Neptune suite to the Pinnacle suit and it was impressive. Embarkation was smooth. Being Pinnacle suite guests, we were escorted by HAL employees straight past any lines through customs and to our suit. The ship appeared to be in great shape and the service was top notch. HAL has never let us down as far as service goes. Everyone went out of their was to make sure we had a great time. We had the 8pm seating for dinner and the food was delicious and plentiful. I couldn't do dessert as I was too full.
We had a great time with the waiters and they all seemed happy and willing to please. We mainly cruise to relax so we didn't take in too many onboard activities. We went to a couple of wine tastings and that was very fun. We participated in one of the dance lessons and it had a great turn-out. We only went to one musical show in the evening and it was very good.
Our 1st "stop" was cruising Glacier Bay and it was amazing. We even saw a glacier calving. It was really nice to see the Glaciers up close. The park rangers on the cruise did a great job informing us about what we were seeing. Our 2nd stop was Skagway and we rode the White Pass Summit Scenic Railroad. It was a nice train ride with breathtaking view and lots of great scenery. Our next stop was Juneau where we did the Mendenhall Glacier & Whale Quest excursion. I would have been happy to see any whales but we saw about a hundred. Truly a must-do when in Juneau. Our last port was Ketchikan and it was great. We did an Alaska Rain Forest excursion. The Rain Forest is amazing and we saw Bald Eagles in the wild right up close. The guide was very informative. Overall, it was probably the best cruise we have been on and look forward to the next one.
We got a good deal on an upgrade to this cabin and never thought we would ever see one. This cabin was amazing, It is nice to have a separate bedroom and large dining table as we ate many breakfasts in our suite. It also has a pantry with larger refrigerator, coffee maker, and plenty of cups, glasses, silverware to use. Very spacious. The large verandah made viewing Alaska great and the hot tub on the verandah was really cool. The room was in great shape and we loved it.