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We were first time cruisers and not sure of what to expect but we had always heard about incredible food and top-of-the-line service. We didn't experience either. The food was mediocre and room service took a minimum of 45 minutes, when the food arrived.. it was cold and far less quality than what was in the dining room, and that's not saying much. The restaurants, however, were great! The Pinnacle Grill had a great selection and everything tasted incredible! The italian restaurant was also very good! But truly the best thing about the cruise for us... was the balcony! So thankful we paid the extra for it since we spent about 80% of our time on board enjoying the sights and wildlife around us. Also, the ports were very enjoyable! HAL offers a great combination of ports on this cruise: Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Victoria, B.C. Juneau -Tracey's Crab Shack was phenomenal!! It also had a lot more to offer in authentic Alaskan souvenirs. We had been told that Ketchikan offered better deals but I feel like they were more limited in what they offered. Glacier Bay - Gorgeous!! Bring your camera and wear layers! The water was so beautiful and the scenery cannot be missed! Plan to spend the majority of time on the front decks and be ready to be captivated for hours. Ketchikan - Offered a great fishing experience with Baranof Fishing Excursions. We shipped the halibut we caught home and have even ordered fresh fish from them since for a reasonable price. Also had a beautiful park we visited at Settlers Cove where we saw beaches, waterfalls, and lush forests. Sitka - By far our favorite!!! This quaint island-town quickly became the highlight of our trip with the help of Paul Davis of Gallant Adventures! His boat is small which allows for a private tour specific to your family's interests for a great price! In addition, he was extremely personable and had great knowledge and experience to share about Sitka and its inhabitants. We came home with photos we'll always treasure and memories we'll never forget. The BEST excursion offered in Sitka by far! Victoria, B.C. - We walked down to the docks which were beautiful. The eclectic 'house-boats' were so unique and the dungeness crab was scrumptious! We were also visited by harbor seals while we enjoyed our meal and then stopped at a coffee cart and exchanged some US bills for 'loonies' and 'toonies' -- Canadian money, I kid you not. We returned to Seattle and ate at the Space Needle -- definitely worth the experience and the views! We also visited the aquarium which had a great diversity in its inhabitants but was somewhat disappointing after what we had seen in the wild in Alaska. The cruise itself, again, was okay. When we return to Alaska, we plan to fly and go into the ports of our choosing at our own pace so we can thoroughly enjoy it and not feel so rushed with a mere 4-7 hours in each port. BUT I will give a rating of 'very good' due to the ports and the excursions we experienced which made our trip Wonderful!

Cruise was average, but excursions were AMAZING.

Westerdam Cruise Review by ProvWoman31

21 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2015
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We were first time cruisers and not sure of what to expect but we had always heard about incredible food and top-of-the-line service. We didn't experience either. The food was mediocre and room service took a minimum of 45 minutes, when the food arrived.. it was cold and far less quality than what was in the dining room, and that's not saying much. The restaurants, however, were great! The Pinnacle Grill had a great selection and everything tasted incredible! The italian restaurant was also very good! But truly the best thing about the cruise for us... was the balcony! So thankful we paid the extra for it since we spent about 80% of our time on board enjoying the sights and wildlife around us. Also, the ports were very enjoyable! HAL offers a great combination of ports on this cruise: Juneau, Glacier Bay, Ketchikan, Sitka, and Victoria, B.C.

Juneau -Tracey's Crab Shack was phenomenal!! It also had a lot more to offer in authentic Alaskan souvenirs. We had been told that Ketchikan offered better deals but I feel like they were more limited in what they offered.

Glacier Bay - Gorgeous!! Bring your camera and wear layers! The water was so beautiful and the scenery cannot be missed! Plan to spend the majority of time on the front decks and be ready to be captivated for hours.

Ketchikan - Offered a great fishing experience with Baranof Fishing Excursions. We shipped the halibut we caught home and have even ordered fresh fish from them since for a reasonable price. Also had a beautiful park we visited at Settlers Cove where we saw beaches, waterfalls, and lush forests.

Sitka - By far our favorite!!! This quaint island-town quickly became the highlight of our trip with the help of Paul Davis of Gallant Adventures! His boat is small which allows for a private tour specific to your family's interests for a great price! In addition, he was extremely personable and had great knowledge and experience to share about Sitka and its inhabitants. We came home with photos we'll always treasure and memories we'll never forget. The BEST excursion offered in Sitka by far!

Victoria, B.C. - We walked down to the docks which were beautiful. The eclectic 'house-boats' were so unique and the dungeness crab was scrumptious! We were also visited by harbor seals while we enjoyed our meal and then stopped at a coffee cart and exchanged some US bills for 'loonies' and 'toonies' -- Canadian money, I kid you not.

We returned to Seattle and ate at the Space Needle -- definitely worth the experience and the views! We also visited the aquarium which had a great diversity in its inhabitants but was somewhat disappointing after what we had seen in the wild in Alaska.

The cruise itself, again, was okay. When we return to Alaska, we plan to fly and go into the ports of our choosing at our own pace so we can thoroughly enjoy it and not feel so rushed with a mere 4-7 hours in each port. BUT I will give a rating of 'very good' due to the ports and the excursions we experienced which made our trip Wonderful!
ProvWoman31’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
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Shore Excursions
Ages 7 to 9
Service
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VB 5012
Cabin was clean but very small; however, the balcony was worth every penny! We spent the majority of our time on board enjoying the sights and spotting wildlife.
Observation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews