This was my 34th cruise 15th with HAL. And I can say this was a very nice cruise. The weather was outstanding. The locals where all saying it was too hot for them at all of our ports of calls. We also got a very nice sun tan from all of the nice weather. (What's with this global warming) 2nd time to Alaska. Was there 3 years ago same time. Back then the weather was much cooler. I found the service on the ship to be outstanding. Our room steward was always there when we left our room. Asking us if everything was OK. Every where we went a crew member would say hello to us. I found the ship to be very clean and in good shape. We had outstanding service in all the bars we visited. And the casino staff was very friendly and more then willing to help explain games we did not understand. My girlfriend discover blackjack on this cruise and they help her understand the game . I learned Texas holdem and the staff went out of there way to help us. We had As You Wish Dinning and never had to wait for a table. We never made a reservation and usually showed up around 7ish and as long as we did not want a table for two we where seated right away. And we met some very nice people every night at our table. On two nights we had dinner in the Lido and where very happy with the service. There was someone there to take your tray and walk you to a table. And they had the same food as in the Dinning room. We did do the Pinnacle grill one night. We enjoyed it. But it was not as good as the last time I was in the Pinnacle this past December on the Ziderdam. As for tours. In Juneau we waited till we got off the ship and took the bus to Mendenhall Glacier where we had a nice afternoon. After that we booked a whale tour with Capt. Larry Orca Enterprises at the pier right by our ship, for $114.00 per person. For the 4PM tour. There was a total of 5 of us on his boat and we saw it all. It was a great tour. In Sitka we booked the Sea and Wildlife tour. It was great. We saw lots of Eagles, Otters, Puffins, and whales. It was truly a beautiful day and a very nice place to visit for the day. Although you can see all of downtown Sitka in about an hour or two. So be sure to do a tour. Other wise there is not much to do there. In Ketchikan we did the Duck Tour. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to get a quick over view of the city and then still have time to do your own thing. The tour guides where very funny and was a local that knew the area very well. Again we saw lots of Eagles. My only complaint was the ship was there from 7AM till 2PM not enough time to really enjoy the island. Wish they would cut down the time in Sitka and spend more time in Ketchikan. In Victoria we arrive late around 7:15PM and we where off at 7:45. It seems like the Zaandam has been getting there late the past few weeks. Wonder why? Anyway we took the bus to downtown and enjoyed a nice sunset as we walk around and enjoyed the city. The weather was very warm. Wish we could have spend more time there. This is a very beautiful city that I would like to spend some time there. We where in no hurry to get off the ship as we where going to spend the day in Seattle. We walked off the ship around 9:30 and where at our hotel by 10AM ready to enjoy the day site seeing. What a great day. As always a cruise is "What You Make Out Of It". And as I always say. I have never yet had a bad cruise. Happy Cruising. John

Alaska May29 June 5th 2009

Zaandam Cruise Review by johnlcruise

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2009
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Vista Suite with Verandah
This was my 34th cruise 15th with HAL. And I can say this was a very nice cruise. The weather was outstanding. The locals where all saying it was too hot for them at all of our ports of calls.
We also got a very nice sun tan from all of the nice weather. (What's with this global warming)
2nd time to Alaska. Was there 3 years ago same time. Back then the weather was much cooler.
I found the service on the ship to be outstanding. Our room steward was always there when we left our room. Asking us if everything was OK. Every where we went a crew member would say hello to us.
I found the ship to be very clean and in good shape.
We had outstanding service in all the bars we visited. And the casino staff was very friendly and more then willing to help explain games we did not understand. My girlfriend discover blackjack on this cruise and they help her understand the game . I learned Texas holdem and the staff went out of there way to help us.
We had As You Wish Dinning and never had to wait for a table. We never made a reservation and usually showed up around 7ish and as long as we did not want a table for two we where seated right away. And we met some very nice people every night at our table. On two nights we had dinner in the Lido and where very happy with the service. There was someone there to take your tray and walk you to a table. And they had the same food as in the Dinning room. We did do the Pinnacle grill one night. We enjoyed it. But it was not as good as the last time I was in the Pinnacle this past December on the Ziderdam.
As for tours.
In Juneau we waited till we got off the ship and took the bus to Mendenhall Glacier where we had a nice afternoon. After that we booked a whale tour with Capt. Larry Orca Enterprises at the pier right by our ship, for $114.00 per person. For the 4PM tour. There was a total of 5 of us on his boat and we saw it all. It was a great tour.

In Sitka we booked the Sea and Wildlife tour. It was great. We saw lots of Eagles, Otters, Puffins, and whales. It was truly a beautiful day and a very nice place to visit for the day. Although you can see all of downtown Sitka in about an hour or two. So be sure to do a tour. Other wise there is not much to do there.
In Ketchikan we did the Duck Tour. I would recommend this tour to anyone who wants to get a quick over view of the city and then still have time to do your own thing. The tour guides where very funny and was a local that knew the area very well. Again we saw lots of Eagles.
My only complaint was the ship was there from 7AM till 2PM not enough time to really enjoy the island. Wish they would cut down the time in Sitka and spend more time in Ketchikan.
In Victoria we arrive late around 7:15PM and we where off at 7:45. It seems like the Zaandam has been getting there late the past few weeks. Wonder why? Anyway we took the bus to downtown and enjoyed a nice sunset as we walk around and enjoyed the city. The weather was very warm. Wish we could have spend more time there. This is a very beautiful city that I would like to spend some time there.
We where in no hurry to get off the ship as we where going to spend the day in Seattle. We walked off the ship around 9:30 and where at our hotel by 10AM ready to enjoy the day site seeing. What a great day.
As always a cruise is "What You Make Out Of It". And as I always say. I have never yet had a bad cruise.
Happy Cruising.
John
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