We had sailed on the Westerdam 10 years ago on a Glacier Bay tour and wanted to repeat it but with a balcony room which, I highly recommend a balcony whose windows the steward cleans daily as opposed to common areas, and a voyage that goes to Skagway versus Sitka. Additionally we wanted to see more of Alaska so added HAL’s train journey to Denali for two nights via Anchorage and out Fairbanks. There was continuous rain in Ketchikan, but other than that, rain did not spoil excursions and it was clear and sunny for the land tour. We also were one step ahead of the mosquitoes. The cruise was smoothly run. We ended up having to tender in Skagway as there was a small landslide where we were suppose to dock and 3 ships were port. There were a few issues with the land accommodations, extremely early start times, and not being given information that would have helped us in packing before we left home. I will elaborate to help others. We were in an accessible cabin BUT only were given an accessible hotel room @ Denali. It was a real hardship and meant going to use a lobby restroom in Fairbanks. HAL and perhaps Princess make those going on the train out of Seward put out all luggage the night before with one bag to join you each night and the other you don’t see until Fairbanks. Therefore you each need a tote or small backpack to go behind your knees on the first train to hold all your night clothes and anything needed at night time or am ( think sample size toothpaste and a toothbrush even if you use electric and packed it). Early disembarkment : Lido opens at 5 AM to grab a quick breakfast before you get assigned seats on this train. Two face forward and two rear with a table in between. Tight if train car full, ours wasn’t. We were glad we didn’t buy the meal package for the land portion. We were given a 5:30 AM start time for the Denali Park tour. If your lovely dome train gets into McKinley Chalet before the park ranger office closing HAL guest services might be able to get you on a later tour. This train has no assigned seats but nice forward facing seats and a wonderful bar tender who delivers drinks and some good snack food. Both trains have beautiful scenic routes and either side is good. The dining car is below here. If you buy a meal plan sit in the back as they take people down starting in the back. We ate breakfast/ lunch for us as it was a little before noon when it was finally our turn as we sat in the front of the car . The food was just okay so we stuck with smoothies and snacks thereafter. Daily starting times were early coupled with it being light until almost 11 PM kind of gets you sleep depriv d and thrown off. That same d we were glad we did the land portion and really enjoyed the included lunch and riverboat cruise with stops in Fairbanks. I would investigate other cruise line land tours as may be better. The HAL and Princess Lodges in Denali are good. On the cruise our cabin steward Ricky and our dining waiter Samyvasa were wonderful. We ate most all meals in the MDR The did all fish, beef, and lamb well. We loved breakfast there: fresh fruit plate, Swedish pancakes ( really filled crepes with berry compote), salsa skillet, really all egg dishes done well, and they will customize. I am lactose intolerant and almond and soy milk was available here and in the Cafe for coffee drinks . They gave me lunch and dinner menus ahead and if I wanted something else they have it for you the next day. We ate At Pinnacle Grill and the fillets and sides wer good but we had a very sullen distracted waiter. We had good service at Caneletto and okay food. Our burgers and items from Dive’s tostada bar were tasty the one time we went there. The musicians we went to see often were great: the young classically trained Lincoln Center Group and the always good B.B. King Group. We went two the first two shows and decided we liked them better and “Alaska” the musicians playing to a special BBC production. On this cruise spent all day looking at and photographing Glacier Bay and the little islands and port cities and did less of the many activities offered than usual. Many people had trouble making phone calls when ashore to home but could receive them. The nice Juneau Public Library is very close to the dock. It sits atop a tall parking structure overlooking the water with outdoor decks , good WI FI and computers.

Glacier Bay and Land Tour by Train

Noordam Cruise Review by Linnn

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
We had sailed on the Westerdam 10 years ago on a Glacier Bay tour and wanted to repeat it but with a balcony room which, I highly recommend a balcony whose windows the steward cleans daily as opposed to common areas, and a voyage that goes to Skagway versus Sitka. Additionally we wanted to see more of Alaska so added HAL’s train journey to Denali for two nights via Anchorage and out Fairbanks.

There was continuous rain in Ketchikan, but other than that, rain did not spoil excursions and it was clear and sunny for the land tour. We also were one step ahead of the mosquitoes.

The cruise was smoothly run. We ended up having to tender in Skagway as there was a small landslide where we were suppose to dock and 3 ships were port. There were a few issues with the land accommodations, extremely early start times, and not being given information that would have helped us in packing before we left home. I will elaborate to help others.

We were in an accessible cabin BUT only were given an accessible hotel room @ Denali. It was a real hardship and meant going to use a lobby restroom in Fairbanks. HAL and perhaps Princess make those going on the train out of Seward put out all luggage the night before with one bag to join you each night and the other you don’t see until Fairbanks. Therefore you each need a tote or small backpack to go behind your knees on the first train to hold all your night clothes and anything needed at night time or am ( think sample size toothpaste and a toothbrush even if you use electric and packed it). Early disembarkment : Lido opens at 5 AM to grab a quick breakfast before you get assigned seats on this train. Two face forward and two rear with a table in between. Tight if train car full, ours wasn’t. We were glad we didn’t buy the meal package for the land portion.

We were given a 5:30 AM start time for the Denali Park tour. If your lovely dome train gets into McKinley Chalet before the park ranger office closing HAL guest services might be able to get you on a later tour. This train has no assigned seats but nice forward facing seats and a wonderful bar tender who delivers drinks and some good snack food. Both trains have beautiful scenic routes and either side is good. The dining car is below here. If you buy a meal plan sit in the back as they take people down starting in the back. We ate breakfast/ lunch for us as it was a little before noon when it was finally our turn as we sat in the front of the car . The food was just okay so we stuck with smoothies and snacks thereafter.

Daily starting times were early coupled with it being light until almost 11 PM kind of gets you sleep depriv d and thrown off.

That same d we were glad we did the land portion and really enjoyed the included lunch and riverboat cruise with stops in Fairbanks. I would investigate other cruise line land tours as may be better. The HAL and Princess Lodges in Denali are good.

On the cruise our cabin steward Ricky and our dining waiter Samyvasa were wonderful. We ate most all meals in the MDR The did all fish, beef, and lamb well. We loved breakfast there: fresh fruit plate, Swedish pancakes ( really filled crepes with berry compote), salsa skillet, really all egg dishes done well, and they will customize. I am lactose intolerant and almond and soy milk was available here and in the Cafe for coffee drinks . They gave me lunch and dinner menus ahead and if I wanted something else they have it for you the next day.

We ate At Pinnacle Grill and the fillets and sides wer good but we had a very sullen distracted waiter. We had good service at Caneletto and okay food. Our burgers and items from Dive’s tostada bar were tasty the one time we went there.

The musicians we went to see often were great: the young classically trained Lincoln Center Group and the always good B.B. King Group. We went two the first two shows and decided we liked them better and “Alaska” the musicians playing to a special BBC production.

On this cruise spent all day looking at and photographing Glacier Bay and the little islands and port cities and did less of the many activities offered than usual.

Many people had trouble making phone calls when ashore to home but could receive them. The nice Juneau Public Library is very close to the dock. It sits atop a tall parking structure overlooking the water with outdoor decks , good WI FI and computers.
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean-View Verandah Stateroom
Cabin VF 6001
Large, lots of storage, clean, quiet, everything in working order. In need of some painting where scooters or wheelchairs have hit doorways. Cabin steward did an amazing job.
Navigation Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins