Having cruised three times prior to this trip, we were aware of what to expect. Holland America had no surprises, other that the fact they upgraded us two days before departure.
The Alaska cruise is so good because it is so close for us. A four-five our drive to Vancouver and leaving our car in the Cruise Ship parking, the price is very reasonable, if you pre-book. Both embarkation and disembarkation we very smooth, as in the past, these folks know how to handle large crowds.
Prior to booking I had investigated the trip, with my travel agent's assistance the trip planning was a snap.
Our three previous cruises where with the HAL Volendam, which we were thrilled with. We actually found that the food provided on the Nieuw Amsterdam was good, we felt it was a step below that offered on the Volendam. In particular the Pinnacle has never changed its menu over the past three years, and the quality was below that of the Volendam.
The night shows in the theatre were as expected, the magician and comedian were OK. The crew singers and dancers were outstanding - they had a very professional show.
Crew members throughout the ship were ready to give a greeting and smile if you make eye contact. I understand this is a problem with some people - to them I say "get a life!"
The dining room servers were above standard and exceeded our expectations. From UCi to Adi to Edgar, thanks you for making our travels a pure joy, even though we didn't find the food level to be as good as the Volendam. That is not to say the food was not good, just a bit lower in our estimation for quality.
Would I take this cruise again - in a heartbeat - we love the program. Holland America has made us cruisers. We have people who have travelled throughout the world, and always by air travel. As two seniors, we've slowed down and cruising allows us to see those places we've not seen before, or in case of Alaska cruises, something we can do time and again. Thanks HAL.
Having booked an Oceanview it took a bit of adjustment to move to a balcony cabin. It was a very nice adjustment. The cabin was slightly larger and it had a balcony. The weather was very cooperative and we got to use the balcony. The forecast wasn't good, but the actual weather was truly great (ask any of the crew who had spent the previous week with rain every day).
The cabin had many features we were not used to - the mini fridge and bar(which we did not use). The cabin was a decent size for a seven day cruise, we enjoyed all the amenities. Having coffee and juice delivered each morning prior to going to breakfast was a wonderful feature. There was an expanded menu but we did not use it.
Our cabin stewards were as expected a good service feature. They did their job unobtrusively and always had a positive attitude. We introduced ourselves when we boarded the ship, and they never forgot to say hello and used our names, not just the Mr. & Mrs - they used the names we gave them. Dang & Ang made our cruise much more enjoyable.
Being able to walk around the town is pleasure enough
no port of call